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Old 08-23-2010, 12:58 AM   #1
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Newbie here... 125 gallon tank set up, lemmie know what u think

Alright everyone... I'm a business owner who has set up a 125 gallon salt water tank... I'm getting help through the lfs, but also thought I'd try to learn as much about it as possible here too. I'm still pretty early on, just thought I'd quickly let you guys know what's taken place and maybe any advice or comments you feel I'd welcome.

It's around 6ft long, maybe 2 feet high, 125 gallon as stated... the lfs sold me some live sand/gravel, and some regular I believe... maybe all regular (I got the sand about a month ago, I apologize on this, but I think that is how it went)... I have no heater at the moment, but will be getting one (actually 2) soon.

I have a pump that filters/pushes through the water... it is on the top of the water pointing in opposite directions to increase water flow (a lotta stagnant water yet though)

I got 5 blue damsels I believe they are called to help start 'cycling' the tank...

The tank was filled several weeks ago and just sat... the blue damsels were just purchased last week along w/everyting being set up. This tank is very new. All 5 (very small) fish are still doing well. Water is slightly (although nowhere near extreme) cloudy, and the salt lever I believe is at .023

Thanks for reading, and remember I'm a newbie here, but looking forward to any comments. Also there currently is NOTHING in the tank other than the 5 tiny fish and the gravel.

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Old 08-23-2010, 02:19 PM   #2
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Hey there, welcome and it sounds like you have a pretty nice setup so far. Your LFS is heading you in the right direction. You'll need to "cycle" the tank for a few months to stabilize the system. You'll need a good test kit to check your Ammonia, PH, Nitrates, Nirtites and Phosphates. Later, if you add corals you will want to get a kit to check Calcium and Magnesium, but for now, the previous mentioned kit will do fine. API make some greate "all in one" kits that are reasonably priced.

How much sand did you put in? How many inches thick is it on the bottom? Also, do you have a protein skimmer or any other equipment in your sump?

So far so good though, you're headed in the right direction! Let's see some pics of the tank!

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Old 08-23-2010, 03:36 PM   #3
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Sounds like it will be a cool tank. In the future i would probably avoid using damsels (or any fish) to cycle your tank. Read this short article on "fishless cycling".

Cycle your salt tank

It is difficult on the fish to go through the cycle because ammonia and nitrite that accumulate during the cycle are actually toxic. Also, depending on what kind of tank you want (reef, fish only, peacful/agressive) most damsels are very agressive and can really be a pain when you try and add more fish down the road. Do you know if you will be doing coral or what type of fish you would like to keep?

Just a couple questions about the set up so that people can offer a bit more advice. What kind of pump/filter do you have on the tank? Do you have any rock in the tank or is just sand and water right now? If you don't know the type of filter you can always just snap a quick picture and upload it. I know all the equipment can be a lot to remember when you first get things started. It took me a while to figure it all out when i first started.

A willingness to learn and take advice from others is the best thing you can do in this hobby. Glad to see you join us in the saltwater world.
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Old 08-23-2010, 05:11 PM   #4
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That`s a great article that Pat posted. Welcome to SW.


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Old 08-28-2010, 07:03 PM   #5
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Well... I just got my net back up... anndd.... Wednesday 2 fish were dead (left me down to 3)... Thurs 2 more died... and yesterday (friday) the final 5th fish was dead... after the first 4 died I took water sample to lfs, they said everything was good... they suggested it may have possible got too cold overnight in the tank? It's been high 90 ish during the day, but it did get down to maybe 60 overnight, but my business typically stays in the 75-80 degree range... I went ahead (after all are now dead) and bought 2 heaters and a thermostat I stuck onto the outside glass... I have not put the heaters in yet, and upon sticking the thermo to the glass last night it registered 76... today it is 76-78... It theoretically could have possibly fallen (I'm guessing) to maybe 74 but I don't see how it would've got much colder than that... would that be cold enough to kill the damsels? I'm very cautious now especially after flushing $35 down the toilet lol. I'll try and take some pics soon of the set up and post them on here. Also the gravel is roughly an inch high (I'd guess) on bottom of the tank. No skimmer or anything, just a pump at the moment pushing the water w/a filter system.
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Old 08-29-2010, 10:54 AM   #6
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Well, I would recommend going through the fishless cycle at this point. This is one reason why people do the fishless cycle, because sometimes the water is not set up correctly and the fish won't make it.

Please be aware that it can take weeks - or sometimes a couple months to cycle a tank. You need to be patient as it will be better in the long run. If you haven't done so yet, get a master test kit (liquid) and test the water now to see where things are (specifically Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate) and post up what you have.

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