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Old 03-16-2010, 12:45 AM   #1
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Just set it up...

So I decided to switch my 10 gallon tank over to saltwater the other week. After months of research and contemplation, I went ahead with it and bought 10 gallons of ocean water, and a bag of "premium marine substrate"...yeah I'm sure its real premium :p. I even got a hermit crab that same night to help speed of the cycle process. 24-36 hours later I got my live rock and fish. Now I know some of you may think that this could be too crowded of a tank, but I have 2 clowns and 3 Damsels. The clowns are about an inch each, with one being a little bigger than the other. The guy at Petco told me that they were a pair, so naturally I didnt want to split them up. They havent left each other's side since I put them in the tank. 2 of the Damsels are only about a half inch and the the other damsel is an inch. I also have about 15-20 pounds of live rock which my 5 hermit crabs love. Lastly, I've also purchased a starfish which I know a-lot of you probably dont agree with because it should only put into an established tank. Well, after a week, I've tested every day and each day everything is in the "ideal" or preferred area. I know I've left out alot of thing about my tank, but let me know what you guys think. I'd also like to add that there has been no bullying or picking-on of any of the fish.
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:11 AM   #2
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Hmm. Hopefully that live rock is fully cured. You've read our articles here about cycling... right? 'Cause hermit crabs aren't going to help you cycle one bit.

Wow... not sure what to say, other than you really need to do some research here. I wish I could sound more upbeat, but 5 fish - even in a fully cycled 10g tank - is way too much. But putting them all in a newly set up tank, along with a starfish, is really not too good. I'm thinking your water parameters are still "ideal" because (1) it takes a while for the ammonia to start showing up, and (2) you're using test strips which aren't the greatest for accuracy. (I'm guessing at the test strips, but usually when people give the term "ideal" or "preferred" and not actual numbers like 0.5 ppm, 2.0 ppm.... we're working with test strips.)

What do I think? I think I'd really like to be wrong about all this and everything will be fine. But even if you have enough rock in there and it was fully cured... that's way too many fish to add all at once, let alone have in the tank to start with. My advice? Read over everything and anything you can get your hands on, and see if you can take those fish back to the fish store and let the tank cycle. If nothing else, take the damsels and star back.
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:15 AM   #3
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what do you plan to do when your little fish grow?
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:24 AM   #4
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Thanks for your input. I hope everything in m tank works out well. What could I look for in bad signs for my tank, if I have done the wrong thing. I'm positive I can't take anything back though, as Petco is pretty strict about that. I'll keep this updated as to whats going on with my tank. I was pretty much going on the word of the guy at Petco who basically did the same thing that I did about a year ago, and had success. And yes I'm using strips for now. Sorry to disappoint you with my failure of a setup. I still hope to see my fish thrive. Again, what should I look for if things start to go bad in my tank?
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:30 AM   #5
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what do you plan to do when your little fish grow?
Depending on what goes on with one of my 29 gallon freshwaters in the coming weeks/months, I was thinking about switching that over to saltwater as well, let the clowns have the 10 gallon to themselves and move the damsels to to the 29.
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:30 AM   #6
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It will start with ammonia and fish "gasping" near the surface. Get liquid test kits, API brand is cheap and good.

Normally... I'd suggest having a bunch of saltwater made up, ready for daily water changes to keep the ammonia levels down. But I'm just afraid that with 5 fish in there, you're just not going to be able to keep up. You really have to get some fish out of there.
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:37 AM   #7
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It will start with ammonia and fish "gasping" near the surface. Get liquid test kits, API brand is cheap and good.

Normally... I'd suggest having a bunch of saltwater made up, ready for daily water changes to keep the ammonia levels down. But I'm just afraid that with 5 fish in there, you're just not going to be able to keep up. You really have to get some fish out of there.
Would you recommend buying the ocean water stuff that comes in a bag inside a box at Petco rather than me actually mixing it? (I used the ocean water to start). And, no gasping at the surface that I've noticed yet.
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:41 AM   #8
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There's nothing wrong with that stuff, as far as I know. Except that it's horribly overpriced versus buying something like Instant Ocean and just mixing it yourself. You're not gaining yourself anything (unlike what the marketing material would have you believe) by buying the stuff though.
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:52 AM   #9
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Ok, thanks for your help Kurt. If I go back tomorrow, which I probably will, I'll offer to 'give' back the Damsels since I know they don't accept returns, or at least dead ones for that matter. I'd rather lose 12$ or so than see those good looking fish die. It seems I've jumped into everything too quick and made some mistakes. And sorry for the beginner question, but you mentioned earlier whether or not my LR was cured. How does one tell if it is? Thanks again.

Edit: Ok, after reading, how LR is cured, it appears that mine is fully cured.
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:59 AM   #10
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Tagging along.
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