Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 11-29-2011, 08:24 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Mechanicsburg, PA
Posts: 36
Question Buying Live Rock and getting two fish free! Tomorrow!! Help!

My tank isn't even plumbed yet. I have to clean it out still.

I have a local person selling everything but the tank (which is perfect because I already bought last week). I wasn't expecting the fish but people don't want them. There are only two fish, a large clown (about 4 inches) and a large blue damsel (about 6 inches). Both fish appeared healthy and active.

I am buying the live rock and the skimmer setup. But they only accepted my offer if I took the fish. I don't mind them, but I don't want them to suffer or die.

So, what is the best way to:

1.) keep the fish alive while I setup and cycle my tank (can I keep them in a small 10 gallon with the existing water and do water changes?)

Anyone on this forum live in south central PA (Harrisburg area)? If so please let me know if you would "hold" the two fish for me while I get up and running.

2.) whats the quickest cycle method, given that I have live rock and I will buy live sand tomorrow

my new (used) tank is 75 gallons with a built in overflow

there is a 30 gallon sump which will be divided into three sections, incoming water to skimmer section, bubble trap baffle setup into refugium,

3.) the person has all this green hairy stuff growing in the tank, so the rocks have them too, is a good scrub and rinse with freshwater enough to clean it, I don't want to destroy any good things growing

4.) the skimmer works well but it needs a good cleaning, how do I clean the skimmer and pump

not sure what brand the skimmer is, there were no obvious markings on the visible parts but it is working well on a large 120 gallon tank, the people are not doing water changes and only minimal maintenance and did have a power outage for a day so no filtering, they just bought the house and the setup came with it

I read that to keep the rock alive it needs to be kept in marine water with a powerhead and a heater. Any other tips?

Also, I am going to do a cleaning of my 75 gallon tank tomorrow with vinegar to get all the caked on gunk out. After rinsing well and checnking for leaks, can I start the saltwater mix? Can I add in the rocks and sand or do I need to wait a day? I think the wait 24 hrs thing is for water changes, right?

I do have lights, a Coralife pc setup.

That is all I can think of for now. If you can give me ANY tips or warnings, PLEASE do so. I would be very appreciative. I meant to take this slow, but all of a sudden I have fish! Yikes!
__________________

__________________
SEA_Monkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2011, 12:20 AM   #2
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Mechanicsburg, PA
Posts: 36
I think I got the quick cycling resolved. My main concern now is how to maintain the fish while the cycle occurs since it will be at least a week.
__________________

__________________
SEA_Monkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2011, 01:34 AM   #3
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
TLTGF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Howell, MI
Posts: 2,123
Quote:
Originally Posted by SEA_Monkey View Post
My tank isn't even plumbed yet. I have to clean it out still.

I have a local person selling everything but the tank (which is perfect because I already bought last week). I wasn't expecting the fish but people don't want them. There are only two fish, a large clown (about 4 inches) and a large blue damsel (about 6 inches). Both fish appeared healthy and active.

I am buying the live rock and the skimmer setup. But they only accepted my offer if I took the fish. I don't mind them, but I don't want them to suffer or die.

So, what is the best way to:

1.) keep the fish alive while I setup and cycle my tank (can I keep them in a small 10 gallon with the existing water and do water changes?)

Anyone on this forum live in south central PA (Harrisburg area)? If so please let me know if you would "hold" the two fish for me while I get up and running.

2.) whats the quickest cycle method, given that I have live rock and I will buy live sand tomorrow

my new (used) tank is 75 gallons with a built in overflow

there is a 30 gallon sump which will be divided into three sections, incoming water to skimmer section, bubble trap baffle setup into refugium,

3.) the person has all this green hairy stuff growing in the tank, so the rocks have them too, is a good scrub and rinse with freshwater enough to clean it, I don't want to destroy any good things growing

4.) the skimmer works well but it needs a good cleaning, how do I clean the skimmer and pump

not sure what brand the skimmer is, there were no obvious markings on the visible parts but it is working well on a large 120 gallon tank, the people are not doing water changes and only minimal maintenance and did have a power outage for a day so no filtering, they just bought the house and the setup came with it

I read that to keep the rock alive it needs to be kept in marine water with a powerhead and a heater. Any other tips?

