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My clownfish is dying....again! Please help!

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My clownfish is dying....again! Please help!
Old 02-04-2008, 03:41 PM   #11
 
New tank!

I have purchased a new tank! I have bought a 200L (52 gallons) tank...the biggest i could go to in the house! I bought it on sunday and this is what has been done so far:

The tank was filled with RO water and 25kg washed ocean rock (not live) added as base rock from day one. The heater and external filter (Fluval 205) have been turned on and the tank is currently getting to temperature...takes a long time at 200L! I have added 3/4 of the recommended amount of salt to the tank and that is all dissolved (have not added the rest as i am aware that the relative gravity is different at different temperatures so waiting for that to plateau first). Have ordered 25kg of live sand, which i am picking up on saturday (1 week after set-up) to add to my tank. At what point should i add live rock? My LFS have said that if i buy a skimmer then i will not need to upgrade my filtration, but for marine life it is likely that i will need to either upgrade OR get a protein skimmer?

I'm very excited but obviously i am going to do it right this time and take it slow...

Thanks for your continued support.
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:12 PM   #12
 
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Re: New tank!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahunky06
I have purchased a new tank! I have bought a 200L (52 gallons) tank...the biggest i could go to in the house! I bought it on sunday and this is what has been done so far:

The tank was filled with RO water and 25kg washed ocean rock (not live) added as base rock from day one. The heater and external filter (Fluval 205) have been turned on and the tank is currently getting to temperature...takes a long time at 200L! I have added 3/4 of the recommended amount of salt to the tank and that is all dissolved (have not added the rest as i am aware that the relative gravity is different at different temperatures so waiting for that to plateau first). Have ordered 25kg of live sand, which i am picking up on saturday (1 week after set-up) to add to my tank. At what point should i add live rock? My LFS have said that if i buy a skimmer then i will not need to upgrade my filtration, but for marine life it is likely that i will need to either upgrade OR get a protein skimmer?

I'm very excited but obviously i am going to do it right this time and take it slow...

Thanks for your continued support.
First, let me ask... for "washed ocean rock" can I ask where it came from? Now before you get too far into this its important to make sure this rock didn't come from a beach or other such natural habitat.

For you live rock, once your spg/salinity is 1.023 - 1.025 and your temp is stable at 76 - 78 it's time to add your rock and live sand. The organisms in your live rock and live sand will need a stable temp and spg/salinity in order to survive and function.

As for your LFS's suggestion for not upgrading filtration if adding a skimmer, I have to say I must strongly disagree. Fluval 205 is made by Hagen, and their flow rate and rating for it are for up to 40 gallons. Circulation has to be taken into account, so power heads will surely be needed, but a skimmer is not going to replace filtration or circulation needs. Another thing to consider with the fluval 205 is flow rate... a canister filter is not going to offer flow rate like a hang on filter. Lack of circulation will lead to algae blooms, cyanobacteria blooms, and ineffective filtration. A skimmer is a great thing to have on any saltwater tank, and I will agree with adding one, but a skimmer is designed to collect the proteins that collect at the surface. Outside of these surface proteins, a skimmer isn't go to effectively remove other forms of waste, like a filtration unit will.
After all of your disappointments, money spent, and frustration, I would really hate to see you have further problems. I promise I am not trying to spend your money, but some things just can't be done without if you wish to keep a healthy tank.

Don't forget water testing during this time. Once your live rock and sand go into the tank, you'll want to start your water testing. Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate should be monitored through the cycling phase (all 3 are needed to track your cycle properly and effectively), and its a good idea to check pH and calcium initially, and then from time to time during cycling and after to make sure things remain properly balanced. Calcium should read 400 - 500 for a healthy tank, and remember, fish need the calcium as much as the corals do. This is one important step that many miss, and knowing and keeping calcium properly balanced is just as important as temp, other water params, etc.
Patience... remember that will be your best friend over the course of the next 6 - 8 wks and all the time with saltwater. An average saltwater tank will take 6 - 8 wks to completely cycle, and only then is it a good idea to add your first fish.
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Old 02-10-2008, 08:56 AM   #13
 
Live sand added!

