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Old 10/01/2006, 02:00 AM   #1
saltman123
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SALTMAN123's 12 Gallon Aquapod-First Tank-PIC INTENSE!

This is my first Salt water tank. I've done fresh and some hard core exotic fish so I am no newbie to keeping a tank.

So after reading the forums and a ton of books on salt water, the fall has finally arrived. I told myself to wait for the summer to end so I would have more time to invest into the hobby.

FISH TANK
I considered just about everything from my own 5 gallon nano set up, to the Nano Cube, to the Aquapod and I went with the 12 gallon Aquapod. I also read that a must do mod was upgrade the pump to a Maxi Jet 900. So I have the Maxi Jet in the tank now. So far it seems to be a really nice setup.

STAND
So with the tank chosen, it was time to build a stand. My brother had the tools and helped me build a really nice oak stand. We trimmed it all up and it came out really nice. All I have to do is put on the knobs and it will be complete. Check it out below and tell me what you think.





LIVE ROCK/LIVE SAND/ESTABLISHED STUFF
A friend was taking down his tank of 2+ years so he hooked me up with some live sand, some nice live rock, a few critters, and a few polyps on a little piece of coral. I had these things in a little holding tank for almost 6 weeks until I was ready to fire up the AP. So I got a little taste of taking care of the tank with water changes, checking parameters, temperature issues, etc. So I sort of skipped a lot of the live rock curing/cycling.

SETTING UP TANK
I'm a complete newbie to aquascaping and just about everything else related to salt so I just did my best. My bro is also setting up the exact same tank, built a stand almost identical, and has the same plans I do. It's kinda cool so I have someone who is also going through it.

Check out a few pics while I aquascaped and filled it with water




Filtration
Taking everyones recommendations, I ditched the ceramic rings that came with the stock tank. Instead I have the sponge in my first chamber, a bag of Chemi-Pure in chamber 2, and the heater and upgraded Maxi Jet pump in chamber 4. My plans are to get some live rock rubble for the second chamber and some other suggestions I've read. I am not going to do a Fuge back there yet, but may consider it in the far future. For now i'll stick to figuring out which setup works best without the fuge mod.

DAY 1
Here are some pics of the tank the next day after the sand storm calmed down.




Water Parameters-Day 1
80.1 Degrees
1.022 Salinity
29ppt

PH=8.2-8.4
ALK=1.7 to 2.8
Ammonia=0.25
Nitrite=0.05
Nitrate=.25 to .50

I'm continuing water changes and don't plan on adding much more than a few critters and polyps before the tank really establishes itself. From the move from the holding tank to the AP I figure I am experiencing a mini cycle and things will eventually balance themselves out. I have also watched the temperature climb as high as the mid 83's but I already know that heat is an issue with the all in one enclosed tanks. I have future plans to upgrade the fan and add another one.

UPDATE
It has now been just about 1 full week and the tank is still doing good. The water parameters have danced around a little bit and I am gearing up to do a water change. It seems like my rocks have grown a lot more green algae in the last few days too.

I will post pictures of the last week as the tank and the days passed. I don't want to make my first diary post a mile long so i'll plan to post more pics soon.

I also wanted to thank a few members on the board for feeding me full of knowledge. Especially the other Aquapod owners and everyone else who has helped me learn something.

I hope you all enjoy my AP 12 Diary and my adventure into my first salt water tank.

Saltman123

WHAT DO YOU THINK???


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Old 10/01/2006, 05:04 AM   #2
gobind
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VERY NICE.


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Old 10/01/2006, 06:15 AM   #3
camarojweed
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Frank,

Looks great. Nice work on the stand. I have some mushrooms or Green Star Polps to help populate it once you are ready. Let me know when you want me to bring them to a meeting. Once again, really nice job...

Jason


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Old 10/01/2006, 07:20 AM   #4
ShiftNation
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looks good man , but dont do a water change until the tank has fully cycled .


