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 03-25-2008, 12:05 AM   #1
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
mentallylost's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Olympia, Washington
Posts: 301
Call it a revival

Hey yíall,

I adopted a 29 gallon FOWLR from my roommate today, and Iíve got to tell you that itís in bad shape. Itís been set up for about a year and itís seen a lot of death and disease. My roommate has now all but given up on it. Truth is told, I donít think that he was ever really into it. He already had a 55 gallon FO set up in his room, and decided to give a reef a try. He promptly bought about 40 lbs of live rock, some live sand, and a clean-up crew. That whole crew died. Over the next few months, just about all the fish that he had been putting in also died. In fact just about everything in the 55 gallon also died. What didnít die there was moved into the 29 gallon so it could die there. Yeah, lots of death. But can you expect? I donít think that he has ever changed the water. Anyway, remaining alive is a hawkfish, two yellow chromis, and a sand sifting starfish along with a few snails.

I have taken over the 29 gallon tank, and the 55 has been disassembled. I need to bring this tank back to life. Now donít just assume that Iím clueless with aquariums. I had been keeping African Cichlids for about the last five or six years very successfully in three different tanks. A 10, 80, and 125 gallon tanks, but I need some help. Since the apartment came to be, and now having roommates Iíve had to pack mine away for now. I have zero experience with salt water. All my experience is with African Cichlids.

So that all brings us to where we are now. When I got control of the tank today, I promptly jumped up and pulled out the test kit to see where we stand. I gotÖ

Specific Gravity = 1.025
Salinity = 34
Ph = 7.8
Ammonia = .25 > .50
Nitrite = 0
Nitrate = 0 > 5
Temp = 76* (checked by two thermometers)

I didnít like the ammonia, so I ran on out to the local WalMart, and picked up 6 gallons of distilled water. Then I ran over to the LFS to pick up some Instant Ocean salt and a new light (ZooMed Actinic). I have the salt water mixed now, and tomorrow I change the 6 gallons. I figure that in about 3 or so more days Iíll change another 6 gallons.

Iíd really like to bring this tank back to life as a reef tank. I know that Iíll need new lights and am not afraid of needing to put some money into this if I end up feeling that salt water is for me. But for now, before I start adding more livestock I need a healthy tank.

Now if you read all that, do yíall have any suggestions? Iíd appreciate them.
__________________

__________________
mentallylost is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2008, 02:30 AM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: not here anymore
Posts: 5,338
Welcome aboard! Saw your post in the "Welcome" section and it definitely doesn't sound like you're a newbie! Sounds like I'm the newbie!

If the nitrates are 0-5ppm, it sounds like someone has been doing something to it at least. I would've expected that to be higher.

You're right... the ammonia isn't right. From all the death & destruction you describe, it sounds like the roommate never properly cycled the tank. But if this 29g has been up for a year, it should be cycled by now! Is there something dead in a rock somewhere rotting away?

Your pH could be higher (8.1 - 8.3), but will most likely come up after the water changes. The 6g change tomorrow sounds like a good idea (Don't forget to bring that water up to temp before adding.) as well as the one in a few days. Your temp could be just a tad bit higher (78-79 or so is my preference), but 76 is fine for a FOWLR. I probably wouldn't mess with it at this time.

It sounds like you've got things under control and have a plan. A good book for SW would be Robert Fenner's "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist". A lot of it is probably old news to you, but just thought I'd throw it out there.

And while I'm sure others will have different opinions on this, I wouldn't expect to be able to add much more fish to that tank. Maybe one more small goby or firefish or the like would be it. SW tanks are less heavily stocked than FW tanks due to less oxygen saturation.
__________________

__________________
Kurt_Nelson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2008, 10:08 AM   #3
SW REEF 18+ YEARS
Community Admin
 
melosu58's Avatar



Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Virginia
Posts: 38,249
Sounds like you have a pretty good grasp of what`s going on. PWC`s will definitely help. Do a few of them and then recheck your water parameters.
__________________

SITE ADMINISTRATOR

You can view many of my fish and corals in my photo albums in my profile.

View my tank


AA Community Rules|AA TOS

Forums 101 - posting, accounts, basics
melosu58 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2008, 10:48 AM   #4
AA Team Emeritus
 
roka64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 13,860
Send a message via AIM to roka64 Send a message via Yahoo to roka64
I agree with the others. Right now, I would work on the ammonia, the pH and temp will be ok for now as long as they are stable. I also like them a little higher, but stability is more important than "perfect". Keep up the good work and keep us updated.
__________________
Age is relative, you are only as old as you act....of course, this works in reverse....

Questions loved, heeded advice greatly appreciated!

Vote for AA
Good reading about:
Nitrogen Cycle
Fishless Cycling
Need more help?
Articles
Acronym List

--Scott
roka64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2008, 11:38 AM   #5
AA Team Emeritus
 
austinsdad's Avatar


 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Accokeek, Maryland
Posts: 7,694
I'd also check the age of the nitrate test kit. Wondering if that reading is accurate. Surprising if it is.

