View Full Version : Tony's 75 Gallon Reef Tank

03-25-2007, 07:16 AM
Hey Gang,
It's been a while since I logged into Talkingreef. I just upgraded my 37 gallon to a 75 gallon recently. Let me say the wife was thrilled about that, NOT. I'll take some pics and post later. Got a ways to go on this one. Took me 11 hours to actually move everything, including 2 trips to the store for 40 gallons of ozonated/DI water. It's been going well for the last two weeks since I set it up. I was going buy a moon (lunar) wrasse however I haven't read many positive things about them since I stated researching. I did get a powder blue tang that is beautiful. Hope he does well, he was expensive!

03-25-2007, 09:45 AM
Congratulations Tony! We'd love to see some pictures!

03-25-2007, 12:50 PM
Hey Tony!

Good to see you! How are those triplets doing??

Can't wait to see your new tank.

03-25-2007, 06:31 PM
Pictures of the babies and the tank. :D

03-31-2007, 02:43 AM
Tony -

About the Powder Blue Tang:

1. They are ich magnets. They tend to get ich for any and all reasons, including stress.
2. They are bullies. Forget about any other tangs, or fish that are approx the same size, unless that fish is more aggressive.

They are, however, beautiful fish. I have had mine for several years. My concern is that it will probably outgrow your 75. These fish love to swim, and most "experts" (of which I am not one!) agree that a 6' tank is the minimum for an adult Powder Blue.

Good call on skipping the Lunar Wrasse!

04-17-2007, 08:27 AM

Choosing good stock and keeping Powder Blues fed correctly with a variety of foods you can keep them in a 75, I will admit that a 75 may be on the low end in tank size, which also can cause problems. However having said that, I have had a Powder Blue, Purple, and Clown tang in my reef for as long as 3 years. My reef at that time was a 75 gallon.

A clue to keeping peace is how they are introduced to the tank, turning off the lights to let them ease into the tank, and or keeping them in a large net or clear tub so the others can see them and get use to them, this can be helpful if you do see flaring, you can always remove them and go back into quarantine. Feeding everyone prior to introducing a new fish will work also, fat and happy buys you time.

Ick comes from stess and bad stock, quarintine the fish and feed correctly and you can have great luck with tangs.

I have also always tried to start with smaller specimens.

Enjoy, and good luck with your tank.

04-19-2007, 10:59 PM
Very interesting input on the tangs. Thanks! Well its been a few weeks and all heck has broken lose and I have lost about 4 fish within a week. The tang first off after two weeks, then shortly their after the angel (coral beauty), rabbit, & a damsel. All three went in about a week or so time. I checked water and everything was perfect. I still have 3 fish; clown, goby and chromis. All three I have had for a couple years. Nothing changed in the tank, high temp occasionally, 80.5 in the middle of the day sometimes and a low drop once to maybe 76 when a cold snap came thru and I didn't turn the heat on in the house. Usually the temp is around 79 on avg. However I do have a heater in the tank, but probably need to get a bigger one. But regardless I didn't notice any white spots and or to odd of behavior prior to death of the fish. I did notice the the rabbit and coral beauty started acting weird the night before death. The would find a spot in the tank and stay in that spot and just sit their wiggling (swimming in place) prior to finding them dead the next morning. I mentioned this to the LFS and had them also check my water. Oh one other thing, my salt may be a little high: 1.027, but I have heard that is OK. So they had my put some stuff called Rally by Ruby Reef in the tank.
rally_medication (http://www.northcoastmarines.com/rally_medication.htm)
LFS suggested I turn my skimmer off for about a day during the treatment. I put 15 oz in for the 75 gal of water as suggested on the label. Then realized it was 1oz for every 10 gal, should have only put in 7oz, duh. I misread the label. Anyway everything seems to be doing fine two days after treatment coral and fish. I turned the skimmer back on after a day. At this point what should I do, 20% water change? Leave the water in it? How long before introducing a new fish? What would be a good fish to try to re introduce into the tank? And after the fish surviving how long should I wait before adding more fish? Prior to upgrading to the new 75 gal, I always had problems introducing new fish, they all seemed to die within two weeks. But the fish that were in the 75 gal all lived two weeks or longer. The coral beauty was 6 months old or older. The tang and rabbit were about 3 weeks old. So any suggestions would be appreciated. And here are some pics as I promised previously of the new tanks.
DSC05325 on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonydawntriplets/441212091/in/set-72157600038819948/)

04-20-2007, 03:57 AM
Where to begin? First of all, let me say I am very sorry for your loss. It does happen to us all. The trick is to learn from our mistakes so as not to repeat them.

