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  #1  
Old 10/21/2004, 08:28 AM
dwculp dwculp is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Denton, TX
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Another log of a Newbie starting out with TBS rock!

I remember around a year ago wanting to setup a reef tank and stumbling into this site and the thread started by Wooglin . I didnt have the money back then to start the tank, but here I am a year later and with luck my TBS "package" will be here tomorrow. In the spirt of Wooglins thread I thought I would start another and chronicle my adventure starting the reef tank.

A bit of history and background. I am not new to fish, I keep a 55 gallon freshwater tank, an 80 gallon river eco-system, and a 29 gallon fish-only saltwater tank. I am a middle school science teacher and teach 6th grade science and 6th and 8th grade science in our districts highly gifted program. I keep all my tanks at the school. All tanks were purchased and maintained by me, not the district. The same goes for this reef tank, all the equipment has been purchased by me except the lights.

My first foray into saltwater tanks, the 29 gallon fish-only, was going well. The tank was around 6 weeks old and cycled and the fish were healthy, vibrant, active, and eating well. I then commited a classic newbie blunder. I bought a fish and did not qt it. He brought in ick and eventually killed everyone in the tank except the Coral Banded Shrimp I have. I actually like the CBS more than the fish as he is quite a character, roaming the tank and pciking through the rocks for food. I learned a lesson, I will have a qt tank from now on!

The reef tank will be a 40 gallon "breeder" tank with a CPR Bak-Pak 2 skimmer (to be pulled off the fish-only tank), a 150 watt heater, and two Maxi-Jet 1200 power heads for water flow and 300watts of PC light (1 X96W 10K, 1X96W actinic, 1X96W 50/50). I will be starting the tank with the "package" from TBS.

My fish stocking plans for the tank are:

2 Percula clows
1 Flame Hawkfish
1 or 2 smaller fish such as some type of Goby or jawfish.

I am not quite sure on corals yet.

The 29 Gallon FO tank will become an octopus tank and I will be setting up a 10 gallon qt tank. I do not plan to add fish until after Thanksgiving.

I contacted TBS and spoke with Mary who said she was 95% certain they could ship on Friday. I hope so. I will post photos as soon as I get the rock!

In the mean time, here are a couple of photos of things I currently have:




Pierre the CBS on his rock


Pierre in his rock


Alfred - RIP


A portion of the 55 gallon fresh.


A blue Gourami hiding from the camera!
  #2  
Old 10/21/2004, 08:32 AM
aquaman67 aquaman67 is offline
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Good luck!

I'm sure it will work out fine. You and your classes will have fun identifing the critters that will come on your TBS rock!
  #3  
Old 10/21/2004, 09:10 AM
CrewCab CrewCab is offline
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Good luck, I was at there store last weekend and they had planned to get out diving this week. Keep a eye out for the Mantis shrimp, I have found 3 since I added my rock last weekend.
  #4  
Old 10/21/2004, 09:18 AM
dwculp dwculp is offline
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Actually, I am looking forward to Mantis shrimp and other hitchhikers!
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  #5  
Old 10/21/2004, 09:16 PM
dwculp dwculp is offline
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Ok, I have the tank setup. I filled it 2/3rds of the way with water and mixed in the salt. I cleaned and transfered the skimmer from the fish-only tank and also transfered the lights. The tank is ready to go, just waiting on rock!

I will have more pictures tomorrow!
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  #6  
Old 10/22/2004, 03:03 PM
Bruddah Chrispy Bruddah Chrispy is offline
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Are you going to have your students help unpack the rock? Our kids (9, 10, & 12 at the time) really loved that part of the TBS experience. It's a great chance to see all of the hitchhikers.
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  #7  
Old 10/22/2004, 05:29 PM
dwculp dwculp is offline
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OH MY GOD!!!!! Let me repeat.....OH MY GOD!!!

It was an adventure getting to the airport to pick up the packages, Dallas traffic on a rainy Friday. I had to endure three accidents and the traffic problems they cause. It was well worth it.

