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Old 01-10-2011, 12:14 AM   #1
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New to saltwater, need a little help.

I've been reading through this forum and have had successful freshwater tanks in the past but have always wanted saltwater.
We found a 29 gal. Reef tank in our area on Craigslist. I know bigger is easier to maintain but we live in a small appartment and this is the largest I can support. It came stocked with a clown fish, yellow tang, a black urchin, peppermint shrimp, cleaner shrimp, 3 anemones, 2 turbo snails, some crabs, and about 25# live rock, and some kind of soft coral - it is round, green and disc like??? It came with a current actinic lighting, bak-pac protein skimmer, under gravel filter. "I didn't intend to own any anemones due to their long life spans in the wild, but since I have them I'm going to do my best to keep them alive".


This is the story....we got the tank for $300 and moved it to our house, everything was successful and no losses. I've added a bio wheel filter because the under gravel is not very good and there was a little more algae in the tank than I wanted and also my protein skimmers pump has not been working. We've had the tank about a week now and found out we have a problem with glass anemones and bristle worms (maybe fire worms, some have little red spots). We've tested the water and everything was fine. Yesterday we went to the LFS and bought a butterfly fish to deal with the anemone problem, brought him home, acclimated him to our tank. Once in the tank both the clown fish and the yellow tang would not leave him be. We quarantined the clown and yellow tang plus about 5# of live rock and used water from the tank. The butterfly was very happy for the rest of the day eating glass anemones. Come morning, the butterfly, peppermint shrimp and cleaner shrimp were all dead in a pile . One of my turbo snails was unhappy looking and my urchinís spines were drooping. The clown and yellow tang were quite fine in the quarantine tank. We tested the water and had very high nitrate levels in the main tank, the quarantine tank tested fine. We put the turbo snails and urchin in the quarantine tank and they perked up. We did a 60% water change and nitrate levels are much lower, around 15ppm. Everything is back in the main tank and everything seems to be doing alright so far. We also put in contaminant tester sponges and couldn't find any contaminants.
Thatís where I'm at right now. Not sure what I did wrong. Any advice would be great, plus if you have any advice on how to get rid of glass anemones and bristle worms (about a thousand)??
I look forward to being a part of this forum. Thanks everyone for your input.
I'll add a picture as soon as I can figure out how to!!
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Old 01-10-2011, 12:49 AM   #2
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find a place for the yellow tang. try to take it back to a store for credit towards corals or something.

those worms are fine and not a problem. the problem is the guy you bought it from overfed and overstocked, and that's why the worms have multiplied to that extent. just cut back on feeding and the worms will lessen.

don't add any more fish and keep doing water changes on a regular basis. feed every 2 days, and feed sparingly. please find a home for the yellow tang, or he'll be belly up soon too.
i would stick with just the clown for a while.

go to the LFS and get yourself some aptasia-x or kalkwasser. mix it into a paste and put it in a syringe and squirt 5-10 anemones right in the mouth, every few days until you've killed all the ones you see.
the sad thing is- usually, when you see a deal on craigslist, it's because the guy failed at it and just wants the mess he made out of his life asap. you have your work cut out for you, but it's nothing that can't be corrected.
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Old 01-10-2011, 12:56 AM   #3
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If it has an under gravel filter, you probably dislodged a lot of bad stuff from underneathe. I would take all the rocks out, all of the gravel and trade the tang for a bag of sand, 30#s. Then put the rocks back in.
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Old 01-10-2011, 01:01 AM   #4
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Thank you for responding Mr X. I will try to find a new home for the tang or trade him. Are tangs not a good fish choice for that size tank? Should I trade off any of the others? Do you think the glass anemones are a problem? Sorry for all the questions, I would just like to keep everything as healthy as possible. thanks again.
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Old 01-10-2011, 01:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabezon View Post
If it has an under gravel filter, you probably dislodged a lot of bad stuff from underneathe. I would take all the rocks out, all of the gravel and trade the tang for a bag of sand, 30#s. Then put the rocks back in.

Will sand work with an under gravel filter? And thank you for the advice.
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Old 01-10-2011, 01:06 AM   #6
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I actualy have some aptasia-x but was worried that it would hurt my other anemones. Is it safe for them?
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Old 01-10-2011, 01:10 AM   #7
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you put it on each anemone. it's not something that you treat the entire tank with. it won't hurt the other nems if you don't hit them with it. aptasia are ok, except for the fact that they are ugly, and reproduce very quickly. is it a problem? they can and do sting nearby corals, and look somewhat unsightly. it would be a problem for me.

i missed the undergravel filter part. i would get rid of that. cabezon is right, chuck the sand and get new sand. vacuum the old stuff out with water changes.

btw, yeah, tangs are meant for much larger tanks.
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Old 01-10-2011, 01:38 AM   #8
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Ok Thanks guys, I did not expect a responce in the same day, this is verry helpfull. I will take a trip to the LFS tomorow, Trade my tang and get some sand to replace the under gravel filter.Will my tank need to cycle again with new substrate? Is the Biowheel Penguin filter I have good enough? I will Also start treating the aiptasia.
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:45 AM   #9
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it shouldn't need to cycle. just buy dry sand and rinse it out thoroughly, otherwise your tank will look like an aquarium full of milk for a week.
have a large water change ready, because as you vacuum out the sand, you are stirring up a lot of nastiness.
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:41 PM   #10
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I traded my tang for in-store credit today. What type of sand is good, really fine or more course?
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