Up Your Tank! - A journal of my marine tank upgrade.

Latest News

Here's the latest happenings with the new tank. The newest item appears at the bottom of the list.

11/19/01 - Tank Temperature

It looks like I'm going to have a constant temperature of 80°F +/-1° in the acrylic tank with or without the lights on. This reading is with two fans blowing in the cabinet to increase cooling by evaporation: one on the sump and one blowing air out of the back of the stand for circulation. I haven't been able to get the temperature any lower, but based on my research, it's simply important to maintain a steady temperature somewhere between 75° and 84°F.

I'm planning on installing a Radio Shack 4" AC fan above the prefilter overflow, blowing cool air down into the running water to hopefully lower the temperature at least one more degree.

Currently, I'm roughly adding about 1qt of deionized water into the tank a day due to evaporation. This is slightly more than what I used to add to my old tank.

11/24/01 - Waiting On Live Rock

I have decided to order half-and-half live rock consisting of Fiji and Marshall Islands. Based on feedback and discussion with various vendors, I'll be ordering from Premium Aquatics (who I've ordered from a couple of times prior) once they have more fresh, cured stock in about two weeks.

11/30/01 - Fish Sick

Hmmm... he has looked fine up until this point other than occasionally swimming in rapid circles, but now one of my more shy damsel fish (named Strap) has become ill. His fins are slightly ragged (although I noticed he was getting picked on by my hawkfish) and he's swimming funny, although that may be because his fins are rough.

He used to spend a lot of time hiding in the rocks and I think that removing all of the rocks may have caused him to stress out, even though I put other things into the tank for him to hide in.

I've moved him to a hospital tank in the hopes that I can nurse him back to health and will be watching my other fish closely.

12/05/01 - Fish Death

Well, I'm sad to say that after almost four years of happiness, Strap has passed on. My other fishes still look okay, even Strip (my other damsel)!? Hopefully, my theory about the rocks being moved out was correct -- my other fish didn't hide all that much.

Lesson learned? Keep the original tank as in tact as possible for as long as possible during the upgrade.

On the other hand, the hardy PJ Cardinals in the new tank are more lively than ever and eating well.

12/06/01 - Live Rock Ordered

The live rock was ordered for delivery tomorrow, Friday December 7th! And I've received confirmation that it has shipped. I'll update the cycling section with photos once I start putting it in the tank.

I'm planning on moving my other fish into the hospital tank for a thorough detox/copper treatment while the new tank is cycling. Sure hope that all goes well with that (nervous) and that once the new tank has completed cycling I can acclimate them to the new tank.

12/07/01 - Adding Live Rock

YES! The live rock arrived this morning and I'm busy adding it to the tank. You can see pictures of the process so far on the cycling page. It looks like I'm going to need to order 5lbs more or so, but all is looking good!

12/15/01 - Algae Heaven

The tank's been running for some time now and the amount of varying types of algal growth is amazing! I've added pictures of some of the many different species to the cycling page.

12/19/01 - Fish Death

Over the past week or so, the larger cardinal fish has been picking on the other two smaller ones and unfortunately, he got the best of one of them. Argh. By the time I discovered the "murder," the body was almost completely gone, eaten by our friendly amphipod, isopod, or copepod friends.

12/22/01 - Hospital Tank

The 10gal hospital tank cycling is almost complete. I imagine that it'll be done in a few weeks and once it has completed, I'll be moving my fish from the old tank into it for a quaratine period. Once that happens, I'll add some pictures to the site.

12/27/01 - Kalkwasser Addition Begins

After my last water test I noticed that my calcium levels were dropping, most likely from the calcerous algea and other things using it up. I've rigged together a system to slowly dose kalkwasser (limewater) to the system. You can see the home made system on the cycling page.

12/28/01 - Feather Duster Growth

It's actually quite cool. One of the feather dusters in the foreground of the tank has doubled in size since he was introduced to the tank via live rock. There are others in the tank that are doing quite well too.

01/03//02 - Last Of The Rock

Finally, it's done. The last of the live rock arrived today and it's in the tank. I'll post some pictures of the final stuff this weekend. It looks soooo great! Final total pounds used: 60lbs I also gained a medium-sized hermit crab from this rock. You can see a picture of him on the cycling page.

01/03//02 - Clean Up Crew Addition

With all the wild and different types of algae growth that's going on, I thought it was time to add a clean-up crew to the tank. For my purposes, I selected 8 Black and White Hawaiian hermit crabs and 12 Nassarius snails. There fairly small (about a quarter to half-inch in length max), but after their acclimation period I dropped them each in the tank and they immediately began scrounging for food all over the place.

Particularly amusing was when I went to feed the cardinal fish this evening. Some of the snails had buried themselves in the substrate with only their sniffer poking out. The INSTANT a few drops of shrimp hit the water, they all popped out of the sand and started rushing in the direction of the food! Funny? Yes. Impressive snouts? Very. You can see pictures of the crew on the cycling page.

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