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-   -   Consensus Statements.. Opinions? (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-saltwater-aquariums/consensus-statements-opinions-20711/)

shadowfax33 01-24-2009 05:09 AM

Consensus Statements.. Opinions?
 
OK. Newbie to Marine Aquariums. Bought 2 books, visited 3 local Aquariums Stores, been online here and at Fish-Forums.com and Fishforum.net. Recieved lots and lots and lots of at times conflicting opinions. Trying to form a Meta-Analysis for clarification. A little about my tank.. I have a 90 Gallon Tank w 110 Gallon Sump w a Megaflow Model 3 w Mechanical filters X2, Chem Pure and Chem Pure Elite Chemical filters with BIOBALLS REMOVED. Have a Rio 2500 Pump (640 Gallons/Hour). Also bought a MaxJet 1100 Powerhead (294 Gallons/Hr) and will eventually put my Coralife Super Skimmer Needle Wheel (up to 125 Gallon) Protein skimmer in before adding Livestock. Have a 3-4 inch base of Live Sand and 90 Lbs of cured LR purchased from an established Reef Tank w almost no transit time from Aquarium to home. Used Seachem Prime Day #1 and have been Using SeaChem Stability. My Salinity is 1.019, pH 8.2, Temp 78F, 0ppm Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate. THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS SEEM TO BE GENERALLY REGARDED AS TRUE. PLEASE CORRECT/EDUCATE ME FURTHER IF YOU DISAGREE!
1. Rio pumps are unreliable and cycling 6X/Hr is underpowered for a Fish Only tank (Mixed Community), and Really, Really, Really underpowered if I ever go Reef.
Can the addition of my Powerhead for a Fish Only make up for this? is another 294 Gallons/hr enough or should I pick up second (or Third) powerhead?
2. Protein Skimmers are a good idea.
3. BioBalls are a bad idea, especially if using Cured, LR as a Biofilter.
3a. Fish Cycling is out of date.
4. I should have a back up Heater (currently have (1) 250Watt heater; Purchased a second yesterday that I'll put in as a backup).
5. Slow and steady wins the race.........
6. I Need a QT Tank (how many gallons? Does it get cycled (Cured LR as well)? What type of filter (Please don't say it should be drilled like the big tank and have an expensive Wet/Dry filter also)?
7. A DwarfLionfish can go w a single larger Clownfish as long as the clown doesn't fit in it's mouth and a single snowflake Eel is compatible w the former 2 fish (See part about Clownfish size and Eel mouth).
8. Slow and steady wins the race..
9. Finally, Fish should be added one at a time, least aggresive first, weeks apart.
Should they each be put in the QT Tank prior to addition to the main tank? How long (In General) would they stay in the QT tank before addition to the main tank?
9a. People keep using the general rule 1inch fish/gallon tank.... Is this based upon the size when you purchase them or the potential eventual size (If I put 90 inch newborn fish I think it will eventually be a problem <Obvious sarcasm here>).
THANK YOU FOR ANY OPINIONS. YOU'VE ALL BEEN GREAT.
:-P

