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Old 03-12-2008, 03:13 PM   #11
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A few comments...

Without reliably knowing your existing water parameters - specifically salinity and pH, I wouldn't do a 50% water change. That's a lot, and if the new water is very different than your old water, then you could shock the inhabitants. You really need to know where your tank is now, and where your newly made salt water is. I'd ditch the hydrometer and spend the money for a refractometer. You'll get waaaay better consistency in readings. That'd be my first line of defense... buy test kits/refractometer and get an idea of where your tank is now.

I'd also suggest that coral book I mentioned. All corals are not the same and do not want the same placement or care. Some want sand, others want rock. Some want high flow, others low flow. Some want meaty foods, others don't. Just a hunch, but if you don't remember what corals you tried in the past, I'm guessing they weren't researched much before purchasing. They might've just been put in the wrong place, or you were given bad info from your LFS.

You mention xenia, so I'm just guessing that maybe one of those chemicals someone told you to dose was iodine. As melosu mentioned, if you do weekly water changes, you'll most likely replenish all the chemicals you need with the water change. Dosing things without testing is a risky proposition. It's easy to overdose iodine so I wonder if that may have been one of your issues... if indeed that's something you added.

3. Change my plumbing (found rust running from a bracket into my wet/dry system)
Last but not least, THIS may be a big contributor also. Fix this before doing anything. Heavy metals in your tank water will kill things off pretty quick. But then again, your anemone is doing OK, so things can't be too bad. That still seems odd that it's doing OK.

6. Try to find the correct salinity and PH for the Fish and corals I have left
Ideal Water Parameters for Your Marine, Freshwater, Brackish Aquarium, or Pond

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Old 03-12-2008, 04:46 PM   #12
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Hmmmmmm.Orange Anenome....Prob an RBTA? Strange it has survived and corals have not....

Kurt...wouldnt too much iodine or heavy metals kill off the nem?

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Old 03-12-2008, 05:09 PM   #13
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Here are some essentials for you to try before much else.

1. Get a simple book like Paletta's "The New Marine Aquarium"
Or "The Conscientious Marine Aquariast" Something that gives a good
overview of set up, maintainance, stocking, etc. Read as much as
you can.
2. Decide what type of system you would like. Plan it out, all details from
building to stocking.
3. Buy everything you need including test kits (I find Hagen's to be both
effective and inexspensive).
4. Find someone or a LFS to babysit your livestock for teardown and
5. Now get the buckets, tear it all apart, and through out the CC.
Arrange your rock work first - on bare bottom. Use plastic cable ties,
resafe glue / epoxy, pvc, acrylic dowling. Get it the way you want it
and make it "STABLE". Make lots of openings and caves for flow, don't
do the "wall" thing alot of folks do. Make it interesting. Then add at
least 4 inches of sand (not silicate based). This can be dry sand, and
beg, borrow, or buy a few cups of good sand. Buy a detrivore kit
(after cycle). Fill it with salt water. Tweek to what you need for
parameters. I like Turbo Clacium, Superbuffer dKH, Reef Complete,
and start daily testing to see the cycle unfold. Go 36 days with out
adding anything except RO water for evaporite. Then do a 20% water
change and readjust parameters. Up to this point go with your 6 hour
lighting cycle. Add 1/2 your cleaner crew (snails & hermits) and just
one fish (sailfin or lawnmower blenny). On day 72 perform another 20%
waterchange. (You will also be topping off Evaporation and mixing
new water with RO) Order or buy second half of your cleaner crew.
Add second fish - a sand sifting goby highly recomended. Do Not
Overfeed Them! Again test test ant test until day 100.
6. Go ahead and adjust photo period to 7 hours, after another week go to eight hours, then 9 then 10 up to 12.
7. After bout day 100 add a good skimmer and a carbon filter.

Good luck, and keep asking questions - they are never dumb, they just make us all remember we to were once where you are now!
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Old 03-12-2008, 05:14 PM   #14
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I have to agree with switching out the CC. Do it about 1/4 a week and have extra PWC just in case you get a spike. I would also suggest getting a 32G plastic bucket on wheels to premix your PWC water. I keep my 32 going all the time (the wheels make it easier to move around). I have a ph and heater in that bucket. Salt mixes should be pre mixed for at least 24 hours. This will give it time to aerate, balance the pH and adjust the temp that tha of the tank's.
Age is relative, you are only as old as you act....of course, this works in reverse....

