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Old 02-21-2012, 10:08 PM   #1
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New to saltwater...

Please don't read and forget me, I am excited about all of this and would like to hear from people who are more experience in this hobby...


Hello every one, my name is Scott Borden and I am new to the saltwater game. I have owned several fresh water tanks in the past and have decided to try my hand at saltwater.

I currently own a 15gal. upright. I set it up as a saltwater tank back on Jan. 24th, 2012. I currently have a live rock set up with 3 live rocks, and crushed coral substrate. I use a top mount filter with coal filter bags, a top mount heater which keeps the tank at a constant 77-78 degrees. Also decorated with 5 cleaned shells found on our trip to the Bahamas. The live rock appears to be doing very well. When I purchased it from the local petworld here in Rochester. One of the rocks had a large sea sponge on the top of it. I have a few questions about that but we will get back to that later.

Because of the size of the tank I have chosen to use, which many people have told me is small for a saltwater tank, I have been checking my levels every week, I currently am checking Salinity, Calcium, Carbonate Hardness, Phosphate, as well as Nitrate. Every thing appears to be checking out except for my Calcium. I hear Calcium along with KH is key for coral tanks. My Calcium appears to be high and is around 550. My KH is at about 7-8 DKH which is on the low end. What I am wondering is if this is "ok" or if I should work on a better balance.

My next question is regarding the sponge and other things which appear to be growing on my live rock. Is there any thing I should do to keep the sponge healthy? Another thing that I have found interesting is this "tube" like thing which appears to be poking out of one of the holes in the rock. It was not there until about a week after the tank was set up. I am interested in seeing what this will turn out to be. I was hoping some one could tell me. I should have photos up soon of my tank and all of the interesting things growing on my live rock. All of the water I use in my water changes is filtered straight from the tap, ran through the top mount filter and treated to remove any harmful chemicals. Should I be testing for other things? If so what?

As for fish I am not really looking to get them for at least another few weeks. But when I do I am looking to get 2 clown fish and possibly a small hermit crab. I don't want to overcrowd the tank, and knowing that clown fish need their space to swim I think 2 should be just enough for the amount of room that I have. I also hear that clown fish enjoy having ample room to hide as well as swim. Would you suggest I get a few more live rocks to help build more spaces to hide? As for anemones I am thinking either 1 or 2. Not really quite sure what type to get but that wont be for another month or 2. I want to make sure my levels are perfect, since I hear these things are extremely difficult to care for.

Any advice would be much appreciated!
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:41 AM   #2
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Pictures of the things growing on your live rock would help. Also tank pics too
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:20 AM   #3
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How did you set up a tank in the future? That's Crazy!!! lol
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:17 AM   #4
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15gallon tank is too small for a single clown let alone a pair. You will only have a handful of fish available with that size tank. Also anemones need an established tank and strong lighting. Take it slow, do some research, and enjoy.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:45 AM   #5
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Nano Fish is a good guide for finding nano fish. I have a pistol shrimp and wheeler goby that is a lot of fun to watch but I don't know how well that will work in your tank with crushed coral. There are some really neat invertebrates that you could have in your tank to add interest.
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Old 02-24-2012, 04:09 PM   #6
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Thanks every one. Just the other day I purchased a green emerald crab which is pretty neat, he has been eating algae non stop sense I got him but now I woke up to find that he has torn multiple chucks out of my sponge! Now there is sponge pieces all over the tank. Why is he doing this and will he stop before it's completely ruined??? I understand they help keep the tank clean from harmful algae and what not but it's not worth it if it's going to kill every thing that's growing. What should I do?
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Old 02-24-2012, 11:20 PM   #7
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Crabs are hit or miss type thing hopefully it hasn't done unrepairable damage to the sponge.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:13 PM   #8
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Well it has ripped it up and there are little pieces of it all over the bottom of the tank now but the larger portion of it is still in tact. He found shells in the sponge and pulled those out as well lol.
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Old 02-26-2012, 03:08 AM   #9
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So here is my tank as it sits now...


Here is my live rock set up as of right now...


If you look you can see the sponge on top, there is also something on the right rock that I am unsure of.

The rocks are now turning all sorts of colors like blue, green, and some redish pink in some areas.



Here is my emerald crab...


The main thing I am curious about is this, it's like a tube plant like thing that pulls back into the hole when the light is off. There is also a larger one growing in the corner of my tank, it's growing right out of the crushed coral.


Kind of curious what this is as well...
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Old 02-26-2012, 03:13 AM   #10
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Here are some more photos of my tanks...

The Fish Tank - Sciko-Photo's Photos
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