View Full Version : My First SW Tank

05-14-2010, 08:54 AM
This is my very first SW tank. It's a 75 gallons drilled top left conner and painted blue for background. The sump is 30 gallons (36x12x16) setup as intake>return<refugium. Return is pump with Mag 9.5. I'm waiting for SWC 160 Cone Skimmer. I'm still debating on the light. Currently I plan this tank as FOWLR. I build the stand with 2x4 and 1/2 birch plywood. When everything are done then I will build the doors. So far this project costed me about 1K.

05-14-2010, 09:32 AM
Very nice, and I know just exactly how much work and expense goes into a system like this. I wish you well in your journey (for it will certainly be that and more). What type of marine fish are you planning for this tank? Just a tip, if you're not planning on growing corals, go easy on the wattage and go with a pleasing 50/50 color bulb. That will bring out the colors in the fish, grow nice coralline algae on your rock, and really keep the hair and slime algae at bay. Best wishes!

05-14-2010, 12:06 PM
nice sump work. looking good.

05-14-2010, 01:07 PM
nice tank

05-14-2010, 08:08 PM
Thank you.

05-15-2010, 07:35 PM
I pickup this light today. Wavepoint 4x54W T5HO includes 2 Sun Wave lamps and 2 Blue Wave lamps. I'm plan for the future :)

05-26-2010, 07:40 PM
My current tank water parameters below and several rocks have green algae and glass are covered with brown algae. I have not done a wc except to top off with ro/di water. Should I do a wc? I will build a algae scrubber this weekend. Have anyone here build or have one?

Ph = 8.2
Ammonia = 0
Nitrate = 0
Nitrite = 1.0
Temp = 80
salinity = 1.025

05-26-2010, 07:55 PM
i dont think you are supose to do a wc for a month or 2. but im not 100%

05-26-2010, 08:44 PM
That algae growth is pretty normal for the stage in the maturation process. Have you ordered your reef cleanup crew yet? Everyone has his or her own (often STRONG) opinions on which are best. I pretty much stick with tried-and-true astrea snails and hermits (usually whatever is on sale), along with some sand moving snails to keep the sandbed healthy. The hermits do pick at the coralline algae a bit, but that's okay, I have plenty to spare. . . I use Purple Up! :tease:(Sorry Dane! :))

Your tank is really looking nice. The way you have your rocks looks very natural and looks like you've got good color already on your rocks. Congrats on your first corals, too. Those are going to fill your tank in no time!

05-27-2010, 10:27 AM
Thank you for your comments.

I have not order a cleanup crew yet because this tank is skimmerless. Currently I have one astrea snail in there from LR.

I was reading up on algae scrubber and want to try it. I will try to get one together this weekend if I can find a quietone 1200.

05-27-2010, 10:34 AM
let me know if you need some canvas's i have pre scruffed ones. As well as plenty of them. Your going to need to match your cubic inch to gallon ratio. Also please match up your gph and go overkill on the lights. You can get 75watt clip on lights from home depo for 5$ and the 5500k lighting thats best for it.

Good luck!

05-27-2010, 02:43 PM
Hi The Canuk...this is the design that I want to build. I figure for my 75 gallons I need atleast 8" to 9" width and 280 to 300 gph. Thanks for the offer.

05-27-2010, 02:45 PM
This is a nice setup. I've seen it. All of his tanks are nice.

05-27-2010, 03:10 PM
You will need a 9x9 screen and atleast 320gph, thats not including loss either. Also i would get atleast TWO 34watt lights on each side of the screen. Keep them 1 inch away from the screen. The roughing of the screen in very very important as well. Otherwise your algae wont grab a good hold and you'll have yellow water

06-04-2010, 03:15 PM
Update: I received and installed my Reef Octopus 160 protein skimmer today. I'm very happy with this skimmer. The water is alot clean and clear than before.

06-04-2010, 03:33 PM
wow. you really put it together well. great job.

06-04-2010, 05:20 PM
looks good

06-05-2010, 08:27 AM
Thank you. I'm having fun with my first sw tank. My tank is about 4 weeks old and green algaes are every where. How long is this cycle last? Currently I have 5 Mexican snails and one diamond goby. He was a hitchhiker from LR. He appears out of nowhere and doing fine.

06-16-2010, 06:03 PM
This is my very first pair of sw fish. A pair of Piscasso Clowns.

06-16-2010, 06:16 PM
Love it!! They are so cute and lively in a tank.

06-18-2010, 11:02 PM
I bet you're glad to finally get some fish in your tank.

07-20-2010, 08:13 AM
Update: Tank is 3 months old. Currently I have a pair of Ocellaris Clownfish, a Madarian goby, a Pajama Cardinal, and couple softies.

