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20 Gallon Long Reef Tank (NEW)

Discussion in 'New Hobbyists' started by csvengal, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. csvengal

    csvengal New Member

    Hey everyone! Finally ordered my base live rock and sand, and have setup my 20 gallon long reef tank. I've done two small water changes and ammonia has never gone over .50ppm. Nitrite was close to 1.0 ppm a couple days ago, but yesterday it tested at .25. Right now I am trying to catch unwanted hitchhikers, mostly small whelks and small gorilla crabs. I think I have a small pistol shrimp (heard, not seen) there is lots of life in the sand and the rock. I am just leaving the lights on 5 hours per day, and waiting for the ammonia to drop lower. I have attached a few pics, I think I am off to a good start - any input would be greatly appreciated. It has been in tank for 5 days now. As soon as everything stabilizes I will get the second part of the rock (15 lbs), along with my cleaning gang of 1 peppermint shrimp, 1 brittle star (even though I have a baby one in there already that came with the sand) 15 blue legs hermits, 8 astrea snails, and 2 tiger tail cucumbers. I have 1 keyhole limpet and about 4 ceriths that came with the live sand. I plan on waiting a good long while before adding any fish, but when I do I would like to get two clownfish, and either a dottyback OR a blenny. I have an unknown species of crab, he is very tiny and I have attached a pic of him too, but its not very good. As before, any input or advice would be greatly appreciated. I am currently doing the bottle trap for the gorillas, baited with a small shrimp, but so far he's not going for it. Thanks!
  2. slice

    slice New Member

    Welcome to the site!
    There are a lot of knowledgeable folks here to help you along.
    While we wait for them to drift along, please list your equipment.
    I see one Koralia, a heater, an intake for some type of filter and something on the right.
    again, Welcome!
    PS
    you might want to ask a mod to move your thread over to the "New Hobbyist" forum
  3. spanko

    spanko New Member

    Looks like you have a pest anemone in the second picture. I like the look of the tank so far, the background, the minimilist rock structure. Well done.
  4. csvengal

    csvengal New Member

    Thanks Slice and spanko!
    The unit on the right is an AquaticLife Internal Mini Skimmer 115
    Just a cheap hang on filter with carbon, yep koralia nano 425, and heater, I have the aquaticlife T5 and 10,000 daylight bulbs
    There is another smaller anemone just like it next to it but you can't see it - is it an aiptasia family anemone from the Gulf?
    And Mod -feel free to move this to another section if it is more appropriate there!
  5. spanko

    spanko New Member

    From that angle it does appear to be an Aiptasia sp.
  6. yannifish

    yannifish New Member

    Very nice looking tank so far!
    I really like the 20 gallon long, it is a nice size. I've often though about plumbing one into my 55 gallon to keep corals in, since I would need less lighting over a 20 gallon than over a 55 gallon.
    Keep up the good work!
  7. csvengal

    csvengal New Member

    Thank you all for the information and your kind words so far, my daughter and I have both enjoyed working with this small tank. Keep in mind that I will be adding the top decorator rocks in the next week or two, so it won't be so bare looking after that. I will ask about the anemone later...Any idea on the bottom crab pic? I don't know whether to give him the boot or not. He is pale, tan - very small triangular shaped body and two very long elbow - looking claws. If you can't see it well, I will try to catch him and take a better pic against a dark background. One more thing, do you think it is a good idea to have another koralia nano on the opposite side of the tank or should this be sufficient for what we have here?
  8. yannifish

    yannifish New Member

    Generally speaking, it's a better idea to get rid of a crab unless you can identify it 100% as something beneficial IMO.
    Looking forward to the new rock.
    You mentioned you think you have a pistol shrimp because you hear it, I would investigate to make sure it is a pistol shrimp and not a mantis shrimp.
  9. btldreef

    btldreef Moderator Staff Member

    Definitely make sure that it's a pistol and not a mantis. It's also good if you can get an ID of the pistol if that's what it is as some are more peaceful than others. From my experience, pistols that are paired with a shrimp goby, especially smaller shrimp gobies such as Yasha's are less aggressive than those without a shrimp, just a thought if it is a pistol.
    Looks like you have some great pieces of rock. But as usual, with that comes tons of hitch hikers.
    For your clean up crew (CUC), I would not suggest so many hermits or the tiger tail cucumbers. If you're set on having a cucumber, I'd make it further down the road when your tank is more established and stable. They really do not like swings in parameters. The general rule is for cucumbers to be in larger systems, so putting two in a nano, might not be the best idea. Although they are great cleaners, they can deplete the sand bed of good critters as well, essentially leaving "dead," something to consider. I would add more snails to your CUC. Look into adding a few Nassarius snails and Trochus snails.
    Make sure that your hitch hiker Cerith snails are in fact cerith's.
    You definitely can do the two clowns, a blenny AND the dottyback in that tank.
    As mentioned earlier, unidentified crabs are usually bad crabs.
    I will move your thread for you to the "New Hobbyist" section for you.
  10. yannifish