onefish2fish 01-24-2009 05:47 AM

1. Rio pumps are unreliable and cycling 6X/Hr is underpowered for a Fish Only tank (Mixed Community), and Really, Really, Really underpowered if I ever go Reef.
I personally do not have experience using Rios, I use hydor korailas and never had a problem. I think 900gph for your 90 would be decent flow. Your going to want the least amount of dead spots as possible, no sand storms, and some good water movement. If you go reef, this flow needs to be greatly increased. I currently have 2,000gph from powerheads and a mag9.5 as my return pump (so thats like an additional 800gph) in my 46 gallon mixed reef.
Can the addition of my Powerhead for a Fish Only make up for this? is another 294 Gallons/hr enough or should I pick up second (or Third) powerhead?
If this was my tank, i honestly would have purchased two hydor K2s or even 3s
2. Protein Skimmers are a good idea.
100%, a quality skimmer is priceless, literally.
3. BioBalls are a bad idea, especially if using Cured, LR as a Biofilter.
Bioballs trap detritus and debris causing nutrient build up which leads to algae growth and problems.
3a. Fish Cycling is out of date.
Correct, live rock die off will give you just enough to jump start a cycle of it enough live rock is added that was established with no/minimal die off you may not see a cycle. if you want to "feed the cycle" to get it started you can always add a raw shrimp from the supermarket. cycling with fish takes longer anyways as you have to perform water changes.
4. I should have a back up Heater (currently have (1) 250Watt heater; Purchased a second yesterday that I'll put in as a backup).
this is always good, i know i would hate to loose an investment due to a $20 heater that shorted out on me
5. Slow and steady wins the race.........
I dont think that one can be stressed enough
6. I Need a QT Tank (how many gallons? Does it get cycled (Cured LR as well)? What type of filter (Please don't say it should be drilled like the big tank and have an expensive Wet/Dry filter also)?
check www.craigslist.com for cheap used tanks sometimes even free. a 10 or 20 gallon should do just fine and you can put a HOB filter on this tank. LR is not needed as you might have to dose meds or do hyposalinity.
7. A DwarfLionfish can go w a single larger Clownfish as long as the clown doesn't fit in it's mouth and a single snowflake Eel is compatible w the former 2 fish (See part about Clownfish size and Eel mouth).
i think this would work
8. Slow and steady wins the race..
again, cannot be stressed enough. only bad things with a tank will happen fast
9. Finally, Fish should be added one at a time, least aggresive first, weeks apart.
Should they each be put in the QT Tank prior to addition to the main tank? How long (In General) would they stay in the QT tank before addition to the main tank?
QT the fish first, as you buy 1, QT it so you dont have an overstocked QT. this is important so you can observe health and eating habits from the start.
9a. People keep using the general rule 1inch fish/gallon tank.... Is this based upon the size when you purchase them or the potential eventual size (If I put 90 inch newborn fish I think it will eventually be a problem <Obvious sarcasm here>).
IMO this is garbage. you may be able to say that in freshwater and even there its still at guideline rather a rule. saltwater is a whole new world. fish have territories, swimming space/levels, oxygen content isnt the same and so forth, plus when you subtract the room the live rock and sand take up, your really left with say 75-80 gallons. you hit the nail on the head, your not going to have 90 one inch fish in a 90 gallon tank just like your not going to have one 90 inch fish in a 90 gallon tank. it is def. better to have an understocked tank then an overstocked one.

Pasfur 01-24-2009 06:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shadowfax33 (Post 166163)
OK. Newbie to Marine Aquariums. Bought 2 books, visited 3 local Aquariums Stores, been online
9. Finally, Fish should be added one at a time, least aggresive first, weeks apart.
Should they each be put in the QT Tank prior to addition to the main tank? How long (In General) would they stay in the QT tank before addition to the main tank?
9a. People keep using the general rule 1inch fish/gallon tank.... Is this based upon the size when you purchase them or the potential eventual size (If I put 90 inch newborn fish I think it will eventually be a problem <Obvious sarcasm here>).
THANK YOU FOR ANY OPINIONS. YOU'VE ALL BEEN GREAT.
:-P

You are making excellent decisions at this point. I agree with items 1 - 8. Lets talk about 9 and 9a. ;-)

I disagree that fish should be added 1 at a time. Some people will say this due to the risk of disease and potential dollar loss. However, in my opinion, the risk of loss due to the territorial nature of fish is just as great. I add fish based on their tendency to become aggressive towards future fish additions. If you are adding 3 Tangs to an aquarium, it would highly advisable to add them all at the same time, especially if they are within the same Genus. The same can be said of adding multiple Centropyge angelfish, Triggers, and Clownfish to the same aquarium.

This makes the process of quarantine something that needs to be planned far in advance. A quarantine tank can be very simple. A 10 gallon aquarium, bare bottom, with a few pieces of PVC pipe for hiding places. A simple sponge filter is effective because the fish will not be in the aquarium long enough for Nitrate accumulation to become an issue. I would "seed" the sponge by placing it in the display tank for a week or so before use. After each fish, i personally like to do a 100% water change with water from the display.

There are times you do not want to quarantine a fish selection. Fish which have very specific dietary needs, such as a Mandarine Goby, are certainly better off being added directly to the display aquarium. Placing them in quarantine, even for a few days, could contribute to worsening the health of the fish.

There are time when you want to quarantine multiple fish at the same time. I personally plan to utilize 3 separate quarantine tanks for the 180 gallon tank I will be setting up in the near future. Given that a simple quarantine tank can be set up for about $30, this is well worth the effort. Another option is to use a 20 gallon long as your quarantine tank, with a divider in the middle. This has risk however, because if one fish is sick then both will be exposed.

I personally will not buy a fish unless it has been at the LFS for a minimum of 2 weeks. No exceptions. I then quarantine for 2 additional weeks. If at any point disease is present, I wait 6 weeks from the last visible symptom before adding the fish to my display.

Moving on. There is no rule of thumb in the marine hobby for how many fish or inches per gallon. It all depends on the exact fish you select and their behaviors. All you can do is bounce ideas off of other hobbyists who have tried similar combinations. For your tank, with the fish you have listed, I feel that you are on a good path to success.

