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El Diablo

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The surface sounds like its the fines that were clouding the water settling back down onto the surface. They're probably heavy enough, and your tank circulation slow enough, that they don't stay suspended in the water. If so, get your gravel siphon running and go back and forth just over the top of the sand and you should be able to vacuum most of the fines out.

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On 5/25/2018 at 9:07 PM, El Diablo said:

I got my pump and a few other goodies yesterday, water test kit, bigger bottle of water conditioner, some bacteria. I've spent the evening so far dry fitting the pump, cutting lines to length, just generally laying things out and deciding where they'll go. If everything goes according to plan I'll fill the tank and start the cycling process tomorrow. I reckon once I have that going it will probably be a couple of weeks before I do much else to it.

I've decided I'm going to go with black diamond blasting sand for substrate, it's only $8 for 50 lbs at Tractor Supply. Being that it's an abrasive I do wonder if it will be harmful to something like loaches. Whatever, at that price I can rip it out and put in something a bit more gentle if need be.

i used to use blasting sand in the majority of my aquariums.  it was from texas, and cheap as shit, but it wasn't black.   it was dirty and needed to be rinsed first, but it was nothing like that.  that is some dirty sand.  you need to drain your tank, take it out to the backyard and run the hose in it, running your hands through the gravel until the water is clear.  do not put fish in it until the water is clear.  there could be something harmful in that silt.  

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9 hours ago, Sam Lin said:

The surface sounds like its the fines that were clouding the water settling back down onto the surface. They're probably heavy enough, and your tank circulation slow enough, that they don't stay suspended in the water. If so, get your gravel siphon running and go back and forth just over the top of the sand and you should be able to vacuum most of the fines out.

That makes some sense. Without a light over the tank and because of where it is located in the room the interior of the tank isn't well lit at all and I think there is also some light trickery going on that makes the surface of the sand look different.

After I posted I messed with the sand a little bit and I think it will be fine. I scooped some water out with a large Pyrex measuring cup and took it into the kitchen where I have better lighting and the water is good and clear. I checked the pH and it's around 8. I checked what's coming out of the tap and it's the same (wanted to make sure the sand wasn't jacking with the chemistry). I'm going to buy some straight ammonia tomorrow and start cycling the tank. I found some really good, clear, concise directions for doing so. One of the best websites I've found so far is fishlore. They outlined two different but similar methods to get the tank cycled; the "feed and wait" and the "feed daily".

Luckily there was enough discussion on that thread that I was able to learn that the tank may look ugly as hell before it finishes cycling and to not freak out.

I also called my redneck cousin to ask about driftwood and/or interesting rocks for décor. He's one of those people that picks up those sorts of things and keeps them in a cactus garden.

Thanks again for the suggestions and support.

 

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Amazingly enough my local HEB was open today and they do NOT carry plain ol' ammonia. Might as well have just shut the doors today.

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4 minutes ago, thrillhammer said:

you're scaring me dude.  ammonia and aquariums don't mix.  what is it you're trying to accomplish here again?

Cycle the aquarium/filter without fish.

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why do you feel that's necessary?  let the tank run for 3-5 days and it's fish ready.  saltwater fish are finicky.  freshwater fish can live in your bathtub.  you're overthinking it.  

 

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1) Stay out of my bathroom

2) No reason to stress the fish if I don't have to. I'll get it cycled to accommodate a full load and then I can put in whatever I want. I don't plan on going crazy with a shitload of fish but I absolutely do not want fish dying. Only dead fish I'm paying for I want to see on a platter. 

I found ammonia at a DollarTree store, I'd never been in one of those and hope I never have to go back. It's a 3% solution, mfg's MSDS says just ammonia and water. It doesn't make suds and it doesn't have any scent so I think I'll be good. Now I just have to get out my calculator and do some math to get some idea of how much will get me to around 4-5 ppm in my tank.

