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Old 01-08-2009, 11:02 PM   #1
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Frustrated!!

OK. I am getting really jealous looking at all these builds and how nice it all is! for starters let me tell you what i would love to have. a nice reef which my corals are just reproducing and baisically growing out of the tank lol. Seems crazy but alot of ppls tanks here are just like that.
What i have right now.
-29 gallon tank on stand glass top
-30 inch satellite power compacts not 100% shure on the wattage i think 96.. have not changed the bulb in over a year and half 2 years
- i have a wet dry with no l/r or bio balls right now havnt decided what to do
-water, LR-- which i am not too thrilled about has alota red NOT PURPLE stuff all over it so i really wouldnt mind getting rid of it and the same with the sand -- i wouldnt mind getting more sand or new rocks
i just wouldnt no what to do with the water i have now weather to through it out or keep it?
-and i have a clown and damsel , and a little bit of xenia growin
- i also want to paint my tank on the bakk...

i would SOOO appreaciate it if one of you EXPERTS!! help me out and tell me what my next purchase should be any thing in the order of importance.. i want to have my tank lookin like all of yours :p

THANK YOU SO MUCH
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Old 01-09-2009, 09:27 AM   #2
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1st thing is remove the glass top. There is no need for it and it can cause pH problems.
Change your bulbs. I believe cf bulbs should be changed every 8-10 months.
Red stuff on live rock sounds like cyanobacteria, which is usually the result of poor water quality and high nutrients. What kind of water do you use for top offs and water changes? How often do you do water changes? Do you test your water parameters? Can you post some of your readings?
There is no need to throw out the rock. You can just mix up some fresh saltwater in a bucket, take the rock out and scrub the crap off it. Just keep in mind, if your water quality doesn't improve, it will come back.
I assume you have a crushed coral substrate and you want to replace it with sand? You can siphon out about 1/4-1/3 of it at a time when you do water changes. Just replace what you took out with some thoroughly rinsed sand. After 3-4 water changes, the old substrate should be all out and the new sand in place.
If you don't use RO/DI water, your next purchase should be a RO/DI filter.
Whatever you do, DO IT SLOW! Nothing happens fast in this hobby except disasters.
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Old 01-09-2009, 11:48 AM   #3
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Agree with everything ccCapt mentioned. Also want to say that I think you'll find that the folks here with successful tanks don't attribute them to any single piece of equipment or purchases. (Well... maybe expect for a RO/DI unit!) It's just plain elbow grease, using quality products, and being patient and consistant with their tanks, as well as understanding the dynamics of their tanks.

You mention that you want corals growing like crazy, but only mention having the xenia. Have you tried other corals and they haven't survived? If so, what were they? And as ccCapt mentions... knowing your water parameters (pH, salinity, temp, ammonia/nitrite/nitrate, phosphates, calcium, alkalinity) would help us help you.
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:28 PM   #4
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LIVE ROCK -- The LR does have the bacteria all over it from bad water. Im 100% shuer aboutthat. I was plannign on taking it out scrubing it down really good with a brush and throwing it in my wet/dry.
WATER -- I figure since im taking out my rock, i might as well take out the water and taking out the sand. I live in miami so all the LFS have saltwater for sale. so mixing the water is not a problem for me. when my water evporates i put DISTILLED WATER.
SAND- i figured ide get rid of that to to clean the tanks it self and baisically have a fresh start
STORY- LOL i really tried starting up my tank a wile ago but got cought up in college work and baseball in college -- VERY TIME CONSUMING!! so i really didnt do much i would do a water change every month or 2 or three : / sorry! i plan on doing a wwater change every week or so since my job is literly next door to a fish store.
EQUIPMENT- i no its not super important like u said! but i want to make shure since i wannt to start over that everything iscorrect so i dont have to run and purchase something while my tank is set up!
CORALS- like i said xenia is the only one thats made it through the stage of me not paying much attention!