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Old 10/01/2006, 08:41 AM   #5
frantzml1982
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looks good so far


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Old 10/01/2006, 09:55 AM   #6
amiricle
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very nice stand


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Old 10/01/2006, 05:13 PM   #7
BFisher244
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looking good! that stand looks professionally made. good job.

can't wait to see the pod once it's done cycling.


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Old 10/03/2006, 01:19 AM   #8
Herpn
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Looks Good. That stand came out Awesome!


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Old 10/03/2006, 09:29 AM   #9
HAMsmith
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Looks great! Keep the updates coming!


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Old 10/03/2006, 06:35 PM   #10
chocolateblnt
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awesome ... first time I seen someone use those gloves I think they should redesign them so the finger tips have algae scraping pads on them


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Old 10/03/2006, 08:00 PM   #11
Mr Sh0tgun
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The aquascaping could use some work, but as you get more aquanted to the hobby I'm sure you'll move it around 100 times before you find a look you like. My first aquascape job was a pile of LR in the middle of the tank lol. Keep us updated and don't hesitate to ask questions.


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Old 10/03/2006, 09:43 PM   #12
saltman123
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Thanks for all of the feedback!!!!

My brother is a carpenter so I cheated on the stand He is more of a contractor but has a few tricks up his sleeve. It is really nice all trimmed out.

Thanks (camarojweed) for the offer on some Green Star polyp and mushrooms. I'll be sure to take you up on that once my tank is right and a meeting is near


UPDATE10-3-06
My levels are still all wacky so I think my tank is still cycling from what people have told me. My parameters today were:

Salinity-1.023 (planning on bringing it up after the cycle)
Salinity PPM -30
Ammonia-about a .15
Nitrite-close to 0.10
PH-about 8.3
Alklinity-2.2
Nitrate-50+ high

Seems like my Ammonia is slowly creeping down while my Nitrite is still on the rise. I am dying to change out some water but everyone says its cycling and to ride it out. Keep in mind that my rock was already cured from a 2+ year old established tank so if you are commenting on the parameter situation, keep this in mind.

I am quickly learning that pictures are very boring without cool stuff going on. My tank doesn't have much, but here are a few new pics for the pic-a-holics.

Here are some random updated pics from the last week or so






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Old 10/03/2006, 11:05 PM   #13
Mr Sh0tgun
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haha, nice crabs.

I had the same parameter situation you are having. I added cured LR to my 24 and the ammonia never got very high, but my nitrates got up around 75-100. Atfter about 4 weeks it got down to around 10 and I added my first fish. The tank has been running 8 weeks now and my nitrates are finally <5. Give it time and they'll come down.

p.s.-Even though I added a fish when my nitrates were around 10 I'd reccomend waiting until they 0 out before adding anything.


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Old 10/04/2006, 08:37 AM   #14
saltman123
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mr Sh0tgun
haha, nice crabs.

I had the same parameter situation you are having. I added cured LR to my 24 and the ammonia never got very high, but my nitrates got up around 75-100. Atfter about 4 weeks it got down to around 10 and I added my first fish. The tank has been running 8 weeks now and my nitrates are finally <5. Give it time and they'll come down.

Did you do any water changes in the 4 week period? If so, how much?


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Old 10/04/2006, 09:53 AM   #15
Mr Sh0tgun
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At 4 weeks I did a 4 gallon water change.


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Old 10/05/2006, 01:40 PM   #16
freezb
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nice tank, im waiting for mine, im from montreal quebec, an i order one. how do you set up de maxi 900 with the doubble pipe in your tank?? do you have some pictures?


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Old 10/05/2006, 02:03 PM   #17
saltman123
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Quote:
Originally posted by freezb
nice tank, im waiting for mine, im from montreal quebec, an i order one. how do you set up de maxi 900 with the doubble pipe in your tank?? do you have some pictures?

The Aquapod so far as definitely been a cool tank (for the short time I've had it so far).

The tank comes stock with the double tubes. So all you need to do is reach into the 4th chamber and pull out the stock pump. You then take the small piece of tube that goes from the stock pump to the hole in the wall and hook it onto the maxi jet. It is literally plug and play.

