I wish I could talk with someone on the phone

Discussion in 'New to Reefing' started by fishiesforme1, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. fishiesforme1

    fishiesforme1

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    Hi! I'm brand-spankin new to salt. Was given a tank from a friend of a friend last month, a 25 Gallon bowfront with gold bar maroon clown pair (2 1/2" and 4"). He had the tank for four years. He said aside from the clowns there was a hermit crab, but I haven't seen any signs of life other than a tiny starfish on the glass. It looks like it was around a nuclear test site.

    The initial set-up: tank came to me with about 15 pounds of crushed coral and sand, and about 4 gallons of water. Also an established bio wheel, and broken protein skimmer. Is a skimmer REALLY necessary? The fish were in a large bucket. I made a salt mixture with the salt he gave me, and Nov-Aqua plus, keeping the salinity in the red middle range. After water went clear it was added to tank, then the fish. I couldn't see through the water for about 4 hours. Once it cleared up the clowns started moving the substrate around. It's been different every day. The temp has been at 78 degrees F.

    This was 2 weeks ago, and the water tests show the nitrates are starting to rise, so I'm assuming it's the same as fresh and will need a partial water change. I'm not doing this till I know I'm performing it the right way.

    If it's possible at all, if anyone's willing, I'd like to have a phone conversation to get my "training wheels" removed. I have so many questions and not much access to the internet.

    Some background on me...I have 10 freshwater aquariums ranging from 5-80 gallons. Fancy goldfish, senegal bichir, aggresives, baby mollies, every barb on the face of the planet (ok, just a little exageration), fiddlers, apple snails, pondfish). I've been in the freshwater hobby about 10 years.

    I know it's a lot to ask, but if you're interested in giving me a little phone guidance, please email me at [email protected]

    Thanks for any help!!!
     
    fishiesforme1, Aug 5, 2009
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  2. fishiesforme1

    bjohanson1234 .........

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    Welcome to the site.
    It is the same as FW (fresh water) in doing water changes.
    Some advice.
    Change out the crushed coral to aragonite sand. The smaller particles wont collect detrius as much and the increased surface area will help in the nitrification process.
    Get some Live Rock (LR) about 1-2 Lbs a gallon. You can get some base rock and seed it with some smaller LR.
    The skimmer is important. It will remove disolved solids from the water. Kind of like the sea foam on the beach. What kind is it and what is wrong with it. It might be worth fixing or it might be worth getting a new one.

    The bio wheel will also be a source of nitrates.
    Alot of people run just a skimmer and have LR for filtration.

    Brian
     
    bjohanson1234, Aug 5, 2009
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  3. fishiesforme1

    fishiesforme1

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    Thanks for your reply.

    Is there an amount of sand per gallon of water I should add? I'm not sure what type the skimmer is...I'm not home to look. He said something about a round seal that needs to be replaced. It's small and rubber so I would think would be a cheap fix. Since it's important I'll go ahead and take it to the big LFS downtown and have them fix it. He said he paid about $100 for it.

    The nitrates are consistently at 60-80, even in the freshwater tanks. I do weekly partials to keep it there. If the biowheel is contributing, is it really a bad thing? Should I get the LR and ditch the BW? Can I do that all at once or do I need to keep the rock in there for a while first.

    How do I know my tank is healthy enough for LR? And SERIOUSLY? just a skimmer and LR? Could I put anything else with the clowns?

    Thank you so much!
     
    fishiesforme1, Aug 6, 2009
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  4. fishiesforme1

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    If he gave $100 for it,I'd about bet that its a seaclone skimmer.
    Their not really that good,but better than nothing I guess.Its probably that little O-ring thats leaking.
    On the sand.1 to 2" deep is plenty for now.I'd et a 30 pound bag of dry aragonite.

    Nitrates that high,aint good in salt water.We usually start stressing ourselves if the nitrates start getting close to 20ppm.The lower the better.0 is perfect.10 and under is OK.Anything about 15 needs quick attention.Sounds like it was in pretty bad shape when you got it.So just take your time and get it cleaned up.Nothing good happens fast in this hobby,so its gonna take a while to get it straightened out.
    Go a head and get some good cured live rock.You'll need a few pounds at least.You can also use dry base rock and seed it with a few pounds of the live.
    The rock will help your tank in several different ways.
    #1-It provides natural biological filtration.
    #2-It'll have different pods and other life on it that you fish will eat,providing them with some natural food.
    #3-It makes the tank look a whole lot better.
    Hope that helps some.
     
    yote, Aug 6, 2009
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  5. fishiesforme1

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Hi,
    I emailed you.
     
