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Old 04-03-2007, 11:35 AM   #11
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One thing I would like to add to all this gret advice. Don't get a hood, just get a decent lighting setup, that has legs, something like These Lights , putting a lid on the top will, more than likely, give you problems with your pH and heat.
Props to you for listening to our advice and going with the larger tank, all will be much more happier, in the long run.
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Old 04-03-2007, 12:05 PM   #12
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While I'd normally advocate getting the right equipment the first time, if you're really scaping together money to get a bigger tank, I get just the bare bones minimum you need at this time. If you're just looking for a way to keep your fish alive - without taking them back - then lighting probably isn't a real high priority right now. I understand what roka64 is saying... and he's right... but whether or not your have a hood at this point, or good lighting, isn't going to help your very immediate situation. The way I see it is this...

You've got two choices... either take all the livestock back to the LFS and cycle your tank properly, or cycle your tank with livestock in it. Either way, you're looking at 4-6 weeks for the cycle to complete.

If you choose to cycle your tank with the livestock in it, you've got a 5 gallon tank that is in the very beginning of its cycle. Your ammonia will rise, as well as your nitrites. Guarantee it. With the larger 36 gallon tank, at least the ammonia levels will be more diluted and things won't get to killer levels in a matter of hours. If you're bound and determined to cycle a tank with fish in it, I suppose I'd do it in the 36 gallon. Either way... they're both in the beginning of the cycle. And while I've never used it, I'd go for the saltwater BioSpira that nightspirit mentioned - it can't hurt in this case.

Personally... I think I'd find a new home for the fish/lobster until you can get your tank in order. Especially the lobster.

Also... brine shrimp are not too nutritious for the little guys. They need all the help they can get, so you might use mysis shrimp instead of the brine shrimp.
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Old 04-03-2007, 12:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt_Nelson
If you're just looking for a way to keep your fish alive - without taking them back - then lighting probably isn't a real high priority right now.
Good point! Nice catch.
Also, that lobster can get up to 5 inches and may go after smaller fish. They also need a decent sand bed to burrow into. With this in mind, make sure all of your rock is firmly on the glass bottom, otherwise he could topple a stack of rock.
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Old 04-03-2007, 09:47 PM   #14
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Thank you one and all!

I should have my new tank set up by friday. Until then, I have enough SW on hand to do 20% PWC everyday. I haven't done one yet today and my ammonia is at .7 right now...nitrites .5....about the same as last night.

But what I'm gathering from you all is that things could change in a matter of hours. Does this mean that I could leave my tank with relatively low levels of toxins and return later in the day to find my fish belly up? Can the clowns survive with a certain amount of ammonia in the tank until I can do the next daily water change?

As for the Lobster, he is still TINY. I'm not sure how fast he will grow (must do some more research), but for the time being his size won't be a problem....just getting food down to him before my two fat kid clowns gobble it all up. Interesting about having my rock to the base of the tank. I've been contemplating a way to make a cave for him so that he is still a visible member of the tank. He has pretty much stuck to the same hiding spot that he ran to the second I introduced him to the tank. I have a rock that would make a perfect cave and I'm thinking that I'll put it into the tank first then add him before I add the rest of my rock.

If I have a fighting chance at this I'd like to try....aside from admitting defeat by returning my fish-I'm kind of attached to the little guys already. They've got different personalities...my smallest clown is the honrier of the two, but he doesn't like to get get out of bed in the morning...I can relate.

Anyway, thanks again for all the support-I'll keep you posted.
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Old 04-03-2007, 10:04 PM   #15
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I haven't done one yet today and my ammonia is at .7 right now...nitrites .5....about the same as last night.
I'd be doing a water change reaaaaalllll soon if you're that attached to the little guys. I may be wrong since I'm a newbie myself - and I'm sure someone will chime in if I am! - but I believe those nitrIte levels are bad news. Anything over zero for ammonia or nitrites is a bad thing. I *believe* fish can somewhat tolerate minor levels of ammonia for a short time, but nitrite levels are more toxic. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