Also, I am going to do a cleaning of my 75 gallon tank tomorrow with vinegar to get all the caked on gunk out. After rinsing well and checnking for leaks, can I start the saltwater mix? Can I add in the rocks and sand or do I need to wait a day? I think the wait 24 hrs thing is for water changes, right?

I do have lights, a Coralife pc setup.

That is all I can think of for now. If you can give me ANY tips or warnings, PLEASE do so. I would be very appreciative. I meant to take this slow, but all of a sudden I have fish! Yikes!
1.) The best way to keep fish alive during a cycle is to take them to a Local Fish Store and drop them off. There is no good way to keep fish alive while giving them daily ammonia poisoning.
a. However, yes, you could try to QT the fish in a 10 gallon and do very frequent water changes to combat the nitrates, however, this may stress the heck out of these fish, especially due to the fact that the cycle can take up to (6) weeks.
2.) There isnít really a quicker cycle. The best cycle, IMO, is a fishless cycle and to dose the tank with pure ammonia (Ace hardware brand works well) up to 2ppm, and wait for the beneficial bacterial to break it down. Dose the tank again, and continue to monitor until you dose to 2ppm, and within 24 hours yours ammonia is 0ppm. Then you are on your way. NO LIVING THING should be in the tank until Ammonia AND Nitrites are at 0ppm and holding.
3.) The hairy stuff is just that, hair algae, and it is a very big nuisance algae. Scrubbing it off would be a very good thing to do. You are going to have die-off of some of the stuff on the liverock during the cycle anyway, so itís not a big deal.
4.) Skimmer and pump can be cleaned with vinegar and water.
a. The skimmer will not eliminate doing Partial water changes (PWCís) no matter what size tank it is rated for.
b. PWCís are a must for replacing trace elements that your tank will need.
5.) Agreed on the LR Ė keep it in saltwater with a powerhead and heater
6.) You should start the saltwater mix tomorrow Ė typically it takes a day to mix. Using a Powerhead to mix for 24 hours is usually the best bet. You should also try to use RO/DI water. If you use tap water, you are setting yourself up for nasty algae failure. The phosphates will cause algae blooms everywhere.
7.) You should put in your LR first, then the sand after. Make sure you rinse the sand thoroughly.
a. You should use a plate to dump the water on so as not to stir up the sand as bad.
b. Others use a trash bag stretched out for the same effect.
8.) TIPS / TRICKS
a. Take the fish to the store
b. Buy a refractometer to measure salinity
c. Buy a API test kit to measure Ammo., Nitrates, Nitrites, and Ph
d. Ask a lot of questions.
e. Be patient.
__________________
TLTGF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2011, 07:29 AM   #4
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Mechanicsburg, PA
Posts: 36
Thank you TLTGF, I appreciate your time in completing such a thorough reply to my questions.

I already have the test kits (API).

I have an RO in my house set up for our drinking water. I had planned to use this to supply my tank water.

I ordered a refractometer from ebay, for now I will use one of the inexpensive plastic hydrometers.

I will atempt the QT first for the fish. If the fish appear to struggle or not eat, I will take them to That Fish Place in Lancaster. I might call them later and make sure they can take them. Maybe they can give me some store credit in return.

I am a bit calmer now. I panicked when I realized I had to deal with the lives of these fish before I was ready.
__________________
SEA_Monkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2011, 07:50 AM   #5
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Ibrahim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 2,559
Don't scrub the live rock with freshwater. You'll need saltwater otherwise you'll kill all the good bacteria.
__________________
Ibrahim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2011, 08:14 AM   #6
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Jlsardina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: SW Florida
Posts: 2,581
Send a message via AIM to Jlsardina
Quote:
Originally Posted by SEA_Monkey
Thank you TLTGF, I appreciate your time in completing such a thorough reply to my questions.

I already have the test kits (API).

I have an RO in my house set up for our drinking water. I had planned to use this to supply my tank water.

I ordered a refractometer from ebay, for now I will use one of the inexpensive plastic hydrometers.

I will atempt the QT first for the fish. If the fish appear to struggle or not eat, I will take them to That Fish Place in Lancaster. I might call them later and make sure they can take them. Maybe they can give me some store credit in return.

I am a bit calmer now. I panicked when I realized I had to deal with the lives of these fish before I was ready.
Honestly your best bet- and the fishes safest route is to turn them in. If your qt isn't already cycled you are basically doing the same as throwing them in the main tank. Besides- if you get store credit for them you could consider it free money towards your first real purchase of livestock.

