Ask the WWM Crew
|Please visit our Sponsors
Need help saving fish... selling... moving
Consult the Experts, I do... 90 g upgrade...
reef... plumbing and moving plan
upgrading to a larger tank... Moving
Stocking and moving Plan for 220 Gallon FOWLR Tank 10/15/08 Hello Crew, <Sean> I'm upgrading from a 120g to a 220g FOWLR (72L*24W*30H) that will be set up as an island display with visibility from all 4 sides. The overflows will be in the corners, live rock will be in the middle (with plenty of see-through/swim-through areas) and the area between the rocks and the glass on all 4 sides will be left as open swim lanes. After much research, I've finally narrowed down my "wish list" (shown with adult fish size): * Rock Beauty Angel (8") <Mmm, a rare male... start much smaller... and this Holacanthus sp. is not easily kept... do read my acct. on WWM re> * Flame Angel (4") * Red Sea Golden Butterfly (9") <Better in pairs/twos... I'd skip one of the other B/F's and get two> * Saddleback Butterfly (9") * Blue Striped Butterfly (5") <A neat species... C. fremblii> * Purple Tang (10") * White-Faced Tang - a. japonicus not a. nigricans (8") * 2 False Percula Clowns (already paired) (3.5") * 3 Bartlett's Anthias (4") * Orangetail Blue Damsel (3") * Mystery Wrasse (5") * Six-line Wrasse (3") (About 83" total.) I realize that the Rock Beauty requires plenty of sponge in its diet, and I've seen plenty of suggestions for food sources on your website, so I really want to give it a try, as this is easily my favorite fish. So, on to my questions... * Bio Load - What size sump and what size refugium would you recommend for this to be a "safe" bio load with a 220g tank? <Mmm, the biggest/largest you can fit in, really> I am not limited to space inside the stand, as the sump and refugium will be located in the basement below the tank. <Look into Rubbermaid's troughs...> * Big Fish - The above includes 5 fish that are 8-10" in length. Is this too many "big" fish for this size tank? <Mmm, no... given the shape, volume of the system... I don't think these animals will really approach their maximum sizes stated... Maybe half to two-thirds over years time> * Aggression - The above includes a total of 7 angels, tangs and Butterflyfishes, which are reasonably similar in shape and diet. I only have 2-3 of each species, and with the exception of the Butterflyfishes, only one of each genus. I'm hoping that the genus mixture, coupled with the large tank size (with double the swim lanes resulting from the island set-up) will minimize the chance of aggression, or is this an accident waiting to happen? <Mmm, no... I give you very good odds that you'll be fine here> If so, would the situation be helped much if I "downgraded" the Golden Butterflyfish to a Lemonpeel Angel and/or "downgraded" the White-faced Tang to a Tomini Tang so that I have fewer of the "big" fish? <Not really an issue> * Wrasse - I've read that sixlines can be aggressive toward small, peaceful wrasse. Should I be concerned about the Sixline harassing the mystery wrasse in a tank this size? <Mmm, no... s/b plenty of room for them to avoid each other> If so, I might get a more peaceful radiant wrasse instead of the Sixline. Also, I've read some sources which indicate that all three of these could go after small ornamental shrimp, <Can, do> while other sources indicate that they are completely reef safe and won't harm invertebrates. <Mmm, not so> What's your impression? Would peppermints, skunk cleaners and fire shrimp be OK with all three? <If all are well fed... better than even chances of getting along> * Algae control - Without coral, I'll be able to go with minimal lighting, and I'll keep the temps around 76", but the tank will be exposed to quite a bit of direct sunlight. As this is a big, deep tank, I want to avoid having to go scuba diving to keep algae under control, so the stocking plan includes a lot of algae eaters. (I'll supplement with seaweed and algae in the feedings in case algae levels aren't quite high enough.) I've read that the Kole tang is the best for hair and bubble algae, but I just don't find it as appealing as the other fish in my wish list. Does the purple tang go after bubble algae? <Mmm, no, not as much by far> Does the white-faced tang or the Tomini tang go after it? <The genus Ctenochaetus are best here, and with micro-algal species that are palatable> I believe they all go after hair algae, right? <Yes> I know that emerald crabs eat bubble algae, but I also read many of your FAQs which indicate that they come with their own set of potential problems... Also, what critter(s) would you recommend for keeping the sand free of algae? <A sand stirring goby or two perhaps (genus Valenciennea), and/or a goatfish sp.> I have Nassarius snails and a sand sifting star in my 120g, but I still get a bit more algae on the sand than I would like. I may not have enough Nassarius snails stirring up the sand... * Angels - I know that a tank should be up and running for 6 months before adding angels. Since most of the rocks and sand will come from the old system that has been "live" for more than 6 months, how long should I wait before introducing the angels into the new system? Also, should the angels be introduced last, or should the tangs be introduced last? <S/b fine to add once the system is stabilized... let's say in a week or two> * Skimmer(s) - Some sources recommend using 2 skimmers of different types for large tanks. What types would you recommend here? Any particular brands/models that you would recommend here? <One of good quality will do... RK2, EuroReef, AquaC...