Here are some comments and suggestions. This is my advice, I am not an expert. I've just been doing this for most of my 43 years.

You have discovered why setting up a QT tank is so important. The stress that saltwater fish go through, between being caught in the ocean to arriving at our LFS, is amazing. Almost all livestock arrives diseased, some obvious, some not. A QT tank allows you to ensure that the fish are disease free, and that if they do become sick, they are in a controled enviroment for treatment. It also allows a fish to adapt to tank life, most important - eating. Fish should be QT'd for a minimum of 4 weeks after they show no signs of disease.

Never treat your display tank. Effective medicines will usually kill your corals, inverts, or live rock. Ineffective medicines will do nothing. The only way to make sure your tank is disease free (or close to disease free) is to allow it to run fallow (no fish) for 4 weeks minimum, 6 weeks are better. Even using a QT tank does not ensure that you will not have a disease outbreak. I QT all my fish, yet had a disease outbreak in my 240. Yes - my fish lived in a 46 tank for 6 weeks while I treated them and let the tank run fallow.

There may be other issues. 1.027 is too high for most fish, IMO. I would suggest 1.025 for reef tanks, and 1.023 for fish only.

Tempature fluctuations can cause stress, and stress can lead to disease. This is how my tank got an ich outbreak.

Speaking of stress, adding a new fish can cause stress to other tank mates as well.

You said you checked everything and the water is perfect. Could you be more specific? What exactly did you test?

Where the fish eating? Where they chasing each other? Where there any sores or cuts on the bodies?

Mu suggestion: set up a QT tank / do a 50% water change / lower the salinity / get that temp stabilized / let the display tank run fallow for 6 weeks / retest all water parameters / add fish SLOWLY after QT

Good luck

04-20-2007, 05:39 AM
did you test for nitrite and ammonia? In looking at your tank picture, you don't have a whole lot of live rock in there and I can't tell if your sand bed is deep or not (>4"). could you possibly have elevated levels? I know you said you tested the water, but what exactly did you test?

04-20-2007, 09:58 AM
I use the salifert test kits, which are supposed to be the best, and I test for the important ones; Ammonia, Cal, KH/Alk, Nitrate, Nitrite, & PH. That's why I took the water to my LFS to double check my results were correct. I don't have the actual reading I wrote down right in front of me they are at home. I have added about 10 more lbs of live rock since I took those pictures. I moved the rock from my old tank to the new 75 gallons and just don't have the money for all the rock I need yet. But I will add additional rock slowly but surely. My sand bed is about 4" or deeper.

04-20-2007, 10:32 AM
Awesome post THANKS for all the input and not flogging me to bad for my mistakes!!!! I guess thats how your learn in this hobby. Anyway great info, well sounds like I need to setup my old 37 and build a QT tank. Few questions first on a QT tank and if I should take this to another thread please let me know. I guess I have two avenues on my questions. One is how to setup a QT tank correctly and second is about how to go about the fallow process you mentioned about on my current tanks.

QT Tank first:
It is my understanding that you just want water and filtration on the QT tank, nothing else. No sand or rock. Would a QT tank use one of those UV aquarium/Water Sterilizer & Ozoniers on the QT tank, or just a skimmer and sump? And is their anything disease treatments you use in a QT tank to ensure the fish are treated during their stay before adding them to the main tank?

Second question:
in order to fallow my current tank you say it takes 6 weeks to clear up any issues. So take my fish out of the display (does that include corrals) and QT them for 6 weeks. Is the absence of fish for 6 weeks from a display tank a guaranty that their will be no diseases in the display after 6 weeks? Can the sand and the rock in the display hold onto any diseases during that 6 week period. I know these are probably dumb questions but figured I would ask anyway.

I feed the fish a pinch of flake everyday and some frozen seaweed cube every other day. I also add a frozen type of shrimp cube every few days. All of which I let thaw before adding. I don't know the exact names of the products since they are at home and I am at work.

see my post above to reebaby.

04-20-2007, 09:02 PM

You're welcome. One of the reasons I like TR so much is that everyone is really friendly and helpful, without all the attitude. (Unlike some other sites that shall go unnamed!) We are all trying to help one another succeed in our favorite hobby.

