Bought a house...came with a tank.

  • Get the NEW AquariaCentral iOS app --> http://itunes.apple.com/app/id1227181058 // Android version will be out soon!

greech

AC Moderators
May 13, 2009
4,193
1
38
51
Tallahassee, FL
Real Name
Graham
Not extreme at all and a good idea IMO. The clowns will be fine in a 10 gallon for a month or so if you need that long. Just grab 10 or so lbs of rock out of the existing tank, some water. Throw in a powerhead from the 55 (wouldn't use the airstones/pumps unless the PH is too strong) and one of the HOBs with a little carbon and/or the HOB skimmer and you should be all set. Just remember you will be working with a lot less water volume (buffer) so you will need to stay on top of water changes (recommend weekly) and don't overfeed.

I would do a complete cleaning of that tank while the fish are out. You might consider replacing the sand. If not, you could siphon it out and wash it or just vacuum it thoroughly like you said. Your going to stir all sorts of things up when you move that rock (especially the rock in the sand). You might as well give it a good cleaning to start with. You will just need to let the tank settle back down but it shouldn't take to long before its safe to pit the fish back in.

BTW, don't leave your live rock out of the water for extended periods to avoid bacteria die off. A little while while you scrub is no biggie.

There's a time and place to PBITAWA but this isn't one of them :)
 

branflake12

yeah, thats right-purple ROPE
Sep 20, 2005
180
0
0
Iowa City
Not extreme at all and a good idea IMO. The clowns will be fine in a 10 gallon for a month or so if you need that long. Just grab 10 or so lbs of rock out of the existing tank, some water. Throw in a powerhead from the 55 (wouldn't use the airstones/pumps unless the PH is too strong) and one of the HOBs with a little carbon and/or the HOB skimmer and you should be all set. Just remember you will be working with a lot less water volume (buffer) so you will need to stay on top of water changes (recommend weekly) and don't overfeed.

I would do a complete cleaning of that tank while the fish are out. You might consider replacing the sand. If not, you could siphon it out and wash it or just vacuum it thoroughly like you said. Your going to stir all sorts of things up when you move that rock (especially the rock in the sand). You might as well give it a good cleaning to start with. You will just need to let the tank settle back down but it shouldn't take to long before its safe to pit the fish back in.

BTW, don't leave your live rock out of the water for extended periods to avoid bacteria die off. A little while while you scrub is no biggie.

There's a time and place to PBITAWA but this isn't one of them :)

All right, I think that will be the plan of attack. THere is some argonite still in a bag i have from my cichlid tank...would that be a good idea for the 10G or would a glass bottom be better? I'll either have to get a huge net for the star or just let him be and hope he makes it thru the cleaning. Would adding something like bio spira back to the 55 after i deep clean the gravel be a good idea? or will the bacteria in the filters and remaining live rock be sufficient? I have always used it when I move for my africans, and its only not worked once (bad batch i assume).

I contacted the previous owner of the home about all this. The tank has been in constant operation since 1999 and the skimmer and filter have been replaced within the last few years. He couldnt recall when he did the center brace repair but thought it was quite a while ago. I guess 1/2" of flex isnt that much, even my 29 bows out about that much.

Regarding evaporation...it seems quite high compared to my 54 corner (that is missing its front glass peice). I have checked for leaks and found none (yet anyways). Can i just add more RO/DI water WITHOUT salt mix in it like 1 time between water changes?

I had to look up the abbreviation...quite funny that one actually exisits; means im not the only one to have felt this way before :rolleyes:.

Anyways, thanks again Greech. I think Ill set up the 10G tonight.
 

branflake12

yeah, thats right-purple ROPE
Sep 20, 2005
180
0
0
Iowa City
Here are some more pics with both lights on. What is the white vine looking stuff? Its attached VERY WELL to the wall. The shot of the heater is to ask if its too far gone to be cleaned (though it appears to still be working).

I tried to take a coulple shots of the wood that has been placed under the broken center brace. Notice how terrible the glass tops look, I hope they arent much to replace as i have nearly cut myself on them several times. I also took a shot of a select peice of rock that has mushrooms (?) on it and little/no aiptasia. THis is what I will move to the 10G.

