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Old 03-10-2015, 11:32 PM   #1
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$75.00 55 gallon Saltwater Aquarium Full Setup.

My Saturday morning started before I had even had my first cup of coffee. My mother-in-law finds me hovering over my coffee and then proceeds to to show me an ad on a Facebook Post, $75.00 for a complete saltwater setup including fish. As I'm looking at this my MIL replies, ready to buy. Can be there in 20 minutes, is CASH ok?

So, I find myself being rushed out of the house to go to the ATM and then go see this tank. I'm thinking to myself the whole way there, $75.00??? This has to be a joke. My husband and I have talked about doing a saltwater aquarium, he has a list of DIY filters and ect. all in a folder waiting to made with leftover materials from varies projects. Our thinking was maybe about 10 years down the road. We want to research, and do more research before diving in. But nope, life has an interesting way of throwing you curve balls.

When we get there to see the tank, I'm not expecting much, almost waiting to be disappointed, but it was a 55 gallon setup, but very neglected. The woman said she only turned on the blue/moon light and never any other light. I asked if I read correctly that it was $75.00 and she said yes.

Now, I'm presented with the task of how do I get this home? Because there was no way I was leaving these poor fish in this condition. I have no truck, I have to get this monster tank and stand into a Nissan Versa Note, along with 55 gallons of water, filters, rocks and fish.

My husband, who was clueless as to what we were up to, was surprised to see us when we stopped in to see him at work. He asked what we were up to, I told him we were out acquiring new animals. He just shook his head, knowing his mom it could of been anything and it wouldn't have surprised him. But when I told him it was a 55 gallon saltwater aquarium his eyes got big. He wanted to go to the car to see it. But I told him the deal, if he wanted it, he had to help get it home.

It took both Nissan Versas, 2 - 32 gallon totes, numerous pulled muscles and strains, but the two of us managed to get it loaded and unloaded and setup in about 5 hours.

Needless to say, we've been thrown into the world of owning a Saltwater Aquarium. With lots of questions.

Here's what I know I have in the tank.
1 - Electric Blue Damsel
1 - Three Stripe Damsel
1 - Cinnamon Clown Fish
1 - Lemon Damsel
1 - Black Onyx Clown Fish??
Lots of brittle star fish
lots of bristle worms.

Full Tank Shot



It came with the following
2 - HOB Tetra EX70 filters
2 - powerheads/wave makers
1 - Heater
1 - Fluval Ultra Bright LED Aquarium Strip Light




I know I need to get a protein skimmer. That's our first purchase. However, I'm not exactly sure how the placement of the powerheads should go.

I also have a few questions concerning the growth on the live rock.

I've seen numerous of these things since we've started turning on the bright light, are these a good thing?


On this one piece I have noticed these white/off white patches.


Is this one a lost cause?


I'm planning a trip to my lfs tomorrow, to have the water tested and see what needs to be done to make this a happy home for my new fishes!
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Old 03-10-2015, 11:47 PM   #2
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Get yourself an API master test kit so you can track the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate yourself. Don't trust a lfs to do it for you. Get a bucket of salt and get ready for water changes. The move could have stirred things up.

You'll want to use distilled or ro/di water in the tank to avoid parameter issues. Priming tap doesn't help much in saltwater.


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Old 03-10-2015, 11:53 PM   #3
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Get yourself an API master test kit so you can track the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate yourself. Don't trust a lfs to do it for you. Get a bucket of salt and get ready for water changes. The move could have stirred things up.

You'll want to use distilled or ro/di water in the tank to avoid parameter issues. Priming tap doesn't help much in saltwater.


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Thanks, That's also on our list of things to order. Along with two 50 gallon drums to store fresh saltwater.

The woman also said her kids would pick up rocks and other things from the beach and just add them. Ack...was my reaction, you just don't add just anything to your tank.
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Old 03-11-2015, 01:04 AM   #4
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Why such big drums? I use simple 5 gallon buckets you can get at any hardware store.
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Old 03-11-2015, 01:06 AM   #5
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Wow what a wonderful rescue. If the fish have been doing ok under those conditions, I'm sure with good care they will thrive. I can't wait to see how this tank comes along.


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Old 03-11-2015, 01:16 AM   #6
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Wow what a wonderful rescue. If the fish have been doing ok under those conditions, I'm sure with good care they will thrive. I can't wait to see how this tank comes along.


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Well, it is really hard to kill damsels. They are hardy. So much infact, that they were used for fish in cycling because they would survive all the toxic levels of ammonia and nitrite being produced.
There is only one concern, it sounds like there are two different types of clownfish in that tank. If that is the case, at some point one will end up killing the other most likely.
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Old 03-11-2015, 01:22 AM   #7
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I'm really new to salt water tanks, I didn't know damsels were so tough lol. It's really sad about the clowns, hopefully a new home can be found for one of the clowns. It drives me crazy when people just buy fish and throw them in a tank and think they will all get along. I am pleased this tank is now in the hands of someone who sounds like they will do research.


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Old 03-11-2015, 01:38 AM   #8
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I'm really new to salt water tanks, I didn't know damsels were so tough lol. It's really sad about the clowns, hopefully a new home can be found for one of the clowns. It drives me crazy when people just buy fish and throw them in a tank and think they will all get along. I am pleased this tank is now in the hands of someone who sounds like they will do research.


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Thanks, I'm in agreement that any type of aquarium/pet should be researched before purchasing.

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Old 03-11-2015, 01:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
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I'm really new to salt water tanks, I didn't know damsels were so tough lol. It's really sad about the clowns, hopefully a new home can be found for one of the clowns. It drives me crazy when people just buy fish and throw them in a tank and think they will all get along. I am pleased this tank is now in the hands of someone who sounds like they will do research.