> * Wet-dry trickle with live rocks vs. using only live rock - I've read/heard strong recommendations on both sides of this argument. What do you think would be best in this setup? <The LR> * The Big Move - My plan is to first fill the new system with RO/DI water to run and check for leaks, then mix the salt right in the system. But then what? Should I gradually do daily water changes from the old system to the new system and gradually move live rocks from the old system to the new system (adding new cultured rocks to the old system) until the new system tests well? <Mmm, likely once all is mixed, settled in water wise, mixing just once, some of the old water for the new... then next week, moving all the old into the new...> Or would I be better off with a big bang approach -- i.e., after the new water is fully mixed and salinity/temperature adjusted in the new system, drain some of the water from the new tank, add all the new cultured live rock to the new tank and move all of the water and live rocks from the old system to the new system? <This, with the one intermittent period> This would then be the equivalent of a massive water change, since the livestock would have all of their old water and live rocks/sand, but lots of new water, too. Or is it possible that some water parameter may get out of balance? (The only inhabitants of my 120g that will need to make the move are 2 clowns, 3 Anthias, 2 serpent stars, the sand star, a peppermint shrimp, a skunk cleaner shrimp and various snails and hermits.) <Best to mix, back and forth at least once...> Sorry for so many questions. Thanks so much for your help (and for all of the great articles and FAQs on you website that have greatly helped my research). <No worries, glad to conspire with you. Bob Fenner>
Tank size upgrade - 09/19/07 Hey My name is Justin McLaren , I live in South Africa . <Welcome to WWM.> I just finished reading all the questions asked on your web pages and its helped so much . but my main question was not answered , it's a very simple question really ,I have a small 120 litre tank but recently purchased a new aquarium (750 litres) and it is running very smoothly and has been for 5 days . all my levels (ph,no3,no2,alk etc) are good . how much longer do I need to wait till I can transfer my fish to my new tank . <Have you moved all the sand and rock from the old tank to the new tank? That might help speed things up a little, but you still need to wait for the new tank to cycle. Adding some new live rock, food or some other nutrient/ammonia source will also help. Keep measuring your ammonia, no3 and no2 until there is a peak of ammonia, then a peak in no2, then finally a slow rise of no3. Once the no3 stabilizes (or ideally goes to 0 again), that's when your new tank is ready. This could take anywhere from a week to 4 weeks. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetupii.htm> Your help will be much appreciated . <De nada, Sara M.>
Pondering a move... Shipping fish across country 8/28/07 Hi guys, <Hi Allan, Mich with you tonight.> Before I even think further about this I have to get an educated opinion. <Well, my student loans would say I'm educated and I certainly have opinions! Heehee!> I just upgraded my tank to 70gal marine, new sump, new skimmer, slightly larger fish load than my old 40. <Congrats!> Thinking of going to NYC to further my education, <Always good!> I live in So Cal now. <Lucky you!> This would happen in the dead of winter. <Better you than me!> Am I crazy to even think about moving the aquarium and fish? <Personally I'd start with the moving from LA to NYC question. ;) > As it turns out, my brother, back east, has a dormant 125-gallon setup, so I could leave the tank, take the sump (acrylic), pumps, chiller, lights, etc, and ship the fish? <Would be the easiest way. More info here, not totally applicable but will give you some ideas perhaps: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_3/cav3i6/Moving.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/movingaq.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/movaqfaq.htm and related links in blue> I've gotten very attached to them. <I do understand.> If school pans out, I could fly ahead, set up his tank a month or so before, get it cycling, then ship the fish just before I leave myself. <This sounds like a good idea or you may be able to arrange for you LFS to ship them to you as well.> Am I nuts to even think about this, or should I find a good home for them and start anew? <Either are possibilities. Shopping is not unheard of. Doesn't necessarily make the most financial sense, but it does sound like it is about the money.> Thanks, Allan in Los Angeles. <Welcome, Mich in the Pocono Mountains of PA.>