IMG_1068.jpg IMG_1069.jpg IMG_1070.jpg IMG_1071.jpg IMG_1072.jpg IMG_1073.jpg IMG_1074.jpg IMG_1075.jpg
 

greech

AC Moderators
May 13, 2009
4,193
1
38
51
Tallahassee, FL
Real Name
Graham
You can go bare bottom or use some dry sand (up to you). just rinse the sand real well if you choose to go this route. Would not use any additives. If the tank has been going since '99 you should have more than enough bacteria in there. Good to know the age of the tank. Keep that in mind when you do your cleaning. There is going to be A LOT of detritus and debris in and under those rocks. Shaking the rocks vigorously underwater and/or blow them off really good with a small pump or turkey baster will remove debris and also open the pores of the rock. Take your time and test your water for a couple weeks at least to make sure its safe to put the fish back in.

You should be topping off with freshwater (preferably RO/DI) as often as needed to keep your SG stable. Salt does not evaporate so if you add SW back everytime you top off you're going to increase your salt content. Topping off is as simple as knowing what your SG is when the tank is at a particular water level and when you see the level drop you just fill it back up with fresh to maintain that SG.

You could take the star to a LFS for credit?
 

greech

AC Moderators
May 13, 2009
4,193
1
38
51
Tallahassee, FL
Real Name
Graham
Let there be light! :)

The vine looks like chaeto (macro alage). It looks like its fading from no light. Chaeto is often used as to remove nutrients from the water and keep pH balanced in refugiums but some also use it in there tanks. You should be able to remove it with a little tug. If it's rooted, it's something else.

Those glass tops aren't too much I believe. I have seen them at my Petsmart. Personally I would remove the tops and either not use a top at all or build a window screen type top. The glass tops are just contributing to excess heat, lower gas exchange, limiting the amount of light in the tank and just a major PITA to clean. Theye are likely a major contributor to your salt creep issue. As the SW condensates and then dries, the salt is being left behind in the glass and around everything else it drips and dries on.

Yep those are mushrooms. They really don't need much light so if you have a small PC fixture or something for one of your other tanks, that should be enough to keep them going in the 10 for a little while.

Give the heater a warm water vinegar bath (vinegar is your friend :)). I would replace that heater down the road with a non-glass version but no hurry.
 

branflake12

yeah, thats right-purple ROPE
Sep 20, 2005
180
0
0
Iowa City
Let there be light! :)

The vine looks like chaeto (macro alage). It looks like its fading from no light. Chaeto is often used as to remove nutrients from the water and keep pH balanced in refugiums but some also use it in there tanks. You should be able to remove it with a little tug. If it's rooted, it's something else.
So, could i leave it in there if its not hurting anything? it almost sounds positive. Ill give it a tug and see if it comes loose when i get the rocks out. Since I am going to pull the rocks out, would it be best to just pull the aiptasia off or stick it with Joes Juice/Lemon juice underwater before i pull it out or in its new "cleaning tank"

Those glass tops aren't too much I believe. I have seen them at my Petsmart. Personally I would remove the tops and either not use a top at all or build a window screen type top. The glass tops are just contributing to excess heat, lower gas exchange, limiting the amount of light in the tank and just a major PITA to clean. Theye are likely a major contributor to your salt creep issue. As the SW condensates and then dries, the salt is being left behind in the glass and around everything else it drips and dries on.
I will have to see about a screen top...i can deffinatley see how they are a salt creep instigator, but my concern was evaporation. But the whole salinity stays the same/top off with freshwater thing seems to negate that. Cool.

Yep those are mushrooms. They really don't need much light so if you have a small PC fixture or something for one of your other tanks, that should be enough to keep them going in the 10 for a little while.

