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Old 03-19-2011, 12:21 AM   #1
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Clown in uncycled tank and curing rock help

Just started a salt water tank and got some bad advice, pet shop told me to put a clown fish in my tank. Needless to say after reading more about salt water tanks like an addiction I found out this is BAD. They have a no return policy on salt water fish (Petco).

What should I do now to try and make the cycling process the least stressful I can?

So far she is doing fine, swimming, eating ect... but it has only been one day. I did a 2 gallon water change today just in case.

Also I have the strips for testing and also found out these are junk It looks like they show ammonia .25 and some Nitrate. (Before the water change.)

Here is the setup. It is a 12g nano with a mechanical filter (bio balls, carbon, ceramic things). I put 10lb bag of live sand in it and one cured live rock. And some plastic hiding ornaments.

After reading I decided to put the cured rock in there, it should jump start the cycling process and make it faster? right?

I also bought a 2nd cured rock and dry dead rock. The dry rock was dirty and after some reading I put it in a bin with a heater and a power head and 1 piece of live rock to cure it. Then I added some fish food.

I read it could take 1-2 months to cure. Once it is cure can I then directly add it to my fish tank with no harmful results? I'm trying to go from Fish Only to FOWLR then maybe reef after that.

Also I couldn't find much info on a Fish Only tank. How often do I need to change the carbon? Anything I need to do or know? How often do I do water changes? Once my rock cures I will add that.

Thanks for any advice.
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:33 AM   #2
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Instead of trying to keep the fish, I would contact some local reef/fish stores in the area that deal specifically with marine fish and see if they would take him in. You won't get the amount you paid for him, but they usually will give you $5-10 towards a future purchase.

If you choose to keep him, I recommend getting some Prime to help control the toxicity of the ammonia and a reliable liquid test kit. API is pretty cheap and you can get the Masters kit that has all the tests you need for now (ammonia,nitrite,nitrate, and PH) in one shot. You'll also need to do frequent water changes to keep the ammonia levels below 0.25.

In all honesty though, you'll spend more money keeping the fish than if you were just to cut your losses and give him to a lfs. By the time you factor in the salt cost and the money from prime and time lost doing water changes everyday to control ammonia, it would just be easier.

As for the base rock, the cure times are usually way shorter then 1-2 months. What you can do is just scrub the dirt off the dry base rock and place it in a tub like it is now except by itself. After a week, test for ammonia, if there is no ammonia present, the base rock can be added directly to the tank. Live rock is where the long cure times come from and that depends on how much life was on the rock and how long it was out of the water.
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:12 PM   #3
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thank you for the fast reply. I picked up a good test kit for ammonia and it reads 0ppm. The closest pet shop I can find that isn't crappy is a 45 min drive so I will monitor her for now.

So I do not need to add fish food to the rock or anything? I mean it was dirty but I added some anyways. I'm very happy to hear it could cure in less than a week.

If I get a good piece of live rock with lots of critters, once my tank is fully cycled and my rock is cured, it should seed the rest, correct?

I'm also planning to get cheato and pods and such eventually. I want all the fun little critters down the road.

Will these lights be enough for corals?

27 watt - 9"
SunPaq Dual Actinic 420/460nm
SunPaq Dual Daylight 6700°K/10000°K

Aquarium Lighting: Current Compact Fluorescent Square Pin Bulbs
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:28 PM   #4
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You'd want to check the PH of the water that your base rock is placed in as well, dont want nasty things leeching from the rock in your Nano..
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Old 04-22-2011, 03:27 PM   #5
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Hey, I just wanted to thank everyone for the advice. I did end up keeping the clown and watched the water perimeters closely doing water changes as needed. He never showed any signs of stress and ate well.

I added the live rock already and went thought the diatom/hair algae stage about 2 weeks ago and it cleared up super fast. I now have a CUC and added some new fish yesterday and everything is going very well. Been checking the water for spikes from the new fish but so far, nada. They are all very active and healthy and eat like piggies.

I ordered a LED light strip, PH test kit, calcium test kit, better salt mix, cheato and pods and just waiting for them to arrive to start getting everything in order for when I can finally add coral.

I DID find a close fish store only to find out he is moving at the end of the month very far away, doh! I went there for some cheato which he didn't have and came back with fish because he was selling them dirt cheap as he did not want to take them with on the move.
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Old 04-22-2011, 04:17 PM   #6
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You said you added some fish with your clown in a 12g nano. Just out of curiosity, what did you add?
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Old 04-22-2011, 08:17 PM   #7
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You said you added some fish with your clown in a 12g nano. Just out of curiosity, what did you add?
A purple firefish and a Randall's goby

Was a little nervous at first as I have read clown fish can sometimes be aggressive to shy fish but there hasn't been ANY aggression. The clown likes the top half, the firefish the bottom and the goby chills on the rocks/sand so seems I have fish in every area of the tank which is nice.
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