View Full Version : Magical Crawdad Salt Times
05-18-2011, 11:27 AM
Okay, so. I'm new to the entire salt water aquarium scene. I've been doing my research over the last few days, looking at salt water guides both here and elsewhere. I'm an aquarium enthusiast, and own two seperate freshwater tanks (one of which is having issues right now, but it's not a salt tank so there's no bearing here), with both being pretty healthy even if I do say so myself.
So I got myself a steal. Really, this will blow your mind. Tomorrow, on Thursday the 19th of May, I will be getting delivered to myself a 4'x2'x2' salt water setup. It has established live sand and rock, and comes with a sump 3'x2'x2' (roughly, accurate measurements will be taken tomorrow). The tank comes with stand, hood, lights, liverock and sand, and the sump comes with an established bio filter with a protien skimmer. The salt water from the tank is getting shipped with it in a tub which will be pumped upstairs and into the tank.
And get this: all of that? Cost me 300 of my Australian dollars. No joke.
So this will be my very first foray into the magical world of Salt Water Aquarium keeping! I'm going out tomorrow after it's set up to purchase: a big heater, a hydrometer (all I can get right now, I will have to purchase a better alternative online), and misc. testing kits (calcium/phosphate/KH/GH and I assume I need an Alkalility testing kit).
I'm going to be letting the tank return to health over the next week and will be making daily tests. I'm going to keep a physical logbook as well as posting here, the physical one so I can put my hands on my tanks water history in a heartbeat and here because you lot seem pretty knowledgeable and will be able to give pointers and tips (I hope!). In addition to all my reading (oh god I am so daunted by these new terms I have to learn and mixing salt water OH GOD HOW LONG DO I LET IT SIT IS IT A DAY OR A WEEK CAN I USE DECHLORINATED TAP WATER FOR THIS OR AGH), I have two pretty experience salt water owners to call on. In fact, tomorrow after setting it up I'm hoping to visit one of these people to get the low down, the skinny, the scoop, the deep info and the FACTS about this.
Welcome to the Magical Crawdad SALT TIMES. It's gonna be a heck of a ride.
05-18-2011, 12:54 PM
Welcome to the forum
I'm looking forward to reading about your set-up
Have you read throught he stickys here yet ? There's a lot of helpful info there that will help you to better understand the explainations your friends will be giving you
05-18-2011, 12:56 PM
I don't have any advice since I am new to fish keeping but I've always loved saltwater tanks. I can't wait to see yours established! Sounds like you got a good deal. We better get pictures or ELSE I'll be flying across the world after you!! :)
05-18-2011, 01:06 PM
I've been reading everything I can put my grubby little hands on. I've devoured most of the stickies in the "General Saltwater (Beginner section)", and are currently re-reading to be sure I have the information correct. Doing lots of other searches on the web to broaden my knowledge and checking which facts remain constant through the different guides and FAQ's and know-hows.
I am really apprehensive about this though! For example I'm going FOWLR, because I don't trust myself with corals yet. Lots of stuff I've been reading is conflicted on Refugiums, some say it's almost mandatory and others don't mention it at all. Very confusing stuff!
The main hurdle I face is keeping stuff like calcium, GH and KH at correct levels. PH may be an issue for me too, but I'm doing loads of reading so I can prepare for this stuff, and the trip to my LFS tomorrow is to pick up the tester kits (as I said in the first post). I'll take some pictures tomorrow of tank-without-water, tank-with-water and tank-with-water-and-liverock. hopefully some good snaps of my sump too!
05-18-2011, 01:18 PM
Good call with going FOWLR first
It's a much simpler set-up to start with allowing you to learn the basics first and then just go from there. That was the approach I took, although it didn't take me very long at all before I started adding corals
The water parameters you really want to focus on is: Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, PH, Calcium and Alkalinity. For most fish you really don't need to maintain the Cal and Alk, but it dose help most inverts with there shells
There's some really good tank journals here to. It will give you an idea of the types of options you can consider for your set-up
05-18-2011, 01:30 PM
Oh yeah! I've been doing so much reading of these journals it isn't funny. I'll be dreaming about the perfect SW tank tonight, let me tell you! I have a test kit with Ammo/Trite/Trate/High range PH, so I'll be getting a cal and Alk test kit definately. Also the phosphate because my water has really wierd phos surges every few days (which leads to loads of algae which is no fun. Good thing I test it before I use it, right?).
I hope I don't get too much dieback on my Liverock, because I hope within the week I'll have the water pretty much perfect. Then I'll do a water change, and begin to plan for the tanks occupants.
Speaking of water changes, the 10%-20% guideline is the one to follow, yes? I'll be getting one of my friends to help with getting the replacement water ready (I assume a 24hour period to let the salts dissolve/heat the water to the tank's temp), but do I need to purchase any fancy gear? I dechlorinate my water and bar the strange Phos surges in the tapwater it's pretty great. Of course I've never had any Alk/Calc tester kits before so I suppose I should check that out before going nuts about it.
