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Old 11-02-2011, 06:02 PM   #1
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Smile New to me 48 Gal saltwater tank

Hi, Im looking to get some help with my newly acquired 1st Salt water tank. It's 48 Gal and Has lots of live rock and 2 adorable clown fish.
I got it last night and it was filthy!! Spent all night cleaning it out. Left the sand and the rocks untouched... basically siphoned out all the cruddy water which there was only a few inches when i got it. The rocks were in a separate bin, so after filling the tank with the recommended salt solution and using tap water conditioner as usual i added the rocks and the water from the bin.
The previous owners said the fish were between 4-6 years so the tank should have definitely been cycled. Everything was set up and we were waiting for the sand to settle and salinity to be good before transferring the fish, they sat half the night in the tupperware they were given to us in the water and then we put them in the tank at around 4:30-5am EST.
They seem completly normal, but i am concerned about the ammonia, nitrates and nitrites.

I tested the water in the tank last night and the ammonia was 0.6 nitrates were 0 and nitrites were 0.
Then i tested the tupperware that the fish were in to see how bad their water was and it was ammonia between 0.6-1.2 and nitrates 0 and nitrites 0 .

I am using the nutrifin liquid test kit for ammonia, nitrates,, nitrites and PH.
This morning I tested their tank and the nitrates and nitrites seem to be rising and the ammonia is still the same.
Wed Nov 2 ammonia between 0.6-1.2 nitrate 5 and nitrites 0.3 PH 8
I am wondering why they are rising ? i know its normal when the tank cycles.. but im hoping that its already established because of all the bacteria in the sand, live rocks and filter.
I want to get the ammonia down to 0 and i know the commom way is water changes... but its all brand new water last night (so i dont see much point just yet) is it just going to take time?
Looking for some advice on things i can do with the tank to keep my little guys happy and healthy any advice would be appreciated.
I also have a bubbler and a wave maker in the tank. i am also ordering a protein skimmer and want to eventually get a uv sterilizer as thats the only thing i dont have.
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Old 11-02-2011, 06:57 PM   #2
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Was the rock dry or was it covered in water? If it was only completely dry then it really wasnt live all the BB would have been dead. If you put the uncured rock in you new sw then all the die off is what would be causing you ammonia and nitrates. IMHO I wouldn't of put the clowns in. Your tank sounds like it is recycling or going through a mini cycle. Also the dechlorinator only removes small amounts of ammonia. Tap water is just a bad idea, no matter what chemicals you use. If you don't have another sw tank like a qt to put the fish in, then they may be under quite a bit if stress with all of the fluctuations in the water. Can you give more detail of how all the condition of the rock and tank when you got it.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:05 PM   #3
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The rocks were in a plastic bin covered in old tank water which I added to the tank . They have tons of stuff growing on them . I don't have another sw tank .. This is the only one . I have 3 other fresh water tanks and I am currently cycling a freshwater hospital tank . I'll probably end up setting up a salt water hospital tank when I get the cash. In the filter I'm using the old sponge from the old owners and we added a small piece of new sponge and the fluval zeo-carb packets to help remove ammonia
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:23 PM   #4
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Yeah it sounds like the ammonia spike is coming from a combination of using tap water for filling the tank and die off from.the LR. I would just keep a watch on the clowns to make sure they stay OK during the mini cycle. Also how many lbs of LR do you have?
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:29 PM   #5
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You need to do water changes daily ( or more) to reduce the ammonia and nitrite to safe levels ( below 0.25) . You really need to use RO/DI water, either from your LFS etc or buy your own unit. Tap water is not suitable.
Chances are your tank is cycling or having a mini cycle due to the disturbance and die off. There are a couple of very good guides to fish in cycling on the forum, good place to start.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:35 PM   #6
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I'm not even sure I have 6 good sized chunks and I really big one . I have another question about the placement and how long you should run the wave maker . I have a korlia 3 850 gph and a powerhead 101 . It seems like the wave maker is too powerful and the have a hard time swimming . I'm not sure if the powerhead alone is enough current . Right now they are on opposite ends of the tank and I'm running them intermittently
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:42 AM   #7
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It sounds like you 850gph is high for your tank. I do believe that the rule for current is 3-5x your tank capacity. On the wave maker I would turn down the amount of time its on for. Btw how are the clowns doing?
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Old 11-03-2011, 11:13 AM   #8
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Yesterday the clowns were pretty much staying to the right side of the tank the whole time (not too adventurous) but last night the seemed to go right for the current , frolicking and playing in it I think they made have just needed to warm up to their surroundings and the stress from being moved . They are doing really well , seem completely fine . Today the ammonia is down to 0 yay! I put a spare filter in there also last night . Nitrates: below 5 (the lowest on the test I have ) nitrite : 0.3 ph: between 8-8.5 salinity 1.023 . I'm glad the ammonia is down, but I would like to get the others in check . I do a wc Thursdays every week on my fresh water tanks so I'll do one today and hopefully it will get nitrates and nitrites in line .
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