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Old 05-26-2006, 07:21 PM   #1
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New Saltwater tank. Need advice and help PLEASE

Here is my situation. I started a tank about 8 months ago. Everything was well until recently I had a massive red and green algae attack and everything started to die off. So yesterday I cleaned out everything including water and sand to start all over again.

Can someone tell me what I am missing or what I should look for?
Below is my equipment

20 gal tank
Fluval canister filter
50/50 light
about 8 lbs of live rock and approximately 12 lbs of fake rock
NO FISH (planning on getting damsel tonight.)

I don't have a protein skimmer. Do I need one? If so what brand?

I want a tank with few fish and inverts (mainly crabs and shrimps).
No corals or plants.


How often should I clean tank and/or filter???

Please if anyone can help I would highly appreciate it.
THANKS
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Old 05-26-2006, 08:44 PM   #2
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Quote:
planning on getting damsel tonight
It's not really recommended to cycle w/fish.

With smaller tanks, it is more important to check water to make sure there are no spikes.
I would suggest a test set:

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...&N=2004+113074
awesome price!

maybe a refractometer

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...&N=2004+113761

another great price.

Quote:
I had a massive red and green algae attack and everything started to die off.
Sorry to hear that. It sounds like there might have been more going on than just that.
Hopefully other folks can help out here.

Good Luck!
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Old 05-26-2006, 09:17 PM   #3
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8 lbs of lr is not enough if its bigger than like, 10 gallons imo. so that could possibly by why...simply not enough filtration. I dont think that the fluval would do anything really, with live rock in there... i've got a fluval on my tank right now, but as soon as i get some lr, i'm trading for a decent hob skimmer (if anyone wants to trade, see my thread in the trade forum!) and dont do the damsels...or just wait till its done cycleing. If you have some more live rock, say...at least 12 lbs, then your cylce will go much faster, or you wont even see much of a cylce.

i'm sure i'll think of something else later too, but thats all i can think of now.
hth
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Old 05-26-2006, 09:50 PM   #4
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from what I read the tank is 8 months old so I woud "assume " the cycle is over. And in a 8 month time period the 12 lbs of base rock would now be LR so they have 20 lbs of LR now IMO, if they have been feeding the tank.. Is there anything in the tank????
What kind of water are you using? Tap, ro, ro/di???
Do you have test kits?
Post numbers, nitrates, phosphates.
Can u post a pic of the algae?
If it s red and slimy then it s cyno bacteria. Do a search on the site for info on this there are a ton of posts on this.

You did CYCLE the tank 8 months ago right?????
skimmer is a good idea but not needed if you do weekly water changes and keep testign the water to monitor the water quality.
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Old 05-26-2006, 10:06 PM   #5
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about 8 lbs of live rock and approximately 12 lbs of fake rock
fake rock, not base rock...if it is base rock, then ya, it would be live by now imo too...but if its fake rock, it wouldnt be...would it?
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Old 05-26-2006, 10:19 PM   #6
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I had the tank for 8 months before all went wrong so I restarted.

Don't I need fish to start cycle???

Do I need a protein skimmer?/
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Old 05-26-2006, 10:27 PM   #7
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no do not use fish to cycle...i did and didnt have a problem with anything, but its hard on the fish...i didnt know at the time of course. To start the cycle use a dead shrimp, like you would buy at the supermarket...just stick a couple in there. As far as the skimmer, they're not necessary if you really keep up on your water changes. You need to make sure that your amonia are being broken down into nitrite, and your nitrite to nitrate. If you have about 20 lbs of live rock, that'll take care of the breaking down of amonia and nitrite, and then the skimmer will keep all the crud out of the water, thus keeping down the nitrates and stuff. If you dont have a skimmer, you'll have excess nitrates, which will kill fish if much above 20. I dont think theres a way to get rid of nitrates other than water changes, so if you dont have a skimmer, you need to make sure to do yer changes.

buy test kits if you dont have them, as you'll need them to see where your cycle is at, and jsut for after too.
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Old 05-26-2006, 10:54 PM   #8
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If you dont have a skimmer, you'll have excess nitrates, which will kill fish if much above 20. I dont think theres a way to get rid of nitrates other than water changes, so if you dont have a skimmer, you need to make sure to do yer changes.
This is not entirely true.

Nitrates are non-toxic to fish, but can be detrimental to your inverts. Exceeding 20ppm of nitrates won't kill your fish but it isn't safe practice for overall health of your tank.

High nitrates are indicative of some underlying problem that needs to be dealt with. Testing for NO3 is a good way to give you a general look at the waters quality, and anything above 20ppm needs to be dealt with by PWC's. Good skimmers will help keep your NO3 levels in check, but it's also important not to overfeed as well.

There are other methods for nitrate control, the most popular being refugiums with planted macro's. The macro's will utilise the NO3 for growth, thus diminishing the levels and giving you O2 as a beneficial by-product.
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Old 05-26-2006, 11:04 PM   #9
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ah, srry about that one! Ive always been told that high nitrates CAN kill fish, but yes, it isnt good overall for your tank. I've just heard where if its much above the 20 mark, it can cause problems, but as said above, that WOULD indicate something else. And do the macro USE nitrates, or do they just hold them? i'm unclear about that...

again, srry for that mixup
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Old 05-26-2006, 11:24 PM   #10
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Don't sweat the mixup, no biggie.

The macro's USE the nitrates (and phosphates too), and convert them to plant bio-mass.
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