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Old 11-04-2005, 02:12 AM   #1
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Bad News.....and some good news I guess...

I had my first catastrophe with my SW tank last weekend. About 2 weeks ago I bought a Naso Tang (not cheap either, about $120). Well, as most of you probably know this fish eats seaweed. The guy at the LFS said to keep the feeding clip always stocked with seaweed so the Tang could graze at its leisure. I did this w/o questioning the LFS. Needless to say at some point the Tang was no longer hungry and the seaweed was left to rot away in the tank. This all happened when I went on a long weekend vacation to California (only 4 days). When I returned home, the tang was dead along with my lionfish and two damsels. I immediately knew what happened and slapped myself for being so stupid. I didn’t even bother checking the water levels and I immediately did a 20% water change and another one 3 days later. I managed to save my snowflake eel and my stars & stripes puffer, but I lost 4 fish when it was all said and done.

So there’s the bad news. The good news is that I would like to redesign my tank to be a reef system instead of a fish only tank. I plan on seeing if I can trade in the puffer for store credit but I’d like to keep the eel. I know that eels in reef systems could be trouble, but this eel is still really small and I’d like to give it a shot.

My question is if I were to buy a 20gal tank and transfer existing tank water, rocks, substrate to it and one of my canister filters as well, could I skip the 6 week cycle period so I can begin working on my main tank?

I appreciate your help guys. I look forward to reading some of your insights on reef systems as well.
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Old 11-04-2005, 03:23 AM   #2
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You might have a small cycle that will last a few days.

If you plan on having a 20gal reef system the eel has to go. They need atleast a 55 gal or so.

The good news is there are alot of nice fish for a small reef system. You could go with a pair of clowns and a purple firefish and maybe a neon goby. HTH
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green Bubble coral, hammer coral (8 heads!) ,various Zoos,green finger leather, green star polpys ,shrooms
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Old 11-04-2005, 05:09 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DragonForce
If you plan on having a 20gal reef system the eel has to go.
They didnt mention how large the main tank is.. the 20 gallon tank question is about a possible QT if Im not mistaking..

How big is your main tank?

What are your filtration system plans for the future reef project?

It sounds like your looking for a way to speed things up.. I would recomened planing to go very slow, if things move quicker then you expected then so be it..

As far as transfering for your redesign.. Alot of people use the big rubbermaid.. If you have alot to transefer in the way of live rock and such they make rubbermaid for livestock watering that is quite large and sturdy..
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Old 11-04-2005, 05:54 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmaji
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragonForce
If you plan on having a 20gal reef system the eel has to go.
They didnt mention how large the main tank is.. the 20 gallon tank question is about a possible QT if Im not mistaking..

How big is your main tank?
Yes, the 20gal would be a QT tank. My main tank is 120gal.

Quote:
What are your filtration system plans for the future reef project?
I'm not sure yet. I currently have 2 Cascade 1500 canister filters. I'm not 100% sure what to use yet, but I'm hoping that a lot of reading on this site will solve that.

Quote:
It sounds like your looking for a way to speed things up.. I would recomened planing to go very slow, if things move quicker then you expected then so be it..
I will take my time.

Quote:
As far as transfering for your redesign.. Alot of people use the big rubbermaid.. If you have alot to transefer in the way of live rock and such they make rubbermaid for livestock watering that is quite large and sturdy..
I currently do not have any live rock, and the only livestock I'd transfer is the eel (approx 6in long). I'd like to get the 20g or maybe even a 30g and maybe make it a smaller reef tank after I get my main setup.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 11-04-2005, 06:19 AM   #5
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I would think that a 30 or 30 breeder would be ok for a QT for a 6" fish.

120 gallons is a very nice sized tank.. I love the with of the tank.. exellent choice! :P

I wouldnt recomend the canisters for anything but circulation in a reef tank, maybe some LR rubble in the baskets for bio-filtraion.. the sponges and other media have a tendency to create NO3, not a good idea for inverts/corals. They could be used as closed loop circulation for your tank instead of needing more ciruclation with powerheads for instance.

I would highly recomend a sump/skimmer/refugium combination for your main tank..
Im not sure what your budget is for a skimmer (definately nothing to skimp on) but the CSS 220 from what Ive read elsewere is a good choice for around 125 gallon tanks.. it has a great price point..
http://www.bigalsonline.com/catalog/...d1=3203;pcid2=
other possible choices.. :P
The ASM G3.. a little more expensive then the CSS but can handle 180 gallons no problem (ie. extra bio-load capasity) :P
http://www.asmskimmer.com/catalog/pr...products_id=31

here is were my advice may differ from most.. I would recomend, depending on wich skimmer you deside on about 500 gph though the sump to maximize your skimmers filtriation effectiveness..

and I would stear clear of DSB.. its just a personal oppinion, there are good reasons for and against it. the standard advice of 1.5-2lb/gal of LR+baserock would still apply.. good luck :P
Hope all this helps..
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Old 11-04-2005, 07:10 AM   #6
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details I missed..
you can try putting a 2 inch bed of your current sand in the QT and possibly using one of your current filters (that would give you 13 cycles per hour at the rated 400gph on a 30 gallon) dose the QT with pure amonia and test to see if it cycles quickly before the transfer.. the only problem I see in this is the loss of filtration in the main in the meantime.. in wich case a filter could be purchased for the QT and seeded by running it on your main for a couple of weeks..

