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Old 07-25-2011, 05:11 PM   #1
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Advice on my somewhat new 120 gallon

I have a 120 gal setup that has been up and running for about 11 months now. I have only had freshwater tanks in the past but wanted to try out saltwater. I have about 1.5 - 2.0 inches of sand. I have about 75 lbs. of rock (I purchased about 25 lbs. of live rock and about 50 lbs. of base rock). I have 2 Marineland Emporer 400 biowheel mechanical filters. I also have a cheaper protein skimmer. After my tank cycled I bought 3 hermit crabs and 1 emarald crab to get things started. Then I purchased 1 blue damsel and a CC. The damsel died quickly but the crabs and CC have been in the tank for 8 months now. I then purchased two more fish (a bicolor psuedochromis and a cleaner wrasse) that were in the tank for about 4 months before I noticed them flashing on the rocks. I moved the fish into a quarantine tank that lost power overnight and killed one and nearly killed the other. I thought that the fish were flashing because my nitrates were around 40 so I decided to wait until I could get that down. I lost the cleaner wrasse after I noticed that his stomach got big and it looked like it was constipated. I used partial water changes and the vodka method. Amazingly my nitrates are down to zero now. My amonia and nitrite levels are at zero and my ph is about 8.2 and salinity 1.022.

I am a little gun shy about adding more fish because I haven't had very good luck. I am also a little gun shy about using the QT because I killed my fish using it.

I want to purchase two clowns for my children and I don't know if I should use the QT or not. I also don't know if I am missing anything with my tank. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:05 AM   #2
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What do you plan for this potentially amazing tank? I would consider installing a UV steriliser if you don't plan to keep hard corals, this will keep parasites to a minimum. What is your temp at? what were you feeding when the cleaner wrass dropped? Explain your water change procedure a little further. I would also suggest your test kit may be unreliable as many are so maybe get your lfs to test your water & check your results against theirs. I am in favour of qt tanks for some new additions & treatment of sick fish etc, however the water quality must be good and similar to that in your main tank. In addition to this the moving over and acclimatising of them to the new tank just adds stress to a fish which may already be having a hard time so I guess there are for and against arguments but for a well established and built up reef for example I would always qt. I hope some of this helps a bit!
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:11 AM   #3
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How did you originally cycle your tank? Maybe it wasnt done, that can cause some issues.

I am in the process of setting up a qt now for my 125g, I recently lost 6 fish die to NOT qt'ing so I highly suggest it.

Do you have an API saltwater liquid test kit? thats pretty much a necessity.

As far as the clowns I would wait til you can get your parameters set and everything else perfect. I have never used vodka in my tank, I find with proper water changes and basic maintenance you can get to 0 nitrates as well without adding anything.
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:25 AM   #4
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Yeah, I meant to ask... " Vodka???" sounds like a waste of vodka to me! I have never used it either and I cannot think of a good reason to. I'm from the UK and I don't think this is really a common concept here - would someone enlighten me please? is it an enzyme cycling trick like adding yeast to speed up cycling?
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:36 AM   #5
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It's actually quite popular with some people, it's supposed to keep your nitrates down. It seems towork for some people but I wouldnt even know where to begin lol. Plus I run 0 or near it anyways so no need for me. hehe
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:41 AM   #6
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Ah I see, thank you Carey! I think my wife would drown me in one of my tanks if I touched her Vodka!!!
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