Me, my girlfriend and another teacher unpacked the rock. All three of us were stunned. The rock was covered with life, reds, oranges, greens, a rainbow of colors!! Crabs were falling off of the rock, we were having to catch the suckers and throw them into the tank, it was crazy!!!

Just twenty minutes after placing the rock in I hear clicking and popping coming from the tank. It is either:

a.) My stand is getting ready to collapse.
b.) Mr. Mantis.

I would throw some pictures up but I didnt have the camera. I will come in to work Sat and Sun to check on things. I know the kids will be excited Monday!!!

The package has been well worth it so far!
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  #8  
Old 10/22/2004, 06:27 PM
aquaman67 aquaman67 is offline
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Congrats!

Don't stay up too late looking for stuff.

More comes out at night...
  #9  
Old 10/23/2004, 03:16 AM
ehser1 ehser1 is offline
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hi,,this TBS rock sounds realy great...my question is...whats a TBS rock...im a nwbie to SW tanks so please endure my dumb question..thank you
  #10  
Old 10/23/2004, 11:56 AM
tygger tygger is offline
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I wish my teacher back in day would've done this. Your students are lucky and most will probably grow to own their own tanks one day.

ehser1, check out http://www.tampabaysaltwater.com/
  #11  
Old 10/23/2004, 12:19 PM
AJP AJP is offline
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Hey dwculp, realy quick what do you do with your tanks in the summer, I also work in a school and have bene thinking about setting up a tank but I amnot sure what I am gonna do in the summer.
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  #12  
Old 10/23/2004, 12:38 PM
dwculp dwculp is offline
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I keep the tanks at the school. I sponsor a robotics club and we work ALOT during the summer so I am at school nearly everyday so it is not a problem for me.
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  #13  
Old 10/23/2004, 12:48 PM
AJP AJP is offline
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ok thanks
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  #14  
Old 10/23/2004, 12:50 PM
dwculp dwculp is offline
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PICS!!

Ok, the first of the pics!

Full tank view, I have done NO aquascaping at this point and I wont until the second part of the package arrives.



Shots of some of the rocks:








I dont see the crabs and other hitchhikers I saw last night, but it is daylight right now.

I still hear clicking from the tank as I sit here. I also did a couple of water tests:

Ammonia 0-0.25 - colors hard to read, probably 0.12
pH - 8.2

Last night I took the reside that was in the bottom of the bags and poured it through a strainer and scooped the resulting sand out to place in the tank. In my hand was a crab smaller than a dime and a purple brittle/sea star about the size of a quarter. I dumped them in the tank and crab headed for the rock and the star started burrowing!! Very cool stuff!!

I will be at work nearly all day tomorrow and I will snap a few more pictures and post them. I am exausted right now as I got up before the crack of dawn to help my girlfriend move into her new house.
  #15  
Old 10/24/2004, 12:13 AM
bassman57 bassman57 is offline
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that's really nice looking rock. I will be getting some from TBS soon.
  #16  
Old 10/24/2004, 10:54 AM
dwculp dwculp is offline
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Day 2

I came into work today to check on the tank and do some regular maintence on my other tanks.

The pH was still 8.2 with the Ammonia at 0.12. The rock is still colorful and I some some new life. I found a few hermit crabs crawling around, a few snails and a small feather duster worm sticking up.

From one of the holes on the rock I am getting these long, clear, thin, worm like "tentacles" sticking out. At first I didnt think it was alive, perhaps a trail of snail eggs. However, as I observe them they seem to move with a puropse and are constantly snaking in and out of the hole, sometimes pulling debris with them. Anyone have an idea of what it could be???

Here is a shot of the "tentacles" Look at the hole and the stringy thing coming from it. I know they are alive as they retracted very quickly after I snapped the photo.




