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Old 07-08-2008, 09:05 PM   #1
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New to hobby..

Hey guys this is pretty much my first post.
Wanted to get started by saying this is my first tank. I was fortunate enough to get a pretty good setup from a friend. We relocated the tank but were able to do it pretty quickly and the fish seem fine.
Tank specs: 90 gal acrylic with wet dry filter and an oceanic #6 protien skimmer.
Fish in tank: Maroon clown all black with yellow strips, dwarf fire angel, engineer goby, yellow tang and various hermit crabs and snails.

We setup the tank on Saturday and I have since added two fish, I realize it was a bit soon but here I am...

I added a longnose butterfly and a sweetlips(I am aware of the size and will get a large tank as it grows)

The sweetlips is doing well with the exception of the clown bullying him.
The butterfly was doing very poorly for the first 24 hours but has now started to move a bit more, still acting kind of larthargic and not moving to much.

Wanted to see what you guys thought about the butterfly? Is this a problem? Guy at lsf said that sometimes butterflys will act funny for the first few days and he should calm down.. This seem right?

The clown bit a peice of the sweetlips fin when chasing him?

Last but not least here are my levels as of tonite, are they acceptable?
Calcium - 440ppm
Nitrate - 2-5 mgl
Nitrite - 0
PH - 8
Amonia .25
Salanity - 1.025-1.026

I forgot to mention that the tank was previously established for 3 years, has 150lbs of live rock and it has very pretty purple coraline everywhere with tubeworms and mushroom looking things as well.

Lot of information and questions, sorry about that, I would like to get it right

Will post pics soon.
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Old 07-09-2008, 12:00 AM   #2
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Butterflys can be difficult to feed so I've heard. The maroon clown can be very aggressive too. Maybe the attacks will slow down since he or she may be just letting newcomers know who's boss. Still I'd recommend taking that sweetlips back and reading up on and thinking about it a bit more.

I think nitrates are measured in more of 0 to 20 ppm, not 2 to 5. 20 and under is acceptable for most sw hobbyists. Now if you're reading 20 - 50, we'll need you to re-do. If at 50ppm, that's not good and immediate corrective action is needed.

Also, that butterfly is likely to begin eating or nipping at your coral someday I believe.
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Old 07-09-2008, 02:08 AM   #3
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I think nitrates are measured in more of 0 to 20 ppm, not 2 to 5.
Depends on the test kit. API... I agree. Salifert... that range is totally readable.
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Old 07-09-2008, 04:50 PM   #4
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The levels look good EXCEPT the ammonia should be 0. Test it again to see if it was just a quick spike from moving. If you are still reading ammonia then something is wrong (could be the test kit too).

The butterfly may take a few days, but they usually do eat quickly. How did you acclimate them and for how long?
I agree about returning the sweetlips now. WHEN you get a bigger tank would be the time to get one. and...

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Old 07-09-2008, 08:02 PM   #5
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmor1701d View Post
The levels look good EXCEPT the ammonia should be 0. Test it again to see if it was just a quick spike from moving. If you are still reading ammonia then something is wrong (could be the test kit too).

The butterfly may take a few days, but they usually do eat quickly. How did you acclimate them and for how long?
I agree about returning the sweetlips now. WHEN you get a bigger tank would be the time to get one. and...
I tested the amonia level and it did look a bit better, I did a 10% water change today just to be on the safe side. Would you recomend that I do 10% weekly? Also what sg should I be shooting for? I am at 1.025 but some have told me that 1.019-1.022 is a better range and will reduce the chances of disease.

I currently have 10 hermit crabs and 5 snails.. Will this suffice for my cleanup crew?

Should I ditch the cc and go for live sand?
Would I benefit from setting up a sump/refugium?

Lots of questions sorry
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Old 07-09-2008, 08:50 PM   #6
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Either 10% weekely or 25% every other week for a pwc depending on your schedule.
For a FO or FOWLR a SG of 1.018 - 1.022 is fine and is less stressfull. That might be where the lfs got the idea that it reduces the chance of disease as stress if the biggest contributor. With the inverts you probably want to keep it where it is. I keep my reef tank at 1.05 (using a refractometer).

