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Old 10-01-2009, 05:02 PM   #1
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Unknowingly barbaric tankowner!

So, I have a 46g bowfront tank that was set up by the fish store in August. They came and brought the tank, live sand, live rock, saltwater, filtration system and the light. THE "EXPERT' GUY FROM THE FISH STORE SET EVERYTHING UP. HE BROUGHT EVERYTHING WE WOULD NEED. So we thought we were good to go. They told us to wait 30 days before adding any fish to the tank.

So we waited 30 days. At this point the guy told us it was ok to add a couple fish. We bout 2 blue green chromis and 1 reticulated damsel. The reticulated damsel turned out to be a little bastard. He killed 1 of the chromis and later on a percula clownfish - so he had to go! The 1 chromis and damsel seemed to be doing ok so we went back to get more fish. We bought a half back angel, a coral beauty angel, a percula clownfish and a hinneochus butterfly. Mind you, the guy at the fish store told us it was ok to put all these in there. He told us to acclimate them for 45 mintues before putting them in the tank. We did just as he instructed. Our hinneochus was dead the next morning. And the next day, the clownfish was killed by the damsel.

We called the store and they thought the hinneochus might have been sick so they gave us a copperbanded butterfly to replace it. At this time we also bought a yellow tang and a maroon and gold clownfish. The yellow tang and the copperbanded butterfly didn't last thru the weekend. And on momday morning, the half black angel was sick and dying. And today our maroon clownfish was dead. We are down to the coral beauty and the original chromis.

I feel terrible because we didn't know how to properly cycle our tank. We asked and they always said no, it will be fine. I'm aggravated over the money but more so I'm angry over sacrificing these poor fish.

So today, we've bought a water pump to aerate the water. I've looked for a protein skimmer but I don't know which one is ideal for our size tank. Any suggestions? Is there anything else we are missing that needs to be in our tank. We aren't adding any more fish until we know for sure that they are going to survive.
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Old 10-01-2009, 05:16 PM   #2
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First of all, 46G isnt big enough for most of those fish. I would suggest either letting someone hold the fish or selling them on a local reef forum. Also find a good fish store who are knowledgeable. Do you have a test kit? Adding that many fish at once probably caused an ammonia spike killing the fish.
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Old 10-01-2009, 05:21 PM   #3
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First thing you need to do is cycle your tank. If you read our articles section you`ll find the article. Secondly you need to research what fish you can have in a 46 and how much. Third you need to find a new LFS.
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Old 10-01-2009, 05:35 PM   #4
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Oh, also, we asked if we need any shrimp, crabs, etc to clean and we were told it was too soon for them. Is this correct or should we have had them all along to help?
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Old 10-01-2009, 05:39 PM   #5
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The first thing you have to do is cycle the tank before you add fish or anything to the tank. Nothing can be added before or during the cycle or there is a good chance they will die. That`s probably why you are having problems right now.
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Old 10-02-2009, 05:40 AM   #6
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The main problem here is obviously that you guys did not cycle the tank and adding all those fishes in at short period is not healthy. Don't always listen the "experts" half of those guys don't even know what they're talking about. Just make sure to do a lot of research next time.
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Old 10-02-2009, 07:19 AM   #7
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Frustrating isn't it? You listen to someone, spend time and money, life's good and the next day you have fish laying on the bottom.
Stick with it, spend some time researching and just be patient.
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Old 10-03-2009, 01:58 AM   #8
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CUC is usulally the first thing people add the the aquarium. IMO the best practice on smaller tanks is to only add 1 fish at a time. if you need to add more daily testing and PWC.
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Old 10-03-2009, 05:44 AM   #9
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teapage where are you located ie USA,UK etc???????? As all the others have said research it research it research it ...........I was advised to go as big as i can straight away.............cycle your tank (testing regular for your spikes).........then CUC..........then slowly add one at a time. What kind of filtration are you using (they have provided).........? Stick with it when it's going wrong it's a moeny drain and highly frustrating when all is settled and system works well it's a wonderful and rewarding hobby.
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Old 10-03-2009, 07:06 AM   #10
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Good information above.
You need to buy a liquid saltwater test kit to be sure that your tank is cycled.
What kind of filter do you have?
Do you have a sandbed?
Are you using Liverocks?
What kind of lights do you have?
Are you going with a Fish only tank?
Or Fish with liverock?
Reef setup?
Do you have a sump?
Skimmer?
So many questions
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:05 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the input!

Baldyguy...we are in the US - located in East Texas.

