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Old 04-14-2004, 12:44 AM   #1
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New to the forum/New to Saltwater Tanks

**Warning: Very Long Post**
Hi Everyone! I was wondering why my "new" percula clown was not eating, so i went on a search and found a awesome treasure...aquariumadvice.com. Thanks for letting me be a part of this community. Unfortunantly I will not be able to contribute much knowledge, because I am very new to Saltwater tanks. Here's my story:
I bought a 75 gallon tank from my friend. I had the fish guy from the fish store come over and set it up. Everything seems to be going okay (as far as i know), but ny "new" clownfish decided not to eat much today. Here's what I got. Please tell me what I need, or don't need, and what I need to do. I have had the tank set up for about 1 1/2 weeks.

75 Gallon Tank
Emperor 400 filter
Sea Clone 150 protein skimmer
Crushed coral and sand
Hydro Meter (38 Reading)
Therm. (73 Degrees)
Ammonia Detecter (name?) (safe reading)
5 pound live rock piece
Big Fake Rock (fish swim in and out of)
2 yellow tailed damsels
2 black and white spotted damsels (name?)
1 percula clown (not hungry)
16 hermit crabs

Questions:
1. Is the filter enough?
2. I am feeding everything frozen brime, is this okay?
3. How much do I feed?
4. Do the Hermit Crabs have enough to eat with the tank being only 1 1/2 weeks old?
5. Am I too afraid?

I know this is alot of info, but I don't know much at all. Thanks for the help.
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Old 04-14-2004, 01:05 AM   #2
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Re: New to the forum/New to Saltwater Tanks

Hey neighbor! Welcome to AA.com! Loganj in Chatsworth, GA here...just down the road a bit from you. I'll try to give you some insight on your tank if I can. If you don't mind me asking, what store set up the tank for you?



Quote:
Emperor 400 filter
Good filter...probably the best HOB available.

Quote:
Sea Clone 150 protein skimmer
Unfortunately, this is one of the worst skimmers available (IMO). Although it is better than nothing, it's not nearly enough for a 75g tank.

Quote:
Crushed coral and sand
You'll need to vacuum this. It's better not to mix substrates. Go with either the CC or sand.

Quote:
Hydro Meter (38 Reading)
38 is a bit high. An SG of 1.025 or salinity of 35ppt is recommended. The hydrometer is temp sensitive though and your tank is a bit cool.

Quote:
Therm. (73 Degrees)
Too cold. Needs to be around 78*F minimum. I keep mine at about 80*.

Quote:
Ammonia Detecter (name?) (safe reading)
Toss it and get some test kits. Your tank is cycling and, IMO, these sensors are not sensitive enough. You'll need kits for ammonia,nitrite, nitrate, pH, alkalinity, and possibly calcium.

Quote:
5 pound live rock piece
That's good. I would plan on adding more though...much more...about 100lbs total.

Quote:
Big Fake Rock (fish swim in and out of)
2 yellow tailed damsels
2 black and white spotted damsels (name?)
1 percula clown (not hungry)
16 hermit crabs
Nothing wrong with the fake rock if you like it. I'm afraid you may lose some livestock as the tank cycles though. That is a large bioload for a new tank. I've had good luck with the yellow tailed damsels in community tanks...not so sure about the other damsels. Damsels are pretty mean and can kill a fish much larger than themselves.

Quote:
Questions:
1. Is the filter enough?
IMO, yes...it's enough for now. Until you can add some LR or as long as you don't increase the fish load in the tank by much.

Quote:
2. I am feeding everything frozen brime, is this okay?
Actually, although most fish love brine, you need to vary their diet some. I feed blender mush, flake, brine, and several other frozen marine foods.

Quote:
3. How much do I feed?
Very little until the tank cycles. After that...once a day...no more than they'll eat in about 5 minutes.

Quote:
4. Do the Hermit Crabs have enough to eat with the tank being only 1 1/2 weeks old?
Yes, they will scavenge what the fish don't eat. Hermits don't require much in the way of food.

Quote:
5. Am I too afraid?
No, but I think we need to talk more about your tank setup and what your goals are for this tank. I would also like to suggest reading "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" by Robert Fenner. Since we live so close to each other, lets set up a meeting one day and I'll loan you my copy.

