got ethical husbandry?

Back in hobby after away for 15+ years

dioworld

Supporting Member
Hi Bay area reefers,

I just got back into this hobby after 15+ yrs away, I pretty much forgot everything I learned back then. Recently bought a used 80 gallon tank/dry rocks and going through cycle process.
I added fritz turbostart 900 and ammonia. for last 3 days ammonia is measured at 0 but nitrite/nitrate is through the roof.
Any suggestion? is it safe to add a clown fish or two? or should I wait for nitrite to go down before I add? Now I read some ppl say nitrite is not toxic in saltwater aqaurium, is that right?
I'm in San Bruno Area, is there recommendation for good LFS nearby? I used to go to Balboa Lucky ocean back in the days

Thanks
 

Darkxerox

Supporting Member
Welcome! I'm pretty old school too so I've always followed the wait until nitrite is down before adding any fish. Some of the newer strategies have folks leaving no lights for awhile, plus adding microcrustaceans like copepods etc. to help control algae.

I work nearby in SSF, but honestly the LFS nearby doesn't seem great and I haven't explored much in SF, so I know more of the great East/South Bay locations like High Tide and Neptune. If you do add fish, make sure they're properly quarantined by the store before putting them in. Plus you can check out the upcoming frag swap on the 18th at Cali Kid since I bet there will be freebies you can add plus ask a bunch of questions (and join the club of course!)
 

Arvin R

Supporting Member
Welcome back! Be sure to support the club by becoming a supporting member! For $30 a year you'll get way more value than that back from knowledge, club events, equipment to borrow and a great community of fellow reefers!

Most advise against fish in cycling and you should wait until nitrites drop down to 0. What test kit are you using to check your cycle? I did mine with API and my nitrite never dropped to 0 but then a test with salifert kit confirmed I was actually at 0.
 

dioworld

Supporting Member
Welcome back! Be sure to support the club by becoming a supporting member! For $30 a year you'll get way more value than that back from knowledge, club events, equipment to borrow and a great community of fellow reefers!

Most advise against fish in cycling and you should wait until nitrites drop down to 0. What test kit are you using to check your cycle? I did mine with API and my nitrite never dropped to 0 but then a test with salifert kit confirmed I was actually at 0.
Yes api . Maybe I'll try to get different test kit to see if there's any difference.
I might add a tomato clown to try it out. Since i spent over 100 buck get 80 pds of live sand snd fritz bacteria. Might see how it goes. I remember back in the days I throw a demsel and it survives the tank cycle. I think these bacteria is way better than 15 yrs ago.
 

dioworld

Supporting Member
Welcome back. So much has changed. The only fish store that I know that quarantines their fish is High Tide in Oakland.
Yes. I realized a lot have changed. A lot of new technology. I was surprised i can get a lot of things cheaper online. Just got a skimmer cones co-1 from marinedepot for less than 200. I remember a berlin skimmer for 60 gallon tank cost me about the same.
 

Darkxerox

Supporting Member
Yes api . Maybe I'll try to get different test kit to see if there's any difference.
I might add a tomato clown to try it out. Since i spent over 100 buck get 80 pds of live sand snd fritz bacteria. Might see how it goes. I remember back in the days I throw a demsel and it survives the tank cycle. I think these bacteria is way better than 15 yrs ago.
Tomatoes can be real jerks. You can get some great tank raised clowns that would be less aggressive to any fish you add later.
 

richiev

Supporting Member
Hi Bay area reefers,

I just got back into this hobby after 15+ yrs away, I pretty much forgot everything I learned back then. Recently bought a used 80 gallon tank/dry rocks and going through cycle process.
I added fritz turbostart 900 and ammonia. for last 3 days ammonia is measured at 0 but nitrite/nitrate is through the roof.
Any suggestion? is it safe to add a clown fish or two? or should I wait for nitrite to go down before I add? Now I read some ppl say nitrite is not toxic in saltwater aqaurium, is that right?
I'm in San Bruno Area, is there recommendation for good LFS nearby? I used to go to Balboa Lucky ocean back in the days

Thanks
The guidance from the bottled bacteria companies and converts is it you use it, you don't really need to wait for a cycle, you can just put fish in. Barring that, you don't need to wait for full nitrite->nitrate.

