Bit of an Emergency

lapin

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As you will see removing the rock and sand will stir up a lot of junk. Rinse all that out. Wear some gloves as you will have some bristle worms in the sand and they can cause some irritation. If you can get some prime and a bottle of bacteria. These 2 things will help ward off any ammonia spike.
Distilled water is fine and should not cause an issue. The issue is going to be your salinity and the fish along with keeping the water warm. You dont want cold water in those fish buckets. Fish will be used to living in water that has certain level of salt and alkalinity. Try to get the same salt mix so most numbers will be the same. Try to borrow a refractometer from the place next door. Test his current water so you have a target salinity. You can even ask the guy how he mixed his water. Maybe he just measured cups of salt to buckets of water. He might even have something to measure salinity.
I think you will be fine
Lots of ideas and help here.
 

BeejReef

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Best of luck to you. The fish are lucky to have you... at least someone to give them a fighting chance.

I would really try to lean on the coral guy two minutes away. If you get his help, even if you have to throw him a hun or two, you'll save that much in livestock that stays live and just piece of mind. He should def have a refractometer. Come to think of it, I'd ask him about buying rodi water or pre-mixed salt. If he gets started now, you could have 100 - 150 gallons by tomorrow evening.
 

Fiesty

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Sorry just trying to understand your message.
His tank is currently up and running as of right now. Wednesday he plans to shut it down and put it all in buckets and bins I bring. I'm just trying to understand why I can't use that sand anymore?

This is worst case scenario: I use conditioned water.

Plan was to fill the tank quarter way, put in the sand. Set up the rocks to the way I want them, fill up the tank the whole way. Have that running for 24 hours and then introduce the fish.

Is there a reason I can't use the sand without rinsing it?
I didnt know how long the tank has been set up and maintenance? But sounds like it didnt have the best care for cleaning? And even so, there most likely will be a ton of gunk in it that will become a problem as soon as its disturbed. Its not that u cant resuse the sand, but more that its hard to reuse it quickly when resetting up tank. Unless u have an endless supply of correct temp salt water to flush it with? Cold fresh water will obviously kill off a lot of living organisms in the sand which u probably dont want to have decaying in your new setup.

I have purchased 2 used tanks in past and moved and resetup immediately (a 93 and a 200 gal) and was determined I could reused sand. If i could go back would definitely not have or would have innitally added a light amout of new bought sand and then later added the "used" sand after a month of dieoff and extra cleaning.

Ended of having to do tons of water changes to keep the spikes down and that probably ended uo costing me more in salt then just buying new sand. And was definitely more headache!
 

TheOne

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I would ditch the sand also. Maybe grab a few cups worth to help seed. I add a bag of live sand to my tank once every six months to replace what gets accidentally vacuumed out. I lower the whole bag into my tank and slowly pour it out on the bottom and then spread it with my hands. Yes it does cloud up the tank some but it comes with a pack of water clarifier and the tank is clear again by the next day.

 
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Hamsnacks

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Okay decided I'm going to not use the old sand, still going to bring it home with me and then maybe decide if I want to use a couple cups here and there to help with the new sand.

Tank is now cleaned up and I have the sump set up, I am going to start to fill it up with Saltwater today and get it up to temp before tomorrow.
I think I may start a build thread, this way I can show people exactly how much of a disaster it all turned out to be or if I actually somewhat pull this off haha.

Thank you all for the input and help,very much appreciated!
 
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Hamsnacks

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If anyone is interested in viewing what has happened so far, not much lol
 

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If anyone is interested in viewing what has happened so far, not much lol
Following!
 
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Hamsnacks

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So a Quick Update, was suppose to meet with the owner at 6pm after I was done work, he texts at 4pm saying the fish and rock are in buckets outside waiting for me, he has to go.

Long story short, I pick up these fish and get them home. Their temp is at 66F, and their water looks horrible.

So I currently have my sump filled, which has an open section of about 40-50 Gallons, I have put saltwater with prime in, have the temperature currently around 72F but on its way up to 78. I have added some pieces of live rock, and Seachem Stability. My refractometer doesn't arrive until Friday, but I picked up a hydrometer, which is absolutely garbage but I think my salt is at 34/1.025. Added a few airstones and that is about it.

I've already put them in there, Is that enough to keep them alive until tomorrow?
OR
Should I put them back in their water, and just heat it instead?

THANK YOU!
 

Fiesty

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So a Quick Update, was suppose to meet with the owner at 6pm after I was done work, he texts at 4pm saying the fish and rock are in buckets outside waiting for me, he has to go.

Long story short, I pick up these fish and get them home. Their temp is at 66F, and their water looks horrible.