Quote:
I know this is alot of info, but I don't know much at all. Thanks for the help.
No problem...check out the articles here on the site. Especially the ones on cycling tanks and the Berlin method of reef filtration. And again, WELCOME! You might want to check out the GA forum as well.
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Old 04-14-2004, 01:50 AM   #3
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Hey Logan thanks for the advice! I would love to meet you sometime and talk some tank. The store was a little store called FISH YIP. I would like to have live corral as well as beutiful fish for my tank. I have great lighting the fish store owner said. 2 hood lights. He said they were about $200 each.(???)

1. What do I need in terms of a protien skimmer?
2. I already have the CC and sand in the tank mixed up. This was used in the tank previously about three years ago. cleaned it about 5 times.
3. Believe this or not, the store owner said that he has been doung this for 40 yrs, and fish in the long run are more healthy and will live longer in 70-72 degrees. I am not saying that your wrong, but I have heard alot of conflicting data on this subject. Is he Crazy?
4.When I bought the tank from by friend, he had a bunch of test kits with it, I just dont know how to use them. I got the tank and sand, and all he had for 200 bucks!! Tank is about 4 yrs old.
5. Ho soon should i get more live rock, and how much, and how often till I get to 100lbs? What kind of live rock is best?
6. I hope I dont loose any fish. Do you think I will?
7. How much more filtration will I need for a full tank load (which is what?)(fish,LR)
8. Do you mix your foods in one feeding, or switch every feeding?
9. About my clown. It's not moving around much, and didnt eat today. Any comments?
10. How long does it take to cycle the tank? How do you know when it's done?

Thanks for the info!!!!! Thanks Alot!!!
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Old 04-14-2004, 10:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by revhtree
I have great lighting the fish store owner said. 2 hood lights. He said they were about $200 each.(???)
Do you know what they are? PC's possibly? Are the bulbs twin tubes that are connected with a plug on one end? If so, how long are the bulbs and how many are there?

Quote:
1. What do I need in terms of a protien skimmer?
First, you need to decide if you intend to add a sump to the system later. If so, you'll want an in sump skimmer. If you intend to stay with HOB equipment, I'd go with an Aqua C Remora Pro using a Mag 3 pump.

Quote:
2. I already have the CC and sand in the tank mixed up. This was used in the tank previously about three years ago. cleaned it about 5 times.
That's OK...you can use it. It's just that CC needs to be vacuumed to remove detritus. It's hard to vacuum sand...it gets sucked into the siphon tube. Also, different types of small inverts live in the diferent sizes of substrate. When you mix substrates, it means you don't have the ideal environment for any of them.

Quote:
3. Believe this or not, the store owner said that he has been doing this for 40 yrs, and fish in the long run are more healthy and will live longer in 70-72 degrees. I am not saying that your wrong, but I have heard alot of conflicting data on this subject. Is he Crazy?
Crazy? I can't say that. Keeping the fish in cooler water probably slows their metabolism down a good bit. Fish are cold blooded and depend on their environment to regulate their body temp. Most of the fish we keep in aquariums come from tropical climates where the sun is out and hot for 12 hours or more per day. I feel, and I think most folks will agree, that fish should be kept in an environment that mimics their natural habitat as closely as possible. Corals will also do much better in water that's 78-82*F. Some of the more delicate corals won't survive long in cooler water.

Quote:
4.When I bought the tank from by friend, he had a bunch of test kits with it, I just dont know how to use them. I got the tank and sand, and all he had for 200 bucks!! Tank is about 4 yrs old.
Well...you got a pretty good deal on the tank IMO. I'm going to guess the kits that came with the tank are out of date and probably won't give accurate readings anyway. I'd toss them and get either Salifert or Seachem kits. There are many brands of test kits on the market...many of them are not very good...Salifert is the best IMO.

Quote:
5. How soon should i get more live rock, and how much, and how often till I get to 100lbs? What kind of live rock is best?
The best way to do it is to add it all at once and use it to cycle the tank. Since you already have fish, you'll need to cure the rock in a separate container unless you buy cured rock from the LFS (very expensive!). Check out the article on curing rock on this site. I would probably go with aquacultured rock as its collection has less of an impact on the natural reefs.