For the algae- you can scrub it- also, emerald crabs will help to clean it up once you are cycled as well
__________________
Jlsardina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2011, 08:43 AM   #7
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
LyndaB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 5,816
Quote:
Originally Posted by SEA_Monkey View Post
I am a bit calmer now. I panicked when I realized I had to deal with the lives of these fish before I was ready.
This is never a good position to be in.... for the fishkeeper or the fish. Hopefully your free fish won't become deceased fish.
__________________
75: blood parrots, featherfin cat, emperor tetras, turquoise rainbowfish, BN plecos, japanese trapdoor; 46: WCMM, gold inca snails, ghost, bamboo & amano shrimp, kuhli loaches, rummynose & ember tetras, endlers, platies, flame gourami, guppies; 16: pygmy, peppered, loxozonus corys, otos, assassins, RCS ... ~ Research PRIOR to purchase.... ~
LyndaB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2011, 08:50 AM   #8
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Mechanicsburg, PA
Posts: 36
Thank you Ibrahim and Jlsardina for the great advices. I will nix the freshwater and use saltwater to scrub/rinse the live rock, I will search for some emerald crabs locally so I know where to go when I am done cycling, and I will be calling LFSs to see if they can take the fish.

As for the salt, if I hope to move to corals at a later point (once I know I can maintain the tank with just fish and get the maintenance routine established) should I start out with reef salt or just stick with the cheaper regular marine salt until I am actually ready to start a reef? I will most likely be using the Instant Ocean brand. It would cost about $15 to $20 more per 160 gallon bucket to get the reef ready salt.
__________________
SEA_Monkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2011, 09:34 AM   #9
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
carey's Avatar

POTM Champion
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Deltona, Florida
Posts: 20,966
I wouldnt switch to reef salt until you have a good amount of corals in the tank. Thats what I did. I also use I/O reef crystals. Check out dr's foster & smith online, I get 200g boxes of reef salt for less than $50
__________________
180g- Mostly BIG fish and some coral. ~80g Nuvo- My coral tank with "happy fish"~ 90g- FOWLR Not the not happy type of fish~ 125g- Freshwater Malawi Cichlids ~10g- Nuvo- The refugees from the Ich of '18
carey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2011, 09:50 AM   #10
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: NC
Posts: 3,287
If you don't turn in the fish or can't, I know several stores that won't take any fish back. The rock in a bare bottom tank set up as a qt is your best bet. I know I have only gotten used tanks and with in one week I had my ammonia and nitrites down to 0 the nitrates didn't get down to 0 for about a month but most tanks will have a certain amount of nitrates from time to time.

Emerald crabs are the best for bubble algae but for hair algae nerite and turbo snails if you go with nerite make sure they can't get out and they are both bulldozers so keep that in mind when you get corals.

If your rock looks as bad as some rock I got hold of it might take some time but it will come back around. Take off what you can with every water change and don't turn on your lights for a few days or even a couple of weeks since you won't have any corals it won't matter.
__________________
joy13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2011, 10:54 AM   #11
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Jlsardina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: SW Florida
Posts: 2,581
Send a message via AIM to Jlsardina
http://algaecontrol.wikidot.com/hair-algae-control

Not a scholary site by any means- but will help some.

Emeralds are very good at cleaning up hair algae. They are also known for bubble algae clean up as well. I had two emeralds wipe out all my hair algae in a 90 gallon reef after its cycle in a week. Plus, they are entertaining to watch. Do your research on what's best for your clean up crew though. Just remember to wait til your cycle is complete or you will just prolong it.
__________________
Jlsardina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2011, 02:24 PM   #12
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Mechanicsburg, PA
Posts: 36
WOW! Thank goodness the tank my rocks came from was not nearly as bad as the tank in the link from Jlsardina. If I didn't take them, I am guessing it would have gotten there soon enough though.

I really do appreciate everyone's comments and advice. As a beginner, the more input the better chances I have of success.

I will soon start a log of my progress in a new post and add photos as well.

The two fish made it home alive. I have them with the original tank water and a few small live rocks without algae on them. I am planning to test the water to see what the levels are. Depending the results, I will do a water change. I think I will need one anyhow. But I need to mix the new water and let it sit overnight, if I recall correctly.

