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Old 04-29-2011, 02:22 AM   #1
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Setup my saltwater tank today..

All in all, spent about 115 dollars. I got...

10lbs of marine sand
10lb of live, cultured rock
Hood and 20w florescent light
10g tank
20g filter
thermometer/hydrometer combo thingy, cheap, but works alright..
powerhead for 30g
Zebra damsel fish
10g of premixed saltwater
1 hermit crab

I have a question...

It's probably due to acclimation, but I bought the damselfish and just threw him in the tank. I was worried he would suffocate, I had him in his bag for about 2 hours setting up the tank. He has been hiding but now just hangs in the top corner. He's gasping for air and his fins are moving fast. I dunno if he was healthy to begin with, but I'm concerned. I didn't want him for cycling purpose, I work at the LFS and he was bullied by the other fish and I felt bad.

Is he probably just really stressed? Is their a decent level of oxygen? The powerhead isn't running. When it was, it would just spew my water around and all I seen was sand flying everywhere, or salt, I have no clue. It was awful, could barely see into the tank.

The water I used is premixed and sold in 5g bags. It says that it is the right ph and salinity, and my rock has some red algae on it. Dunno if it's "Good", again, nabbed it from my LFS tanks.

Anyway, here is a short video of the aquarium. Any tips/suggestions? Don't say get a water test kit.. I can test it for free at my job!

Be sure to play in HD

The tank is pretty bare bones ATM, LFS has outrageous rock prices, gonna pick up some zuffa rock tomorrow and let it culture.
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Old 04-29-2011, 02:22 AM   #2
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YouTube - First saltwater tank
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Old 04-29-2011, 02:35 AM   #3
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First, I just wanted to say that I am not trying to be harsh or anything, but just stating facts.

I'm not sure why the damsel is acting like that, but here is a list of possible reasons.

The damsel would prob had been better being bullied compared to being stuck into a fresh tank with terrible water parameters. I would bring him back if possible. It'll be like being bullied on the playground or being stuck in a trashcan. Same with the hermit.

If you test the water and there is ammonia, I would start doing 10% water changes daily to drop it because it is lethal to the fish.

Not acclimating him is prob the second reason why he's acting like that. Although being in the bag for 2 hours would had sucked, it prob was better than being through into new water. I had a fish in a bag for 2 hours and he was still fine. Ammonia builds up a little and oxygen runs low, but its still better.

Is there decent water movement from the filter? if the surface is calm, that might be why he's getting low oxygen.

The red algae on the rocks is actually coraline algae and its good, don't scrape it off.

The premix salt water should be OK too.
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Old 04-29-2011, 02:37 AM   #4
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Not to be mean but if you just set this up today it is in NO WAY ready for any type of animal. He's struggling now and it's a shame to see that video. He won't make it. Your cycle hasn't even started and your ammonias are going to spike up like crazy. If he doesn't die before then he will certainly die during the spike, along with your invert. I hope you can take him back before it's too late. But judging from your video it already is too late. Also, your fish is stressed out enough being in a tank that is inhabitabal, poking it to make it move won't help it's chances out any. Don't be upset when he dies.
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Old 04-29-2011, 02:39 AM   #5
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To be helpful: don't due water changes when your ammonia spikes, you want your bacteria to build up to be able to handle all the ammonias and nitrites in your tank. It's part of the cycle. Just let nature take it's course and when you tank finishes cycling, you'll be ready for life.
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Old 04-29-2011, 02:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sergie View Post
To be helpful: don't due water changes when your ammonia spikes, you want your bacteria to build up to be able to handle all the ammonias and nitrites in your tank. It's part of the cycle. Just let nature take it's course and when you tank finishes cycling, you'll be ready for life.

This is very true, but IF the damsel does stay alive, he should do PWC to keep the ammonia level down. This will prolong the cycle, but it'll give the damsel a fighting chance.
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Old 04-29-2011, 02:45 AM   #7
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I understand how cycles work, but I was misinformed.

I know a fair amount about tropical, however, I am being trained at work in the saltwater section. I was told I could throw this rock in there as it was cultured and my water, combined with the petco water, should be fine.

Unfortunately I took the advice, again, I do apologize.. I don't know much about saltwater.

I will try and take him back in the morning. I was under the impression I would get a mini-cycle at best and I meant to poke the water to flush him out so people could get a glimpse at his behavior.

I can't do partial water changes either. My plan is biweekly, 5 gallon water changes. I have to buy the water, I don't have an RO/DI unit.
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Old 04-29-2011, 02:47 AM   #8
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Ugh, I feel AWFUL. He is a wonderfully beautiful fish... I can MAYBE change about a gallon or so of water right now, as I have about a gallon left..
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Old 04-29-2011, 02:49 AM   #9
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On a side note, I figured out why the powerhead was doing it. It had a hose meant to be attached to the intake and hang outside the tank, spewing in air bubbles. Wasn't sand, just air bubbles. I'm not smart D:
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Old 04-29-2011, 02:51 AM   #10
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I've been to petco quite a few times + talked to another member on here that works at petco and their water is EXPENSIVE! I believe the other member said that he gets the water for around $9 and that's with a discount. I would def go to another LFS if possible because other stores because I get mine for $4 for 5g.

People do get only minicycles with moving LR from one that to another, but that's usually from pretty established tanks. I bought 36lbs of LR for my 36g and it still cycled for 2 weeks. Theres quite a lot of die off from the LR being transported from a supplier to the store.

Biweekly 5g changes for 10g tank is A LOT, just cut it to 1g a day which is actually lower. Don't do the PWC yet until you tested for ammonia. Only do the PWC when ammonia is present
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