The Feather duster closed and open:






One of the rocks:



The tank from the left:


All my tanks in my classroom:


I think I will stay later than usual with the lights out tomorrow to explore the tank. Everytime I look at the tank I find something new crawling around!!
  #17  
Old 10/24/2004, 01:46 PM
ratherbediving ratherbediving is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by dwculp

Just twenty minutes after placing the rock in I hear clicking and popping coming from the tank. It is either:

a.) My stand is getting ready to collapse.
b.) Mr. Mantis.



Never thought I'd say this to a reefer.... but I really hope you have a Mantis!

Great thread so far! I love all of these TBS threads. It sounds like you are keeping all the hitchhikers in the main tank. Some of those crabs might be bad news--- are you sure that's a good idea? I think it's just going to get tougher to get rid of the bad ones once you get the second shipment in...

--Mike
  #18  
Old 10/24/2004, 02:44 PM
dood68 dood68 is offline
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looks great, ill be following your footsteps with a 180# package next month
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  #19  
Old 10/25/2004, 07:43 AM
dwculp dwculp is offline
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Day 3

Day 3 and the pH is still 8.2 and the ammonia seems to have actually dropped a little to below 0.12ppm.

I have not been running the lights the first two days except for a few hours a day so some of the coraline algae is turning white. From this day forward the lights will run friom 7am to 7pm.

I will also be increasing the flow by taking a Maxi-Jet 1200 (295gph) from my fresh tank and swapping it out from for the small 170gph powerhead I have in there now. This way I will have two 295gph powerheads in the tank.

Here is a really bad pciture of the crab I have living in the tank. I do not think he is a gorilla crab. If you look REALLY close on the right side of the hole you can barely see him.



A hermit crab living in the tank, I have found hermits from 1 inch long to nearly just a mm or two long!
  #20  
Old 10/25/2004, 12:11 PM
tygger tygger is offline
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What size package did you get?
  #21  
Old 10/25/2004, 02:17 PM
dwculp dwculp is offline
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I got the 40 gallon package. I am seriously thinking of turning my small 29 gallon into a reef with TBS rock.

I just found this green brain on a rock. I was doing a little rearranging as I think I had a rock positioned wrong, some of the live stuff seemed to be face down, but with this rock it is SO hard to tell sometimes!!







Another hermit crab:



The big crab - Still cannot get a good pic of him, the rock I moved was his rock and he seems to have left this hole and maybe has found another.



Just did another ammonia/pH test. Ammonia ~0 and pH 8.2.
  #22  
Old 10/25/2004, 03:11 PM
erickrm erickrm is offline
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nice looks great soo far.
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  #23  
Old 10/25/2004, 03:27 PM
dwculp dwculp is offline
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Students fascinated by the tank. I believe they are pointing at the feather duster worm or the large crab.

  #24  
Old 10/25/2004, 03:39 PM
july865 july865 is offline
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i too am getting the TBS package. i have a 90 but am looking into getting the 45-50 deal. called mary this afternoon. real nice person. gave me all the info i needed. if you look at my last post. all i have is an empty tank with aragonite. she assured me that adding their sand with my aragonite would not be a problem. now time to clear it with the other half...lol
  #25  
Old 10/25/2004, 09:08 PM
dwculp dwculp is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Denton, TX
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Quote:
i too am getting the TBS package. i have a 90 but am looking into getting the 45-50 deal. called mary this afternoon. real nice person. gave me all the info i needed. if you look at my last post. all i have is an empty tank with aragonite. she assured me that adding their sand with my aragonite would not be a problem. now time to clear it with the other half...lol
I had thought about doing this myself. I have a 29 gallon that has about 40 punds of live aragonite sand in it. I had thought about mixing in about 1/4 of that sand into the live sand from TBS. I was unsure about doing this as their instructions are pretty specific. My tank is low, wide and long and the 40 pounds of sand that comes with the package just doesnt cover to the depth I want. I may order another 10 pounds of sand to come along with the second half of the package.

The end of day three and still no noticeable ammonia. Has anyone else who had the package not gotten a real large ammonia spike?
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