05-18-2011, 01:36 PM
10% weekly water change is what a lot of people do
I mix my water in a large rubber-maid container. I add the water and salt. I also put a powerhead in there to mix the salt for me. I also put a heater in there to match the temp of the tank. Once the salt is mixed and the temp is the same, I complete the water chance.
You can use tap water with a good dechlorinater, like seachem prime. Or, you can use RO water. Although you don't "need" RO, it can really help to aviod a lot of issues with water quality and help with algae. It would take the phosphates out of your tap water. Most people with Reef set-ups use RO water for those reasons.
Something for you to look into and consider
05-18-2011, 01:41 PM
Already planned for a good tub to mix up my water! I'll invest in a third powerhead (two for the tank to get some flow going on) and look into some Phos-neutralizing material for my sump. R/O would probably be something I'll invest in later (I have a budget I need to match, but enough there for the essential items!), but I like the idea of it.
Failing that I might set up an algae scrubber (something I've been considering for my freshwater tanks, actually, for a variety of reasons), because i've read good things about algae scrubbers in saltwater tanks. If it happens, that will come way later when I'm more confident.
05-18-2011, 02:29 PM
As to the RO water it would definitely help from everything I've read. HOWEVER I don't use it and my tank is doing ok lol an algae scrubber is something that most people in this section are toying with the idea of honestly haha
Other than that you sound like you have a grasp on the basics, hopefully like you said, you don't have too much of a die off on your rock. However if you do try and keep the ammonia levels below 2ppm or else the ammonia will just kill over more stuff which would be bad.
Also I'll second the good idea on the FOWLR idea at first. That'll give you a chance to get settled and build the scrubber if you choose and really get acquainted with the tank before you go adding corals which can be touchy lol
Other than that you seem off to a good start with a killer deal!!
Best of luck we're all here to offer any help we can
05-18-2011, 11:45 PM
Well not really, but from my point of view it is. Tank's arrival has been rescheduled for the weekend, which is probably a better idea for all involved. I will have more time to fuss over it in the first critical few days, but I still feel a little sad I won't be able to drool over it today.
I hope to go talk with the person selling it to me to find out what does and does not come with the tank so I have a proper shopping list.
05-20-2011, 06:35 AM
Okay! Good news and not-really-bad-but-not-good news!
Good news: Guess who has his tank at home now?
Not so good news: It didn't come with 100% of the water taken out of it.
What this means is now I have my tank and sump in the house. The sump is empty and I removed the liverock that acted as the bio-filtration and placed them into the tank. The liverock from the tank itself is also in there. The water is about two thirds up the side, covering all the rock nicely. I've got two powerheads in there just to provide some circulation, and I've got some salt on the way tonight. I also have two big drums (75L each) that I'll begin mixing up water in so I an refill the tank and sump.
Have some images!
Before water was added and without the liverock;
A shot of the mostly empty sump;
And the final shot of the not-full tank with the liverock in it and some powerheads;
As I said, I've got some drums which I will be mixing water up into hopefully tonight or very early tomorrow. I just hope I don't loose too much of the good bacteria in this liverock. Just hope it lasts until I can fill the tank and the sump correctly.
On a semi related note, I have a bit of issue with the lights that came with the tank. Two marine-glo tubes (nice and blue) and two white lites (unknown make). Unfortuantly, only the marine-glo ones actually work because-
And I have no idea how to fix that. It looks like it's been semi-fixed before (some sort of glue attatched to the detatched switch and inside the switch socket), but I tried to use it and it just snapped and popped so I very quickly turned it off and removed the switch and the little lever from inside (which is what turns it on or off, I think). Now it's okay, but I'd like to get this fixed soon.
More worried about the water, though.
05-20-2011, 11:22 AM
A triplepost, but I've got some salt mixture mixing up to add to the tank and hopefully sump tomorrow. I may have to make up another tub to finish the tank filling. Things are looking up!
Edit: God I just realized there's an edit button. Fffff Sorry for tripleposting.
05-22-2011, 02:31 AM
Oh crap oh crap. Tank is now finally set up, filled with water and ready to go -
But my return pump pumps too fast. If I leave it go, it'll entirely drain the sump and overflow the tank, and thus flood my floor. What do I do?
05-22-2011, 02:44 AM
that is why I don't run a sump. All that plumbing and math is too much like work.
If you got it as a working set-up, it worked before, so perhaps the pump or a valve has a setting you can adjust?
Hopefully someone with sump experience will chime in for you...
05-22-2011, 02:55 AM
that is why I don't run a sump. All that plumbing and math is too much like work.
If you got it as a working set-up, it worked before, so perhaps the pump or a valve has a setting you can adjust?