    yannifish New Member

    I agree with BTLDreef. In my experience, hermits just end up eating your snails.
    I personally wouldn't get any Astrea snails, they just end up getting stuck on their shell after falling and dieing. Trochus are much better, as they can slip themselves over. And IMO they look nicer.
    You'll like the peppermint shrimp, they're fun to watch.
  11. csvengal

    csvengal New Member

    Thanks so much for the advice, I will get rid of the crab unless I know for sure it's a good one. l will catch him next time I see him. The problem with the shrimp is finding it! My daughter and I both have been watching closely and we can't see it, we can only hear it. I have gotten up in the middle of the night a couple times and looked with a flashlight, nothing. I hear a "pop" and then maybe another one, but not a series of them - sometimes it'll be 10 or more minutes and then another "pop" I see no evidence of a burrow or anything of that nature. The bottle trap caught a few of the "gorilla" crabs, but nothing else has gotten in there yet. (I was hoping maybe the mysterious shrimp would go for it) Yes, thank you the quality of the rock really amazed us. After we first put it in the tank and let the water clear up, we couldn't stop watching it - so much life in such a tiny space. We got the rock flown in from Tampa Bay Saltwater Co. The CUC that I listed is what is part of a packaged deal, I suppose I can offer my LFS the other tiger tail cucumber or see if Richard can substitute one for another member of the crew. I will inquire about the other snails, thanks :) Yes I have ID'd the snails I have now as Ceriths. I will heed your warning about the number of hermits. Ammonia and nitrite has dropped even more now, and I think I may be close to stabilizing. Maybe by this time next week there will be new pics posted. Also, thank you for moving me over to the appropriate section of the forums, and for the recommendations, very helpful!
  12. 1guydude

    1guydude Active Member

    Tank looks good. 1st one??? i love ur rock and background! Are u gonna try and get some of the same rock for the rest of ur rockwork?
  13. csvengal

    csvengal New Member

    yep, this is my first attempt doing saltwater, thanks - and yes, more of the same type rock will top it off.
    Cycle is almost done, day 7 I am reading <.25ppm Ammonia, 0 Nitrites, and 10-15ppm on Nitrate.
  14. 1guydude

    1guydude Active Member

    u check it every day???? i usually just check mine like every couple or even 3-4 days. Cant wait to see future pics my stinkin spider lives in my 20 long. U can check it out under my album.
  15. yannifish

    yannifish New Member

    How much more rock are you getting?
  16. csvengal

    csvengal New Member

    yannifish: Yes,10-15 lbs more of smaller "decorator" rock, I want to make like a peak in front of the heater and filter, or just a simple island formation, leaving plenty of room around the perimeter of the tank to clean the glass and so forth.
    1guyDude: Yes, I check the levels every day and will use rock from the same source. Nice pics of your tank, dude!
  17. csvengal

    csvengal New Member

    Just checked Ammonia is at 0 - Nitrate is about 5-10ppm (the test orange colors are so similar, 5 looks like 10 to me - definitely not a deeper orange color) Nitrite 0
    I think I may be done! What would you say?
    I have also attached some more pics from different angles - Heya BTLDreef, it looks like I got a trochus hitcher too!
    We also found a teeny tiny brittle star. I am seeing less and less action from the barnacles, but I was told they are really hard to keep alive for
    any length of time, but everything else seems to be quite hardy. I went ahead and bought some DT phytoplankton, should I start using it or wait until
    I get the rest of the live rock and go through this same routine? My ammonia never went above .50ppm during the cycle of this rock.
    thanks everyone, I am really glad I chose this forum, great group!
    !
  18. yannifish

    yannifish New Member

    Where is the Trochus?
    That's some really nice looking rock you have. If you are getting more of the same kind, you'll have a great looking tank. Already do.
    Sounds like the tanks is almost cycled. But it'll need another smaller cycle if you add more uncured rock. Then it's clean up crew time.
    Do you have a quarantine tank set up?
  19. 1guydude

    1guydude Active Member

    just a suggestion but i would turkey baster those rocks sir!
    Is this gonna be a fowlr tank or u thinkin reef....
    Id put like 3-6 same size peices in their. It will fill it in more, than wait like 10 days and ud prob be ready. Im not one for patience but if uve got it than more power to ya!
    o and another power head on the opposite side, dosent have to be the same one but ur water looks a little "still" at the top.
  20. csvengal

    csvengal New Member

    Those rocks have been basted thanks dude!
    I got another koralia nano but I broke the stem where the little red ball attaches to it.
    Waiting to hear back about a replacement...
    Did get more live rock this weekend that looks even better!
    pics to follow....
    Yannifish, no quarantine tank - I am not getting fish yet, maybe a month to go.

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