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Old 12-06-2004, 05:32 PM   #1
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Where is the truth?..... Misleading Information

First of all...

Why is it so hard to get a straight answer out of anyone about anything in this hobby? I can ask the same question to multiple LFS's, people online, others in this hobby, and get get a different answer each time! For example, here's what I do....
• I don't have a protein skimmer, I only use two Aqua Clear 300's
• I feed my fish whenever I feel hungry
• I've only ever tested my water one time in the 3 months I've been doing this
• I still use the cheap lights that came with my tank, as long as I'm awake the lights stay on... when I sleep so do the fish.
• I change 6 gallons of water every 2 weeks
• I just mix the water out of my tap, throw in some marine salt, amquel +, and some pH buffer, stir it up then dump it in
• I have this hookup from a LFS where I buy live rock and put it in my tank the same day... no curing what-so-ever, I don't even rinse it
• When I put new fish in my tank I let the bag float until I get inpatient then I dump the fish into my net over a bucket or something, then i tranfer it to my main tank
• I bought an anemone after 3 weeks and it's thriving, it stays in the same spot and eats like a horse.... the fish lady bare-handed it, I thought they were never to be touched?!?!
• I am petrified of coming into any contact with anything in my tank... even the live rock...
• I've never had a fish die in my tank

This is something that most people would say is a terrible way to maintain a healthy tank, but my water is crystal clear, my fish are very active and eat often.

I wish there was a way to get everyone to stop contradicting each other... isn't this science to some degree. I understand that there may or may not be ways to get "best" results, but it makes it very difficult for begginers to break into this hobby.... who do you believe?
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• 150 gallon Glass 48LX24WX30H
• 55 Gallon Sump
• 2x 48" Coralife Aqualight (520W Total)
• 3 Powerheads
• Over 130 lbs Live Rock
• Silica Sand/Crushed Coral as substrate

Fish: • Humu Picasso Triggerfish • Ocellaris Clownfish • Flame Hawkfish • Dragon Goby • Blue & Yellowtail Damsel • Blue Tang • Convict Tang • Yellow Tang

Creepies: • Many Blue / Red Hermits and Snails
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Old 12-06-2004, 05:46 PM   #2
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What it comes down to in the ends is
"Its your tank and you will do what you want with it."
There are many different ways to do things in this hobby, many different opinions and experiences. So there is no set way to do things.
How old is your tank? You may do fine for years with the setup you have then again it may be days before you have a problem. The anemone over time may die if it does not have the proper lighting then again depending on the kind it may be fine. Not knowing what lights you have??
Water changes every 2 weeks is a good thing which is helping the tank stay stable.
All I can say is people here are just giving advise to help you maintain a healthy tank and save you some money. Hope you can get something good from this site.
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Old 12-06-2004, 05:47 PM   #3
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i find that most of everything is opinion. people get their opinions through experience, so people jsut share their experience with each other, there are lots of things that are fact like what fish need to survive, such as food and water quality and warm water or cold, or whatever, lots of stuff like calcium and other elements like that are needed for certain animals to strive because thats what they need to function and they get it naturally from sea water. There is no exact right and wrong way to keep fish and do the hobby, but people learn through experience and share how they have had success and the most common ways people succed are usually good things to go by. not everyone has the same tap water, and not everyone gets fish from the same store. i too use my tap water unfiltered and such and never have had any problems with fresh or fish only, but with reef i am testing it to see what exactly could harm corals and such in it. all fish stores are different and keep fish in different ways and some places tend to have a lot more disease and sensitive fish than others, thats why acclimation and qt are important, but like i said, its just what people learn from experience there is no right and wrong way to do things, theres just more cautious ways of doing things, fish that are qt can still die of shock when put into a main tank, so if it works for you than thats good, but your methods may not work for someone else, and vice versa, it gets confusing i agree but i usually jsut go with the common ideas and what most people have luck with while trying things myself and seeing how they work


nothing is worse than losing some expensive fish due to carelessness or having an equipment malfunction because of cheap products...


