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Old 10-23-2009, 11:36 PM   #1
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Talking New (to me) set up

Today I was given a wonderful gift by a man that wanted out of the hobby. Apparently he brought home a tang from a store and didn't quarantine it. It killed all the fish in the tank in a matter of days. So he Freecycled the whole thing, and I happened to be the blessed beneficiary of a 55 gal salt water setup, with everything. tank, sump, pump, bioballs, air pumps, and a bunch of rock. oh, food, salt, hygrometer, etc. everything.

I have a couple of issues. This is my first salt tank. I took some pics. I assume all this coral is "live rock." I will set up everything and let it cycle. I am in no hurry for fish. I still have a half gallon of ammonia from a FW cycle I just finished last month. So we have FW fish to watch as this tank does its thing. Is that it? just dose the ammonia like I did the FW?

Now, this rock, doesn't look like it is enough, really, so I will have to get more base rock. Is there just regular rock looking rock, or is it all going to look like this stuff?

I have some sand that someone may have gotten off a beach and may have been using in the FW tank. I have heard it is illegal to take sand and rocks from the beaches in FL so if this is true, I will definitely let my friend know not to do that again.

the gentleman said that he dropped the lights into the tank, and now they do not work. So is the ballast blown? or the bulbs?

And Finally, he had two snails and two hermit crabs. They are now in about 1/4 gal of water. do they need anythng special before I set up the tank? should I feed them something? I know my freshwater snails love veggies.

thanks
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Old 10-24-2009, 12:10 AM   #2
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Welcome to the saltie side!
That is probably no longer "live" rock. Live refers to the beneficial bacteria that converts ammonia to nitrItes to nitrAtes. This will become live during/after your cycle.
You can get base rock to save quite a bit of money. I usually go with 75% base to 25% live rock.
Getting sand/rock/critters off the beach (you already mentioned the legality of it) can be dangerous. The beach is a basic filter for pollution and there is no telling what you would be introducing into your tank.
If he dropped the lights in the tank, your best bet would be to replace the whole lighting system, since the SW may have done more damage than just the ballast or bulbs. But, if you feel adventurous, you can try to fix them.
The hermits and snails you can feed a tiny pinch of food. I would watch the temp and get something to move a little of the water around.
Oh, I would also suggest you investing in a refractometer instead of the hydrometer.
It looks like you may need a heater and some phs as well.
O2 exchange happens at the surface of the water in a SW tank.
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Old 10-24-2009, 12:25 AM   #3
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So set it up and drop some ammonia like a FW?

Oh, and a PH and two heaters came with the package. Along with flakes, frozen and seaweed. it is totally complete.
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Old 10-24-2009, 09:06 AM   #4
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Yep, although I'm not sure about how much ammonia to add. I use a raw jumbo shrimp, but the concept is the same thing.
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Old 10-24-2009, 11:41 PM   #5
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I am super excited. I have everything together and running. I did end up cheating and using beach sand. I can't help it, I live so close. Plus I think I got some critters. we'll see. Now to wait out the cycle.
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:00 AM   #6
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I bought some coquina for $5 from someone clearing out a property. and added the corals from the original gift. the wife is happy, so I am happy. I washed the rocks in the bay and hunted for critters. I managed to find a handful of snails and a couple crabs.

I ordered two ballasts from sunpark and I have been adding ammonia.

all that is left for me really is to get some live rock with life.

the light is the DIY LED xmass lights. It works good as a night light
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Old 11-01-2009, 01:32 PM   #7
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I bought some coquina for $5 from someone clearing out a property. and added the corals from the original gift. the wife is happy, so I am happy. I washed the rocks in the bay and hunted for critters. I managed to find a handful of snails and a couple crabs.

I ordered two ballasts from sunpark and I have been adding ammonia.

all that is left for me really is to get some live rock with life.

the light is the DIY LED xmass lights. It works good as a night light
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Old 11-01-2009, 10:39 PM   #8
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Score!. I got a Fluval 404 for $25. it's going on the freshwater tank.
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