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Personally, I'd try to trade all those fish with the exception of the b/w clown because of possible aggression and open up a range of opportunities for more colorful, interesting, and not as aggressive fish.
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Old 03-11-2015, 02:38 AM   #10
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I'll ask him tomorrow. He's pretty awesome to deal with. I used to go to him for my freshwater tanks, until he switched over to strictly saltwater.

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Old 03-11-2015, 02:49 AM   #11
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My MiL has already named the b/w clown Melvin but doesn't like how aggressive the damsels are, the other clown doesn't seem to bother anyone. I do plan on add two anemones for them.

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Old 03-11-2015, 08:32 AM   #12
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It also looks like there are bubblers in there? I would recommend taking that out - it will cause you a whole bunch of pain (with salt creep getting on everything) I am not familiar with that light but best to check it before adding any light-demanding corals or anemones. I would wait on an anemone anyways, they do better in mature tanks start with easy stuff first while you are still getting to know the ropes nice pick up by the way!


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Old 03-11-2015, 10:48 AM   #13
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My MiL has already named the b/w clown Melvin but doesn't like how aggressive the damsels are, the other clown doesn't seem to bother anyone. I do plan on add two anemones for them.

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Your lighting is no where near strong enough for nems either. Your best bet is to rehome one of the clowns and pair the remaining one with another of its kind, other wise the cinnamon will most likely end up killing the occ.


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Old 03-11-2015, 11:53 AM   #14
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I also forgot to mention that the tank has been up and running at her house for 3+ years.

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Old 03-14-2015, 03:42 PM   #15
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In addition to taking out the bubblers as previously mentioned, unfortunately I think the used sand will cause significant nitrogen and phosphates and algae growth. A couple years ago I also picked up an established 110 gal FOWLR tank like yours. After reusing the sand, I fought algae for over a year, despite minimal feedings and always undetectable nitrates and phosphates. Finally I vacuumed out all the sand and replaced it with new sand. that and a hardy hermit crew removed the algae and it never came back. IT took a lot of research to isolate the problem to the sand.


As for other stuff in the tank, you have pics of feather dusters (great), asternia stars (not a problem) and white fungus (grows in areas with very low light levels, a harmless filter feeder).


Excellent deal BTW. Well done.
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Old 03-14-2015, 05:36 PM   #16
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Great deal, and it looks great! Congrats on your first SW tank.

I kinda disagree about the clowns though. lol If they have been together for a long time they may have well worked out their differences already and can live happily in the same tank. I do agree with re-homing the damsels. Since they have been in there awhile they most likely wont take too kindly to any other fish being added. Tehy are nasty little buggers.
I say get a test kit like mentioned, figure out what to do about the water (ro/di is the best) and get to tank keeping. lol I would keep an eye on parameters too, just in case the moving of the tank and sand starts to cause issues. I've purchased several tanks and sometimes it is a bad thing and sometimes it never caused any issues.
Good luck!!!
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Old 03-20-2015, 04:27 PM   #17
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Old 03-20-2015, 04:46 PM   #18
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Update: Last week we went to the lfs to have the water test, holy cow, the phosphates and nitrates were red, I'm not sure how the fish were surviving in those water conditions. So, this past weekend we did a 25 gallon water change.

Yesterday we toted two damsels, a cinnamon clownfish and a sad looking piece of coral to the lfs. We decided to keep the blue damsel and the black onyx clownfish, with the agreement with the lfs, that if there are any territorial battles with any new fish that the lfs would take the blue damsel for us.

Our water tested pretty good, so in exchange for the cinnamon clownfish we got a peppermint shrimp. Seeing as the lfs, might not be able to sell the damsels we didn't get anything for them. She said she'll probably end up taking them home with her.

The sad looking piece of coral was mad, so she couldn't tell what kind it was, but it was showing new growth, so that's good news.

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Old 03-20-2015, 04:52 PM   #19
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In addition to taking out the bubblers as previously mentioned, unfortunately I think the used sand will cause significant nitrogen and phosphates and algae growth. A couple years ago I also picked up an established 110 gal FOWLR tank like yours. After reusing the sand, I fought algae for over a year, despite minimal feedings and always undetectable nitrates and phosphates. Finally I vacuumed out all the sand and replaced it with new sand. that and a hardy hermit crew removed the algae and it never came back. IT took a lot of research to isolate the problem to the sand.


As for other stuff in the tank, you have pics of feather dusters (great), asternia stars (not a problem) and white fungus (grows in areas with very low light levels, a harmless filter feeder).


Excellent deal BTW. Well done.
Thanks for the tip, the substrate in the tank now is crushed coral, next weekend we plan on changing it over to sand. Seeing as we want to get a blenny and a few more sand dwellers. Plus, we had always planned on a sand substrate for our future saltwater aquarium.

Plus we need to move the tank seeing as it was set up in the only spot we can put our Christmas tree. I suggested just decorating the tank for Christmas and be done, but I got out voted, a Christmas tree is a must, lol.

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Old 03-20-2015, 05:14 PM   #20
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Great deal, and it looks great! Congrats on your first SW tank.

I kinda disagree about the clowns though. lol If they have been together for a long time they may have well worked out their differences already and can live happily in the same tank. I do agree with re-homing the damsels. Since they have been in there awhile they most likely wont take too kindly to any other fish being added. Tehy are nasty little buggers.
The cinnamon clownfish decided to start picking on Melvin(black onyx) I think because we actually turn the light on, whereas before they only left the blue light on. I agree about the damsels, but the blue one was getting harassed by everyone, so we decided to give her a chance.

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