I personally went the bottled bacteria route when I got back in recently, after about the same time out. I did a fishless cycle and ended up putting fish in before 0 nitrite because my tank seemed to have stalled on making it through that.

The bottled bacteria folks are selling a product, so they're going to pitch a message that's marketing and there's questions on the science. On the other hand, all the other info on tanks and cycling seems to be 90% old wives tales with 0 scientific backing, so it's hard to fully trust either side. Bulk reef supply just did a series of videos on a long term test of various cycling options, and while you can again nitpick how they did it it's much more scientific than most of the info out there.

My personal take is the best option seems to be:
* Bottled bacteria
* Try and get some rock or sand from an established, major pest free, tank (I'd personally be biased towards sand because at least it can harbor less stuff)
* Optionally fishless ammonia cycle until 0 ammonia
* Add pods
* Optionally add some starter coral (say some GSP which is super hardy and can later be removed if you want [keep it separated])
* Add your first fish, ideally buying pre quarantined, or quarantine first yourself

Then go hog wild.
 

dioworld

Supporting Member
The guidance from the bottled bacteria companies and converts is it you use it, you don't really need to wait for a cycle, you can just put fish in. Barring that, you don't need to wait for full nitrite->nitrate.

I personally went the bottled bacteria route when I got back in recently, after about the same time out. I did a fishless cycle and ended up putting fish in before 0 nitrite because my tank seemed to have stalled on making it through that.

The bottled bacteria folks are selling a product, so they're going to pitch a message that's marketing and there's questions on the science. On the other hand, all the other info on tanks and cycling seems to be 90% old wives tales with 0 scientific backing, so it's hard to fully trust either side. Bulk reef supply just did a series of videos on a long term test of various cycling options, and while you can again nitpick how they did it it's much more scientific than most of the info out there.

My personal take is the best option seems to be:
* Bottled bacteria
* Try and get some rock or sand from an established, major pest free, tank (I'd personally be biased towards sand because at least it can harbor less stuff)
* Optionally fishless ammonia cycle until 0 ammonia
* Add pods
* Optionally add some starter coral (say some GSP which is super hardy and can later be removed if you want [keep it separated])
* Add your first fish, ideally buying pre quarantined, or quarantine first yourself

Then go hog wild.

Thanks, I did the fritz turbostart 900 and added ammonia, lights off, added 80lbs of live sand (but seems a lot less, maybe weighted with water)
ammonia was from 4 down to 0 in 2 days,
Today I went to a LFS in south san francisco, bought a gold stripe maroon ( I remember i had a pair and they're pretty hardy), the store owner said they were quarantined(I did remember I saw it 2 weeks ago in the shop)

Will see how it does with this new method of cycling, I remember back in the days took 3+ months to cycle the tank
 

dioworld

Supporting Member
Welcome back! Be sure to support the club by becoming a supporting member! For $30 a year you'll get way more value than that back from knowledge, club events, equipment to borrow and a great community of fellow reefers!

Most advise against fish in cycling and you should wait until nitrites drop down to 0. What test kit are you using to check your cycle? I did mine with API and my nitrite never dropped to 0 but then a test with salifert kit confirmed I was actually at 0.

Just joined and now a supporting member.
 

JVU

President
BOD
No they do not. I asked about this when I went in and the guy states they do not QT all their fish. Only the ones they get from customers that may need treatment for rehoming it seems.
If true, I think that’s an unfortunate change. Doing a full QT on all fish is tough on retailers but so awesome for the hobby.

@dioworld - Welcome! Be careful when a store says they do QT, many say they do but they don’t because it’s difficult and expensive. Or at least not enough QT process to actually rid their fish of disease.
 

JVU

President
BOD
Oh and in case you’re wondering why everyone is making a big deal about QT when it wasn’t as big a thing when you were in the hobby before- Serious fish diseases seem to be much more prevalent now than they were 15 years ago. It is not unusual for someone to add a healthy looking fish and wipe out all the other fish in their tank nowadays.
 
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