Hopefully someone with sump experience will chime in for you...
Oh yes. Apparently I am blind - there's an adjustment valve on my return pump. It's now flowing properly and 'm very happy! I'm just worried the powerheads in the tank aren't enough to really push the water around as they should. Hopefully a friend of mine will let me borrow one or two of his until I can get my own.
Now I have to home-fix the outtake line so it will pump onto the center of my drip board. Pictures to come soon!
05-22-2011, 04:01 AM
Posting all over the place OH MY. So the tank is set up and running, I've modified the intake to the sump so it pumps into the middle of the dripboard and I've put away most of the uneccesary equipment.
My drip tray doesn't seem to be dripping onto all the rock, though. Some of it is still dry and that's a little worrying. But I guess this is the way they work?
And here's two pictures.
And now my tank!
The tank is clearing up nicely, and the lights are bluer than the picture shows. It's a pretty dodgy camera, to be honest.
Also water perameters:
Salinity: 1.022-1.024 (the needle sits on the 1.023 mark but I'll just list in between even numbers.)
The nitrates are just going to have to wait. I do not have enough funds to purchase another batch of salt to mix up another tub to try and reduce it.
05-22-2011, 09:09 AM
Two shots of a crab I only just found out I had in the tank. If anyone could identify it that would be pretty boss. It was out just long enough to snap these two bad photos and now he is disappeared.
There's also this. My camera is really, really bad, but it looks clearish, if a bit brown. I assume this is aptasia? It doesn't look like a worm out trying to feed, and more like an anemone. There's also one of my brittle stars in the shot. I got three of them with the tank.
05-22-2011, 01:17 PM
Yup, that really dose look like aptasia. Peppermint shrimp from the Caribbean (forgot the exact name of them) can take care of that for you. I know one member here who is using them with with results.
I would not try removing that yourself. They can release 110s of spores if they feel threatened
05-22-2011, 01:42 PM
Sorry to be blunt, but you're in the wrong hobby if you can't afford salt already. How did you get your first batch? Usually comes in buckets or boxes, so you should have had enough for a few weeks.
I'd take out the rock the aiptasia is on and cook it. I used a bbq lighter on the ones I found.
I'd be roasting anything I found right now before the tank is properly running. It will be that much harder down the road...I'd be doing a 100% water change...examining each rock, before taking it out (otherwise the aiptasia retracts and is hard to see) and scorching the wee bastids, swooshing the rock in fresh water, and replacing in the tank with the new mixed water.
All of the above is just my opinion, what I would do. Not necessarily recommended. Likely overboard. You are going to have a cycle regardless, tho, might as well try to get rid of pests now.
I'm a bit paranoid as I can't beleive the hard time I have in controlling corals I want, let alone aiptasia if it gets a foothold in your tank.
LOL you should post a poll, and see what the majority say about getting rid of aiptasia...
05-22-2011, 03:13 PM
I have no money for salt because that's where all my money went in the first place. I've spent about 120$ on salt this week alone, just to fill the tank up and get it running in the first place. I do have a bucket of salt coming the end of this week or early next, I believe. I fully understand salt water tanks are not easy or cheap things to own, but all my funds for this fortnight were taken up purchasing the essentials.
As for the peppermint shrimp, I had expected I'd need to get some. I was surprised at how quick the aiptasia came out of hiding. Then again, I only thought I had three black brittle stars and a small hermit crab. Turns out I have another crab and some aiptasia to take care of.
Editord: I also intend to do a good 10% water change in a week and then test the water again. I'm hoping this will help, but I expect it'll take a few changes before the reading drops back to acceptable ranges. Then I will be getting some sort of "cleanup crew", maybe some more hermit crabs and some snails of some sort. Fish are a long way away yet.
Fun fact: This tank is a 2year old tank. I just had to give it a few days before I could refill it.
05-22-2011, 04:21 PM
What all are you testing?
If you are still getting ammonia/nitrite readings, then there's no need for water changes.
Pretty much only need to do water change just before stocking, to do that last nitrate drop.
05-22-2011, 11:57 PM
I have to agree that frying them seems like an interesting method. What's the worst that can happen?
05-23-2011, 02:27 AM
On the subject of Ammo and 'Trite, here are todays readings:
Trate: Appears to be still 20-40 ppm.
A little concerned about my nitrates.
05-23-2011, 06:29 AM
Really hate giving you guys horrible quality pictures, but my tank has cleared up very nicely since yesterday and I thought i'd share.
This is one of two shots, on the 'night' setting on my camera. I have horribly shaky hands, so this is the best I can get on that setting.
And this is the second shot on my camera's normal setting.
My little red hermit crab is zooming about the tank and climbing on everything. That pile of rock will probably be shifted and made more stable when I get more live rock, and most of the tiny peices on the bottom of the tank I'll probably remove before the substrate goes in. It's looking very clean and I'm very happy with it!
