So I need some help. I picked up my new tank today, it is 65 gallons, has an overflow with a sump and protein skimmer. There was well over 100 lbs of live rock and a fully mature Maroon Clownfish. Now for the bad, and it is BAD.
The people haven't done any basic maintenance in over a year. They used crushed coral instead of live sand. There was SO much detritus, it smelled like death. There was literally an inch of dead material above the crushed coral. Literally dead. The 3 of the 4 power compact bulbs have been blown for months. They installed "custom lights", 2 traditional fluorescent light bulbs. Yeah I know, she said "It looks nicer than the aquarium lights." I haven't even tested the PH or Ammonia yet, it can't be TOO bad because the clown was still alive.
So what I have done is as follows.
I drained the water from the top, and separated "clean" water from anything with debris from the bottom. Everything is currently in buckets. The maroon clown is in a five gallon bucket with an air system right now. I am amazed he is alive.
I removed EVERYTHING from the tank, the crushed coral is in a bucket and is filthy. I took a clean sponge and gently wiped down the tank, there was slime algae, brown algae, anything you can imagine. But it is now clean. Now comes some disturbing news.
The nitrates are testing at 160 ppm
. The tube turned solid red is seconds on my API test kit. I am cleaning the sump tomorrow, and selling the clown to a local store for credit towards some sand. So now the questions.
What can I do to save any of the water? I know obviously a lot will have to be dumped. I am going to use two of the "dirty" buckets to knock detritus off of the rock.
What type of sand should I purchase? How many lbs. does it take to provide adequate coverage for a 65 gallon?
Once I knock the detritus off the rock (As much as possible) and put my sand in the tank, what steps should I take to begin wrapping my arms around this beast. I was hoping to have this tank up soon, but I can see it is now a project.
What are your suggestions? HELP ME OBI...screw it...help me anyone. This should be on an animal abuse commercial...