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  1. cameronpalte Member Member

    Saltwater Questions Answered: 0
    Useful People who Helped: 1

    Ok, so my 55g was a freshwater, and still is a freshwater on its final stages. I had around 30 fish in it before a parasite came in and now I am down to around 4 fish all of them exhibiting the final stages of the parasite while my other fish had before they died and I still can't get a solid diagnosis so I'm assuming there going to pass on. Throughout the post my questions will be indented with a (^).

    If what I think is going to happen occurs, then I will now have an empty 55g with a deadly parasite:). I am planning on removing 1g of water adding 1g of chlorine and turning on my filter (with no bags in it) to cycle the water and kill literally everything in the tank bacteria and all.

    I will then do a basically 100% water change and soak my decorations/gravel in chlorine before boiling them. After that I will dry everything off and rinse it in water, soak them in water and add some regular fish dechlorinator to try remove the chlorine.

    Next I will remove everything from the soak and rinse them in warm water (~110 degrees). Lastly I will put everything back in my tank and add 55g of water (it would of been empty for this time) so that my tank will be there.

    ^what do you think of this cleaning process?

    I will cycle it using a method I found out upon (tell me what you think) where you put a few uncooked shrimps in it and let them rot releasing ammonia allowing bacteria to grow.

    ^do you think it will work? better methods?

    Now on to the tank. I'm not going to consider fish now, because knowing what fish I want will make me want to buy them and I'm not going to make the mistake of talking myself into getting fish before cycling because I'm so excited.

    ^do you think after I cycle with shrimp or other method, if I should still add tetra safe start?

    Now, I am planning on doing a saltwater tank with live rock and I may not even use my filter depending on how things go.

    ^how much live rock per gallon, I was thinking of ordering 90 pounds for the tank, is this good?

    ^how much salt do I need per gallon of water?

    ^I heard you need a special process of making water, how does this work, I don't want to purchase water from a store.

    ^Do I need special lighting?

    Also, I'm not going to make the mistake of no quarantine tank again. I am planning on setting up a 10g quarantine if everything works out well cycling same method, using live rock ect. Any suggestions.

    ^Do I need a current creator ect?

    ^What temperature should it be?

    ^What test kits should I need?

    Now for decorations. I couldn't really find any saltwater plants so I guess fake ones, or none must do. I was planning on using gravel but I heard live sand is recommended

    ^should I get sand?

    ^How deep should sand be?

    ^should I get live sand?

    Thanks for all the advice, and let me know if I need anything else!
     
  2. Lucy Moderator Moderator Member


  3. sirdarksol Fishlore Legend Member

    Kudos on researching before setting up. This will help you avoid massive problems like what you're experiencing now. A healthy tank means healthy fish. Healthy fish are much more capable of resisting illness.
    Like Lucy said, read the articles.

    A few notes:
    You don't need to go through all of the steps you are talking about in order to sanitize the tank.
    Mixing bleach (about 2/3 of a 1g bottle will give you the highest strength the CDC suggests for sanitizing) into the tank and letting it sit for a few hours, then draining it, refilling, dechlorinating, draining, and refilling will be enough to sanitize it.
    Honestly, nothing in the tank is liable to survive the switch to marine.

    No need to take a separate step of cycling the tank if you're using live rock. Use the live rock to cycle the tank. It's the first thing you have to buy, since you need to cure it before adding other stuff to the tank.

    For the rest, read the articles, then come back and ask whatever questions are generated by that info.
     

  4. ryanr Moderator Moderator Member

    Wow cameron, what happened to slowing down and patience, huh, huh :pokey: <tease>

    On the 55G FW -
    First step - what have your ammonia readings been over the last week. I know you think this is a parasite, but it's still highly possible that it's ammonia poisoning.

    I think your cleaning plan will obliterate everything, and personally I wouldn't take that approach. You'll find it difficult to remove every trace of chlorine, especially if you have things like driftwood, that will absorb the chlorine. Even with a high quality dechlorinator like Prime, I still think you'll have difficulty.