05-23-2011, 12:51 PM
Glad to hear you addin more live rock. Most people use the rule of thumb for 1 lb per gallon
Don't forget, adding live rock can give you a mini cycle. I would add the rock before you add anything else
05-23-2011, 01:03 PM
Very good feeling when things settle and look better...
If you are going to add more rock, don't worry too much about your nitrates. Like Cliff says, more rock will likely trigger a mini-cycle.
You might want to hang on to those smaller peices you are thinking of removing - rock rubble is good for the sump, if you don't want it in your display, plus might be handy for down the road when you have made the jump to corals. Plus it is part of filtration as well, and you don't really want to be reducing that.
05-23-2011, 01:16 PM
My sump is filled with LR fragments as the filtration media, lol. But yeah, that's a great idea! I might do that instead of ditching them.
And yeah, much more liverock is going to go into the tank. Hopefully I can get some good pieces from my friend as he merges his two 4foots into his 6foot tank, his LR is amazing and has been in his tanks for about four years now. I doubt I can get some substrate from him, but I'll see if he's willing to part with some.
My plan is to get more rock and some good quality substrate, then some hermits and peppermint shrimp. I'm about 60% sure the crab I have in my tank right now is an emerald crab, but I'm not really certain. I'm looking at getting some snails to help keep the substrate and the LR clean and nice, but I'm not sure how many of them and hermit's I'm going to have to get. But that's a bit down the road yet!
05-24-2011, 03:38 AM
'Trate: 40-80 (Oh dear)
05-24-2011, 11:41 AM
Keep in mind, once you add more live rock, you should be able to grow more the bacteria that eats nitrate and converts it to nitrogen gas. That's one of the differences between fresh water and salt water aquariums. No need to panic right now. A smaller (30%) water change before adding the new live rock should be all you need to do.
05-24-2011, 01:37 PM
Well said Cliff...
Crawdad make sure you get the rock in there sooner than later since it'll add more surface area for the benefitial bacteria to colonize on. Also if you add too much rock it could set you back completely to the start again. If you have too much rock and too much of a die off and it could be too much for you existing bb posibly setting you all the way back to the starting block. Not saying that will definitely happen but just saying that you should keep it in mind lol
05-24-2011, 02:10 PM
Thanks Cliff! I changed out my filtration pad and gave it a good clean (which is where I assume my sudden Nitrate bloom came from), so hopefully I see a drop soon. It was a sort of murky brown due to all the stuff it filtered out after transit. I shoulda done that sooner.
I'll definately be doing my best to get more LR very, very soon, too. I don't want to overload it so I might do it in two batches, but I'm going to be buying liverock that's already doing it's thing instead of getting "dead" rock, so hopefully I don't see too many problems by adding more rock. Thanks for the heads up, Hockey!
05-25-2011, 06:36 AM
Good news: I've got loads more rock and even two different types of substrate! Here's today's tests and some pictures~
Specific Grav: 1.022-1.024
Nitrate: 20-40 (Going back down!)
Phos: 0.5-1.0 ppm (Seems to have risen slightly.)
And here's some pictures of the rock - it hasn't been set up properly, and I'm going to add the substrate when I'm happy with the way it looks (with input from the family, of course). The first type to go in will be crushed coral gravel, large bits I'll pack around the rock to keep it sturdy and stable, and the second type (Calci-Carb, apparently) will go on top of that to make it look nice.
And now, the actual pictures:
And the other one which looks not very nice;
05-25-2011, 12:00 PM
Good to hear your nitrates are going down. You also have some nice flat pcs of rock in there. That will sure give you a lot of flexability when you arrange your rock.
I would be a little concerned about that phosphate level. That stuff can kick-start some serious algae if your not careful. You might want to consider adding a phosphate remover / reactor to your set-up. Just something to think about
05-25-2011, 01:07 PM
I had expected that I'd need to get one. I'm going to see how much it wil cost me to get a decent one, and I'll be doing a little more digging on the 'net to find alternatives. Still considering an algae scrubber, but I don't quite have the funds or room for one of those. Still something I'm thinking about, though.
Two little Fishies Phosban reactor and a Minijet 404 is all you need. The reactor is about $30 and the pump maybe $15. It's the GFO that's expensive.
05-26-2011, 02:28 AM
Er, what's a GFO? I feel I should know this off the bat, but I do not :/
Sorry. Granulated Ferric Oxide. You can order it from Bulk Reef Supply. Or you can buy Phosban. Same thing.
05-26-2011, 06:40 AM
Oh! Right, I understand now. I've got a few phos-removing pads here right now that I'll be adding to my sump after the tank settles down again, and with my Protien Skimmer arriving tomorrow it'll be a few days before I start looking at the good quality reactors.