So I currently have my sump filled, which has an open section of about 40-50 Gallons, I have put saltwater with prime in, have the temperature currently around 72F but on its way up to 78. I have added some pieces of live rock, and Seachem Stability. My refractometer doesn't arrive until Friday, but I picked up a hydrometer, which is absolutely garbage but I think my salt is at 34/1.025. Added a few airstones and that is about it.

I've already put them in there, Is that enough to keep them alive until tomorrow?
OR
Should I put them back in their water, and just heat it instead?

THANK YOU!
Hopefully u temp acclimated them before adding? Since u have already put them in there then i wouldn't move them back and around. Sounds like they already had a lot of stress! Hydrometer's can work fine just remember they r temperature sensitive and will read same water differently at different temps. If water was close to temp range when u checked then probably ok. Other problem with them is that the float thing gets salted up and stuck and what causes misreadings. I always bang mine a few times to break loose and then swish it underwater to make sure it swings freely before taking a reading. And flusing with freshwater after using is helpful.
 

Fiesty

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So a Quick Update, was suppose to meet with the owner at 6pm after I was done work, he texts at 4pm saying the fish and rock are in buckets outside waiting for me, he has to go.

Long story short, I pick up these fish and get them home. Their temp is at 66F, and their water looks horrible.

So I currently have my sump filled, which has an open section of about 40-50 Gallons, I have put saltwater with prime in, have the temperature currently around 72F but on its way up to 78. I have added some pieces of live rock, and Seachem Stability. My refractometer doesn't arrive until Friday, but I picked up a hydrometer, which is absolutely garbage but I think my salt is at 34/1.025. Added a few airstones and that is about it.

I've already put them in there, Is that enough to keep them alive until tomorrow?
OR
Should I put them back in their water, and just heat it instead?

THANK YOU!
And what fish did u end up getting? Any pics to post?
 

Phildago

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The tap water depends on where you live. Id personally go with tap water here in NYC if it was absolutely necessary. Another option is buying a container and taking as much water as you can with you and putting it back in the tank when you get it moved in. Then you can supplement whatever water you need to just cover the live stock for a few days while you get situated. As long as you have good flow, and everything is submerged it's a decent option for keeping stuff alive. I did it for two days when my tank cracked and I had to get a replacement. Everything survived.

You should not depend on the instructions on the salt though. Grab a cheap hygrometer from the pet store and put it to use. They are often slightly off, but they work okay enough for the short term.
 
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Hamsnacks

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@Fiesty @Phildago

So based on what I've done, they should be fine for the night right? Hoping to have them in the big tank tomorrow.

I'll be honest I temp acclimated all the fish except the starfish and lionfish. Forgot about the starfish and didn't really want to handle the lionfish lol. But they all seem to be doing a lot better right now. Good movement and colors are coming back.

I'll definitely post pictures tomorrow if everything goes according to plan.

Yeah after flicking the hydrometer a few times it seems to be working properly now.
 

vetteguy53081

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Also maybe you guys will know, some of the rock definitely has some excessive green algae, can I just scrub some of that off before I use it or should I let my new system take care of that naturally?

Thanks
scrub off yes.
 
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Phildago

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Also maybe you guys will know, some of the rock definitely has some excessive green algae, can I just scrub some of that off before I use it or should I let my new system take care of that naturally?

Thanks
Might as well scrub it off before putting it in. It'll be a pain to take out after you get your scape wet up how you like.

I think you should be good with keeping everyone alive. As long as the water is circulating, proper salinity, and has some source of biological filtration pretty much everybody should make it.

There could be something weird in the water somewhere in the world, but as far as I know if the water is safe to drink it should be safe for fish short term.

Before I knew any better I used tap water for everything. It's what my father always did for his salt water tank, and it's all I knew. It was sub par for sure, but that was long term. My biggest concern with it was amplification of dissolved substances due to evaporation and replacement.

So, with my personal past experience, I'd never recommend using anything other than rodi for the long term. In the short term it would probably add some stress on the fish, but not as much stress as being dry, an ammonia spike, or deoxygenated water would cause.
 

Terri Caton

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1) Your LFS should sell RODI water if you’re fine with lugging buckets. If they don’t, you can also buy 2.5G jugs of distilled water from the grocery store. I wouldnt trust just declorinated water and you want to do this right from the beginning.

2) Yeah, that’ll definitely be fine. Most live rock bought online ships like that.

3) Do you have any livestock in the tank? If not, I would just follow the mix instructions closely and adjust later. If you do, then maybe it would be a good idea to get the hydrometer. You can still use it as a ‘double check’ later if your refractometer ever gives you a funky reading.
Don’t remember where I heard this but the best distilled water for a reef tank is CVS brand. They tested various ones and that was the result.
 

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