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Old 11-29-2011, 09:24 PM   #1
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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!
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:20 AM   #2
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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.
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:34 AM   #3
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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 isnt 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 its 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 (PWCs) no matter what size tank it is rated for.
b. PWCs are a must for replacing trace elements that your tank will need.
5.) Agreed on the LR keep it in saltwater with a powerhead and heater
6.) You should start the saltwater mix tomorrow 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.
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:29 AM   #4
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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.
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:50 AM   #5
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Don't scrub the live rock with freshwater. You'll need saltwater otherwise you'll kill all the good bacteria.
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:14 AM   #6
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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
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:43 AM   #7
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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.
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:50 AM   #8
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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.
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:34 AM   #9
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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
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:50 AM   #10
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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.
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