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marine guys help needed

Discussion in 'Fish and Aquarium - all types' started by sleeper, Jun 14, 2005.

  1. sleeper

    sleeper New Member

    Hi all. Which on this forum are marine keepers? I have a few basic questions about early phases in the process of setting up a marine tank...

    1) Why is the sand so easily disturbed? Will this happen every time something touches it? It's going all over the tank just by me moving some of the live rock around.

    2) How can I tell whether the live rock is seeding the sand (once I get it under control!)

    3) How long would you recommend waiting until I throw in a hermit crab or two, a snail or two, and a cleaner shrimp to get the larger cycling started?

    4) Any suggestions about cooling the water to below the 85 it's stalled at (DC temps are averageing 85-95 these days)
  2. sleeper

    sleeper New Member

    Nota single marine person on this forum??
  3. hooterhead

    hooterhead New Member

    what's up. marine guy here. ooook. are you using any kind of filtration other than LR? how big is the tank? how much LR do you have? basically give me all the info so i can better help you.

    1.the sand will eventually get better. just give it time. in the time being you can stir it up every once in a while to get some of the smaller particles out. this will also help bacteria colonize the sand. it's easier for them to grab hold of the smaller particles.

    2.you usually can't tell the LR is seeding the sand. did you get good LR? is coraline algea growing on it? (red, purple, pink stuff) if so it's probably pretty good stuff. this process could take a while depending on your water qualities.

    3. the cycling is already going. the die-off from the LR has already begun this process. how long has the tank had the LR in it? usually a tank will cycle within a couple of weeks at the longest when LR is involved. i suggest taking a water sample to your LFS and get it tested to see where you are. they will be able to tell you where you are in the cycle and when it will be ok to add inhabitants.

    4. 85-95!!!!!!!!! where do you live? do you not use a/c? i'm in texas and my tanks don't get over 80. how is your tank set-up? do you use a heater? look at http://www.aquariumguys.com/index.html they usually have the best prices. or check on ebay. a chiller is the best option. but they are extremely expensive. you've gotta get those temps down before you put anything in there.
  4. sleeper

    sleeper New Member

    The tank is a 29 gal, I have only about 7 lbs. of live rock I'll add up to 5 lbs. more this week... I have two overhang filters going right now until the protein skimmer I ordered arrives. Then I'll probably take those off and just let the skimmer/LR do their thing.

    The sand has already settled... I also put a piece of raw squid in there from my restaurant to get the bacteria colonizing... I too am surprised about the water temp (I don't actually use AC because I'm a tree hugger of Carribean descent) ;) But a heater won't bring temp DOWN, right, so I dunno how that would effect it... I also have my doubts about the reliability of the thermometer because I've done freshwater for a while now and I know what 85 degree water feels like (discus) ...

    Hooter, what fish do you have in your tank? How long did you wait to put in larger (non snail/crab) livestock?
  5. hooterhead

    hooterhead New Member

    i've got a gold stripe maroon clown(who was my first sw fish 3 years ago), humu humu(picasso) triggerfish, long nose hawkfish, and a 14" snowflake eel. i also have a 2 gallon mini reef, 55 gal african cichlid tank, and a 5 gallon dwarf puffer tank. i waited until after having my fish for a week or two before putting a clean up crew in. they are there to clean up the mess fish make, so it would make sense to have a mess before adding them.

    what kind of filters are you using? and for what size aquarium? i'd probably keep one of them going even after you get your skimmer in. just until you get the proper amount of rock in there. you can buy base rock if you want because the LR will seed the base. and it's much cheaper. the rule's of thumb are: for a FOWLR, 1 lb. per gallon will do for filtration, and for reef you'll need 1 1/2 - 2 lbs of rock per gallon. i don't know what you are going for but those are the general rules so i'd keep one filter going to make sure that de-nitrification is going on.

    the temp thing probably won't be a problem. i've heard of people actually keeping reefs hotter than yours is now. so the thing you'll have to do is take longer to acclimate your livestock. OH! i forgot to ask you something. is there a top on the tank? glass or plastic. either one will keep the heat in. so if there is, try taking it off and wrig the light to stay on top and leave it like that for a couple of days to see what the temp does. it should come down. if this helps, there are brackets that will lift your lights up off of the tank and hold them there.

    if i've been too vague or confused you on anything don't hesitate to ask again. sometimes i ramble and don't make sense to anyone else but myself.
  6. Fishfirst

