New to this, some advice?
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New to this, some advice?

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New to this, some advice?
Old 04-18-2009, 03:56 PM   #1
 
New to this, some advice?

I really didnt find a applicable forum to post this so sorry. My wife and i are new to this. Cant seem to get any help in this, i can only read so much and its faster to solve problems by talking. Very frustrating so far.

I suppose I should just trash my tank because it seems like my wife and I have done little "by the book". However, our water perimeters are text book. How, lucky i guess. We are here:

39g glass Place live rocks and three damsels in after two weeks. Total age of tank is approx 1.5mo.
Two outside filters, the ones from petco.
Sand bottom, live.
Four live rocks with natural growth on them, shrooms, polyps. Did not cure, appear to be doing fine.
Heater
Skimmer, don't know to work it, instructions are pitiful. How far do i insert it into the tank? It is partially submersible, not a outside version.
Three damsels , one has a pop eye (aysmptomatic of ich), one gobey, one anenome, one turbo, one hermit. Update: damsel was dispatched. Goby just died all of a sudden, no warning.
So, it appears after reading I need:

Wavemaker with or w/o pwr heads.
Stronger light
Sump w/ overflow box.
UV filtration
Return pump
Refugium

Our objective to have a live reef tank with some fish. Of course money is an object and Im amazed at the money that we've sinked in thus far. We really dont know where to go from here. Any input critical or not will be useful. thanks

Perimeters: SG 1.022 Salinity 30, Nitrate 20, Nitrite safe, alk 300, PH 8.4 , temp 79.



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Old 04-18-2009, 04:46 PM   #2
 
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[quote=aanda;189002]
So, it appears after reading I need:

Wavemaker with or w/o pwr heads.
Stronger light
Sump w/ overflow box.
UV filtration
Return pump
Refugium

Perimeters: SG 1.022 Salinity 30, Nitrate 20, Nitrite safe, alk 300, PH 8.4 , temp 79.
[quote]

I don't think you are very far off track. I would certainly not go to the extremes that you have listed for a 29 gallon reef. Lets take a look at your list and what you are trying to accomplish.

A wavemaker is not needed at all for a 29 gallon tank. This is an advanced piece of equipment that most of use do not use at all. My 180 will not have a wavemaker. Skip this altogether. You will want good water flow, but this can be accomplished with a couple of Maxi Jet power heads for a reasonable cost.

If you want to go reef, you will need stronger light. I would personally use compact florescents or T5's.

A sump, overflow box, and refugium are not required for such a small aquarium. You can easily get a high quality hang on protein skimmer that will hande a 29 gallon aquarium. A sump is beneficial, yes, but is something that you can add down the road as money allows. Most likely you will upgrade your aquarium size long before upgrading to a sump.

There are refugiums available that hang on the back of your tank, but I would personally skip this step until you upgrade to a sump. An in sump refugium is best for its flexibility... so, just wait on the refugium.

I do recommend a UV Sterilizer and will never have an aquarium without one. Given all the money that will be tied up in the system, a little added "insurance" against the spread of disease is well worth the small expense.

You can save a lot of money on these items at Aquarium Supplies, Pet Supplies and Pond Supplies by That Fish Place - That Pet Place.

If I had your tank, here is what I would do. I would increase the sand depth to 4'' minimum, no more than 6''. I would add more live rock to a total of 35-40 pounds. Add 2 x Maxi Jet power heads for water flow, running them full time.

I would remove the hang on filters completely, because they are just nutrient traps that cause algae. Replace them with a hang on protein skimmer. I recommend this one:
Seaclone Protein Skimmer 100 - 17 3/4 in. high | Venturi Models | Protein Skimmers | Aquarium - ThatPetPlace.com for a simple reef or FOWLR aquarium. This skimmer is low cost and adequate for a 29 gallon reef.

If you think you will one day want to upgrade to most difficult corals or larger aquarium, then you could start with a Berlin Skimmer:
Berlin X2 Venturi Skimmer- 13.7 in. x 20 in. x 7.9 in. | Venturi Models | Protein Skimmers | Aquarium - ThatPetPlace.com
This model can also be placed in a sump (or hang on) and can easily handle a 125 gallon reef. I recommend you use this skimmer. But if cost is a huge concern, then the above SeaClone model will work.

The most important upgrade you will need to make is with your test kits and additives. You need to begin testing alkalinity, calcium, and pH on a weekly basis at minimum. A buffer and a calcium additive will be needed. Many will also tell you that magnesium should be included in this routine. I can not disagree with this opinion. Controlling alkalinity and calcium will be the single most important long term concern you have as a marine hobbyist.

That is a lot to absorb. What other concerns or follow up questions do you have?
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:47 AM   #3
 
Question Thanks Pasfur

Well, unfortunately our stock is dying off pretty rapidly. It started out with a damsel developing pop eye in only one eye, eventually the other became cloudy, his color would switch from natural black to pale white. I dispatched him. Then another became still on the bottom and died. Then our gobie just died suddenly and now our clown fish and last remaining damsel are acting stressed out and wierd. This all started after we added a anenome.
Our tank is approx 1.5mo old. We have checked every water perimeter excluding magnesium and calcium and they check out fine according to books and internet. We have two live rocks we bought that came with little plants on them, small stalks with furry heads that close when frightened. One rock has flat mushrooms and bright purple growth, two other rocks with no natural growth. We did not let these cure before we put them in the tank. I think we mentioned we have one skimmer.
So, after my livestock dies. I guess i should figure out whats wrong before replacing? We have about two inches of live sand. With the gobie he kept the sand from turning brown, should i let the sand turn ugly brown? Stir it? We initially started with tap water but we are changing this to distilled water from culligan. We have almost reached 20% change. Changing 5gal every three or four days.
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Old 04-20-2009, 04:41 PM   #4
 
klosxe's Avatar
 
[quote=Pasfur;189006][quote=aanda;189002]
So, it appears after reading I need:

Wavemaker with or w/o pwr heads.
Stronger light
Sump w/ overflow box.
UV filtration
Return pump
Refugium

Perimeters: SG 1.022 Salinity 30, Nitrate 20, Nitrite safe, alk 300, PH 8.4 , temp 79.
Quote:

I don't think you are very far off track. I would certainly not go to the extremes that you have listed for a 29 gallon reef. Lets take a look at your list and what you are trying to accomplish.

A wavemaker is not needed at all for a 29 gallon tank. This is an advanced piece of equipment that most of use do not use at all. My 180 will not have a wavemaker. Skip this altogether. You will want good water flow, but this can be accomplished with a couple of Maxi Jet power heads for a reasonable cost.

If you want to go reef, you will need stronger light. I would personally use compact florescents or T5's.

A sump, overflow box, and refugium are not required for such a small aquarium. You can easily get a high quality hang on protein skimmer that will hande a 29 gallon aquarium. A sump is beneficial, yes, but is something that you can add down the road as money allows. Most likely you will upgrade your aquarium size long before upgrading to a sump.

There are refugiums available that hang on the back of your tank, but I would personally skip this step until you upgrade to a sump. An in sump refugium is best for its flexibility... so, just wait on the refugium.

I do recommend a UV Sterilizer and will never have an aquarium without one. Given all the money that will be tied up in the system, a little added "insurance" against the spread of disease is well worth the small expense.

You can save a lot of money on these items at Aquarium Supplies, Pet Supplies and Pond Supplies by That Fish Place - That Pet Place.

If I had your tank, here is what I would do. I would increase the sand depth to 4'' minimum, no more than 6''. I would add more live rock to a total of 35-40 pounds. Add 2 x Maxi Jet power heads for water flow, running them full time.

I would remove the hang on filters completely, because they are just nutrient traps that cause algae. Replace them with a hang on protein skimmer. I recommend this one:
Seaclone Protein Skimmer 100 - 17 3/4 in. high | Venturi Models | Protein Skimmers | Aquarium - ThatPetPlace.com for a simple reef or FOWLR aquarium. This skimmer is low cost and adequate for a 29 gallon reef.

If you think you will one day want to upgrade to most difficult corals or larger aquarium, then you could start with a Berlin Skimmer:
Berlin X2 Venturi Skimmer- 13.7 in. x 20 in. x 7.9 in. | Venturi Models | Protein Skimmers | Aquarium - ThatPetPlace.com
This model can also be placed in a sump (or hang on) and can easily handle a 125 gallon reef. I recommend you use this skimmer. But if cost is a huge concern, then the above SeaClone model will work.

The most important upgrade you will need to make is with your test kits and additives. You need to begin testing alkalinity, calcium, and pH on a weekly basis at minimum. A buffer and a calcium additive will be needed. Many will also tell you that magnesium should be included in this routine. I can not disagree with this opinion. Controlling alkalinity and calcium will be the single most important long term concern you have as a marine hobbyist.

That is a lot to absorb. What other concerns or follow up questions do you have?
Agree here on mostly here, I think light wise for corals down the road you'll want CF at least, but I prefer Metal Halide personally, but they can get expensive

only need one maxi jet pump, if any at all
my 24g only uses the return pump for movement, and while I'd perfer more, my tank looked stupid with a maxi jet there, so it is not totally necessary


get rid of the hang on filters, and get a skimmer like the one Pasfur offered


Personally, I think you had too many fish for a potential reef tank, and from the sounds of it it was cycled fully, and the increased nitrate could be part of that problem along with the excess debris trapped in your current filters, and the lack of a protein skimmer all compounded the problem

agree with the chemistry part (not gonna repeat that too)

Good Luck!
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Old 04-23-2009, 08:09 PM   #5
 
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I just want to add an important point. There is a very direct correlation between patience and success in the marine hobby. Your tank was only 6 weeks old when we began this discussion, and you already had several fish and an anemone. Compare this to my new 180 setup... as of today the aquarium is 4 weeks old. I have live rock and live sand, but not a single fish or coral. I understand that aging / maturing of the overall aquarium system is critical to success. In the long run I would much prefer to be patient for the first few months and have a more stable system for long term enjoyment.

This is a part of the marine hobby that can't be explained, but can be observed. Fish simply thrive most effectively in aquariums with mature environments. I would not add any sensitive fish for at least 3 months, and closer to 6 months for anything truly difficult to keep, such as an anemone.
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Old 04-23-2009, 10:04 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aanda View Post
We have two live rocks we bought that came with little plants on them, small stalks with furry heads that close when frightened.
that sounds like aptasia, which is a pest anemone.



im interested in the anem you purchased.

exactly what kind is it?
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:48 AM   #7
pkc
 
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to get a new tank with no specific life in there,up and prossesing quickly i would hang a small bag,maybe a stocking bag with some marinara mix in it to keep the amonia doing its bit to feed and built bio comunities with no detriment to tank life.

or have a remote tub or tank with robust species in there feeding the tank fish waste to assist maturity with no loss of life.

it works very well.
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