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55 Gallon Quarantine Tank

October 01, 2013 by Peter (0 Comments)
Just wanted to post an update almost a year later of how our little Frogspawn coral is doing.

After re-doing our 55 gallon tank with better flow and strong LED lighting, the Frogspawn has really taken off. In less than a year, it now has around 5 or 6 heads and is just massive. I think we're putting together this new large tank together just in time. The Frogspawn should now have tons of room to grow in the new tank.


October 01, 2013 by Peter (0 Comments)
The main goal of starting over with our 55 gallon tank was to try to keep more difficult species of coral. The most difficult type of coral to keep are the SPS/Acropora variety.

After going to a very nice coral store, but finding out they didn't keep much SPS, I had to bite the bullet and buy a tiny frag of Surf N Turf Coral from a store I didn't much like. The owner, who is so set in his old fashioned ways, even told me SPS would not grown under LEDs.

Needless to say, less than a year later, that tiny SPS frag has just blown up in size. I really can't wait to get this Surf N Turf into the new tank and get it under better LEDs with much more flow and better filtration. I have a feeling this might become a superstar coral in my new tank.


October 01, 2013 by Peter (0 Comments)
The Candy Cane coral is a true stand out in a reef aquarium. With it's crazy neon yellow/green color, it is sometimes also labeled the Kryptonite Coral.

We've had the Candy Cane for just over a year and it has already split a few times, now looking a lot bigger than when we first bought it. The Candy Cane seems to be a pretty easy coral to keep as well. I really also enjoy seeing it feeding at night, when the Candy Cane looks a bit creepy with it's tentacles out in full extension. I really feel that in the new tank, the Candy Cane will take off and get much larger.


October 01, 2013 by Peter (0 Comments)
The Flower Pot Coral might be one of the cutest species of coral on the market. Needless to say my wife fell in love with it and said we really need to add it to the tank.

The specimen of Flower Pot was bought was extremely small and has grown slowly in our tank. I'm not sure if this is due to flow, placement or lighting. We hardly ever seen full extension, but hopefully in the new tank we'll see the Flower Pot take off.


October 01, 2013 by Peter (0 Comments)
One of the pieces of coral I've always wanted to have in my tank was a Torch Coral. I just loved how it's sweeping tentacles would sway in the flow of a reef tank.

After we sold our 240 gallon tank and decided to start new with the 55 gallon tank, I knew I wanted a Torch Coral right away. We went to check out a local coral store and were blown away with their selection. After browsing for a few minutes I found the perfect little Torch to take home.

The torch has been a great coral in our tank. It always catches your eye, and our little Black Ice Snowflake Clownfish has even decided to host in it.

I really can't wait to see the Torch Coral grow and prosper in our new 470 gallon reef tank as well. Make sure to check out this page often for updates on the Torch Coral as it grows.


November 02, 2012 by Peter (0 Comments)
The thrid time we encountered a loss of fish was a pretty strange situations to say the least...

Right before Christmas time we met my wife's father and his girlfriend for dinner. After sitting down we were told that our Christmas present was in their car, but we should take it home soon. After eating we went out to their car and we saw our present.

Our present was a Sailfin Tang, 3 Yellowtail Damsels and a Fire Shrimp. I was shocked and pretty upset, but you can't really tell them to take the fish back, since they probably wouldn't end up living. We decided to take them home and hope for the best.

At this time we still weren't quarantining new fish and had to add all of the fish right to the display tank. The fish all seemed fine, minus one Damsel that was very light in color and missing some of his fins.

Now up until this time our little 55 gallon tank was doing pretty well and I was actively looking for a larger tank to upgrade to. The current livestock was a Niger Trigger (gave away to my tank builder), Yellow Tang, Ocellaris Clownfish and a Skeletor Moray Eel. Everybody got along just fine and I hadn't seen any signs for alarm. No ICH, Flukes, etc...

We acclimated all of the new fish and let them free in the display tank. Instantly the Yellow Tang took interest in the Sailfin Tang and started chasing it. The next morning the sickly Damsel was found dead at the bottom of the tank. Soon after another Damsel passed away. Around this time we noticed ICH spots on the Sailfin, also some of his fins were frayed.

I knew this wasn't going to work out in a small tank and started looking for a new home for the Sailfin, but it was too late. The Sailfin passed away soon after the first signs of ICH. I had to later also get rid of the last living Damsel after it wouldn't stop chasing the Yellow Belly Blue Tang and Black Ice Clownfish I added a few months later. The Fire Shrimp although being best friends with the Skeletor Eel soon became Trigger bait.

Now after all the deaths and first signs of ICH in my tank we decided to visitor the store where the fish were bought. It wasn't a LFS, but rather a general pet store far North of us. As soon as we stepped inside I got so upset. This place had snakes, lizards, puppies in tiny cages, etc... Their saltwater fish all had ICH and the tanks didn't seem kept up with. So no wonder these fish died and brought disease and tension to my tank. The day the Sailfin died, the other fish seemed normal again. Removing the tension between the two Zebrasoma Tangs suddenly fixed the moods of the rest of the fish.

