Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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lanserx 07-18-2008 09:28 AM

What am I doing wrong?? long
OK, I have inherited a 14 gal biocube reef tank. (sunday) I will apologize now for my ignorance but I can't find what are in it so I will try to describe. There are some green zoo? I think that's what they look like, some dark brown mushroom looking things, and some light brown things that are in tubes and when they come out they look like miniture daisies but all brown. a small nemo type fish but with only one stripe and a stripe down the back, a big shrimp ( that is yellow, red and white) Some crabs and snails, and a big worm (poss bristle worm)

ok here is my story, I got the tank with a broken filter pump and no filter, I got the pump working (it's a head that rotates 360*) I put in a mesh filter and there is a live rock in the refuge. I have the moonlight, blue light and white light, I have a UV light he says is broken (but it lights up, how do you know if it's broken?) Quite a bit of live rock and sand (I'm not sure how much)

Well the brown daisy like coral was great for the first 48 hours then it turned dark brown went in it's tube and I haven't seen it since (Is it dead?)

I tested my water on Tues (when this started happening) and everything was ok except for the salinity so I did a 5% water change using fresh water.
Today my results were

Ammonia 0.25
temp 79.9
Nitrate 5.0
nitrite 0.1 (almost clear looking)
alk low
pH 7.8
salinity 1.028
I did a 10% h2o change using 1/2 fresh and 1/2 salt water which brought my sal to 1.024 and my alk to ok....

What else should I be doing?? I don't want to keep messng with it and making it worse, but it hurts my heart that I'm killing my coral!!!

Please help with any tips or what you think is going wrong!

mikedelo 08-05-2008 10:06 AM

Re: what am I doing wrong

I know I am new to the SW world but I believe....

the temp is too high, should be 75 or below
the salt is too high, should be around 1.022
the PH is too low, should be around 8.2

Just trying to help.


Pasfur 08-05-2008 12:19 PM

Re: What am I doing wrong?? long

Originally Posted by lanserx
Ammonia 0.25
temp 79.9
Nitrate 5.0
nitrite 0.1 (almost clear looking)
alk low
pH 7.8
salinity 1.028

There is a ton of information for you to learn here, and unfortunately you already have the aquarium. So first we need to do some emergency training, and then you can hopefully catch up quickly on the essentials of reefkeeping.

The ammonia and nitrite both need to be zero. They probably spiked when you moved the aquarium (correct?), but they will settle down by themselves with no action on your part.

The Nitrates need remain under 10ppm, preferably zero. This is accomplished with good protein skimming and an adequate sand bed. Do you have a protein skimmer? What type of sand and what depth?

You salinity needs to be 1.024 to 1.025 for your setup. 1.022 is more accurate for a fish only system.

You need to immediately get an alkalinity and calcium test kit. Also buy a buffer and a calcium additive. Alkalinity need to be high, which is >10dkh. Calcium needs to be between 400ppm and 500ppm. These adjustments should also be effective at keeping your pH between 8.2 and 8.4, which is needed.

You also must immediately buy an iodine supplement. If you follow the instructions and add conservatively, testing should not be necessary.

The temperature is on the high side of safe. Anything higher and actions will be necessary. I would suggest that you purchase a small "computer" fan to blow across the top of your lights or across the water surface. This will help to cool the tank.

Maintaining a reef aquarium is a serious task and a daily job. You have a ton of information to learn in a short time. We simply can not explain everything on an internet forum. Volumes of books have been written on this subject and you need to begin reading ASAP.

Coral identifications: You have zooanthid colonies, mushroom corals, and feather dusters (the daisies). Your fish is probably a Tomato Clown.

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