The skimmer has no label on it. I have NO idea what I bought. Once it is cleaned or as clean as I can get it, I will post a photo. Maybe someone can id it for me. I need to make sure it will be able to handle the water load. It cam with a RIO 2100 pump. I have it soaking in fresh water with vinegar to get all the crud off. It has these whitish root-like growths all over it. I took as much as I could apart. I just hope I can get it back to working order.
__________________
SEA_Monkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2011, 09:59 PM   #13
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
xxStLxx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: California
Posts: 277
The whitish stuff is probably bleached out coraline algae which is good algae for in the tank. just completely submerse the skimmer in the vinegar water solution for a day or two and it will wipe out relatively easily with a sponge.

The hair algae on the rocks will have an initial die off as you cycle the tank, but will come back at full force if you dont keep you phosphates and silica levels down in the tank. Running Chemi-pure elite and a bag of carbon can usually help with this. Also while you cycle the tank keep the lights off completely and that will kill most algae or bacteria outbreaks. Once the tank is cycled bring the lights back on for a hour every week adding a hour and you can also add a CUC, which will go to work around the clock eating algae and detrius.

Hold off on fish till a week after all of your numbers are steady 0 ammo and nitrite, you should have a little nitrate.

Keep us posted on your progress
__________________
xxStLxx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2011, 10:32 AM   #14
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Mechanicsburg, PA
Posts: 36
Good morning! Seems my fish made it! At least so far. I have them in a 20 gallon aqueon setup. I added Instant ocean Bio-Spira and Prime to new saltwater. After a few hours I tested the water and it was low on the pH (7.5) and 0 for ammonia and Nitrites. There was some Nitrates (40). I had placed the best looking smaller cleaner rock in the tank also and a heater.

It was very late and the chances of their survival in the small tank (not enough water and no room for a heater so getting cold) they were in was much less than the bigger one. After a short acclimation time floating in a bag, in they went.

Also, I was told they were a black clown and a blue damsel. But they look like a maroon clown with gold stripes and a hippo tang to me.

Today I need to get them food. I expect they are very hungry. They are both looking good, swimming around peacefully. The tang is funny since he tries to hide and the rocks are shallow, so he flattens himself in corners or on the bottom. I thought he was sick or stressed but late last night I stayed up reading up on the fish and this seems normal behavior. The clown is very social, he comes over and swims near you. I hope they continue to make it, I have gotten attached to them already!

I am off to shop for supplies. I also need to finish working on the main tank. I will get the ro water set aside little by little as I work on cleaning and completing the main tank.

I have the live rock in a 20 gallon brute (new) garbage can with heater and power head running. It has the original water in it. There is too much rock so the top pieces are not immersed. The cover won't even close completely. I should have gotten the larger 32 gallon one but it seemed so huge. I don't even know if all this rock will fit in my 75 gallon tank. How do I figure out the weight of the rock? Do I add rock to my tank by weight or by size? Some are heavy some are very light but large. If I weigh the rocks, the water in it (they hold water in all the crevices) alters the weight.

The skimmer looks like the aqua medic t-1000 turboflotor. It has the rio 2100 pump. I located a detailed instruction/setup document online. At least now I can get it back together correctly.

If anyone has an opinion... are there any parts/tubing that I should replace? How well does it need to be cleaned?

As for the plumbing, should i use NEW tubing or just clean out the original as best i can (hard to get all the way in there)?

Should i use the flexible plastic tubing (grey in color) and black plastic return tubing or get PVC?

Also, I picked up this thing called a flow meter. It is made by Tom Aquarium Products. You connect it to the return line and it displays the flow rate from 50-250 gph. Anyone have one of these? Is it worth it to connect it? I am not sure how to measure my flow rate otherwise. More research needed.

I also need advice on the best number and placement for valves. I will need to pick them up since there doesn't appear to be ANY in the equipment I have so far.

Thanks again for all the help.

Oh, and as for the carbon, where is the best location for the carbon bag?
__________________
SEA_Monkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2011, 11:30 AM   #15
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Jlsardina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: SW Florida
Posts: 2,581
Send a message via AIM to Jlsardina
Quote:
Originally Posted by SEA_Monkey
Good morning! Seems my fish made it! At least so far. I have them in a 20 gallon aqueon setup. I added Instant ocean Bio-Spira and Prime to new saltwater. After a few hours I tested the water and it was low on the pH (7.5) and 0 for ammonia and Nitrites. There was some Nitrates (40). I had placed the best looking smaller cleaner rock in the tank also and a heater.

