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Old 06-21-2012, 05:51 PM   #1
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New Saltwater Tank

Hey,

New to this forum and aquariums in general. My fiancé and I decided to start a saltwater tank and ended up buying the tank/stand from a store and the rest off a guy from craigslist (he was really nice and helped us set everything up). His setup came with the filtration system/lights/liverock/corals/some hermit crabs/emerald crab and all the water from his tank. We set it up last Sat but then bought a few more pieces of live rock and finally finished setting everything up last night. Anyways I wanted to get some advice on what our next steps should be. We know we need to let it settle down and finish a cycle, but I'm not sure how big of a shock it will be since we took the same water. The corals look to be doing great its been sitting since Saturday. Do I need to add anything to feed the corals or other life? The guy said I could add some brine shrimp but I'm not sure how much/often. Any other advice for starting out?

Main Equipment:
72 Gallon Bowfront
Rio 2500 Pump
Eshopps 100Gal Sump
Octopus 110

Thanks!
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:51 PM   #2
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Looks wise, a background would improve it alot. Do you have a test kit and refractometer?
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Old 06-21-2012, 07:03 PM   #3
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I have a hydrometer to measure the salinity but not a test kit. I don't know exactly what to test for and how often.
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:26 PM   #4
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api salt water master test kit in nice thats what i have for my tank. Hydrometer is ok i always had problem with mine and what it would read. Mine was off by .003. Mean u can take ur water to a lfs and have them test everything for u. i got a refractometer and that dead on and works great. As for a stocking list u can do alot since u have a big tank.
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skoucout
Hey,

New to this forum and aquariums in general. My fiancé and I decided to start a saltwater tank and ended up buying the tank/stand from a store and the rest off a guy from craigslist (he was really nice and helped us set everything up). His setup came with the filtration system/lights/liverock/corals/some hermit crabs/emerald crab and all the water from his tank. We set it up last Sat but then bought a few more pieces of live rock and finally finished setting everything up last night. Anyways I wanted to get some advice on what our next steps should be. We know we need to let it settle down and finish a cycle, but I'm not sure how big of a shock it will be since we took the same water. The corals look to be doing great its been sitting since Saturday. Do I need to add anything to feed the corals or other life? The guy said I could add some brine shrimp but I'm not sure how much/often. Any other advice for starting out?

Main Equipment:
72 Gallon Bowfront
Rio 2500 Pump
Eshopps 100Gal Sump
Octopus 110

Thanks!
Ok the tank looks fairly clean and new. Any clue how long the guy had it?

Also treat it as if it is in fact a brand new tank. Give it a few weeks to calm down and everything gets in check. What you should be doing now is testing. And learning your equipment. Read as much as your eyes can handle.

Since this is a reef thank here are the parameters you will want to know and common ranges.

Temp 76-82F
Salinity 1.026 (35ppt) is natural saltwater
Ph 7.8-8.4 (ocean avarage ~8.2
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0 (0-10ppm) usually ok depends on stock
Alkalinity 7-12 dKh
Calcium 380-440ppm usually
Magnesium 1280-1500ppm

Again these are just common, the goal is stability.

What corals are in the tank now? Do you know?
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Old 06-22-2012, 03:26 PM   #6
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Sorry for the delayed response. Here is what I have in my tank so far:

6-7 Brown Kenya Trees
1 Blue Zoanthid (also another area where it is starting to grow)
1 Trumpet Coral
1 Finger Leather

I went to a store here that has been helping me out yesterday and got my water tested. My numbers were:

Ammonia: 0.1
Nitrite: 0.1
Nitrate: 5
Spec Grav: 1.025
Ph: 8.1

He basically told me that my tank is fine I just need to start a cycle by putting a couple fish in. I bought a couple of damselfish and put those in last night. He said if those do well I can put a couple more hardy fish in next week and should then just wait for my cycle to start. The last thing was that I think I had the lights on for too long and am now only leaving them on for 8 hours. I was starting to see some brown algae in parts of my live sand, should I clean that out with a vacuum?

Thanks!
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Old 06-22-2012, 05:32 PM   #7
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If you havent cycled, expect to see your corals doing poorly for awhile. In terms of removing the algae, use some airline tubing to remove it from the rocks using it just like your vacuum. Wont lose as much water that way and you can make sure you get all of it.
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Old 06-22-2012, 06:50 PM   #8
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Never add fish until your cycle is over, fish store is trying to sell you fish. Youll only cause yourself problems moving so fast. A tank cannot undergo such great changes a short period of time without causing some problems somewhere.
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:02 PM   #9
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Just a question here on Schism's comment. I agree that adding more fish soon is not a good idea, but since the damsels are already in there, what problems would be caused by cycling a tank with damsels? Years ago, that was how most people did it and it worked fine. I understand that it's not as humane on the damsels, but beyond that, what does it do to hurt the system? I am just asking to learn, not trying to start an argument. Seems that both ways all take about 4-6 weeks and you end up with a cycled tank. Again, just asking to learn...
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:16 PM   #10
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Well besides the possible death of the damsels. And the risk of fish death to others you add soon after. You can run into algae problems from the get go. New tanks already are extremely unstable, throwing a bunch of fish in quickly only exacerbates new tank problems even more.

Stocking a tank is a slow process, not uncommon to take a year or more. Slow and steady win the race when it comes to saltwater.

Also when you add many fish at the same time you really set yourself up for problems regarding disease, stress, and territorial problems. And besides all that you will never be able to catch them without taking all your rock out unless you somehow trap them. But even thats is sketchy. Adding a new fish with damsels is likely to end with the new addition being harassed or killed.

As you can see, cycling with damsels can really cause more problems then they are worth. Besides it being cruel there are just better ways.

Please note, i do not support PETA. Lol
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