Newbie 55 Gallon Saltwater Tank... - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 39 Old 07-05-2007, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Killjoy391, I appreciate the advice. I think they are very pretty as well, and would really stand out in my tank.

I wonder if I could add one of these and a half-black at the same time, if they would be very aggressive towards the other fish or each other?


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post #12 of 39 Old 07-06-2007, 03:41 PM
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u would be able to but they would have to be different sizes and make sure they r a different genera. and like u said put in at them same time. it also helps that they are different colors too. they would be ok with other fish also

You cannot kill what you did not create
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post #13 of 39 Old 07-26-2007, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I got the tank up and running now. Again, it's a 55 gallon FOWLR. I have a dual water filter on it (Aquatech I think), standard lighting (so far, but soon to be 2 50/50s). I also have 40 lbs. of live sand w/3 lbs. of actual sea sand as the substrate. I also have apprx. 25 lbs. of base rock and 11 lbs. of live rock together in the tank now. In the tank are 1 Yellow-tailed Blue Damsel (about 1 in. long) and 1 Ocellaris Clownfish (about 3/4 in. long). The fish are very beautiful although look very lonely in such a large space. I'm going to wait till I'm through with the cycling before I add anything else. I've been up and running for 11 days now and the live rock (and even some base rock) and the areas where I scattered the 3 lbs.of sea sand are covered in brown algea now. My wife and I have removed 3 small bristleworms so far and continue to look for more. We also have a few small glass anemones, but will get rid of them when they grow a little more (or when I add a few Peppermint Shrimp, they can snack on them).

Conditions after 11 days are:

Temp: steady 78 degrees
PH: 8.4
Salinity: 1.020
Ammonia: .25
Nitrite: .25
Nitrate: 0

Do all these conditions sound about right for where I'm at in the cycle?

Fish are doing great and the little Clown has, of course, become a favorite. Strange thing was that when I got them, the Clown wouldn't eat very well. I was told by the store owner where I got him (at the Coral Reef on Kingston Pike in Knoxville TN...great guys there and I highly recommend them BTW), that he was bred locally and hand fed. Well, it never dawned on me what that meant. It took me about a week for me to wake up (and I'm usually a pretty quick witted fellow too). I feed them a frozen preparation of processed shrimp usually mixed with some flake food and a drop of garlic juice to arouse their appetite. As I started to dip it out from a tablespoon with my finger the little Clown came straight to me and started eating like a little pig. As long as the food appeared to be coming off my fingertips he would eat well. Duh! Hand fed?! The light went on! Now, he comes up to the top of the water to greet us whenever we raise the lid and he notices us standing there. Seems like he's about to come completely out of the water to greet you. A super great little fish! So far the Clown and the Damsel are doing super.

Thanks for all the help friends. It was great appreciated and look forward to hearing your thoughts on my new aquarium.


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post #14 of 39 Old 07-26-2007, 10:37 PM
I just wanted to say good luck with ur SW tank. I love it when people(newbies) to sw try it and succeed.. I want to do a sw tank jsut dont have the $$$$ for it yet.. I would do a FO or FOWLR.. but still don't have the $$$$ for it.. Good Luck with it..
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post #15 of 39 Old 07-28-2007, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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Hey, I think I made a slight mistake a few days ago when I posted my tank conditions (may have slightly misread my results). PH on the new tank is 8.2 not 8.4.



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post #16 of 39 Old 08-13-2007, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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Well friends, it's now been 3 weeks and a day and everything appears to be going fine in the new 55 gallon tank. My Yellow Tailed Damsel and Ocellaris Clown are doing wonderful and I recently purchased them a couple of new tank mates and added a few more pounds of base rock.

I purchased a large red hermit crab (somewhere around 2.5 or 3 inches) and a peppermint shrimp (about 3/4 inch long). I acclimated them both over about a 2 hr. period and they are both doing very well in the new tank. The crab sifts the sand nicely and has been eating like a pig (also snacks on shrimp pellets as well). The shrimp has went straight to work on the few glass anemones I had in the tank and even the large one (around 1.5 inches long) refuses to come out now. They have both been very nice additions to the tank and all the family enjoy watching them. My wife also loves checking out the substrate and rock for small critters, which we find on a daily basis including what looks like some very small white starfish (small round disc shaped body w/long thin legs) and what appears to be very small crabs in some small triton shells.

