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Old 03-08-2005, 04:36 PM   #1
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Dead Tank. Starting anew.

I have a 55 gal tank that I had established for about 20 months. A couple months ago I got sick for several weeks and let the tank get really bad. The tank has since completely died and has not had the filter/bio-wheels/or heater going for about 3 months. I would now like to start the tank back up and restore it to its former glory.

Do I need to start completely from scratch? Or can I do a 50% water change to save myself from having to wait for it to re-cycle of the aquarium. I do know that the specific gravity is way high because of the evaporation I had over the 3 months it was not running. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.
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Old 03-08-2005, 04:37 PM   #2
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Also, should I buy new Bio-wheels, or is there a way to salvage the bio-wheels that I have? (although they were completely dried out for 3 months). Who knows what bacteria may have developed while the water sat and stagnated.
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55 Gal Saltwater Aquarium
Emperor 400 w/ 2 BioWheels
3" Crushed Coral Substrate
3 Damsels
1 Yellow Tang
1 baby Volitan Lion
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Old 03-08-2005, 04:51 PM   #3
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I would say to start over. If you already have all of the equiptment it is not that expensive to add new water to the tank and it is better to be safe than sorry. I know that waiting for a tank to cycle is no fun but if it were me I would rather take the time now to avoid problems later.
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Old 03-08-2005, 06:02 PM   #4
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Welcome to AquariumAdvice.com!!!
I would say start over as well. Can you describe your system to us? Type of substrate, any LR? I would not worry about the biowheels, actually, I would not even use them. You can use your filter without them. Biowheels can have a tendency to cause nitrates to climb. With LR you will not need them. What do you have planned for the tank this time around?
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Old 03-09-2005, 12:19 PM   #5
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Thanks for the welcome. I have a 55 gallon tank with about 4 inches of crushed coral evenly distributed throughout. I have a Penguin BioWheel 330 (2 BioWheels and 2 carbon filters.) I had live rock, but I think we can rest assured that anything that was once on my live rock is no longer with us. In its glory days I had a large yellow tang, 4 various damsels, a tomato clown, 2 large tentacle tube anemones, and a blenny that did various "clean up" for me.


I'm not sure what my plans are yet. I think I want to go with more of a reef tank than an all fish tank. I've got to take it slow though so it doesn't break the pocketbook.
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Old 03-11-2005, 02:02 PM   #6
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My local aquarium dealer has been telling me about this product called Bio-Spira. It's supposed to cycle your tank in just a couple days. Has anyone else ever heard of it or used it? It sounds almost too good to be true, so it has me skeptical. I'd like to hear some first hand experiences if anyone has used it.
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3 Damsels
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Old 03-11-2005, 03:25 PM   #7
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Do NOT waste your money on this. Whle it mayget the tank ready for a couple of fish in a short period of time, it does not do a good job at preparing the tank for the long-term. Spend the money on more LR instead.
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Old 03-11-2005, 04:29 PM   #8
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I would pretty much start over.
I would ditch the CC substrate. refill with at least 95% new salt water. Keep the rock and maybe buy a few pounds of new live rock to help seed your existing rock(if it's really dead) to make it live again.

I'm not sure that the rock you have is dead. Because bacteria doesn't need light or heat to live(Please correct me if i'm wrong).
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Old 03-11-2005, 05:10 PM   #9
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i was just gonna say that definitely ditch the crushed coral substrate and go with like caribsea aragonite or finer grade sand. i would think about getting a bigger filter also, i have a bio wheel 330 also and couldn't see it doing justice in a 55g tank... if you like the bio-wheel filtration i would go with the emperor 400 it seems like these were just built way better then the penguins IMO. i used the bio spira and used it to help cycle my tank with the cured live rock that i got from my lfs, it helped my tank out but now that i look back on it i didn't really need it cause the bacteria from the rock from my lfs was enough to support the 2 O. clowns i added a little early, about 6 days after i added my live rock. just make sure that if you get your live rock from your lfs that the aquarium has fish in it, mine has all sorts of damsels and a lawnmower blenny. I experienced little to no cycle at all this way when i added 40lbs live rock in my 75g. GL HTH
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