New tank advise

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newtankman

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I have started my first saltwater tank and am two weeks into pre-fish start-up. I have a 30gal. tank with live sand a 8lb of live rock and plan on placing a few fish in it this week.

Although I have no fish yet I am amazed at the abundant of micro life that has hitched a ride in to my tank with the sand and rocks. I am both fascinated and concerned about this, I have seen little snails, worms and even something with a flat body and five long tentacles. Is this all normal or have I introduced unwanted organisms into my tank.

Thanks for all you’re input and advise.
 

not4you

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Dude, I wish I could help but I have no Saltwater experience. I'd like to get into Saltwater in the future but until then I'm sure some of our Saltwater friends will be along to you help you soon.
 
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newtankman

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I do believe that I have learned the identity of the creatures with the small body and the long legs; I believe that they are Serpent Starfish! Is this possible? And if so, and I add fish, will the fish eat them? And do I need to feed them?
 

Miss Mouse

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Yep sounds like you have a serpent star or brittle starfish. They are good scavengers and stir up the sand pretty well if you have sandy substrate. They tend to live inside the live rock and are mainly nocturnal. They're pretty cute and fish and invertibrate friendly..
I dont think you need to feed them but I sometimes put some brine shrimp around the area I see their tenticles hanging around
 
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newtankman

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I am starting to get a lot of brown algae on top of my live sand, is this normal?
 

Miss Mouse

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Yeah you'll get lots of annoying algaes and a plague of cyanobacteria - very unsightly!
It's all part of the cycle so dont worry. If you're concerned then do a phosphate test omn the water.. that could be a problem.
Are you using tap water or RO/DI water?
 
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newtankman

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Thanks…I am using tap water that I pre-mix 5gal. at a time and treat for chlorine and other toxins with a liquid that came with the tank. The test kit that came with the tank setup has PH, Ammonia, Nitrite & Nitrate; should I have more?
I have introduced three small clown fish and so far the baby star fish that came with the live rock are still doing well.
 
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newtankman

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Can anyone tell me how fast the starfish will grow. They are soooo small right now.
 
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newtankman

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My tank seems to be getting real fine suspended sediment in the water. What is the preferred method to filter this out?
 

Miss Mouse

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Yeah get a phosphate test and test your tap water and your tank water - it feeds the algae.
The starfish are probably asterina starfish in which case they tend to stay quite small. Mine haven't been any bigger than 1 cm across.
The sediment is a hard one because it depends what the cause is...mine took a while to settle so hang in there. let it di its thing naturally
 
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newtankman

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Thanks! I will pick up a phosphate test kit. Is there anyway to remove phosphate from the water? Or do I need to look at alternative water sources? As for the star fish, they have grown about a ¼ of an inch and are now about a ½ inch from tip to tip. Their body mass is about a 1/8 of an inch and they have long legs that are about 3/8 inch long and they only come out when the lights are out.

I would like to thank you very much for all you help.
 

Miss Mouse

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It's a pleasure
You can get a product called "rowaphos" whcih is brilliant at removing phosphates or you can buy ro/di water from some pet stores/aquariums.My lfs sells ready mixed water with all the necessary additives etc in so I never need to worry about calcium or strontium or anything else!
Starfish sound good ! They're such fascinating creatures.
 
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