Quote:
6. I hope I dont loose any fish. Do you think I will?
I hate to say it, but I think it's likely unless you get test kits for ammonia and nitrite. You'll have to control those levels with water changes.

Quote:
7. How much more filtration will I need for a full tank load (which is what?)(fish,LR)
All you need is about 1.5lbs of LR per gallon and a good skimmer. There isn't really a rule on tank load. Stocking densities are much lower than FW though. A general guideline (with all sorts of exceptions) is 1" of fish per 5 gallons of water. This is dependent on what kind of fish you have...some are heavy waste producers...some are not.

Quote:
8. Do you mix your foods in one feeding, or switch every feeding?
I switch around. Give them some variety.
Quote:
9. About my clown. It's not moving around much, and didnt eat today. Any comments?
My guess is that it may be a combination of cool water and possibly rising ammonia levels.
Quote:
10. How long does it take to cycle the tank? How do you know when it's done?
I would say the average is about 6 weeks. Some will take a bit longer and some will cycle more quickly. You know it's done when the ammonia and nitrite levels fall to 0 and stay there. Nitrate levels will start to come up as well.
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Old 04-14-2004, 10:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Do you know what they are? PC's possibly? Are the bulbs twin tubes that are connected with a plug on one end? If so, how long are the bulbs and how many are there?
Yes they are twin bulbs connected at the end. There are 4 bulbs total. 2 in each hood. Each bulb is half the size of the tank.

I am going to check into all these things. Thanks for the info...again!
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Old 04-14-2004, 11:43 AM   #6
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Well, depending on the wattage of the bulbs, you could have 220 watts or 260 watts. You should be able to keep soft corals under that (most of them anyway), mushrooms, zoanthids (place them high in the tank), and some other low light inverts. SPS, anemones, and other high light inverts are not going to do well under that amount of light. You can have a very nice tank with soft corals though.
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Old 04-15-2004, 12:43 AM   #7
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Hey well, I bought 100pds of live rock today. It had 2 scallops, and a very small anemone, and some very cool looking small brain coral develpoing. The lfs said that the rock was already cured. So it's in, and the fish are loving it. I bought all new test today, and tested. The PH was 8.2. The Ammonia was 1.0. The Nitrite was 0.25. The Nitrate was 5.0. How are these levels for a 1 1/2 week old tank? The protein skimmer was very full of crud today, I dumped and rinsed it with hot water. The fish all seem to be doing fine. The lfs owner came over and placed the live rock for me. He said that the damsels were probably picking on my clown, and thats why he's not that active. He said that he will eat from the live rock as well. I also bought a variety of foods today. Whew!! This is getting expensive. (but it's worth it to me) Couple of questions:

1. Are the scallops hard to maintain? (flame scallops)
2. I have the little anemone in a small glass mesuring cup, with air bubbles being pumped in. The lfs owner said this was fine, and to leave it in for about 1 month. Feed it a little brine, and it should be ok. What are your comments on this? I have a liitle cc, and sand in the bottom of the cup.

I feel alot better today than last night. Thanks for all the comments and help Logan and all.
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Old 04-15-2004, 11:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by revhtree
PH[/acronym] was 8.2. The Ammonia was 1.0. The Nitrite was 0.25. The Nitrate was 5.0. How are these levels for a 1 1/2 week old tank?
Not too bad...you may not see much of a cycle with all that cured rock. I would do a water change pretty soon to bring the ammonia down a bit. The levels you want are: ammonia=0, nitrite=0, nitrate=less than 10.

Quote:
1. Are the scallops hard to maintain? (flame scallops)
I've never had much luck with them. They require very small food particles. You might be able to feed them Marine Snow or something similar.
Quote:
2. I have the little anemone in a small glass mesuring cup, with air bubbles being pumped in. The lfs owner said this was fine, and to leave it in for about 1 month. Feed it a little brine, and it should be ok. What are your comments on this? I have a liitle cc, and sand in the bottom of the cup.
Well, I've never heard of doing it this way. Most anemones are difficult to keep and usually don't do well in new tanks. You'll need to keep the water very clean in the cup. You'll just have to try and see.
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