A QT tank is simple: tank, water, basic filtration or water movement (sponge filter, power head, hand on back filter minus any carbon filtration), heater, basic light, and perhaps some large pvc pieces or FAKE corals (for fish to hide in/behind). I don't use a UV on my QT tank, but you could. I would not use a skimmer, and a sump is overkill.

The most popular and effective medication to use is a copper-based medication. I use Copper Safe, and have had tremendous success in treating ich and other external diseases. Of course, the medication used should be designed to treat a specific disease or ailment. I also try not to mix medications. Unfortunately, there are numerous medications that are a complete waste of money. Pretty much anything that claims to be reef-safe has proven ineffective in my experience (for treating fish diseases that is). Also, there are certain fish that can not survive certain medications (Mandarin Fish and copper medications are a good example - don't do it!)

Your best bet is to research on the net, or pick up a good book on the subject. One of my very favorites is "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" by Robert M. Fenner. Awesome book for both beginners and experts, and a very easy read. Lots of great photos, too.

Letting your tank run fallow will not guarantee that all diseases and parasites are removed from your display tank, but it's close to a guarantee! Most fish-related diseases can not survive without a fish as a host for more than 4 weeks, so most people use 6 weeks as a safe cushion.

One last note about your QT tank. Please note that once you use medications in this tank, this tank can no longer hold corals or inverts. This includes all the filtration, pumps, etc. I have a separate bucket where I keep my nets, towels and supplies that come in contact with my QT tank, so I never accidentally use them in my display tanks. While this may be a little overkill, better safe than sorry I say!

I wish you the best of luck. Keep us up-to-date on the progress.

04-21-2007, 11:09 AM

Sorry to hear about your losses. That's a bummer. Here is a great article on Reefreaders - Quarantine Now! (http://www.reefreaders.com/content/view/22/1/) that will answer most of your questions.

As Dana said you must use the right medication for the disease. I do not routinely medicate fish that are not showing signs of disease but some people do.

I soak all of my food in garlic and vitamins. Garlic stimulates appetite and may have a beneficial effect on the immune system. Since we can never feed our fish like they eat in nature I believe the vitamins are a good insurance policy.

04-21-2007, 12:34 PM
two questions, #1 during the fallow period is it OK to leave my corals in the tank?
#2 since all new fish seems to be dying for unknown reasons any sugestions medications I should treat them with in the QT tank while my display fallows?

04-21-2007, 12:40 PM
In general fish and corals don't share diseases so I think you would be fine allowing the corals to remain in the tank. Are the fish you have in the DT still looking healthy?

04-21-2007, 02:53 PM
I agree with Carmie, fish and corals don't share diseases for al intents and purposes. Set up the QT and add a fish or two. Watrch them closely for signs of disease (rapid breathing, flashing (when they rub against something), spots, etc. Feed them a variety of foods. The first thing is to get them eating, so themp them with "meat" foods such as mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, etc. Then add some variety. Most fish need some vegetable matter in their diet, some need a lot (tangs for example). I agree with Carmie, garlic extract will help picky eaters to start eating, and can help prevent diseases.

Remember, if you have a fish in QT, then 2 weeks later you add another fish, you start the 4 - 6 week QT process all over for the older fish. So pick up a few fish, and then don't add any more until the QT is over.

Some people use a constant low level of copper as a preventative in their QT tank. I am one of those people. There are pros and cons to doing this or not. It comes down to whatever gives you the best success.

04-21-2007, 10:39 PM
Ya the fish look great that is the weird thing. They have been in the tank probably almost two years though, so whatever is causing the new fish to die. These fish seem to be imune to it. I will be setting up my old nano in the next few days for a QT tank. Should I put my bristal star in the QT tank also? I am assuming I should.

04-22-2007, 11:55 AM
No - leave the brittle star in the display tank. Copper and numerous other medications are deadly to inverts and corals. Also, even though the surviving fish appear disease free, they are most likely carriers. They nee to go into QT as well.

05-17-2007, 11:34 AM
OK I took everyones advice and setup the 12 gallon nano as a QT tank. It took some time to save up the money for all the stuff I needed to get the QT up and running. Sand, Live Rock, Filter, ect...

