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Old 02-28-2006, 09:54 AM   #1
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Questions about a Cleanup Crew and Lighting

I am new to this hobby. I have a 46 gallon bow front tank with 65 lbs of LR, 20 lbs of LS, 40 lbs of Crushed Coral, 3 pajama cardinals, 1 damsel and 1 half-black angel. My tank has been up and running for about 8 weeks now. My ph is 8.2, ammonia is 0, nitrites are 0 but my nitrates are 40 ppm. I have been doing a lot PWC's trying to lower the nitrates down from 80 ppm. I'm still working on it.

I keep getting a lot of brown algae on the tank glass. I have been using a scrub brush to clean it off. My plan is to add a cleanup crew from my LFS soon. When I get a cleanup crew, will they clean the algae off of the glass or will I still have to scrub it off myself. What do you suggest for a cleanup crew? Also, I currently have only a 25 W bulb on my tank. Is this enough lighting for a FOWLR tank? I think the lighting system that came with the tank can handle up to 40 W.


Thanks for your help
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Old 02-28-2006, 10:38 AM   #2
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Look up diatoms. It's normally seen in new tank setups.

On the nitrates, I'm thinking that's a lot of fish for an 8wk old tank so soon. You may have to scale back on the feeding. I know that's hard for new tank owners becasue of the excitement of the new fish and seeing them eat makes you think they are happier. Overfeeding could be a part of the problem.
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Old 02-28-2006, 11:20 AM   #3
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Thanks for the response austinsdad. I started cutting back on the feeding to once a day. Is that good enough or should I cut back to feeding them every other day? Do you have any suggestions for a cleanup crew?

austinsdad, I've noticed that you live in Clinton, MD. I live in Brandywine, MD. I have been going to Roozens in Clinton for my aquarium supplies. Can you recommend any other stores in the area? Thanks!
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Old 02-28-2006, 11:41 AM   #4
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I would probably try every other day since (I just noticed) that your trates were originally at 80. Wow!

Not sure if hernits and stuff can live w/trates that high, but they would help eat leftover food that stays on the bottom. I have no experience with crushed coral, but I heard folks say it is a nitrate factory. How deep is 40 lbs in a 46g anyway?

Lemme know, when you go again, I can meet you there and help pick out a cleanup crew - - but first, someone pls help with the question about likely cleanup crew critters and nitrate levels. Longer acclimation??? Wanna go today? I'm so easy.

BTW, what kind of test kit are you using? 80ppm is VERY high. Wondering whether fish would be OK if that were correct. Bring some water to Roozen's for another test maybe.
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Old 02-28-2006, 12:31 PM   #5
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Yeah, the nitrates have been really high. I don’t remember the name of the test kit that I have. I would have to find out when I get home. I didn’t realize that crushed coral causes high nitrates. The lady at Petco suggested the combination of crushed coral and LS, so that is what I bought. The depth of my substrate is about 2 ½ inches. Is that sufficient? Can you add more sand to an existing tank without clouding up the water? What should I do about the crushed coral?

I usually go to Roozens on the weekends just to look around. So, I’ll probably go sometime on Saturday.
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Old 02-28-2006, 12:39 PM   #6
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I'll PM you with my cell #. Call me, I'd like to meet you there. When you change water, do you stir up/vacuum the crushed coral with the intent of stirring up debris and removing it?
Maybe try another post and ask the question about crushed coral - and maybe how/whether you should remove it since folks might not notice the question in this post.
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Old 02-28-2006, 02:30 PM   #7
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I would definately recommend turbo snails for the glass. I am not sure with the crushed coral substrate though I use sand. if it has any sharp edges it may hurt the soft tissue of the snails. Get ya some blue legged hermit, scarlet hermits, nass snails, turbo snails, peppermint shrimp.
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Old 02-28-2006, 02:36 PM   #8
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Check this thread out too - - about crushed coral. Maybe search on others also.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewto...oral+substrate
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Old 02-28-2006, 02:48 PM   #9
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I don't disturb the substrate when I do my PWC. I used to but I started removing too much sand with the vacuum.
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Old 02-28-2006, 03:01 PM   #10
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Probably why nitrate producing stuff is in there still.
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