Give the heater a warm water vinegar bath (vinegar is your friend :)). I would replace that heater down the road with a non-glass version but no hurry.
Ill probably get another stealth black plastic one, i have one in my cichlid tank. Ill also get another aqua-minder as a temp alarm in case it someday fails (i have had two of the stealth ones fail ON and that thing saved my tank twice).
 

branflake12

yeah, thats right-purple ROPE
Sep 20, 2005
180
0
0
Iowa City
You should be topping off with freshwater (preferably RO/DI) as often as needed to keep your SG stable. Salt does not evaporate so if you add SW back everytime you top off you're going to increase your salt content. Topping off is as simple as knowing what your SG is when the tank is at a particular water level and when you see the level drop you just fill it back up with fresh to maintain that SG.
I bought a cheap salinity meter (instant ocean brand) and i cant get it to work right. Measures Max level in both fresh and salt. Is there youtube video or guide to use these things right?
You could take the star to a LFS for credit?
I am considering that. Or even just to get rid of it. If i do this, I would like a decent ground cleaning crew (i am pretty sure the shrimp is not in the tank anymore). I have some snails and two or three small blue color crabs. My wife wants a peppermint and a cherry shrimp. What else can i get to clean the bottom up a bit better?

Once again...Thanks a bunch Greech...i think i can handle this yet.
 

greech

AC Moderators
May 13, 2009
4,193
1
38
51
Tallahassee, FL
Real Name
Graham
You can do this no problem.

Hydrometers can be off a bit off but it should not be maxing out in FW. When hydrometers are new they are prone to bubbles accumulating on the swing arm. You may just want to fill it up and let the SW sit in it for a while and then try and use it again. Refractometers are a much better way of measuring SG and salinity but they are a bit more $. I do have and use the same hydrometer you have and it works just fine (checked it against my LFS's refractometer on occassion).

Never heard of a cherry shrimp. Maybe a Blood/Fire shrimp? Those are very colorful but also pretty shy and spend most of their time hiding under an overhang. Show your wife a skunk cleaner shrimp. Pretty shrimp that is always out with lost of personality. Mine eats from my hand and cleans my fingers.

Good sand cleaners are fighting conchs (not aggressive), nassarius snails, tiger tail sea cucumbers, cerith snails, blue leg or scarlet hermits. I prefer to avoid hermits other than a couple/few. They don't really hurt anything but they will kill each other and snails for their shells.

Not sure what you have now but I would get 3 or 4 fighting conchs, 12 or so nassarius snails and 12 or so ceriths. Do you know how many or what type of snails you have now?
 

greech

AC Moderators
May 13, 2009
4,193
1
38
51
Tallahassee, FL
Real Name
Graham
So, could i leave it in there if its not hurting anything? it almost sounds positive. Ill give it a tug and see if it comes loose when i get the rocks out. Since I am going to pull the rocks out, would it be best to just pull the aiptasia off or stick it with Joes Juice/Lemon juice underwater before i pull it out or in its new "cleaning tank"

I would just pull it out. It's very cheap stuff. The aptasia are going to suck themselves into a whole so pulling them off may be a little difficult. I have read a few people that swear by using a blow torch on their holes if the rock can be removed from the tank. While I have no doubt this will work, I have a hard time finding the nems once they suck themselves in to a whole (in or out of the tank). I would just stick with the JJ or lemon juice injections. You mentioned wanting a peppermint shrimp earlier and they have been known to eat aptasia but it can be hit or miss with individual shrimp and have read they tend to avoid the big ones like you have.

I will have to see about a screen top...i can deffinatley see how they are a salt creep instigator, but my concern was evaporation. But the whole salinity stays the same/top off with freshwater thing seems to negate that. Cool.

Go topless!!!

Ill probably get another stealth black plastic one, i have one in my cichlid tank. Ill also get another aqua-minder as a temp alarm in case it someday fails (i have had two of the stealth ones fail ON and that thing saved my tank twice).

Not familiar with that device. Is it just an alarm? You can also get a controller that will shut your heaters off once a max temp is reached.
 

branflake12

yeah, thats right-purple ROPE
Sep 20, 2005
180
0
0
Iowa City
Thanks for the tips on the cleaning crew. Will the star tend to eat them if i leave it in there? I am not sure what the snails or crabs are. Ill try and get more pics tonight.

The aquaminder has a thermal probe that displays the current time and temp of the water. YOu can then set high and low temp alarms, and it also counts weeks & months to remind you to change the water, change the filter and do a "system check" and you can set those values. A little red light starts blinking at you if you dont clear the alert after a while. The temp on mine is not accurate at all, but I use a good glass thermometer and just do a relative temp for the high/low thresholds. Neat device.
 
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store