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David
Junior Member
Username: Bigwave

Post Number: 11
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 09:43 pm:       

Just looking for a little advice here.

I have been thinking about starting a SW tank for a while now. I have been reading up on SW tanks, and I understand as much as I probably ever will, until I actually jump in and start my own.

A friend of mine is selling his 55 Gal SW for only $200. It has been running for 2 years, has 2 HOB BioWheel type filters and Protein Skimmer. There is about 40 lbs of Live Rock and another 40 lbs of live sand in the tank, and 3 fish.

The tank has not been cleaned or maintained well lately. Salt is creeping on the outside of the tank. Areas where the live sand touched the glass are full of algae. A type of polyp is infecting the tank at the moment. They came from some of the live rock, and a couple of them are large, and look almost like anemone, so the current owner left them there, and they are spreading. So basically there will be a lot of work to get this tank clean and running properly.

Is it worth it? Should I just start over, and spend double the amount he is asking and start my own tank so that I don't have to fix his problems, or are the problems minor enough I should just jump in and take care of it.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Laura
Regular Member
Username: Roseh

Post Number: 476
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 10:55 pm:       

Personally, I'd buy a new tank, despite the significant price difference, or just look for a different used tank that is in better condition. It seems there are quite a few problems with the tank. The main concern is the spreading polyps. Sounds like aiptasia, a pest anemone. With a large invasion like that, it will be very difficult to rid the rock of all of it. Am I right to think the rocks are just covered with the stuff, being allowed to grow freely? Algae shouldn't really be hard to get rid of, but I'd still fear those anemones. I wouldn't use the rock or sand because of it and just to be safe.

Simply, you can probably find a much better tank for a good deal if you look around in the classifieds in the newspaper, and there's other recources available to you for your search for a good deal. For $200 you can find something better as it seems that tank will just be a problem for a long while.
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Heather
Moderator
Username: Heather_sanders

Post Number: 1604
Registered: 01-2003
Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 11:02 pm:       

If you've been doing all this reading up, you should know that some algae are good and some are bad. Can you tell what kind is growing near the sand's edge? Coraline possibly or is it a nusiance algae like cyano or hair algae. A description would help.

Also, you should be able to identify common pests in marine aquaria right away if you want to get into this hobby. Those polyps are not polyps, they are indeed anemones, probably aiptasia anemones and are easy to take care of several ways. Larger ones can be killed with a paste of kalkwasser and water injected into the mouth area, or Joe's Juice, boiling water, etc...smaller ones can be predated by peppermint shrimp and a type of sea slug but I don't recommend beginners trying the slugs, they are an advanced animal.

All in all, I'd say stick it out with what you have, it will be a great lesson in how to deal with everyday things, plus no hassle of having to set up a new system. Although, I'd dump one of the HOB's and add possibly 100 more pounds of live rock (make sure it's cured), and I'd check the fish out and make sure they are really right for the tank and make any adjustments there. You can always upgrade later on. :-)
I always recommend some books and a couple of sites to do more research with - The Concientious Marine Aquarist by Fenner is a good one.
www.reefcentral.com has a wonderful message board like this one and www.reefs.org is another one.



Talk about fishless cycling, I'm just plain fishless!
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David
Junior Member
Username: Bigwave

Post Number: 12
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - 02:37 am:       

Ok, thanks for the sites, and the advice.

The anemones are aiptasia, and the person selling them has a solution to inject them with, to kill them. Also the peppermint shrimp would turn into a quick snack in that aquarium. One of the fish is a fuzzy dwarf lion.

The algae is not coralline, and is more likely a blue-green type of cyano near the substrate and a little bit of hair algae growing on the live rock (this is just a novice appraisal). From what I know gather, the rock wasn't cured before it went in the tank originally.

I have a while to decide, so I will just think about it, and keep researching for a while before I purchase.
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Heather
Moderator
Username: Heather_sanders

Post Number: 1605
Registered: 01-2003
Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 12:56 pm:       

I have a while to decide, so I will just think about it, and keep researching for a while before I purchase.

David, you're alright by me. You have a great attitude. :-)
I never had to deal with cyano but my friend did, it was a battle and she did finally get over it, I did have a bit of hair algae but for some reason it only grew in my sump tank. At least the fuzzy dwarf is workable. I still think it could have potential, but missing out on watching something grow from nothing is truly exciting so you keep weighing the pro's and con's.



Talk about fishless cycling, I'm just plain fishless!
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