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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All:
My name is Ed and I reside in the Eastern Foothills of the North Cascades.
Winthrop Washington. I have absolutely no exp. in fish tanks let alone a salt water system, you could say I am clueless and I would not be offended. I need some babysitting to get my self on track. Here's my story.I came into control of what my lovely wife refers to as the Fish Temple. The "Temple" is 9 ft. long and 4 ft. high of Marble. On top of it sit the 100 g. tank and then a Marble top.

The system: 100g swt/dual overfows with 1 inch live sand and 100 lbs of live rock 40 gallons sump with 2 bio-balls filter cannisters return pump is a CA-1800 moving about 500gph and one in tank circ pump of unknown make or gph but you can see it is moveing the water. I also have a ETSS skimmer that is not in use. Live stock 1- 2yr. old banana eel 1 - neon dottyback 4 misc clown fish. My goal is to have a combination reef fish set up.

The problems:
1) Eel will not eat previous owner was feeding shrimp by placing it in front of eel. He (goldie) has not eaten in 6 weeks but looks happy and healthy.

2) Finally got test kits and Nitrate level is at 80 all else is ok

Tank background. 4 year old system all water, rock, sand, bio balls and livestock were transferred 7 weeks ago. Once set up all live stock survived and after 2 weeks neon dottyback , clownfish, and blue chomis were added. 4 days later blue chromis died.

Upon set up no testing was done for base line info. Salinity and temp were monitored daily and about one gallon of well water was added to keep at fill level from evaporation. After 3 weeks we had an emergency and had to leave for 3 weeks. While away return pump went out and it took 5 days for replacements so there was no circulation other than in tank circulation. Fish were way overfed while we were away.

Summary: We return after 3 weeks with test kit and found nitrate at 80 and ALK a little high.
There was quite a bit of demitrus visible in the water and the live rock now had some light algae. All livestock was healthy and active. We cleaned the tank and started addressing the nitrate issue by cleaning the bio-balls which we discoverered had not been cleaned in 4 years. 24 hrs later the nitrate test still showed level of 80. We are planning a 20 gallon water change in the morning . There has been no water changed in over 2 months.
We checked th Nitrate level of our well water and it is at 20 so we will have to get some ro water before we proceed.

Questions:

Are we on the right tract for nitrate reductin?
What about the Eel not eating?
What do you think about the tank set up?
Should I be using the ETSS?
What size pump should be used with the ETSS?

Thanks I'm here to learn. I tried surfing the forums but it is overwhelming so I humble ask for some guidance.

Thanks Ed
 

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You are on the right track with water changes, it never hurts to change out water. You might try a little larger water change. Yes, you should fire up that ETSS skimmer. And you should dump the bio balls. IMHO.
Welcome and see you around the threads.
 

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WELCOME!!!

I agree... I recommend this in order

50-60% water change ASAP (suck all the crap out at the same time)
get the skimmer running
remove the bio-balls and throw them away
get the alk back into the right level
start a regular feeding regimin of once every 3 days

I cannot stress how important the skimmer is

overall sounds like a cool system... you need to post a picture for us :beer:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the advice. I completed a 40% water change. I have the protien skimmer running. I removed one of the cannisters of bio balls and will remove the second canister slowly over the next month or so.

Nitrate level is down from 80 + to about 40+.
I am planning on doing 10g. water changes for the next 2 or 3 weeks and then one more 40g. change.

When nitrate level gets down to 20 or less I would like to start adding a clean up crew. any suggestions.

thanks Ed
 
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