Many people suggest getting a Hydor-Flo instead of the tubes. Others suggest removing some of the plastic length in the 2 tubes. I think I am going to try this.


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Old 10/05/2006, 02:13 PM   #18
freezb
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it comes with? with the 12 gallons aquapod i will have the doubble exit for water? , wath do you think of a spray bar at the bottom of the tank at the back of the live rock ? for not having dead zone in the tank. (excuse my english , im from quebec)


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Old 10/05/2006, 02:29 PM   #19
saltman123
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Yes, my stock aquapod came with that double tube. I've heard that the earlier models did not have a double tube but the most current do. So you will more than likely get the double tube.

I am also a complete newbie so I am not sure about the water in the back of the rocks. I have mine set where the water seems to reach all areas.


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Old 10/05/2006, 03:02 PM   #20
freezb
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cool, i think the better way to make a good water flow is with a spray bar at the back bottom of the main tank with one nozzle for the front windows, when i will make it i will post some pics.


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Old 10/07/2006, 11:17 AM   #21
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Nice start!



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Old 10/08/2006, 09:59 PM   #22
saltman123
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Update 10-8-06
Its been a few weeks now and I am still waiting for the levels to balance out. The Ammonia is getting lower with time so I think things are on the right track. Nothing really exciting to update on so I figured I would show off some of the wacky things I've found in my tank. Help identifying them from the boards of course.

Chiton- 1 little guy that moves really slow


Vermatid Snail- 2+ in the tank found

and its wacky web:



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Old 10/14/2006, 03:36 AM   #23
phisquare
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Nice tank and cool stand, I like it a lot. I'll be starting up my first tank ever here in a few weeks myself after I finish some reading and research (and acquire all the necessary funds ). Keep the pics and updates coming.

phi


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Old 02/18/2007, 10:31 AM   #24
saltman123
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Update 2-18-07 - Last 3 months of details

Ok,
So I am finally finding a little time to write an update on my tank. I am just realizing the last time I truly updated was WAY TOO LONG AGO!! I've taken a ton of pics since then so be ready for some pics.

My tank has really been a great little adventure. Nothing major has gone wrong, other than the typical algae blooms and stuff.

Since its been so long, I am going to go ahead and post some of the pics through these stages with hopes that someone can see the progress and learn something from them.

11-2006
Here are some random pics of my tank at this time. Be sure to take a look at the batch of reverse gorilla nipples and the pulsing xenia in this pic to see how much they've grown. WOW is all I can say as they literally tripled, if not more. Check them out in the earlier days here:





11-2006 and early 12-2006 - Green and Red Algae
Sometime after my tank was running for nearly 2 months, I had some green hair algae issues. Mostly on the back wall, and on the loc-line tubes. I would sometimes suck this out, but overall it ended up clearing itself after a few weeks. First was the green, and then the red lingered and eventually cleared up. NO, I did not use any chemicals in this process other than time, manually sucking it out at random, and water changes.

Check it out:







Notice the bulbs undernear the red algae on the rock in the center:




Algae Disappeared in mid december I think?
Most of the algae disappeared other than some minor red algae that sometimes lingers on the back wall. The camera makes it look much brighter than it really is. I do however still battle a small bit of red algae on the back wall.



1-2007 - New Additions
So into the new year, the tank was looking much better with most of the algae blooms passed, and all that stuff. So, it was now time to acquire a few more things. I ended up getting some more zoos, a really cool cleaner shrimp, a frogspawn,and some other random stuff I can't remember. Here are some pics of it all.

I was still learning how to use the camera so bear with me, but enjoy the additions. Some pics of it all:






1-2007 - New Camera

I also got a really nice new camera for christmas. It is water proof and will eventually be taking actual pictures in my tank, and video so stay tuned for that

So in my next post, be ready for some nicer pics I've hit the picture limit on this post so there will be more to follow.

Be sure to give all your feedback!


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Old 02/18/2007, 12:57 PM   #25
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i like how your tank is coming along so far. ill be getting one in less than a week but instead of the stock hood, ill be getting the 70W MH instead. howd you fight the algae problem?


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