Stock Exchange? (Stocking For The Long Term) 6/6/07 Hello Crew: <Hey there! Scott F. here tonight!> I have a situation that is causing me to move my current fish to temporary housing for a couple months. The problem is that as much as I say that they will only be temporary I can not be 100% sure and would like to be able to house the fish for life in the "temporary" tanks if possible. <An excellent strategy/practice. I commend you for being honest with yourself!> Here is my plan for them. Please let me know what you would change if anything. I currently have two tanks- a 75 and a 55 and between the two I have the following fish. 1 Mombasa Lionfish 1 Lawn Mower Blenny 2 Percula Clowns 1 Pygmy Angel 1 Orchid Dotty Back 3 Green Chromis 1 Banggai Cardinal 1 Yellow Watchman Goby and his Pistol Shrimp 2 Cleaner Shrimp 5 Serpent Star Fish Various snails and Crabs. I have about 100lbs of Live Rock between the two tanks with about 100 lbs of Tufa mixed in that looks just like the live rock now. I plan on setting up a 26 Gallon Bow Front tank with 30lbs of the live rock, an Aqua C Remora and a couple small power heads. I will then add the Clowns, The Goby and all of the shrimp. I will also put in 2 of the serpent stars and all of the snails and crabs. I would love to add the Angel/Cardinal also but am not sure if they would fit. <I would not add the Angel and Cardinal, myself. I think that this is too small a water volume for any more animals, and physically not enough space for the Angel, particularly when you take into account its potential for territoriality!. If not what size would hold all of them comfortably for life, including the Dottyback? <If "all of them" means the Clowns, Goby, shrimp, Stars and Dottyback, I would not go less than a (gasp) 55-75 gallon tank! How's that for an annoying answer!> The second tank will be 30 if possible (can go bigger if you think its a must for the lion) and I will add the Lion, Blenny, and 3 of the Stars. Do you think the Dottyback would fit into this mix? <I am concerned about the potential for them to become Lionfish snacks in a smaller system. I still would not go much smaller than a 55...Not the ideal answer, but I have to be honest with you.> This tank will have about 30lbs of live rock a couple power heads and a Remora Skimmer as well. I will be giving the Chromis to a friend along with any of the other fish that you don't think will fit. <Ahh, good.> The Lion and the Clowns are my babies and the reason that I got into the hobby so both tanks are going to be based on their needs. Any advice is appreciated and feel free to mix up the stocking list to make it a better plan. I appreciate all of your help. <This being said, I'd consider moving out the Angel, Dottyback, Cardinal and Goby. This way, you could keep the Lionfish in a slightly smaller system, without fear of it preying on other fishes. Notice that I said "slightly" smaller. Being a predator, it produces copious amounts of metabolic waste products, and you need a respectable water volume to help dilute them. Do keep thinking in the long term with your stocking approach- its a good practice for you and your babies! Best of luck to you! Regards, Scott F.
Upgrading tank 9/19/05 Hey guys, I am plotting a tank upgrade this week and I'm a bit nervous about it. My current tank is a 45gal and I purchased a 65gal from a friend. In my mind it seems rather easy, but as I read some of the articles I'm getting worried. I have a local "fish guy" who seems to always have good advice, and he seems to think what I'm doing isn't all that big of a deal... <I agree. Simply moving animals from one tank to another is usually not that hard. Be sure to have plenty of extra salt water, lots of buckets and tubs and lots of towels!> Any way I plan on draining all the water out and putting it into the new tank, then adding aprox 15 gal of new saltwater. I have several larges rocks. As for the substrate, I had planned on using most of it. There must be 2 inches of crushed coral. <I am not getting a clear picture of your plan, but I would suggest the following: Drain most of the water to buckets and/or tubs. With most of the water removed, it will be a simple task to capture the animals and place them in the buckets/tubs. Transfer the substrate and rock to the new tank and arrange as you like. Return all of the water from the original tank to the new tank (placing a plastic bag over the substrate helps prevent stirring and clouding) along with the animals. Us the extra salt water you mixed up the day before to top off the new tank. Move the filters, turn everything on and you are ready to clean up!> I'm using all the same filtration: 2 of the largest emperor filter with bio wheels. (I've done extremely well with them by the way). <Good to hear. I am not partial to power filters in marine tanks, but "don't fix what ain't broke! Do see here if you are curious: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_2/cav2i5/Filtration/Filtration.htm> I'm kind of looking at this as a major water change. I have 5 fish including: neon Dottyback, needle nose hawk, 2 clowns and a canary wrasse, 2 anemones, no live rock, 3 star fish, crabs and turbo snails. I don't see how this is much different than one of my 40% water changes I do every three months. <Agreed.> I also thought I'd set up my 10gal to keep the fish in while I do this, or is a bucket suffice with air stones?? <Buckets should be fine. If you can move quickly and efficiently, even airstones are probably unnecessary.> I do realize that my ammonia will spike a bit but I'm sure it does when I clean my tank. I'm hoping this will only take a couple of hours. I was planning on removing most of my decorations out a little bit at a time during the week, then on Sunday going for it. I did buy a bag of live sand to add to what I have now. Am I going at this totally wrong?? Nervous Nelly.....KJ <I don't think you will have an ammonia spike at all unless your substrate is really filthy. In this case, I would rinse it well with saltwater before adding it to the new tank. Don't worry, it should go fine. Best Regards. AdamC.>