    Fishfirst New Member

    As soon as ammonia goes to 0 and nitrites goes to 0 inverts can be added. Do you have any special lighting? If you don't you can't keep true "live rock" live rock needs just as much lighting as corals to stay alive, so there really isn't such a thing as a FOWLR Tank, (fish only with liverock) its really a reef. A fowler tank that has no special lighting is basically some rocks with some bacteria on them, and maybe a few low light species of algae, where as real live rock has sponges, macro/micro algae, worms, pods, and other inverts on it. Temps higher than 83 degrees is risky to put fish in (as well as some of the sensitive inverts) without extra aeration, and is death row to corals.
  7. hooterhead

    hooterhead New Member

    you can too keep "true live rock" under standard lighting. i've been doing it for 3 years. high temps are not death row for corals, i know a guy who keeps a beautiful 150 gal reef at 90-92 degrees so that is also false.
  8. sleeper

    sleeper New Member

    I got the ammonia down to nothing the nitrites are down to JUST above zero, and I just added a maroon clown last night (per the advice of my neighbor, a bigtime marine guy who cleans tanks). The clown seems ok, his name is "Eddie". The temp is levelled out at 80, the live rock seems "live" in the sense that at least two of the pieces have some kind of fanlike worms living all over them.

    I can't invest in awesome lighting just yet, but eventually I will, and then I'll put in some more nice rock, possibly a frag from one of my friends, and a nice bubble tip for the maroon.

    But for now, I'll just wait up and then put in some hermits, a snail or two, and maybe a cleaner shrimp.

    Do either of you guys have experience with the pistol shrimp/goby combo, jawfish, or mandarins? I know I obviously can't do all three options, but those are the ones I'm weighing...
  9. hooterhead

    hooterhead New Member

    that's good that he's doing fine so far. is it the yellow stripe maroon or just the white. i absolutely love mine. had him for 3 years now. it's also good that you got the fans and such. one word of caution, the anemone...wait a while before you put one in there. they like well established tanks. you don't wanna drop $50 on a nice bubble tip and have it die 2 weeks later. your neighbor should be able to tell you when it's ok.

    good luck with everything and keep us posted on how it's going.
  10. sleeper

    sleeper New Member

    Hooter, are your dwarf puffers brackish or fully salt? Would they mess with shrimp/crabs?

    I guess no one has any experience with jawfish, huh? Those dudes look cool.
  11. Used

    Used New Member

    Theres a few different varieties of Jawfish Yellowhead, Dusky, and Black Cap but they all need a sand bottom for borrowing. They eat meaty foods.

    Mandarins need a 30 gallon or larger well established aquarium. Grow to 4 inches. They need to be fed live Brine shrimp, frozen foods and feeds on other citters like pods.

    Pistol shrimp/Gobie combos are really unique. The shrimp and gobie spend time together in a borrow the shrimp digs.
  12. hooterhead

    hooterhead New Member

    the dwarves are fully fresh. and i haven't seen them mess with anything yet but i haven't put much in there with them. just a fiddler crab and they don't even aknowledge the fact that he is there. i have heard of them eating shrimps though. they do have a beak afterall. they do have a lot of snails in there to keep thier "teeth" worn down on.
  13. Fishfirst

    Fishfirst New Member

    obviously hooterhead you've never seen REAL liverock. I'm sure yours doesn't have macro algae, muscles, sponges and corals on it like MINE and other reefers out there do. Seriously N.O. lighting is not for a FOWLR tank, you end up with dead rock, I've kept "live rock" under N.O.'s before, and they look a WHOLE lot different under my VHO's and MHs'. As for the temperature thing, I kinda gotta laugh. 92 degrees is insaine, does he realize he's depriving his fish of much needed oxygen? Most of the harder corals like LPS would turn to mush in that kind of heat, as would most fish.
    As for the pistol shrimp/goby combo... don't expect them to pair up unless they are paired in the LFS... most don't in the home aquarium. Mandarins unless eating frozen foods need at least 100lbs of liverock to survive long term (to produce enough pods). Maroon clown wouldn't of been my first choice as they can be aggressive, but not a horrible one either. If you find that your maroon bullies the rest of the inhabitants, switch up the decore and he'll probably settle down.
  14. hooterhead

    hooterhead New Member

    all i have to say is wow and add a little chuckle. you must be one of those people who think that thier way is the only way and if it's not your way then it must be wrong no matter what. how can you be sure what in the hell i have? you don't know me or what's in my tank so how dare you make assumptions on what my tank looks like. no i don't have macro, muscles and sponges but that's thanks to my trigger. he's picked it all off over the last year. and laugh if you want but i've seen the 92 degree reef. it's immaculate. so you need to keep your **** opinions to your self cause you don't know what in the ****l you are talking about.

    and maroons aren't as a ggressive as people usually think. well at least not MINE. but you probably wouldn't know about REAL maroons.

