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Old 11-09-2015, 07:49 AM   #1
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Taking over a SW tank

Ok I need some help!!! I have a freshwater aquarium so I have a little experience with tanks, but none with salt water.

My supervisor was let go 3 weeks ago and it's become clear that he is not coming back for his tank / fish. He has a clown fish, and urchin, and 2 pink shrimp. We have been feeding them 2 1/2 tablets of frozen brine shrimp a week. I brought in my algae cleaner to help keep the sides clean, but I'm not sure what to do about the sand? It could use to be cleaned.

The tank is about 5 gallons of I had to guess. It has a built in filter that I think sucks in water from the bottom and shoots it out of the top. I'm also not sure how to clean that filter, and I'm not sure about making new salt water. I grabbed a container of stuff to make salt water and have added some already and they seem to be fine, but is there a kit I can get to test the salt content before adding it to the tank?

I know I need to get an API Chen kit, I just don't have the money at the moment.


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Old 11-09-2015, 08:47 PM   #3
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Will it help if I take a picture of the tank? Also, how do I clean the sand? I think I remember him saying it was live sand at one point.


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Old 11-09-2015, 09:34 PM   #4
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Ok I need some help!!! I have a freshwater aquarium so I have a little experience with tanks, but none with salt water.

My supervisor was let go 3 weeks ago and it's become clear that he is not coming back for his tank / fish. He has a clown fish, and urchin, and 2 pink shrimp. We have been feeding them 2 1/2 tablets of frozen brine shrimp a week. I brought in my algae cleaner to help keep the sides clean, but I'm not sure what to do about the sand? It could use to be cleaned.

The tank is about 5 gallons of I had to guess. It has a built in filter that I think sucks in water from the bottom and shoots it out of the top. I'm also not sure how to clean that filter, and I'm not sure about making new salt water. I grabbed a container of stuff to make salt water and have added some already and they seem to be fine, but is there a kit I can get to test the salt content before adding it to the tank?

I know I need to get an API Chen kit, I just don't have the money at the moment.


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2 1/2 cubs is a lot of food for the stock in that tank
in no time you could see a bad algae out break with all those phosphates your adding to a 5 gal tank
you need to get a hydrometer to check salinity to much salt can kill and same with not enough , you should never go over 1.026 or under 1.021
most salt mixes will mix 1.025 when 2 cups of salt is added to 5g of ro/di water do not use tap water .
You said you you have a fresh water tank and brought in your algae cleaner
fresh water fish don't live in salt water !
your going to need a test kit .
when you top off just use ro/di freshwater
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Old 11-10-2015, 06:13 AM   #5
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I'm not exactly sure what you mean by fresh water fish don't live in salt water. I'm obviously aware of that. What does that have to do with an algae cleaner? It's a little magnetic thing that scrapes the sides.

And I think you misread the food. I'm breaking a tablet of shrimp in half and they are getting 1 half 2 times a week.

The salt water mix that I bought says the contains a dechlorinator in it so Tunis safe to use with tap water.


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Old 11-10-2015, 06:19 AM   #6
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I also stated previously that I know a need a test kit. I don't have the funds at the moment. My boss was fired. This was unexpected .


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Old 11-10-2015, 09:39 AM   #7
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If its Live Sand, I'd not recommend cleaning it, you can wave your hand across it to get the debre floating so your filter can grab it, but you can remove critters by vacuuming it. I've never vacuumed my sand before.
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Old 11-10-2015, 01:26 PM   #8
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I'm not exactly sure what you mean by fresh water fish don't live in salt water. I'm obviously aware of that. What does that have to do with an algae cleaner? It's a little magnetic thing that scrapes the sides.

And I think you misread the food. I'm breaking a tablet of shrimp in half and they are getting 1 half 2 times a week.

The salt water mix that I bought says the contains a dechlorinator in it so Tunis safe to use with tap water.


