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Old 04-09-2010, 03:25 PM   #1
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Restarting... the right way.

So I've had my tank for a few years now. But all I have in there now is LR, LS and two damsels. For the past year or so I’ve been dealing with cyano and couldn't get rid of it. So after reading a lot of stuff on here I'm ready to do it again.

I have a 55g, 1 white and 1 half white half blue power compact bulbs 32" I believe (don't know how many watts). I haven't changed them in about 2 years. I have about 50lbs of LR (with about 15lbs in the sump) and about 1.5" of LS. The sump only has a no name protein skimmer and LV.

I've had the lights off for a week now and the cyano just went away. I have started to do weekly water changes and I will be purchasing a test kit soon. Which one do you guys recommend? The LFS I buy my water says they use catalina water that has been filtered. Since I don't have a test kit yet I don't know what elements it contains. Does any one else use this kind of water?

My plans for the tank are to have LR and fish for a few months and then when I feel comfortable enough to keep the water stable I'll start adding coral. So any advise on what I should do or what to expect since I'm pretty much starting like new?

On a side note. There are some polyps on one the LR's that opened up real nice when I started the weekly water changes. So I know the lighting is still good.

Edit: Also what type of snails/crabs should I start putting in there?And how many? I currently have 2 crabs and 2 snails in there.
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Old 04-09-2010, 03:48 PM   #2
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I would get a Test Kit just to see where your water Parameter are. I know Sera test kits are very Accurate almost as good as the Elos and Selfert test kits. I also would recommend a RO/DI unit.

Also with your clean up crew I would start with some Astera Snails and Blue Legged Hermits I say 20 of each
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Old 04-09-2010, 05:30 PM   #3
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I think that after two years your bulbs definitely need changing, specially if you hope to put corals in eventually
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Old 04-10-2010, 04:25 PM   #4
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I agree. Though the lights may still be lit, their intensity gradually dies off and the usable spectrum of light for the corals disapates. You can't see it, but organisms living inside the coral definately can. Algae on the other hand will thank you for it.

You might want to change the bulbs before adding any photosynthetic animals.
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Old 04-11-2010, 04:19 AM   #5
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Heres a picture of my brothers tank and why the lights should be changed haha
Attachment 23302

Yesterday his left back bulb burnt out finally so today we replaced it and as you can see the left side of the tank is much brighter. Its kinda hard to tell in the picture but when looking at the tank the left side looks blue while the right side looks more yellow. This tank's lights have not been changed in as long as i can remember. The tank doesn't have much for corals since we are setting up a 250 gallon (?) i think that's the size. This tank is more of just a temporary one until the big new one is set up, therefore not much work is being done to improve its general appearance.
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Old 04-11-2010, 04:55 AM   #6
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That one light that you have is not enough for most corals. If you are serious about upgrading to corals you need more light. You had your tank for a few years and no test kit. Wow , who was doing your testing? Weekly PWC is very good if you can keep them up. I would not go any less then two weeks between changes.
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Old 04-11-2010, 07:34 AM   #7
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As other ahve said your gonna want better and new lights. Look into T5's. You can keep most corals with them.
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:11 PM   #8
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Thanks for the input guys. Yup no test kit what so ever. There are a lot of things that I didn't do right that's the reason I want to start again the right way. I would test my nitrates/nitrites at the LFS tho. I wouldn't do water changes that often either. Maybe once every other month. I know, I know... I have learned a lot from here tho.

Even tho I did pretty much every thing wrong i was able to maintain a some what nice tank but fish/coral wouldn't last more than 6 months. Here's a picture of it from like 4 years ago...



I have been wanting to upgrade to get T5's but don't really know where to start. I've heard that they get real hot and may break the tank. I currently have a canopy and the lights sit like 8 inches from the acrylic top. I'll take a picture of the set up and hopefully you guys and give me some input.

Thanks again every one!
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:20 PM   #9
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T5's have very little heat. Even the VHO's (Very High Output) ones give off little. Metal Halides are the searing hot ones. You get scars from accidentaly knocking them because they give you terrible burns.
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don7 View Post
Thanks for the input guys. Yup no test kit what so ever. There are a lot of things that I didn't do right that's the reason I want to start again the right way. I would test my nitrates/nitrites at the LFS tho. I wouldn't do water changes that often either. Maybe once every other month. I know, I know... I have learned a lot from here tho.

Even tho I did pretty much every thing wrong i was able to maintain a some what nice tank but fish/coral wouldn't last more than 6 months. Here's a picture of it from like 4 years ago...



I have been wanting to upgrade to get T5's but don't really know where to start. I've heard that they get real hot and may break the tank. I currently have a canopy and the lights sit like 8 inches from the acrylic top. I'll take a picture of the set up and hopefully you guys and give me some input.

Thanks again every one!

I just put T5 HO's on my 55g and they give off very little to no heat. I love it! I did the same thing you are doing. Started redoing my tank like in August of last year
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