Feelin Fishy!!!

By: Kevin | June 12, 2011
feeling-fishy-1

Now that my Discus have been laid to rest in their Hefty bag, it’s time for a fresh beginning. My focus: 55 gallon saltwater. Psyched. In all my years ‘fishin’ I’ve never had a saltwater tank. My live rock has come along nicely; I took most of the pieces out and gave them another scrub last week since the initial scrub and I think the rock will be fine. It’s beginning to get some algae growth – sort of looks like a toasted marshmallow color. I was a little worried at first because I thought it might get out of hand! After consulting some peeps over at The Greater Iowa Reef Society (GIRS) I calmed down as many people said this was a normal and I will likely get a few more ‘blooms’.

feeling-fishy-2
The tank has been cycling empty for about two months and its been driving me nuts to see it so lifeless. I’ve been cautious to run out and buy fish because the average price for saltwater fish is close to $25 and that’s probably being generous. Like my freshwater tanks when I would start them I’d always get some ‘junk’ fish like goldfish to throw in the tank for a few weeks to let the tank cycle. I wanted to do the same for my saltwater and it was suggested I try yellow tail damsels. At a cheap $4 apiece I was willing to start there. Within the first week, two of the four had died. I let another week go buy and the two yellow tails were eating well and I wasn’t worried about losing the. The other day my better half suggested I bite the bullet and go get a couple more fish. We hopped in the whip and ran over to Petco thinking I’d pick up one clown that runs about $20. Like shopping with any women, I walked out with a tab of nearly $80. DISCLAIMER: my girlfriend did not entice me to spend more money, the beautiful fish did. I walked out with two Clown fish, one Royal Gamma Basslet, two red-legged hermit crabs, oh and Kibby food I guess. I’ve Had them for a week now and they are alive and kickin’. Chillin n’ McGill’n!
Royal Gamma Basslet

Royal Gamma Basslet

After having the fish and crabs for a bit I noticed my algae kicked it in high gear! It started growing on my sand! I went on the GIRS tank tour and talked to a few people about the bloom and learned another striking difference between fresh and saltwater tanks. In freshwater tanks I would always have at least one bottom or algae eater to act as a clean-up crew. Well, in saltwater tanks, most of the so-called clean up crew aren’t fish, they’re crabs, snails, ect. Only having two crabs, as it turns out, isn’t nearly the clean-up crew needed for my 55. I got suggestions for 1-2 snails per gallon of water. Basically, you can’t have to many. Coincidently, before I had left for the tank tour I took a picture of the algae. Take a look.
Before.

Before.

When I got back from the tank tour, (3-4 hours) I was stunned to see the crabs had already gone to town on the stuff!! Now look.
After.

After.

I’m completely sold. I need to get some more of the clean up crew!!! Further coincidently, I won 12 snails as a door prizes from the tank tour!!! haha!!