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Thread: New to salt water

  1. #1
    Registered User howard24's Avatar

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    New to salt water

    So my wife wanted to convert her 36 gal corner tank from fresh to saltwater for christmas. So i did a lot of research and found someone on craigslist locally selling a bunch of stuff for a saltwater tank he couldn't keep any longer due to traveling. I got a power head, Hang on refug, protein skimmer, live rock and canister filter. I then went and picked up some live rock from PetCo. I started a no fish cycle and watched closely for the cycle to go through before adding any fish or corals. I have been able to keep the salinity at about 1.024 and the PH 8.0 and nitrate, ammonia and phosphates at 0. Ive been doing a 10 gallon water change weekly with RO water. After tank cycled I got four or five different hermit crabs, a few snails, fire fish and leather coral after a week or two I added 2 clowns. Another week or two I added a yellow tang, green star polyps and a Kenyan tree on a rock with brown polyps. Another week or two added a little blue damsel and a zebra bar goby and a pulsing Xenia. I think i got a banded coral shrimp as a hitch hiker. Last edition is a pipe organ coral.

    I think I might have gone about setting it up wrong, I lost my first fish today the yellow tang and I couldn't find anything wrong with the water. I was told I should get more live rock and ditch the canister filter. I think I would like to just get a different tank. Maybe a 55-75 gal and get a good refuge under the tank and do it right. I just guess it comes down to money. Peptic is doing there $1 a gallon sale right now. It seems that everyone selling tanks on craigslist wants what they paid 50 years ago for the tank. 55 Gallon for $1000 or something crazy. I got my 90 gal for $200 3 years ago full set up. I obviously had to put a lot into it to make it a high tech planted tank. If anyone has any advise for a newbie please help. Set up ideas ways I can make my tank better. I dont know the makes of most of the equipment I have.

  2. #2
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    I think you kinda added to much to soon . New tanks aren't vary stable and plus a yellow tang would out grow your tank .


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    Could've just been a bad fish. I'd wait it out, ensure your parameters stay stable. Don't add anything until things settle down. Let your tanks bioload catch up. Ensure you keep the canister clean as well. Try finding a tank that will fit inside your current stand, build it into a fuge and then drill the 36, if at Al possible
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    Welcome. I would test ammonia and Nitrites 2x per day. That is what will kill your fish.
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    Registered User howard24's Avatar

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    Mr aqua LFS told me wait a couple weeks and that the tang being so small would live comfortably in the tank for several years. Being new i took his advise.

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    Registered User howard24's Avatar

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    I tried to do some reading on building a refug under the tank but i think a ten gallon maybe a 20 long would fit not a lot of room under there. I dont really know were to start kinda confusing to me. I dont remember the measurements off the top of my head.

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    Registered User howard24's Avatar

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    Nitrites and ammonia are good. we also had the tang for a few weeks. I didn't really give it much for algae or veg diet. Might be a big factor.

  8. #8
    Just_Tim
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    If you're uncomfortable with adding a sump you could pack as much live rock in that tank as possible. A good ratio is 2lbs per gallon. That would greatly increase your bio filtration.




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    Registered User Lakaikea's Avatar

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    Exactly how old is the tank? I saw you mention coverting for Christmas....
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    Registered User howard24's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lakaikea View Post
    Exactly how old is the tank? I saw you mention coverting for Christmas....
    4 months now, she said thats what she wanted for christmas. I started converting early, and was able to put fish in a weak or two before christmas.

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    Registered User howard24's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just_Tim View Post
    If you're uncomfortable with adding a sump you could pack as much live rock in that tank as possible. A good ratio is 2lbs per gallon. That would greatly increase your bio filtration.




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    Everyone tells me to loose the canister filter. Do you think with the current setup i could get ride of it now? I don't want to unhook it and not have enough live rock.

  12. #12
    Just_Tim
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    If your tank is drilled already then adding a sump is pretty easy. If it's a standard tank then you're looking at a hob overflow and return. Stay in your comfort level above all else. There's no sense in intentionally getting in over your head too soon.




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  13. #13
    Registered User howard24's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just_Tim View Post
    If your tank is drilled already then adding a sump is pretty easy. If it's a standard tank then you're looking at a hob overflow and return. Stay in your comfort level above all else. There's no sense in intentionally getting in over your head too soon.
    I am America and So can You
    Well I have the hang on refuge with protein skimmer.




    I dont want to cause problems with the canister if I dont need it. All of this is out of my comfort zone sense I've never had saltwater before. I think I'm a little short on live rock poundage per gallon. So if i can safely remove it that would be ok with me. Also have less tubes and hoses it the tank .

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    One fish death doesn't necessarily indicate a problem. If your other fish are looking okay, the water is clear, and the corals are looking okay, everything may be fine. Testing and caution are the best steps. Keep posting updates.

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    Registered User howard24's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe View Post
    One fish death doesn't necessarily indicate a problem. If your other fish are looking okay, the water is clear, and the corals are looking okay, everything may be fine. Testing and caution are the best steps. Keep posting updates.
    Everything else is looking ok as did the one that died. I guess if i can get ride of the canister filter to prevent future problems and make things easier on me then i would like to. I just dont know if i should wait to pick up more live rock.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar

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    I've been running a canister on my reef for 2 years, corals are happy and growing. I say do what works for you and your budget. Sumps are easier to maintain, but I use my canister just as a bio sponge and chemical housing place. I do know that the canisters break down easy with the corrosiveness of saltwater. Watch your propeller for wear amd the hoses for grime build up.

  17. #17
    Registered User howard24's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    I've been running a canister on my reef for 2 years, corals are happy and growing. I say do what works for you and your budget. Sumps are easier to maintain, but I use my canister just as a bio sponge and chemical housing place. I do know that the canisters break down easy with the corrosiveness of saltwater. Watch your propeller for wear amd the hoses for grime build up.
    Ok, I really only have bio stones in it. I put a piece of media with charcoal in it but thats it not much.

  18. #18
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    Why does every one hate canister filters but they don't hate filter socks . When Canister filter are the same thing . They may get dirty really fast witch is a good thing .


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  19. #19
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar

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    I have a 75, and my canister uses three trays. Bottom is my sponge, second is seachems matrix which is a de nitrate porcelain stone, and third is chemi pure and purigen. I've never achieved all 0 on the nitrogen cycle but I only have trace nitrates, 0 trites 0 ammonia.

  20. #20
    Just_Tim
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharkboy99999 View Post
    Why does every one hate canister filters but they don't hate filter socks . When Canister filter are the same thing . They may get dirty really fast witch is a good thing .


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    I don't personally hate canisters. I prefer sumps for many reasons. Holds all of my equipment I don't want to see, adds oxygen to the display, ease of access to media, clogs, build up. I could probably go further but still my point is I prefer sumps, I don't detest them in the slightest. Like Brian said if something is working for you keep doing that.




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