05-26-2011, 11:24 AM
If you are buying a new skimmer, don't foget that it will need about a 1 to 2 week break-in period before it will start working correctly. Just set it for the most air intake you can and let it run.
05-26-2011, 01:02 PM
I can do that. Is there any sign to know when the skimmer is running "correctly"? Or just leave it for a week or so and then turn it down?
Back to tank news: I finish aquascaping tomorrow. I'm trying to get the liverock structure perfect. I'm happy with it so far, though, and it's looking very nice. Then I can add the rest of my substrate (the crushed coral and calci-sand). I also got three tiny turbo snails and a large red hermit today for really cheap, which I acclimitised over the course of an hour or so before adding in.
Things are really looking up! That's four snails, two hermits, one emerald crab and six black brittle stars. I feel that will be quite enough, I don't plan to overload on fish.
05-26-2011, 02:58 PM
Did adding the live rock cause any type of mini-cycle in you tank ?
I wouldn't be adding any CUC until you know for sure there is no ammonia in the water. I know they are tough little critters but I always like to play it safe.
05-27-2011, 01:35 AM
'Trate: 20-40ppm (remaining stable)
Phos: 0.5-1.0 ppm.
Water perameters are remaining great. I finished aquascaping today and added my calci-sand, and everything is looking great. More pictures to come later today!
05-27-2011, 01:46 AM
Looking forward to more pics
Great to hear your parameters are good
05-27-2011, 03:32 AM
And this is it! I would like to get more rock in, to be honest, but I'm very happy with how I've set this up. Lots of little nooks and crannies and little caves for things to hide in, and I hope I've managed to get a system of caves linked together for my eventual Snowflake Eel.
Water is good and aquascaping is done, I've got a healthy load of CUC and a nice light. Now all that's left is to start doing research on the fish I plan to have!
05-27-2011, 07:08 AM
Double newspost: skimmer is in and running. I've opened the water return piping all the way, so there's no air bubbles reaching the collection cup. The bubbles are very large and burst before they reach it - I assume this is what "set it to the most air intake" meant? I can't really adjust my air intake but closing off the water return makes the skimmer have finer bubbles and pump faster/higher into the cup.
Anyway, everything is looking great!
05-27-2011, 11:47 AM
Sounds like everything is moving along for you. I like how you have little caves in the rock. With good flow in the tank, that should really help with your filtration and water quality.
I would let your skimmer run like that for about a week or two, then start very slowly adjusting it until you start getting some bubbles reaching the cup. Some skimmers can be really touchy so just take it slow
05-28-2011, 02:10 AM
The bubbles eventually reach the cup, but most are so large they burst before that happens. I'll be sure to give it time to run in before I start fiddling with it.
05-29-2011, 04:02 AM
Today's wate test:
'Tate: Still 20-40 ppm
Phos-removing pads are going in today. Eveything is still looking pefect!
05-29-2011, 01:25 PM
Double news is DOUBLE!
Today (tonight, really), I got a little male Percula clown from my friend. He lost his female partner due to shenanigans, so I'm going to wait a week before I buy a female to add to the tank with him. I also found out I have a pistol shimp! There's been this wierd snapping/splintering sound coming from my tank for the last few nights and I just got a glimpse of it tonight - it looks like a Tiger Pistol Shrimp but I am very much not certain about that.
05-29-2011, 01:38 PM
I hope you are going to do LOTS of water changing if you have a fish in there?
with marine you need to get your nitrates much lower than fresh water.
If I were you I'd be trying to get the nitrate down below 10!
05-29-2011, 01:53 PM
+1 to the above
Marine fish can be more sensative to nitrate than a lot of fresh water fish. 20ppm is OK, 10 ppm is better.
With that high of nitrate and phosphate levels at the same time, you could get a lot of algae. I would suggest limiting your lighting until those levels are lower. It can be really hard to get rid of hair algae once it takes hold
Also, pistol shrimp can easily be confused with Mantis Shrimp if you go by the sound they sound they make alone. I've heard them both at our SW LFS. Just make sure you can get a really good look to ID this guy. It can be hard to get a really good look at these guys as they are both pretty fast and like to hide a lot
05-29-2011, 02:40 PM
I took a look at it, and it's very much not a mantis shrimp. I was pretty worried about that, but the colouring is all wrong. He's blackish-and-white banded, not vibrant greens and oranges.
And oh my yes, I will be keeping on top of this Nitrate issue. A good water change will be happening very soon, and no more fish will go in until I'm happy and the levels stabilise. I don't want this to go south! I want my tank really nice and healthy and for everything in there to be happy.
Also, every time I hear this shrimp go CLICK it makes me have a heart attack about the tank. I constantly think it's about to shatter or fall through the floor. I stress about that.