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Old 03-12-2008, 07:48 PM   #15
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I would also look at getting a RODI unit to make water and a refactometer to measure SG. The hydrometers have a bad rap for being inconsistent in their readings. They also need to be rinsed in clean water after every use.
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Old 03-12-2008, 08:56 PM   #16
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Thanks Guys for all of your help!!!!!!

1. Short on funds
2. I dont think my local LFS would be able to handle my livestock.
3. Anyone interested in any fish or anenome?

I will get a test kit and refractometer. Where do i find sand not silica based that doen't cost an arm and a leg? (that is the hard one)

Probably this weekend.

Is the problem with replacing all of the CC at one time the loss of the bacteria?


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Old 03-12-2008, 10:43 PM   #17
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Since I just bought a combination of substrate and after reading these post I need confirmation I am doing this right. I have a 72 gal bow front, rinsed and cleaned today and rinsed (with RO water) the substrate. I have not put any of it in yet but I have it ready to go. I have Florida crushed coral 15 #, I was going to put this on the bottom in a thin layer. I have cleaned Aragonite 40# I was going to layer it on the coral. I had read somewhere that putting a screen in between these layer was a good idea for burrowers. Then my plan is to top it off with 20# CaribSea live aragonite reef sand.
What do you think? I want to do it right in the first place.
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Old 03-12-2008, 11:37 PM   #18
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Okay - will try this again. For above mentioned questions. Once your tank has been up and running if you wish to get the CC removed (a very good thing) then remove livestock into holding containers with water from your system. pull out everything but the CC. Let the water settle and drain out as much unclouded water as you can. Now remove the whole thing. Trying to go in sections will release alot of bacteria into the tank that doesn't want to be disturbed - it could crash the whole tank. Now once everything is out put in sand. Approximately 4 inches or a little deeper is better. Now push sand away from bottom of glass and place foundation rock. Build a stable platform and basically make your aquascape. The screen someone mentioned to divide the layers is a plenum and if you aren't familiar with it don't do it! Live rock, a deep sand bed, and plenty of flow I what I tell beginners to shoot for as it is pretty bulletproof. You let it cycle and it will fully cycle and remove wastes.
Don't ever disturb the bottom though and expect everything to be ok!
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Old 03-12-2008, 11:41 PM   #19
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You can use regular play sand from HD or Lowes. I used a combination of Kolorscope play sand from HD and 2 grades of aragonite. The play sand won't cause algea problems, but I didn't like it because it had real small sharp pieces of crushed silica (crushed glass/quartz). It didn't bother my watchman tho. I eventually got rid of the play sand, but not because of any problems. I just didn't like how it looked compared to aragonite.

Dunno about the screen between layers. What would it be made out of? What happens if current moves the sand and uncovers it? Gobies would probably eventually get to it too. Doesn't really sound very feasible to me.
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Old 03-12-2008, 11:55 PM   #20
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Thought I'd chime in. First, at this point in time I agree in needing water chemistry results. To reiterate what another posted: NH3, NO2, NO3, pH, Salinity, Temperature. If you can perform a PO4 test, even better. The point of a protein skimmer is to remove proteins and other organics so this "waste" is not to be returned to your main system. As Kurt already advised, redirect the effluent to a drain, waste collector, or other container. The use of tap is debatable, but I do at the mentioning of heavy metal toxicity in an aquarium, which can be lethal at elevated concentrations (bio-availability). Unfortunately, toxicity measurements are often difficult to conduct (Cu and Zn often templated) because various chemical forms exist and known to bind to other agents not to mention cost to perform such tests. Even if a particular salt mix shows a low concentration of a trace element does not guarantee problems down the line (think export). If anything, excessive nutrients can cause algae growth, but then again algae growth occurs in nutrient-poor systems as well; Balance is the key. Is RO/DI essential in maintaining a "successful" aquarium? Depends so do yourself a favor and conduct some tests of your own and ask for an extensive city water sample. On another note, water changes do not replenish trace elements to their natural state. Water changes can elevate trace elements, but in what form and how do you know what levels are actually beneficial or harmful? Removing all the CC will not remove all the bacteria, but removing sections is more reliable in keeping organics from being suspended and allow bacteria to colonize the new substrate gradually. You can mark sections on the tank glass so you know where to start/end each month. A 12hr photoperiod is not necessary, but within an 8-12hr is considered normal. In all constructiveness, there are plenty of resources at your disposal: wetwebmedia.com, reefkeeping.com, advancedaquarist.com, fishbase.org, etc. and it would seem you have quite a bit of reading to do

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