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Old 04-01-2008, 01:45 AM   #1
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Setting up a tank... Question!

4 wk old 24 gal aquapod with 15 lb or so of cultured live rock
It has tested great for about 3 wks now, but I lost my two clowns and two cleaner shrimp. My pollup corals are doing great, and I added two damsels yesterday and they are eating and doing great.

When should I add the two clowns, shrimp, anenome and tang?
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Old 04-01-2008, 01:57 AM   #2
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im going to be the first to say 24 gal is too small for a tang and you will probably be overstocked with 5 fish in that small of a tank anyway. When did you add the clowns and how did you acclimate? And can you post your water parameters?
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Old 04-01-2008, 01:58 AM   #3
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Welcome to the AA, first of all take it easy and don't add anything else for a while especially the anemone(it needs a mature tank) and the tang needs at least a 75g tank minimally. The bacteria in your tank needs time to grow to be able to handle the bioload(fish waste) and then turn it from ammonia to nitrite to nitrate. First thing to buy is a test kit and test your water often probably every 3 days during the 6-8week cycling process and then weekly after that. During your cycle you will first see ammonia spike and then Nitrite and then Nitrates when the Nitrates minimize do a 50% water change wait another week then test your paramaters again. If all is good you can add 1 fish then 1 more fish monthly. Give your bacteria colonies time to mature to a level that can handle the fish waste. Or you will continue to see dead livestock., Trust me. A 24 gallon reef can be amazing but you have to be patient at least 1year before you get an anemone and if you want a tang upgrade to like a 100g tank.. Good luck hope this helps
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Old 04-01-2008, 02:22 AM   #4
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I added the clowns after less than two weeks on the advice of our fish shop. Then the cleaner shrimp about a week later. They all died same day, and another shop said I had a spike in nitrites that same day and to expect them to die. I have been back to the original shop, and he said to come by and get two more clowns today, but I am hesitant, so I went to petco and they tested it for me and said it looked great. I bought the two damsels since they were cheap.

I have been testing the calcium weekly, and the dip strip every three days, with perfect results even tonight. The clowns never did well, but these damsels are doing fantastic... so far.

I do know about the size limits with the tang, but I plan to have a bigger tank by then, or I will give him to a friend who has one and get a smaller one.

I floated the clowns for 15 min and added them... is there more to acclimating than that... sorry I am very new to this. Also, I don't know the exact parameters. Calcium is about 380, and the rest is a test strip:
nitrate - 0-20ppm
nitrite - 0
ph - 7.8
alkalinity - 300
ammonia - none as of test sunday
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:18 AM   #5
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First off welcome to the site!
There is more involved in acclimating a new fish to your tank. The LFS I know of keep their tanks at a salinity of around 1.019ish. If you just float the bag for 15 minutes and your pH, salinity are different than that of your LFS, it will stress and possibly kill your fish (inverts, like your shrimp) are way less tolerant to changes in water chemistry.
I like to do a drip acclimation. I drip my fish for an hour and inverts for about 2 hours. This helps them slowly get used to the different water parameters.
I would also suggest you get the liquid tests, they tend to me more accurate and I don't like sticking things in my tank that have chemicals in them....
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:21 AM   #6
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AND NEVER TRUST THE LOCAL PETSTORE!!! THIS SITE IS WAY MORE HELPFULL
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Old 04-03-2008, 02:11 PM   #7
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Trying to learn here. Roka64, when you say you are acclimating by a drip, do you mean that you are litteraly putting only a few drops of your tank water into the bag with the new fish? Can you elaborate on this a bit? Thanks
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Old 04-03-2008, 03:25 PM   #8
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I sure can. I put the LFS water and critter in a bucket and drip (about 3-4 drips per second) the water from my tank into the bucket. I like to cover up the bucket with a towel to give them some peace (plus I have some curious cats). I feed the tank a little bit. When I am done, I turn off my lights and net the critters and add them to the main. I leave the lights off for a few hours and then turn them on and enjoy. I like to drip because I have had great success and it gives me time to fiddle in my tank if I need to.
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Old 04-03-2008, 04:13 PM   #9
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Tagging on to roka64's drip instructions, you can achieve that drip rate by running a siphon with 1/4" airline tubing between your main tank and acclimation bucket - but tie a knot in the tubing. By adjusting the knot, you can slow down or speed up the drip rate.

To the original poster - there is more to tank size requirement than just how big the fish is. The type of fish is important too. If you have a baby tang that's only 1/3 the size of an adult, that doesn't mean you only need a tank 1/3 the size than normal. Even a juvenile tang will be stressed in a smaller tank because that's just not a habitat it wants to be in.
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Old 04-04-2008, 01:02 AM   #10
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I'll step in and offer a different apporach to the acclimating of fish and corals. I used the drip method for a long time and then I did some reading and found that it isn't always the best thing to do. Here is why. When you drip at 3-4 drops of water per second over an hour or so period the O2 level, Temp and PH are going to drop in the container. That can further stress an already stressed fish. What I do is float the bag unopened for 10-15 minutes in my tank to equalize the temp some. I then open the bag and put some of my tank water in the bag and let it float (clip the top of the bag to the tank if you can you don't want it dumping out in your tank) after 10 minutes or so I put more of my tank water into the bag. By 30-35 minutes I have the new fish in the tank. I have found and read that this reduces the stress on the fish and keeps the O2 level as well as PH from dropping too much.

A very good example of this is when you acclimate an Anthias, they require lots and lots of O2 they are very active fish and do not do well in the drip method. A friend of mine went through the drip method with anthias and lost 3 in one day because of it.

I just thought I would offer another option for acclimating your fish. I do the same thing with new corals.
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