05-30-2011, 02:03 AM
Nitrate: 20ppm (a solid 20, looks great)
05-30-2011, 03:13 AM
Great to see the nitrates and phosphates are coming down
Great job !!!
05-30-2011, 03:18 AM
I'm incredibly happy that it's doing so! My skimmer is pulling out some brown sludge already, and I may have to empty it in the near future just to make sure nothing horrible happens with it. The tank is very clear and the rock looks great, I even scored a sort of saltwater plant from my friend that apparently helps suck up nitrate and phosphate. It looks like a little fern, and it's pretty nice on the rock.
Jones, my little percula clown is very happy! He is exploring his tank but seems to prefer swimming in the water flow. No signs of illness or stress on him.
I am very happy with my tank right now!
Definately sounds like you have a tiger pistol shrimp by the description. Kind of a cool little critter. He will excavate under the rocks to make his home. So just be sure your rock is seated well deep in the sand so it doesn't shift. They will pop now and then, and it kind of unerves you at first. But he can't shatter the tank. They are capable of killing smaller fish, but won't likely do so. They'll more likely go after your snails and hermies on occaision. But I still haven't found that to be a problem with mine. I deliberately put mine in the tank. When your perameters level out a bit, go get a shrimp goby for him. They will (most of the time) pair up. The goby will guard the entrance to the shrimp's cave.
This accomplishes three things:
1. Keeps the shrimp safer from being attacked by your fish
2. The shrimp / goby pair make an interesting addition to the tank.
3. The shrimp will be less likely to "shoot" at your fish if they get curious or too close.
05-31-2011, 05:07 AM
It seems I have two tiny ones. One is a really startling red (lacking the distinctive Mantis head/claws) and the other is banded black and white. Pretty nifty stuff.
Added a new 2200L/hour powerhead to the tank today, got amazing flow going on in there. Unfortuantly Jones can no longer swim in his favourite spot, but he seems okay.
'Trate: 10-20ppm (falling slowly!)
05-31-2011, 12:27 PM
Cool find with the two little critters! Pistol shrimp are really cool and gem I've never heard of that relationship before between a pistol before haha cool stuff
Oh yeah....it's a symbiotic relationship. There are many many species of goby that will pair up with a pistol shrimp. Mine is an Orange striped prawn goby aka Randall's Goby or for you scientic types (DAVE) (Amblyeleotris randalli)
06-02-2011, 03:10 AM
I have a pink-tailed shrimp goby and two blue damsels. Both are healthy and look good, and 'm currently acclimitising them to my tank.
I've had a bit of algae growth on my substrate, but that was expected. It's not very dark, and is just a light shade of brown. It looks okay.
Today's perameters ae also good:
Salinity 1.024-1.025 (a little high, but I know what the cause is - evapouration. Fixing today)
06-03-2011, 05:39 AM
Algae growth on my substrate is a little worse today. Going to give it a siphon when I do a water change this weekend. One of my hermit crabs decided now would be a good time to change shells, and has done so right in plain sight. It was really interesting to watch! Both blue damsels are looking fine, but are keeping to the rocks. Jones my Percula clown is still as enegetic as ever. My pink-spotted shrimp goby has gone to gound, haven't seen him since I put him in the tank. Not worried about him yet.
Things ae looking good. Replacing the evapourated water did the trick and my salinity is looking fine.
06-03-2011, 04:34 PM
Water tests are lookin good man! Watch the phosphate though, that'll be the source of you algae (I'm sure you already know this though lol)
Other than that it's looking good!!
06-04-2011, 04:04 AM
Yeah, keeping an eye on that Phosphate. Good thing is, today's algae is no worse that yesterdays! I've got my water mixing up now for tomorrow's water change, and I'll be siphoning out some of the algae on my substrate then.
Bit of an ammonia hike, but I expected that, because now I'm feeding fish in the tank. I'm doing my best not to overfeed, so I hope it doesn't get too much worse. Tomorrow is my water change so hopefully it reduces it back to 0ppm, but we'll see.
06-05-2011, 05:06 AM
Ammonia has spiked a bit. So far within safe levels, and I added a good dose of cycle into the sump to help keep up. Everything else is at perfect levels, my fish are eating and very healthy.
I love my tank!
06-05-2011, 02:34 PM
IMO, cycle is not that good of a product. I would recommend the below one
It is not as good as the stated on the label, but i will help you through the ammoina spike. Have you found the cause of the spike yet ?
06-05-2011, 02:50 PM
I beleive it is from the addition of my new tank residents and the food I am feeding them. I'll pick up some of that product you suggested, cycle was just what I had on hand. I'm keeping a close eye on the ammonia level, but my Nitrite and Nitrate havn't spiked yet so hopefully, if I keep on top of it, I can keep the ammonia down without any complications.
06-05-2011, 03:20 PM
I think you've jumped in with the fish far too early, especially having more than one.