Finally, I want to revist the salinity in your display quarium. 1.019 is to low. Forget everything you've read about keeping salinity low to prevent outbreaks of parasitical infections. In fact, it would not be hard to find this recommendation in articles or threads that I HAVE PERSONALLY written, if you go back 8 to 10 years. I was wrong. It is more effective to keep the salinity at levels that mimic nature. 1.023 to 1.024 is ideal long term. For the quarantine tank, we can discuss this all day. Even the experts disagree. Somewhere between 1.013 to 1.019 seems to be the range of recommended salinity levels in a quarantine aquarium. I would do more research on the methods of quarantine and then adapt what you feel is best. Personally, I am comfortable at 1.015 initially, and then gradually bringing it up to the display tank level.

shadowfax33 01-24-2009 08:51 AM

Thanks alot. Not anywhere near adding fish. Yet to get spikes in Ammonia or Nitrite yet. Will keep checking!!!!!!!

Pasfur 01-24-2009 12:50 PM

Odds are you will not get any spike in ammonia or nitrite. Why would you? The live rock came from an established tank.

This is the same thing as taking an Emperor 400 from a freshwater aquarium and moving it to another. The biowheels still house the bacteria.

shadowfax33 01-24-2009 01:36 PM

More answers equal more questions!!!!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pasfur (Post 166205)
Odds are you will not get any spike in ammonia or nitrite. Why would you? The live rock came from an established tank.

This is the same thing as taking an Emperor 400 from a freshwater aquarium and moving it to another. The biowheels still house the bacteria.

So how will I know my cycling is complete? Am I at risk for killing the beneficial bacteria since there is no Livestock to provide the ammonia for their metabolism. I assume the ammonia is the "food" for one type of bacteria that produces nitrite as a metabolite and the nitrite is the "food" for a different set of bacteria that produces nitrate as its metabolite. Any truth to this?

OK. Let's talk salinity. This is an area where I get a very broad range of responses. For a fish only tank it seems like the range I'm told is as low as 1.018 and as high as 1.026 (Everyone adds that Reef tanks require higher salinity between 1.022 and 1.028. What is the salinity around actual reefs where the fish usually inhabit? Are there variations at different depths within oceans and across oceans? I have 4 aquarium stores in my area. The one with the most honest staff, cleanest looking aquariums, best reputation, most commercial customers, and longest experience do a lot of home/office maintanence and will do weekly maintanence and make and keep their own water for the changes. Id like to use their services for my tank (Maybe do 3 10-15% changes a month myself and let them do 1 a month 20-25%). The issue is, they use 1.019 as their salinity and don't want to alter the chemistry in my tank. What do you think?

Just curious, and don't intend on doing this, but I live on the water (Great South Bay, LI NY). What would happen if I started using real seawater? Probably way too polluted for the tanks

Do you rec a reverse osmosis aparatus for my water changes? Should I age my water seperately? Can I just use 5 gallon drums, add the water, add the salt, put in something like prime to rid inorganics, then change the water??????

Pasfur 01-24-2009 01:45 PM

Most advanced hobbyists keep their salinity at the level of natural seawater, which is 1.023 to 1.024. Yes, this is yet another debate in this hobby. The question is this... why would you not want to create a natural environment??? In my experience, by far the most successful saltwater aquarists attempt to recreate nature in every decision.

I allow my water to mix for 12 to 24 hours prior to doing water changes. I use a 5 gallon bucket.

I have no experience using water from the ocean, but from my readings over the years it appears to be more trouble than it is worth.

shadowfax33 01-24-2009 01:49 PM

So I'll scrap the maintanence from the aquarium or maybe ask them to increase the salinity of the water they use. Any formula on amount of salt per gallon to raise the salinity by 0.001? 90 gallons at 1.019 to 90 gallons at 1.023 equals X amount of salt. Let me know if I start to get annoying. Do you charge by the hour or question? I hear some QT tanks are at lower salinties. Why is this?:evil:

Pasfur 01-24-2009 02:43 PM

Lets see... 2 cups for 5 gallons = 1.024. 1 cup = 1.012. 1/2 cup = 1.006. 1/4 cup = 1.003.
90 / 5 = 18
18 x 1/4 cup = 4 1/2 cups?

I would suggest replacing evaporation with saltwater for the next week or so. 10 gallons of evaporation in a weeks time, replaced with saltwater, should bring your salinity up to where you want it.

On the subject of quarantine. Parasites that infect fish under normal marine conditions mayl fall off the body of the fish when subjected to low salinity. So, many people skip acclimation at the point of quarantine and immediately place the fish into a 1.013 environment. The fish stays there for 3 days, and then the salinity is gradually raised to match the display. This is a quick summary of the process, many variations are used.

I use 1.015 for my quarantine. I have never tried 1.013 because I am a sissy.

onefish2fish 01-24-2009 08:47 PM

different brands of salt require different amounts per gallon to get results and even thats not concrete


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