flow.. 15-20 cycles per hour is recomended on a reef tank.. your canisters will add 400gph each if you deside to use them for circulation and 500 gph for the sump flow will still leave ~500-1100gph needed depending on the real world flow of your pumps..
HTH
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Old 11-04-2005, 08:29 AM   #7
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Sorry for your loss The nori itself shouldn’t have caused your water parameters to go out of whack so quickly though, especially in a 120 gal tank. I feed my tang about a 2”-3” strip everyday and what he doesn’t eat the hermits quickly devour. Fish can go 4 days without eating but it’s still best to have a knowledgeable friend check/feed the tank every couple of days if you can.

Unfortunately bad things can happen quickly with SW and good things take forever. Had you fully acclimated your tang and QT for 4-6 weeks?

It’s possible he could have been sick when you bought him which is why I personally have the lfs hold fish for a couple of weeks and watch it eat before purchasing.
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Old 11-04-2005, 09:23 AM   #8
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the eel does not "have" to go if you have a reef. Just be advised it will most likely, be knocking corals over. I had mine in my 175 for a long time.
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Old 11-04-2005, 01:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmaji
I would think that a 30 or 30 breeder would be ok for a QT for a 6" fish.
Ok, I'll go with a 30g.

Quote:
120 gallons is a very nice sized tank.. I love the with of the tank.. exellent choice! :P
Thanks, it started as a fish only, no live rock tank, but it got a little boring. I'm really excited about trying to start a reef tank.

Quote:
I wouldnt recomend the canisters for anything but circulation in a reef tank, maybe some LR rubble in the baskets for bio-filtraion.. the sponges and other media have a tendency to create NO3, not a good idea for inverts/corals. They could be used as closed loop circulation for your tank instead of needing more ciruclation with powerheads for instance.

I would highly recomend a sump/skimmer/refugium combination for your main tank..
That stinks about the canister filters. I was hoping that I wouldn't have to go with the sump setup. I have a cat and a dog who like to get everywhere and I was worried about them going behind the tank (as they sometimes do when I'm not home). Is is possible to make the canister filters work?

Quote:
Im not sure what your budget is for a skimmer (definately nothing to skimp on) but the CSS 220 from what Ive read elsewere is a good choice for around 125 gallon tanks.. it has a great price point..
http://www.bigalsonline.com/catalog/...d1=3203;pcid2=
other possible choices.. :P
The ASM G3.. a little more expensive then the CSS but can handle 180 gallons no problem (ie. extra bio-load capasity) :P
http://www.asmskimmer.com/catalog/pr...products_id=31

here is were my advice may differ from most.. I would recomend, depending on wich skimmer you deside on about 500 gph though the sump to maximize your skimmers filtriation effectiveness..
I would like to get the best skimmer for my sized tank, regardless of the cost (to a point, I'm hoping less than $350). I'll check out the ASM G3 at my LFS and compare prices. Is there any special setup I need to do with this skimmer?

Quote:
and I would stear clear of DSB.. its just a personal oppinion, there are good reasons for and against it. the standard advice of 1.5-2lb/gal of LR+baserock would still apply.. good luck :P
Hope all this helps..
I was really considering going with the DSB. Could you list a couple of reasons why you're against it? Also with the LR+baserock, what combination of LR+BR would you recommend? I was hoping to only go with about 100lbs of rock (I like the open look), would you suggest against that?
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Old 11-05-2005, 01:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maporsche
I have a cat and a dog who like to get everywhere and I was worried about them going behind the tank (as they sometimes do when I'm not home). Is is possible to make the canister filters work?
I would recomend secureing the the back of the stand and installing fans if need be.. that tank is just too large in my oppinon to go without sump filtration IMHO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maporsche
I would like to get the best skimmer for my sized tank, regardless of the cost (to a point, I'm hoping less than $350). I'll check out the ASM G3 at my LFS and compare prices. Is there any special setup I need to do with this skimmer?
that skimmer has to be mounted in a sump.. the best ones have to be in the sump or operate independent, plumed to the tank (out of the sump and off the display tank)

and if your LFS has a better price then what is on that link could you do me a favor and give me the name, address and phone number of that LFS!

Quote:
Originally Posted by maporsche
I was really considering going with the DSB. Could you list a couple of reasons why you're against it?
The limitations of the sandbed involve the fact that they do not process PO4.. over time (depending on the amout of debris is alowed to accumulate on the standbed) it becomes full and begins to leach the PO4 back into the system.. The only way to fix it is to remove all the sand (A horrible job that I wouldnt wish on anyone) and replace it with more sand, CC or leave it bare bottom. there is a thread here on the board that has these reasons explained.. I will post the link to the begining of that explainaiton below when I dig it up..

Quote:
Originally Posted by maporsche
Also with the LR+baserock, what combination of LR+BR would you recommend? I was hoping to only go with about 100lbs of rock (I like the open look), would you suggest against that?
The LR can be in the sump as well.. alowing more room in your main tank.
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