I put my first fish and shrimp in 3 weeks after reaching 0 for all readings.
Now you have got them in no point dwelling though, plenty WCs and time is what I'd recommend tbh. Forget your cycle products and let the natural stuff happen.
Just DO NOT add anything else to the tank till long after it settles down!!!
06-05-2011, 03:28 PM
I had wanted to keep the tank clea of fishy inhabitants for at least a month but apparently I have no say in what goes on in my tank? I was okay with the clownfish because he was only one fish to care for and it would not throw my readings out wildly, but then I "had" to take fish from the guy who sold me my tank because it was either that or he'd just kill them or something. I don't know. I decided they'd have a better chance in my tank that just getting frozen/tossed on the lawn.
I just hope I keep on top of it.
06-05-2011, 05:07 PM
You might have to step up the water changes, there's not really a safe level of ammonia. You're keeping a sharp eye on the fish and monitoring levels so you should be able to keep your fish alive thru the spike. Tough to let fish go if you can save them...I was thinking you got too keen too fast on stocking too, until you mentioned the circumstances. If they die anyway tho from ammonia poisoning, you didn't really do them any favours.
Worst case is you might have to throw together a FO tank with a regular filter and get the fish out of the tank until levels drop, and then stock them to the display tank in stages from there.
good luck! Keep us posted - so long as you keep on top of it things should pull out ok.
06-05-2011, 06:48 PM
Yea not to beat the dead horse but I'd up the WC's now, I didn't know you had any fish in there so I was like why's his ammo going up so fast? lol
Anyways given the circumstances I woulda done the same thing. Hopefully they'll be ok, the fish you have a pretty resilient ones so they should be fine as long as you keep a close eye on em
Best of luck!!
06-05-2011, 07:00 PM
I still think you got something going on in your tank causeing the ammoina spike other than ( and/or in addition to) adding the fish. Just by looking at your pics, I'd say you have about 60lbs of live rock in there (not including what you may still have in your sump) which has already gone through the curing process. That should be more than enough to support the 4 fish, crab, and shrimp you have in there.
Have you changed anything else in the tank ? Maybe adding a pc or two or two of rock ?
06-05-2011, 07:42 PM
Yeah, I think he's got enough LR there to support what he has, too, but likely they were added too fast/all at once, rather than spacing them out.
06-06-2011, 12:42 AM
Other than the fish, I'm not sure what would be causing my ammonia spike. I'm pretty certain it was adding too many fish too fast. I was keen to keep it fish free for a while, but life conspired against that. I refuse to let this go bad, and I'm going to do everything in my power to ensure the tank returns to normal as quickly as possible.
06-06-2011, 02:08 AM
Ammonia test is very slightly not 0.5 ppm but it's not exactly 0.25ppm. Hopefully this means a slight reduction in the ammonia level. Phos also dopped slightly, good news.
06-07-2011, 07:05 AM
Ammo: 0ppm - 0.25ppm
Ammonia is definately dropping, which is very good to know.
06-07-2011, 02:44 PM
thats looing better so keep it up.
What sort of water changes you been doing?
06-07-2011, 03:14 PM
Did my first week's water change on Sunday this week (which I think translates to about satuday for most americans). It was just over 10% water change at 60L, I cleaned out my skimmer cup and cleaned my prefilter media. Gravel siphon went well, removed most of the brown algae growing on my substrate, which returned in short order, though I expected that.
Edited: Oh, I also added a nice big load of Cycle/BioBoost to help kickstart the beneficial bacteria in to keeping up with the sudden load of fish. I think it helped.
06-07-2011, 06:23 PM
Glad to see things are improving... the brown algae (diatoms) will come back very quickly but don't worry about it haha it's just a natural stage of the SW tanks
06-08-2011, 01:08 AM
Haha, yeah, I did my reading on that. The tank is looking great and the water is returning to what it should be, so I am one very happy camper.
06-14-2011, 05:52 AM
Well it's been nearly a week. Here's todays water tests!
Salinity: 1.022-1.024. I am really happy I've had no trouble with this.
PH: 8.2 Also really happy about this. I was very worried it would fluctuate wildly, but it hasn't.
Ammo: 0ppm. Bar the slight hiccup, this has settled very well on its own.
Nitrite: 0ppm. I have had no trouble with this from day 1, which makes me feel very proud.
Nitrate: 5.0-10 ppm. Nitrates started pretty high, but have fallen quite well.
Phos: 0.5-1ppm This has been a bit of an issue for me, due to the high Phos content in my water. The phos removing pads have been doing really well, though, so I'm happy.
