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Old 01-03-2008, 05:36 PM   #11
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I wouldn't take anything from the beach. There is no telling what kind of pollutants are in the water, sand, shells, rocks.
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Old 01-03-2008, 08:50 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by pph_2ppr View Post
i have realized how slow this process can be. I have had my 55 gallon tank se tup and running for over a year now, but just never had the time to fill with fish.
From this comment, I'm assuming you do not have a cycled tank. Even if you did cycle it properly to start with, if it was fishless for a year with no supplemental source of ammonia for the bacteria, it's a new tank. It will cycle again now that you've put fish in it.

If you don't have test kits for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates, get them now and start using them. Damsels are hardy fish and are often used to cycle a tank, but there are far nicer ways to do it that don't cause unnecessary stress/harm to the fish.
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Old 01-04-2008, 02:49 AM   #13
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the shells have been out of water over 6 months i figure that would give time for everything to die, and with boiling them i am confused on why it wont work
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Old 01-04-2008, 11:52 PM   #14
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i did my first ammonia test and it showed no color change in the water.....the fish have only been fed for 2 days, so should it take longer for the ammonia to spike?
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Old 01-05-2008, 12:39 AM   #15
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I'm not sure if we're talking the 55g, or a smaller quarantine tank. If a small uncycled QT, I'd expect to see ammonia within 2-3 days. I know when I overloaded my cycled 10g QT with 3 small chromis, it took 3 days for the ammonia to show up with the test kit. But if you ended up just putting them in your 55g, then it seems like it will take a bit longer for it to show up. I don't have a feel for how long though.

Regarding the shell/sand from the beach question, boiling them will only kill things off that may be on them and biologically sterilize them. Boiling water won't do anything for chemicals/heavy metals that may be in the stuff.
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Old 01-05-2008, 11:01 PM   #16
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the damsels are still in the 10 gallon, my financial situation will not allow me to upgrade to the 55 unless I do a little tweaking, which i dont think i have the dicipline to do so. I am gonig to add a 10 gallon sump(already made) to double the volume of water. for a one inch bulkhead to I use plastic hose or pvc? I do not know what size hose the return pump needs. Need assistance and will continue to ask plenty of questions. Will the damsels be fine until the tank has cycled?

Would it be wise to add more rock or put a filter on the intake of the powerheads?
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Old 01-07-2008, 11:53 PM   #17
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Ammonia is rising pretty rapidly(so far up to 1ppm), what in your opinion would be the minimum amount of water i need to change? How often would I do this until the cycle is over? Both fish appear to be fine still do alot of moving around, wish me luck that this doesnt change.
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Old 01-08-2008, 01:36 AM   #18
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I'm still not clear on what exactly you have in the 10 QT for filtration, but I'm assuming you have something that bacteria can populate. If that's the case, honestly... you're looking at something around 4-6 weeks for a tank to cycle. It doesn't sound like you ever cycled your QT and that's how long it normally takes to go from start to finish. Luck isn't going to be on your side. Sorry.

You're probably going to need to do 20% water changes, twice a day, for several weeks. If your PWC water is EXACTLY the same pH/temp/salinity as your QT water, then I'd probably do 30% changes until your can get that ammonia number down. 1.0ppm is pretty high.

Are you testing for nitrites too? Those will most likely start showing up later this week if they haven't already. Those, I think, are actually worse for the fish.

It's a catch-22. Those things (ammonia and nitrites) and bad for the fish, and you need to do water changes to keep those levels down. But by doing water changes, you reduce the levels of ammonia and nitrites that you need to properly establish a bacterial population to deal with those compounds. So you end up making the cycle go longer and longer. That's why it's so important to cycle a tank when nothing is in it - so you don't have to worry about doing constant water changes to keep something alive.

You can always use a chemical product to detoxify the ammonia (Seachem's Prime, API's Ammo-Lock, Amquel, etc) but having never used those for that reason, I can't help you there. What I do know about those products though is that if you use them, you'll still read ammonia using a test kit, even though the product has converted the ammonia to something harmless. And again, without the ammonia, you're not going to progress at all with cycling the tank.

Think water changes are the easiest thing to do at this point. Think I read somewhere that you're a ways from the LFS, so returning the fish probably isn't going to happen.
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Old 01-08-2008, 10:12 AM   #19
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I agree with Kurt. I would advise against the adding of the chemical products, because it would just put you back at the "catch-22". where you have your tank trying to build up the beneficial bacteria, but it will take longer if the ammonia, nitrItes and nitrAtes are not there....I do think your best bet, as stated above, would be the PWCs. This will also help you get a feel for how easy they can be done. My first two or three times, I seem to have ended up with more water everywhere then in the tank! Good luck and stay on top of those PWCs and keep us updated.
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Old 01-09-2008, 01:57 PM   #20
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I am a beginner to salt water aquariums as well. There is a great book that I found. The name is "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" by Fenner. It has alot about QT tanks and acclimation.

And anyone correct me if I'm wrong but I also set up a 20 gallon quarantine tank for my 75 gallon tank. I took my brand new QT biowheel filter and put it on my 75 gallon tank to get a good amount of bacteria on it, then placed it on the QT with heater and water and let it sit for a few weeks. What I understand is you want to keep the QT pretty bare. i.e. no rock, sand or anything of the like in case you have to administer medicine to the fish. Make sure you test your ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, salinity as well. If all is well acclimate your fish and keep them in QT for at least a few weeks. To acclimate, they suggest you create a drip (from your QT) to the plastic bag that you received at the store to double the amount of water. Then pour half of the water down the drain and drip again to fill the bag. This should take about 45 - 60 minutes. I have done this steps to my fish and they are perfectly well.

I hope this helps and please anyone correct me if I'm wrong. These are the exact same questions that I drilled my LFS about and found in the book so maybe I can pass on the help as well.
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