hope this helps some or answeres why things are so confusing or soemthing for ya...
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Old 12-06-2004, 05:58 PM   #4
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Hi, Firs off, Welcome to AA!!
I totaly understand your frustration with mixed messages. However, most of the time there is more then one correct way to do things. THis isnot unlike any other hobby in that different people subscribe to different philosophies when it come to tank care. You need to find what you are comfortable with. There are not many issues you will get 100% agreement on. In that case, go with the majority if you are confussed. I see by your post that you are using rather "untraditionial" methods for a lot of things. If this works for you that is great. I will, hoever, offer a few suggestions that will be supported by the majority of the hobbiests on this site. First off, it is a good idea to age your SW for at least 24 hours before adding it to the main. This give the salt time to disolve, airate, and gets the temp/Ph/SG closer to that of the tank water. I tis easy to do, put the SW in a bucket or rubbermaid tub with a heater, airstone and a powerhead and let it mix for a day or so. You could certainly do a longer acclimation but, again, it seems to be working for you. I am worried abut the anenome. These are sensitive creatures that depend on a good light source for survival. You are feeding it so it may help suppliment it for the short-term. I am worried about it's long-term survival. LFS should have advised you to wait a bit but, yet again, this seems to be working (for now) so keep it up. You could stand to test water parameters more often, try to catch a problem wehn it is small instead of when it is out of control. How about some more tank info...What size tank is it, what do you have for fish right now, filtration, and goal for this tank? Good luck...I urge you to keep asking questions, even though you will almost always get more then on good answer. Lando
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Old 12-06-2004, 06:03 PM   #5
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There are many wrong ways to do things in this hobby, and very few right ways. Being 3 months into the hobby is good, however there are a lot of problems that can take longer than 3 months to fully mature. Also, depending on what you want to keep in the tank, you can get away with a lot of stuff. Some comments because I am bored. This is also without knowing what is in your tank or anything...

• I don't have a protein skimmer, I only use two Aqua Clear 300's

Might work for you, depending on what is in the 300s. For the most part, keeping the sponges in there will turn into a waste trap and a riase in Nitrates.

• I feed my fish whenever I feel hungry

This is probably too much. But as long as you feed a little bit at a time.

• I've only ever tested my water one time in the 3 months I've been doing this

Good for you. I do not test very often myself, once everything looks stable

• I still use the cheap lights that came with my tank, as long as I'm awake the lights stay on... when I sleep so do the fish.

Fish and corals usually do better on a cycle, and light timers are about $5. Also, cheap lights can be fine for just fish and basic invert life.

• I change 6 gallons of water every 2 weeks

Nice, how big is the tank?

• I just mix the water out of my tap, throw in some marine salt, amquel +, and some pH buffer, stir it up then dump it in

This is likely a bad idea. Not even the salt makers will reccomend that you just mix salt and dump it in directly.

• I have this hookup from a LFS where I buy live rock and put it in my tank the same day... no curing what-so-ever, I don't even rinse it

This is fine if the rock is already cured.

• When I put new fish in my tank I let the bag float until I get inpatient then I dump the fish into my net over a bucket or something, then i tranfer it to my main tank

This is bad, and a sign of you lacking care of the livestock.

• I bought an anemone after 3 weeks and it's thriving, it stays in the same spot and eats like a horse.... the fish lady bare-handed it, I thought they were never to be touched?!?!

What is really bad is if the LFS ever lets the Anemone out of the water. Thought usually, you do not want to touch them with your hand.

• I am petrified of coming into any contact with anything in my tank... even the live rock...

I have a Amphipod run up my arm once, it was interesting and shocked me. Luckily I was able to get it back in the tank.

• I've never had a fish die in my tank

Three months is not much. Poor water quality can stunt lifespan.
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Old 12-06-2004, 06:20 PM   #6
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Here is my info for your review..

Please continue to make any/all suggestions!

• 3 months running
• 55 gallon Glass
• Dual Aqua Clear 300's
• 40 lbs Live Rock
• Sebae Anemone
• Horseshoe Crab
• 2 Ocellaris Clownfish
• 2 Orange Skunk Clownfish
• 2 3 Stripe Damsel
• Flame Hawkfish
• Dragon Goby
• Blue Damsel
• Many Blue / Red Hermits and Snails
• Silica Sand as substrate

Not to be a jerk about this, and I do appreciate any response I get, but I don't necessarily buy the "over time" statements. I think it's easy to say "well you'll see it will go bad over time" Heck I'll die "over time"
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• 150 gallon Glass 48LX24WX30H
• 55 Gallon Sump
• 2x 48" Coralife Aqualight (520W Total)
• 3 Powerheads
• Over 130 lbs Live Rock
• Silica Sand/Crushed Coral as substrate

Fish: • Humu Picasso Triggerfish • Ocellaris Clownfish • Flame Hawkfish • Dragon Goby • Blue & Yellowtail Damsel • Blue Tang • Convict Tang • Yellow Tang

Creepies: • Many Blue / Red Hermits and Snails
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Old 12-06-2004, 06:22 PM   #7
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Here is my info for your review..

Please continue to make any/all suggestions!

• 3 months running
• 55 gallon Glass
• Dual Aqua Clear 300's
• 40 lbs Live Rock
• Sebae Anemone
• Horseshoe Crab
• 2 Ocellaris Clownfish
• 2 Orange Skunk Clownfish
• 2 3 Stripe Damsel
• Flame Hawkfish
• Dragon Goby
• Blue Damsel
• Many Blue / Red Hermits and Snails
• Silica Sand as substrate

Not to be a jerk about this, and I do appreciate any response I get, but I don't necessarily buy the "over time" statements. I think it's easy to say "well you'll see it will go bad over time" Heck I'll die "over time"
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• 150 gallon Glass 48LX24WX30H
• 55 Gallon Sump
• 2x 48" Coralife Aqualight (520W Total)
• 3 Powerheads
• Over 130 lbs Live Rock
• Silica Sand/Crushed Coral as substrate

Fish: • Humu Picasso Triggerfish • Ocellaris Clownfish • Flame Hawkfish • Dragon Goby • Blue & Yellowtail Damsel • Blue Tang • Convict Tang • Yellow Tang

Creepies: • Many Blue / Red Hermits and Snails
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Old 12-06-2004, 06:27 PM   #8
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I will be honest, looks like you are off to a good start. Fish list does not look too bad. The only thing I am concerned with is the anenome. Trust me when I tell you that your current system is not setup to sustain this animal "over time". It will die. You really do not want a dead anenome in your tank. They have a tendency to release toxins into the water after death that can cause a total tank crash. Just a warning...Lando
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Old 12-06-2004, 06:42 PM   #9
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hahaha! very good topic!

I have been in the aquarium hobby for 17 years, and I still haven't found the "proper" way to do things. And yes, eveyone does things different. For example: I use a canister filter, I swear by it and recommend it often, but many people hate canisters and they much prefer the "berlin method."

How you treat your fish and your tank is up to you. You will learn what works for you, However, I do recommend keeping a close eye on your water parameters and using only RO water with properly and carefully measured amounts of salt and chemical additives. (calcium and such)

You will find that there is a reason why successful fishkeepers are so good at keeping fish. That reason is that they pay close attention to whats going on in their tanks and are very careful about not introducing anything harmful to their systems. Fishkeeping is not a science, but, there is quite a bit of science involved!
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Old 12-06-2004, 07:03 PM   #10
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IMO one of the things that is the problem in this hobby is shortcuts. "Some" of the LFS are the worst when it comes to instructing people. Most folks do not want to hear the "hard way" of doing thing and the stores know this. I think many are afraid of scaring away customers and instead teach the quick fix method.
Unfortunately the hard way is usually the right way.
To be successful in this hobby, one need to get away from the "quick fix, dump something in the tank" mentality.
This is not a blanket statement, there are many good LFS's out there too. One just needs to find them.
Hang around here for awhile, there is a right way to do most things, and many people here are happy to share that info.
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Old 12-06-2004, 07:15 PM   #11
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you sound like me. 50 gal, water changes every 2-3 weeks, normal lights (on a timer), don't feed the tank anything really. and i have tons of hitch hikier crabs that won't die, and corals and algea grow like crazy and the algea feeds the lawnmower blenny
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Old 12-06-2004, 07:15 PM   #12
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Relative newbee here also, but I will tell you that most of the information on this forum makes more sense then the garbage info I am getting at the LFS. One keeps trying to sell me expensive chemicals, one sold me $100 of crushed coral that I'll probably remove soon, one told me to load my fluval 404 with biostarts, another told me to take them out - so who do you believe? I tend to believe the helpful hobbyist who have answered my questions.

I test my water regularly - only for my own well being. So far I haven't had a problem. I float my fish and do small water additions to the bag. I know this isn't right, but so far I haven't lost anything. I don't have a protein skimmer yet, but I'm saving for one. And last but not least, I will wait until my tank is one year old and stable before adding an anemone.

Keep asking questions - they will get answered. Support from these folks will help us all to have thriving sw tanks.

Thanks guys!!
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Old 12-06-2004, 08:16 PM   #13
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I also have heard many conflicting stories but here is what I've learned works for me. Lots of live rock and a good skimmer equals great water quality. No expensive wet/dry for me. Our tap water is fairly good with no noticable phosphates or nitrates, so I use Prime and tap water and that works great for me.
I don't always age the water for 24 hours but I do wait till the salt is completely dissolved before adding it and only change 10 percent at a time. I do try to run a powerhead for a while to aerate it but not always. I do have metal halide but only because I want clams. I ran on normal output flourescent for about 8 months first. I do float the bags on new animals and add a cup of tank water every 15 minutes but only for about 30 to 45 minutes not for several hours. I feed a little everyday at the same time and know from past experience that overfeeding does indeed cause bad outbreaks of cyano and that's nearly impossible to get rid of. I have learned to take everything with a grain of salt but never to dispute what works for others. Every town has a different water supply and all lfs's either prescribe to what makes them money or what is best for the animal and it's not hard to tell the difference between them if you just talk to them for a while. Sorry for the long post but this is just my two cents worth. ***gets down off of soapbox***
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Old 12-06-2004, 08:33 PM   #14
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Ahhh...excuse me, most problems are suffered in the beginning (I'm a prime example - check my posts if you wish). Can you share what you did in the beginning? It may make a difference!
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Old 12-06-2004, 09:03 PM   #15
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I made a lot of mistakes. I bought equipment I didn't need and pennypinched where I shouldn't have which meant I had to double buy some things. I have many air pumps and powerheads extra that I don't use because I made the ultimate mistake of starting with an undergravel filter. I also lost many, many fish to ich because I skimped on the qt tank(big mistake IMO). It's all trial and error and it's better to err on the side of caution. Read, read, read can't be emphasized enough and never buy something if you have not researched it's needs. Get a test kit that at least tests PH, nitrite, nitrate, and amm. The other tests are nice but not exactly necessary unless you have problems or a certain animal that depends on certain elements(i.e. ca and alk for clams and corals). I have been set up for appx 18 months and just bought the ca, alk, and po4 kits. If a site says that a coral or anemone need high lighting it usually does for long healthy life. There are many cool corals and anemones that do not need high lighting and some that even need very little lighting. Reefs can be custom designed to suit your budget but remember that you may not be satisfied for long with the lower lighting animals so if it's just a matter of a few bucks difference, definately splurge on the better lighting, it will save double spending in the long run. just my 2 cents.
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Old 12-07-2004, 03:39 PM   #16
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Munsterkins hang in there man.. I recently started out as well, I'm a few months ahead of you and we are pretty much doing the exact same thing. Only I don't have an anenome because they creep me out.

I have found that it boils down to who you want to believe. Who seems like they know what they are doing... If their fish seem happy they are probably doing ok.

Being we are practically neighbors we should switch over to reef and kill some corals together what do you say? A guy told me at a LFS there's no extra work involved. Just add some calcium and make sure you have decent lighting and we are ready to go...
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