When you do that water change, I'd vacuum the sand well. Maybe even considering rinsing all the rock in SW and getting any dead or decaying stuff off of it.
__________________
-Ray-

"Life may not be the party we hoped for but while we are here we might as well dance!"

austinsdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2008, 11:43 AM   #6
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
pitt420dude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pittsburgh! Home of the 6 Time Superbowl Champs!
Posts: 1,050
Send a message via AIM to pitt420dude
I think your cichlid background will definitely help you get the fundamentals. The rest you can just ask teh salties here about. That stinks that your buddy couldnt' get into the hobby (for him anyway) lol. Good for you eh?
__________________
Thank you so much for all your help. I'm back into the hobby with a new vigor!

LOOK! A NEW LEAF!!!!!
pitt420dude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2008, 01:49 AM   #7
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
mentallylost's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Olympia, Washington
Posts: 301
Talk about a snail and crab cemetery. I near disassembled the entire tank today and I cannot tell you how many snail and crab shells I pulled out of there. The more sand that I sifted through, the more shells I found. I’m sure some of them were still decomposing. That’s probably where the ammonia came from. Today’s 20% water change should help a bit with that though. I’ll do another one in two or three more days.

I did manage to get on over to our local Safeway (grocery store) to see if they have a RO water machine, and they do. It’s only .41 to refill your one gallon bottles, so I refilled all six again. .41 is a lot better that $1.00 per bottle.

Anyway, it’s got a Fluval 205 canister filter, and I did tear it down completely. After looking inside it, I’m not all that certain that it had ever been cleaned before. But now it’s cleaned. I rinsed the floss out; it appears to be in good shape. And I’ll probably replace the charcoal in a few days when I do the next water change. It’s got a power head also, but I’m not sure what size or kind. I’ll look on the next water change.

The test kit that I am using is an API Master Saltwater Test Kit, and it’s only about 6 months old. I was a bit concerned of the possibility of testing with expired chemicals, but looking I couldn’t find any expiration date on the box. Do they expire?
__________________
mentallylost is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2008, 02:02 AM   #8
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: not here anymore
Posts: 5,338
They do expire, but I wouldn't expect any issues with one that's only 6 months old. The ones in my cabinet are older than that... by a little. (Guess that doesn't mean they're any good though!)

In sifting through the sand bed, you might have stirred up some nasties, so if you see a little ammonia blip don't be surprised.
__________________
Kurt_Nelson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2008, 10:54 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
mentallylost's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Olympia, Washington
Posts: 301
Did another 20% (6 gallon) water change today, and managed to get the water parameters moving a little bit in my favor.

Specific Gravity = 1.024
Salinity = 32
Ph = 7.9 (up from 7.8 )
Ammonia = .25 (thatís down from .25 > .50)
Nitrite = 0
Nitrate = 0 (also down from 0 > 5)
Temp = 79* (up from 76*)

Itís still not all the way there, but is heading in the right direction. Hopefully when I do my next PWC in three or so days, the ammonia will finally be zero. Weíll see.

I arranged the power head so that it is now creating a more turbulent surface. Iím hoping that this will continue to help raise the Ph (itís up .1 from the other day), but in readjusting I now have little current on the bottom half of the tank. Is this acceptable, or should I start thinking of getting a second power head for the bottom half of the tank?
__________________
mentallylost is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2008, 07:23 AM   #10
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Wizzard~Of~Ozz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,039
Send a message via MSN to Wizzard~Of~Ozz
Quote:
The test kit that I am using is an API Master Saltwater Test Kit, and it’s only about 6 months old. I was a bit concerned of the possibility of testing with expired chemicals, but looking I couldn’t find any expiration date on the box. Do they expire?
Yes. 5 years. In the upper right corner of the label is a lot no. the last 4 digits are the manufacture date. I have yet to see one that expired. Nitrate test kits often go bad early because of the "shake bottle 2 for 30 seconds".. if you don't, even once, then the test kit has the wrong ratio of chems and it will never be accurate (not that they are all that accurate to begin with.)

I would consider a second powerhead. the koralia line of PH's are great for getting movement through most levels of the tank.
__________________

__________________
120 Gal SW, 150lbs Prem. Fiji, 23Gal Sump, 2x250w 15K MH, 4x65w Actinic
3 x Halichoeres Chrysus (1 surfed), 3 x Nemateleotris magnifica, 1 x Centropyge bicolor, 11 x Scarlet Hermits, 6 x Zebra Hermits, 40 x Astrea Snails, 6 x Nassarius Snails, 3 x Cerith Snails
Wizzard~Of~Ozz is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
val

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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Red Belly Pacus revival HELP NOW! Tentacles Freshwater & Brackish - Unhealthy Fish 4 10-30-2006 07:29 AM
So call me crazy! BigTruck6o2 Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 14 01-26-2006 09:19 PM
Call me a Newbie Fishyfanatic Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 13 08-21-2005 10:51 AM
Need Help: Tank Revival Saltz Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 10 05-15-2005 03:46 PM
Now thats what I call service. fishfreek General Retailers 7 05-19-2003 09:17 AM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:30 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.