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dsjoyce's 4x2x2 foot mantis shrimp tank

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dsjoyce's 4x2x2 foot mantis shrimp tank

Postby dsjoyce » Fri 06 Apr, 2012 2:09 pm

Hey all, new to the forums and having a tank in general but have recently become fascinated by mantis shrimp and found a good tank at a good price! Not much going on at the moment as it's filthy but hopefully that will change soon :)

Dan.

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Re: dsjoyce's 4x2x2 foot mantis shrimp tank

Postby dsjoyce » Fri 06 Apr, 2012 11:03 pm

Could anyone tell me, how far should the heater i have be submerged? And what temp do people recommend? Living in bris, i imagine i would only use it in winter? Would i need a chiller for summer?
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Re: dsjoyce's 4x2x2 foot mantis shrimp tank

Postby dsjoyce » Tue 10 Apr, 2012 10:04 pm

Can anyone help me with the heater question? Might buy a new one as theyre fairly cheap and that way I know it's not going to implode. Also discovered that the filter is pretty much toast, going to give a Berlin system a shot i think once im done staining the stand.

Bagged a cheapie protein skimmer off ebay (new, $10 including shipping!), be interested to see how (if) it works :)
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Re: dsjoyce's 4x2x2 foot mantis shrimp tank

Postby Choppa » Thu 12 Apr, 2012 3:46 am

Hi Dan

Get a new heater and follow the man/reco. They are cheap enough (keep that one as a spare).

Prob just need a chiller in Bris anyway.

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Re: dsjoyce's 4x2x2 foot mantis shrimp tank

Postby Choppa » Thu 12 Apr, 2012 3:49 am

Should check out your local society too. You can get a lot of info and ideas that way :thumbsup:
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Re: dsjoyce's 4x2x2 foot mantis shrimp tank

Postby dsjoyce » Fri 13 Apr, 2012 10:21 pm

Hydrometer, master test kit, powerheads and water conditioner order yay! Also hope to have the staining completed this weekend...
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Re: dsjoyce's 4x2x2 foot mantis shrimp tank

Postby dsjoyce » Sun 29 Apr, 2012 12:07 pm

Ok so, finally a little more progress!

I should mention I wanted to try this on a budget, so I've bought cheap everything, mostly from guppys aquarium online. I know it's not the ideal way to do things, but I honestly think the prices charged in this hobby are freaking ridiculous. So, I thought i'd give it a go, and if things don't go well, fair enough, at least I can start again without too much trouble. But if they do go well, great! From my readings, I think there's far too much of people saying "that product looks bad, so don't get it". Which is fine, but it's nice to have these theories tested!
Thus, my 24000 LPH powerheads cost me $37, I bought that HEKA salt which everyone is dubious about, and used 40kgs of bunnings playground sand (it's triple washed, so didn't even bother washing it first).

The stand (which the girlfriend tried to convert into a "blanket/pillow rack"):
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Dumped the aged water in, threw in the salt and slowly brought the salinity up. Yes, extremely cloudy! Ran the powerheads and the skimmer to mix it up:
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Threw in the sand the next day (literally just dumped it in) and of course, got even MORE cloudy. Pulled a fair amount of scum off the top too! No pics of that. Threw in the liverock, no aquascaping just yet as the water was farrrr too cloudy, just wanted to start the cycle:
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These two pics are the protein skimmer. Set me back $10 but this thing is huge! I ran it for a little while but once the sand was in there was no more clearance (and it sucks water from the bottom, didnt want sand getting into it). Tank is clearing nicely anyhow, I will probably grab a prizm HOB skimmer when I find one for a good price
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Re: dsjoyce's 4x2x2 foot mantis shrimp tank

Postby dsjoyce » Wed 02 May, 2012 6:47 pm

Initial aquascape while cycling. Aquascaping is harder than it looks!

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Re: dsjoyce's 4x2x2 foot mantis shrimp tank

Postby Choppa » Wed 02 May, 2012 9:16 pm

Hey mate
Looks like its coming along - the old aquascaping is a personal thing realy - just have plenty of flow with no dead spots.

Looks like lighting should be next on the list ?

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Re: dsjoyce's 4x2x2 foot mantis shrimp tank

Postby dsjoyce » Wed 02 May, 2012 9:47 pm

Yup not sure about the pink light....will it be ok for a the odd fish and a few clean up crew members? While I save for something a bit better as I want corals later on....
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Re: dsjoyce's 4x2x2 foot mantis shrimp tank

Postby Choppa » Thu 03 May, 2012 2:46 am

Em.... Prob no? But try it and if things are growing (at least coralline algae) then maybe. You can usually get a second hand something on your local Masa? Have you joined yet? Worth while IMO.

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Re: dsjoyce's 4x2x2 foot mantis shrimp tank

Postby dsjoyce » Thu 03 May, 2012 12:46 pm

I've read the pink lights are used for encouraging plant growth, so figured it should be ok for the algae for now. Doubt it will upset fish or CUC too much, but time will tell! Haven't joined my local MASA yet but will look into that, thanks :)
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Re: dsjoyce's 4x2x2 foot mantis shrimp tank

Postby dsjoyce » Mon 14 May, 2012 6:12 pm

Cycle is complete, threw in my first damsel yesterday and he's doing just fine (eats like a pig too!). Clowns are going in next :D
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Re: dsjoyce's 4x2x2 foot mantis shrimp tank

Postby dsjoyce » Mon 28 May, 2012 12:34 am

Getting stocked up, currently rockin':
4x clowns
4x chromis
1x yellow-tail blue damsel
1x strombus
1x "spiny snail"? Don't think the guy at aquarama had a clue (about pretty much anything :/)
1x cats eye zooxanthellate
Also new aquascape Pics to come!

Oh and got myself a second hand prizm skimmer, will see how that goes...
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Re: dsjoyce's 4x2x2 foot mantis shrimp tank

Postby dsjoyce » Sat 30 Jun, 2012 9:21 pm

Things have been going steadily, updates are:
- new fire goby (goby wan kenobi), sexy little beast but he spends all day hiding :(
- only 1 battle-scarred chromis left, i think the others killed each other as they disappeared one by one!
- Rambo the spiny snail carked it, no idea why but he seemed unhappy from day 1 (Rhombus the Strombus is still loving life!)
- got a free black and white damsel (Obama)
- got a heliofungia coral, was settling in nicely but looks like he's getting the dreaded brown jelly disease, working at fighting that
-just got 4x peppermint shrimp, 4x trochus and 4x nassairus snails today :D

new aquascape too!
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and FINALLY got me a mantis shrimp, Dr Mantis Toboggan, MD. He lives in a separate small tank with his buddy Hermes the hermit crab. Well, until he eats him! For now Dr Toboggan seems happy with thawed prawns and the odd snail i got from some rockpools...
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Re: dsjoyce's 4x2x2 foot mantis shrimp tank

Postby dsjoyce » Mon 16 Jul, 2012 6:45 pm

New addition fantapants the Red Hawkfish and a BTA! Fantapants has taken up residence right in the midst of the peppermint shrimp' hiding spot, I wonder how long they will last :/
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Re: dsjoyce's 4x2x2 foot mantis shrimp tank

Postby dsjoyce » Sat 04 Aug, 2012 10:21 pm

Big BTA made his way through the powerhead overnight grrrr :/Looks like what's left of him might pull through though. :clap: Think i need to less flow/suction in my tank...
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Re: dsjoyce's 4x2x2 foot mantis shrimp tank

Postby 800LMAN » Thu 23 Aug, 2012 7:21 pm

Mate, you don't need less flow, the only reason the BTA got pulled through the power head is because it's obviously not happy and has not made a suitable connection to the rock. I rushed in and filled my tank within a few months the same way you have, don't get me wrong it was just too tempting.

You should really wait 12 months for the tank to establish a bit more before adding a BTA, I can see from the pics that the tank is no where near ready.

Don't shop on guppies mate, all that imported [censored] and no warranty. You don't have to spend a fortune if you have researched the hobby and each piece of equipment.

If I can offer a bit of advice, since no one else is posting on your thread, here are the main items in order of importance;

Water quality,Flow,Lighting,Skimming

Get rid of the cheap skimmers (prism included) and find a second hand reef octopus HOB. I bought one for my first tank and will never get rid of it, they are awesome units.
Get rid of the canister filter, you have enough rock and sand in there to filter naturally.
Buy a second hand t5 light with as many bulbs in it as possible, or spend $100 at a good Lfs and buy a second hand MH and hang it high over the tank. I have both but prefer the MH.
Buy a second hand RO unit and ditch the water conditioner.

I have found that with all the tools out there that need the latest model or newest fad, you can pick up some real bargains.

Whether you take this advise or dismiss it because you know better at least someone can say I told you so when all the inhabitants in the tank start dropping off.

Good luck
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Re: dsjoyce's 4x2x2 foot mantis shrimp tank

Postby Barney83 » Thu 23 Aug, 2012 9:13 pm

dsjoyce wrote:Big BTA made his way through the powerhead overnight grrrr :/Looks like what's left of him might pull through though. :clap: Think i need to less flow/suction in my tank...

I bought a red bta and a green bta at the same time, after about 4 months after the tank started up. The red one cost $270 and the green was $40, I only have one left now because one of them went through a powerhead. I bet you can guess which one died.

The green one is still going strong 4 months later and hasn't moved for the last 3 months.

Good luck
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Re: dsjoyce's 4x2x2 foot mantis shrimp tank

Postby aznsiko » Thu 23 Aug, 2012 10:27 pm

hey tank looks great.. hope the mantis shrimp not going to hurt all your fish though
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Re: dsjoyce's 4x2x2 foot mantis shrimp tank

Postby dsjoyce » Mon 27 Aug, 2012 6:39 pm

Thanks for the comments guys :)

Regarding the skimmer, I am on the lookout but for now the Prizm is doing an ok job. Threw in a LOT more liverock so that should lighten the load regarding filtering, never ever used the canister it was leaking from day 1.
Going to go down the DIY LED route when I get the time, for now the fluro is fine for the fishies
As for the tap water, im rather interested to see how the tank does on it long term. But again, will keep an eye open for a second hand one

Oh yes and the mantis has her own tank, but she's so timid I doubt she'd hurt a fly. Let alone a fish (she's a smasher too, not a spearer).
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Re: dsjoyce's 4x2x2 foot mantis shrimp tank

Postby Curious_Chaos » Wed 03 Apr, 2013 9:01 pm

I think the reason you should not be using the red light is that corals are best under actinics and daylight globes. The photosynthesis of the sybionic algae is much better in this wavelength of light. Someone correct me if I am wrong, but that is my understanding.

Im not worried about putting the BTA in my nano as I don't see how it could get into my filter- its a HETO with a pump and light in the hood, but i wouldn't want an expensive BTA just in case lol.

Can you get natural sea water from your lfs? It's cheaper than making it up yourself and apparently better for the livestock.
There's something fishy going on....
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