New to Saltwater, Bought an Established Tank

Discussion in 'New Hobbyists' started by Gotoboy, Jul 31, 2017.

  1. Gotoboy

    Gotoboy New Member

    Well my first posting here. I bought a friends 55 gallon saltwater set up. It has an over the tank filter. Not sure the size at this moment as it's in the other room. When I got the tank all was perfect so... I need to ask her exactly which light I have, etc. Seems to be LED.

    Like I said all has been great. I wanna buy a fractometer, skimmer and maybe new air pumps. Can't afford a sump and all that stuff.

    My one problem so far is algae has exploded. I ordered a test kit as she didn't have one. Will tests as soon as it gets here. Have snails, hermits and a shrimp. Had two one seems to be gone now. Not sure if it's hiding or died. She had the lights normal during the day and all blue at night. I am thinking of going 8 hours and dark at night. I did also order some pura filtration pad, boyd pure chemi blue and API reef master test kit. Should I buy something to kill the algae? I am also waiting on salt and will clean the algae right before the new water change.

    I do wonder if it was a good idea getting a tank already established THEN learn on the job. LOL Any advice on the algae or just plain advice would help.
     
  2. lmforbis

    lmforbis Administrator Staff Member

    Algae is caused by too much nitrate and phosphate. This is often from over feeding and poor maintenance.
    Maybe you can give us a few more details like how many and what kind of fish
    How much and how often you feed
    What is your maintenance routine
    Etc.
     
  3. Gotoboy

    Gotoboy New Member

    Well have only had it about a month. Have done 2 changes, about 25% each time. Then ran out of salt which I am waiting to be delivered this week.

    The tank has a yellow tang, 3 green chromis, a spotted blenny, yellow cucumber, peppermint shrimp, a royal gramma, a cardinal, some hermits and snails.

    I feed once a day, few flakes and two freeze dried shrimp crumbled up. Plankton every two days, about a cap full.

    Filter is using 2 charcoal sheets, 2 white ones. I noticed even with blinds closed that light was hitting the tank so covered with black cloth.
     
  4. jay0705

    jay0705 Administrator Staff Member

    Flake and freeze dried isn't helping your nitrates. Try frozen foods instead. What kind of water r u using?
     
  5. lmforbis

    lmforbis Administrator Staff Member

    Agreed and skip the plankton you don't need it.
     
  6. Gotoboy

    Gotoboy New Member

    Yeah I saw a guy say that in a video yesterday. Will switch soon. I use RO/DI water.
     
  7. Gotoboy

    Gotoboy New Member

    Okay will stop the plankton. What about the lighting and should I use a chemical to get rid of the algae? Last night I shut all the lights off.
     
  8. jay0705

    jay0705 Administrator Staff Member

    No chemicals. Maybe try some macro alage. But keeping your nitrates low will help
     
  9. geridoc

    geridoc Well-Known Member

    Provide less light during the day - zero hours of light for a few days won't hurt, and it will give the herbivores a chance to catch upon the algal growth. Do not use chemicals to control the algae - all that will happen is that it will grow back worse. You need to deal with the underlying problem of too much nutrient in the water. Keep making water changes, keep the lights off and keep the feedings small and you will eventually catch up with the algae. In this hobby the slowest solution always seems to be the best, so be patient.
     
  10. Jesterrace

    Jesterrace Member

    Agreed. I tried comparing a couple of very small feedings of Mysis Pellets to Reef Frenzy and my nitrates actually went down a hair with the reef frenzy. Easier for the protein skimmer to process, less waste, etc.
     
  11. Gotoboy

    Gotoboy New Member

    OK got the test kit. Will add pics of my filter and other products I got. One is chemi blue that you put in a filter as a medium. I also got new filter pads to try, instead of the old white and charcoal ones. I am adding the pics of those as well to see if they are worth it or not. Also got my salt and will add it to my ro/di water today. Will be making 40 gallons of it because when I vacuum it out I can spend more time sucking through the algae on the sand. SO thinking a 50% change. I am also including picsof the 2 tests, phosphate and nitrates. Phosphate is showing barely any. The nitrates look pretty bad.

    Sooooooo, I'll make the salt water tonight, by the way using Neo Marine salt. Then in a day or two will do the water change. Won't add the new filter media until after the change. If folks tell me to use the chemi, I assume I would use that in the one section of the filter, pad in the other. Will do a few days of no light, Then up the hours of light slowly.

    Now on a different note. I am having a bad evaporation rate. Can I put a sheet of plexi across the tank?

    Last question, sorry to be a pest, on adding rock. It came with established live rock. But have to add more. I went with dry rock. I decided to go this way because didn't wanna wait so long to acclimate the live rock. Then the algae went nuts and guess I have to wait awhile anyway. LOL Plus i like the look of this rock. Not sure of rules here on links so... I got the rock from Marco and it is their Key Largo dry rock. I have read you should put dry rock in a bucket of ro/di for a day. Is that true? They say they don't recommend placing it into an established tank without testing it. But then say---

    "Key Largo rock 100% free of organics or "pre cured" this makes it safe to tank in an established system without fear of an ammonia spike."

    I guess I lied. Had 3, not 2, questions. LOL. Can I just place them in without using putty?

    THANKS for all the help everyone! OK can't figure out how to add the pics straight from my computer.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
  12. jay0705

    jay0705 Administrator Staff Member

    Rinse the dry rock then yes its fjne to add np
     
  13. Gotoboy

    Gotoboy New Member

    Just rinse it in the rodi? Don't have to soak it for a day or two? Thank you!
     
  14. jay0705

    jay0705 Administrator Staff Member

    No soaking needed just a good rinse
     
  15. Gotoboy

    Gotoboy New Member

    I just looked reef frenzy up. They have the frozen and a few pellets. The pellets look like you get more food for your dollar. And it;s less to begin with. The frozen is 20 for 8 oz.

    Which are you using?
     
  16. Jesterrace

    Jesterrace Member

    The Frozen. As mentioned the dry stuff creates more waste. I only keep pellets around as a backup. It is more expensive, but a little of it goes a very long way.

    My stock is pretty light (then again my tank is only 36 gallons).


    1 young Melenurus Wrasse
    1 Scissortail Dartfish
    1 Purple Firefish
    1 Diamond Watchman Goby
    1 Cleaner Shrimp
    12 Hermit Crabs

    I do about a 1/4 inch cube twice a day. At this rate that 8oz package will last me about 3-4 months.
     
  17. Gotoboy

    Gotoboy New Member

    That's about what I have I guess. I'll order some on my next paycheck. Thankfully the tank cleaned up well when I did a big water change last weekend. Will do a 25% tomorrow. The two pictures show what it was like and what it is like now. Thanks for the advice!!!
     

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  18. jay0705

    jay0705 Administrator Staff Member

    Much nicer lol
     

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