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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Starting a new reef for the home. After long deliberation I decided against the AIO nanocubes and am spending my money with local craftsmen. For the record, this route was cheaper than going with a biocube/nanocube and gives me a custom setup supporting the local economy.

The aquarium : currently being build by Aquatic America in Hemlock Michigan
Home Page

Order placed on 1/27/2012; this will be a 24 x 18 x 18 all glass aquarium, predrilled with overflow in the back.

The stand : build by RJ's aquarium stands in Lambertville MI.
Home - RJ'S Aquarium Stands

Red oak. 30" tall, 26 x 22" top. Order placed on 1/27/2012.

The Refuge : Bought from Fish Doctors with protein skimmer. Looks homemade so I'm just going to call it "Made in Michigan".

And now pics. I'll add Pics to this thread as I move forward. Hopefully I'll have the aquarium completed in the next week so I can show pics of Aquatic America's quality...

My old nanocube which helped me plan this build



Determining the optimal dimensions of tank and stand in my house



My Refuge / skimmer



Stand at RJ's (2/4/2012)





Stand brought home (2/5/2012)



Stand Stained light walnut (rustoleum) with semigloss polyurethane (2/6/2012)



Fabbed a wallmount for the backup powersupply (2/9/2012)



Stand in house (2/9/2012)





More to come when my tank arrives...
 

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Really interested to see how that tank comes out. I didn't know there was a place in Hemlock that made tanks. I was going to go all the way to D town. Do they actually make the tank there?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Really interested to see how that tank comes out. I didn't know there was a place in Hemlock that made tanks. I was going to go all the way to D town. Do they actually make the tank there?
Yes. I ordered mine through fish doctors, and the tank is made to order (and dimensions you'd like, any placement of overflow, rimless or rimmed, etc) right in Hemlock.
 

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Nice job staining it, I liked the natural look at first but that stain really made the wood grain pop...

Good Luck on the build!
 

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Yes. I ordered mine through fish doctors, and the tank is made to order (and dimensions you'd like, any placement of overflow, rimless or rimmed, etc) right in Hemlock.
Do you know if you can pick it up at the Hemlock location? I tried to look up stuff on their website but some things are under construction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Do you know if you can pick it up at the Hemlock location? I tried to look up stuff on their website but some things are under construction.
Sorry, I don't know the answer. Fish Doctors is taking care of my transaction.
 

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Nice looking stand. Though, I think mans best friend will be a bit T'd off as that looks like that spot is already claimed:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
New Pics: Tank is Cycling

Tank from Aquatic America (2/14/2012)
24 x 18 x 18 drilled with overflow





Megaflow overflow kit installed (2/18/2012)



4 days of live sand settling (2/19 - 2/22/2012)



The sump in action (2/24/2012)



Initial liverock (more scaping to come) (2/24/2012)





My first hitchhikers. So far I've removed 5 brisstle worms. Look at the size of some of these guys. The one I found this morning was the size of a nightcrawler! (2/26/2012)





 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
1 week in and tank hasn't started to cycle yet. Added a deli shrimp last night and a few hermit crabs to stir things up.

Current water:

temperature: 76.5
Nitrate: 20
Nitrite: 0
Ammonia: 0
Calcium: 420
pH: 8.2
Salinity: 1.024
 

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Depending on the live sand and rock that you bought, the cycle on an empty tank with live rock should be pretty fast.

Fresh live sand should only take a day or two. Fresh live rock from another tank transported submerged in water should be instantaneous.

If the sand was used live sand, it will take much longer. weeks to over a month.

If the live rock was shipped directly from the ocean, or simply under wet newspaper it will take from a week to several weeks to "cure".

The difference is in the bioload. If there is a bunch of "crap" or die off in either the sand or the rock, you will have considerable more time in your cycle. The bacteria have to break down the waste. If there is less waste, no waste then the cycle will be much shorter.

Adding the raw deli shrimp is only necessary if you use dry sand and rock. It is a method of introducing bacteria and food for the bacteria at the same time. I would suggest taking it out. It will only slow the process.

At this point I would watch the nitrates, if they do not begin to fall, then add a bacterial rich product like microbacter7 to increase the bacterial population.

Once the nitrates are down, you can slowly add fish and other bioload increasing creatures. Take your time to keep it all balanced :)

Add a fish, as a few snails, and a crab... let it all balance. Once you have observed a balance of parameters, add a coral or two and repeat the process.

That's why they call it a cycle... it repeats :jester:
 

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The tank isn't going to cycle without an ammonia source. You should of put the shrimp in the first day, but it will start now.

Also, bristle worms were once considered a pest, but have been proven to be beneficial and good for eating the leftovers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Wohoo. Tank has started to cycle.

24 hr. after deli shrimp; Ammonia =0
48 hr. after deli shrimp;
Ammonia = 0.25 mg/L
Nitrite = 0.25 mg/L
Nitrate = 5 mg/L
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Also, bristle worms were once considered a pest, but have been proven to be beneficial and good for eating the leftovers.
How about fire worms? Because I think there was a hatching tonight. Haven't seen any more of the large black bristle worms, but tonight on the same piece of live rock 4 very small red bristle worms came out of the crevaces. They might be a little harder to get rid of right now since they're so small...
 
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