New Tank maturing/evolvong

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by Vonsamhain, Oct 26, 2007.

  1. Vonsamhain

    Vonsamhain Cuttlefish Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    So, I have finally got this tank up and running for a while now. Here is what I got going on:

    55 gallon Tru-Vu display
    20 gallon sump/refuge (coleman chest cooler)
    Berlin turbo skimmer
    Custom overflow (20" tall x 6" x 4")
    50 lbs of live rock (2/3 in tank, 1/3 in sump)
    1/4 HP chiller (Artica)
    1 bag of Monterey Beach Sand
    8 Damsels for Cycling (they are a $1 a piece here)


    The sump/Refuge is set up made out of a Chest Cooler (for insulation purposes). Part of the Display tank is insulated as well (Back, Bottom, Top). The sump is separated into 1/3 compartments.

    1/3 is a filter sock/ Bio-ball compartment (Nitrate Factory YES, but.. OK for load swings IMO)
    1/3 is an algae tumbler for string algae with a small power compact over it (40 watts)
    1/3 is a deep sand bed/ more live rock
    The skimmer is also hooked up to the sump.

    Since I had a good amount of great live rock, it has never seen any traceable amount of Ammonia or Nitrite (even though I've been over feeding the damsels to try to get some good colonies growing) in the past month. The Algae in the tumbler is still small clump but managed to keep the Nitrate below 10ppm and will probably continue to drop as it grows. I'm still gonna let it mature for a bit before I introduce an octo. If the octo is a small one (quarter size), I may use a critter cage and put it in the tank with a piece of live rock and have him live in there for a month or so.

    I'm borrowing a camera (mine is broken) and should be taking some pics in the next week or so when I get things the way I want them. I always feel I need to tweak things/change flow, pathways (I have effeciency issues, hehe). Its amazing how much energy you can save with a little foam insulation on your tank/pump/piping. :)
     
  2. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Messages:
    2,996
    Likes Received:
    69
    Nice. :grin:
    The only thing that makes me worry is using the damsels for cycling. Regardless of cost, live wild collected animals are not needed to cycle a tank. And, you will prolly need to remove the damsels before adding an octo, as damsels have been known to go after octos.
     
  3. Vonsamhain

    Vonsamhain Cuttlefish Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have no intention on keeping the damsels for any reason. Damsels can also be captive bred. I am curious as to why you would not want to use a source of ammonia for cycling. I have been under the impression that simply setting up a tank with no source "good" of ammonia would take a long time to do anything. How would the tank mature to a point in which it would be able to take on a load as big as a growing octo without a previous source of ammonia large enough. Maybe Im missing something here. I suppose you could add another form of degradable carbon source like fish food or something, but I thought that the idea of cycling is to create an environment that would produce similar amounts of waste before introducing a more sensitive species... Can I get some more info here? I've been doing this stuff for a long time, and I'm curious as to what I may learn about what you are refering to. Thanks in advance.

    ps. Does anyone else have any suggestions for changes at this point? also, do you thing 80 watts of overhead lighting is too much for a Bimac, will I need to cut it down to 40? The only reason Im doing 80 is to have one actinic and one daylight bulb to promote some nice live rock coloring without adding high powered lighting.
     
  4. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Messages:
    2,996
    Likes Received:
    69
    They can be, but they aren't being captive bred for the trade because WC ones are too cheap. If yours are captive bred, it will alter my thoughts slightly, however intentionally putting live animals into what is essentially poison seems like a bad idea.

    I did not say that, I just said that live animals animals, especially wild caught animals, are not needed to cycle a tank. :grin:

    [/quote]I have been under the impression that simply setting up a tank with no source "good" of ammonia would take a long time to do anything. How would the tank mature to a point in which it would be able to take on a load as big as a growing octo without a previous source of ammonia large enough. Maybe Im missing something here. I suppose you could add another form of degradable carbon source like fish food or something, but I thought that the idea of cycling is to create an environment that would produce similar amounts of waste before introducing a more sensitive species... Can I get some more info here? I've been doing this stuff for a long time, and I'm curious as to what I may learn about what you are refering to. Thanks in advance.[/QUOTE]

    You can cycle a tank with dead shrimp or ammonium nitrate. Here is a decent link on the subject: http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=1229548
    Furthermore, most live rock will have sufficient biomass on it to cycle a tank.

    Sorry about hijacking your thread, I just wanted to point out to casual readers that live fish cycling isn't necessary and is a holdover from the past. :smile:
     
  5. Vonsamhain

    Vonsamhain Cuttlefish Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    No problem at all, thanks for the info. You are correct however (and I have forgotten about the cyanide catching), that damsels can be harboring leftover poisons and such from collecting. Allthough I belive you are talking about the ammonia itself. Hmmmm, food for thought. I have cycled tanks in the past by using fish flake, or frozen shrimp. So maybe I will re-consider the damsels. The downfall to using non-live ammonia producers is they can be good at keeping the tank tidy, but thats kind of secondary. MAybe I will pull the damsels out, they are aggressive little buggers so I would never leave them in there with an octo unless he wanted to eat them.....mmmmm tastey fish :)
     
  6. Vonsamhain

    Vonsamhain Cuttlefish Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is whole new can of worms however. The farming industry in the USA alone would show that being a carnivore and being human is essentially advocating torture of our livestock, but I dont even want to get into that one here. :wink:
     
  7. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Messages:
    2,996
    Likes Received:
    69
    You betcha! That's why I said 'slightly'. In the aquarium trade, I do think it makes sense to not advocate the 'misuse' of animals regardless of what is done in other industries. :grin:
     
  8. Vonsamhain

    Vonsamhain Cuttlefish Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    well, I doubtt I would have left them in there if I was showing any significant amount of ammonia or nitrite, and scaled fish are hardly effected by small amounts of nitrate. I was trying to get to a point where I could "ride the fence" so to speak on seeing a bit of ammonia. So I would hardly call it true cycling with live animals. I'm not into that either. I stopped doing the whole cycling from scratch thing years ago. :old:
     

Share This Page