Additionally, the brown algae bloom I experienced has fallen back in its intensity. It's no longer all over the substrate in the abundance it was before, and it's only patchy on the glass of the tank. It's all very good! Fish are healthy and eating, and apparently my scooter blenny is not a blenny but a dragonette. It's eating healthily and even eats the bloodworm I add nightly for it. My two gobies are more adventurous now, and my pink tailed shrimp goby is out and about often, gathering fallen food the damsels haven't found. They're both rather plump, but not "obese". It's a very healthy look, actually. Jones, my percula clown, is still alone in the tank, but has stood his ground against the Damsels and eats well. Pellets and frozen food are his and the damsels diet, which they've taken to very well.
Everything is stable, the fish are healthy, and I plan to add more liverock very soon to prepare for when I'm ready to add my snowflake.
06-14-2011, 07:52 AM
No pictures??? You're killing us.
06-16-2011, 07:35 AM
Today I added a White Cheek Tang to my tank! He acclimitised well and is currently getting to know my damsels, who are displaying agressively. I also added four new peices of live rock, two of which have AMAZING coraline growth. All four peices are totally live, and I've got some sponges which is cool!
I'm a bit worried, though, because some settling of the rocks occured as I was adding the new peices, and I'm horrified of the thought that I may have killed my Pink Tailed Shrimp Goby. I hope it isn't so! Water tests tomorrow~
06-16-2011, 02:04 PM
You'll just have to keep an eye open for your shrimp goby
Did you cure the live rock before adding it to your tank ?
06-16-2011, 03:06 PM
All the liverock I added was cured and transported in quite a quantity of water from the tank.
06-24-2011, 08:14 AM
I think it's time for another test! It sure is.
There's a bit of algae bloom in my tank, both brown and green varieties. That's a bit of a problem, I think. My snails are going for it, but they're tiny. I'll have to get in with my tank scrubby pad to clear off what I can. Speaking of TANGS, my White Cheek developed White Spot three days after I acclimitsed him, but it disappeared within a day and he shows no signs of it returning. I am led to beleive this is normal for tangs. He is healthy and he eats well, and the Damsels have not harrased him since he was introduced. Everything is looking fine!
Even my Pink Tailed Shrimp Goby, he came out of hiding a few days ago and has been eating well since then. His tail is a bit ragged, perhaps I did hurt him a little while I was adding the new rock, but he doesn't seem lethargic and he doesn't have whitespot, so I'm remaining optemistic.
06-30-2011, 05:00 AM
Well, due to Jack's recurring whitespot, I'm going to be setting up a hospital tank. Which I really should have had since day dot, but I guess late is better than never.
Speaking of late, something shattered my hermit crabs, and I have a sneaking suspicion it's a mantis shrimp. I'm gonna make a trap within the week and place it in the tank (after cleaning) to see if I can catch the little blighter.
07-01-2011, 06:00 AM
Hospital tank is set up and my White Cheek Tang is having a fit in it. He hurt himself as I was trying to catch him, hopefully not badly. Whitespot medicine is in, and I'll be keeping a close eye on him over the next few days.
The tank proper is pretty filthy, but it'l have to wait another day or two until I can do a proper clean.
07-01-2011, 06:50 AM
And now one of my damsels has died. I looked away for a moment and turned back to it laying upside down at the bottom of the tank, gasping in a really bad way. I gently scooped it up into my net and let it sit in a calmer area of the tank, but it didn't right itself and began thrashing/shaking wildly a few moments later. Now it's dead.
I mourn, and am at a loss as to why this happened.
07-01-2011, 06:57 AM
IDK what could have happened
Dose you damsel have any signs of ick ?
Are your parameters the same since the last time you tested
07-01-2011, 08:34 AM
Neither of the damsels have (or had) ich. THe other one is fine and just ate and is currently hiding in its cave. I'll have to test the water tomorrow, but PH and Ammo are 8.2 and 0 respectively (I check these daily). I'll do a full check tomorrow as I mix up the new salt mix.
07-03-2011, 06:31 AM
Okay! Todays tests were:
None of my other fish are presenting with white spot, and Jack is recovering in the hospital tank quite nicely. Algae is still present in the tank but being grazed upon by the new Threadfin Butterfly Fish, who came from a friend of mine and is healthy and eating well! I watched it eat two aiptasia within five minutes of going into the tank, so he's active and beautiful.
Everything is looking good! I'm just confused by the strange and random loss of my damsel the other day.
07-03-2011, 11:54 AM
I guess with your tank pretty much stocked you have decided against getting a snowflake eel as you had stated earlier in the thread?
I don't have one but I don't believe a moray eel is compatible with your tank as it stands now.
07-03-2011, 03:10 PM
Lots of differing opinions about it, and I'm not sure where I stand on it. I would love to get myself a little snowflake eel, but I do worry that if I DO end up getting one it'll eat my fish.
I'll do more thinking on this over the next few months and see if I can do any more research into it, maybe ask some snowflake eel owners on the net about thier experiences.
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