I will start QT and treating the fish this weekend. We shall see how it goes. I am going to do this for 8 weeks to allow the 75 gallon display to fallow. My plan is to them put the fish back in the main tank and any new fish I get go in the QT tank for 8 weeks and get treated with meds to ensure no diseases get back in the main tank.

What do you guys suggest I treat fish with in the QT tank? For disease and preventive? You can see pics of my QT tank on the link in my signature. I have a HOT filter, I took the media filter out of it becasue I heard it will remove the meds I add to the water. But this filter has a cool trickle thing on it that allows for a type of wet dry type of filtering. I also put 8.5 pounds of live rock with a deep sand bed in the QT tank to help with filtering. I used the water from my display tank to kick start the QT tank.

05-18-2007, 09:02 PM
Even though you didn't see any signs of ich I think that I would start with copper. I don't think that you want the sand and rock. It will help with filtration but it could harbor baddies. I think I would go with a sponge filter and water changes.

05-18-2007, 10:17 PM
Is everyone in agreement with that, no live rock in the QT tank? I thought someone told me that was OK. Sometimes you here contradictory stuff. I haven't added the fish yet so if I should take the rock out please let me know. I just feel bad putting the goby in the bare bottom tank for 8 weeks with out and sand to sift.

05-19-2007, 06:44 PM
I dont see a problem with LR in QT, but if you have end up with a disease, bad hitchhiker, or something else (reason for the QT inthe first place) you might not want to put that rock back in your main tank or at least not witout baking it or somethign to kill whatever got on it.

05-21-2007, 02:12 PM
if your goby would be happier, you could just consider the sand lost after the QT. A goby CAN survive in bare bottom tank, provided that there's enough food for it to eat, so I'd provide it with plenty of nori and other food sources. you could always put in some pvc piping for places for the fish to hide. these things can always be bleached and disinfected.

but, i agree with Carmie...I wouldn't put any live rock in there. you don't need to worry about cycling in a QT tank, just keep the water parameters up to par with water changes. the inhabitants (bacteria and crustaceans) of the live rock would be killed (most likely) with any sort of treatments that you would use. Just put in some things (PVC, etc) for the fish to hide in and they should be fine.

05-21-2007, 08:43 PM
Yep - no live rock in QT. A dose of copper, and you will have dead rock. Then this will polute the QT tank. And of course this rock will be useless and can never be added to the display tank, as it will absorb the copper. Plus, by absorbing the copper, it will throw off your copper levels, which are very important. Too little copper - diseases can survive. Too much copper - fish can die.

05-21-2007, 09:26 PM
10-4 I will get some PVC pipe tomorrow.

05-21-2007, 10:53 PM
welcome tony

after reading some of your thread, im going to be lazy & redirrect you for some quick reading.

Close your eyes, click you heels, & say, "theres no place like home, theres no place like home"

Copper,ich, QT's & all things supernatral (http://www.talkingreef.com/forums/marine-tank-problems/2714-first-post-its-common-ich.html)

10-04-2007, 03:35 PM
I wanted to give everyone an update on the entire QT and fallow process I went thru.

I kept having fish die that I purchased. All my param looks 100% and even took the water into get tested. I bought fish from several different stores and anything new I purchased dies. I tried all types of acclimation and nothing worked. Just dead fish in days...

I was soooooooooo fustrated. Almost ready to quit the hobby. Then someone in the forums mentioned fallowing my DT tank and QTing my 3 fish remaining fish. So thats what I did.

I QTed the 3 fish and treated with copper. Then let the main DT fallow for 4 months. Well all the new fish I add to the DT tank are now surving and doing great. I am soooooooooo thrilled. It's like I have waited three years for this. Thanks who ever suggested the fallow method, it obviously was some disease killing all the new fish I bought. Now I am nervous about putting the 3 old fish back in the DT tank. They seem to be great and were treated with copper for about a month now. I just dont want to upset the apple cart after going thru all that.

10-05-2007, 11:14 PM

My gut reaction is that you would be OK adding your 3 original fish back to the DT. I guess that you could treat them with an antibiotic as a prophylaxis since copper is for parasites but I probably would not.

10-06-2007, 02:31 AM
Yep - I agree with Carmie.

BTW - congrads on following through. Not everyone would have had the patience to do what you did. Most peoples reaction would have been to ignor our advice, or simply give up. You didn't give up, and now you can reap the benefits. This crazy hobby we all share a passion for can truly be one of the most frustrating ... and the most rewarding.

Photos please!