I know it's not as much fun as killing some fish, sorry to disappoint. There's always the chance still that I'll fuck it all up though, so there's that.

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I would never want you to kill fish. It’s just that cycling and a bacteria starter culture are all bullshit. You can put fish in a brand new aquarium (as long as you use chlorine remover).

you do realize ammonia is a byproduct of urine and is toxic to fish right? It’s the reason you do regular water changes.

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12 hours ago, thrillhammer said:

I would never want you to kill fish. It’s just that cycling and a bacteria starter culture are all bullshit. You can put fish in a brand new aquarium (as long as you use chlorine remover).

you do realize ammonia is a byproduct of urine and is toxic to fish right? It’s the reason you do regular water changes.

Well, I don't plan on putting any fish into the aquarium if the water isn't good. It's going to be a couple of weeks before I get to the point that I start to stock the tank so in the meantime I'll feed the bacteria and get a head start on that aspect. 

After reading your post I went online (because everything there is true) and changed my mind a bit about fishless cycling. I'm going ahead with my plan to begin a bacteria culture but I most likely will put fish in the tank as you suggest and then let the cycle work itself out from there. I may get a small jump on it but if it doesn't have any real impact at least I'll get in the habit of checking my water.

I appreciate your take on the subject of cycling and judging from what I found online you're not alone in your thinking. I'm willing to listen to most anyone as I try to educate myself on the hobby.

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Retired friend of mine has been in the "rustic" decor business for years so I called him to see if he had anything interesting in the way of wood and/or rocks. He sent me this pic of a stump that he has. I kind of like it. It would need to be shaped a bit to fit but I think it could work (I'd lay it on its side with the top more to the front, the bottom towards the rear and one of those branches coming out from the bottom pointing towards the ceiling. Probably have to cut off the bottom branches on one side or the other. Would also power wash the hell out of it). The paint brush is for scale, I think he said it was a either a 2" or 2 1/2" brush so probably 9"-10" overall length.

ev29ag.jpg

He also has these smaller pieces posted here with a couple of rocks. He has a rock garden at his place also so there are more options not shown.

52c4tf.jpg

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Update: Got a light for the tank so now I can see what sort of hellscape I'm creating, ha! Cousin Redneck gave me a piece of "decor" that came out of a tank that he'd had, I gave it a good scrubbing and dropped it in just so that the tank wouldn't be bare. It's coming out, not the look I'm going for. 

I've managed to assemble a good collection of rocks and a couple of small pieces of driftwood. The wood is sitting in a tub of water underneath a couple of the rocks trying to get it waterlogged. 

Other than that not much to report. The tank is cycling along, the Ammonia finally hit 0 so I fed the bacteria again yesterday. I'm anxious to see how long it takes for the ammonia to be consumed this time. Nitrites are thru the roof but that's to be expected. Okay, here's what we look like today:

2rpd2xt.jpg

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I got tired of looking at my shitty water, went to PetSmart and bought a $20 powerhead. I took a plastic drink bottle and cut the bottom out of it, stuffed it full of poly fil and put that on the intake of the powerhead and put this contraption in the tank before I went to bed last night. Got up to take a leak at some point and walked out in the living room to see what if anything it was doing and low and bee hole! Crystal clear water! I was so proud I went back to bed and cranked one out thinking of myself.

Wut?!

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So this is what aquatic snail sex looks like. The one with the dots was on the back of the one with the stripes that's stuck to the glass (can't see the stripes in the pic but they're there). Little fucker went from what would be the 6 o'clock position, kind of at the bottom of the snail as seen here to the 12 o'clock position on top of the snail in the blink of an eye. Did it like 3 times and then strolled off to have a cigarette I'm guessing. Holee fuck. Yeah. 

zaaeq.jpg

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Je suis aquarium homie!

IMG_3896_zpsz4nmutvb.jpg

Looking for a skimmer...  My craiglist Eshopps gave up.