Now for the gift that keeps giving, soon I had flukes pop up in the tank. Was pretty easy to get rid of, but still.

This was a horrible lesson of why you can never accept livestock as a present and why every single thing that goes into your tank needs to go through the proper quarantine procedure.


October 31, 2012 by Peter (0 Comments)
The second crash we went through after we started keeping saltwater fish was a huge one.

The first signs that something was wrong in our tank was that the water started to smell really bad. Normally there is hardly any smell from a saltwater tank, so that was a bit odd. A few days later I noticed that our Flame Angelfish started to lose his vibrant red color. The next day it was at the bottom of the tank dead and had even less color. At this point I was pretty much lost as to what happened.

A few days later the same thing happened to our Spotted Mandarin and it suffered the same fate. I could not figure out what was going on. I read everywhere and couldn't figure out what was happening. In no time our Red Head Solon Fairy Wrasse passed away as well. I was just so lost at this point.

Soon after our Black Ocellaris Clownfish start acting weird and swimming at the bottom of the tank. That morning I went to a trusted LFS and asked the owner what his thoughts where. He blammed the live sand we used and also that we were using treated tap water. That day I took the remaining fish (Ocellaris Clownfish, Black Ocellaris Clownfish and Skeletor Moray Eel) and inverts out of the tank. I tore the tank down and removed all of the water, live rock and live sand. I added in crushed coral and RO water, with half of the water being from an established tank. I also added in some liquid bacteria.

While I had the rock out of the tank, I noticed that two pieces smelled terrible. These were the two newest pieces I had just bought recently. It looks like the rock had not been cured and the LFS did not tell me this when I purchased it. I threw the bad rock away and added the remaining livestock in.

That night the Black Ocellaris Clownfish died and I felt terrible for our Occellaris Clownfish who had paired with it. The Eel and other Clownfish pulled through and are still doing good to this day. This crash taught me the hard way about uncured live rock and what it can do to your fish.

The next crash I had was a few months away, and it was from no real fault of mine, minus not quarantining fish. I was put in a very bad position and the result was some fish deaths... more on that later...


October 30, 2012 by Peter (0 Comments)
I knew that keeping a saltwater tank was not easy to do well, but if I knew the learning curve involved beforehand I don't think I would have bought a tank.

Our first tank was a 55 gallon tank with a heater and a hang on the back filter. Needless to say this is not the best setup for keeping a thriving reef. The first fish we bought after our tank cycled was an Ocellaris Clownfish and a Blue Tang. Yeah the store was really smart to sell us that Blue Tang for a 55... but whatever. From day one the little Blue Tang had Ich on and off, nothing major but you could see a spot every now and then. For the most part though it was very happy in the tank.

Still knowing nothing about keeping a saltwater tank, I thought I'd upgrade my filtration and buy a big Eheim canister filter and a AquaC Remora hang on the back skimmer. This setup if just fine for a super low bioload system, and I plan on leaving it on the 55 gallon holding tank. I am just running live rock rubble in the canister though.

Anyway back to the story, I got my new skimmer and filter and proceeded to rip off the old hang on the back filter and it's nice and full of bacteria bio wheel and install the new filter and skimmer. On top of that I put in some newly mixed saltwater. I didn't know how to mix water back then and used a pump to mix the water instead of a powerhead or two and the water was always like 50% mixed when I put it in.

I didn't think much about it at the time, just thought I was making the situation better... cloudy water and all. The next day we woke up and the blue tang was barely swimming and being drug around the tank by a cleaner shrimp. It then got away and swam into a rock and died. It was extremely sad for my wife and I.

That day I figured out that hooking up a brand new filter (including the included filter media... UGH!) and removing the old filter full of bacteria pretty much set off a little cycle in the tank. The baby Blue Tang just couldn't take the change.

Luckily putting that old filter back on later that day and letting it run with the new filter for a few weeks fixed that crash. Only the Blue Tang passed away during that mistake, but soon to come was a huge crash with hundreds of dollars of fish taken out... the cause of that was live rock... and I'll talk all about that in a day or two.


October 23, 2012 by Peter (0 Comments)
Since we will be setting up our new 240 gallon reef tank in the very near future, I thought it was be good to start posting about our first reef tank beforehand.

In the next few posts I will be detailing this tank in far more detail, but we bought the tank of a whim one lazy weekend afternoon after watching tanked. I've always wanted a saltwater tank, but when I was growing up my parents said it was too expensive, so I ended up keeping freshwater cichlids.

Having Tina watch Tanked and get interested in the hobby was all the excuse I needed to drop everything and go to the local fish store (LFS). We bought a 55 gallon all in one bundle and some live rock and were off to the races.

After letting the tank cycle, which seemed like forever at the time, we went out and bought our first livestock. Not knowing anything, we ended up with an Ocellaris Clownfish (Nemo), Blue Tang (Dory - In a 55 gallon... nice one LFS), Hermit Crabs and a cleaner Skunk Shrimp.

Needless to say we had no idea of all the ups and downs and time commitments involved, but we'll get into that later.

Here is a quick video of our tank shortly after adding our new livestock... Nemo is still with us today and has gone though all of our major newbie crashes... he's a true little rock star.


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