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Old 07/01/2007, 06:55 PM   #1
LaurentSeattle
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Build and Progress of my RSM Nano Tank

Hello All!

I will report here pictures and info about building my RSM Nano tank.

My "master plan" is to build a healthy nano tank with zooanthids, ricordias, a few feather dusters, a couple of shrimps and two or three small hardy and reef friendly fishes. I still need to research the specific species. I am not new to the hobby after a bit less than 20 years exp of the hobby, including a FO tank a while ago, but this is my first reef tank and therefore I will stick to "easy" to care of animals.

I choose the RSM because of the "All in One" concept. All the components are nicely hidden and overall the tank look gorgeous in the apartment. Something important for wives and girlfriends...



Assembly started last weekend. The stand is made of 11 pieces of solid wood and you will need to assemble them with no less than 220 nuts, bolts and screws... Takes time... The final result is rock solid indeed. Instructions for assembly are quite clear. All parts are conveniently labeled and protected with plastic cover.

I ordered a RO/DI unit from the Filter Guys. Everything arrived well packaged and on time. I had a hard time to connect it to tap water and ended up using a faucet diverter. This seems to be the easiest solution for people with small to moderate amounts of purified water needs.

I started to fill the tank Friday and mixed the salt in the empty tank using the circulations pumps to speed up the mix.

Then I added the Aragonite Spheres that come with the Red Sea starter kit. On top of that I added more aragonite "live" sand. ( Not real live sand, this sand ships in wet bags and only pretends to be "live" but that was the only fine grain sand available at the LFS )

I finished to fill up the tank and ajusted salinity the best I could. The hydrometer / thermometer provided with the starter kit is just plain crap.

Everything but lighting was then turned on and I went to bed happy with Day 1 of my brand new reef tank

Money (USD) spent so far:

Tank + Stand + Starter Kit + Cooling Fan : 743
Live Rocks : 204 ( 45lbs Premium Fiji from LiveAquaria.com )
RO/DI Unit : 158 ( from The Filter Guys )
Live sand : 32
Plumbing Parts : 44
Misc stuff such as Jugs, vynil pipes, gloves, food: 90
GFCI Device : 33 ( Do not save pennies on this!!! )

Total (So far...) : 1304


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Old 07/01/2007, 07:54 PM   #2
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Day 2 - Saturday June 30

After one night of circulation and skimming, I adjust a bit temperature and salinity. The sand storm is over. Some microbubbles, not too much. Water seems to be a bit milky, as if a bacteria bloom was happenning already. Seems a bit early, but maybe the live sand was actually a bit more alive than I imagined.

FedEx shows up a bit later with 45 lbs of Premium Fiji Live Rock from LiveAquaria.com. I just place them "as is" a bit at random in the tank since the plan is to aquascape tomorrow. The rocks seem to be properly cured.



Girlfriend and I have many plans for the day and we leave the tank alone... It is 11am.

Back at around 5pm... Water is now crystal clear. Wow!

The tank is filtered with all the default equipment but is not lit yet. I will put the lid into place when done with aquascaping.

I am quite happy to have purchased aquarium gloves. Manipulating the rocks was really easy.


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Old 07/01/2007, 08:04 PM   #3
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Day 3 - Sunday July 1st

10am: First signs of life of the Live Rocks!!! Almost microscopic translucent white tubes poping out of the LR. This is very cool.

Around 6pm: I am skimming since Day 1 and I am already getting stuff in the collection cup. I know that many people have been complaining about the skimmer but mine seems to work. I have generously opened the air valve but not completely, as generally advised...



This is probably a sign that significant die-off is happening on the LR...


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Old 07/01/2007, 08:36 PM   #4
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Lookin good Laurent! I sure wish my RSM skimmer was performing like yours! I'll be following along with your progress in this thread - good job!


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Old 07/01/2007, 09:00 PM   #5
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Looks great!

One thing though...the stand is very solid...but it's not solid wood...high quality particle or press board I assume...


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Old 07/01/2007, 09:09 PM   #6
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Day 3 - Sunday July 1st

Around 7pm

I just finished my aquascaping. Not very original, I do admit but I have tried to create many secret tunnels and places to hide for the future inhabitants. Please let me know what you think.

Right Side


Left Side


Front


As you can obviously see, the tank is now lit as the lid is in place. The picture above a quite blueish and it is the same in reality. I have been told that this is normal with brand new tubes. Could someone confirm please?

The skimmer is now producing somewhat less foam. I have been able to open the "comb" up enough to get efficient surface skimming with no bubbles so far.

The water has turned again a bit milky - probably the second wave of the expected bacteria massive attack.


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Old 07/01/2007, 09:21 PM   #7
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I also want to know why YOUR cords are staying in place...and mine are still struggling to get free???


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Old 07/01/2007, 09:28 PM   #8
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ReefMack :

Thanks for visiting!

Rue :

When I originally setup the tank, the cords were poping out the rail all the time. I took all of them out and I extended the cords for a little while to the max extent to untwist them as much as possible. Kind of an exercise... Now they are docile, obedient, submissive and most importantly... they stay in the rail


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Old 07/01/2007, 09:29 PM   #9
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I doubt you're having a bacterial bloom, although I could be wrong...I think you're just stirring up the substrate...