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That's nice. I've thought about saltwater but not much. The critters just don't interest me. The girl in the picture I posted above went missing overnight. No idea right now where she is. I didn't have time to look for her this morning before work but I've got plants and there are hiding spots where she could have gotten trapped or died. Oof. Just one of the downsides to keeping fish and inverts is they die. The livebearers that I have really don't have long lifespans anyway so I guess I'll have to get used to it. Still, this one isn't that old. Can't wait to get home and figure out where she is.

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39 minutes ago, El Diablo said:

That's nice. I've thought about saltwater but not much. The critters just don't interest me.

 

Keep it that way. Your wallet will thank you.

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35 minutes ago, thunderlounge said:

 

Keep it that way. Your wallet will thank you.

No doubt. Though the whole thing is a bit addictive regardless and I'm already experiencing multi-tank syndrome. Thanks to technology and the internet a lot of what was once mysterious is now more accessible though. There's cheap-er ways to do a lot of things now, LED's are a real gamechanger alone.

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LED’s are definitely one of the best enhancements to come to market in recent years. Other products have become better as well, but LED’s bring considerable savings and heat savings as well. They have room to improve, of course, but in a couple years they will be even better. 

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I've got a slight problem and could use some answers for a water chemistry issue, any of you homies good on this subject?

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Tank #3......

Innovative Marine Nuvo 14 Peninsula

75 watt cobalt neo-therm

inkbird temperature controller

IM media basket with carbon and filterfloss

DIY mame skimmer clone

Rapid LED par38 in architects lamp

Jaebo 10 Speed DC circulation pump.

IM ATO controller with original circulation pump in a 2 gallon salt bucket

 

https://imgur.com/a/9iPlQl3[/img]

 

 

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Fucked that all up.

 

Take 2

Tank #3......

Innovative Marine Nuvo 14 Peninsula

75 watt cobalt neo-therm

inkbird temperature controller

IM media basket with carbon and filterfloss

DIY mame skimmer clone

Rapid LED par38 in architects lamp

Jaebo 10 Speed DC circulation pump.

IM ATO controller with original circulation pump in a 2 gallon salt bucket

Black and white ocellaris

Blue spot watchman goby

candy pistol shrimp

 

There is a small chunk of green stars and a small kenya tree I am using as a meter for when my water is mature enough for SPS.   I am also waiting for my biotech par meter to arrive before I put the final adjustments on the light and start loading it up.

 

Shooting for acans and zoas in the shaded and lowest levels.  Acros and encrusting monties up high. All of the frags will come out of my other reef.nvshhd.jpg

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Very nice setup! Wish I had the reserve to be able to do something on the nano, or even nano-ish scale. Unfortunately I always wind up way bigger than I started out planning.

 

Edited by thunderlounge

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1 hour ago, thunderlounge said:

Very nice setup! Wish I had the reserve to be able to do something on the nano, or even nano-ish scale. Unfortunately I always wind up way bigger than I started out planning.

 

Appreciate it.  I lease a condo and am bound to 40 gallons or less.  So i put in a 40 breeder peninsula (actual volume 47.5 plus sump) with a 30 long sump between my living and dinning room.  Thats my reef.  I have a 48 bow front for a prison tank that needs to be broken down but its full of good live rock, so its running.

The nano was because my female clown died in the reef.  The male clown was none to impressed with having a new clown in there when i tried to replace her.  So the nano....

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Man. I’d love a species focus nano. Lots of really cool shit you can do with them. But as I mentioned, I can’t keep myself in check and the size just grows and grows.

Maybe I can get my act together at some point, but knowing my tendencies I’d end up with 50 nanos and 4 300gal reefs. 

 

 

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Anyway, I started my freshwater adventure on June 30th. It's just your basic beginners community tank. Some live bearers, some bottom feeders, some Gouramis. The usual suspects.

edit: fucking pictures, man

Edited by El Diablo

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On 8/28/2018 at 11:59 AM, El Diablo said:

I've got a slight problem and could use some answers for a water chemistry issue, any of you homies good on this subject?

what's your chemistry issue?

