• Welcome to The Salty Box, a forum to discuss everything related to Marine & Reef Fish keeping in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in discussions with others.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon

my salt water adventure from the beginning .... !


hi all been a member of this forum for a while now but never got round to doing a tank dairy so here is my tank dairy from the beginning.
i started of in a 50l nano cube witch was borrowed to me from a family member who upgraded to a bigger tank i enjoyed watching it when it was set up so i took the offer and borrowed the tank to try the hobby here it is
View attachment 123526 i started off with nothing no rocks or fish this was a few months into the hobby. i bought more lr and corals different fish and could never keep the water to a good standard so i gave up and this was one of the last pictures i had of the tank setupView attachment 123527 View attachment 123528 View attachment 123532i had lost intrest in this tank when i couldnt keep corals alive and things would go right with the water quality so i lost intrest in it

the next project
my friend had an amazon 190l fish tank witch he had nowhere to store so asked me if i would like to use it until i was finished with it so i took the tank and began the upgrade thinking it would help me keep my water more stable as i was getting fed up of the nano tank so heres how it looked as i started out in the 190l View attachment 123529 i started off doing good. water quality was good for a while i added some new fish and i got a alage blenny to take care of the hair algae i had on the rocks from the nano transfer he did get rid of it all in the end i also bought myself a yellow tang as it was being sold in a tank breakdown so i got her for £25 she was a really nice fish and she kept me intrested in the hobby here she is a few days after adding to the tank View attachment 123530 she settle in quite well there wasnt many fish in there anyway. i also bought myself a white chalk goby but found out the hard way it was to early to add him witch the store i bought him from didnt tell me this View attachment 123531 he just wouldnt put wieght on tryed everything to get him fat i put food in the sand for him to eat while he was digging but nothing worked and he died in the end. while i was trying to fatten the goby up my nitrates got a little high. after much asking questions and alot of water changes that didnt bring my nitrates down someone said i should add more lr. so i went and bought a load more lr to see if it helped me control the nitrates alittle so after adding the lr it ended up like thisView attachment 123533this is when i added the rock i was happy with how it looked kept doing the water changes changing the media in the external filter and in the end my nitrates fell and the water improved then my kids flooded the bathroom one day and cracked all the roof so it needed to be plastered witch ment the tank had to be moved to another room while we decorated so i took some photos to remember how the rocks was and where the corals were on the rocks here are the photos of the tank before movingView attachment 123534View attachment 123535View attachment 123536View attachment 123537as you can see in the pictures the tank was really coming on and colouring up nicely all fish were doing great. the only thing what was annoying me was i didnt have much growth on the corals i was keeping. i was using a 6x tube t5 unit with mixed bulbs so i ened up replacing all the bulbs in the unit to see if this was the problem after moving the tank to another room to redecorate my tank ended up looking like it was going down hill again. it was probably from the lack of intrest i had for it while i was decorating and i must admit i did neglect it while i was decorating my friend asked for the tank back so i had to move all the stock so i had to find a tank set it up in its new place and transfer all the stock over while i was in the middle of decorating the front room

