Been out of the loop for a while..


Reefing newb
Hey all. I've had my 29 gallon for almost 2 years now. It's a pretty simple and humble setup... a basic external filter, a simple powerhead, 130 watts of CF lighting, about 40lbs of Caribbean live rock, assorted hermit crabs and snails, a feather duster that hitched a ride on the rock, and a lone clown fish.

I got really busy with school and work and all, so the tank has been poorly maintained.. I'm working very hard to change that. Thankfully, I haven't lost my clown.. just a few of the snails and hermits. I'm trying to get it back into shape so I can keep upgrading the weak spots and eventually start housing more complex inverts. I knew since I've been out of the loop so long, I'm going to have lots of questions, haha. I figured this was a great place to start.


**DISCLAIMER**- This picture was taken shortly after I upgrade to the CF lighting and is nowhere near recent (about a year and a half old in fact). I'll take a more current picture when I get rid of the bubble algae and the grime in general :D
Welcome back!

I recommend removing the airstones and get one more powerhead.Two powerheads rippling the water surface will provide plenty of gas exchange.Airstones are only good for salt creep everywhere.
Okay, I did some cleaning today and took some pics this morning... it's not a bad looking tank once you scrape the coralline algae off the front glass and you can actually see the stuff inside, haha.


The bulbs need replacing I think... either that, or I need to clean the cover because it looks like the lights are a lot different in the second pic even though it's the same system.
those bulbs will stay lit for two years sometimes but the older they get the worse the spectrim of light gets. after about 6 months the good light diminishes pretty fast.
Oh I know, I was never planning on using them 2 years since most sites say you should never use them that long. But at the same time I've never seen a site say you should toss them after 6 months. If I had some really needy corals (which I'd end up getting a better system anyway) I'd replace them every 6 months, but I doubt my live rock and clown fish are going to care if I use them past their prime.
fish no that wont matter you can run them until they burn out in that case. but the coraline on the rocks will benifit from them being changed more often
Welcome to the site.
Theres only one thing wrong with running CF bulbs longer than 6 months.The spectrum shifts toward the red wave lengths,which is the spectrum that hair algae,bubble algae,and other bad forms of algae like.
BTW,she cleaned up nice and looks good.
Thanks, it doesn't look to bad for being such a cheap setup. I feel bad for neglecting it for so long.

I know I'm not an expert, but I do know that the CF bulbs reach the end of their useful lifespan long before they actually malfunction. I also know I'm working and going to school full time, so cash is tight (one of the reasons I started neglecting it in the first place... I didn't have a lot of money to upgrade it). I don't want to use the bulbs so long that they'll turn my tank into a nuisance algae farm, but at the same time, cash is so tight right now I don't want to throw them out before their useful lifespan is up.

Some sites say you can use them up to 2 years, some say only one, but I still have never ever seen a site say toss them after 6 months.
Welcome to the reef. Doesn't look bad at all seeing it's been neglected. How often are you doing water changes? Once you start getting algae I would switch out them bulbs.
Thanks! Haha, flame on, but I think I went almost 2 whole months without doing a water change during the thick of the semester. I used to do 5-7 gallons a month, but as of late I've been changing anywhere from 2-5 gallons a week because I'm sure the nitrate levels are atrocious. I'm going to start testing again and once they get to an acceptable level I'll probably go back to my usual 5-7 a month, along with going back to my normal supplementing routine. I need to get a new test kit since I'm not really sure where all the parts of my previous one went.. haha, that's how long it's been.

Also, I plan on getting new bulbs soon. One site is having a sale, so I can't resist.
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um,, and are all good sites

What do you mean by good sites? Yeah, Drs. Foster and Smith are having the sale. I've ordered a lot from them before.

Welcome back! Your tank looks really good. It doesn't look neglected at all.

Haha, well, thanks. I'm really trying to get it back into shape. I upgraded the light system before I started neglecting it with the intent of housing mushrooms and ricordea simply for the looks and easy of care. I didn't think I'd ever be diciplined enough to house really difficult corals, but I figured mushrooms and ricordea would be a good balance between cost/ease of care/appearance.