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Old 11-05-2003, 05:11 PM   #1
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Starting over

I had a lot of problems with my tank starting out. I put in some chemicals so my cycle wouldnt last so long. I had a brief spike in ammonia and nitrite and it went down to 0 so i added a couple clownfish and then a tang and a puffer. I think i overfed them and my ammonia went sky high...tang and puffer died and i tried to save them with ammonia clear. I lost them and the puffer ate the clowns. I waited and went to the LFS and they gave me a few damsels and told me to wait a few weeks. Right now my nitrites are a little high because i have no live rock. So im thinking about starting over...this time with live rock since i didnt have any before. So do you think i should get fully cured rock and add it in? Or buy uncured rock and cure it in a trash can and then add it in? Or buy uncured rock and cure it inside the tank? Any ideas? I have a fluval 404 canister filter and i heard that canister filters make nitrites high....should i get a different kind of filter?
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Old 11-05-2003, 05:35 PM   #2
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first of all, most ppl agree that cannister filters are bad news for a reef. They'll just increase your nitrate levels. I would use a good skimmer and maybe a hang on powerfilter but mostly the inverts/dsb/lr will take care of filtration.

I just wana say that using any chemical to decrease cycling time is probably bad news. Id never put in something that claimed to do that. This is a patience hobby and you cant do it all overnight. I wouldnt have added any fish until i absolutely knew the cycle was over, and i wouldnt add them all at one time. I know its tempting to feed your fish a lot but thats one of the easiest ways to kill them. Im glad you are starting over though instead of quitting. We learn more from mistakes usually than from success. Just stick to your guns and youll have a sweet tank soon
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Old 11-05-2003, 05:38 PM   #3
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how should i do the live rock? Will the live rock and protein skimmer work with my canister filter to keep nitrates down?
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Old 11-05-2003, 05:52 PM   #4
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you can cure your own but its mostly a pita. Id get already cured lr and use it with the live sand you already have. Im sure you wana find a use for the cannister but i dont see what good it would do for you. Probably just as well to ebay it and use the money from the sale for a good skimmer.
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Old 11-05-2003, 09:08 PM   #5
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can't i have the skimmer along with my filter? what kind of filter would i want? i was planning on getting my live rock online....should i place the already cured in the tank and hope there isn't much die off...or use the 30 gal garbage can method and wait and see if theres a spike in ammonia and nitrate? Could I run a wet/dry filter along with my canister and skimmer for extra filtration? Best kind of wet/dry filter? I'm not handy engouh to build my own so I'll have to buy one. What's the best kind?
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Old 11-05-2003, 11:01 PM   #6
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wet/dry filters are not good with lr they make too many nitrates. Im surprised you ask these questions. Sounds like these should have been asked when you started but thats ok better late then never. You can try to use the cannister but really its just gona make more problems for you. In a reef setup you shouldnt have a ton of mechanical filtration, thats what the dsb and lr are for along with inverts. Yes already cured lr just put in there. If youre still using mature water from your last tank you wont have a long cycle but if you seed it with the sand and water from it, your cycle will be relatively short. A good skimmer to start with i would say a seaclone and if you have the cash get a used cpr bak pak or aquac remora.
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Old 11-06-2003, 01:39 PM   #7
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if your starting over i am assuming that you are taking back the damsels, or already did, but you do want to take them back. you can get cured or uncured lr, but if you buy it online, you will get some die off, causing ammonia/nitrite spikes. with no fish in the tank, go ahead and put the rock directly in the tank. theres no reason to use a trash can to cure it if there are no inhabits in the tank. it will also alolow the critters in the rock to move into the sand to escape the high levels in the water.

you dont need to get rid of the canister filter. youll actually want it to use to move the water around. it doesnt sound like you're doing a reef setup since you got a puffer, so you dont need to worry about nitrates as much as you would if you had corals. if you do want corals, i would remove the media inside, but still use it to move the water. you do probably want to get a skimmer though.

the lr and ls will provide for biological filtration not mechanical. inverts will provide mechanical, but since a puffer will eat them, they wont help much.

basically you just want to be patient with the cycle. test the water regularly and wait until all amonia and nitrite levels are zero. do some water changes during the cycle so levels dont get too high and kill off your critters. when it levels off and reaches zero. do another water change to get rid of some of the nitrates.

when you add fish you want to make sure to do it slowly. you normally want to add only one fish at a time, unless adding paired fish, or two more agressive fish. and add them at intervals of at least two weeks. this will allow the bacterial to catch up with the bio load. adding too many fish at once will cause spikes and be harmful to the fish.

HTH and dont worry, itll get better for you.
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Old 11-06-2003, 10:32 PM   #8
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thanks for all your help
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