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Old 10-04-2014, 06:11 PM   #21
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The only real options for that are ecotech's vortechs. Great powerheads, but you pay for it.
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Old 10-04-2014, 07:49 PM   #22
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Still confused about cycling!

I'm really confused about cycling. From everything Ive read so far it means my params will go up and then back down to normal but is there something I need to do to make the params go back to 0? I'm worried about the cycling spike since I have such a sensitive hitchhiker that I would like to keep alive if possible.

Should I do a water change if I get any ammonia or nitrate? And when I do water change should I do 10%, 20% or what? If I do 10% do I wait awhile and retest and then do more WC until I get 0 readings?

Earlier test params
Nitrite 0
pH 7.8 - 8
Ammonia .25-.5
Nitrate 0-2.5
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Old 10-04-2014, 07:53 PM   #23
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You want to have no detectable ammonia or nitrites if you are cycling with a shrimp or to see it all consumed in 24 hrs if using pure ammonia.


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Old 10-05-2014, 12:15 PM   #24
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Silicone Corals

Does anyone use silicone anemone and corals in a FOWLR tank? Is it ok for the fish? I want some color and beauty with the rocks and thought if it is ok to use silicone then I want to start putting them in before I start stocking fish.
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:51 AM   #25
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Thumbs up Day 3 Params

My parameters did not change much on day 3.

pH 7.8 - 8
Ammonia .25 - .5
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 2.5 - 5 (hard to read the test kit)

My salinity has gone from 1.026 - 1.022 from day 1 to day 3. Do I need to do a WC to get the salinity back up?

Should I put a shrimp in the tank to make things go faster? Remember I have a starfish in the tank that I want to try and keep. Should I still try and get the cycle to go up and back down?

I guess I could chop up the shrimp real fine and try and feed it to my star fish he does not seem to be eating the shrimp pellets that I put in the tank and I'm afraid he will die since there isn't anything in the tank for him to eat.
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Old 10-06-2014, 03:59 PM   #26
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Tank Friends List

Here is a list of the fish that I would like to put in my tank. Please let me know your thoughts.

4 Blue Green Chromis (Will be added 1st)
2 Ocellaris Clowns (Will be added 2nd)
1 Royal Gramma (Will be added 3rd)
2 Canary Blenny (will be added 4th)
2 Spotted Cardinals
1 Firefish Goby
1 Sixline Wrasse
1 Hoeven's Wrasse (Will be added last)

I really want a Yellow Tang but there are mixed reviews in a 55 gal. One of my LFS said it would not be a problem in a 55 Let me know your thoughts.

I will also be adding snails, shrimp and crabs as my CUC. I will probably start adding these 1st after my tank matures and starts growing algae.
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Old 10-06-2014, 07:21 PM   #27
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5 ) always add clowns last as there teritorial
4 ) wrasses
3 ) royal grammer should go in before wrasses
1) cardnials , firefish
2 ) blennys may fight if not mated

no tang
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Old 10-06-2014, 08:22 PM   #28
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you want to see 0 ammonia you may have some nitrates those will go away after a water change
if the salinity dropped 1.026 to 1.022 in 3 days either you mixed the salt wrong or you got a bad reading
always rinse your hydrometer before and after each test with fresh water not salt
if you attempt to raise salinity dont do it all at one time do it gradual over two or three days , remember your safe range 1.021 to 1.026
i keep mine at 1.025
never add salt directly into tank it must be mixed first
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Old 10-07-2014, 08:28 AM   #29
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Update

Thank you for answering posts for me 54Seaweed! I've learned a lot looking at your site and also looking at Casey's site. I've been all over this forum trying to become more knowledgeable and it has been a great help!

I threw a fresh shrimp into the tank last night hoping to jump start the cycling process. If my ammonia and nitrites spike today how high should I let them go before I take the shrimp out? I was actually hoping the starfish would eat on the shrimp but I've not seen him do so as of yet and not sure he can eat on a whole shrimp.

My starfish started moving around like crazy yesterday, I think he is finally acclimating to the tank although he did go and hide up in the rocks last night so I might not see him for awhile. Is it ok that he has torn off several of the ends of his tentacles will they grow back and will he survive them being gone?