It was very late and the chances of their survival in the small tank (not enough water and no room for a heater so getting cold) they were in was much less than the bigger one. After a short acclimation time floating in a bag, in they went.

Also, I was told they were a black clown and a blue damsel. But they look like a maroon clown with gold stripes and a hippo tang to me.

Today I need to get them food. I expect they are very hungry. They are both looking good, swimming around peacefully. The tang is funny since he tries to hide and the rocks are shallow, so he flattens himself in corners or on the bottom. I thought he was sick or stressed but late last night I stayed up reading up on the fish and this seems normal behavior. The clown is very social, he comes over and swims near you. I hope they continue to make it, I have gotten attached to them already!

I am off to shop for supplies. I also need to finish working on the main tank. I will get the ro water set aside little by little as I work on cleaning and completing the main tank.

I have the live rock in a 20 gallon brute (new) garbage can with heater and power head running. It has the original water in it. There is too much rock so the top pieces are not immersed. The cover won't even close completely. I should have gotten the larger 32 gallon one but it seemed so huge. I don't even know if all this rock will fit in my 75 gallon tank. How do I figure out the weight of the rock? Do I add rock to my tank by weight or by size? Some are heavy some are very light but large. If I weigh the rocks, the water in it (they hold water in all the crevices) alters the weight.

The skimmer looks like the aqua medic t-1000 turboflotor. It has the rio 2100 pump. I located a detailed instruction/setup document online. At least now I can get it back together correctly.

If anyone has an opinion... are there any parts/tubing that I should replace? How well does it need to be cleaned?

As for the plumbing, should i use NEW tubing or just clean out the original as best i can (hard to get all the way in there)?

Should i use the flexible plastic tubing (grey in color) and black plastic return tubing or get PVC?

Also, I picked up this thing called a flow meter. It is made by Tom Aquarium Products. You connect it to the return line and it displays the flow rate from 50-250 gph. Anyone have one of these? Is it worth it to connect it? I am not sure how to measure my flow rate otherwise. More research needed.

I also need advice on the best number and placement for valves. I will need to pick them up since there doesn't appear to be ANY in the equipment I have so far.

Thanks again for all the help.

Oh, and as for the carbon, where is the best location for the carbon bag?
Ok. If you are reading 40 trates do a water change.

You can really just weigh the rock on a bathroom scale if really needed. For a 75 gal tank you need at least 75 lbs. if its reef you may want closer to 150 lbs.

I used all soft plumbing- but Pvs remains a lot cleaner looking in the end. Just make sure it's exactly where you want it.

As far as carbon- if you don't have a reactor- put it in your sump in a area with higher flow. Make sure to change it out as directed
__________________
Jlsardina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2011, 12:35 PM   #16
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
xxStLxx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: California
Posts: 277
Def do a water change to get the trates down. 5-10 is a good area for FOWLR. I do 1lb per gallon of rock even in my reef tanks and everything is fine. Enough room to put all my frags but still open enough for the fish to swim around and be happy. Just make sure that you have enough waterflow that can get in and around your rocks so theres no dead spots.

What lights are you running?
__________________
xxStLxx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2011, 12:54 PM   #17
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
BallinCrew10's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Auburn MA
Posts: 944
Fowlr systems can handle more than 5-10ppm of nitrates. Obviously the lower the better, but if it's just fish higher nitrates isn't as big of a deal.
__________________
BallinCrew10 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2011, 09:44 PM   #18
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Mechanicsburg, PA
Posts: 36
Oh gosh, my darn lab (dog) drank out of my 5 gallon bucket of RO water that I filled to make a batch of saltwater for the next change! Can I still use it? Do I dump it and start over?

Get distracted for a second and my lab gets into it! She thought I gave her a nice big TALL bowl of water all for herself! I have a little yorkie too, but he can't reach to top of the bucket.
__________________
SEA_Monkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2011, 09:52 PM   #19
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
BallinCrew10's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Auburn MA
Posts: 944
I'd dump it out, might not be necessary but that's what I'd do.
__________________
BallinCrew10 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2011, 10:56 PM   #20
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Mechanicsburg, PA
Posts: 36
Okay, I agree with you BallinCrew10, I dumped it. I guess better safe than sorry. I rinsed out the bucket with tap water and set the bucket IN THE SINK this time.
__________________

__________________
SEA_Monkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
live, live rock, rock

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off








» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:59 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×