Little smudgers first marine tank - Fluval M90

Discussion in 'General Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by Little_Smudge, Aug 3, 2017.

  1. Little_Smudge

    Little_Smudge Member

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    Good morning all,

    So I'm very new to marine aquariums although my father has kept them for over 40 years, just on an old undergravel filter method. So all the new set ups are pretty new to him too.

    So I decided to buy the Fluval M90 as it seemed a nice size for a starter tank, along with having more good reviews than bad!!

    I have not upgraded any of the equipment that came with the set up, although I do believe I will have to over time and as I become more familiar with how things are done and what's needed.

    just over two weeks ago, I added the "sea ready" sand along with the salt water and 12kg of living rock (135ltr tank including rear filtration area)

    Over the first two weeks I've been testing the salt level and nitrate levels. Salt levels have remained at 1250 and the nitrate has dropped from the original test of 20 to 10.

    I do have the tiny star fish that I have read about, they seem to be multiplying and may need to start picking them out. Along with what's. ow been identified as a bristle worm, and from the advise given I'm guessing is no harm to the tank.

    Over the past couple of days, I've had a massive increase in brown algae across the tanks sand bed and living rock, I clear this up daily by agitating the sand and brushing it off areas of the living rock that I can get to (any advice would be great haha)

    So really, I'm just waiting for the next step and whether the tank is ready to have anything introduced to help with 1. The brown algae and 2. Help kick start the whole reef system.

    I have a few photos, but nothing exciting I'm afraid.

    I look forward to sharing my new tank coming to life with you all
     
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  2. Little_Smudge

    Little_Smudge Member

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  3. DaveK

    DaveK Well-Known Member

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    The brown algae is usually diatoms. Usually they just go away after a few weeks. As for trying to "kick start" anything, just leave it alone for now and give it time.

    For testing, you should be testing for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. You need to have ammonia and nitrite at 0 before you start adding anything. Once you get there, add a decent clean up crew and wait for them to get established.
     
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  4. Little_Smudge

    Little_Smudge Member

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    Hi DaveK

    Thank you for the advise I guess I started with usual beginner impatiantience haha.

    I'll post some photos later when I get home from work

    Again thanks for the advise - much appreciated
     
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  5. Little_Smudge

    Little_Smudge Member

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    IMG_0059.JPG IMG_0060.JPG IMG_0061.JPG

    Two weeks exactly from when I placed the sand, salt water and living rock

    I've been adjutanting the sand each evening and a light brush over the living rock. The brown colour I was seeing has now started to go a more green/brown
     
    #5
  6. yungreefer2410

    yungreefer2410 Well-Known Member

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    Looks like a new tank cycling, exactly how it should look!
     
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  7. Little_Smudge

    Little_Smudge Member

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    IMG_0320.JPG IMG_0434.JPG IMG_0311.JPG IMG_0378.JPG Hey all so a further month has passed and over the past couple of eeeks I've introduced a few things into my new reef tank and I thought I would share with you all
     
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    Last edited: Sep 8, 2017
  8. Little_Smudge

    Little_Smudge Member

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    Of so over the past four weeks I added the following:

    3 x emerald crabs (bought 2 and one hitchicked on some coral

    3 x turbo snails

    2 x red legged hermits

    2 x blue legged hermits

    Waited a week and added:

    A variety of corals - I can't remember what they are all called so I'll come back to that

    A week later I added:

    2 x clowns

    2 x cleaner shrimps

    A couple of days later I added 2 x blue damsels

    The clowns are doing very well. They often swim together and at night they always hang upside down with each other in a corner close to the top of the water. They also do a shakeup dance (small one to the big one) they have become very tame, practically jumping out of the water and into my hand when I feed them.

    Basically everything seems to be doing great
     
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  9. Pat24601

    Pat24601 Well-Known Member

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    Reef Chronicle:
    Yup
    Looks great!
     
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  10. Little_Smudge

    Little_Smudge Member

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    Thank you Pat,

    Although I've identified and given advise in another thread with regards to something I spotted earlier today - nuddies identified on my front glass and on one of my corals that hasn't come out all day - I e taken the one of the front glass and that I could see on the coral. Will need to buy some iodine tomorrow to do a dip (I'll need to read up on that first)

    All other corals look very healthy and are always out until about an hour after turning the lights off.

    All in all I'm happy with the progress so far
     
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  11. Little_Smudge

    Little_Smudge Member

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    IMG_0489.JPG

    I do enjoy waking up and turning the lights on and spending an hour with a cup of coffee, watching everything spring to life
     
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  12. Little_Smudge

    Little_Smudge Member

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    E004CE0E-383F-42D9-926E-816B57719D43.jpeg E004CE0E-383F-42D9-926E-816B57719D43.jpeg 74CD5CA2-D708-44F5-AB8E-C6F3ADBFCAB3.jpeg Ok a little update since my last:

    I have now added the following

    Sand sifting starfish (small)
    Royal gramma (small)
    Fire shrimp

    In addition, due to the amount of problems I was having with my white dead corals I placed in the tank when originally set up, as in collection and difficulty brushing algae etc etc off, I have now built a living rock cave. This has become very interesting, as my clowns are playing up to each other a lot and seem to be using the cave a lot.

    I did have a cyan bloom, which with a few water changes and lightly brushing off the living rocks (which the cleaner shrimps seem to love) this has now controllable with a brush of the rocks every few days and a little moving of the sand.

    Anyways, please see my newly updated photos.

    Please feel free to let me know your thoughts and any suggestions on layout,coral or fish selection.

    Hope you are all keeping well

    Little smudge
     

    Attached Files:

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  13. SPR

    SPR Well-Known Member

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    Hi Little Smudge

    Tanks looking great!

