Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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AnitaB 05-23-2010 01:43 PM

updating 45 gal
Hello all, been lurking for some time now, and well, now I have a question that I hope ya'll can help with..

  • ...45 gal
  • fish only
  • crushed coral (large)
  • 2 bulb coral life fixture 100000K abd bkue bulbs (came with) not HO.
  • magnum 350 with bio
  • heater
  • 2 Kordona (sp) power heads

Plan to.....
  • same 45 gal
  • switch to sand (sea flor carib)
  • magnum350 with bio wheels
  • lighting T5 HO looking at 4 bulb ATM
  • adding live rock
  • hope to add some corals in the future (easy to keep and lower light critters)
  • 2 power heads Koronia (sp) I believe they are the #3's
  • skimmer
  • heater

First off ,the tank is about 20 years old and I only have 2 fish in it right now. I'm looking to get a couple of damsels this week tho. I did gradually switch from crushed coral to sand, now I have about an inch of sandbed.

Should I update the lighting or add the live rock first? I do plan on adding the live rock gradually,(about 2 months) just not sure how much light the live rock needs.

Should I get some snail and sand critters now or wait till there is more algae ?I do have a brittle star but doesn't seen to move much ,any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated..

outpost 05-23-2010 08:15 PM

Definately add the the live rock before upgrading the lights. I would wait to add the damsels till after all the live rock is in. With about 5 watts per gallon of light you can keep more than "easy" corals. Also add you CUC (clean up crew) when you get your diatom bmoom. I'm not sure how much of a bloom you will get if you add the live rock slowly though. Some people cycle their tank with fish in it. Depending on what fish you have in there right now you may just want to add all of the rock at once. If you get fully cured live Rick you won't have much of a cycle at all and it would be ok to add it all at once. You could probably get your clean up crew at the same time as the cured live rock. Your live rock will be fine with a regular strip light on it.
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AnitaB 05-24-2010 06:43 AM

Thanks Outpost, I like the idea of adding all the rock at once.
One more Question.... Is there anything special I should be testing for??

outpost 05-25-2010 04:40 PM


Originally Posted by AnitaB (Post 389941)
Thanks Outpost, I like the idea of adding all the rock at once.
One more Question.... Is there anything special I should be testing for??

No it's pretty much the same as freshwater. You don't want your nitrates to get above 20ppm though. But during the cycle leave it alone. Well there won't be much of a cycle if you get fully cured live rock. I would still wait a couple of weeks for the live rock to seed the sand. If you get into sps coral you will want to test for calcium and alkalinity. That's a long ways down the road though. Also if you don't have enough calcium in the water coraline algea (the purple stuff that covers your rock) will not grow.
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AnitaB 05-26-2010 07:48 AM

Thanks again Outpost...Very helpful.... I've had salt water for a long time so I know about patience. I still need to find a sorce for ro water. Right now I'm thinking of making some rock and seeding it with about 25 lbs of live rock. Still researching tho. The tank has been cycled for years, Will the addition of sand and live rock require re- cycling?

outpost 05-26-2010 09:48 AM

If you get fully cured live rock and put all that in at once there will hardly be a cycle. With the DIY rock that you're going to make I would reccomend putting it in one piece at a time to avoid a large cycle. And yes if you added the 25 lbs of live rock and the 25lbs of DIY rock and new sand all at once, there will be a cycle. Don't bother getting "live" sand from the LFS, it won't be live and it will just cost more. If you search on YouTube for rickets reef you should watch his video on DIY rock. Feel free to ask him questions too. After your DIY rock is made you will have to let it sit in a trash can full of water for about 2 months I think to leech out all the chemics in the concrete and to get the pH stable. Just a heads up. If you can't wait that long has really nice looking dry rock for a great deal. I'm pretty sure that it's not from the ocean so that's a plus also once you see it you might want to do the tank with all that rock and de with a month long cycle.
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AnitaB 05-27-2010 08:56 AM

yeah, I already put in the sand, I did a little at a time (over 2 months) , switched from crushed coral..I'm kinda from the old school of placing a little at a time into the tank., but finding out that a reef is different.. I do have green spots on the back of my glass, never seen algae grow that way, I wish i had taken a pic. Could that be the diatom bloom perhaps. I will definitely check out the bulk reef supply and watch the video about making live rock. should have my test kit this week .

outpost 05-28-2010 04:56 AM

A little at a time is good. Patience is key. As far as I know diatoms are always brown but, sometimes people don't have them whenthey cycle tanks. It's pretty rare though. I would also encourage yu to get aquacultured live Rick or some kind of rock from a quarry. It's good to have as small as impact possible on the reefs in the ocean. Also if you are going to get a pair of clowns a cardinal or a neon goby to name a few, it would be best to get tank bred. Oooo you probably didn't really have a cycle when you put the sand in because you don't have any live rock (right?) the same bacteria that lives in the rock lives in the sand. Right now in your aquarium what fish do you have?
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AnitaB 05-28-2010 08:09 AM

Well I kinda messed up there, I have a purple Pseudo and a purple back chomis. (what the labels said at the store) I now know them to be the same and not compatable together. Also have a brittle star. I think when I get more fish in there the purple one will come out more as he did when I had the blue devil in there with them. RIP blue devil. Yes, still have a lot of reserching to do. Also had a yellow wrasse that went missing a few weeks ago, (befor I got the brittle star). but i think the brittle star found it as he stayed in that corner for about a week and he is noticeably larger in the middle. uuummmm

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