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Old 10-01-2013, 11:40 PM   #1
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Defying the Critics

I have been wanting to write up this post for a while but I didn't want to write it prematurely.

I inherited my Father's saltwater setup back in April. I had a freshwater community tank before my dad gave me his equipment. While he didn't give me everything, he gave me a HOB filter, marineland reef capable led light, about 30 pounds of live rock, and his heater. I was strapped for money but was excited about the prospect of starting my own reef tank. I had been given a 37 gallon aquarium from a friend so I started out in the research. I picked up a seaclone protein skimmer for cheap so I was on my way. After buying new sand, extra base rock to get me to about 50 pounds of rock I set the tank up.

I am a researcher and so reading opinions of the equipment I had left me expecting to grow basic corals at best. I didn't have an RODI filter so I bought some conditioner and used tap water. In many peoples eyes on the internet I was doomed for failure.

I had a
HOB filter
Seaclone protein skimmer
Marineland reef capable led light
And I used tap water

I am writing to say my tank has not failed and in fact my corals are actually growing really well. And surprise surprise, I am not just growing mushrooms, but also lps and SPS corals! They aren't just surviving but are colored well and growing.

After researching the water I decided to buy grocery store RO distilled water for my water changes. In addition, I didn't like the white look of the marineland so I added an innovative marine Skkye actinic light. And I did add a maxi jet for my powerhead.

Until about a month ago my alkalinity was always low but I've been upping that with baking soda and it has stabilized well.

Currently in my tank I am successfully keeping: Zoanthid - 3 colonies
Mushroom
Kenya tree
Frogspawn
Hammer coral
Hollywood stunner chalice
Pom Pom xenia
Gorgonian
Two types of birdsnest
Purple Montipora Digitata
Green Bubble Tip Anemone
Red Starfish
Porcelain crab
Peppermint shrimp
2 emerald crabs
And a large cleanup crew and about 5 fish

I've only had one snail and one emerald crab die.

I am only writing this to happily say that the internet can really be overly dramatic in saying what you can and cannot do. With bi weekly water changes of 5 gallons things continue to go well with coralline growing a bit on the glass.

I realize things could go south and I would really love a sump but for now what I have is working pretty well keeping the phosphates down (chemi pure elite) and the nitrates undetectable.

Definitely loving this tank!!!
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:46 PM   #2
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Comgrats
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:21 AM   #3
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Congrats! How long have you had it up and running?
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:22 AM   #4
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It has been up since late April. The first corals I out in it were late May/early June.
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Old 10-02-2013, 01:52 PM   #5
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It is good to hear that things are going well so far. I don't understand why this was doomed from the start though.

Using tap water can eventually lead to build-up of bad stuff over long periods of time (much longer than 5 months). The less TDS, the better over time for reef. Tap water has a lot more than RO and good RODI should have none. You said you use tap, but then mention RODI. That is a wise move early in the game (which your tank still is).

HOB filters are fine, as long as they are cleaned regularly. If not, they will collect detritus and will add nitrates to your system.
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:01 PM   #6
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I`m glad things are going good. Remember though that if something goes bad it dont happen right away. I knew a person that used tap water for 5 yrs and then all of a sudden everything is dead. I dont know if it was the tap even though I personally think it was but let us know how things are 5 yrs from now. That will be a bigger testimonial. No need to defy the critics as everyone has their experiences wheter it be good or bad. Everyone has the right to post their experience.
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:30 PM   #7
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Totally understand. It has been up for 6 months or so.

I only used tap water to start the tank up and then realized that was a mistake. From that point I bought the water from the grocery store.

I said it seemed doomed from the start only because what I was using was almost never recommended. I made some mistakes and learned a lot and things for now seem to be going alright.
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:53 PM   #8
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Glad to hear your tank is doing fine. I really like that coral list.
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:53 PM   #9
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No tap water is 0ppm. The higher that number in your local community, the shorter length of time your tank has before it concentrates the contaminates. Even with regular water exchanges. You may have exceptional tap water, but your friends in the next town over doesn't. That is why the safe way to go is water with zero contaminates. We are certainly glad you have had success, but this is a hobby that works over a longer time span. What's good today may change. Keep up the good work, but my recommendation will always be to use RODI water in a reef.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:58 PM   #10
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Makes total sense Greg.
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