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Old 03-31-2006, 04:36 PM   #1
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New tank that was passed on by a friend

I have bought saltwater aquarium from friend at work it is a 30 Gallon with 2 clown fish. Checked all levels yesterday had to do water change and add lots of salt almost like if it were 1st startup. Checked levels last night they were all good but ph was 8.6. Today I checked again and now nitrate and nitrite are showing unsafe and stress. I need help with what to do next. Ammonia level is also good.
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Old 03-31-2006, 04:50 PM   #2
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You need to do water changes to get the nitrites and nitrates down. How high are they? If they are severe, you might want to do a 50% water change today, check the readings and then do another one tomorrow. If there was a dramatic improvement, maybe only 25%. Keep this up until they are at zero.
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Old 03-31-2006, 04:59 PM   #3
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Thank you did 50% yesterday. Do I need to make it sand bottom instead of gravel or coral that is in it?
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Old 03-31-2006, 05:12 PM   #4
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I would do another 50% today if the readings are still in the danger zone. Vacuum the substrate well when you are doing this, well under the surface. Do not attempt to change out the substrate until you have the nitrites under control.
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Old 03-31-2006, 05:21 PM   #5
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It only came with filter and heater so bought little powerhead at wal-mart last night to help. How long does it usually take to get the water stable after it has been off for so long? Any other suggestions of things I might need to purchase (test kits etc...) the test kits I have are from walmart and they are just strips are these sufficient? Also bigger fish was trying to attack smaller should I do anything to help that? I will try to post some pics of tank shortly
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Old 03-31-2006, 05:32 PM   #6
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As far as how long does it take, that is hard to say. I would say within a week, with improvements happening little by little would be within reason. You need to pick up test kits that will be a little more accurate. Try a petsmart or local fish store. Be sure to clean out the filter floss and add fresh carbon if those things are in there now.

How long have those fish been together? If the aggression keeps up, I would take one of them to a store and trade it in for a different fish. Give them time to settle in first tho. Try rearranging the tank decorations a bit.
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Old 03-31-2006, 05:37 PM   #7
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Changed filter yesterday ( should I change again or just rinse out) and moved decorations because I took the undergravel filter piece out. I plan on going to Knoxville to The Aquarium store where they only deal with saltwater to pick up better test. Fish have been together about 5 months after lionfish died while guy was in Iraq. Fed them cube of brine shrimp last night after water change not sure if they eat it all as it broke up and floated around. Should we get any kind of cleaners or anything like that yet?
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Old 03-31-2006, 06:45 PM   #8
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dont get any type of invert, or fish until you have the water under control...chances are they will die if you dont wait. You might also want to cut back on feeding the fish, once every two days is sufficient and then maybe only half a cube.
It is my belief that the moving of the tank, decorations and all that stirred up the bad stuff and that is why you are having problems now.
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Old 03-31-2006, 08:19 PM   #9
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What about flake food? What do I need to start a qt tank or start a new tank? What is a good vaccum? Also do I need to get a protein skimmer once I get good water quality?
Thank you for the help hopefully I can get it under control soon.
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Old 03-31-2006, 10:01 PM   #10
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Many here will recommend against flake food because it can fall to the bottom and start to break down so quickly before fish find it; personally, I use it (spirulina flakes), and have not had too big of a problem because I put just enough in where the fish eat it all well before the bottom of the tank.

A QT tank will need a filter, a heater, a light, and something for the fish to hide in/behind. Whether you want substrate is up to you, many people will recommend against substrate in a QT for simplicity.

A good vaccuum is where you dig the siphon deep into the substrate and get all the garbage that may be hiding in it. I assume you have crushed coral? Push the siphon as deep as you can go into it, to the bottom if you can, allow any cloud of buildup to siphon up and out, and then move over to the next spot.

As far as the skimmer, I'll let someone else answer that..I'm not sure if a 30 gallon without corals would need a skimmer, but a more experienced reefkeeper could give you a better answer...

Paul
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