    Personally - until you identify the alleged parasite, then I wouldn't take any action on trying to clean it. I would certainly bump the temperature up to 90F plus, as very little will survive in an aquatic environment at prolonged temperatures above 90F. Also, a parasite, by definition, requires a host to grow, if you loose all your fish, then the parasite, theoretically, should die off without hosts to feed on.

    Fishless cycling approaches - all of them work, personally I'd probably use the pure ammonia approach as it is more controllable. If you cycle fishless, you won't need TSS.

    On the topic of SW
    Without being harsh - from my observations of your fish endeavours so far - you need to learn the art of patience before considering SW. Nothing good ever happens quickly in SW.

    From your experiences so far, I would ask myself, am I seriously ready for SW? Now I'm not saying I'm perfect, or that I got everything right, but it took me 2 years of keeping FW, and near on 12 months of research to get into SW. The reason for the time - because with the research, and stopping to ask myself if I was ready, I kept coming with "no not yet"

    SW is not hard, if you take the time to learn and understand the environment etc. Take the time to research, read the beginner stickies, and the SW beginner pages here at fishlore (https://www.fishlore.com/SaltwaterBeginners.htm)

    And I will leave you with another consideration - :;money:;money:;money

    A SW setup, done properly, is likely to cost around $1000 per foot or more just to setup, that's without stock. [well in Australia it's around $1K/ft]

    And I'll try and answer your specific questions in the next reply (sorry mod's but might have to back to back post on this one)
     

  5. ryanr Moderator Moderator Member

    Now, I am planning on doing a saltwater tank with live rock and I may not even use my filter depending on how things go.

    ^how much live rock per gallon, I was thinking of ordering 90 pounds for the tank, is this good?
    What size tank? I think the rough guide is 4-5lbs per gallon? I have approx 40kg in 250L (sorry I only know metric for my tank)

    ^how much salt do I need per gallon of water?
    Depends on the salinity you're trying to achieve. 1 gram per litre gives 1ppt salinity. To achieve a Specific Gravity of 1.025 (or 34ppt salinity), I mix 34 grams per litre of water.

    ^I heard you need a special process of making water, how does this work, I don't want to purchase water from a store.
    You're talking about Reverse Osmosis and Deionisation (RO/DI) - it's a water filtration/purification system to create 100% pure water.

    ^Do I need special lighting?
    Depends on whether you're planning on corals or not. I use a 120W LED system over a 3 foot tank.

    Also, I'm not going to make the mistake of no quarantine tank again. I am planning on setting up a 10g quarantine if everything works out well cycling same method, using live rock ect. Any suggestions.

    ^Do I need a current creator ect?
    Also known as Powerheads - yes you should invest in them - they create the flow in your tank.

    ^What temperature should it be?
    Depends on what you're keeping - mine runs at 27 Celsius

    ^What test kits should I need?
    A refractometer is the most accurate device commonly used to measure Salinity and Specific Gravity. High Range pH, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate and Alkalinity (KH) are the basics. Depending on the setup, you may also want Phosphate, Calcium, Magnesium. I use the following:
    API Liquid - high range pH, Ammonia, Nitrite, Calcium and KH
    Red Sea Liquid - Nitrate (has a higher resolution than the API)
    Red Sea Titration - Magnesium
    Hanna Checker - Phosphate (is very very accurate)

    Salifert are also highly regarded for SW. There are more tests available too, but I'm not at the point I need them yet.

    Now for decorations. I couldn't really find any saltwater plants so I guess fake ones, or none must do. I was planning on using gravel but I heard live sand is recommended
    Keep it real. I only have LR and coral in mine, my view is that if it's not in the ocean or on a reef, don't put in the setup.

    ^should I get sand?
    Up to you - I have Caribsea Arognite in mine.

    ^How deep should sand be?
    Depends on what you want to run. I run about 1.5 inchs of sand. You could also consider a Deep Sand Bed, but this has it's implications <research>

    ^should I get live sand?
    Up to you. Live Sand, if fresh, will most likely have an abundance of critters and hitch-hikers. I chose not to use it.

    You also need to consider nutrient export - Refugium with DSB and macro algae, Phosphate/Nitrate Reactors.

