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Old 02-21-2012, 09:24 PM   #1
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New saltwater enthusiast here...

Hello every one, my name is Scott Borden and I am new to the saltwater game. I have owned several fresh water tanks in the past and have decided to try my hand at saltwater.

I currently own a 15gal. upright. I set it up as a saltwater tank back on Jan. 24th, 2012. I currently have a live rock set up with 3 live rocks, and crushed coral substrate. I use a top mount filter with coal filter bags, a top mount heater which keeps the tank at a constant 77-78 degrees. Also decorated with 5 cleaned shells found on our trip to the Bahamas. The live rock appears to be doing very well. When I purchased it from the local petworld here in Rochester. One of the rocks had a large sea sponge on the top of it. I have a few questions about that but we will get back to that later.

Because of the size of the tank I have chosen to use, which many people have told me is small for a saltwater tank, I have been checking my levels every week, I currently am checking Salinity, Calcium, Carbonate Hardness, Phosphate, as well as Nitrate. Every thing appears to be checking out except for my Calcium. I hear Calcium along with KH is key for coral tanks. My Calcium appears to be high and is around 550. My KH is at about 7-8 DKH which is on the low end. What I am wondering is if this is "ok" or if I should work on a better balance.

My next question is regarding the sponge and other things which appear to be growing on my live rock. Is there any thing I should do to keep the sponge healthy? Another thing that I have found interesting is this "tube" like thing which appears to be poking out of one of the holes in the rock. It was not there until about a week after the tank was set up. I am interested in seeing what this will turn out to be. I was hoping some one could tell me. I should have photos up soon of my tank and all of the interesting things growing on my live rock. All of the water I use in my water changes is filtered straight from the tap, ran through the top mount filter and treated to remove any harmful chemicals. Should I be testing for other things? If so what?

As for fish I am not really looking to get them for at least another few weeks. But when I do I am looking to get 2 clown fish and possibly a small hermit crab. I don't want to overcrowd the tank, and knowing that clown fish need their space to swim I think 2 should be just enough for the amount of room that I have. I also hear that clown fish enjoy having ample room to hide as well as swim. Would you suggest I get a few more live rocks to help build more spaces to hide? As for anemones I am thinking either 1 or 2. Not really quite sure what type to get but that wont be for another month or 2. I want to make sure my levels are perfect, since I hear these things are extremely difficult to care for.

Any advice would be much appreciated!
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:09 PM   #2
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Don't know anything about salt but would love to see pics of the tank! hope you get them up soon
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:49 AM   #3
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Welcome to AA!

The tube coming out of the rock may be a little Feather Duster.

As for anemones, they need an established tank (6 months), and an high output of lighting.

If you have any other questions I would be happy to answer them.
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:24 PM   #4
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Welcome aboard. We are glad you found us here at AA.
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:42 AM   #5
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Thanks every one! It's all quite exciting I just want to make sure I do things right with what I got. Is it normal for my live rock to start turning colors? There is some green, orange, red, pink, and some blue. The colors appear to be spreading a little bit each day.

As for the 2 worm things they have both went back into where they came out. Will they come back?
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Old 02-27-2012, 01:23 PM   #6
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If you are using an API test kit, the calcium kits are notoriously inaccurate. I would not be surprised if your calcium was much lower. What salt mix are you using?

Here is a little guide for identifying hitch hikers-
Live Rock Hitch Hikers
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:43 PM   #7
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I am using Instant Ocean Reef Crystals.
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:45 PM   #8
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Then no way are you getting 550 on the calcium. It's high 300s-low 400s.
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Old 02-27-2012, 09:48 PM   #9
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It's possible that I read it wrong. I am testing again tomorrow so I will post up the new results then.
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Old 02-27-2012, 09:49 PM   #10
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I just noticed a larger tube thing coming out of the intake tube to my top mount filter. It's poking right out of it. I am trying to take some clear photos of it right now.
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