I have a question in regards to algae however. During the cycling process, brown algae quickly started out. Then, all of a sudden, it subsided and left. Then I noticed some light green algae starting and some splotchy bright red stuff coming out as well. The green algae just didn't seem to take hold too well, but the red stuff exploded. Quickly going from red to black, it took over some of my base rock and my live sand. I blasted the stuff off the base rock and sand yesterday with a large turkey baster and then vacuumed the sand lightly (and my small vacuum device doesn't do much in this large tank, so a new one is in order I think) and did a very small water change last night (about 2 gallons out of the 55). Things appear to be back to normal now, but I'm sure I'll be dealing with this red algae (cynobacteria) again shortly. Maybe the large hermit will take care of some of it?

Anyone have any hints or tips in regards to the red stuff? Anyone have any comments in regards to the crab, shrimp or the fish? I'd love to hear them.

As for conditions:

Constant temp of 78 degrees
salinity of 1.021
PH of 8.2
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0

Thanks for all the help gang.


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post #17 of 39 Old 09-02-2007, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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Well friends, it's now Sept. 2nd and here's the latest on the 55 gallon tank FOWLR.

Temp still 78 degrees
salinity 1.022
ammonia 0
nitrite 0
nitrate 25
PH 8.2

My red algae problem seems to have disappeared. I cut my light time on the tank from 15.5 hrs. per day down to about 9-10 hrs. Also, I cut the amount of food back and only to twice per day. This combined with my large red hermit crab developing a taste for the stuff has lead to the almost extinction of cyano.

Speaking of the hermit crab:


1 Peppermint Shrimp


Red Hermit Crab

Seems that I lost my peppermint shrimp over the last couple of days and the only thing I can figure out is the hermit crab had a snack. He seems to have a voracious appetite and is no long afraid to come out when the lights are on and forage. While a wonderful sand sifting machine, and cyano snackmaster, I don't want him eating the other livestock! I'm almost sure that a 1.5 inch yellow tailed damsel and a 1 inch long ocellaris clown DIDN'T eat the shrimp. He's is a large 2.5-3 inch long red hermit with white dots and black hairy legs. I'm afraid to put any other inverts in the tank now (or anything that rests on the bottom of the tank for that matter). I'm thinking of taking him back to the LFS and giving him back. That way I could pick up a couple of Halloween crabs and more peppermints and possibly a skunk cleaner.

More fish coming BTW. Just as soon as I get a chance and the funds.

Thoughts? Questions? Answers? All welcome!


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post #18 of 39 Old 09-05-2007, 04:08 AM
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sounds like your getting on very well,
i'm considering turning one of my tanks into a s/w tank.
just wondering if you had taken any pictures ?

when you set up a new tank,hide an extra
sponge or two behind some decor,that way you have
something seeded for you next filter.
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post #19 of 39 Old 09-09-2007, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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I added 2 pics of my tank Willow. They're not very good, but give you an idea of what I've done. I hope you enjoy them. Go to top of page at "Member Aquarium Spotlight" and then go to saltwater and look for Fish Fan's Saltwater Tank.

I hope you enjoy starting a SW tank as much as I have.


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post #20 of 39 Old 09-16-2007, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Well, more updates on the tank.

I took the red hermit back to a FS, Incredipets, in Lexington KY (the one on Richmond Rd., talk to Wes). Wes let me trade it out for about 8 small blue leg and red leg hermits. Wes was impressed with his snackmaster status and was going to take him to his tank at home. I also snagged a nice Royal Gramma Basslet, a Pajamna Cardinal and another Peppermint shrimp. I also picked up enough Tuffa (sp?) and Honeycomb base rock to build another shelf, expanding further into my tank (Yay!). I also was given a large Conch shell by my mother today and thought it would look great in the tank too, just not added it as of yet.

Well, the Cardinal and the RG have been getting use to the tank so far. However, my Yellow tailed Blue Damsel and Clownfish started harassing them immediately. The Damsel more so than the Clown. Although small, the Damsel took a chunk out of the RG's tail first thing. Since then, the RG manages to out run the Damsel, and also fights it's NO pushover. The Damsel has let up some on the new guys over the last 5-6 days and I believe they'll be OK. I'm going to add a couple more Cards ASAP (I'm afraid the 1 will get lonely).

As for the shrimp...not good news. It would seem that while distracted I goofed on the acclimation and he lasted about 12 hrs. It would seem that I left a bucket of freshwater near the tank and thought that it was saltwater. Needless to say, I tried acclimating the shrimp with the freshwater and he didn't make it. Totally my fault. I removed him from the tank and hope to snag a couple more and perhaps a cleaner skunk shrimp soon. I'll just remember to check the water for acclimation first.


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