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Old 07/01/2007, 09:41 PM   #10
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...what a good idea! Stretch out the cords! I should have done that!

Too late now...I'm not pulling it all apart...hopefully mine will comply over time...


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Old 07/01/2007, 10:43 PM   #11
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Great looking setup, the aquascaping is great and well done.

I had that milky water in my tank for about 2 days and then it went away. But it was really bad. Yours is probably not as bad.

Keep us updated.


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Old 07/02/2007, 03:01 AM   #12
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looking good LS
if i recall corectally my skimmer worked well when i was cycling my tank to but it soon died off and started not working that well. see how yours goes may be different. it would be good to see at least one of us with a good working skimmer..


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Old 07/02/2007, 06:46 AM   #13
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I like the landscaping Laurent - lots of nook & crannies and spots to place corals.

Rue - I know what you mean about the cords. Mine are behaving fairly well now. BTW has anyone had the problem I had in trying to get all of the cords into the power center compartment? That was the toughest part of the whole cabinet/tank assembly for me, and I dread ever opening that thing again, but I know I'll have to eventually. Any trick to it?


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Old 07/02/2007, 07:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Reefmack
I like the landscaping Laurent - lots of nook & crannies and spots to place corals.

Rue - I know what you mean about the cords. Mine are behaving fairly well now. BTW has anyone had the problem I had in trying to get all of the cords into the power center compartment? That was the toughest part of the whole cabinet/tank assembly for me, and I dread ever opening that thing again, but I know I'll have to eventually. Any trick to it?
I did, but it went away when I got rid of the dumb and probably non-functional cover that RSM provided.


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Old 07/02/2007, 07:55 AM   #15
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Your off to a great start. Looking forward to more pictures as this thing progresses


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Old 07/02/2007, 09:04 AM   #16
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lps - why didn't I think of that! That'll be my next "mod' - to leave that cover off if I have the same problem with the power center next time. I also don't put that cover on anymore over the timer - too hard to take it off.


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Old 07/02/2007, 10:08 AM   #17
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Oh yeah! That 'cord cover' was nasty...I had to give up on it one evening...and tackle it again the next day, I was getting so frustrated.

You're right about the timer cover...but I wasn't planning on changing the settings...I have the day lights set for 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and the moonlights for the remainder...the 'real' lights coming from outside might affect things a bit, but seeing it's in the basement, I won't worry...although I might get blinds on the one window just to direct the light away from the tank...

I didn't set my rock as close to the back as Laurent did either...I left space around the entire rockwork...

I'll likely regret it...the anemone will likely settle back there where I can't see it as well...


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Old 07/02/2007, 10:42 AM   #18
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Rue - you'll probably want to get into that timer when you get livestock. They usually recommend keeping the lights off for a few hours while acclimating and after.

Glad to hear I wasn't the only one to have a problem fitting the cords into that power center. I let fly several bad words working on that thing. I finally had my wife brace the left side while I literally jammed that thing closed - thank goodness I didn't crack the glass. Next time the inside cover stays off!


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Old 07/02/2007, 01:53 PM   #19
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Looks like a sweet tank.

I've never really looked over the 'all in one' systems before.


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Old 07/02/2007, 08:58 PM   #20
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Man you have a really nice apt and tank, Love it!


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Old 07/02/2007, 09:57 PM   #21
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Day 4 - Sunday July 2nd

Around 7pm

Little to report

The skimmer is still producing a lot of foam.

More very small translucent tubes poping from the Live Rock.

Temperature has reached 80F/27C, which is obviously too high... The weather was not so hot in Seattle today. it is actually NEVER really hot here, the city is better known for its endless rainy days and gray skies. I am currently plugging the extra cooling fan, and I am not so happy with that because this will propably mean a daily top-off with FW... Not good for busy people.

The milky appearance of the water is gone.

No microbubbles. (knocking on wood)

The RedSea Starter Kit includes a complete testing kit and I will "test the waters" tommorow night.

Thanks all for your comments.

Finally... I do not agree at all with the idea of removing the splash covers on the cables, timer and plugs: it is a nice safety feature of the RSM. Just take 5 or 10 minutes to flex the cables and you're done. But if you really want to do so, please make sure you have a GFCI device in the loop...


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Old 07/02/2007, 10:23 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by Reefmack
Rue - you'll probably want to get into that timer when you get livestock. They usually recommend keeping the lights off for a few hours while acclimating and after.

I didn't think of that either! LOL...what would I do without you all?

I feel a group hug coming on...

Thanks Reefmack!


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Old 07/03/2007, 02:06 AM   #23
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Time for some updated pics!


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Old 07/03/2007, 06:29 AM   #24
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Laurent. If you have one, put the additional cooling fan on a timer. You probably won't need to run it 24/7, and that will cut down on the amount you need to top off. I add about a half gallon every 2-3 days, not a big deal. And the topoff is something that's needed with all tanks, not just the RSM.

Any new signs of life on the rock?


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Old 07/03/2007, 06:52 AM   #25
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80 degrees is not really 'too high'. From everything I've read/experienced, 78-80 is the 'sweet spot'.


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