    If your getting cyno are you doing your water testing for Nitrate/phosphates and foundation elements etc ?

    Also keep an eye on the sand sifting starfish as if it’s a new tank it might not get enough food. And I don’t know how to feed a starfish before you ask! Lol.
     
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  14. Little_Smudge

    Little_Smudge Member

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    Thanks SPR, I’m really happy with the way it’s progressed over the past few months.

    I’ve been checking the parameters regular and they are as follows:

    Salt - 1025 (odd occasion raising to 1026) normally my indication to top up

    PH seems to be stable between 8.2 and 8.3

    Nitrate - stable at 0.02

    Ammonia - no trace

    Nitrite - no trace

    Kh - 8.1

    That’s all I’ve been testing for so far

    I’ve left getting the sand starfish for a few weeks to allow the tank a bit longer. I noticed a lot of waste building up under the top of the sand, as the water flow moves it about. So thought it may help clean it up, hopefully I’ve not put it in too early

    I love the way the cleaner shrimps jump onto my hand an arm if I’m in the tank cleaning the rocks or anything and the clowns have become so tame, they are taking food from my fingers now (clean hands of course )
     
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  15. SPR

    SPR Well-Known Member

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    What you need to do to avoid algea problems starting/cyno etc., is start testing for Nitrate (which you do) and phosphate and as a basic guide (everyone will have different ideas) keep Nitrate <10ppm, and phosphate around 0.03ppm. If either of these go higher you may have algea problems, but you don’t want them at 0ppm or other bad things might happen! It’s a crazy balancing act and it will take you a while to get into it.

    Your Nitrate at 0.02ppm is very low and might be why you have had issues with cyno bacteria and you can read up more on the reasons etc.

    The one thing i learned was to lock phosphates down and that was the best thing I did with my system. I use a combination of NoPox and Rhowaphos, but you maybe able to get away with NoPox (or some other form of control as there are many) for both Nitrate and phosphate control in your system. NoPox is basically carbon dosing and that’s something else to make you head hurt! Lol

    As your keeping corals you need to keep foundation elements at the correct levels. That’s Alk, Ca and Mg. These need to be ok to keep your corals happy and if they aren’t happy they will show you! Check out Red Sea ABC+ which would be a good starting point for you as it contains all the elements and it’s very easy to use.

    Also as your nitrates are very low you may want to consider feeding the corals as they won’t be getting much food at 0.02 as the water is very clean/sterile. I use Reef Energy by Red Sea, but there are many others.

    I’ve followed the Red Sea Reef Care Program from day 1 so check that out and all the videos it’s very useful and also easily available here in the UK.

    Once you get to grip with the basics, and keep them under control and at the correct levels, you will enjoy your tank much more and hopefully avoid many of the unwanted problems that can happen.
     
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  16. Pat24601

    Pat24601 Well-Known Member

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    Yup
    Great tank pics!
     
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  17. Little_Smudge

    Little_Smudge Member

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    5A762E0B-0EE7-48F0-AB37-A0C2F5CACB46.jpeg 0101EB8E-41A3-4663-9EEC-67F92F87BD08.jpeg
    446366D6-3624-4065-A4EB-7C0FB6FFB4F2.jpeg ED758FD3-E02B-45FC-A7B9-30FF856A491F.jpeg ED758FD3-E02B-45FC-A7B9-30FF856A491F.jpeg
    Hey all,

    So a few months on now and my aquarium has been set up for approximately 5 months.

    Finally got rid of the cyno bloom and all seems to be looking great.

    My pair of clowns have taken over the far right of the aquarium and during the day hang around the cave I out in and the leather coral on top - at night they sleep together between the water circulator and the leather coral. Still doing the shakes dance, so think they are happy.

    Royal Gamma decided to dig mouthfuls of sand out between a gap in the living rock and spray it over my corals and mushrooms, reading up this is a sign of ready to mate or just building a home (suggestions on that or getting another one would be appreciated)

    All COC have been accounted for and have double the amount of snails now haha

    New additions are a fire shrimp and a red scooter blenny - had issues with the Pajami wrasse with the blenny to begin with so kept the blenny in a floating quarantine tank for a few days. Wrasse seemed to back off and since putting the blenny in, they have been fine together.

    Corals seem fine and I have mushrooms sprouting and growing everywhere along with beaches of the tree like leather coral.

    Aiptasia has now gone with the help of aiptasia X by Red Sea.

    Any feed back or suggestions d welcome as always.

    Hope you enjoy the photos anyways

    Little smudge
     
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  18. meknudson2

    meknudson2 Active Member

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    Your tank looks really great. You seem to have everything under control. Soon you might get to the point of endlessly adding coral, and not being able to stop thinking about how you can make the tank even better, it is really fun. Sometimes I have to try not to figure out where I can cram another coral in my tank, it has been my obsession for a very long time lol. Keep up with the updates they are really enjoyable to see how your tank progression is.
     
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  19. Pat24601

    Pat24601 Well-Known Member

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    I just bought a F90 to use for freshwater. I hope I get it running half as well as you!

    Do you like the M90?
     
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  20. Little_Smudge

    Little_Smudge Member

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    For a first marine set up for me pat I thought it was perfect - wasn’t overly expensive compared to some of the slightly bigger set ups that was on offer. I paid £300 (about 500$) for the tank, cabinate, heater, protein skimmer, water circulator and lights. I’ve since bought an addition protein skimmer and an additional small water jet (give extra water movement). I’m looking at upgrading the lights after Xmas.

    All in all I would recommend it. Let me know how you get on with the freshwater! I also have two freshwater aquariums
     
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