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Old 01-01-2012, 04:33 AM   #1
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I need motivation :(

So I'm pretty new to saltwater and I was really pumped till I woke up the other day and found my feather duster jumped ship and one of my cardinals was serving as a nice snack to my hermit crabs . I added new live rock about a week or two ago and my ammonia spiked so I did about a 25% pwc and everything seemed fine till a few days ago. I have spent over 1000 dollars on the tank so I don't really want to get rid of it but im kind of at a cross road. Do I stick it out or do I just sell the sand rock skimmer and fish and change it to a nice and easy cichlid tank? Could you send some pictures of your tanks or any advise that could help motivate me? I have a 55 gallon tank with around 60 lbs of live rock and about 80 lbs of live sand and crushed coral. My ammonia is going down its at about 20 ppm now my nitrites are almost 0 now but my nitrates are kinda high . If I stay with saltwater I'm going to get a sump tank cause I keep hearing canister filters don't really help with nitrates. I try to keep my specific gravity at 1.022. So yeah. Good news is my freshwater tank is still running strong . Well anyways any help would be greatly appreciated!! O and happy new years!! Ps sorry for the novel haha

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Old 01-01-2012, 05:34 AM   #2
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Did you cycle your tank prior to adding in your fish and inverts? From your parameters, it doesn't look like it. Ammonia and Nitrites should spike and then go down to 0 before you can add in anything to your tank.

Take a look at the articles on AA for more info on cycling.

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Old 01-01-2012, 10:16 AM   #3
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Sorry about that. Feather Dusters do occasionally shed their "heads", mine recently did it and it is growing back now. This is a possibility, but since your ammonia is high it may be dead.
Please don't forget about the toxins in some corals (like zoas and palythoas)
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:20 AM   #4
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if you don't add ammonia sources, like uncured live rock, you should be fine. Research whatever you plan to do before you do it. It's all here on this website. If you can't find it, ask. like: "hey guys, do you think it's ok for me to put some uncured rock in my already stocked tank?".
Good luck
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:48 PM   #5
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Absolutely, if you are showing ammonia and you haven't added a mass of livestock at once then your tank simply is NOT cycled.

1. Cycle tank.

2. Add a small amount of livestock in fortnightly intervals, this allows the bacteria to catch up with what's polluting the water so to speak, this will keep everything safe and 'in whack'

Don't give up, I've had fresh and salt, salt knocks spots off fresh and is far more interesting and enjoyable when things are established.

Patience is key.
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:55 PM   #6
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agree, the most important part of keeping a saltwater tank is the start up. it requires a bit more attention and a bit of patience. my uncle came over yesterday and saw my 26g and asked me if it was harder to keep then his cichlid tank and i told him not really the start up is the "hardest" part or if you go reef you have to maintain calcium, magnesium and alkilinity.

either way i started off with doing waterchanges once a week for the first 5 months or so untill all the life had a chance to form and do its job, then i moved up to every other week and now work has gotten a bit busy so its been once a month. i have three fish two clowns and a bi color blenny and all my readings are at 0ppm. with really no algae problems what so ever

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