Issues with moving a salt water tank
Sorry for the long post.
I moved an established nano tank that I purchased last week. The drive was 2 hours with about 30 minutes of prep work before the move and 45 minutes of setup post move. So the whole process took just shy of 3 and a half hours.
The tank is a 12 gallon nano cube with the following contents:
1 Royal Gramma
1 Red Firefish
1 scarlet hermit crab
4 various snails
10 pounds of live rock (allegedly) It now has 11 pounds after I added about 5 pounds of hitchhiker free live rock from my LFS.
1 emerald crab (new addition) - saw a little bit of hair algae and had these guys recommended for me.
1 green unknown soft coral (I believe it was/is a ricordea - an addition from me)
I know nothing about this particular system other than that it was allegedly running for like 6 months and that it has a ton of coralline algae.
I was told the salinity was 1.024 and that there was no ammonia, nitrite or nitrate in the tank and the PH was 8.4. I took it home and set it up and had my LFS test the water the next day. No ammonia, nitrite or nitrate but the PH was 7.8. I bought a cheap salinity tester (deep six) and the water tested at 1.29...
Topped off the tank with RO water and the salinity dropped to 1.28. Primed the deep six for 24 hours with salt water to ensure accurate readings. The next day salinity read 1.29... brought another water sample to my LFS and he used a hydrometer to read the water at 1.38! In addition the nitrite read 1.0.
The fish appear to be doing fine as are the mushrooms and the toadstool. I haven't seen the emerald crab since I put him in but the hermit crab seems fine. I am pretty sure I lost the ricordea (it turned brown).
I purchased pre-made water and plan on draining the tank down to the sand and filling it up with the pre-made water to correct PH and nitrite issue (will acclimate the 2 fish and the crabs/snails with an extended slow drip.
Now my questions:
1) What could have caused such a spike in salinity? Logically I can't think of anything other than the previous owner having a broken or not properly calibrated hydrometer.
2) What could have caused the nitrite spike? Nothing that I was able to see died and there was certainly no over feeding issues.
3) What is the coral in the attached picture and is it salvageable?
4) Am I taking the proper approach in draining the tank and filling it with known good water?
Also... are the little brown things in the front... are these star polyps or something else? I have dozens of these on a couple of rocks.
Even more questions
Emerald crab looks good. Just saw him when I switched to the moon lights.
I also have a few more snails than I mentioned. I must have 6 snails at this point... just noticed 2 more (1 medium 1 small) purple and yellow striped apple snails.
Is my clean up crew sufficient? 6 snails (2 pretty small), a scarlet hermit crab and an emerald crab?
Anybody have any ideas about any of the questions posed?
not sure about all questions posed, but, I don't think you should completely drain the aquarium, maybe a large water change will do the trick for the salinity, just don't add any or very little salt to the mix, and pour a bit at a time back in the tank, and keep testing the salinity as you put back in, that should lower the salinity.
I am sure Pasfur can comment on the above.
I agree. I would lower the salinity slowly back to 1.024, with a series of very small daily water changes over the next several weeks. The nitrite spike was caused by the move. This is no at all uncommon. I would not worry about it at all, as it will quickly go away.
I'm having a difficult time with the identification of the little brown coral. The picture quality is not great. I think it is Xenia.
I will go the route of small water changes then to lower the salinity. I purchased enough pre-made water to do a full water change but I can just save that for changing water once I get the salinity down a bit.
Any hydrometers that you guys would suggest or should I stick with the deep six one I have?
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