New equipment is Vortech MP10w ES

07-20-2010, 08:51 AM
Looking very nice. Is your Mandarin one of the new captive-bred ones recently available from ORA that will eat frozen food?

Any challenges with the new tank, such as algae blooms or anything? It looks super clean.

Good job!

07-20-2010, 09:08 AM
OOwl...thanks for the coment. I did experienced couple algae blooms that went away with WC. I do about 10+% WC per week.

As for the Mandarian, I have no idea. Got it from LFS. I will try to get a pic of it.

07-20-2010, 09:10 AM
I like the wavey water effect made by the Koralia

07-20-2010, 09:13 AM
Glad to hear your tank is maturing with so few problems. It's really lovely. It will be fun to watch how it develops. Thanks for posting pictures of it.

Yeah, I've heard that the Mandarins are available captive bred now. A couple of local shops have them. They're about $60, but well worth it if they eat frozen food. I don't feel my little reef is large enough to support a Mandarin, but I'm sure glad they're going to be available as captive-bred specimens for those that want to keep them.

Best wishes to you!

07-20-2010, 10:08 AM
My Mandarin is not a tank bred cause it does not eat frozen food and cost less than $60.00. Here is the pic of him/her.

Thank you for the info.

07-20-2010, 11:12 AM
Isn't he beautiful! Years ago (like early '90s), I had a wild-caught mandarin like that that I had in a medium-size reef tank (80g). Although he was really good at feeding himself from the 'pod population, I fed (and saw him consume) newly hatched brine shrimp, so you might try to supplement your guy with those. Also, if you had some sort of larval shrimp, I bet he'd eat those too. Best wishes to you.

07-29-2010, 09:54 AM
with those lights you could start growing lps easily

08-08-2010, 05:33 PM
8 Aug 2010 Update: three green chromis, two firefish, and wrasse(?). Plus Rose anemone, elegance coral, and two others cannot ID.

09-02-2010, 04:14 PM
Tank as 4 months old.

Loss Mandarin. He was killed by the wrasse.

09-02-2010, 09:02 PM
Bummer. I love mandarins. :(

09-29-2010, 06:00 PM
My tank as 6 months old as of yesterday. I'm having problem with green bubble algae and couple days ago I have two emerald crabs in the tank. Hopefully two crabs will take care the GBA.

10-12-2010, 09:11 AM
Pair of Picasso clownfish start hosting the RBTA last night. :)

10-12-2010, 12:19 PM
The tank looks amazing and tempts me to convert to Salt with my 125. But just looks like a ton of work and money. Maybe some day. Fantastic job on your part though that looks awesome.

10-20-2010, 11:09 PM
Looks really good for being your first SW Tank!
I started in the aquarium hobby arse backwards.
I started out with SW and then got into FW.
I would say let me know if you need any help but
by the looks of it you have got it down now!
Great job man!
Oh and let me know when that RBTA splits
I want one!

11-16-2010, 03:06 PM
Update: 9 months old. Having problem with green bubble algaes.

11-16-2010, 03:56 PM
wow, the tank is looking awesome. are you sure that wrasse is reef safe, looks like a lunar or even a moon wrasse and those arent reef safe. are you sure it killed the mandarin as well? most mandarins will only eat pods, i would highly suggest changing the sump around a little and making the right side a fuge with macro algae so you can not only scrub the water but grow pods and other critters like crazy. it also helps with feeding the corals because a bunch do eat.

as far as the algae, i would recommend a tang, yellow tangs will eat green bubble algae, im a fan of bristletooth tangs, lawnmower blenny, and bicolor blenny cause they have comb like teeth and eat algae all day long.

salt isnt that hard, i have a few reefs and believe it or not, its mostly diy or used. fish are happy and fat, i have scooter blennies breeding, corals spreading like crazy. oh, and i dont use ro/di, mine is right out of the tap. have some algae but also have great cleanup crews. get some cleaner shrimp and you wont have to worry about fish getting ich either(especially tangs). but its looking good and will provide entertainment for a long time. great job

Typical Tony
11-16-2010, 06:29 PM
Wow whats the deep blue coral in the mid right side?

11-16-2010, 07:58 PM
The tank is beautiful. My tank went through a bubble alga stage at about a year of age, and I just kept doing weekly water changes, aggressive skimming, and adding calcium, and it slowly disappeared. I only have a clown and a Starkii damsel in the tank so I know they didn't eat it. I'm sure the spores are in pretty much all live rock and it grows as the nutrient opportunity presents itself. Part of the interest in a reef tank is watching them mature and evolve. Thank you for posting updated pictures. It's looking fantastic.

11-16-2010, 08:18 PM
What a lovely tank!

11-17-2010, 12:21 PM
Thank you everyone for your comments.

jello212: my 30 gallons sump designed intake>return<refugium. I have caulerpa in the refugium. Its a Melanurus Wrasse, the best flatworm terminator and reef safe.

bettalover: some kinda blue poly. Hitchhiker from that rock and it spreading fast.

I installed 2 new Koralia Evolution 1400 powerheads and slow down my return and I noticed the green bubble algaes are dying. Alot of them turned white.

I'm planning to upgrade to bigger tank. 100 - 120 gallons RR tank.

11-17-2010, 01:03 PM
i seen how you had the sump set up, wasnt sure if you had that one side with macro or rock, and ya, those wrasse are awesome from what ive heard. tank looks good but upgrading the reef to another tank is tough, be carefull with that. when i did mine, the rocks were actually stuck together. had hell getting everything back like how i had it. lost a few things in the process.

11-20-2010, 09:34 AM
Here is the picture of my DIY 30L gallons sump.


01-29-2011, 03:33 PM
Update: I replaced the Wavepoint 2x54w T5HO with Reefkoi 200W 2G 14K version. The LED light is mounted about 12 inches off the water. I really like the new light. You can control blue LEDs and white LEDs.

02-10-2011, 04:01 PM
Your tank looks great, thank you so much for keeping us updated.

02-10-2011, 06:22 PM
This is one great thread of information for what to expect when going to SW.

Typical Tony
02-10-2011, 07:11 PM
whats your lighting schedule like with the LED?

02-11-2011, 05:20 AM
Thank you everyone for follow this and posted comments.

Finally those ugly algaes die off. I used a razor blade and big water change to remove them. I still have little bit left of green bubble algaes. I will try to remove them this week water change.

I'm waiting for my Reefkeeper Elite Controller. This controller will able to run the two Koralia 1400's plus many other functions. Other equipment that I want to get is Bubble Magus dosing pump BM-T01. I want to start dosing cal, alk, and mag.

I received a set of fans from Reefkoi to replace the original noisy fans. I am very happy with the new fans. The noise level is 0db. I can't barely heard them running.

The light is run for about 8 hours. Blue LEDs come on 30 mins before and after white LEDs.

Here is the picture of the tank after algaes are removed.

02-11-2011, 05:52 AM
Beautiful, just beautiful! It is obvious how much time and energy you put into your tank. This is a real jewel of a tank.

Typical Tony
02-11-2011, 07:21 AM
let me know how that controller work out for you, I've been wanting one.

02-17-2011, 08:03 AM
I received my RKE and Bubble Magus dosing pumps yesterday. So far I really like the RKE. I only mounted one PC4, it comes with two. I have one Koralia evolution 1400 on CH1 and one on CH4 and the wavemaker feature function awesome.

Build a shelf for the Bubble Magus dosing pump. They sell a tray for it as $24.99 + shipping. I'm waiting for BRS 2-parts dosing receipt. When I receive it then I will setup the dosing pump.

Pictures of RKE and Bubble Magus.

Typical Tony
02-17-2011, 08:10 AM
wow going high-tech, i like it.

02-26-2011, 12:30 PM
Hooked up the Bubble Magus T01 and start Alk, Ca, and Mg dosing. Make the tubes holder from 1/2 PVC pipe.

Sump setup as of 02262011.

Typical Tony
02-26-2011, 12:52 PM
very nice, man im loving that set up.

How easy is it to set up the dosing pump?

02-26-2011, 01:14 PM
love SW, but too much work for me

02-28-2011, 08:53 AM
very nice, man im loving that set up.

How easy is it to set up the dosing pump?

The BM dosing pump is pretty much plug-and-play. Turn on, set the date and time, set the amount to dose and times per day i.e. I set pump 1 to dose 4ml x 6 times in 24 hours = 24 ml. You then manually prime the pump to remove air. Escape out of menu and that it.

Typical Tony
02-28-2011, 10:44 AM
The BM dosing pump is pretty much plug-and-play. Turn on, set the date and time, set the amount to dose and times per day i.e. I set pump 1 to dose 4ml x 6 times in 24 hours = 24 ml. You then manually prime the pump to remove air. Escape out of menu and that it.

simple enough.

You doing 2 part calc and alk? what about mg?

Did you get the pump from Wayne?

02-28-2011, 11:41 AM
The unit came with 3 pumps so I'm dosing Alk, Ca, and Mg.

I got it from online before he posted it. I'm debating on the balling canisters. BM or this one.

Typical Tony
02-28-2011, 11:49 AM
Sweet I guess i've just made my decision on what dosing pump to get now.

02-28-2011, 03:46 PM
You will love it. It makes dosing so much easier.