Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources (
-   Coral and Reef Creatures (
-   -   BTA looks healthy as can be.... why does he hide half the day? (

Cbay916 01-25-2009 05:53 PM

BTA looks healthy as can be.... why does he hide half the day?
I was out of the saltwater game for about five years and since my recent return A LOT of information and recommendations have changed. Not to mention I have forgotten a lot as well…. Haha So, I bought this tank from Craigslist for $100.00 including all equipment and rock, so I couldn’t pass it up. As you can imagine, it wasn’t very long after I set it up that it was cycled and ready.

Basically I want to know if it is normal through anyone’s experiences to have a BTA hide in the rock half of the day, and come out the other half. My clown takes advantage of whenever the BTA is out and climbs in, but when the BTA hides the clown just swims around the tank looking “lost”

However, when he is out, he looks great! Healthy as can be, so I can’t complain… Maybe he is just a weirdo? …lol

onefish2fish 01-25-2009 09:54 PM

nems dont seem to do well in a newly established tank because params are still wacky.
what are your calcium, alk and mag levels, nitrate (even ammonia and nitrite) ph, temp, SG, how big is the tank, what kind of lights/how long are they on, how old is the tank, what else is in the tank, what kind of substrate, and as much as information as possible. the more you give most likely someone can give in return.

Cbay916 01-26-2009 12:22 AM

Thanks onefish2fish. Let me try and give some info:

The tank is a 70 gallon with (2) Eclipse two systems. Right now the system only has the stock florescent bulbs, however this week I will be adding the Marine Glo bulbs to attempt to make the lighting as good as I know how with the equipment I have. The tank was set-up for two years prior to the tear down and transportation to my apartment.

The tank arrived at my place on Christmas eve, and was set-up two days later. The Live Rock and the substrate (50% crushed coral and 50% live sand) were kept underwater the entire time. (both during transport and awaiting the tanks set-up)

From 01-11-2009 to 01-16-2009 the tank stabilized at the following, (and is still reading the same)

Ammonia is 0.25 ppm and slowly decreasing
PH 8.2
Nitrite 0.0 ppm
Nitrate 0.0 ppm
Temp 80 degrees F

*I currently don’t have a test kit for cal / alk / mag, but every two weeks I have been adding one dose of liquid calcium, and a dose of Kent Marine essential elements in the tank.

So far all I have in the tank is the above mentioned Green BTA, a percula clown, Choc Chip Starfish, and four small damselfish. The lights are on from 6AM – 9PM. There are a few bright nightlights in the area which mimics moonlight when the main lights are off. I feed frozen Brine shrimp to the tank once every other day.

onefish2fish 01-26-2009 12:56 AM

excellent, that is within the information provided i notice a few things.
standard stock bulbs dont have the wattage needed for corals/nems/clams to make food from, changing to Marine glos will just give you a better kelvin range rather more watts unless you upgrade the light fixture. do you feed the nem/what/how often?
its good that you kept everything wet to keep bacteria alive however crushed coral seems to cause issues because it traps detritus and debris causing excess nutrients in your water, since its mixed with sand you might be alright but its still something to consider. i do see an ammonia reading so that raises flags. what is your specific gravity (salinity) and what are you testing it with?
this is very important: you NEED to TEST before dosing ANYTHING. Anemones need "reef enviroments" which means they need proper alk,calcium and mag levels (and they all work together)
Your running your lights 15 hours a day which is way too long, i would cut back to 8-10 hours. A less watt light ran for more time does NOT equal a more wattage light fixture ran for less. for example a 100watt light setup ran for 5 hours isnt the same 50 watt light setup ran for 10 hours. how bright is bright on the night lights, you dont want to disturb the down time of the fish or cause bad algae to grow, very low/dim LEDs work great for a moonlight effect. speaking of bad algaes frozen foods seem to be loaded with phosphates (a nutrient algae feeds off of) and is best to pre-rinse the cube before feeding. you can do this in a fine net or even a paper coffee filter. are you using a protein skimmer? brand/model? how much flow is in the tank? powerhead brand/model? sump or what kind of filtration?

Cbay916 01-26-2009 02:11 AM

Yeah, I had that concern about the lighting when buying the BTA, however the pet store guy (I assume just trying to make a sale) said that the Marino Glo lighting will be sufficient…. Right now I am trying to save up for compact lighting, however I am still trying to learn the proper lighting requirements ect ect…

The crushed coral was already in the tank, so I kept it… but I would like to move to an all sand bed once I have the time and money, I agree with you on that 100%

The Ammonia has always been present, started at .5 and has gotten down to the mentioned .25. I was doing some re-search and have learned that a protein skimmer should assist me in the ammonia levels. I now know this is something else I will need to buy soon.

