• Looking to buy a cephalopod? Check out Tomh's Cephs Forum, and this post in particular shares important info about our policies as it relates to responsible ceph-keeping.

I need a medic!!!


Dec 12, 2004
First things first, Kudos to the hosties. This is a fantastic site, w/ much needed input for the hobbyist.

My knowledge on sw life is limited to just helping feed the fish when I was in Guam as a kiddo. About three months ago I started a setup of my own for the first time. I asked a lot of questions and made my decision. The only thing that made me nervous about getting this going was the fact that, the guy at the shop would answer all my questions, but didn't really seem to just offer up any info of his own.

Please bear with me as the story will get long lol

I bought a 75g tank and stand along with a Cascade 150 canister filter. I also got 40lbs of crushed coral and 40lbs of Tahitian black sand for my base. The salt was a 5gal pail of Coralife Sea salt. During setup I filled the tank half full and started to rinse the crushed coral and add it in. then filled the tank 3/4 full with water and started the pump to clear the up the water. The next day I clean the coral sediment out of the filter and did the same with the Tahitian sand and waited till that settled down. I know what will be said to the next line and say it if you must. But any how, I did use tap water to start the tank and used Aqua safe to neutralize the chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals as per the instructions. I was told about the use of RO or spring water but was also told that the salt mix will help with this as well.
About a week later I picked up five large pieces of live rock, a cyclone skimmer and a Coralife 50/50 lamp. I was told this will help jump start the tank. A week after that I added in four Damselfishes after having the water tested. I lost one of the Damsels a week later also noticed the anemones (which were small) had died off as well as the seaweeds. The following week I picked up more live rock and two more Damsels along with a Coralife 10,000k light and aragamilk. At first my specific gravity was at 1.023 and got it down to 1.021 with the week. I now have plenty of algae growing, as I have read in other post, this is most likely due to the tap water.

Up to date with my problem, almost all my live rock seems ill; I'm down to three Damsels. oh and I added in a fire shrimp and an arrow crab, today I thought I lost the fire shrimp, unbeknownst to me they shedd. Hum who would have thought? I can't seem to keep seaweeds. I really don't understand what is going on. I have my water tested and all test out fine. The lights run from 4pm to 11pm. Water temp is maintained at 75 degrees. One issue that bothers me is the feeding of the fish, HBH’s Flake Frenzy says to feed small amounts several times per day, but I only feed twice per day. As I have read that others only feed a few times per week. And I have tested for ammonia high and low in the water levels. I did buy an RO system and have been slowly changing out the water, seeing that it will only produce 13 gallons pre day.

I thought to bring my issues to this forum seeing that Cephalopod’s are more sensitive than fish. If I can get my tank water to the same quality I shouldn’t have any problems.

What am I doing or have done that is taking the life out of my aquarium?


:welcome: I am not an expert, but will offer my :twocents: :) ! There is generally a 3 month cycling period your tank needs to go through before it becomes stable. If you look in our I believe Ceph Care forum, there is some great reads with lots of info! Think maybe your tank is being over taxed being it is in the beginning stages. I would stop adding creatures and give it some time to stablize. Continue to moniter your levels! And good luck! Sounds like a great system!

First, sometimes it is ok to use tap water it depends on the quality and what the treatment plants add to it. But it is best to use D.I., R.O. or bottled natural spring water. Second as stated above it takes a long time for a saltwater system to cycle and it usually will not totaly stabilize for uo to a year. So just give it time. Also make sure you ar buying curing live rock. If it is not cured it will mess up your water chemistry, and a lot of the things found on non-cured live rock will die in the tank. Other than that it sounds you are doing the right things.
Hi and welcome to TONMO.com!

We discussed this topic some time ago, and I believe the consensus was that you are better off with distilled water if you can't use RO/DI water. Spring waters contain a lot more than just water (dissolved minerals, salts, etc. give them their good taste) - some may be OK, but distilled water is neutral and costs less than spring water.

:welcome: first of all...
sounds like you have a bit of a wait on your hands there...hope it all turns out ok! I am a huge fan of RO water...no fuss, no muss, no worries about the godless chemicals they are banging in everything these days...
tyvm for the replies!

I just called the shop and found out the the rock is cured, but he also told me the I need to have a small power head at the bottom of the tank for circulation. So I will be doing that in an hour or so.

Also does anyone have a site that I can learn about live rock and the creatures within? I have seen some :madsci: strange :bonk: looking ones I would like to know about.


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