Hello all, and thanks in advance for any and all advice you can offer!
A friend of mine recently gave me his 125g aquarium, along with all his fluorescent lighting (2 coralife 50/50 bulbs), live rock (about 60 lbs), crushed coral bottom (about 1 inch), various tangs and damsels, sump, protein skimmer, etc. The only problem is that, since it appears that he knew nothing about the hobby, the tank was not properly cared for. The live rock isnt in the best condition, the fish are stressed, etc. Obviously I had to replace 100% of the water in order to transport the tank. Since then, I have done consistent water changes (about 25%) every 2 weeks. I also added a small army of crabs (blue / scarlet hermits, emeralds, porcelain, sally lightfoot, etc) and turbo snails to deal with all of the algae on the rocks. The ammonia/ nitrite levels are at 0. The nitrate level is a little high. At times, the fish appear stressed/ jumpy, and evel pale/ lose color. I know that I need to add more live rock, and am considering losing the current substrate and adding live sand. I also want to replace the lighting, as I would like to add corals/ anenomes/ clams, etc once the system is running to my liking. Any advice on how to get this tank under control and in tip-top condition? I also really need some advice on lighting! I plan to expand this to a reef with soft corals, anenomes, and other inverts... Right now it seems like PC
might be the best option (needs vs budget)... but I will buy whatever it takes.
Sorry for the long post, and thanks again for the info.
-Tony, the new Reef hobbyist.