Oh, and the Hydrometer reads 1.024. I have a power head running, and facing the mid-tank area. I am not sure on the flow as its one of my old power heads from around the year 2001 or so… It was in my 100 gallon at the time, so I assume I bought it with the intention of turning 400 gallons an hour. The Eclipse top filers with Bio-Wheel create a decent flow as well as the power head.

I will definitely cut back on the lighting. That makes sense. The night lights, well…… to be honest it’s the stove top light. I keep it on at night, and it illuminates the dining and living room. Since the tank is in the living room it’s not getting direct light. Just enough to make out the rock formations if looking at the tank.

I feed the frozen brine just because it’s all I’ve known. I am open to other suggestions… Also I think the BTA ate a damselfish, cause he disappeared about four days ago with no sign of a carcus…. Other than that, that all he has eaten unless he eats the brine.

So, Basically, we have narrowed down my next large purchases need for my system:

New lighting <looking at compact>
ALK / MAG/ CAL Test Kit
Protien Skimmer

I can’t buy all this at once, rather each every two weeks…. Could you tell me the priority on these in your opinion?

onefish2fish 01-26-2009 02:36 AM

well to start what is your plans for this tank? reef? FOWLR (+ anemone ?)
I would loose the filters and the biowheels they collect detritus and debris becoming "nitrate factories" raising nutrient levels again which in turn causes algae issues. another thing is what kind of water do you use? salt? its possible your getting ammonia from your water source.
how much live rock do you have? saltwater tanks filtration should consist of enought pourus live rock, sand, flow and even cheato algae in a sump, protein skimmers should be the only mechanical filtration (besides carbon/phosban reactors which are also benificial) i recommend slowing down and reading everything possible saltwater related you may also want to check for a reefing club in your area (mine is $12 a year and we hold meetings where we meet people with the same interest, exchange knowledge,corals, equipment and its a great thing to have)
try feeding the nem a silverside, if it is "sticky" and grabs it its still in alright shape. is it bleached where you can see white or fading?
as for brine shrimp its good food but a mixture of different kinds is always best and its also good to soak it in a vitamin enhancing solution like selcon from time to time
i cannot offer a priority level on which things you need to buy first, all are very important. i do recommend you read alittle bit more on lighting, look at reviews on protein skimmers (some are golden some are garbage) and ask as many questions as possible. your not only going to need cal,mag and alk test kits but also the proper chemicals to dose them. im willing to bet the damsel that disapeared was the weaker of the group and got picked on to death. stocking fish is another important part as you want to add least aggressive things first, following the more aggressive. where your at now i personally do not recommend anymore livestock for awhile.

Cbay916 01-26-2009 05:39 PM

Eventually I would like to have a mixture of Fish / Live Rock / Anem’s / and some inverts. I did not know filtration caused such a potential Algae problem, so now I know need to get a sump eventually…. lol now I see why I this hobby is more expensive than its freshwater cousin…. but hey, it will be worth it!

I am using tap water from the sink. I tested the water and found no trace of ammonia, nitrate, or nitrite. However the PH is low, at 5.0 or so if I remember right. I use Instant ocean salt.

The BTA looks great, but he does have a good amount of white at the bottom. It’s still sticking well, so that is a plus. I will give different foods a try and see where I can get with him.

I agree. No more livestock for awhile. Now I know I need to focus more on the tank. I am glad I came to this forum before everything in my tank died…. I had no idea
how much I still need to add….

My next step is a Protien Skimmer. Do you have any brand recomendations?

betta101 01-26-2009 09:06 PM

He is fine he is just one of the tierde fish some fish are ones that hide and do nothing my old fish would do nothing but sit there in his little tank and do nothing all day.;-)

onefish2fish 01-26-2009 09:59 PM


Originally Posted by Cbay916 (Post 166675)
I am using tap water from the sink. I tested the water and found no trace of ammonia, nitrate, or nitrite. However the PH is low, at 5.0 or so if I remember right. I use Instant ocean salt.

My next step is a Protien Skimmer. Do you have any brand recomendations?

Tap water might be free of ammonia,nitrite,nitrate but still most likely will contain phosphates, maybe even copper, and other trace elements and nutrients which again causes algae issues and other problems. im suprised you havnt seen bad algae issues yet.
i dont have a skimmer to recommend but i do suggest investing as much as you can into it ofcourse after reading reviews because some are great and others not so much

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:47 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome