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Old 03-21-2007, 05:25 PM   #1
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inherited tank, inherited problems?

I'm trying to start up a 125gal FOWLR tank, which I bought second-hand. I bought it because I have a little puffer (PuffDaddy) and a chocolate chip starfish (Anonymous) because I was one of those people who didn't do ENOUGH reading and got the puffer because the lfs told me it would stay relatively small if I kept it in a relatively small tank. OK...so I did things backwards, and I am now trying to fix things before it's too late! My 10 gal tank has always had perfect readings and crystal clear water, and as of the moment, both the inhabitants seem happy, if not crowded.

So I set up this 125 gal tank, using the previous owner's setup. 60# LR, crushed coral bed, 350 Mag filter, wet-dry filter, protein skimmer, and lights on a timer. I even used about 65gal of his water, as his tank had been up and operating with 6 fish for the last few years. (And when I saw them--the tank and the fish--they all appeared healthy, although neglected and the tank was a little cloudy.) The numbers now are right on the money, but the tank has never stopped being cloudy, and there seems to be a serious algae bloom going on. I'm afraid to put any fish in the tank at all. I hate how dirty the tank looks, even with all three pumps going and the protein skimmer operating as well. (And I've never had a protein skimmer before....are there really supposed to be those teeny tiny bubble pouring out of it into the tank??) I also don't want to mess up any good bacterial growth that was going on before I took this thing over. I feel like such a newbie! Any advice? Any suggestions?
What do I do now?
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Old 03-21-2007, 05:33 PM   #2
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Numbers for parameters would help more then just saying it's "perfect".

i.e. ph/sg/alk/temp/nh3/no2/no3/po4/ca (you may not have all these tests)

The CC bed is going to trap waste and if possible I'd change over to aragonite sand but that's going to take a lot of work.

Is the Mag a canister or HOB? What brand is the protein skimmer? Does the 125 have any stock now?
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Old 03-21-2007, 05:37 PM   #3
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Sorry about the LFS`s bad advice. You are doing the right thing by upgrading to a much bigger tank. A few problems, you dont have enough LR in the tank if you only have 60 lbs in their. For proper biological filtration you need 1.5-2 lbs per gallon. Also a skimmer will be an excellent choice as it will remove DOC`s from your water that will turn into excessive nutrients and feed algea and blooms. Another problem is the crushed coral as it allows trash and food to be trapped under it causing nitrates which feed nuisance algea. If you continue to use it you`ll need to vacuum it every so often. You might want to think about changing to sand. As far as the algea bloom you might want to consider a lesser light schedule and maybe even a blackout for a few days or a week. JMO
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Old 03-21-2007, 06:55 PM   #4
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I agree with the above. I changed out my CC substrate. I did it about 1/3 of the tank at a time. I know some have done 50% or more, I just wanted to be safe. Since you only have 60Lbs of rock, now would be the time to start switching the CC for sand. Any chance you can get a pic?
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Old 03-21-2007, 07:51 PM   #5
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Well, at least I know my thoughts on this subject were headed in the right direction. I was planning to switch to sand, and to add more live rock. I've only had the 125 running, without livestock, for about a week now. I guess I'll just start doing all the changeovers now, before I add any livestock, and see what happens.

I would give you a pic, and numbers, except there's just a teensy aside I need to add. I'm not "allowed" downstairs--where the tank is--for a couple of weeks, as I just had my kidney taken out three days after I set up the tank. The tank was supposed to be an aid in my recovery, but it looks like I'm going to have to enlist the aid of my good friends in ITS recovery.

As soon as I start its recovery process, and I can report numbers and stuff, I'll check back in! At least for now, I can order the lights out, and have someone start vacuuming out the cc, and also begin to remove the cc as well. I'll wait to reorder more live rock till I can at least walk down the stairs.....

PS The MAG 350 filter is a canister, but my friends cannot determine the brand of the protein skimmer. IT hangs on the back of the tank.

Thanks, everyone! I really do appreciate your help, and your views.
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Old 03-21-2007, 08:10 PM   #6
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Glad your on your way to recovery. Keep us posted and ask lots of questions if your not sure about anything.
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Old 03-21-2007, 08:35 PM   #7
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You can buy Base Rock to save tons of money. Good luck in your recovery!
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Old 03-21-2007, 10:16 PM   #8
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Hope you get better.
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Old 04-02-2007, 08:25 PM   #9
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i am not a salt water person but i just want say that fish tanks are great ways of relieving stress and i think help allot to take my mind off the pain i have in my shoulder i can just sit and watch my cichlids and eel swim around and do there things i also find that the trickle of the water from the filters is verry peacful so i hope you get things worked out on it and it will aid in your recovery
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Old 04-04-2007, 05:17 PM   #10
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Thanks, everyone, for all your tips and answers and good wishes.

Now, as I change over to sand....I don't need all the sand to be live, correct? I can use non-silicate sand, or something, as a base, then add the live sand to that? What should the ratio of "sand" to "live sand" be? Also, do I really need to remove all the crushed coral, or is it possible to fill in all those little crevices between the crushed coral with sand? I can go either way, but need to know. My curiosity gets the better of me--why is it better to remove the cc?

Also, I can leave the LR in the aquarium as I put in the sand, right? Then, once the sand is in, the water has cleared, and it's all settled in, I can start to put in more LR right? I've already got 60+ pounds in there now, already cured, but wouldn't mind putting in more LR, rather than base rock.

What will all these additions do to my tank? Should I be prepared for another bout of cycling? No, I don't have any livestock in there now. Actually, it's rather nice to have the empty tank without the livestock, since it's so pretty. This time around, I'm taking things nice and slowly!
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