Hello and thanks for reading. I have worked with freshwater tanks for awhile and am pretty familiar with how they work, but have always been mystified about the saltwater world. Here is what I have inherited:
Last weekend, we spotted an ad in the the local pet store for some tanks. We had wanted to upgrade a small tank downstairs and they had a larger tank for a good price. The people were getting out of the hobby in entirety and gave us their thirty gallon salt tank. They had went on vacation and left a fishsitter. When they got home, all the fish were dead (Ouch!) Instead of starting over, they decided to get rid of all the fish "stuff." They netted the fish out and drained most of the water out, but left enough to keep the rock and sand covered. They had had the tank running for less than a year. The tank was setting back in a room, unplugged and unheated. They did not say how long it had been unplugged, uncirculating. "Not long" was all they said. The water was not cloudy, dirty, no bad smell.
We brought the tank home, put in dechlorinated water with Instant Ocean (sorry here, did not know that tap water was a bad thing). Their heater was broken, so we got an appropriate sized one and stuck that in and brought the heat up to 80 degrees. There is a hang on the bank Millennium filter (either a 2000 or 3000. There is no marking on the filter, but that is what the box with spare cartridges states). There are two powerheads, but I am uncertain of size. I plugged those in as well. I tested the water and am currently bringing the specific gravity up as it is too low (was 1.010 when I first checked it).
I have not done anymore to the tank at this time. The only thing in the tank is the rock and sand. There is some green algae on the rock and I left that alone. There is some green algae in the sand and I have not stirred that up either. I don't know if I did more damage than good. They were just going to chuck the tank and it was brand new (purchased from Petand). I guess I am saying, I was not losing anything by trying SOMETHING.
Would it be appropriate to say that the rock and sand is now dead?
What should I have done? Or, what are the next steps to do? Or, break the whole tank down and start over?
Thank you all so much for reading this long post. I would appreciate any feedback!