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Old 09-25-2012, 07:40 PM   #1
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Fresh Meat! FOWLR N00b. 1st SW tank

Hey at least I figured out what FOWLR meant before asking.

I'm dropping an introduction here in hopes to absorb some feedback and guidance from all you expert marine aquarists!

I've been keeping tanks on and off for a little over 20 years. I also grew up around the hobby. The last few tanks I had were Oscar tanks with a few misc cichlids. I had pretty good luck with my fish and would often grow them to such a large size that I would just sell them back to the stores and get new babies every other year or so.. I haven’t had a tank in almost 2 years and then the TV show "Tanked" got me itching again. This time however I decided to try my hand at the illustrious Saltwater Tank. I read a few books on setting up and about 2 weeks ago laid out a plan and started buying everything.

I bought a 75 Gallon Tank to get started. I used 2 bags of super fine aragonite/oolite (which took hours to rinse) then topped it off with 2 bags of Carribsea Live Sand (10x better). I should have used nothing but Live Sand (hindsight). I de-chlorinated my tap water and used Instant Ocean for my water source. I hooked up my filter and installed a temporary heater. It took all day for the sand to settle and the water to clear up. I tested the water and the Ph was 8.1 and the Nitrate, Nitrite and Ammonia were all zero and my SG was .024ish and the temp was 79-80. So It looked good to go. I let it cycle another day and then went out to my local shop and picked up a few live rocks. I popped them in and there was a nice size snail hidden in one of the rocks that crawled out and surprised me. I tested my water every day for 6 days and it was the same every day. I took a water samples to two different shops just to make sure my readings were correct and they both told me I had perfect water. I began adding fish a few days ago. I started with my favorite, an Emperor Angel and grabbed a Royal Gramma Baslet as well. Then I gathered up the family and took them to the fish store and they decided they really wanted a pair of Clown fish. We found a BEAUTIFUL pair that are already about 3" in length (about the same size as the Emperor). I've added a few more Live Rocks and the tank is looking/working fantastic. The fish are doing great. They get along and everything looks to be going perfect. I've been adding little things here and there and it's real close to being finished.

Here is my current setup:

75 Gallon Tank
Glass lids with custom stainless knobs.
Fluval 406 (100 gallon) Filter
300 Watt Hydor Inline heater (installed on the return)
Marineland Double Bright LED system
IRIS LED strip
36" LED Bubble Wall
Rena air pump (on order)
AquaClear 20 power head
Digital Timers for lights.
Digital Thermometer


Livestock:
1 Emperor Angel (Juvenile)
2 Clown Fish
1 Royal Gramma Baslet
1 Large Snail
Dozen or so micro baby snails.


I don't have the LED bubble wall going yet as the air pump hasn't come in so I’m using a power head for pushing air and water flow around the tank, Both lighting systems are on digital timers so that they get 8 hours of darkness and about an hour and a half of lunar lights in the evening and morning. During the day the IRIS strip is tuned to compliment the Marineland LEDs and provide stunning colors to the fish and Live Rock. I am currently feeding them frozen brine shrimp. I'm hoping for some suggestions with expanding their diet and offering other foods.

I'm pretty pleased with the setup. Any suggestions, concerns, warnings? Can someone tell me anything about the stuff growing on my Live Rock? I spent a good bit of time picking out some of neatest rocks I could find (the most expensive part of the setup).


Also.. I'm thinking of adding a Yellow Tang and eventually a Mandarin Goby. See any issues there?



Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:00 PM   #2
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Hi, your tank looks beautiful, really good. The only thing I doubt is if there was too little time to cycle, if i read right, your tank didn't cycle not even for a month, and all the livestock went in at the same time. That sounds like ammonia havok coming to town.

Hope that doesn't happen cause i've heard those emperor angelfish are not so hardy. Nemos can withstand a nuclear blast with no problem!

My tank has right now a 7 month old, that just last week I got all the liverock i wanted in there. And every time i've added a new fish ( I tried consistently to add one fish every month) i waited a month to allow the mini cycle to finish and the bacteria to process al the extra ammonia.


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I went for the big pile of rock there
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:00 PM   #3
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How long has this tank cycled? Looks nice so far.

I agree wit suatso though...my 40g tank cycled for months before I added any livestock. With that bio load and that short of a cycle I am very worried about your ammonia kicking in and wiping out everything.
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:04 PM   #4
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Oh sorry, as for your question, i would stop on the livestock, but the next one should definetely be the yellow tang. The mandarin is a very picky eater. Wether you buy on a regular basis some copepods, of you get alot of rock in there and wait for a healthy population of copepods to grow there
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy S.
How long has this tank cycled? Looks nice so far.

I agree wit suatso though...my 40g tank cycled for months before I added any livestock. With that bio load and that short of a cycle I am very worried about your ammonia kicking in and wiping out everything.
Jeremy, I cycled my tank for two months before I added my first yellow tang. And he's the happiest fish in may tank so far. Testing my water every week, waiting the day there was zero ammonia, and some nitrates built up, then water change, one turbo, test, waterchange, done? Fish

Also on thing I noticed, i added a whole bunch of rock, not all of it was alive, and that boosted my nitrates a lot, to 20ppm. I'm still lowering those, added the rock last monday
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:08 PM   #6
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Great looking tank so far! A few things from what I can see/infer:

1) How long was your cycle? Did you add fish right after putting your tank together?

2) I don't think you have enough rock in your tank based on your picture. You're going to want a bit more, and at least 1-1.5 lbs/gallon.

3) The 75g is unfortuantely way too small for an emperor angel. They need a good 200g + tank. They grow quite fast and get over 1ft in length. I'd suggest returning it if you can for something that will fit your tank.

4) I'd suggest getting a skimmer if you can for your tank. It will greatly improve the health of the tank. If not, your canister may work with regular maintenance as they can be nitrate factories if not kept up.

5) A yellow tang is perfect for a 75g. I'd definitely recommend one. Very nice and vibrant

6) If you want to get a mandarin, please reasearch then a bit and wait until your tank matures. They are quite difficult to keep as they only eat copepods unless they are trained to eat forzen/prepared foods. One mandarin will consume nearly all the pods in a 75g tank unless you have a fuge and/or are willing to buy pods and add them to your tank often. (Just an FYI this is rediculously expen$ive)

Hope this helps.
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suatso

Jeremy, I cycled my tank for two months before I added my first yellow tang. And he's the happiest fish in may tank so far. Testing my water every week, waiting the day there was zero ammonia, and some nitrates built up, then water change, one turbo, test, waterchange, done? Fish

Also on thing I noticed, i added a whole bunch of rock, not all of it was alive, and that boosted my nitrates a lot, to 20ppm. I'm still lowering those, added the rock last monday
I was directing my question at Tronix not you lol sorry for the confusion!
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy S.

I was directing my question at Tronix not you lol sorry for the confusion!
Hahah i know, i was just sharing some of my experience
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:14 PM   #9
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Ah alright fair enough

Yea I've had my 4g nano tank up for over 2 weeks and its still cycling. A 75g should take much longer than a week.
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:17 PM   #10
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Welcome to AA. I gotta agree with the guys here, that's a lot of fish to put in all at once into a tank that might have had a very light cycle. Hope that doesn't come back haunt you. I would check all levels everyday for a couple of weeks and do PWC as needed to keep them down. The emperor angel is my favorite fish, but gets REALLY big. You're gonna have to upgrade or take him back when he gets bigger cause they need 220g when full grown. I never got one cuz my tank's a 55g and way too small for one. Tank looks nice though. good luck!!
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