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Old 09-07-2012, 10:50 AM   #1
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Using natural sea water

Has anyone ever used natural sea water to cycle or start up a saltwater tank?

I've read some threads online and it seems to be a 50/50 thing. Some recommend it if not swear by it and others are totally against it. Just wondering why it can't be used to cycle a tank. If there are no fish, why not?
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:50 AM   #2
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Natural sea water won't cycle a tank, it is just water. Then you'd have to be careful not to get polluted water. I just don't see the reason to use it.
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:07 PM   #3
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There are reasons not to use it. If not collected in the right area and then stored for a while to allow parasites to die, it could be a disaster for your tank, or even worse, contain toxins. There are big public aquariums on the coasts that use raw seawater collected miles off shore, but even they filter and UV sterilize it first.
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:29 PM   #4
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I live in south Florida and get my water from offshore when I'm fishing. I definitely swear by the stuff. It works great. What could be better than the real stuff itself? I would not recommend using water from within a mile of the beach as it will not be as clean.
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:03 PM   #5
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I live in South Fl also. I get mine on incoming tides at the inlet. Always used it cycled fine just check the salinity it will be high. Three lfs use it an sell it, up to a dollar a gallon. I'll get mine myself they go to same location.
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:40 PM   #6
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I also use natural seawater sold by the 5 gallon bag sold at Petco. Never had a problem with it. I've researched it and apparently they collect it offshore and then filter it to remove all potentially harmful bacteria. Then they run the water through a nitrate and phosphate remover before they package it. I test every box before I add it to my systems and it always tests 0 ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, phopsphate and 1.024 salinity.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:20 PM   #7
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I use natural SW about 1/2 the time. Either collect it while out fishing or on an incoming tide. I live on an island tho in BC. My salinity here is just over 1.020 so I have to spike it with salt to get it to what the fishes like.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:40 PM   #8
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Just curious, if I used maybe 5 gallons of natural sea water, wouldn't that help the cycle? I mean, I'd imagine there is some beneficial bacteria in natural sea water but I don't want to pollute my tank either.
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:07 AM   #9
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There is very little beneficial bacteria in the water column
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Old 09-08-2012, 02:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniperhank View Post
There is very little beneficial bacteria in the water column
+1^. I think its funny when I watch Tanked and they use natural saltwater and they say it contains bacteria that cycles the tank instantly lol.
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