As far as our setup goes, we have a 46g bowfront tank with the following:
-Marineland Multi-State Canister Filter
-We have a sandbed and live rock. (I'll try to remember my camera tomorrow so I can take a picture for you to see it)
-We have a normal light since we don't plan on adding any coral.
-We have a whisper water pump by Tetra.
-Don't have a skimmer yet. Looking at a few but not sure which one is right (Reef Octopus BH 1000, AquaC Remora Protein Skimmer
with Maxi-Jet 1200 Pump, or Tunze Nano DOC 9002) Any suggestions?

I finally got me test kit in to check my water.
pH 8.2
Alkalinity 6
Free Ammonia 0
Total Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 50 ( I know that's bad)

So what do I need to lower the nitrate level? Everything else look good?
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:11 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by teapage View Post
So what do I need to lower the nitrate level? Everything else look good?
Cut back on feedings, Get a skimmer and Frequent PWC`s.
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:17 PM   #13
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You never can really trust a pet store that is making money off you. Thats why this forum is good. Also try to know what you have before going to lfs. With saltwater it hard but patients is very important. Everyone has made similar mistakes and if you stick with it you will learn alot from this experience. Cycle tank, no more fish till you can test water and verify water parameters then research next fish purchase.
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:05 PM   #14
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What kind of filter do you have?
So I think this might also be a problem. I have a Marineland Mulit-Stage Canister Filter C-160. I went to get the box and read on it and it says it's only recommended for tanks up to 30 gallons. Seeing as I have a 46 gallon, is it not doing it's job? The guy from the store said it was what we needed! lol
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Old 10-05-2009, 06:32 PM   #15
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IMO, saltwater is not hard, people just don't know what they are doing so they go and buy a bunch of crap and screw it all up do to lack of planning and research.

teapage-I would go with either of the skimmers you have selected. Reef Octopus and Aqua C are almost always recommended on here. As for the filter, your live rock is doing your biological filtration. The butterflys most likely died due to them being VERY delicate and they don't take fluctuations in water parameter to good.

BTW, someone posted "Do not trust a lfs that makes money off of you" or something like that.....ALL LFS's MAKE MONEY OFF OF YOU!
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Old 10-05-2009, 07:42 PM   #16
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Once you add the skimmer you should be good to go. Do research and don't add hard to keep, sensitive fish to a new tank. Clowns, some Gobies, Chomis are good for beginner tanks. Maybe a Convict Tang if you can find one. or a couple of Cardinal fish would look good also.
PS: add them slowly a week or so apart so your biofilter can buildup and handle the new load.
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Old 10-06-2009, 11:20 AM   #17
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One more question, I was told to check the salinity of my water to do a water change. I didn't know if I neede to add RO water back in or saltwater. I found an American Marine Pinpoint Salinity Monitor. Is this what I need or something else?
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Old 10-06-2009, 11:39 AM   #18
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One more question, I was told to check the salinity of my water to do a water change. I didn't know if I neede to add RO water back in or saltwater. I found an American Marine Pinpoint Salinity Monitor. Is this what I need or something else?
Wow..another LFS nightmare.. Just keep it up, read read read this forum and keep asking questions. The people on here have only you and your fish in mind when they give advice...

No need for that expensive Salinity monitor All you need is a hydrometer or a refractometer (preferred).

The hydrometer is just a little tool with a swing arm. You fill it up with tank water, and the arm moves and tells you what the water Salinity is. It's actually the specific Gravity of the water.
Coralife Deep Six Hydrometer

A refracometer does the same thing without the swing arm. It's more accurate and a little more exspensive.
Marine Depot Aquarium Refractometer

The posted links are just examples. You can get these types of products ANYWHERE.
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Old 10-06-2009, 11:46 AM   #19
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Oh yeah.. the Waterchange part of your question:

Water changes are essential to keeping a healthy system. They are VERY simple to perform.

For a 46G setup.. Just get 2 5gallon pails.

Take 5 gallons of RO water, add Marine Salt until you reach the Gravity needed (1.024 in my case), stick a small powerhead in the pail and let it mix for 24 hours or so. After 24 hours, test the water again to make sure you are ok with the gravity.

Once OK, remove 5 gallons fromt he DT into the other pail, then add the new water.

FYI - you should also keep RO water available (without Salt added) to keep the tank water level. This is called Top-off water and is needed due to evaporation
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Old 10-06-2009, 01:46 PM   #20
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Two good points here:
1) RO/DI water + Marine salt += partical water cheange
2) RO/DI= refill of system evaporation water. When water evaporates,the salt stays behind so "DO NOT" add salt to this water.
PS: don't waste your money on a hydrometer you will only buy a Refractometer later anyway so buy a refractometer now.
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