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Old 03-28-2006, 03:48 PM   #1
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Shells / Rock from Ocean

Is it a good idea to put shells and rocks I collected from the ocean long time ago in my tank?

They have been sitting for years out of the water..

Also I need 60lbs of live rock for my 30gal tank.. can I just get 10-20lbs of live rock and 40lbs of dead rock and wait until it comes alive?

I'm only going to start with 1 clownfish for now so the system will be very undemanding..
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Old 03-28-2006, 03:55 PM   #2
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I'd give the rocks a good bath first.. they are dead now but will eventually come back.

Is this tank already up and running? You should let a tank cycle for ~8 weeks before adding any fish.. the clown might not make the cycle. Read the article here on the fishless cycle.
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Old 03-28-2006, 04:20 PM   #3
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The only real iffy thing about using stuff you've collected from shore are chemical residues. Bacteria can also play a negative role, but that can be dealt with by soaking rock and shells in a bleach water solution. One parts bleach to 4 parts water. Soak for at least 30 minutes. Rinse well then soak again in heavily dechlorinated water. Rinse well and it's ready to go in the tank Even if the items have been out of the ocean for a long time, you still want to soak in bleach water. You'd be amazed at the dormancy abilities of bacteria and viruses, so it's good to sterilize regardless of how long things have been out of the ocean.

Quote:
Also I need 60lbs of live rock for my 30gal tank.. can I just get 10-20lbs of live rock and 40lbs of dead rock and wait until it comes alive?
YES YOU CAN!! The bio and natural growth on the pieces of LR will spread on over to other rocks. I like using lace rock. Great interesting shapes with holes; sometimes little tunnels. Great rock and generally costs the same as lava rock.

When the system is ready for livestock, try to wait on fish for at least a month. Focus on a cleaning crew like reef hermits, small snails, shrimps...especially a skunk cleaner shrimp. I never have fish in a reef without them. If the fish begin to break out with ich or is discovered to have some other external parasite, the shrimp will eat the parasites off the fish. Feather dusters are great for filtering small food particles floating in the currents. After the invert cleaning crew is settled, get a rock blenny. They're valuable algae eaters.

It's good to wait 2 weeks in between fish introductions...which this would make good time for a new fish in a QT. Two weeks is the average recommended time for quarantine. So, once the blenny has been in there for at least two weeks and the bio is stable, then you can introduce another fish that's been hanging in the QT for two weeks. Wait two weeks...then another fish, etc. These two weeks is typically the acclimation period for both the fish and the bio. It allows the fish to establish itself a territory and gives the bio time to populate to the new waste load.

Another good thing to keep in mind is to introduce lesser aggressives first. Damsels and clowns can be considered some of the more aggressive reef fish that aren't predators of the reef. They're fairly territorial, so try to get in any little gobies you would like prior to damsels and clowns. This order of introduction will help reduce tank aggression toward the new fish upon introduction.
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We, as a people, know so much more about outer space than we do about our own oceans. This lack of knowledge can very well spell the dangers that lay in wait for us.

The oceans surely would swallow us before a rock comes down to smite the planet of it's life.
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Old 03-29-2006, 05:30 AM   #4
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thanks for all the information!! I didn't know any of that!

time to go fishless cycling.

I had one more question,

If the hood on top of the aquarium is closed, how does the oxygen get in?

I see most hoods only have little slots.. and some hardly any.. is this bad?
I haven't bought anything to cover the top yet for this reason..
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Old 03-29-2006, 06:09 AM   #5
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Most aquarium lids aren't fully closed (some type of holes here and there or cuts in the hood allow for some type of ventilation). It should anyway. I prefer open tanks which make for better natural gas exchanges between water and atmosphere. You get more evaporation that way, but easily dealt with by topping off with FW.

A topless tank is risky because fish jump. Some more than others, but all can possibly jump right on out. Even shrimp. This is where a canopy helps (and better to deal with lights fitted in the canopy) and you can cover the back opening with screen mesh that won't rust from the water or be eaten away from the salt. You still have good ventilation without risking your fish going carpet surfing. Wrasses and anthias seem to be the Olympian jumpers of the marine aquarium...followed easily by clownfish. I swear anthias look like they fly...LOL. I've seen some incredible jumps.

Now that's for ventilation. The oxygen is in the water. It's that H2O thing

Keep the water moving and the bio stable which includes maintaining low nitrates (05 ppm for reef) to keep good oxygenation in the system. Avoid over populating.
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We, as a people, know so much more about outer space than we do about our own oceans. This lack of knowledge can very well spell the dangers that lay in wait for us.

The oceans surely would swallow us before a rock comes down to smite the planet of it's life.
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