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29 minutes ago, thrillhammer said:

what's your chemistry issue?

I got it worked out, some kid in Australia helped me, lol. I needed to up my GH without affecting other parameters. Seachem Equilibrium turned out to be what I needed. I also bought bulk calcium sulfate and magnesium sulfate for when I eventually run out of the Seachem stuff. It won't have all of the trace minerals but I can supplement those with another Seachem product. Their stuff is expensive if you're using much but I won't be so probably less than $20 annually. I sucked at chemistry when I took it in school, both high school and college. This hobby is forcing me to study a little bit.

eta: Also bought a $20 TDS meter.

Edited by El Diablo
meter

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Reef keepers,  what are your thoughts on a RBTA in a 14 gallon nano?  I have an RBTA in my main reef right now.  It splits every 3 months give or take.  I have started giving them away and trading them in for frags.  The original nem is pretty sedentary as long as nothing changes.  It grows to about 3.5 inches, give or take a half inch. Then it spits again.

 

Because it stays small it is probably giving me the false sense of security that it would be ok in my nano.  Currently I have the original and 2 splits.  

 

Also, if any shaggy reef keepers want an rbta let me know and the next time it spits, its yours.  Just pay the shipping.

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I wouldn't put one in anything less than probably 30g. Granted, with the clown then maybe it could work. There would probably be an elevated risk of it stinging other coral though.

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1 hour ago, JoseMedinaDeJesus said:

Thats exactly my concern.  I'm going to try and stuff this little tank full of acros.  Ill be pissed if a nem runs around spewing toxic warfare on my tricolor validia.  

 

That would be mine as well. Dunno if it would be chill enough if hosting a clown, but would be a risk in a 14g for sure. A 20 long, maybe not as much. Still would be something to watch close, and scape very carefully. 

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I went ahead and pulled the rapid led par 38 and put in a AI prime HD.  It will be here tomorrow.  I am having a thought.  I rescaped because something spooked my candy pistol and I found him on the floor.  Whatever, fed him to my Toby.  But I am thinking with the new rock work being arched, I can crank the AI up and push the nem to the underside of the arch.   Then load up the top and keep the light cooking at around 500 par. This RBTA isn't too fond of anything over about 300 par. It usually settles into areas getting less than 225.  I may give that a go and see if i can get it to sit still.  

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7 hours ago, JoseMedinaDeJesus said:

I am not a freshwater guy at all. But that is nice!  Nicely planted and maintained FW's look good.

Thanks, it will be 3 months old this weekend. I've got 2 10 gallon tanks each with a Betta and I've got another 10 and 2 20Longs to dick around with whenever I get around to it. I've already got all the equipment and hardscape, I just need to put them together and stock 'em. Between all of those it should keep me busy until about this time next year.

I don't know where you guys are located but Space City Fish and Coral seems to have some nice stock. Makes me wish I was in the Houston area.

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8 hours ago, JoseMedinaDeJesus said:

I went ahead and pulled the rapid led par 38 and put in a AI prime HD.  It will be here tomorrow.  I am having a thought.  I rescaped because something spooked my candy pistol and I found him on the floor.  Whatever, fed him to my Toby.  But I am thinking with the new rock work being arched, I can crank the AI up and push the nem to the underside of the arch.   Then load up the top and keep the light cooking at around 500 par. This RBTA isn't too fond of anything over about 300 par. It usually settles into areas getting less than 225.  I may give that a go and see if i can get it to sit still.  

 

That might work, but I would let the red tip get well acclimated and settled before adding anything else. Still a bit risky though. 

 

Looked at a 40 gal setup package last night. Then looked at things that could go in it. Then ended up looking at a 65g setup, which turned into looking for a 125g-150g setup. Guess that’s put the stop on it for now. (I’m a tang freak, and apparently can’t get past it yet.)

