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Old 10-27-2005, 12:11 PM   #1
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help noob do it right the second time

Well, the clown eventually died too,looked like ich got to him but that doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, water temp, parameters etc were all perfect. I want to give this hobby one more shot, and i'd like you all's help in doing it. I'm a college student, so please dont tell me to buy 200 dollar filters etc, because it simply isn't an option. We'll start with what i have right now, and tell me what i should keep and what i should get new to start over with.
-22 gallon aquarium
-millenium 2000
-aqua clear 20
- 1 5lb liverock, a couple other misc rocks with good hiding places
- Sand bottom
-water heater
-crysal sea marine mix
-Prime water conditioner
- Copper
-PH booster
-master saltwater test kit
-sg meter
-thermometer
As of right now i've got a tank with nothing in it running with perfect water parameters, but something kept killing the fish. As a last ditch effort to try to save the fish i did add copper to the tank, so i'm assuming when i start over that i am going to need a new liverock and sand. I'd also like to start back up the smart way with a QT tank. What is the minium size recoomended for this? would a 5-10 gallon work? Also, does this tank need to be set up at all times or just in the beginning or when a fish is sick? Hopefully this time around i wont be running into any sick fish if i do this correctly. Also, i've been entertaining the idea of building my own sump this time around, as that seems to be an easy and cheap way to increase water quantities as well as biological filtration, all from a pickle bucket Another idea i've been entertaining is to make a really nice freshwater aquarium, but those fish arent near as cool and dont have near the personality, so i'm leaning against that one. Thanks in advance for your help,
Ryan
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Old 10-27-2005, 12:35 PM   #2
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I don't know the details of your previous setup so I will just make some general statements that I hope will help you.

1. Start out very slow...many people use scrimp from the supermarket to cycle their tanks instead of live fish. Do yourself a big favor and make sure the tank is fully cycled before adding any fish or inverts.

2. As far as quarantine tanks go, many people have it running all the time and one ever they introduce a new fish to the tank they put it in the quarantine tank first for a few weeks. Others, like myself just slowly acclimate new fish to the main tank using a drip method. I only quarantine if it is necessary.

3. The quarantine tank should be big enough to comfortably hold your livestock. You shoud not have a 6 inch fish in a 10 gallon quarantine tank. But a couple small clown fish would be fine....catch my drift.

4. Watch how much you feed the fish. Feed minimal amounts and make sure their insn't any food left over after about 10 minutes of eating....this can fuel things like ich.

5. If you only keeping fish you might want to keep you SG lower like around 1.019, fish are less prone to disease and parasites at that level.
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Old 10-27-2005, 12:53 PM   #3
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Well, the reason i was thinking of doing the quarantine tank is so that i dont introduce any diseases to the aquarium again, and i think you may be on to something with the over-feeding causing ich. Stupid beginner mistakes costing me a ton of money. I read the article on making your own sump, is there any additional info that would help me in the creation of it? I dont think my problem lies with how i was acclimating the fish, as they didn't seem to die until after a month or so of being in the aquarium. I have a budget of under 100 dollars to get this tank going again, minus fish. I was thinking about alocating that money as follows:
i need more sea salt mix, this time it hink i'm going to go with instant ocean
I'd like to set up a quarantine tank, and build a sump. I'm hoping the millenium 2000 along with a sump is adequate filtration for a mainly fish-only setup, and that way i could use the aquaclear as the filter for the quarantine tank. I'd also like to get about 10 lbs of liverock in the tank in the beginning as well. Any other ideas? i think i have a basic idea of how to get this thing started again, but i really dont want to make any more mistakes. thanks,
Ryan
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Old 10-27-2005, 12:59 PM   #4
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A sump could certainly help you out and you could add LR to it for additional filteration. Depending on how complicated you want to get with the sump, you can make a simple sump from a rubbermaid container for less then 10 dollars. An alternative woud be to get a 10 gallon glass tank and make a sump out of that. Making a sump is quite simple, its just a matter of what you want it to do.
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Old 10-27-2005, 01:21 PM   #5
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As long as more complicated doesn't equal greater costs then it doesn't matter. I am very good with my hands and figuring out mechanical problems. Once i figure out the exact setup of my sump i'll start the tear down/rebuild process. Getting paid in a few days will also aid in that. At this point in time, the cheaper the setup the better, as long as the cost-benefit to function relationship isn't exponentially inverse.(i think that makes sense...)
Ryan
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Old 10-27-2005, 02:51 PM   #6
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Not sure if you were joking or not, but I would get a rubbermaid tub to use as a sump (as opposed to a pickle bucket). Things can and will leach out of plastics that were previoulsy used for something else. This might hurt/kill your inhabitants. Since copper was used in your setup, you are most likely limited to fish only from here out, as a precautionary measure.

Start out slow, keep an eye on things and take it from there. Good luck.
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Old 10-27-2005, 03:55 PM   #7
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I was just using that term to describe a 5 gallon bucket, i would get a new one. Rubbermaid container could work just as well though, i'm not really partial to either just whichever is cheaper. One of the reasons i'm starting over is to eliminate the copper, I will not be using the sand or the liverock from the current aquarium. I may, however, move the liverock to a QT tank if i decide to set one up, as my QT tank would have copper in it permanently. Also, with the addition of a QT tank, there would never be a need to treat sick fish in the main aquarium, thusly getting rid of any reason to have copper in it. So, in a 22 gallon aquarium would a sump and a millenium 2000 be enough filtration so that i can move the aquaclear 20 to the QT tank?
Ryan
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Old 10-27-2005, 04:02 PM   #8
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Old 10-27-2005, 04:07 PM   #9
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Never, Never, Never add copper to your display tank. Now that we have that settled. I think you would better be served by doing hypo method for ich in the future. And that in a QT. good luck on your 2nd time around.
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Old 10-27-2005, 05:35 PM   #10
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Do not keep copper in your QT as you stated. Put the new fish in QT for several weeks. If nothing is wrong then add it to your main. Why subject a fish to copper unless it is needed. You will only stress and weaken it if not kill it. As melosu58 said hypo is a much better way of treating ich. Your idea of QTing to keep from introducing something to your main is a very good idea. That is what I do. Once a fish is in my main I have very little chance of catching him later. Also if you intro a diseased fish your have a high chance of infecting your other fish. As someone else stated ...since copper was used in your main you will be limited to fish only from now on unless you remove silicon and anything else that absorbed the copper. Also know your fish. Some can not tolerate copper at all.
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