View Full Version : How my tank was set up

02/27/2009, 11:24 PM
OK my reef was born feb 12th 09. I got my tank in the morning set up by lunch time. 26lbs. of live rock bimini pink live sand. The following monday took my water to get a quick test all was good except my ph was a little low dont remember how low but they gave me some ph buffer and i gave it less than half a tea spoon.Nitrates and all where ok on wensday my gf bring me a little perc clown. It was tiny. aclimation was simple turn off my lights put bag in water for 15 minutes took bag out opened it threw some of my water in there with a squirter closed bag up again waited like 5 minutes then removed fish and put it in my tank. That night i tried feeding nothing, next morning i tried again nothing, left on a errand came back for lunch and saw him swimming odd well not swimming going with the flow u can say. untill i found him about a hour later on a rock dead. and took him out. Told the guy at the store and they suggested me a trigger got him did the same procedure hes doing alright then on tuesday i think i went and asked if that trigger can have another fish with and he said the fox face. They told me they both do well there. my salinity has been stable at 1.022 on my hydrometer"i think thats for the salinity" i tested yeterday my tank for phosphates they where embarrasingly high i gues the fish crap alot i feed every other day. so i got a skimmer for my tank and today i tested my nitrates and i got 5.0 ppm at around 2pm today. Hopefully the skimmer will fix my water a bit atleast. Ohh 1 day b4 adding the trigger i added 5g of salt water i got 30 miles offshore fishing. i heard thats safe water to use.and yesterday i did a water change. 5 more gallons. today i wasnt able to but 2mro im removing the fish, gonna keep my tank fish free for a few days. Lol i feel like i just wrote an autobiography of my life the past few days.

02/27/2009, 11:28 PM
Forgot to mention my calcium is at 10 drops "thats what i understood " they said its ok. and i dont have my own phosphate tester cuz the good one cost like $90 and i dont trust the $12 one. if my buffer stays high would you guys think i should get a phosphate reactor?

02/28/2009, 01:07 AM
Sorry to hear about your loss, but please do use this as a learning experience and do remember your mistakes. I am going to start answering questions in the order you mentioned them.

Did you by any chance see anything unusual about your fish before you purchased them, such as swimming near the surface or bottom, any white dots on skin, pink gills, damaged scales or fins... etc... anything? Also in the future, make sure the fish has been at the shop for at least... lets say two week. Also ask the fish to be fed to make sure it's eating before buying it. Trust me on having the fish in the shop for a while and are eating before purchase. You can save lots of heartaches and money.

Then, make sure that your rocks are fully cured and tank cycled before introducing any livestock. That means no ammonia, nitrites, and low and stable nitrate reading for weeks. Seems like the you tank is still very new, and was even newer when you got your first fish, so an ammonia spike might have been the issue. Also, I would advise you to acclimate your future livestock for longer. I think most fish should do fine without drip acclimation, but do add only small amounts of water into the bag the fish came with several times, not just one large "squirt".

Now one thing about your choice of fish. The trigger and foxface are both somewhat large fish, and should be housed in a larger tank. This is not your fault that you received the wrong advice, but I would highly recommend you to read as much as you can and feel free to ask questions. This way, you will not only be more successful, but also enjoy the hobby a lot more.

Last thing, I am not sure about the water condition in Florida, but just be cautious about the water source. Ocean water may very well contain bacteria. Pollution is also a large problem in many areas.

And to answer your last question, don't think you will ever need a phosphate reactor. Why did you think you need it? Most people try to keep it to a minimum by using skimmers, phosphates, carbon sources, algae... etc, but never heard of adding phosphate. Fish food is a good source of phosphate by itself. Don't think you need more.

Don't worry about what may seem to be simple questions. Everyone started out new at this at some point in time and I am sure many people had the same issues as those you have mentioned. Asking questions is one of the most important things you can do for your tank. I just started my reef in January 2008, so I am still really new at this too (BTW, if you are thinking about adding corals, do that in at least a few months from now).

Happy reefing

02/28/2009, 07:55 AM
also make sure you're your buying livestock from a "clean" fish store. I drive to another city for fish because of that but its worth it.

02/28/2009, 08:22 AM
Thanks wuster for your comment. The water condition here in the gulf of mexico is not ideal near shore, but i do alot of fishing and we go out 30+ miles regularly fishing. out there the water is crystal clear. of course im aware that even that far there could be still some contaminates. The trigger and fox face where fed b4 i bought them so i wouldnt have to worrie about that till the other day. again the clown i kno nothing about my g/f was the one who bought it for me as a suprise, i didnt want to tell her to take it back or anything. As for the phosphate reactor , at another fish store " what deos LPS stand for?" they told me i can bring down my phosphate with this reactor i forgot what its called and adding some media there to bring down my phosphates, i already purchased a skimmer yesterday hoping for it to do some good. Yea and i want my tank fish free so i can control the water quality and do some research on some fish.

02/28/2009, 11:32 AM
Just my 2 cents.

Prooph seems to me like you go to a very untrustworthy store. No i wont say it is impossible that your tank cycled in less than a week, but i will say its highly unlikely. From what you have said it seems like it is in full cycle with the nitrates. The biggest pay off in this hobby to even have a glimpse of sucess is reasearch and lots of patience. I will not get down on you for your puchases but both fish are extremely big for your tank. A trigger requires a huge swimming distance and eats alot, which means lots of waste produced by that fish and lots of excess food going into your tank. Now all this excess and waste will show up as nitrates in your water. This will lead to algae blooms, cyano or red slime build up, and if they are allowed to get to high fish and coral death. I would suggest to you to get rid of the trigger and the foxface because they will not last long, and look into nano tank fish. Liveaquaria.com has a whole tab dedicated to nano fish. A rule of thumb i use is the 4 gallons per inch rule. By this i mean imagine 4 gallons of water volume for every inch that fish will be at full growth. Also on the acclimation of your fish, i would use the drip on every fish. Its about a 1.5 to 2 hour acclimation time that will never let you down, unless the fish is sick. The skimmer is a good purchase but dont expect it to do all the work for you, regular water changes are great too. As for the sea water i would quit this. I would not want to add in all the contaminents that could be in the water, such as disease and others. I would use only rodi water to do anything in a home aquarium. I would deffinatly do some more reading and ask some more questions, and learn the ultimate in rule, patience it is key to your success.

02/28/2009, 11:59 AM
Oops. My bad. Yea, the phosphate reactor could be used to bring down your phosphate, but I don't think it is generally needed for a LPS tank. Do you currently have any corals in your tank because LPS means large polyped stony, which is a type of coral. On the other hand, measure your phosphate levels before buying any phosphate reactor or media. Some stores will get you to buy anything and everything. Don't purchase from those stores!!

02/28/2009, 03:16 PM
Yeah i need to get those guys out, its 4:09 already and i havent had a chance been busy in the house and on the road all day. I want to have my tank free of fish for atleast a few days till i see that my tank is back to normal. and yeah now im getting some stupid algea growing on my glass.

02/28/2009, 04:36 PM
oly a few days may not be enough. you need to wait until your tank has fully cycled which could take weeks. as you add to your tank you will be only prolmonging the cycle. a phosphate reactor is an absoulutly good purcjase. this will run gfo and carbon reducing algae growth. but you need to let the tank ru its cycle.nn