I need to raise the salinity in the tank and I'm hoping to do that with a couple of WC's this weekend, if my tank is still cycling will it hurt to do the water change? I'm hoping that putting the shrimp in there yesterday will make the tank cycle and the WC will come and just the right time.

Do I make the salinity in the batch of water I'm going to change with a higher salinity maybe 1.027 - 1.028 to bring up what is in the tank of 1.022? I want the tank to be 1.025 which is said to be optimal for fish.

I won't be adding fish until the end of November as I will be going out of town for Thanksgiving and thought I should wait until I get back.
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Old 10-07-2014, 10:13 AM   #30
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I wouldnt worry too too much about the salinity being a bit low. You can always top off with salt water instead of non salted water.

Your starifsh might be feeling the effects of any ammonia you have in there, if you have any yet. I'm not too sure what to say about keeping the starfish alive, other than not to let the ammonia get above say 2.0ppm. he might live through that but any higher and its not gonna be good most likely.
I never got any cool hitch hikers, lol, maybe some bristleworms and aipastia. :-(

But it sounds like you have everything you will need to get this tank rolling. Just keep testing. Odd question, but do you know anyone who can starfish sit for you while your tank cycles? Like a friend or even a lfs locally?
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Old 10-07-2014, 01:25 PM   #31
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i agree with carey wait on wc till end of cycle , just add saltwater to top off this will help you slowly raise the salinity, just check periodically so you dont exceed your goal salinity
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Old 10-07-2014, 01:56 PM   #32
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Old 10-07-2014, 07:39 PM   #33
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I wouldnt worry too too much about the salinity being a bit low. You can always top off with salt water instead of non salted water.

Your starifsh might be feeling the effects of any ammonia you have in there, if you have any yet. I'm not too sure what to say about keeping the starfish alive, other than not to let the ammonia get above say 2.0ppm. he might live through that but any higher and its not gonna be good most likely.
I never got any cool hitch hikers, lol, maybe some bristleworms and aipastia. :-(

But it sounds like you have everything you will need to get this tank rolling. Just keep testing. Odd question, but do you know anyone who can starfish sit for you while your tank cycles? Like a friend or even a lfs locally?
I wish I had someone that can sit for the starfish but I'm just getting started and I know no one else that has a tank. I've only scoped out a couple of
LFS and I've not picked anyone in particular to start working with.

The starfish is losing parts of its tentacles I'm finding them all over the tank, not sure he's going to make it but will keep you informed.
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Old 10-08-2014, 03:36 PM   #34
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Questions Questions and more Questions!

So I've been reading ALOT of other threads and boy do I feel like I am in WAY over my head! Most of the threads have been about Reef tanks and since I don't plan on getting in to the corals anytime soon maybe I'll be ok starting with the FOWLR and not feeling overwhelmed.

I have a question about feeding the fish and since I don't have fish yet maybe I can learn beforehand. Since I started out in FW I am used to feeding fish with flakes and pellets and that's about it.

I've heard alot of people talking about using Mysis and frozen brine etc and I just wanted to see if you just pinch off a chunk and throw it in frozen and let it fall to the bottom or what? Also I saw someone had a video on their thread where they put in a small dead fish and fed their snails and it looked like the fish got in a few pecks on it as well. Can you drop in whole dead fish and raw shrimp? Also Huma said he made his own paste by blending up fresh fish and shrimp in a food processor. Do you then freeze it and throw in a chunk at a time frozen or do you defrost it first? I know these are probably things I will learn as I go but it is nice to have a little head start.

Also, when your on vacation and away what type of automatic feeder do most of you use and what type of food? Or should I just plan on never taking vacation again! LOL

Thank you to everyone that is assisting me I'm sure when I get my fish in after Thanksgiving I'll have a lot more to talk about and put on the thread and then start producing pictures!
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Old 10-08-2014, 03:55 PM   #35
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when i feed frozen food i will take a small chunk off and out it in a paper cup. then i add water and let it melt. i sue a turkey baster to project the food in the tank.

I feed pellets, flake, frozen mysis, pemysis(bigger better mysis), bloodworms and brine shrimp. The better the mix the healthier your fish will be.

