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Saltwater 1st time! - maybe I shoudn't..

Discussion in 'Marine and Reef Chit Chat' started by agusf, Dec 12, 2018.

  1. agusf

    agusf Member

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    OK -
    Although I'm out on vacation now my girlfriend has access to my apartment and she needs to get something of hers so I asked her kindly to take the prawn out and test the water. She's going to facetime me later today when she does.

    Damn, I wish I had not put that much prawn in, I don't want to wait until that prawn eating bacteria dies out for the bubbles to disappear.

    I might ask my gf to do a little bit of a water change - but don't know if thats necessary; I guess if it tests for higher than 4 ppm ammonia I should, right?
    Should I ask her to dump the rest of the bio booster in there? or should I wait for a bit longer; I already dumped I want to say half when I left Sunday. I'm pretty sure I'll have my maid clean the place in a week or two so I could ask my maid to do that later.
     
  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    just remove the prawn and check the ammonia level. If it's above 4ppm then do a water change, otherwise leave it.
     
  3. SaltNoob

    SaltNoob Member

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    What water are you using to mix salt etc.? It really should be RO/DI water and the water/salt mixed prior to entering the tank. Using conditioner with tap water is unadvised especially if you plan to keep any inverts because if there is even a small amount of copper they will just die.

    I haven't followed the direct time line but being patient is the best thing for a new tank allowing the fauna to get a good grip and getting a population of amphipods! I waited three months after rock and substrate in my 90g.

    I ran my 29 gallon without a skimmer for three years just FYI. My 90g always had a skimmer though.

    Frozen food is so easy. Its best to use something like a shot glass and add some tank water to help melt the cube then use something like a turkey baster to grab the food and feed the tank. Throwing the cube in the tank and letting it float around is not advised fish swallow huge chunks of frozen fish as the cube is falling apart. The cube also has "juice" if that makes sense when it is frozen, I liked to use a small sieve on my cubes so I wasn't dumping a shot glass of ammonia in my tank that the fish can't even eat. There's plenty for the live rocks either way and any coral should be fed directly.
     
  4. agusf

    agusf Member

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    Starting to have doubts about whether I should go through the trouble of establishing the saltwater tank. I know freshwater very well so maybe I should just stick with that, and later on down the hobby road when I have a bigger place with a bigger tank I'll do saltwater.

    My tank is only 38g, (~150 l), and I don't feel that I could make an even notable build with that, where with freshwater I would know sort of what to do. The stage of getting live rock in the tank (which is sensitive and could be an investment lost if they die). Also, I have not already used RO water and I just feel that's an additional step that compounds the maintenance. so right now my tanks just cycling with tapwater with added marine salt & Aquasafe conditioner. I don't have a car for the time being, so that means that realistically I couldn't get the pre-mixed/RO saltwater sold at pet stores; nor do I want to do that everytime I do a % water change. Can RO/DI water be made at home? it probably would take a lot of time to make 38g's of it, and even if I could let such an apparatus run, I'm guessing it'll still be a bite out of my wallet, even for a second hand device. I don't know if I would want to pay for anything more than $50. I already bought the skimmer I linked on the thread for $160; and don't have a powerhead yet.
     
  5. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    The only reason you use reverse osmosis (r/o) water is if you have lots of chemicals or nutrients in your water supply and you are keeping live corals. Corals don't like nutrients and if you have high nitrates or copper in the tap water, that can harm the corals.

    If your tap water is good and doesn't have copper or high nitrates then you don't need r/o water.

    If you want to buy a reverse osmosis unit you can but unless you like wasting water, they aren't normally necessary. If you have copper or other heavy metals in the water, then fill a large plastic bucket or storage container with tap water & dechlorinator and aerate it. Wait an hour and put a carbon filter in the bucket of water and leave it there for a day or two then remove it. Then you can add the marine salt and leave it to mix for 24 hours before using that to do water changes.

    If you don't have copper or heavy metals in the water then just fill a bucket with tap water, add dechlorinator, aerate for a few minutes and then add sea salt. Allow the solution to mix for 24 hours then use it for water changes.

    If you have high nitrates in the water supply, then use a pozzani filter to remove them.

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    Any rock that is kept in an aquarium with water, will become live rock after 3-6 months. If you have concerns about live rock then just buy dry limestone rocks and put them in the tank. They will turn into live rock over time. If you want to add a couple of nice pieces of live rock then you can do that too. But most people I know simply use dry limestone to build up the main reef and add a few bits of live rock if they want it.

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    A 150 litre tank is fine for a marine tank. All the local petshops near me have mini reef tanks that are about 18 inches long x 10 inches wide x 12 inches high. They have lots of live rock in them and coral morphs or other small corals, and a few small fish, shrimp and hermit crabs.

    You don't have to have lots of rock in the tank. You can have a few pieces to create caves but it also depends on what fish you are keeping. If you want variation you can add plastic plants, ornaments, shipwrecks, anything.

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    You don't need a protein skimmer on a marine tank. They do help keep the water cleaner for longer by removing proteins from the water, but they aren't essential. I have had a couple of skimmers on marine tanks over the years but most of my marine tanks don't have any protein/ power skimmers.

    Most of my marine tanks have been small too, (2ft long x 10inches wide x 12 inches high), or (18inces long x 14 inches wide x 12 inches high). I have had marine tanks that were (3ft long x 14 inches wide x 18 inches high), and (4ft long x 14 inches wide x 18 inches high).

    You are better off starting out with a smaller tank like what you currently have, rather than buying a huge tank and spending thousands on it and then getting sick of it later on. A smaller tank is a bit easier to do water changes and is cheaper to set up and decorate. Once you work out water changes and maintenance then you can upgrade if you like, but your tank should make a fine display.
     

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