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Old 01-24-2013, 11:31 AM   #1
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New to the saltwater world

Hello all. And just wanted to say first off. That i found this site a few months back and i enjoy reading everyones posts and comments..
I just wanted to get everyones advice as im new to saltwater. Ive owned a 150g tank fro many years now owning freshwater cichlids. I very seldomly did any water changes. Maybe 20 gallons every three months using straight tap water.. Fish thrived and grew like weeds.. I just recently. 3 months ago emptied out the tank and now working on saltwater.. Im going to tell all my steps in short just so everyone knows.
Filled the tank with straight tap water, added a double dose of prime and let it run for 3 weeks. Next added salt and it ran for 2 weeks. Then put in a 2'' layer of crushed coral 4'' layer of dry aragonite. And 1'' layer of live sand, tank has been running cycle for just about 3 months now. Last week i have just added my first 50lbs of live rock. Yes cured.. I cured it in a tank for 2 weeks all levels went to zero. Last night i tested all levels and everything is normal. Ph 8.2 phos. 0 hardness 12. Nitrite 0. Nitrate 0. Calcium lil high. But its 560.. Salinity between .023 .024.
I have 15 nesrea (sp) snails 9 crabs 4 trochus snails in the tank. The only thing i am having issues with is diatoms.. Green algae. Rock and sand have brown algae and green algae. And glass is constantly covered in green... Im just feeling around to see what everyones opinions are? Algae is my only issue 3 months in..
Here is my set up
-150g overflow with a 55g sump home built with refugium.
- led flood lights. 2 50w 12,000k daylights and 1 50w 14,000k daylight, and 2 30w 400-500 nm actinic blue floods

no ro/di water yet.. I have a 40g tote in basement with heater and bubbler in it, i put tap water in it with prime. And it sites for a week before putting in my tank.
Any thoughts and advice would be greatly appreciated

ADDING.. LIGHTS WERE ON FOR 10 HOURS A DAY.. SHUT THEM DOWN AND RAN THEM FOR 5 HOURS A DAY. ALGAE SLOWED.. MOVED THAM BACK UP TO 8 HOURS A DAY AND ALGAE IS SLOWER. BUT STILL FORMING ON ROCKS AND GLASS
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:29 PM   #2
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Diatoms hit every tank because they are a special kind of algae. They feed off of silicates unlike most algae. New tanks with new sand (some even say the glass) have high silicates so we get diatom blooms. Just syphen it out with your water changes and it will dissapear in a while. It basically consumes the silicates and dies. Looks ugly until it does but they don't harm anything. Not many creatures eat it so don't think you can load up on snails and have it dissapear. I used to use a turkey baster and blow it off the rock into the water right before a water change so I'd suck a bunch out.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:35 PM   #3
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I've also heard that a lot of tap water has the silicates that feed diatoms. Water companies will add things to the water to help stop pipe corrosion and phosphate and silicates are things they add. Bummer but the tap water may be one of your main issues. Your lfs probably has rodi water for sale which you should probably use.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:37 PM   #4
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Oh and the #1 rule of saltwater tanks is never use tap water. If you're starting a 150 gallon saltwater tank just go get an ro/di unit and start making clean water. You can get 100 gallon per day units by vertex for about $120. This is going to save you a lot of headaches in the future.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:37 PM   #5
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I've tried once. I was doing a water change with my gravel vac. And as soon as i touch the live sand. It goes straight to the bucket.. Should i agitate the sand and then suck it out? I just thought that after 3 months the algae should be under control.. Kind of frustrating.. All my years of freshwater i have never had algae like this.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:46 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Robert_ellis View Post
I've also heard that a lot of tap water has the silicates that feed diatoms. Water companies will add things to the water to help stop pipe corrosion and phosphate and silicates are things they add. Bummer but the tap water may be one of your main issues. Your lfs probably has rodi water for sale which you should probably use.
they do not at this time.. they do maintenence services too. so they burn through a couple hundred gallons each week. dont think any system will produce what they need.

i will be buying an ro/di system in the next few months.. hopefully
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:48 PM   #7
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Oh and the #1 rule of saltwater tanks is never use tap water. If you're starting a 150 gallon saltwater tank just go get an ro/di unit and start making clean water. You can get 100 gallon per day units by vertex for about $120. This is going to save you a lot of headaches in the future.
120$ ill have to look into that!! i have researched a lil on them. and there quite pricey.. $200+ for all the ones ive seen..
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:19 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by JJ-MIK View Post
I've tried once. I was doing a water change with my gravel vac. And as soon as i touch the live sand. It goes straight to the bucket.. Should i agitate the sand and then suck it out? I just thought that after 3 months the algae should be under control.. Kind of frustrating.. All my years of freshwater i have never had algae like this.
This is my opinion and many differ but I'd suggest not vacuming your sand at all. I don't and my water quality is geat. I have a sand sifting star and a clean up crew that clean the sand for me. When you mix up the sand un eaten food and poop is being churned into it and will just end up rotting. if you want to surface vac just hold the tube a cm above the sand and suck up any dirt but don't clean it like fresh water gravel.

Ya, algae is frustrating and is part of a sw tank. Your set up sound good so I don't think it will be a long term issue for you. Make sure you change 10% of your water a week and have a good skimmer in your sump. Don't over stock or over feed and you should be good. Saltwater has growing pains that we all go through...
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:32 PM   #9
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Ive heard that from a guy. I didnt plan on touching the sand anymore. Going to pick up a sand sifter and serpent start today. Maybe some more crabs and snails.
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