You can also make your own using seafood from the supermarket. Just add shrimp, crab, maybe some squid, anything but fatty fish and put them in a blender. it will make a mush which you can break off pieces of to use. OR get an old ice cube tray and freeze the mush into cubes.
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Old 10-08-2014, 08:09 PM   #36
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Packages arrived

I received my Reef Octopus BH1000, 2 ea Hydor Koralia 600 gph pumps and chemical test kits. Red Sea Phosphate Pro, Salifert Calcium, Salifert Magnesium, and Salifert KH/Alkalinity Test. I decided to go ahead and test the phos and the color was off the chart so Phos is over .68 is that bad? I'm not going to test the other params tonight but I did check my regular tests

nitrates 0
Nitrates 10
Ammonia 0
pH 8.2

I threw a shrimp in 2 days ago but ammonia has only gone down from .25

My tanks not cycling any suggestions? Or should I just have patients?

I read that most people don't put their skimmer on until after the tank cycles, should I wait? Water is really clear and not seeing too much in top of tank
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Old 10-08-2014, 08:40 PM   #37
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You can run the skimmer during cycling if you like, it will need a few weeks to break in so might as well start now. lol

What type of water did you add to the tank? You should have pretty much 0 phosphates since you arent feeding the tank or adding anything.

Also if you have trates it means some of the ammonia is being converted, just not alot right now.
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Old 10-08-2014, 11:55 PM   #38
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Please forgive my frankness right now. I really mean well.
It is my view that you are trying to set your aquarium up way too fast. You are asking too many basic questions whose answers you should already have learned before you take custody of living things. Know what to feed them, how often they eat, what is their ideal temp,73 or 81. what other fish are they dangerous to and visa versa, what do they need space wise? What happens to living things that are put into an uncycled tank unless it is meant to be killed
These are only some of the things anyone getting into the hobby should have at hand before making the first purchase. This will spare you a ton of disappointment
Read more, ask a ton more of questions, join a reef club. Get stocked up with the information you need to ask the right questions. There is never a dumb question so slow down and be patient. If you can't be that, then you are in the wrong hobby.
Do more homework and you will no doubt have a beautiful aquarium with a lovely starfish.
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Old 10-09-2014, 12:51 AM   #39
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Agree with Carey. Check the phosphates in your tap water.
The more phosphates you have, the more algae problems you will get in the future. a FOWLR system is easier than reef for sure, but honestly, in the long run, good quality water will be your best defense against a whole lot of problems. I use the frozen cubes for convenience, thaw them in a cup, swish with some saltwater and use a turkey baster to feed.
Relax, let the tank cycle and enjoy it. Saltwater tanks are amazing. Never be afraid to ask questions, it might seem overwhelming now, but is really isnt bad. You'll find a groove that works for you
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Old 10-09-2014, 08:48 AM   #40
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Please forgive my frankness right now. I really mean well.
It is my view that you are trying to set your aquarium up way too fast. You are asking too many basic questions whose answers you should already have learned before you take custody of living things. Know what to feed them, how often they eat, what is their ideal temp,73 or 81. what other fish are they dangerous to and visa versa, what do they need space wise? What happens to living things that are put into an uncycled tank unless it is meant to be killed
These are only some of the things anyone getting into the hobby should have at hand before making the first purchase. This will spare you a ton of disappointment
Read more, ask a ton more of questions, join a reef club. Get stocked up with the information you need to ask the right questions. There is never a dumb question so slow down and be patient. If you can't be that, then you are in the wrong hobby.
Do more homework and you will no doubt have a beautiful aquarium with a lovely starfish.
Thank you for your frankness. I am taking it slow and actually that is why I am on this site and looking at other sites absorbing as much information as I can. I look at youtube videos and google everything I can.

I plan on looking to find a good book on the subject and will be looking to see if there are any saltwater enthusiasts groups in my area, unfortunately I live in a small town so I would probably have to driver over an hour to find somewhere they may have a group.

I'm hoping to have all of the teachers on this site (giggles) work through things with me as well. Look out for lots of questions as I know very little about saltwater tanks and that is why I am starting out with a basic tank.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to your vast knowledge when I have questions in the future.
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