THANKS A MILLION
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:39 PM   #5
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Nitrifying bacteria is a good thing on your LR. Whatever you do dont scrub that off. Just do some PWC`s if you are not pleased with the water. Very little of the beneficial bacteria is in your water. As I said it`s on your LR, Sand and tank surfaces.
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Old 01-09-2009, 01:01 PM   #6
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You just confused me a little? So my rocks now that have cynoabacteria. dotn scrub that off when i move the rocks to my wet/dry filter? leave it on??
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Old 01-09-2009, 02:09 PM   #7
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Confusion is esay in your situation. You have a tank that hasn't been maintained and want to get i back to pristine condiitons. Your LR and sand host most of the good bacteria in your tank. But, your LR is also coated with cyano. You can mix up a couple of 5 gallon buckets os sw (only abut 2/3 full), then take a rock at a time and scrub it in the sw bucket to get as much of cyano off as you can. Repeat this for all your LR. Then move the rock to the wet/dry (now going to be a sump).
You can try to vacuum the top of the sand to clean that too. Don't take more than about a ľ" off the top as that's where most of the nitrifying bacteria are in the sand (down to about 1").
You should also start doing a series of 30% water changes several times a week to get your water parameters back in check.

If you don't have one, get yourself a refractometer and calibrate it. Use that to help maintain the SG of the tank. Get some good test kits (I like Salifert for Ca, Mg, NO3, and API for pH). Test weekly at a minimum.

Feed LESS. No more than twice a week and only what your fish will eat within 3 mnutes.

Change the bulbs NOW and change them every 6 - 8 months. You will be limited in the corals you can keep with a single 96w CF light, but you can still get a good selection of corals.

If you are buying water from the LFS, TEST IT every time before using it. Test it for Phosphate (PO4) too.

That should get you back on the road to a healthy tank.
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Old 01-09-2009, 03:17 PM   #8
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WOW awesome thanks for that... VERY HELPFULL!
Lol
This weekend I will take the rocks out into a 5 gallon container scrub the HECK out of them then throw them in my now called SUMP! lol the sand part im still a little confused? my sand is really dirty!! when fish swims by it and piks up sand brown stuff shoots up like a cloud of dirtyness you get me?? if this is ok i can take outa ll the water take out the sand put new sand and putt the water back into the tank and do a 30% water change like 3 times next week.
also when i take everything out i plan on painting the back of the tank but thats a whole nother subject in itself!

anything else?

oo yeah and the lights i will buy asap.. or just the bulb still havnt decided!! what type of wattage do you thing then for a 29 they told me at the LFS 3W per gallon
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Old 01-09-2009, 03:52 PM   #9
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What are you going to do with the fish when you take everything out?
How deep is your current sand bed?
If you vacuum the top layer you get most of the crud off the bottom leaving you with close to pristine sand underneath. If not, you may want to set up a QT tank to house the fish while you tear down the 29 and start it over again. That would include going through a new cycle.

The watts per gallon rule is just a generalization. Decide on what you want to keep in the tank and that will dictate how much light you need. Is that a single 96w bulb or two 96w bulbs?
The fixture you have now (with a new bulb) should be fine for mushrooms, leathers, xenia, frogspawn/hammer (often confused for each other), and a host of other corals. Just checkthe light requirements before buying. Most SPS will not do well as they need more light.
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Old 01-09-2009, 05:25 PM   #10
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i was actually just planning on thowing all my water into a big plastic garbage can for the day which would mean i would not have to cycle while i clean the inside of the tank and put a new sand bed. then planned on putting the water back in with the clean rocks in my sump .. in the garbage can i planned on putting 2 power heads to keep the water moving for the couple hours that the fish would be inside.. also while i had everything out of the tank i planned on painting the back a specific color ... does that sound good? any other suggestions?

and for the light im going to go home later and i will let u no what i have i am pretty shure its 1 bulb of 96 watts. and will that wattage hold zoos? or not?
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