    Bifferwine, Aug 6, 2009
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  6. fishiesforme1

    Kwater Chill

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    My number is xxxx I sent u a private message but I don't know if u know how to use it yet. It took me a couple weeks to learn about private messages. Feel free to call any time. Love to help u out
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2009
    Kwater, Aug 6, 2009
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  7. fishiesforme1

    Smitty

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    Hello and welcome to the site...
     
    Smitty, Aug 6, 2009
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  8. fishiesforme1

    dcantucson

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    Hi and welcome. If Biff is willing to talk to you on the phone then she's the one. She can help you with just about anything.
     
    dcantucson, Aug 6, 2009
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  9. fishiesforme1

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Hi Kwater - I deleted your phone number. You don't want to post personal info like that on the open forums. Please PM or email all personal info.
     
    Bifferwine, Aug 6, 2009
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  10. fishiesforme1

    sen5241b

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    Higher nitrates are acceptable in a freshawtaer tank but not in marine tanks. I used to do freshwater also, you'll find that marine tanks are 10x more complex. Also, this site has chat.
     
    sen5241b, Aug 6, 2009
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  11. fishiesforme1

    project5k

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    yea and if you wanna i can make myself available for a call this evening too, if your interested. multiple opinions have helped keep me outta trouble so far...
     
    project5k, Aug 6, 2009
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  12. fishiesforme1

    alittlesalty

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    Welcome to the marine hobby. I myself is rather new to salt. We can learn together. lol
     
    alittlesalty, Aug 7, 2009
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  13. fishiesforme1

    fishiesforme1

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    Thank you SO MUCH everyone. I must have had 10 responses offering phone help. I have never had such a welome reception! I was able to speak with Yote, who was incredibly friendly and helpful. He totally put me at ease. I now understand from him and the posts that patience will be key in this process.

    Now I get to look around for some of your DIY projects! :) I have saved eveyone's numbers,just in case. If you get some strange phone call from a chick in Sacto, you'll know it's me!!

    Sarah, I'll call you tomorrow afternoon to try and break up your day.

    Thanks again, everyone!!!
     
    fishiesforme1, Aug 7, 2009
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  14. fishiesforme1

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Haha, I hope you were able to understand Yote's AYCK-SENT.
     
    Bifferwine, Aug 7, 2009
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  15. fishiesforme1

    daugherty part time reefer

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    yep just call if you need somebody to help you out if i am at home i will help.
     
    daugherty, Aug 7, 2009
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  16. fishiesforme1

    project5k

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    i would suggest as your first couple projects, a sump and an algal turf scrubber, these will serve you well the life of your tank, and are good time investments.
    (and could help reduce if not save you some issues down the road.)
     
    project5k, Aug 7, 2009
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  17. fishiesforme1

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    Glad I could help Melissa.:D

    Now just whats wrong with my AYCKsect? :lol:
     
    yote, Aug 7, 2009
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  18. fishiesforme1

    fishiesforme1

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    Hey guys! I've got the nitrates down to about 40 from 60-70. Changing 30% water weekly with gravel vac, but not stirring it up too much. I've decided to officially diagnose the clown fish pair with OCD. They have rearranged their furniture as much as I have mine.

    There's something new in the tank that I'm tring to identify. On a peice of dead coral, there are these tiny little rubbery tubular things of different sizes. Most are maybe a quarter inch, the biggest is a half inch. They are light pink/purple on outside, with a crater on top that's yellow. I accidently hit one durring a water change and it closed up. There's not any strings or tassels.

    Any ideas? I'm sure that life is going to come back to this tank, but I feel like a little kid in a tide pool for the first time. Can you tell me where to find info on what I can expect to start popping up in the tank?

    Also, the brown algae isn't too bad, but the curly, stringy stuff is getting on my nerves. I was told that if I used "processed water" it would probably cut down on the algae.

    Oooo, oooo! I just thought of something else! What do you think about going to a shell store in San Francisco to buy decorative corals and shells for the tank? They are a quarter the price there than the lfs.

    Thanks everyone!!!:bowdown:
     
    fishiesforme1, Aug 17, 2009
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  19. fishiesforme1

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Try googling "zoanthid" and "button polyp". Is it one of those

    By processed water, do you mean RODI water? Or tap water? Using RODI water will definitely help reduce the algae, but nothing will reduce it 100%. It's a phase that every new tank will go through, and you just have to wait it out, unfortunately. You can help by having a cleaner crew -- do you have one yet?

    For hitch hikers, try Melev's Reef - Visual Identification

    I wouldn't buy any decorative corals or shells unless they come from a fish store. If they are not specifically made for an aquarium, they could be treated, painted or lacquered with harmful chemicals. If they are plain shells that have not been treated or painted with anything, I'd say that's fine.
     
    Bifferwine, Aug 17, 2009
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  20. fishiesforme1

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    +1 Biff
    If you think your finding cool stuff now,just wait till those nitrates get on down there:D
     
    yote, Aug 17, 2009
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