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Cycling new tank...advice needed
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NeMoTang
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Joined: 29 Oct 2004

PostPosted: 2004.11.10(Wed)11:49    Post subject: Cycling new tank...advice needed Reply with quote

I've recently set up my new Fish+LR+corals tank....it's been 4 days...
day 1 : I added live rock (pretty old live rock with brown and hairy stuff on them), and couple corals...and 3 fishes (1 blue/yellow tailed damsel, 2 clown fishes)....everything was fine...except that the damsel kept hiding behind the rock and didn't come out a bit which I though it was a bit weird...and one of the clown fishes swam almost vertically (80 degrees or so) ...and the other small one looks extremely happy. - sg 1.022, pH 8.3, ammonia 0, nitrites <0.3, nitrate 5.

day 2 : the first thing I did in the morning was checking the number of the fishes...2 ! the small ocellaris clown fish was still very nosy and swam all over the tank, but the big one(the one that swins vertically) died quietly under the rock...so I removed it immediately. The blue damsel stayed almost still behind the same rock. I also added 3 more fishes in to the tank (1 clown fish to replaced the one that just died and 2 more tomato clown fishes) This time I spent 4 hours introducing them in to the tank, after adjusting the temp and water, I put them in to the hatchery box and leave them their for 3 hours with lights off - sg 1.022, pH 8.2, ammonia 0, nitrite <0.3, Nitrate still at 5

day 3: The blue damsel finally came out from the rock...very slowly...and within 20 mins...it swam to the front of the tank and laid on its side...so I immediately put it into the hanging hatchery box and turned the light off...10 mins later it died Sad for the rest 4 clowns...they get along extremely well and look very happy...both tomato slept on the cleaning magnet for the whole night...and that was very cute Laughing the other 2 ocellaris clowns paired up immediately and showed no sign of aggression toward the tomatos. - Sg 1.022,pH 8.3, ammonia 0, nitrite <0.3, nitrate still 5.

day 4: The best day !, 4 clowns are so happy and eat well...I successfully trained them to eat flakes (after sending out the signal...4 of them came directly to the feeding box right away and wait for food) the tomatos eat very well and the ocellaris swim all over the place. corals and LR starts to grow very nicely. sg 1.022, pH 8.2, ammonia 0, nitrite <0.3, nitrate 5.

My tank is a 50g with a eheim wet/dry and juwel filter. I also have a proteine skimmer but I don't want to install it yet. My LRs are pretty old, they look like they have been cycled 10 times before.


My questions are...
1 why did the fishes died ? My though would be that the dead clown fish got injured and the damsel was too stress.
2 is my water condition normal ? is it OK to have nitrate level at 5 since the very beginning? I guess my water condition is right at the money!
3 should I install my proteine skimmer ? or should I wait until one month ?
4 when will ammonia and nitrite rise ? and will the fishes and corals die?
5 is my tank cycled ? (probably not... Confused )

Thanks in advance for your answers...

PS : I'm sorry for all the dead fishes...and I 'll so my best to keep the other 4 alive for many years to come. I know it's not wise to introduce so much fishes in such a small tank since the beginning...but I'll try my best.
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Mike612
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Joined: 20 Apr 2003

PostPosted: 2004.11.10(Wed)16:28    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all, you cannot add fish or coral this early. Your tank has to have been running for at least a couple of months or so. That's why your fish died, they were introduced into a poisonous system to them. Second, you do not want your nitrite or ammonia levels to rise, that's what kills fish. Third, you must have your protein skimmer running. It helps the rock grow algae, provides oxygen to the fish, and cycles the tank a lot faster. You've got to get your nitrite and nitrate down to zero. Fish are very sensitive to nitrite and nitrite levels and can die from these levels.
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SLACkra
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

PostPosted: 2004.11.10(Wed)17:20    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with everything mike613 said except a couple things. 1 a protien skimmer is not nessesary but it is a good investment. 2 fish can happily live in nitrAte levels of 50ppm max and corals around 10ppm max. 3 ammonia and nitrite is more toxic for fish so basically what happened in your case is the fish literaly killed themselves. what you need to do is to get the corals and fish that are alive back to the lfs asap! once that is done go to your local super market and buy a dead prawn then add that to your tank to cycle your tank.


