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Old 02-23-2011, 03:33 PM   #1
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Brand New to SW and have questions

Hi there. I've been lurking for a bit but finally registered so I can have some fun and get my stupid questions answered. LOL

Two weeks ago I started a 29 gallon SW tank. I put live rock in last week and live sand directly from a 300 gallon reef tank. I may have gone a tad over board on the rock, I have 48 lbs and 31 lbs of the sand. I have an aquaclear on back for my mechanical/chemical filtration and a protein skimmer (not hooked up). I just got my T5 fixture today so thats now up.

I have been testing the water everyday now and I have 0 of everything. (ph 8.2). No nitrites or anything. Is this normal? Do I need to do anything else? Or is it a waiting game?

I might add that I want this to be a reef only tank pretty much. I'm not even thinking fish, if any I'm thinking a goby, blenny and a yellow tang. I'm mostly interested in corals and other pretty things.

Looking forward to replies, I have soo many questions, I'm just starting with the basics.

I attached "hopefully" a shot of the tank. And yes, I know the bubbles on the background look horrible under flash. Gonna redo probably unless algae covers it.


I have to add that the LFS guys are insisting I add damsels to cycle. I do not want to harm some innocent fish and even if they do survive I don't want to go digging around my tank to catch them to return them.
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I have a mix of many different saltwater fish amongst my tanks, but I love my Tangs most of all.
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:49 PM   #2
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From what I've read on this site I think the tang won't work in your tank. There need lots of room to swim and such. But that's just what think I read. I'm sure somebody who knows more will comment. Nice looking tank though.
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
I have to add that the LFS guys are insisting I add damsels to cycle. I do not want to harm some innocent fish and even if they do survive I don't want to go digging around my tank to catch them to return them
Quote:
I have been testing the water everyday now and I have 0 of everything. (ph 8.2). No nitrites or anything. Is this normal? Do I need to do anything else? Or is it a waiting game?
Go to the articles section and on there is a great write up about cycling your tank. The short version is, don't add a damsel. You are right that it is really not fun for the fish and even less fun dealing with a damsel in your tank after it is done cycling. You can use uncooked, unseasoned shrimp from the grocery store to cycle the tank. If the rock/sand is already cycled then it will be a really short cycle for you.

Quote:
...thinking a goby, blenny and a yellow tang.
Yes, yes, No. Goby and blennys would be great fish for this tank. Tang needs a much much larger tank so pass on that one.

Welcome to the site. Don't worry about questions. I did the same thing when I got to the forum and so does just about everyone else. The articles section and the search tool are also your friend. There is a good chance that most of your questions are covered and you can get your answers instantly by doing a little digging. If not, post away thats what we are here for.
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:57 PM   #4
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Wow replies already. I feel so loved. hehe Well, the Tang was just a thought, I was kinda thinking the same thing. too small of a tank. Good enough.

I read the articles and some say you can use amonia instead of a shrimp? Will the stuff that is alive die tho thru the cycle? I have the tiniest little anemone growing i think, its pink and bout a 1/4 inch.
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:10 PM   #5
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have u got a pic of anemone. what about a pair of young clownfish they are quiet hardy and can host some corals and anemones.
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:26 PM   #6
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You can use ammonia as well but i think it is easier to just use the shrimp. You have to make sure you find pure ammonia with no other chemicals or additives. Some things may die durning the cycle but it will depend on how high your levels get and how tuff the animal in question is. Since your rock is cycled i would think that the anemone will probably make it. I wouldn't put any fish in the tank until you make sure that it is finished cycling though.
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:37 PM   #7
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Can't get a shot of the anemone, way too tiny. I hope he makes it.

Ok, so I have regular non scented non detergent ammonia. I'm supposed to dose it to 3-5 ppm i believe. Well, the thing is I just added about a cup of it and I'm still getting no reading. I have clear water in the test tube. I went to another bottle of drops and it hasnt changed. Still a clear result. I know its in there to a significant amount since I have one of those hang on insta read meters hanging inside and its reading max at .5ppm.
Did i totally just do a bonehead move by putting too much in? Anyone cycle their tank with ammonia? I feel like a fool putting that stuff in my tank now......

Ok just checked the tank and I'm doing a water change. The anemone closed up and I now have things that were once on the rock floating.
I added that ammonia tsp by tsp too. and tested after each dose. It took forever. I may have some bad testing fluid....[moderator edit]...I don't believe I did this..
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:45 PM   #8
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I would take a sample in to your LFS and have them test it for ammonia. That way you can rule out if your test kit is bad or not. You will always get a little die off when you do a cycle so there is no need to worry yet. Let us know when you get it tested by the LFS.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:51 PM   #9
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I brought a sample of 2 of my tanks into petco and am confused about the whole thing.

They only use strips, no test tubes but as soon as she dipped the ammonia one it went off the charts. So yep, an issue with my testing solution. She replaced the two bottles i had and off I went. Now it gets confusing tho. I tested immediately when i got home and got the same results, no color. With both the new bottles she gave me. Seems odd that four bottles were bad....My strips and theirs both show high levels so I went and did a 50% or more water change and retested with all the materials.
Strips show max level and api kit shows no color just a milky kinda shade.

What now...more testing of course in the AM but then another water change?
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180g Reef - 60g Rimless Reef -90G FOWLR- 125g Malawi Cichlids- 40b REEF- 34g Fresh Planted-working on- 20L FOWLR- working on
I have a mix of many different saltwater fish amongst my tanks, but I love my Tangs most of all.
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:45 PM   #10
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Do not add any livestock to the tank for at least another 2 months. You don't need to add any livestock to start a cycle. You just need time. I'm not familiar with your test kit but I use one that you have small test tubes and you fill them all with saltwater to the line. It comes with little bottles of chemicals that you put a specific number of drops into the test tube. Sometimes you add 2 chemicals. Sometimes its just one. Your also given a color chart and you match the colors that the water changes to to the chart to figure out where your at with your nitrites, nitrates, ammonia levels, etc.

I would definitely try and find a more specialized fish store then petco. I wouldnt put it past their employees to test it wrong and at the same time give you the wrong information.

And as everyone else has noted. A yellow tang or any other tang is out of the question for that size of tank. Blennies and gobies are great additions though, but I would stick to no livestock for at least another 2 months. You could however add some clean-up crew in the next 2 weeks depending on if you get your water parameters stable. This would help with cycling as well.
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