    EDIT: Debates are fine, but please try to keep it civil (that means you too Fishfirst). No personal attacks or name calling. And please watch your language.
  15. Fishfirst

    Fishfirst New Member

    actually I have great experiance with maroon clowns, and for that matter pretty much all fish/inverts/corals in this hobby. I ran a petstore for 3 years here in central wisconsin, and I sold many maroon clowns and I just want to point out that you don't have a big enough tank for any trigger listed in your sig, so I hope you plan on upgrading very soon. They are the most aggressive clown, the second aggressive is probably the tomato followed closely by the cinnemon. I can find several sources that back me up with the high temperature issue
    heres one
    and also a book that I have read lately but I forgot what it is called. "Corals..." something or other but I remember it being one of the most recommended coral books by RC. Also might I remind you that earlier in this thread you suggested a chiller... are you secretly going back on what you said about you can keep the temp up to 92 and still have a successful marine tank?

    And for that matter I didn't want to nitpick on your advice but now I'm going to anyway. Liverock and Livesand are two completely different things. Liverock may hold the benefital bacteria that will colonize the sand, but it will not have the organisms that reside in the sand, therefore you do not have "TRUE livesand" unless you aquire livesand from a local reefer/a distributer. Real livesand has many organisms that do not reside on liverock, and therefore biodiversity goes down when you seed sand with liverock.
    Also sleeper, a simple fan over the water should bring your temp down a reasonable amount. It'll increase evaporation but well worth it when you are talking about a $150 dollar chiller.
  16. sleeper

    sleeper New Member

    THanksfor the advice, guys, everything seems up and running pretty well. Temp has stabilized right about 79-80, which I know is SLIGHTLY high but totally within reason. The clown eats like it's his job, which, being an animal, I guess it is. The other day I added some inverts and a scooter blenny. They're all doing very well also.

    I know the scooter may depopulate the pods population of the live rock, esp. since it's a smaller tank. I just purchased 300 amhipods online, which should be coming in the next day or so. Can anyone discuss the pros and cons of putting them directly in the tank v. either in a separate 1gal or 5 gal tank v. in the biowheel filter. Obviously, I'm debating not putting them directly in so I can have a steady population. If I were to have a separate tank (worst option for me) what is the bare minimum I can use to operate the tank? Do I even need a filter for that?

    Thanks again.
  17. Fishfirst

    Fishfirst New Member

    You are very correct in assuming that your decision to get a scooter blenny was not the smartest, but since you are willing to commit to buying pods I guess its not a horrible thing. I'd get a cheap 10 gallon and some base rock or live rock with a sponge filter. Feed the pods the same thing you'd feed a fish and they'll be quite happy. For now I'd put in about 1/4 - 1/3 of your pod population in the 10 gallon and the rest in the tank right away. This way you can produce pods of your own and introduce them to your aquarium everytime you see the pod population become low. You could also think about getting a refuigum... this would connect to your main system and pods would slowly be carried out into your main display (in other words a constant supply of pods, the more expensive route but less work intensive).

    Keep your patience, good things never come quick in this hobby. :y_the_best:
  18. Fishfirst

    Fishfirst New Member

    I posted on this about a week ago but I guess I forgot to hit the submit button! The scooter blenny was a mistake... but one you are definately willing to commit to since you already got some pods in the mail. I would HIGHLY suggest a refugium *a safe haven* for your pods to breed in so you don't have to keep buying the suckers. You can get one at www.liveaquaria.com (actually they have a special on them right now making them the most affordible refugiums on the market). I would add all the pods to the refuguim, letting them slowly go into your system via getting sucked in through a syphon that runs from your fuge to your tank. That way the little guy has a constant supply of pods for him to eat. Also try frozen foods... with only a clown to compete with he might just be able to eat something like bloodworms or mysst shrimp.

    Best of luck :y_the_best:
  19. sleeper

    sleeper New Member

    Yeah, I had a friend loan me a 1 gall. tank that I've converted to a refugium. Also, I've convinced the scooter to eat brine shrimp, which I've frozen a soaking mixture of ground multivitamins, garlic, and marine plankton. She eats them like it was her job.

    I purchased 3 orders of pods, should arrive Thursday morning. I'm going to put one in the tank (about 100), and the other two in the fuge. But I'm much less worried since she was so enthusiastic about the brine.
  20. Fishfirst

    Fishfirst New Member

    try switching him over to frozen foods slowly. That way you can vary his diet up even more :)

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