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I thought you meant a fw algae eating fish

1/2 cube is more than enough per week 1/4 2X week

Your not talking about aquarium salt like this are you this is for fw


salt mixes for SW doesn't contain things to clean tap water water conditioners for fw only add crud to sw that will add to issues

if your sand has brownish crud most likely cayno bigger WC will help along with lights out , you could suck out as you do WC just try not to get the sand
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Old 11-10-2015, 01:41 PM   #9
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What is cayno bigger WC mean? I'm somewhat new to aquariums myself and I know nothing about salt water. This is what I am using for the water: Click image for larger version

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It says right on the jug to mix with tap water. I am limited on resources here. I know WC means water change, that I haven't done. I have no equipment here to do it. So it's something that will need to be purchased. There are no buckets or siphons or anything. All that was left here is the tank. Here is a pic of the tank:
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The filter is on the side. I have no idea what kind it is.


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Old 11-10-2015, 02:00 PM   #10
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That tanks a nightmare . I agree with reefing madness don't vaccum the sand. Yes mix that with tap as it states or even better use distilled or ro water. That looks like a fluval spec V, you should be able to get new filter media for it. I'd replace everything but a sponge if it has one.


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Old 11-10-2015, 03:14 PM   #11
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Not worth the bottle it's in this kind of additive is worthless bring more issues than it's worth , it also don,t contain the salt you need ,

cayno: all that brown crud on the sand and rock
Remedy: bigger water changes siphon out brown crud during water change try not to remove the sand , lighten up on feeding with the stock in the tank I would feed less 1/4 cube maybe 2 x a week , shorter light cycle or none till clears up

Invest in: test kit and hydrometer and a salt mix instant ocean has a 50g bag you can get it at petco, I don't see a heater need one those also ideal temp 78*to 80* you could also use a power head or so to circulate the tank
here's a good basic learners guide to help understand the basics

Saltwater Aquariums For Dummies

From Saltwater Aquariums For Dummies, 2nd Edition by Gregory Skomal
Keeping a saltwater aquarium means maintaining a fairly strict maintenance schedule to keep the life inside healthy. The water in saltwater aquariums requires regular testing for a variety of minerals and chemical balances. Figuring out the right feeding schedule and amount for your fish is a task that needs attention when you first stock your aquarium and when the population changes.

Maintenance Schedule for Your Saltwater Aquarium

To keep the fish and other marine life in your saltwater aquarium happy and healthy, you have to do some basic maintenance. Some tasks you need to do every day without fail; other jobs you do weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. And every three months you need to conduct a thorough examination of all aquarium systems, including lighting, heating, filtration, aeration pumps, and tubing. Replace or clean parts as needed.
The following table shows the tasks to do on a continuing basis:
Every Day Once a Week Every Two Weeks Every Month Turn the query lights on and off. Most aquarists prefer to use an automatic timer. If you choose not to, try to turn the lights on and off in a consistent pattern. Remove excess algae Clean filters as needed. Partially change or rinse the filter media on some filters, if the bioload is high, the media is dirty, or the flow is restricted. Conduct thorough filter checks. Replace the filter carbon and rinse the filter media and components, as needed and depending on bioload. Check for fish and invertebrates for signs of stress, diseased, or death. Be prepared to remove or treat fish that arenít well. Clean the glass Change twenty percent of the tank water while vacuuming the gravel. Clean the protein skimmer. Feed the fishes and invertebrates twice a day, removing any uneaten food. Conduct water tests weekly after the water matures and the nitrogen cycle is established. Record all test results and add trace elements and buffers.
Replace air stones as needed. Conduct water tests until the water matures and the nitrogen cycle is established. Routine tests include ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH. Record the test results. Remove excess algae.
Clean the outside of the aquarium, removing salt and calcium deposits, dust, and dirt. Check the water temperature and specific gravity or salinity. Adjust the heater as needed.

Rinse any tape decorations that suffer from excess algae. Empty the protein skimmer collection cup as needed.


Check the water level and top off as needed with fresh RO/DI water.(no salt)


Check all aquarium systems: heater, filters, aerators, protein skimmer. Make sure theyíre running properly and smoothly and pay special attention to intakes and siphon tubes. Make sure nothing is leaking and clean everything as needed.