Thanks for your recent post...very helpful. The ocean rock i bought was dry rock sold in a 25kg bag, not live. I rinsed it when i got it home to get rid of loose dust and rock and then added it to the tank. This weekend i have been and purchsed my live sand from my LFS, and i have added that to the tank. Waiting for all of the precipitate to settle. I did not buy any live rock at the same time as i have all of this ocean rock. Do i need to get live rock also or will the rock i have become live over time from the sand? Where do i go next? The live sand is ~2inches deep throughout the tank and i will start testing the water in 3days. Do i get a 'clean-up crew' in before i add fish? What sorts of critters am i looking at here and how many? Hermit crabs, shrimps, crabs, star fishes, sea urchins?? Also is it advisable that i leave the tank lights on for the live sand or isn't this necessary?? My temperature in the tank is comfortably being maintained at 25 C, 77 F. Salinity is at 1.023.
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Old 02-10-2008, 11:08 AM   #14
 
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I'm kind of in a hurry at the moment but did't want to leave til I've given you a reply. I will come back later and add to my post for you with some more details, but for now...
25kg of "ocean rock" I'm assuming this is chunks of dry rock? (small ones) While it is true that over time the sand will help to seed the rock, if that is the only source of seeding it, expect it to take at least 6 months to 1 yr before it is properly seeded. 25 kg of rock is not enough for a 52 gallon tank. You want to get at least 50 - 60 lbs of rock in there and I would strongly suggest that at least 1/2 of it be live rock. The live rock will also help to seed your base rock (ocean rock), but without enough live rock in the tank your cycling is going to take a very long time and once you begin adding animals you will start running into water quality issues and also territory issues.

A normal cycling phase will average 6 - 8 wks in most saltwater tanks... but the less live rock in there, the longer this will take to complete.
Saltwater works primarily off of natural filtration from the rock, sand, etc where your bacteria culture will build. Without enough natural filtration in the tank you won't get much in there for animals.

I will help discuss some of your fish/invert options when I come back later tonight, but please let me warn you now... it will be at least 6 - 8 wks minimum before you want to put any animals into this tank, the water testing will help to let you know when that is safe to do. If you add your animals too soon you will end up with quite an expensive mess on your hands, and it won't be easy to clean up.
I'll be back later...
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Old 02-19-2008, 08:24 AM   #15
 
Thanks Dawn,

I have bought myself 25kg of Fiji Class A liverock today and added that to my already exisiting 25kg of base rock (ocean rock). The live sand i added last week. For the next 6-8weeks then i just need to be checking the water at regualr intervals, ensuring that the cycling process is taking place? The live rock looks very nice but as yet i am waiting to see anything crawling around or popping out of holes, there seems to be a wide variety of seaweed and algae living on the rock but i am to expect some die back is that right?

I am looking into purchasing some power heads to help with the water circulation. Is it necessary to spend a lot of money on them? Are there any makes/brands that you can suggest?

Thanks for your posts so far, they have been very informative.
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Old 02-19-2008, 01:40 PM   #16
 
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So sorry I didn't make it back the other night. I have been very busy lately. The brand of powerheads you use will make a difference. Not all of them hold up well in saltwater. The ones I am most fond of for saltwater are the Rio, the MaxiJet, and the Saeo (not sure if I spelled that one correctly). Of the 3, MaxiJet seems most sturdy, and Rio is easiest to hide effectively, and provides more attachments than most. The attachments can be a huge help when it comes to directing water flow while hiding the pump.

As for cycling, you're right on track... sit back, keep an eye on water quality, and be patient. Now would be a good time to put those lights on a timer, about 10 hrs/day. The algaes and such that came in on your rock will need light to survive. Yes, you are also correct to expect some die off, and most tanks won't show signs of "movement/growth" in the rock until the cycling phase has about completed itself or longer. The die off from the rock will produce ammonia, which will break down to cycle the tank, but those conditions are still going to be toxic to many things that can hitch rides on rock. Most animals that will hide/hibernate in the rock will stay put until the conditions are just right for them to pop out, crawl out, etc. Be patient.

As for what animals to add, now is the time to start doing some research, take a look through the many things available to you, and then find out what can and can't work. I usually tell someone to pick 1 or 2 animals that they're really stuck on, come back with them to me, and I can make suggestions from there. There are a lot of options for 52 gallons, but for fish expect 2 - 3 medium size or 3-4 small ones as a limit. Anything that gets beyond 6 inches in length is going to be too large for 52 gallons, and most fish grow very quickly. Not all fish are safe with inverts, and not all inverts are compatible with each other, either. Again, list some things you're interested in and fish that interest you, and we can help make suggestions for you.
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