We have acquired a 125gal saltwater aquarium back in March (and it had a blanket of red algae on EVERYTHING). I've always wanted one, but made plenty of excuses to 'wait'. The offer was too good to be true, so we took it. We re-define the term 'rookie' and have been on a crash course to get a grasp on this tank (I did conquer the red algae after about 6 weeks).
While I am not exactly sure of all details of the tank, here is a quick rundown:
-Cascade 1200 or 1500 pump (I added the Bio ceramic rings based on LFS
recommendation, and I'm not certain what it does)
-approx 120-150lbs of live rock (I've added about 100lbs since we got it)
-the base is crushed coral
-lighting--it had a 48" light that has bulbs that seem 'welded' together. They have 4 pins; I'm not sure of the wattage; I have added (2) 36" T5's end-to-end. I outfitted them each with a 10000k lamp and an actinic lamp;
-the heat is a question--I don't think the heater really works correctly and the tank seems to maintain around 76-77 degrees--I'm told to boost it closer to the 80 degree mark. any suggestions?
-hang-on protein skimmer--not sure of the model, but it seems to work after I figured out how it functioned.
--Fish--red corris wrasse, blue tang, purple tang, maroon clown, RBTA (that I added and seems unhappy), cardinal something and big eyed squirrel? (I despise them both); flame lobster, approx 6 blue/red hermits, 4 larger hermits, 8 turbo's of various sizes, 2 bumble bee snails?
-a few small frags of various corals (cabbage, torch, kenya tree, and a couple I can't remember the names, all zoo's)
The plan is to start another tank (55gal?) and get the wrasse, anemone, and clown out into their own world. The wrasse is super cool but kills all the small red/blue crabs and small snails. He also enjoys flipping the frags if possible. Then, the original tank will focus on reef theme.
I change water approx once a month, and add nothing, only watching the pH, nitrates, and SG
. Over the weekend I visited some stores in the Austin, TX area and was told to monitor KH
. I bought a Hagen kit (I think that is what it was called) and came home to study it--did the test and came out with 190 (19 drops till color change) the chart indicates thats OK (but on the high end), but i really don't know what that means as the guy who sold it to me told me my numbers should be around '8'. I don't know how to translate what I came up with to his number--ideas?