new to the hobby

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Registered Member
Jul 4, 2020
hi all

Thabo here

new to the hobby - haven't even had goldfish in the house, but I have had a successful aquaponics setup in the backyard for a couple years with some rather delicious hybrid striped bass (that tastes like tomatoes, and tomatoes that tastes like bass) so not a complete newby to the science.

I have wanted to keep fish ever since I visited the New York aquarium as a 10 year old - that was when I decided I would become a marine biologist.
Long story short... I became an aeronautics engineer and now make big metal birds all shiny again after the pilots and loaders have dented them.

Our middle kid needs some extra attention and alone-time from his father and a hobby that his siblings are not interested in, so... saltwater aquarium here we come.

I am probably going about this all wrong but after properly pricing a 75 gallon tank for myself about a year ago, all I could convince the boss would be a good idea was a small second hand 10 gallon setup.

the tank has a built in sump in the rear and came with a pump, a 25w heater that didn't work (at least it was stuck off and not stuck on), a 2w led light that burnt out within a day, and a bubble magnus qq of questionable integrity.
it also came with a couple pounds of rock which were still damp and no doubt host some STDs (second-hand transmittable diseases).
almost everything was dumped, and bought some dry rock, a new pump, 4W light and heater.

My son is bilingual and can read English but only as a second language and is much more comfortable in Hebrew.
There are only 4 books on aquariums available in Hebrew including one which is badly translated from French and is about 200 years old.
The only decent book I could find is a translation of Dick Mill's "you and your aquarium" so that'll have to do as an introduction for him.

started cycling at the begining of the year and a couple months ago before the lock-down started we added 2 small darwin clowns once the cycle had matured.
we originally used API test set but i dumped that for a Salifet set after loosing confidence in the API

after a couple months on the advice of several marine pet shops in the area we added a fridmani and an indigo psuedochromis.
since it's a really small tank we are not planning on adding any more fish other than a goby which could aid with cleaning.

we are doing water changes every 2 weeks and dosing with nitrophos minus daily
parameters have been steady throughout (no3 climbed to very high numbers until we started dosing).
ph -8.4
nh3 - 0.1 or lower
no2 - 0.0
no3 - 20

we have brown algae which i assume are diatomes over the rocks and on the lower regions of the walls.
some patches are now turning green and we have recently seen a few tiny spots which are white with a purple tinge.

any idea what these might be?

Happy to hear advice from you all







Lalo J.

AC Members
Mar 8, 2020
Hello thabo, welcome to AC, see your thread in another section on the white patches and violet tone, I'm not sure with the photos that you publish, a better photograph would help more. You have started with a small tank, which is not recommended when starting in salt water, because the level peaks are more controllable in larger tanks. You are already at the limit in fish, if you add a goby it is very likely that it will be killed by the Pseudochromis since they are extremely aggressive, and to be honest I'm surprised that those you have have not decided to fight to the death. Don't add more fish, I love salifert tests, don't let nitrates exceed 40 mg / l. It has diatoms, what water are you using? I would add 2 or 3 more pounds of rock. I have information that can help you know the correct starts in salt water, just shoot me an MP, good luck.