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Old 02-06-2003, 05:35 PM   #1
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Rookie Having Problems

Ok i just started my first reef about 2 months ago. I have a 24 gallon shallow tank. 24"x18" and 13" deep. I had used this tank for a small cichlid tank before I chose to do saltwater, so some of my equipment had to carry over until i could upgrade. I have already upgraded the light to a 2x65 Coralife. I'm still using my old top filter minus the carbon, just the sponges to catch debris.

I cycled the tank with a couple damsels, my LFS suggested this. Bought 25# of live rock (here is where my problems begin). I was unaware of cured vs. uncured live rock, and my LFS didn't bother letting me in the loop. It seems I now have uncured live rock in my tank. I've had problems with cloudiness, water odor, but not the health of my fish. I have a pair of maroon yellow stripe clowns, had them since they first met in the store wich was a challange in itself. I have a bulb tip anemone that seems healthy, tan colored, shaded green with pink tips, the 2 clowns hardly ever leave it. I also have a Fuman Chu Loin, hasn't had any problems, eats, roams the tank freely, haven't gotten stung yet, a banded goby who is doing his best to keep the sand clean despite the nasty rock i have in there. Red algae has been a little bit of a problem, only have one snail now, know i need more. I also have a small hermit crab.

Other than the uncured live rock I have had one other disaster in the tank. I had originally stacked my rock too close to the filter stem, and had my first bt anemone get too close during the night and I woke up to a tank of milky water. I did my best to clean up the mess, did a water change, took a water sample to a DIFFERENT LFS, and have gotten that very bad situation under control.

Soooooooo...... with my my tank and littlle buddies

24x18x13
2x65 watt Coralife light (from www.il-solutions.com only 136 with shipping)
2 maroon yellow stripe clowns
Fuman Chu Lion
Banded Goby
1 bag of sand (i honestly forget the weight of it, more thank covers the bottom)
Getting a protein skimmer
Have a 10 gallon tank i use to cure my water and keep my ghost shrimp for the lion but not a good light or filter with it.

I need a lot of suggestions to help get this tank back on track. I have had little help from my LFS, hope I provided you with enough, and not too much info.....

Thanks
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Old 02-06-2003, 06:05 PM   #2
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Well, for starters, unfortunately, you have quite a bio-load on your hands even with out the LR. You should only at this point be able to only handle 2 to 3 inches of fish. Your tank is still fairly new to even hold that amount. The LR has now induced the cycle peiod all over again. If you can, you may want to take the LR out of your tank and convert your 10 gal into a curing tank for the LR. Otherwise, your 24 gal could rise up to very unacceptable levels of ammonia. Frequent water changes may reduce the amount of ammonia, but won't eliminate it. You will have to closely eye the fish for any signs of undue stress and wait it out until the cycle stops. I just hope your inhabitants live through it. I strongly suggest the 10 gal for a curing tank. Any of the more experienced guys will lend and ear and advise to this also... I ust wanted to share my opinion..
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Old 02-06-2003, 06:13 PM   #3
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I agree with Timbo...get most, if not all, of the rock out and cure it in another container. A rubbermaid tub with a powerhead in it will work. If the rock continues to cycle in the tank, I fear you will have ammonia levels so high that you will lose fish...be a terrible shame to lose something like a Fu Man Chu! Also, how deep is your sandbed? What kind of sand did you use?
You're on the right track. The lighting system sounds great. Are you using 50/50 bulbs?
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