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Old 02-28-2011, 01:06 PM   #1
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first time using saltwater

my fiance and I are currently letting our 29 gallon cycle for 6 days with the salt, filter, and sand to prepare it for fish. We are running a penguin bio for a 70 gal tank. Are there any tips or tricks we need to know? What are our best starter fish? Do we have to have live plants or is it ok to have fake? Is it ok to run an airstone? Thank you for all your help! Fishies go in friday
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Old 02-28-2011, 01:14 PM   #2
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Read out articles section on fishless cycling. Google more on Cyling a SW tank. You'll see it's more than just putting sand, filter, salt and water together and waiting for 6 days. There are no live plants that will work in your display tank. Fake one's will get VERY dirty and look bad after a while. Airstone will be a problem too. In a 29g tank, ther is no such thing as a starter fish. Anything you put in there will be there and you won't have more than 3 or 4 medium to small fish at its total capacity.

Please read up more on SW tanks before you buy anything else. You're currently headed down the wrong path.

Best of luck to you!
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Old 02-28-2011, 01:49 PM   #3
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No fishes until you check your water. Don't let the LFS do, this is something you have to learn to do. Do you have a test kit? If you have test strips go buy a kit with chemicals; strips are inaccurate. Do a fishless cycle, it's more humane. You're probably not ready for fish for at least 4 weeks (depending on test results).
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Old 02-28-2011, 01:59 PM   #4
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thanks for the advice! Our lfs is going to do the first water test friday to make sure everything is ok and that we know how to test the water correctly. I didn't think fake pants would be a good idea but we have a lot left from our freshwater so I thought I'd ask!
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Old 02-28-2011, 02:00 PM   #5
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Tips and tricks for your fastest fishless cycle!
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Old 02-28-2011, 02:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katym27 View Post
thanks for the advice! Our lfs is going to do the first water test friday to make sure everything is ok and that we know how to test the water correctly. I didn't think fake pants would be a good idea but we have a lot left from our freshwater so I thought I'd ask!
Your LFS will probably tell you "everything is good to go, and go ahead and add fish." There is no way the tank will be ready for fish in 6 days... contrary to what your LFS may tell you. They make money by selling fish, not telling you to wait... and when the fish die prematurely, you come back and buy more fish, which makes them more money.

Understanding the nitrogen cycle is critical at this point. The article posted above is a good start.
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:58 PM   #7
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Take this week to do some reading. Either get a book from the LFS on setting up and maintaining marine aquariums or find articles online. The LFS is giving you bad info and you'll end up with dead fish and discouragement.

The worst thing about this hobby is that patience is rewarded. I'm a naturally impatient person, so it is HARD for me! Lol

However, the practical voice in me says test water, do PWC's, setup a quarantine tank, don't I overstock and plan, plan, plan.

When in doubt, ask in the forum. No one will get mad at you for asking too many questions.

We all hope you have a great SW experience. Just know that it takes time.
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:03 PM   #8
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I too agree that you cant set a period of time and say this is going to be it. Your test kits will let you know. Buy your own so you can be sure. It will take several weeks.
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:07 PM   #9
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thanks for the help! I was just trusting the lfs but have started to do some research on my own. I have definitely received bad advice and sick fish from another lfs ( we stopped going there) so I am leery of them!
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:13 PM   #10
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The API SW master is good, inexpensive kit. I use a plastic syringe that's 20 ml so that I'm not putting the test tube in my tank. Make sure you follow directions to a T as they make a difference. My scientist fiancť yell at me if I don't drip the drops while holding the bottle straight upside down.

I would recommend raw shrimp. Two medium deshelled shrimp will get you up to 3-4ppm of ammonia in no time.
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