What’s up with the damn rimless craze going on? Seems like every decent setup is rimless. Are there tops you can retrofit on them?

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Rimless is just stupid imo. Then again I'm no shining beacon of fashion, and that's all they are in my book - a fashion. I can't see any purpose to them beyond that.

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3 hours ago, thunderlounge said:

I can’t either. I would think more evap, salt creep, and maintenance. Although I can’t say any of that is true, but that is what runs through my mind.

 

They look very cool when used for competition aquascaping, I'll give them that. Minimalistic, clean lines. Not very practical though. 'Scaping is starting to creep into the hobby more and more and by that I mean the big box stores/brands are pushing starter kits using images of Takashi Amano style cubes and such.

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9 hours ago, thunderlounge said:

 

Looked at a 40 gal setup package last night. Then looked at things that could go in it. Then ended up looking at a 65g setup, which turned into looking for a 125g-150g setup. Guess that’s put the stop on it for now. (I’m a tang freak, and apparently can’t get past it yet.)

What’s up with the damn rimless craze going on? Seems like every decent setup is rimless. Are there tops you can retrofit on them?

Oh I know.  I have the same disorder.  I can get online to find a new single stack 9mm for under 500.  The next thing I know I am playing pros and cons between an Ithaca or STI 1911 at around 2k.   Fish tanks are no different.

 

I dont know, but my lfs just set up a 120g cube.  It's one of the best looking tanks I have ever seen. 

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If you aren't seeing babies, there are a few possibilities. Mollies crank out more babies than rabbits and should be filling a tank quickly. From your pic your plants should provide plenty of cover for them to hide, but... Gourami are fairly aggressive, and mollie parents also eat their children, so you need to make sure the babies have safe, secure habitat. Or, move a pregnant mom to a breeder tank and watch it frequently so you get her out of there after she has babies. There are also the floating in-tank breeder tanks that have a divider with grates so the babies can escape through but the mom remains trapped. Then raise the babies in a separate tank until they're at least half-sized.

One other possibility is too much current, are you finding baby bodies in your filter media? They could be getting sucked into the filter, or unable to hide in habitat because current is too strong in the habitat area.

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I'm using a 150L tank for some sliders and mud turtles (total assholes btw).

 

It's only half-filled so they have a dock to bask.

 

Online websites say you want filters with capacity of "at least double or triple the tank".  Well a 250L+ external canister is fucking massive. 

 

Do I really need that sort of spec to cycle essentially 75L of water?

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No, you base the rec on the amount of actual water, not the tank size, but with some caveats and some decisions on your side. First is that turtles/reptiles are fairly heavy bio-waste loads for the filtration, so from a filtration standpoint you'll want to lean toward the "triple the tank" end of the guideline. Second is they don't care for water "quality" that much (some chemical imbalance won't kill them like it would fish) so you can safely undersize and just clean the mechanical filtration portion of the filter more frequently, as well as do more frequent water changes. Also note depending how you built your habitat and dock, you may be displacing a lot of water with your decor and rocks - so your actual amount of water to filter may be even lower than you think.

TL:DR oversize it if you want low maintenance. Otherwise base it on double/triple the actual water amount.

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A little planted tank I set up for my daughter's class.

 

IMG_0582_zpssofyugaw.jpg

Who knows how it'll do...   no fish yet....yeah, needs more water

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On 10/1/2018 at 11:08 AM, Loco said:

A little planted tank I set up for my daughter's class.

You are right where my planted tanks look great.  In three weeks from where you are I end up with almost dead plants and a bunch of algea. Meanwhile I can grow high end acropora and montipora.  Makes no sense that I cant grow plants.

 

r0z8zt.jpg* no idea why tinypic is rotating that 90°

DIY mame/reef glass airdrive skimmer for nano. I bought everything instead of using shit laying around the house so that I could put together a real cost of materials. 25 dollars to build one including the air pump.  

 

 

Edited by JoseMedinaDeJesus

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