    The best thing you can do at the moment is read everything you possibly can.

    AND DON'T FORGET A PROTEIN SKIMMER! :D
     
  6. cameronpalte Member Member

    And I already decided after thinking some that I won't be doing saltwater because of not knowing enough, and I don't think I should try saltwater if I can't keep fish alive in my freshwater for more than 2 weeks.

    Thanks for the advice on cleaning and good suggestion about the parasite. I only have 6 fish left and I aspect they will be gone by morning unless I can identify and treat fast...

    Also, by mistake I used my dead fish net in my guppy fry tank (at least I have some memory of the dead fish, and the fry don't appear to have symptoms besides them swimming at the top but they look normal and I think thats what they always do. I put some melafix and pimafix in rated for 1-2g of water (its a 10g aquarium) because I was afraid I would hurt them, do you guys have recommendations of what I should do there.

    My ammonia readings have been 0.

    As for saltwater, I guess I'll research research research and start it a little bit later. (months maybe year or 3).
     
  7. Donnerjay Well Known Member Member

    Ah, Cameron!

    Sad news about your fish. I am truly sorry that you went through this.

    Starting over....hmmm. Are you ready? Because you will need to change your approach to be successful. If you learn from your mistakes, you can have a fantastic tank.

    Ryan gave some great advice. And I think you've made the right decision for now about saltwater...skip it.

    For now, take care of your remaining fish. Make sure that your water chemistry is pure. That means, ZERO ammonia, ZERO nitrites, and SOME nitrates. Work on this for now. :)

    I think you need to get some successes under your belt. For example, make it a goal to take really good care of your fry. Then they will grow, and you will see the fruit of your labor. Another idea: Get a wirebound notebook and write down your experiences with your 55 gallon tank. What did you do right? What did you do wrong? How will you improve for your next tank?

    Then start your new chapter. Keep a list of your water parameters in your tanks. Write down your observations of your fish as connected to water chemistry ... are they healthy and active, how big did the fry grow this week, etc. Chart your successes!

    Then start planning. What will you do with your remaining fish? Will they stay in the tank? Will you choose to "rehome" them to friends and just start over?

    Just some thoughts for you. And remember...we are still here for you, just like at the beginning. I think it is fair to say that your fellow members want to see you be successful at fishkeeping! Keep us posted.
     
  8. cameronpalte Member Member

    Thanks for the advice and support donnerjay. I like the idea of the new tank, and I will work a little more for the fry, there so small and numerous (~19) and I've been working on them. I feed them hikari first bites 2-3 times/day.

    Few questions about fry.
    Do they normally stay near the top? Mine always like staying pretty close to the top but not at like the very top maybe .3-1cm below. Is that normal?

    Also they seem to replicate so fast my guppies started with 4 (disease killed 2) but I mean 40 fry were produced since 2 weeks of purchase one batch eaten because I didn't know the mom was going to drop, so should I keep males and females separate?

    Thanks for the advice!

    I am thinking about rehoming my remaining fish, maybe just giving them again and starting over (besides my fry) but I don't want to give them away just yet because I would make them free but charge shipping, and they all have signs of disease (advanced stages, I feel like 12 hours left tops) so I don't want to give away basically dead fish.

    Actually I was considering if I start over due to my love of fry (i just can't get over them) maybe go with a moderate-heavy easy care plant pack (low-moderate lighting) and just put guppies in it and some fry can survive ect., and I can transfer my 55g of fry there assuming my 55g gets wiped after I totally clean it to remove any remenants of the disease.
     
  9. Donnerjay Well Known Member Member

    you're welcome! :;hug2

    YEAH FRY! Gotta love those babies...
    I'm in the process of waiting for my first batch of fry from two platies I bought a week ago. They're in quarantine right now and they didn't do so well when I first got them. Either ammonia poisoning or some type of parasite that inflamed their gills. Right now I'm hoping the one platy that's closest to giving birth doesn't lose her first batch :(

    So I'm learning about livebearers right now and I haven't had fry recently, so I can't answer question about swimming. I guess, if they are eating, and they look healthy, and the water is fine, then it's all good. :)