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Old 10-28-2012, 12:38 PM   #1
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inhereted tank...help!!

You'd think it would be easier to have a tank that was already started, and it might be, but I am totally clueless. A year and a half ago, I sort of inherited a 60 gallon salt water fish tank. I thought it would be fun at first so I agreed to take it on. My landlord told me if I brought the thing to my house I would have to pay a pet deposit that I cannot afford so it is at someone else's house and I am caring for it, which adds to the difficulty. I go by 2 times a day to check on it. I am in way over my head. I talked to the local fish store guy, but he is so busy and went so quickly that I think it was just too much inf overload and I shut down after a while . I looked online but the only beginner info that I could find was for starting a new tank and the rest might as well have been in another language. So I have been taking the bits and pieces and trying to put it all together my self...I am not succeeding. I am totally ignorant on all of this and desperately need help! I don't know any of the technical terms for things so I am going to try to make as much sense as I can. First let me tell you my routine then I will tell you the obvious problems that I am having.

Routine:

Feed: 2x a day. I don't know what everyone eats, but I do figure out quickly what they don't like so I try to throw an assortment of the favorites in. I also feed frozen twice a week. A carnivore cube and a vegetarian one and some red eggs...plankton maybe???? I let that melt down and toss it in.

Maintain: I keep the temp at 76-78 degrees and clean the glass as needed. there is a plastic divided container on the bottom that the water filters through. in there, I clean the sponge when it looks dirty (it probably goes too long normally but I despise this task!) I also clean out this tube think that has a bowl looking thing on top with a lid that has holes that the water shoots out of. I do that every other week.

Water: I change 10% every other week. I also add the following supplements: B-Ionic calcium buffer system alkalinity and calcium components every other day at 15 ml each. Weekly Kent brand supplements: Tech I iodide supplement, strontium and molybendum, and tech m magnesium all at 5ml. I add water as needed from the tap with Prime de-chlorinater, says it also provides a slime coat and detoxifies nitrite and nitrate. Don't know if it matters, but I add water on days when I put in alkalinity and calcium supplements.

...thats really about it. I know I should be doing more.

Now my problems:

I have managed to keep most of the fish alive, but the rock and the things attached to it look sick if not dead already. The water is full of sediments. Also, there is a red algae covering a hairy algae all over the place. I removed a bunch of it last night. I have been noticing all of this getting worse over the past 6 months or so. Everything was pretty and purple when I got it, but now it is all kind of an ugly greenish gray.

I need help in language that I can understand...please I am desperate!! I have attached some pics. The plastic container thing gets dirty so fast and I am not even sure how to clean it properly. I took the photo in the process of changing the water, that is why it looks so low.
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:12 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear about lack of info. I'm not into the SW but I'm sure someone here can help you out. I remember there is a form on here that was started and it had info from start to finish dealing with saltwater tanks. I will try and find it for you.
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:28 PM   #3
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I can't find it here, but this is a good article on maintenance. Saltwater Aquarium Maintenance

Good luck
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:04 PM   #4
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I've been in the hobby for about a year now and I can tell you for sure, you are feeding too much. Also you need to to more frequent water changes. Check your nitrates
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:21 PM   #5
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I am doing all of that except cleaning the cover glass...which I will do. A year and a half of buildup is bound to make a difference. I am also not doing this ". A few days before or after completing the water change, you should remove and/or replace any mechanical filtration media." and I am not 100% sure what that is telling me to do....
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:25 PM   #6
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WOW.... you just jumped into the deep end with no floaties. At least you are lucky that this is a fish-only with no corals, or at least it appears so.

Couple of basic questions.... First & foremost, are you willing to really learn this, because you are in for a steep uphill battle, especially in a "long distance relationship" where you are not around the tank. Saltwater tanks are difficult enough to maintain, having to travel to the tank just compounds the problem & stress. It is very doable, but you've got a lot to learn (and do). How much is the pet deposit?? If you're really wanting to do this correctly, it may be worth ponying up and get the tank home....
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:27 PM   #7
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Ok, so lets try to help you get on the right track.
First off, you are feeding too much. You have 2 clowns, a firefish, a pj cardinal, a yellow tailed blue damsel, and a royal gramma. All of them are herbivores. What do you feed? I'm personally a fan of frozen foods, specifically mysis shrimp and blood worms. I feed my tank half a cube twice a week after rinsing off the food once it has thawed. So basically, you are feeding too much.
In terms of cleaning your tank, it sounds quite similar to what I am doing. Yeah, it sucks cleaning the sponges I won't lie. But cleaning them weekly will aid you avoid issues later.
That thing with the cup ontop, that is called a protein skimmer. It is pulling garbage out of your water that would cause nitrification if it settled in the tank. It is overflowing, that means that it needs adjusted. There should be a knob somewhere to adjust the flow. Try opening it up more. My skimmer cup gets emptied out once maybe twice a week.
Water changes. Good for you! 10% weekly water changes are what you need to do! It is better to do them weekly, but bi weekly is good.
Why are you dosing calcium, alk...everything for that matter. You don't have any hard corals that would be using these elements in your tank so the elements that are supplied by the salt you are using would be enough. Also, if you dose anything into your tank you need to test for it.
The things on your rock, those are called aiptasia. They are glass anemone. They are bad news. You need to kill them off. Some use boiled water or lemon juice squirted right into the mouth. I prefer a product called Aiptasia-X. You can also just remove the rock and boil it in water. Do not try to manually remove them! When they break, they release spores that will land around the tank and become new aiptasia. Don't worry, they aren't that bad to deal with.
The algae. The red stuff is actually cyano bacteria. Remove it by just siphoning it out of the tank. The algae can just be pulled or scrubbed off. Do this before your water change. This stuff is caused by too much phosphates and nitrates in your water. This is coming from the fact that you are overfeeding, so cutting back and physical removal will start to address the issue.
Any other questions, feel free to ask. It isn't too much to be overwhelmed about. You are doing good!
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:34 PM   #8
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One thing at a time, sniper.... He or she is already inundated & overwhelmed, and your throwing 15 things at them at once. Let's start this slow.... It's a FOWLR, the aipstasia needs to go, but it can wait a few minutes.
Yes, the fish are being fed way too much, hence the reason for all the algae and slimy stuff, but we'll get to that. We need to figure out what this person already knows about fishkeeping, and work from there.

Are you doing any kind of testing on the tank?
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:43 PM   #9
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I like Joe's juice to kill the aiptasia. You can buy a small bottle online and you literally feed it to them with a syringe and they are gone overnight. This is some good stuff too because it won't harm any of your fish or coral and it doesn't require you to remove the rocks.
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Old 10-28-2012, 05:48 PM   #10
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I'm glad to see people jumping into helping this member. Thanks
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