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Old 04-20-2011, 12:13 AM   #11
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Also - you don't ever want to add salt directly to your tank. Ever. Worst case scenario is you mix the salt and let the water clear up before you put it in, and that's only for absolute emergencies. You should get a heater and a powerhead and have your water mixing/aerating for 24 hours ideally before it goes in your tank.
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:19 AM   #12
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We have a 125 gallon tank, one heater, two 402 power heads, 3 404 Fluval filters, 35 lbs of Argonite Sand, about 10 lbs of live rock and I would say about 60+ lbs of base rock. We have one Clown, one Clown Sweetlips, one Firefish, one Serpent Starfish and 4 crabs. Water temp is consistent at about 78 degrees. We pre-mix our salt before adding it. Also, our LFS will not allow us to return our fish.
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:19 AM   #13
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Everyone is posting at once and information is being repeated so here's a list of things I, as in my opinion so it could be wrong and only take the advice at your own risk:

1. keep doing water changes, but not 30%, 10% is the recommended level for doing maintenance. Maybe one in the morning and one at night.

2. try to return the fish, this will save you some money so you can use the money to buy fish later on. Tell them that it was their fault for the poor advice that they have given you. If they believe their advise is correct, they shouldn't feel so negative about accepting the fishes back for store credit.
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:26 AM   #14
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You said you have 4 LFS, try the other 3. They should give you store credit. If not they wouldn't see one more red cent of mine, especially after the terrible advice.
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:28 AM   #15
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Thank you for help and advice. All 4 of our LFS have given us the same advice and obviously it has been wrong. They all have "No return policies." Looks like we may be losing some fish
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:36 AM   #16
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Since you cant return the fish and you have a very large tank, you could quarantine the fish for now to let the tank balance out.

How did you obtain your live rock? My LFS just put mine in a bag and sold it to me, but to have the least amount of die off from a live rock, it should be transported submerged in SW. Since you only have 10 lbs of LR, I would go to the LFS store and buy 10 lbs of LR, put them into a bucket of SW and bring them home. Add fresh SW to a quarantine tank and then add the LR. Put a powerhead in it and the heater also. Then Acclimate the fish into the container. The less time the LR spends out of water, the less chances of you having ammonia develop in the container.
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Old 04-20-2011, 01:48 AM   #17
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Well... by now you've probably figured out you got some really bad advice from the LFS. I really hate all those ads - "... just use a bottle of this and you can add fish in a day!!..." I honestly think these companies do more harm to the hobby than good. But that's a different post, I suppose...

You've got two things going wrong for you right now - the cycle you're going to be getting in to, and the very low salinity.

1. Salinity - You really want to be up around 1.025-1.026, regardless of whether its reef or fish only. The sudden lowering of salinity wasn't terrible - not desirable, but not terrible. Fish seem to tolerate sudden lowering of salinity better than a sudden increase. Quick lowering of salinity is a normal part of hyposalinity treatment for ich, and I've done it several times with no ill effect. As far as the lower salinity and the starfish... I'm thinking it's not going to really tolerate it like the fish will, but there's not much you can do about it. The damage is done. Just keep an eye on it and if it looks like a goner, pull it from the tank before it fouls up the water even more.

You want to slowly increase your SG up to 1.025, and with critters in there you really don't want to do it more than 0.0005 a day. So if you're at 1.016 now, then tomorrow I'd bump up to 1.0165. You get the idea. If you don't have a refractometer, you're going to need one for this. Besides, you eventually need to get one anyway.

As far as the "how" to increase the SG, instead of topping off with fresh water, top off with salt water. But on top of that, you're going to have to also change out some of the 1.016 water with a high salinity water. You could make up some salt water at 1.040 and add a little of that for daily water changes - in the right proportions to get you where you want to be.

2. Cycle - With the small amount of live rock and the large amount of fish starting off, sounds like you're going to see a cycle. You're going to see ammonia start to increase, and eventually decrease. Then your nitrites will increase and decrease. Eventually those two things will decrease to zero and your nitrates will increase. At that point, you're cycled. But during the cycle, you're going to want to do water changes to keep the ammonia levels at a somewhat tolerable level for the fish - I'd say 0.25ppm or so. You can't eliminate all the ammonia, since you need it to cycle - but you can at least keep it from spiking too high. The cycle is going to take longer this way, but at least you give your fish a fighting chance.

The other option is if you can get some fully cured live rock - say 50-60 lbs - you could add that and potentially avoid the cycle. (You're probably going to want more rock anyway.) "Fully cured" rock is going to have the bacteria population already living in it, and starting a tank with it often avoids a cycle all together. But it's spendy... expect to pay 8-10$/lb for the stuff. And often times it's questionable if the stuff being sold as "cured" is truly that.

Or the idea Henry had of getting a smaller amount of fully cured rock and starting a smaller tank is an idea.

The salinity and the cycle issues aren't impossible problems to deal with. It's just a rough start in to the hobby. Read as much stuff as you can on this forum to see how others have dealt with it, and ask questions, and you'll get through it.
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Old 04-20-2011, 02:59 AM   #18
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You should name and shame the shops....
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currant tank-65g with 50kg of live rock, pleanty of purple algea 6 black and white clowns, 2 cleaner shrimps, 2 peppermint shrimps,1 fire shrimp, 10 red hermits and 10 turbo snails
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