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Old 03-11-2008, 03:20 PM   #11
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All I want is one or two clowns really. So thanks. the surviving Damsel and CBS are leaving to an ebstashised tank in va tomarrow and I'm starting from scrach.
And PTA is a pink tipped anemone.

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Old 03-11-2008, 03:22 PM   #12
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Susie, a few months on AA and you may find yourself thinking you know more than your LFS employees.

It sounds to me like you got fish in that tank WAY too early. Probably the hardest thing about being an aquarist is patience. Unfortunately, it is most needed at the time when it is hardest to have (when you first get your tank and a month or two thereafter).

For now my advice is to read read read. Carpenters say measure twice cut once. Well a good rule for aquarists is to read twice buy once! It'll save you lots of money.

As for guilt, you really did nothing wrong. Your LFS is to blame IMO. By posting here and finding this site, you're already on the right track. The proof is in the pudding, look at these members absolutely GORGEOUS tanks and you see they know what they're talking about.

As a freshie, and a fairly broke one at that, SW scares me. I hear tons of stories like yours and simply can't afford it.

Get that tank cycled and those params in order and you can feel great about adding fish to it, until then, read read read and have patience. Good luck!

Thank you so much for all your help. I'm back into the hobby with a new vigor!

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Old 03-11-2008, 04:50 PM   #13
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I went thought the same dramas with a FW setup, and after countless visits to LFSs and getting questionable and contradicting advice. Finally I found this site and the folks here have helped me to the right path.

Keep posting your questions and follow the advice you get. And keep us all in the loop.
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4x4x2 FW planted | 15g FW planted | 3.5g FW planted pico
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:41 PM   #14
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Hi and welcome to the addictive hobby of marine fish and reef keeping.

First off let's talk cycle. Fish wastes, uneaten food, detritus in tank all turn into either Ammonium or Ammonia. This is incorporated (eaten) by bacteria and changed (pooped) into nitrite. This is yet again incorporated by another bacteria and changed (pooped) into nitrate. Nitrate is then incorporated by yet another bacteria and changed (pooped) into nitrogen and oxygen. NH3 > NO2 > NO3 > N & O2. This is rather over simplified but it will paint a better picture.

When a new tank is started there is actually a pretty sterile environment.
We introduce some kind of fish food (small amount) and the first bacterial populations begin to grow. They overpopulate based on abundance of there food source (ammonia). As they stabilize in growth their wastes (nitrites) are food for another group of bacteria which begin to overpopulate. This new group of bacteria goes through yet another population explosion feeding on nitrites and leaving nitrates. If you have a deep sand bed or plenty of live rock yrt another bacteria will form deep in the rocks and under the sand where there is little oxygen and utilize the O2 off the NO3 to live. In brief this is the nitrogen cycle and in most systems it will take 28 to 35 days to establish.

Now your tank will go through other chemical and algal cycles to balance out in about 100 days. Fish should never be added into a new system until first nitrogen cycle is complete. Use test kits and watch for ammonia spike, then nitrite spike then nitrate spike. After first month it's time for water changes to begin so excess nitrate can be exported out of system.
Macro algae and or live rock can aid this alot. Point being no fish ever before about day 36 - 40. Then only ONE or TWO small ones. At this time you may also introduce a clean up or janitorial crew.

Test kits are a must, never add to a tank what you don't test for.
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Old 03-12-2008, 08:25 PM   #15
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Susie, you came to the right place for advice. Get that tank cycled properly and then add your clowns. You should do fine as long as you do regular water changes and stay on top of the water params.

Good luck.

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