Hello everyone! Yep, I'm a newbie :D


Reefing newb
Hello, everyone!

I am a newbie in the saltwater hobby. My goal is to eventually have a marine reef system but I have so much yet to learn. I just started my tank about 3 and 1/2 weeks ago and am trying to research information about my tank as much as possible. So, I look forward to talking to all of you and getting feedback and hopefully I can do the same for you all one day..lol!

Well, when I first started my tank a few weeks ago I just had a 29 gallon tank, salt, water, water conditioner, heater, and hang-on filter. But within days I added about 10 lbs of live rock and gradually more and more. I also added a blue damsel and a true percula clown at that time. I have set aside a CPR Bak-Pak 2 protein skimmer. This past weekend we invested in a hydor nano powerhead and a Fluval 205 canister filter for the tank. Both of these are working really well!

Last weekend we met a guy at our LFS that just walked up to us and said they were renovating their house and he wanted to get rid of his saltwater fish and accessories. We inherited about 50-70 pounds of live rock that has been in use for about 10 years along with a black and white oscellaris clown and a true percula clown (now our second one we have), a Finnex Power Compact light, and whatever treatment solutions he had (which we haven't touched as we are letting the tank cycle).

The only thing I that slightly concerns me was the amount of green hair algae on the rocks he gave us. I pulled off as much of it as I could before placing it in our tank but for now I am relying on our two emerald crabs to take care of it for now. Any suggestions in that area?

welcome turn the lights off for a few days and that will help the the hair algae. and get a cleaner crew when the tank is finished with the cycle. i would start changing water also since you have live animals in there by doing that it will help to keep the toxic levels down during the cycle. just so you know those fish could die because they are in there right now
hmm - so you have about 80 lbs of live rock in your 29g? Wow! How do you get fish in their as well?

Also, if you want to start using your skimmer (and anyway) you will want to stop using tap water with conditioner (this is what I assume you are doing from what you said) and using RO or DI water instead - otherwise your skimmer will just go insane!

Hair algae: a little difficult to suggest what you do yet as I'm a bit confused about your setup.. if you have just added it and are letting the tank cycle, then just forget about it for a couple of weeks. I have a feeling you have a larger tank as well - have you?
No, we didn't place all of the live rock in there. It would never fit...lol! We sold a good portion of it to the LFS. I would say we have about maybe 40 pounds in there maybe a little less. But anyway I am pretty certain it is a 29 gallon as I have compared its measurements online. Yeah, I am pretty much leaving the tank alone and hoping since it is still cycling that the problem will soon clear up on its own.

Thanks for the advice on water usage. I will definitely invest in some good R/O water when I do my tank change.

Right now we have two emerald crabs in our tank along with two turbo snails as we have started to get an increasing amount of brown algae which I was told means that our nitrates are rising.

Also, we just noticed last night that there was a different crab hiding within a rock that we purchased from our LFS the same day we acquired the free rock (before we got the free rock, that is). I can't tell exactly what type of crab it is. I have been checking out numerous web sites trying to see what it could be. It seems to be nocturnal. When I turned on the lights this morning it scurried off to find a hiding place. It was initially hiding in a hole on the outside edge of one of our base rocks. It is darker purple and white. The closest I could think of is that it could be a porcelain crab, maybe? But perhaps since it seems to be nocturnal it is a hermit crab? If so, I will have to look into a shell for it.

Any ideas as to what it might be? Here is a picture


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ok - that makes more sense :-) As previously advised, just let the tank cycle now. The advice to change water is good for the sake of the fish you have. Regarding the crab, I have no idea .. but it's not a hermit (that would be in a shell) and I don't think it is a porcelain either.. maybe a sally lightfoot??
kinda looks like a sally lightfoot, does it look like an uggo spider?

You have three clowns in a 29g? If you do, one has to go. Take the two true percs and ditch the black and white (as much as I hate to say that, I love em). Actually, you should probably keep the two the guy gave you as they probably get along already. Your lfs should take the other back as store credit if he's nice.

Welcome to the club! I found this site about 10 mths ago, starting my first tank, and you will not find a more helpful bunch on the web. And they don't try to talk you into buying a ton of crap you don't need. If they tell you to get it, theres a good reason!
I am trying to post you a better picture of what the crab looks like. Here is a closeup. The crab is not in the same place now.. I will have to try to locate it again. But here's what I have...


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I was checking out this website for a unit you can hook up to your canister filter. It ionizes the water and is called the Eco-aqualizer. Was thinking after my tank has finally cycled it might be a good investment but would like some advice on this. As far as I can tell it might be a better substitute for a UV Stabilizer in the future.

Any thoughts anyone?
First off,Welcome to the sire.I think you'll it just as addictive(if not more addictive)as the hobby.
Now,What are your plans for the tank?Reef,FOWLR,or fish only?If your going reef,you'll really have to pay attention to your canister filter and keep it well maintained and clean to keep your water quality in check.
As for crab,keep a close eye on it.Unidentified crabs can be bad news for your fish and inverts.Remember this saying "when in doubt,take it out"
I have some better pictures of the crab. Here it is... Anyone know what kind of crab this is?


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I have no idea,but its a beautiful critter.Its pinchers are spoon shaped,so it SHOULD(notice I said SHOULD) be OK.50/50 chance as to weather or not it wont bother your other livestock.
Hi and welcome!

People have tried the Eco-Aqualizer and done reviews on the product. The consensus is that it's snake oil, a sham... I really haven't read anything about it being effective. But I have not tried one myself, so I can't say for sure if it's good or not.

Yeah, I am not too sure about the product myself that is why I figured I would ask around on here to find out what other people might have to say about it. I found a review about it online at this site http://www.saltcorner.com/sections/reviews/productreviews/ecoaqualizer.htm But I have yet to understand how this might work for an aquarium. They say that you can hook it up to your canister filter on the output hose. I am still quite uncertain about this. I might just look into a UV sterilizer someday instead just to be on the safe side.
Most people find UV sterilizers unnecessary. They are useful if you have a tank full of sickly, disease prone fish (like sensitive tangs), but most people believe that the cons outweigh the pros.
Just a general comment from my experience: In my first exploration into saltwater I set up a couple of tanks and got addicted to gadgets and equipment. I honestly thought I was pumping money into stuff that would make a great system and provide a wonderful living environment for my creatures. What I ended up with was a maintenance nightmare, the whole system became dependent on the equipment running well and being well maintained (= regularly cleaned), so my weekly/monthly tasks grew pretty big!! and to be honest I still had the same problems as everybody else = algae outbreaks, strange swings in water composition etc - in fact I might say it was worse...

As always, I was constanty reading on-line and off, but choosing what I wanted to believe and what not, so all those experienced articles about keeping systems simple were just skimmed over, because I knew best of course (and was having fun with all my equipment).

As I set up my new system (having just moved) I intend to keep it real simple. fewer bits of equipment = fewer things to go wrong! I'm going to try to keep to a few basic rules: take everything slowly, regular water changes, keep any mechanical filtration clean! set everything up for easy maintenance (everything in easy reach, not buried under piles of other stuff etc)... equipment: pumps for water circulation, lights, heater and a skimmer.

So all this translates into some simple advice: get your system cycled and stable. keep all the filters clean & simplify them (get rid of messy mechanical filtration that is difficult to clean & replace it with something that will do the job but be painless for you to remove and clean/replace - that way you will be more likely to do it on-going). Once all is working in harmony, add equipment only if you really need to, and even consider it temporary at the time (for example a UV sterlizer to eliminate and algae bloom - when clear disconnect the UV)

just my :twocents: