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Old 01-17-2013, 08:46 PM   #1
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In Need of Help!

Hey guys, I'm totally new to this hobby. However, I have done several months of research. My current set up is a 20 gal. tank, a marine penguin HOB filter, a koralia 600, 4 pieces of live rock (ordered 15 more pounds), a 2" live sand bed, heater @ 78-79 degrees, 3 hermit crabs, and four snails. I ordered a fluval 206 that should be here soon. I was wondering what else I would need for the set up. Also, I bought ocean water, and was wondering if that means that the tank wouldn't have to cycle. However, I think the tank might be cycling anyways because the ammonia has spiked to 0.25. The pH dropped from 8.2 to 8.0, and the nitrates and nitrites are remaining at 0. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:56 AM   #2
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I would not have bought the 206 and would have gotten a skimmer. Is this tank going to be FOWLR or reef?
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:57 AM   #3
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Hi Ethan, the ocean water will have little to no effect on cycling the tank the tank cycling is where bacteria builds up on the surface of objects which will turn ammonia into nitrates. you may just about get away with it because of the live rock and live sand already having some of the bacteria however you may find unfortunatley you loose some of the snails and crabs in the process of setting this up due to the ammonia being deadly and the fact ammonia needs to be in the set up for the bacteria to breed. you will also find a mini cycle will happen when the new live rock is added due to the die off. in a 20 gallon you will get away without a skimmer if you don't want one but the filters can be very bad as if no cleaned regularly they trap detrius and this creates very high nitrates
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:06 PM   #4
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+1 to the skimmer. I'd play the waiting game and assume you will have a cycle. To be safe! Even if your readings are minimal.
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:32 PM   #5
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Thanks for the help guys! I had my cycle and even had my lfs test the water to make sure my readings were the same. I put in a clown and cleaner shrimp in yesterday. However, now the clown is laying on the bottom between my rocks and occasionally will swim around. The tank reads 0 ammonia, 0 nitrates, and very low nitrites nearly undetectable. The salinity is 1.022. I did a water change also. Should I get him another clown to pair them? What will solve this or is it normal behavior?
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:17 PM   #6
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If you are still showing ANY signs of nitrites the you are still in your cycle.
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Fish: Moorish Idol, Powder Blue Tang, Hippo Tang, J Emperor Angel, 3 Chromis, 2 Black & White Clowns, Yellow Tang,
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:16 PM   #7
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Give the clown time to settle they do tend to stay in the same spot while getting used to the tank but how long have you had the tank running?
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:19 PM   #8
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I wouldn't buy a protein skimmer for a 20 gallon tank. It's way to easy, and affordable, to export nutrients via water changes. I would raise the SG slowly to .025-.026.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:21 PM   #9
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Thanks for the info guys. It's been running for a little over a month.
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