the newest project

my patner found a tank witch she liked i wasn't to interested in it to be honest i had a 6 foot gap in the living room witch i thought i would fill with a big reef tank but she wanted me to look at this one so i went down with a friend and took a look at it and was shocked at the size of it and thought a 6ft tank would be huge so ended up buying this one witch was 4ft by 2ft by 18 inches i got it for £110 it came with a stand and a sump no other equipment. when i got the tank home i looked at the stand and it was very warped and water damaged and i was amazed it had held all the weight of the tank. here is what it looked like View attachment 123538you can see the damage the stand had in the picture. i decided if i was going to have a really nice tank the tank and stand needed to have a better look so i started by testing the tank was water tight first so took it into the back garden with a friend as it was really heavyView attachment 123539View attachment 123540fter leaving the tank 24hrs with water init the tank didnt leak. i then cleaned the whole tank out and removed some of the trims and excess glass witch wasn't needed i also removed the weir cover as it was falling off and was damaged. it was cleaned and ready to be brought back in to build a lid and stand for this tank. i had a wardrobe witch was not being used so i thought it would be a good idea to use this to make the stand and save some money. i didn't like how the stand was before the tank sat ontop with a lip around it. so on the stand i was making i thought it would be a good idea to make the new stand with no lip around it. so the stand diminsions would be the same size as the tank. i wanted the stand to be black and water proof aswell so i used plastic wrap to wrap the tank on evey side you would see and i made sure you couldn't see any joins in the wrap. it took me one weekend to make the stand and at the end i was impressed with the outcome i went and bought some new door handles and it looked like new. the next thing i had to make was a lid i wanted to make this so i could leave space at the back of it to allow for the pipes and wires and for the tank to breath a bit. i had a few bits of my hard wood flooring left over from decorating and i had the idea to use the last few bits to make the lid without having to pay for wood. the lid didn't take to long to make i also wrapped the lid in the same plastic film and finished the lid off with the same handles as the stand. by this point i was looking at the tank and thought it looked brand new totally different tank. This is the first picture of the finished tank View attachment 123541he next thing was the plumbing . i really had a night mare with this as i bought the tank with no plumbing at all the person i bought the tank from had ordered a return pump for this tank but wasnt sure if they was selling it . in the end she sold it to me and i bought myself a 6500lph return pump Jebao. i was really having a hard time trying to get the wier and return to match so the flow was the same in the end i got there but it was a pain .so next i had to work out how much water this tank held. the tank itself holds 350 litres of water the sump also holds 130 litres so its nearly 500 litres. so i had to fill the tank up and get it running. i bought 25 kg of white sand and filled the tank up i didn't take no photos of the tank maturing for some reason but i let it do its thing and eventually it was ready. I went out and bought 10 kg of live rock for my sump and got some algae to go in the sump to start a Refugium and while i was shopping i upgraded the 6 t5 tubes for an aquaone mariglo led unit View attachment 123542View attachment 123543he tank was all set to add the fish and and the stock from the old 190l tank after the transfer the tank was doing good no problems what so ever heres a few pictures of the tank shortly after it was setup View attachment 123544<this was the night i finished adding the corals fish and live rockView attachment 123545< this was the day after or a couple of days later i cant remember.
so as you can probably guess alot of this stock had been with me a few years now this tank was set-up October 2014 and is still running today. i started having problems around late November with this tank i noticed i was losing palys and zoas they was slowly disappearing i was having trouble with my toadstool it would stand up started to come off the rock it was attached i moved it trying to help it as you will see in some of the photos. one of my hammer heads started to close. and i tryed lots of things to get it to reopen heres a few photos of before and after i noticed the changes in the corals mentionedView attachment 123575View attachment 123576View attachment 123577View attachment 123578so were up to date now u basically have and idea how i got to where i am today with my tank so here is the equipment list and current stock
approximately 35 - 40kg of live rock
360 litre tank 4ft by 2 ft by 18 inches
sump 130 litres
2 heaters one in sump last section one in display
6500lph return pump
aqua one g series skimmer
aqua one mariglo 50w led unit 4 ft long
one 4000lph powerhead in sump

fish stock
yellow tang
regal tang
two clown fish
one anthias
yellow saffron goby
six line wrasse
4 turbo snails
6-7 hermit crabs
brittle star fish
nasus snail
small matis shrimp in sump
large boxer shrimp

green star polyp
ultra green star polyp
green mushrooms
red mushrooms
green dragon eye zoas
unknown zoas
unknown palys
button polyps
hammerhead 2 heads
pulsing xenia
toadstool frags
yellow twig thing lol

so heres a few pictures of the tank today and a few pictures of the fish and corals
View attachment 123579View attachment 123580
sumpView attachment 123581View attachment 123582View attachment 123583View attachment 123584
View attachment 123585View attachment 123586View attachment 123587View attachment 123588View attachment 123589View attachment 123590View attachment 123591

View attachment 123592View attachment 123593View attachment 123594View attachment 123595View attachment 123596View attachment 123597View attachment 123598View attachment 123599View attachment 123600View attachment 123601View attachment 123589View attachment 123602View attachment 123603View attachment 123604View attachment 123605View attachment 123606View attachment 123607View attachment 123608
so this is my current setup with all corals listed and equipment.
so heres a few problems i am having trouble with at this moment (1)i have fragged my toadstool into a few pieces as i just couldn't get it to reattach
i now have the odd piece that keeps coming lose i have supper glued it to the rocks i have used a rubber band tryed string and nothing is working the glue just lets the coral go after a while the rubberband is to tight and if left cuts into the coral no matter how tight it is and the string is similar to the band so any help on getting this toadstool to attach to live rock would be much appreciated .
(2)i have had a problem with nitrates so on the 9.9.15 i started using no-pox i dosed 12 ml on Friday the 9th and i dosed 12ml on saturday i got my water tested for nitrates on Friday and they was 20ppm of nitrates i got them retested on sunday and there was 0.25 of nitrates nearly undetectable i havent dosed any nopox today as i am going to return to the shop tomorrow and get all my water retested and also i am going to get there water tested as i always have a mg reading of over 1600ppm so i suspect a error in the people who are testing my water for me and i will find out for me tomorrow. if anyone reads this from start to finish im sorry if i have spelt things wrong or it doesn't make sense please try to read it the best you can and thanks for viewing my tank dairy :)
Last edited:


So today 12.1.15 Monday I went to maidenhead to get my water tested again
ammonia 0
ph 8.2 to 8.3
nitrite 0
nitrate 2ppm on api kit not quite 0ppm but not quite 5ppm
kh 11
so because of the readings being up and down I did some shopping and bought a few different bits to improve my water
on Friday just gone I bought nopox 500ml and Red Sea foundation b 500ml and today I have bought 2kg of activated carbon a sheet of filter floss two media bags and I also ordered the following salifert test kits mg,calcium,nitrate,kh,phosphate and an to tap so I can test the ro machine I have to see if it's any good so once the kits arrive and I have located some egg create to use to stop the filter floss from lifting up in my sump I will be adding the carbon and floss to the sump and I will also be testing my own water and if the ro machine works making my own ro water


Staff member
looking very good

may i ask where you got the plastic wrap from
i split super glue right down the front of mine
missus is not impressed smiley-sex020


I got the wrap from a place called the range 6 pound a roll I think I used around 4 rolls of it and your my first message thought people wouldn't comment cheers :)


Staff member
thank you
and you're welcome

this is quite a friendly site so im sure you'll get plenty more comments too

you can test your ro water with a tds meter


Yeah I have a pen but it will need calibrating first and I havent got the liquid just yet or anyone to calibrate it for me
Last edited:


Tank update from this week so I have been banned from my local store in knutsford so I can no longer get water for my tank so beginning of this week I start to make my own to water checked with tds pen and readings 003 witch I will get to 000 at some point soon by changing out the so resin I have also upgraded my sump a little I started by changing the big t5 hood as it was in my way so swapped it out for a small clip on light witch lights the algae chamber up quite nice and I can now get into my sump for maintance I have also added in my sump filter floss and 250kg of activated carbon witch I bout 2kgs of the stuff for £9 witch I thought was a bargain I have also ordered the following tests last week and they arrived Wednesday po4 no3 mg ca kh all salifert test kits witch I have tested my water and it's a little low on mg being at 1230 - 1260 so I went out today and bought myself foundation c mg buffer and I also bought myself some more clean up crew and two true peppermint shrimp witch should I hope eat any small aiptasia and that's all tank parameters today
temp 26
salt 1.025
nitrate no3 25ppm
phosphate po4 0.1 - 0
kh 10.9
mg 1230-1260ppm
ca 430ppm


30/1/15 tank update this week bought a refractometer wasn't sure of it was accurate or damaged so I got told best thing to do was get another one but buy a d+d h2ocean one so I bought the d n d one and tested my salt at 1.023 witch is a little low so will raise it slowly over next few weeks also I did my first water change with the salt I mixed 50l I can already see a difference in the tank I have coralline algae growing all over the back of the tank and down the wier since I started adding the nopox I have seen an improvement in the colour of my orange mushrooms I got a filter sock and hang on clip from tmc witch has got rid of the popping noise I was getting in my sump I also got a Kenya tree and it's opened up nice an big. I have found out what was causing me to lose heads of hammerhead coral and why they was suffering I had them next to a green star polyp frag and the flow was pushing them towards the hammerhead coral they wasn't touching but got told Gsp is very toxin and the toxic could be getting pushed towards my hammer coral moved the corals round and seems to be recovering nicely getting ready to do next 50l water change this weekend and looking into dosing sugar to remove nitrate witch will stop me spending a few quid on nopox currently the no3 is at around 10-25ppm slowly coming down next thing to get will be filter floss and di resin looking for good bulk deal few pics to follow


Hi I got banned from my local lfs in knutsford because I found out they was testing my water wrong and then advising me to buy products to correct the water parameters when I found out the first time I made a complaint because I spent a lot of money on products I got told they would fix the problem and it wouldn't happen again so few months later I go back in and there still testing the water the same and givinge readings of 1600ppm on mg made the second complaint and the area manager said they have done as much as they could for me and there's nothing else they can do he said to me that I wasn't welcome at the store anymore because there is nothing else they could do bought my own test kits and to no surprise my mg was 1260 not 1600 my tank is just recovering now after weeks of using there bad water witch is never a stable sg one week u could go on and the salt would be at 1.021 go in next day and it's 1.023 some days could go in and it was 1.026 nightmare store there's not many around there's only two of these stores close to Warrington and I would advise anyone to stay well clear as they don't know I thing about marine aquariums what so Eva


Wow cheeky or what!, your better out of it mate so is your tank
It is when there charging you for the tests but if that's how they deal with customers who are trying to help them improve their store leave them to it they wouldn't no how to look after a gold fish never mind the store idiots