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Old 03-09-2003, 02:04 PM   #1
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Stop me before I Kill! – Empty tank syndrome

Patience grasshopper! I keep telling myself that . . .

So taking the advice gleaned from these fora; (and forgetting everything the lfs told me);
I have removed the substrate and replaced it with Southdown (5”-6” added 3/1/03)
I added 50 pounds of base and 95 pounds of live rock ((50# added 2/22/03, 45# added 3/4/03))
I added 2 powerheads (hagen 802 with filters)
Removed the bio balls from the wet/dry
Ordered a RO/DI and a refractometer
BUT,
I can’t help myself.

Every time the sand storm settles enough to see the back of the tank I find myself re-arranging the rock, causing another sand storm.
Current readings using:

SeaChem:
Ph 8.0
Ammonia Free 0; Total .13 .25
Nitrite 25+
Nitrate 50

Aq. Pharm
Ph 8.0
Ammonia .25
Nitrite 5.0+
Nitrate 20



So it looks like the tank has started cycling . I did a partial water change yesterday (15 gal) but won’t do any more till the RO/DO arrives.

I was hoping to have something purty to look at before I have some minor surgery on the 21st. I’ll be home (unable to drive for 10 days) and will need something besides work to keep me from going crazy. Is there any chance of adding visible life to the tank by then?

Next – what to add first? Second? Third; …last

I know, I know … Patience grasshopper [/list][/code]
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Old 03-09-2003, 02:11 PM   #2
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Well my understanding is that free ammonia is what is dangerious but your nitrite readings are way to high to support life for long at this point.

As your tank continues to cycle the sand will settle faster and faster. I can pick up a handfull of southdown in my tank and put it in front of a PH and it will settle out of the water within a min or two. I imagen if you did that in your tank it would take much longer. The reason is because the bactera on the sand makes it stick together and also makes it heaver.

I have heard of people putting a little rubber ducky in their cycling tanks. But really patience is a vertue.
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Old 03-09-2003, 02:13 PM   #3
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Well, I know most people are against using live fish to cycle, but since you are getting surgery I say do it. Maybe get a 3 stripe damsel or a yellow tail, just something.
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Old 03-09-2003, 03:41 PM   #4
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A rubber duckie... Hmmm, Why didn't I think of that. Better yet maybe I'l get some of those awful tank decorations I see in the stores.
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Old 03-09-2003, 03:56 PM   #5
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You can also use those 10 days to look at your beautiful (i assume) aquascape and beginning figuring out how you want to stock it when your cycle ends. I tried using fish to cycle as a newbie and am now very much against it. my fish died and it just upset me. One piece of advice i got was figure out--more or less--everything i'd want in my 'finished' tank that way you can plan and configure and really build a great tank. Plenty of resources to read about different fish, their habits,etc and this forum to ask questions about 'our' experiences with those fish.

my 2 cents...
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Old 03-09-2003, 04:52 PM   #6
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Well, it's not so much figuring out what I want in the way of livestock. It's more like figuring out compatibility of species from the list accumulated from the women around me (nieces, friends, co-workers). "I want that pretty yellow one", "You have get a purple fish", "I want a blue one" ....
Oh sure, they all promise to help with tank maintenance
We'll see what happens when I'm in a sling for a month.

Thanks for the advice. I will not be using livestock to cycle the tank. Raw shrimp, maybe, but it looks like the LR is having an effect.

I will posting a fish selection topic soon. I need all the help I can get. If the 'experts' say no to a certain fish then I don't have to .
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Old 03-12-2003, 12:24 AM   #7
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Why not read a book while your down. I recommend "The New Marine Aquarium" by Michael Palleta or "The Consciensious Marine Aquarist" by Robert Fenner.
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Old 03-12-2003, 05:46 PM   #8
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How's this for potential stock?

1 Clown Trigger
1 Dog-Faced Puffer
1 Flame Angelfish
2 Common Clownfish (Occillarus?)
1 Lyretail Wrasse
1 Yellow Tang
1 Regal Tang
1 Queen Angelfish

90 Gal Tank, Probably 70#'s of non-live rock

Any potential compatabilty issues? Tips on order of introduction?
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Old 03-12-2003, 08:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Any potential compatabilty issues?
Yep, you got some aggressive fish in there and some that will simply eat the smaller fish.

Quote:
Tips on order of introduction?

The list you have is waaaayyy overstocking the tank. You have 3 fish that will each rerach a length of at least 12". If it were me I would go with the clowns the wrasse and the flame angel. I would add them in that order.
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Old 03-12-2003, 08:23 PM   #10
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Great Idea...
Except I already read them... Part of the reason for all the changes I made to the original setup.

The tank is definitely startng to cycle. I won't do any more water changes till the readings stabilize. I see some brown algae starting on the tank sides and the sand. Guess I'll just watch that grow for now.

Right now I'm trying to decide whether or not to get the first of the livestock and put them in the quarantine tank for the next week or two. I think the main tank should have cycled by then.

Any thoughts on that idea?
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