How to Feed the Fish in Your Saltwater Aquarium

Develop a working sense of how much and how often to feed the fish in your saltwater aquarium. Use the guidelines in the following list and keep in mind that it's definitely better to feed them too little at first than too much.
  • Offer as much food as your fish will eat in five minutes. Food should sink no deeper than one third the height of the tank. Provide tablets, pellets, or sinking food for bottom fish and invertebrates.
  • Feed your food in very small portions over the five-minute period. If any food is left over after this time, you are an overfeeder.
    Some foods, such as lettuce and spinach, are nibbled over time, so the five-minute rule does not apply.
  • If you're home during the day, feed your fish and invertebrates very small portions over the course of the day. feed them twice a week at the same time . Keep in mind if you only have one or two fish feed smaller portions
  • Always feed your fish at the same spot in the tank. This lets you sneak food down to the bottom dwellers, while the surface fish are distracted.
  • Don't overfeed the fish, no matter how much you think they need more food. Overeating stresses your fish and causes detritus to accumulate in the tank (nitrates/phosphates), degrading water quality.
Test Kits for Testing Water in Saltwater Aquariums

You can't visually determine the pH balance of the water in your saltwater aquarium. To maintain healthy levels of chemicals and minerals in saltwater aquariums, you have to test the water, and to do that, you have to buy test kits. Here's a general guide for purchasing test kits for your fish-only or reef tank. As your tank becomes more complicated, you can always add to your test-kit collection.

....Fish-Only------------------------ Reef Tank

PH
yes------------------------------yes

Ammonia
yes------------------------yes

Nitrite yes---------------------------yes

Nitrate yes-------------------------- yes

Alkalinity optional--------------------yes

Copper no--------------------------no
(Never use copper in display tank)

Phosphate
optional-------------------yes

Iodine no---------------------------optional

Calcium no------------------------- optional

Silica no----------------------------optional

Test kits are made so you don't have to be a chemist to use them. Although a couple of methods have been developed, the most common involves adding drops of the test chemical to an aquarium sample that changes the color of the water. You then match the watercolor with that on a color chart, which tells you the correct level of what you are testing.
a hydrometer is a must to maintain a steady salinity in your tank safe levels are between 1.021 and 1.026 but 1.025 is ideal ,
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Old 11-11-2015, 01:09 PM   #12
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You need this in that tank:
Amazon.com : Hydor Koralia Nano 425 Aquarium Circulation Pump, 425 GPH : Aquarium Water Pumps : Pet Supplies

You need some flow in that tank. The filter you have does not account for any.
You don't need a bunch of equipment to do water changes on a tank that small, just a cup to get the water out, and a 5g bucket for refills. Mix the new batch of water up in the bucket, making sure it all dissolves, wait an hour and put it back in.
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Old 11-13-2015, 04:17 PM   #13
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Suggestion for you

Go to the store and buy 2, 1 gallon jugs of purified water. You can get them anywhere, walmart, grocery store ect.

Use one to top up. Water is going to evaporate from that and the more that evaporates the higher the salt concentration in the tank. At some point the water will be too salty and the fish could die. You want to maintain a stable tank so when you see the water start to get lower, top it off. Never top off with salt water, salt does not evaporate.

With the second jug mix some salt mix. It will probably say on the bag of salt how much to add per gallon. Just pour a little of the jug out and add the salt. Shake it well and let it sit. Use the first jug as your measure for how much water to remove from the tank for your water change. If you still have clean water in the first jug, pour it into a juice jug or something clean to keep using as top off. Now syphon out dirty water from the tank into your empty gallon jug. Fill it up and dump that water in the sink. Use the freshly made water to replace what you took out.

If you do this once every 2 weeks you should be fine, especially without coral. You'll want to buy something to measure the salinity with though, you can get a good refractometer for $30 or a cheap float type salt measurer for like $10. Either will work for you with this tank, its about making sure the salt content in the new water matches the tanks water.

So the list of needs to start

Salt
Something to measure salinity
2 1 gallon jugs of pure water

These are the minimum for keeping that tank going. You could use tap water but you'd be adding toxins to the tank. You'll have to make that call.
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