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Old 06-05-2012, 10:04 PM   #1
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Hello everyone! I just recently started a 55g saltwater tank which has been running for about a month n a half. I haven't purchased all the live rock i want but all my levels seem to be great. My nitrates are a little high but i found out its because my tap water has them. I started with 5 blue/green chromis to make sure everything is running right n not to waste money buying expensive fish right away. After about a week n a half n all my levels still doing well i just purchased two percula clowns 4 shrimp n 12 hermit crabs which im pretty sure 2 have died sadly one w/o shell n the other not sure. Anyway i have just started noticing brown algae(diatoms) which i hear are normal. Crazy timing too because i got my clean up crew the day it appeared. They worked real hard but seem to be slowing down. Im assuming i need more?

Would love any advice anyone could give to keep my tank going as well as advice on more fish or less..thanks a lot! Here are some pictures

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Old 06-06-2012, 01:26 AM   #2
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Nice start to your tank. You're definitely going to need a lot more rock for your tank. I wouldn't add any more fish until you add more rock. Even then you're going to need to wait a bit before the new rock cures and becomes live.

As for diatoms, they will go away once they consume all the silicates in your tank. Best to just wait it out.

Also, I'm a bit concerned you're using tap water with a lot of nitrates in it. Have you thought of getting a RODI unit to make your water? If you want to keep any coral down the road, you're going to need to use much cleaner water.

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Old 06-06-2012, 11:36 AM   #3
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Thanks yea im actually going today to get more live rock. Good idea on no more fish i will wait. Thats what i need to know. As far as the tap water im going to ask for advice from my local fish store today. I appreciate the advice!
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:54 AM   #4
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Well the cheapest long term answer to your problem is to get yourself an RO/DI unit. A unit might cost, say 100 bucks. But when you can get distilled water from your grocery store sometimes as high as a dollar a gallon it can add up quickly. In my 55 gallon I have a gallon of evaporation happen daily in my tank, so that is a gallon I have to put back in and this isn't even considering the weekly min 5 gallon water change. That is 20 gallons a week at ~20 dollars. Getting an RO/DI unit will pay for itself in just over a month.

If you are going to hold firm at where you are at now in terms of livestock, you might be able to get away with not getting one for alittle while, but I would recommend you get one asap to prevent the nitrates from building up to levels that it kills off your livestock. I'd be worried about the shrimp as they are not very tolerable to low levels, let alone high.

Check out bulkreefsupply or ebay for a cheap unit to get yourself started.
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:38 PM   #5
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+1 Your going to have to do something with the tap water sooner rather than later. Its going to be very hard to maintain your tank with nitrates coming in from your tap water, because once your bacteria gets going and producing nitrates and you top off and change your water with additional nitrates, they will add up quickly and hurt your tank.
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