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Old 09-19-2004, 02:15 PM   #1
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Location: BC, Canada
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Oh boy...

Just started my new 90G SW tank, and I have been making a ton of mistakes. The tank is 2 weeks old and last week I stuck in some LR. It has some really black looking velvet like algae? growing on it, as well as a normal brown. I have stuck in 2 damsels and a hawkfish.
The black on the LR is concerning me, I stuck in the live rock in so fast because of the great buy on it ($15 for about 10 pounds). I am starting to have a foam accumulate on the top of the tank already.
I think my LFS is on crack. They have made some crazy recommendations which is quite a bit different than the advice at AA.
I only have 1 PH, I use a magnum 350 canister filter. I am told I don't need a protein skimmer for quite some time (about a year).
My water is very hard (400 ppm) and was told it would be fine. I am starting to find that I have to do my own research, and becareful of the advice from others. What do you think my next steps should be?

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Old 09-19-2004, 02:55 PM   #2
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i would take the fish out, and give them back to the store..... asap thats probaly the best thing to do and get alot more live rock probaly 100lbs more then what you have in there now..... and i recomend gettnig a protein skimmer (not sure what kind) jstu ask around and read forums on skimmers

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Old 09-19-2004, 05:04 PM   #3
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I'll second mhaynes01 on taking the fish back. What are your water parameters? If you don't have at least pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate tests, getting them and seeing what's happing in your water would be a good second step! The "black algae" worries me a little as die-off on LR can often be black and if that's what it is, you've probably got crazy ammonia levels in there--really hard on the fish.

And welcome to AA--there are so many experienced people here who will help newbies like us.
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Euroreef ES5-3
2x Maxijet powerheads
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1 peppermint shrimp and 1 fire shrimp (very shy)
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3 chromis, too identical to name as yet, in QT
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Old 09-19-2004, 06:32 PM   #4
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I'll third that statement. I just cycled my first saltwater tank. This is what I learned from my mistakes:

At least 1lb of lr per gallon. Get it and set it all at once if possible and be patient. Mine took about a week and I saw amonia in the tank. Eventually it cycled through the amonia to the nitrite and now nitrate. You need to test these levels often. You'll see the progression. You will have die off on the lr, thus the amonia. NO FISH YET. They will be in hell with the amonia. They may make it but maybe not.

The protein skimmer I think is important. I was told to wait a few weeks before using one. It is an excellent filtration devise also.

I ended up with two powerheads with two canister filters helping to push water. The lr needs good water movement arround it. Iv'e placed one ph on each side of the tank. One low pushing water on the front of my rock and one higher pushing the opposite way on the back of the lr. Canisters on the back pushing to the center.

This is what I have learned. If I am mistaken someone please correct me.

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Old 09-19-2004, 06:59 PM   #5
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What size tank and what kind of lighting are you using Bushman if you don't mind me asking? Rory
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Old 09-20-2004, 05:57 PM   #6
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I have an 80 gal. with 80 lbs lr. I currently have two aqualight quad pin 96watt hoods. Yah Yah I know, not enough wattage. That lighting was one of the biggest mistakes I made. They were recommended to me by a local fish store. I believe I will be getting the lunar aqualight with 4-96 watt bulbs. It also has the lunar bulbs that I want.
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Old 09-20-2004, 11:31 PM   #7
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The black flaky stuff is possibly "chicken liver algae" do a google search, and perhaps search the archives of this forum. I don't have a pic anymore but that is what I had on my LR when I first put it in. I made the noob mistake of adding SW before the salt had fully dissolved (takes about 24hrs really...) and that just added to the dieoff, which added to the cycle which added to the nitrates which fed the algae.

Ultimately I took it out (the LR) , scrubbed it with a plastic bristle brush and put it back in. Got LOTs better.

LFS are like... opinions.. - everybody has one. Read read read read read - and make the best decisions you can based on the info at hand. No matter which way you go - have patience.


Nate C
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Old 09-20-2004, 11:54 PM   #8
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Hi Bushman I was reading about Agualight in aquarium Fish and went to esuweb.com saw the Lunar Aqualight Really like it but would like to hear more opinions on it from some of the regulars here.I read more than I reply cause I'm new here but they give good advice here.The site didn't have pricing there. Did find a LFS I've dealt with on there list though. If you get yours let me know how you like them and I'll do the same. Good luck. Rory
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Old 09-21-2004, 12:27 AM   #9
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I wouldn't worry about the light too much right now, there are bigger problems. Have you tested your water chems? During a cycle it is necessary to monitor your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. This will tell you where you stand.
If 10 lbs of rock is generating foam on the surface, I suspect there is a LOT of die off.
I agree with the others, the best course of action would be to return the fish for a credit, get more rock (at least another 60-80 lbs for starters). You may want to check out http://www.liverocks.com. They have super stuff, many of us have used it with excellent results and the price is right.
Allow your tank to cycle without the use of fish. Most of us agree it is a cruel and obsolete way to cycle. LR will do a fantastic job and no need to torture any animals in the process.
Check out LR.com, we will help talk you through the rest.
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Old 09-21-2004, 07:44 PM   #10
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I had the probably the same black stuff on 2 pieces of my rock. I got a wire grill brush and scrubbed the heck out of it, til there wasn't anymore on the rock. Like everyone else said, it's probably die off. Spend the money and get more rock. That is important, you probably want to drop a few bucks on some base rock as well. I have read on here where the LR can sink into the substrate and in essence kill the living stuff where there is no circulation.



75 gal SW tank, Eheim 2215 Filter, 45lb Figi Premium LR, 2 Maxi-Jet Powerhead/Pump Model 900

5 Dwarf Red Tip Hermit Crabs, 5 Dwarf Blue Leg Hermit Crabs, 3 Emerald Mithrax Crabs, 1 Cleaner Shrimp, 1 Fire Shrimp, 10 Cerith Snails, 10 Nassarius Snails, 6 Bumble Bee Snails, 16 Turbo Snails, 1 Brittle Sea Star

Yellow-tailed Blue Damsel, Foxface Lo, Coral Beauty Angelfish, Sailfin Tang, Scooter Blenny
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