I feel so cheated......and clueless

  • #1
Well first let me say hello and I need help/advice. I've had freshwater tanks on and off for the last 20 years. I've always had great sucess with my freshwater and decided to try saltwater. I recently purchase a 90 gal. tank, filter, light sand live rock, the whole works from my local pet store. I've used this same store for the last 20 years and never had a problem with my freshwater needs. Even thought this store appears to know what their doing I feel screwed. I was told I'd never have to do another water change and the saltwater was less maintance. I found out different. I set my tank up exactly as I was told to by the store and it took 4 months before I could put fish in it. I'm still having problems with nitrates. I finally got the tank to spike about 2 months ago but the owner of the fish store told me to give the tank more time and the nitrates would go down. They never did and she told me that we could turn it into a freshwater tank. I told her **** no!!! I spent almost $3 thousand and I was not having a fresh waqter tank. I've got about 60 pounds of rocks and my sand looks like . When I put the live rock in the tank she told me to take the rock directly out of the box place it and all the crumbs into my trank. I later found out we should have done different. After three months of no success she came to my office and reached into my tank bare handed and took my live rock out side and "washed" it off with a garden house. She then put it back into the tank, she said this would help it to bring the nitrates down and get any loose particles off the rocks. I'm telling you I'm so ****ed I can't see straight. So I've washed my hands of this local pet store and will not walk in there again. So I'm going to need as much help from you guys as possible.
  • #2
HI and welcome

I am so sorry about your horrible experience with the store... it sure is frustrating.

However, there are many saltwater folks here that are very knowledgeable and will surely set you in the right track.
nemo addict
  • #3
HI and welcome to fishlore ..

I see you don't have a skimmer you might want to get one and get rid of the cannister filter as these become nitrate factories ,,, also a point I see you have a high sg you want it at about 1.025 yours is a bit to high ,,, what test kit are you using as the strips are not worth anything ,, do small frequent water changes to get your nitrates and nitrites down everyother day about 10-20% until near 0
  • #4
Wow, sorry to hear about your experience with your local fish store. That's a shame after spending that much $ with them.

Good points by nemo addict. I don't run any type of mechanical filters on my saltwater tanks, just live rock, protein skimmer and lots of water movement (20 to 30 times water turnover per hour). Test your tap water too for nitrates otherwise water changes may only add to high levels of nitrates. If that's the case then Reverse Osmosis water could help.
  • #5
As pointed out already, my guess is that you're having issues due to the canister filter. Although Saltwater tanks have successfully been set up using them, they are more trouble than anything.

So, is your tank more or less cycled now? I'd add in at least another 30lbs of rock (generally you want 1lb per gallon, or at least 1/3 the tank volume). Unfortunately, sometimes it does take a tank that long to cycle, I had a tank full of water for a whole eight weeks once. Bleh.

Have you decided what type of saltwater setup you'd like to do? That will also help us determine where you need to go from here...
  • #6
man 3,000 for a 90g seems really high only if you got a sick custom tank or something mine was 1,100 and I got the 120 everything these guys said is great skimmer yeah get it, maybe a better filter, and I found 25% water changes is good stuff.
  • #7
Sorry to hear about your experience. Should've done research before spending buck. But what the point of talking about what already happened.
Can you be more specific about your problem, if you are experiencing now? Inform us of your tank conditions, fishes if any, type of filter(s), and other equipments.

More info we gather about your set up and specific question(s), I am sure our memberswill try their best to assist you.
  • #8
My advice to all newcomers into the world of saltwater: You should start with reading one or both of these books: The New Marine Aquarium; Step-by-Step Setup and Stocking Guide, by Michael S. Paletta or The Conscientious Marine Aquarist: A Commonsense Handbook for Successful Saltwater Hobbyists, by Bob Fenner are about the best two books to buy on how to setup and maintain saltwater tanks. They will teach you a lot.

If though you have setup a tank already, I would still recommend getting one or both of these books. They will be a good knowledge base and will help you get things going in the right direction. Good luck. Since you haven't put any fish into the tank, I wouldn't say the money has been wasted yet.

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