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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I am new to the Reef world and have been a little to aggresive on adding critters. We started off with a 30gal salt that we had up and running for about a month and a half with no problems. We decided it wasn't big enough and decided to upgrade and are now running a 90gal bow front. It has a sump with a protein skimmer and about 50lbs live rock. We moved the contents of the 30 gallon to the 90 gallon and were under the impression that the tank wouldn't cycle again since we already had bacteria so we started adding critters. Currently in the tank, we have 2 anenomies, 4 small coral frags, a yellow tang, 2 percula clowns, 3 yellow tail blue damsels, 2 green chromis, 1 mandarin, 2 gobbies, and 1 skunk cleaner shrimp. Everyone seems happy active and eating. The problem is we had ordered some fish another coral and a reef safe star fish from Dr. Fosters and Smith thinking our levels were good, they are due to arrive today. Our current levels are pH 8.2, ammonia 0.1, nitrate 2, nitrite 1, salinity 1.027. We are planning on doing drip aclimation over 1-2 hours. We are most worried about the starfish because we heard they are very sensative to the wrong numbers.

My question is: How do I get my numbers down. Should I do a water change? The starfish likes salinity of 1.023-1.025, is 1.027 to high and how should I get the salt down I was thinking of doig a 10gallon water change and adding half the salt back in that is required.

I know its a lot to ask, and I know I've been to eager on getting this set up going. But I would appreciate any input.
Thanks -Spencer
 

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Fuzzy Stick Crazy
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Welcome to TRT. That is a lot of stock for a 1 month old tank, even for a 90. Do you know anyone that can hold your new livestock for a bit so you can work the numbers out?

I would not change the salinity like you proposed. Any sudden changes can cause more problems than it solves. I would do a water change with the salinity at 1.026 as to only bring down the salt level a small amount at a time. Once you get it to 1.026 then add water at 1.025. Do you top off with salt water or RO/DI water. You should be using RO/DI water for topping off your sump level. What do you use to measure your salinity?

For your anemones they should not be added to a tank that is less than a year old. They need impeccable water parameters. Ammonia and Nitrite should never be above 0ppm. Slow down on your stocking or you might overload your tank and crash it. You seen to be right on the cusp of a serious problem. (sorry for the harsh reality). How are you doing with alage blooms? Do you have a clean up crew?

Also what salt are you using? Do you test for calcium and alkalinity? If you want to keep corals and nems, you should be testing and adjusting these parameters to promote a healthy enviroment.
 

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Fish Goddess
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+ 1 on what he said
dont add anything more!! let it settle or it will crash. what kind of light do you have? Anemones need a good high end light to thrive, and like he said shouldn't be bought for a newly set up tank.
 

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It sounds like your tank is cycling. I agree with Rustl3r, bring the salinity down slowly. Do water changes with slightly lower salinity. Ammonia and nitrite at those levels isn't good at all and unfortunately it takes time for bacteria to establish to handle the bioload you have. If you have someone else that can put your livestock in a stable tank I'd definately go that route until your tank stabilizes. If not I noticed you only have 50 lbs of live rock. You need more rock in my opinion so try to get some cured live rock from your lfs that already has bacteria established on it and your levels will come down a lot faster. I would add 40-50 lbs if your budget allows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the input. Unfortunatly we do not have a stable tank that we can put them in. I can only blame myself for being to eagar on getting the tank established and not being patient. I did a small 10 gallon water change with a little less salt and the salinity came down a little as did the ammonia. All just cross my fingers and hope the little guys do OK and be more patient in the future. I do have more live rock I will be putting in tommorow night. As for the lighting, I have 96W 10K white and atentic. Wish me luck.
 

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Your next best bet then is to keep doing water changes to keep your levels down. I would do one daily but dont drop the salinity too fast. I would add some prime in the meantime to detoxify the ammonia too but don't go crazy with chemicals. Good luck! Keep us posted on what happens ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, another question. What do you guys reccomend running in your sump. I currently have the water dump into a bunch of live rock then it gets picked up by a protein skimmer and then pumped back up to the tank. Its the system the guy I bought it from said he ran. Just looking for advise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well good news, did a slow acclimation and everyone is doing great. Tested the water in the bags and it was off the charts, so im sure it made it easier going into my tank, even though my numbers are up slightly. All continue to keep doing small water changes to keep the tank levels in check. Thanks for the help.
-spencer
 

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Good to hear! If you keep up with the water changes hopefully you can keep the water conditions good enough to keep everything healthy. As far as your sump I personally don't have rock in mine but some people do. I just run a skimmer and return pumps in my sump.
 

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You can read the countless debates on sumps and types, but at the end of the day I use mine for extra water volume and space for equipment. Good to hear about the fish! You may wont to get the LR2tank ratio 1/1 (90lbs of LR) at least.
 

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Fish Goddess
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I use my sump for extra water, to hid the equipment and to grow chato. It helps clean your water. And MY pods love the sump so thats a plus.
what you do with it is up to you.
 
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