As far as the lobster goes, it may be small, but from my understanding it'll have fun harassing those clowns in that small of a tank. Just one more stress to add to things. It doesn't have to kill it outright... a nice snap followed by a bacterial infection would do the job too.
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Old 04-03-2007, 10:09 PM   #16
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[quote]Can the clowns survive with a certain amount of ammonia in the tank until I can do the next daily water change?
[quote]
From what I've read and from experience, clowns are the canaries of water conditions. You'll be able to tell what your ammonia is doing just by how they act. The advice on adding Bio Spira is sound. As long as it has been kept refrigerated this stuff is gold! I had to start up a QT (for my clown) and added Bio Spira, never have had a problem.
I don't recall if you said your LR was cured or not but if it's not I honestly don't think the clowns will make it through LR curing and water cycling. I just started up a 55 gal and my ammonia readings were literally off the chart for days..no way a fish could survive that.
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Old 04-04-2007, 09:58 AM   #17
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WOW . Do NOT move the fish to the bigger tank just yet . Get some biospera and use in the 5 gallon since you are not wanting to return the fish for their saftey . Cycle the larger tank then add your clowns to it once it is cycled . Your cycle should look like this . Clowns usually do not fair well in cycling tanks ! Do a small water change daily 5% or so on the 5 gallon . It is going to be hard to do on a budget since you have to do an emergency set up
Ammonia will rise and fall to 0 Very toxic to fis burns gills and dosent allow for o2 exchange
NitrIte will rise and fall to 0 less toxic but still toxic to fish as above
NitrAte will rise and fall you want this to be less than 10-20 the final break down of the above 2 toxic but less so .
As for the live sand skip it get non silicate based sand (play sand works well sold at toy stores and home improvement centers as well as walmart ) Rinse well ! Layer on to the bottom of the tank , fill with water and LR go to the LFS get some more Biospera dump that in and beg for a couple cups of their sand, and trade them the lobster for it besides they can get quite big , while they are pretty they are not reef or fish safe ! This will help seed your larger tank .... Dont worry about lights just yet there is time to get those if you want a reef for now just Normal out put lights will be fine . You dont need them any way to cycle your tank . This takes up to 8 weeks to cycle , DO NOT do a water change while cycling this just prolongs it . Wait till you read Ammonia 0 , NitrIte 0 then do your change . Also you will want eggcrate to allow for gas exchanges . This article may help you out a bit . understanding a nano
Next sit on your hands till you are done cycling out add nothing and allow the benifical bacterias to grow .
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Old 04-04-2007, 10:21 AM   #18
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If I have a fighting chance at this I'd like to try....aside from admitting defeat by returning my fish-I'm kind of attached to the little guys already.
You still have a chance to return all the livestock and set up your new tank properly before adding anything in it. Returning them is not admitting defeat, it is simple the responsible thing to do.

At this point, I would not waste money on bio-spira. In a pinch, it is a short-term solution at best. Bio-spira really does nothing to prepare the tank for long-term habbitation. It gives you a false sense that your tank has cycled but once you increase the bioload, the limited biological filtration produced by this stuff will soon be exhausted and you will be faced with constant water parameters issues.
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From what I've read and from experience, clowns are the canaries of water conditions. You'll be able to tell what your ammonia is doing just by how they act.
Safe to say they WERE, however that practice is out of favor with most and a bit "old school". Why subject an animal to toxic NH3 conditions and "observe" their behavior when you can buy a test kit that will confirm the presence of NH3?
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Old 04-04-2007, 12:15 PM   #19
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Why subject an animal to toxic NH3 conditions and "observe" their behavior when you can buy a test kit that will confirm the presence of NH3
Please don't misunderstand..I did not mean and would NEVER subject any animal to ANY cruelty! I would never cycle a tank with any animals. My point was that clowns, of all vertebrates, will be the first sign of any problems with water conditions, even in an established tank.
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Old 04-04-2007, 05:36 PM   #20
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At this point, I would not waste money on bio-spira. In a pinch, it is a short-term solution at best. Bio-spira really does nothing to prepare the tank for long-term habbitation. It gives you a false sense that your tank has cycled but once you increase the bioload, the limited biological filtration produced by this stuff will soon be exhausted and you will be faced with constant water parameters issues.
Agreed... but wouldn't it be better than nothing to use in his 5 gallon? Keeping the fish in the 5 gallon is definitely a stop-gap measure that isn't long term, so it doesn't seem like a waste there.

I agree with you lando that it isn't "defeat" to start over. There's a time to be stubborn, and a time not to be stubborn.
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