Yesterday I was given a free saltwater tank complete with fish. It was my niece's boyfriends tank and he left and abandoned the tank about 3 weeks ago. She did not know how to take care of it and didn't want it so asked if I would take it. Now, I've kept freshwater fish for over 15 years but I've never done SW. So I'm here looking for advice from my salty FF friends.
Here's the details on the tank. It's a 20 gallon tank with a Fluval 105 cannister filter. There's also an airstone and a small powerhead for circulation. There's about 15-20 lbs of rock (I was told it was live) and about 1/2" of sand (don't know what kind). The fish are 1 Ocellaris Clownfish (about 1-1/2"), 3 Blue Green Chromis (2"), 1 Yellowtail Damsel (1"), 1 what I think is an Azure Blue Damsel (2"), and some kind of a Butterfly fish (3"). This seems kind of overstocked to me. I did some tests today and here are the results:
Ph: 7.8 (too low?)
Nitrate: Waaayyy too high!! Somewhere between 80-160 too hard to discern the difference on the card
Used API liquid test kit
Temp: 74F (the heater had broke, I just picked one up today and need to put it in)
Salinity 1.020 (need to adjust?)
So I have several questions:
1) I know the nitrates need to be brought way down. How much water can I change at once in a SW setup? What else can be done to bring the nitrates down?
2) What else should I be testing for? I think alkalinity and calcium?
3) Eventually I would like to get some kind of a clean up crew like snails or a shrimp. What are some easy critters that will fit into this tank?
The fish seem to have come through the move quite well and are eating good. Below are some pics I took. Can someone identify the Butterfly fish and confirm the others?
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this long post.