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Old 05-19-2003, 11:31 AM   #1
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What's next for my tank? A million questions.

OK so here's what I have so far....

55 gal. tank, Emperor 400 filter, 25 lbs live rock, crushed coral base.

I set the tank up 3 weeks ago. I put the live rock in 3 days after I set it up along with 2 raw shrimp. Dude at the local Petco said that it should be safe to take out the shrimp and put in 2 damsels. So I took his advice and went for it. Removed shrimp and added damsels with no problems. So far so good..

Coinciding with the addition of the fish is a rapidly growing brown algae that is covering everything. From what I've read this is a good thing indicating that my tank is cycling. How much longer until it's completely cycled? Was it a bad move to add the fish this soon?

The two damsels stay hidden in some plants on one side of the cage and never venture out unless they are eating. Is this normal? They've been in the tank since Friday afternoon...

One of the damsels keeps harrassing the other. He chases it around, etc. Is there anything I should do about this or just let it continue?

When should I change the water? Should I have done it already?

Lastly, I have a question about my heater. This is the heater I have (200 Watts Aquatic Gardens) http://www.petco.com/product_info.as...2=Heaters&ct3=
The heater does not seem able to keep the tank at a stable temperature. The temp will fall to like 77 degrees and then the heater will kick on. But then it won't shut off until it gets up to 82 degrees. I know this is not a good thing. Do I have a defective heater? The tank is in my living room - so the temperature in that room remains fairly consistent. I also have one of those external stick-on thermometers. Should I get one that actually sits in the water? Petco guy said I could return the heater if I felt it was defective and get another one. For the most part I can keep it stable between 79 and 81. Is that OK? I feel like it's fluctuating too much.

I keep getting different answers to all these questions from everyone I talk to so I'm trying to weed out what's right and what's not. You guys seem to be very good at this stuff.

Thanks a lot for the help in advance.

-Mutz
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Old 05-19-2003, 11:54 AM   #2
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Quote:
How much longer until it's completely cycled?
When there is 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite.

Quote:
Was it a bad move to add the fish this soon?
IMO, yes, or I should say maybe, if there was 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite, then it is no big deal. If there was still measurable ammonia and nitrite, then you should have continued with the raw shrimp, IMO.

Quote:
Is there anything I should do about this or just let it continue?
You can try rearranging the decorations to break up the territories, but chances are it will continue no matter what you do...damsels are evil incarnate.

Quote:
When should I change the water? Should I have done it already?
Once the tank has completely cycled (see above) then your tank is ready for it's first waterchange.

Quote:
The heater does not seem able to keep the tank at a stable temperature. The temp will fall to like 77 degrees and then the heater will kick on. But then it won't shut off until it gets up to 82 degrees. I know this is not a good thing. Do I have a defective heater? The tank is in my living room - so the temperature in that room remains fairly consistent. I also have one of those external stick-on thermometers. Should I get one that actually sits in the water? Petco guy said I could return the heater if I felt it was defective and get another one. For the most part I can keep it stable between 79 and 81. Is that OK? I feel like it's fluctuating too much.
I've never heard of this heater, but I would shoot for 80-82. If it has that large a swing to it, yes I would return it, I'd also get a 250W heater rather than a 200. Make sure there is waterflow around the heater, it could simply be that it is fooling itself. Something I used to do with my large tank, was to buy two smaller heaters, in your case say 2 150W heaters, this means less work for the heater, which lessens the chance of failure and if a failure does occur in one, the other is still working. I would look into the titanium heaters.


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