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Old 09-11-2009, 09:59 PM   #1
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First Salt Water Tank Questions

Hello all!

I have been reading through these forums for the past couple days and learning alot about salt water tanks. After reviewing pics, and comments from alot of people on here, I decided to do a reef tank.

So I bought a 125 gallon tank, and put in salt water (obviously), protien skimmer, fluval filter, and a UV light thing-a-ma-jig that pushes water through it to kill bacteria I guess. Got everything setup yesterday, and let the water run and the heaters warm the tank up. There are 2 heaters in it, and they are set to 80, but it is taking forever to get the tank up to that.

Today, I went to my local fish store, and bought 100lbs of live rock to put in the tank. Got that all put in, and took a sample of the water back to the store to have it tested to see how things were. They said I need to increase my ph from 7, to 8.2 they gave me powder to put in it. They also said that the live rock will help with the cycling, but that I needed some fish in there in order to have waste developing for the bacteria to work smoother. So they gave me 5 little blue ones. I told them I thought it was too soon for the fish, but they said thats why they give out the cheap ones to help people cycle the tanks. So they are in there and tehy seem fine, but I am not buying any until the 4-6 weeks is up.

Is there anything else I need to do to help the cycling process along? Or should I just leave it alone and monitor the Nitrites and Ammonia? Ohh, I have 0 nitrites, and the lowest color ammonia on the chart.

I would post a picture, but I do not have a digital camera yet.
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:48 PM   #2
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rolf, another LFS that kill fishes...
if you have 100lbs of live rock, that will do your cycling pretty well.
don't need fishes at all.
if you want your cycle to go faster, add superbac (i think thats the name.)
if you already plan to wait for 4-6weeks,
monitor the ammon, nitrite and nitrate.
ammon will start raising in 2~3days.
I wouldn't add any powder to raise the ph, you live rocks should do the work as well.
just give your tank sometimes and everything should work out.

p.s. after cycle, you don't want to add all the fishes u want at once.
add one and wait for a week or so, let the bacteria grow and catch up, so they can do their work and break down ammon and nitrite
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Old 09-11-2009, 11:37 PM   #3
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I dont have a saltwater tank but wont the ph vary a bunch during the cycle anyway so you wont have to worry about that until after the cycle is complete?
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Old 09-12-2009, 12:34 AM   #4
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PH will bounce all over the place as spoon said, so don't waist those tests. I agree, don't add any powder. Your salt should do all the buffering you will need anyways. I would suggest taking the fish back, sounds like blue damsels as they may be a pain to catch later. Try adding 25-75 pounds of more live rock. Just toss in a few raw, unseasoned jumbo shrimp from your local grocery store and let that cycle the tank. I disagree about dosing though, let things happen naturally, nothing happens fast in sw.

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Old 09-12-2009, 12:59 AM   #5
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but thom, adding the bacteria really fasten the cycle at least for me?
like in about a week, my ammon and nitrite dropped to 0 and nitrate raise to 20.
but I totally agree to let things happen naturally and 100% respect you.
just want to know if dosing the bacteria will hurt tank or not?
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Old 09-12-2009, 04:30 AM   #6
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As more and more people add these instant bacteria to their tanks a better picture will come out as to how good they really are. The normal now is to use either raw shrimp or pure ammonia. Pure ammonia takes more testing and therefore not as simple as the raw shrimp.
Take the fish back and bring your LFS up to at least the raw shrimp awareness of cycling a tank in the saltwater AQ world.
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Old 09-12-2009, 09:11 AM   #7
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Wow everybody, thanks for the input!

I am planning on waiting the 4 weeks, so why they gave me fish I had no idea. They did not charge me for them though, because I bought all the live rock from them. I will try to catch them after work.

Now, they tried to sell me a bottle of that live bacteria to put in the tank, however I didn't because I read from everyone on here that it doesn't work, now a few are saying it is... Maybe I will try it and see, or I can just buy the shrimp and throw them in. When you do the shrimp, you leave the shell on right?

Another question I had is that the water seems cloudy almost, if I am looking from the front, I can see all the way through, but if I look from the side, I can only see about half way, will that eventually clear up? The protein skimmer put ALOT of tiny bubbles in the water when it puts it back in the tank, is that the possibly why it is so cloudy?

Thanks everyone for all your help!
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Old 09-12-2009, 10:56 AM   #8
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I believe the shrimp can be w or w/o shell.
yes the cloudy water will clear up, I believe its cuz your sand is settling down, u have a fluval filter, that should help to clear the water a little bit.
the bubbles from the skimmer return should not be the reason why the water is cloud, but if the bubbles form a layer on the surface, as I know thats bad.
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Old 09-12-2009, 12:13 PM   #9
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IMO, even IF, and that is a BIG if, the bacteria in a bottle was live, there would be no point in adding it since you alrwady have live rock in the tank which already harbors bacteria.

Just put the shrimp in a bag, poke some holes in it and toss into the tank.
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Old 09-12-2009, 12:56 PM   #10
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