I would ditch the CC and replace it with sand. DRY sand not the bagged watery ls they sell. Read through the forums. There are quite a few threads on replacing CC with sand. You need to do it slowly, a section at a time (in thirds).

You are very light on your clean up crew. I have always heard 1 critter per gallon.

Nassarius Snails - Nassarius spp. They mostly stay in the sand, but will sometimes make short trips up the glass. They are mainly detritus eaters and do an excellent job cleaning and shifting the sand. These are also some of the most hardy snails available. They can flip themselves upright very easily. They are fun to watch as they come bursting out of the sand bed at feeding time.

Onyx Nassarius -Ilyanassa spp. (Black Mud Snail, Black Nassarius Snail ) snails are very good at keeping sand beds completely clean of algae as well as other organics. They may occasionally strip a sand bed of enough nutrients that there will be none left to support copepod or amphipod populations. If you keep dragonets (e.g. Mandarins) that rely on healthy populations of copepods and amphipods do not get these.

Cerith Snails-Cerithium spp. (Cortez) - Good algae and detritus eaters that forage rock, glass, and sand. Some can pick themselves up and some cant.

Cerith Snails (White)- Good algae and detritus eaters that seem to stay in the sand more than the cortez, but can be found on the rock and glass. Once again, some can pick themselves up and others cant. These are good sand bed snails.

Astrea Snails -Astraea tecta: Most common of all saltwater tank snails. They are excellent algae eaters and will forage all over the rock, sand, and glass. These guys fall very easily, can not right themselves, and then die.

Margarita Snail - Margarites pupillus. (Stomatella Limpet Snail, Pearl Snail, Little Margarite Snail, Pearly Topped Snail ) Another snail to add to the algae eating aresnal. Will cruise around on the rock and glass.

Fighting Conchs - Strombus gibberulus. Little vacuum cleaners. One per 2 sq. ft. of sand. They'll eat diatoms and, sometimes, cyano. Get one per 2 sq. feet of tank is what was recommened to me. They tend to disappear behind the rocks for a few days then come back around to the front again.

Nerite Snails - Nerita spp. Mostly a rock and glass snail that are all about the algae. They may crawl above the water line of your tank as they often become exposed in the wild during low tide. Mine usually end up in the sump where they can get above the water line and come back down when they want to.

Turbo Snails : They are big and clumsy. They'll knock over or move anything that isn't glued/nailed down. Actually I had one knock a coral frag that was glued to a a plug right off the plug. But, they will attack hair algea. Mine are now escargot size and in the sump.

Banded Trochus - Trochus spp. (Tiger Trochus Snail, Banded Trochus Snail, Black and White Snail, Spiral-Top Snail ) Algae eating machines. Ideal size, won't knock over corals/rock, and can move very fast. Will also eat hair algae.

Stomatella Snails : Will breed in your tank! You will only need to get 4 or 5. They're great algae eaters and stay very small.

Queen Conch - Strombus gigas

Bumble-bee snails : Carnivorous. Not very hardy. Marginal algae eaters, but more of a detritus grazer. They can prey on other snails and sand bed critters
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Old 07-09-2008, 08:58 PM   #7
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25% bi-weekly-monthly water changes should suffice. I would not go over 30% unless your routine is prolonged or there is a mishap. Natural salinity is about 35ppt, so averaging 1.025 is an ideal range. Unless you are performing a hyposalinity treatment (cryptocaryon irritans), decreased salinity is not going to reduce disease other than perhaps heightened osmotic incompatability and the fish's ability to maintain a sw balance (salt consumed vs. salt excretion). Either way it is a stretch in my humble opinion. Your cleanup crew will depend on your algae/waste buildup. I would add more snails and less hermits. Astrea/trochus are hardy and if you have plenty of diatom growth for them to consume, around 10-20 would do for a start?

**Cmor gave you a full rundown
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Old 07-10-2008, 09:40 PM   #8
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Thanks guys!
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