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Old 10-11-2012, 10:59 PM   #1
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Saltwater noob - got a used setup, questions about the future.

First off, I'm a bit new to fishkeeping period. I have a 29 gallon with some pictus catfish, tiger barbs and redeye tetras and a few plants. I have really been enjoying it and started researching what saltwater tanks were all about.

I came across a good deal on a 75 gallon tank including stand, a magnum filter and a lot of rock (not sure how much..maybe 50 pounds). Also included were the surviving fish..a few blue damselfish (the ones with the yellow tails) and a cinnamon clown fish.

I don't think the water had been changed in quite a while and apparently the lights have been burned out for awhile as well. The salinity was high because the person could not afford the salt for changes. Last night I cleaned out the tank and kept the fish in a ten gallon while I worked on fixing the water in the 75. So I had a few questions...

Is the rock now "base" rock? It dosn't look completely dead....will it start coming back if I get some lights this weekend? If I'm not in a rush is it possible to just get a few pounds of live rock to "jump start" the other rock?

I have read that the cinnamon clown and damsel fish can be a little aggressive...yet 75 gallons seems to be a pretty good size and the rocks make all sorts of hiding places/territories. Does anyone have suggestions about possible fish(or other creatures) I could add to the system?

I'm still a beginner and these three survivors are clearly tough fish....but ideally in a year or two after I have improved my saltwater skills and have improved the setup I am interested in moving to a reef/coral setup. Are there particular fish that would be good or should be avoided with that long term goal in mind?

Is the water pouring in from the filter enough to oxygenate the water? There is also a powerhead for circulation.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:27 PM   #2
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Make sure you have surface agitation for oxygenation. Also, keep that rock wet or the tank will recycle and your fish will die if you don't do water changes everyday. The rock is still live if it was kept wet. Rock doesn't need light. It is "live" because of bacteria. And for a reef setup, stay away from all angels, triggers, and puffers. They are aggressive and/or eat coral.
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:18 AM   #3
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That's great. The rock at least has stayed wet. Is the color just based on the colonies that develop? Can that be encouraged by anything in particular?
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:51 AM   #4
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By color do you mean the coraline algae (purple stuff)? If so then yes you can keep raised levels of alkalinity and calcium to stimulate coraline growth but I wouldn't reccomend dosing anything until you get a better grasp on what's in your water and how everything works together. I would say your best bet is returning the fish you have and start over with the equipment that you have that way you aren't in a rush to purchase things which most often times will lead to corner cutting and a setup in the end which you will want to improve on equaling a more expensive build. Any more questions feel free to ask and we will try to get you to your end goal
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Old 10-12-2012, 01:19 PM   #5
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After adding water to get the salinity down I think the water seems ok except for the PH. Ammonia 0 Nitrites 0 Nitrates 20 PH about 7.8. I'm would prefer not to mess around with chemicals. Should I worry about the PH? I assumed the sand was argonite? Is that a good way to bring it up? I got the tank and fish from someone who couldn't take care of them so returning isn't really an option. And I definitely plan on taking a slower approach now that things seem kinda stable...I was just interested if people had favorite fish that could coexist with these in a 75 gallon with live rock setup.
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:49 PM   #6
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Don't worry about the ph so much. A stable ph is more important than a higher ph. Aragonite sand acts as a buffer. It doesn't increase ph unless it drops drastically low. To increase your ph try aiming your powerheads towards the surface of the water. An increase in aeration will increase your ph.
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:23 PM   #7
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Nice tips on the ph. I did not know about the surface phenomena. very cool. At the moment there is a koralia 3..it says 850 GPH....should that be sufficient for the 75?

Also as we have started looking closer under the light we are finding living things on the rocks. There are some tubes with little feathers coming out of them. One set has sort of greyish feathers and another set has a darkish orange-red. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

Going check out a new (to us) fish store tomorrow. We live in the mountains pretty far from a good selection of fish stores. The closest, about an hour away, has proven untrustworthy. The store tomorrow actually has articles of pets NOT to get so I'm hoping that is a good sign.
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryakwheel
Nice tips on the ph. I did not know about the surface phenomena. very cool. At the moment there is a koralia 3..it says 850 GPH....should that be sufficient for the 75?

Also as we have started looking closer under the light we are finding living things on the rocks. There are some tubes with little feathers coming out of them. One set has sort of greyish feathers and another set has a darkish orange-red. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

Going check out a new (to us) fish store tomorrow. We live in the mountains pretty far from a good selection of fish stores. The closest, about an hour away, has proven untrustworthy. The store tomorrow actually has articles of pets NOT to get so I'm hoping that is a good sign.
Sounds like feather dusters. (Tube worm) Filter the water for food. Usually very pretty once they come out fully. I've paid for 2 of them, so nice freebie!!
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