andrew
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32g planted community
7.5g Nano Reef
1 four legged wonder napper
2 winged demons
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NeMoTang
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Joined: 29 Oct 2004

PostPosted: 2004.11.11(Thu)10:13    Post subject: Reply with quote

what do you mean you don't want ammonia and nitrite to rise ? how am I suppose to fully cycle my tank if ammonia and nitrite do not rise ? are they gonna rise? or is there a posibility that they wouldn't rise at all ?

some people told me that it's safe to add coral since the beginning...but obviously lots of people don't agree. well, I'll just wait and see...

so...is it normal that my nitrate level is at 5 at the moment ? and how can I lower it down?. I've seen lots of fully cycled tank have their nitrate level at 5.

well, once again...thanks for all the answers Laughing
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SLACkra
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

PostPosted: 2004.11.11(Thu)15:13    Post subject: Reply with quote

you do want your ammonia and nitrite levels to rise but when theirs nothing that can die in the tank ie: corals fish inverts. sadly I would say the people who said you could add coral to your tank instantly are sadly not very bright. nitrite levels of 5 are fine at the moment but when your ammonia and nitrite spike everthing will probably end up dieing. please take our advice and take any surviving fish and coral back to the pet shop and wait till you cycled the tank to add fish again.

andrew
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32g planted community
7.5g Nano Reef
1 four legged wonder napper
2 winged demons
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NeMoTang
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Joined: 29 Oct 2004

PostPosted: 2004.11.17(Wed)9:03    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK! it's been 12 days...all the fishes are still happy and eating well. Water condition stays the same....I'm planning to top some water this weekend.
Just only one thing new...my white coral sand has turn brownish/greenish and green algae are all over the glass....what's this suppose to mean ? I heard that algae only appears after the tank is fully cycled.

should I add UV filter and proteine skimmer at this point ?
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SLACkra
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

PostPosted: 2004.11.17(Wed)14:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

first of all I pitty your fish. I know its harsh but I am typing my mind. most algaes occur at different stages of the cycle at least that happened for me first I had brown daitom algae then some greeny ones. now I have almost no algae growth. I would recomend you get a skimmer.

andrew
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32g planted community
7.5g Nano Reef
1 four legged wonder napper
2 winged demons
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NeMoTang
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Joined: 29 Oct 2004

PostPosted: 2005.03.02(Wed)0:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, nothing much....just want to update my tank condition.
it's been 4 months since the first day I added my very first live rock and fish. As I said...2 fishes died since then. However, ammonia, nitrite have never been detected...and my nitrate level stays at 5ppm ever since. I've added more fishes since my last post...blue tang, yellow tang,purple tang, fire fish, etc...even a copperband butterfly fish and a Mandarin. They are happy fishes to me. There are enough pods to keep my mandarin fat and happy. I don't know what to say...but it seems to my like...12 times water circulation do the trick. Question I feed my fishes 3 times a day...too much I know...but still no sign of ammonia. My domino damsel is now 3 times bigger and other fishes grow bigger as well. Inverts. do well as well...I lost 1 cleaner shrimp...and that was all.

well, I really do appreciate your comments on what I did before.
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Mike612
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Joined: 20 Apr 2003

PostPosted: 2005.03.02(Wed)14:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't really think you could keep 3 tangs in your 50 gallon. You are probably, eventually, going to have to get rid of one or two of them. Tangs can be very aggressive fish, especially in smaller tanks. Even in my 75 gallon, I had a Yellow Tang and Hippo Tang and I eventually had to get rid of the Hippo because he got WAY too aggressive and too big. By the way, which blue tang are you talking about? A Blue tang could be one of three things: a Pacific Blue Tang (Hippo Tang), an Atlantic Blue Tang, or hopefully you didn't get this since you're still a beginner, a Powder Blue Tang.

I'm glad your tank is doing better than before but I still think you are going to have to get rid of a couple of the tangs.
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NeMoTang
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Joined: 29 Oct 2004

PostPosted: 2005.03.03(Thu)8:21    Post subject: Reply with quote

it's a Hippo tang and it's very very friendly. don't worry about the tank...a 320g tank will be ready in 2 months. All tangs get along really well. I bought them when they were small.
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