Hello Everyone. I am a newbie and I appreciate the time you all take to read my post. I have alot to say and I hope that as a 1st time poster - that I do not offend this forum.
To put it simple. I am lost, confused and overwhelmed!!
The Good News is that I have not started.
A family member has moved - in turn I was given his entire set up as a free gift.
First let me start by telling you what I have:
(1) 55 Gallon Glass Tank
(2) Skilter 250 Power Filter w/ Protien Skimmer
(1) EHEIM 2215 External Canister Filter (Spray Bar for Tank)
(1) Custom Sealife Double Helix Ultra Violet Sterilizer 9W
(2) 48" 260W Satellite SmartPaq Dual Lamp (10,000K/460NM Actinic) with four built in lunar moon beams.
These are the Chemicals given to me:
(1) Bottle of Seachem Prime
(1) Bottle of Nutrafin Cycle
(1) Box/Bag of ROWAphos Phospate Remover/Absorbent
(1) Box/Bag of IONIC
(1) Bottle of Kent Marine SuperBuffer-DKH
(1) Box/Bag of Tropical Marin "ELIMI-PHOS"
(1) Bottle of Marine Land - Black Diamond Activated Carbon
(1) Bottle of Bacter Vital
Now this tank was never taken care of. There are no fish. All equipment runs perfect. The tank was dormant for over 6 months. Water smelled like Rotten Eggs. The water to my surprise was clear but ALL rock in the tank was full of this green fuzzy algae. Rocks looked like they had a green rug. My Aunt told me that ALL this rock was taken from the ground (not purchased at the store). Im not even sure if it is Live Rock or not. My Aunt proceeded to tell me that the rock could be considered "Lime Rock" taken about 20 feet underground at a construction site in Miami (The Federal Courthouse was building an underground tunnel). In any case this is the history of "the mystery rock".
This is my current situation:
All equipment cleaned with Tap water (No chemicals). All Filter media thrown out (bought all new). 55 Gallon Tank washed out with Tap water (No Chemicals), dried, and sits empty. All Rock (approx 60lbs) was put in a 30 gallon trash can, filled with Garden Hose water and one gallon of pure bleach for 24 hours. Needless to say - All rock is White and spic and span. I noticed that indeed some rock had to be purchased as I noticed branches with colorful pink, purple and red spots. Only the Branches (just a few small pieces) have this look - the rest are just pure white rock at the moment. After sitting for 24 hours in Bleach and water - I then rinsed all the rock with a garden hose. All the rock and branches now sit in my 30 gallon trash can full of garden hose water with no trace or smell of bleach.
OK sooooooo - where do I begin?
First things first.......
Do I even dare to use this rock? Is this gonna cause problems later? Bite the bullet and buy Live Rock? Can I get away with what I did to the Rock?
Sooooo many chemicals! Where to begin! What to use? When? Where? Why? How?
I hope spelling out my situation and what I have will help you to teach me the process of owning my very first Aquarium! I am so excited and at the same time at a stand still. I am so scared to make the first move.
PLEASE HELP ME!!!