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Old 12-18-2010, 10:35 PM   #1
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first saltwater tank

I just went from fresh to salt water in my 20 gallon long tank.

i am doing as much reading as i can but still in the gray area on a few things, i figured what better way to learn more than to start my own thread and get everyones opinion.

my filters were used in my last freshwater set up, they still have the build up on the actual filter pad.

my set up right now:

-20L
- T8 17w reef sun 50/50
- (2) Aqueon power filter 10 ( 100GPH each)
- air stone
- bio cube 14-29 protein skimmer
- 1 bag - bio active live aragonite
- medium live rock
- 100w heater ( temp at 77F)

PH is 7.8ish
1.022 salinity
Nitrate - 20ppm
Nitrite - 0ppm
Alkalinity - 300ish

i am using de-chlorinated tap water ( Instant Ocean reef conditioner)
also added Instant Ocean calcium booster

currently have 2 white/black mollys and 2 turbo snails in the tank

let me know how i am doing, ill tell you guys my future stocking plans later ( start with the basics now)
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Old 12-18-2010, 11:20 PM   #2
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uhh, mollies? they aren't a full marine fish unless you acclimated them, and since its your first tank im not quite sure you did it over time, did you cycle the tank?
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Old 12-18-2010, 11:37 PM   #3
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hai tnice17.....
how did u cycle the tank....its seems like u hve reading in nitrates but dont u tested for ammonia...??? u must cycle the tank before put in any live stock....and if u affordable to have HOB filter, its might be better for oxygen cycle rather than air stone....anyway just my 2cent....
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Old 12-18-2010, 11:42 PM   #4
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some stores actually sell converted mollies. i'm not sure that's the case here though.

at first glance i'd say:
get rid of the airstone, stop using "calcium booster", ditch the bio cube protein skimmer, keep the 2 HOB filters but get rid of the dirty pads and put in new ones, and explain what "medium live rock" means.

you'll have to decide what you want to do with this tank- what will you keep in it? this must be decided before you do anything else, because your answer will direct you on how to set up this tank properly.

this is in addition to the basics of starting up an aquarium of course.
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Old 12-19-2010, 12:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iDreamInSaltwater View Post
uhh, mollies? they aren't a full marine fish unless you acclimated them, and since its your first tank im not quite sure you did it over time, did you cycle the tank?
i just started the tank yesterday but i was told with the live rock and the bio active live aragonite that the tank should cycle rather quickly.

i dont plan on keeping them full time, i am aware they are brackish fish so i asked about them at my LFS and they said it would be ok.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abdhalim View Post
hai tnice17.....
how did u cycle the tank....its seems like u hve reading in nitrates but dont u tested for ammonia...??? u must cycle the tank before put in any live stock....and if u affordable to have HOB filter, its might be better for oxygen cycle rather than air stone....anyway just my 2cent....
i have the test stripes and a dropper tester kit, the dropper tester has the ammonia test but says for freshwater at the top of the card. can i still use this for saltwater? i wanted to get a small bio load to help the cycle, is this not good? can you reword your sentence about the HOB filter? i dont quite understand what you mean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_X View Post
some stores actually sell converted mollies. i'm not sure that's the case here though.

at first glance i'd say:
get rid of the airstone, stop using "calcium booster", ditch the bio cube protein skimmer, keep the 2 HOB filters but get rid of the dirty pads and put in new ones, and explain what "medium live rock" means.

you'll have to decide what you want to do with this tank- what will you keep in it? this must be decided before you do anything else, because your answer will direct you on how to set up this tank properly.

this is in addition to the basics of starting up an aquarium of course.
i got the bio cude protein skimmer from a friend for a good price, which is why i went with it. what is so bad about it? doesnt it perform the same function?

ill pick up new pads tomorrow. im not doubting what your telling, but what is wrong with the old ones? ( just so i can learn and understand it)

why is the air stone bad?

well its a live rock, medium is just the size reference from the store. my apologies for not clarifying.

i would perfer FOWLR tank
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Old 12-19-2010, 05:28 AM   #6
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saltwater and freshwater for sure had different chemical for their test kit...yes u need to cycle but fishless cycle....read the article from the site how to cycle your saltwater tank....

(2) Aqueon power filter 10 ( 100GPH each)->
i believe this is hang on back(HOB) tank filter....
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Old 12-19-2010, 08:22 AM   #7
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^^^ yes they are HOB filters, is there anything wrong with using a HOB filter?

i already took the air stone out

PS - ill run out to the store and get a shrimp
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Old 12-19-2010, 09:25 AM   #8
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you don't need a shrimp unless you plan on removing the mollies. your LFS is giving you bad advice about starting a tank with mollies. you should do a fishless cycle IMO.

an airstone is going to create a lot of "salt creep". that's salt buildup on the top/sides/back of the tank from tiny splashes over time. there is also controversy about how the bubbles may negatively effect the fish.

live rock is used because of it's natural look, but more importantly it's surface area. it's got a good amount of surface area to hold bacteria. it's recommended to have a pound to a pound and a half of live rock per gallon. 20 or so pounds worth would be a big help here. a FOWLR utilizes live rock as a natural filter.

those bio cube protein skimmers are not very useful. i would rather be diligent on my water changes than have to stare at that thing in my 20 gallon tank every time i look in. i firmly believe that tanks under 30 gallons (unless they have a hidden area for mechanical components) shouldn't have protein skimmers. unless of course you like that sort of thing...changing out air stones on a regular basis, and the aesthetics.

nothing wrong with using HOB filters. i said to change out the pads to start fresh with a nice clean tank. no reason to add filth captured from your fresh water fish.
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Old 12-19-2010, 09:59 AM   #9
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you don't need a shrimp unless you plan on removing the mollies. your LFS is giving you bad advice about starting a tank with mollies. you should do a fishless cycle IMO.

an airstone is going to create a lot of "salt creep". that's salt buildup on the top/sides/back of the tank from tiny splashes over time. there is also controversy about how the bubbles may negatively effect the fish.

live rock is used because of it's natural look, but more importantly it's surface area. it's got a good amount of surface area to hold bacteria. it's recommended to have a pound to a pound and a half of live rock per gallon. 20 or so pounds worth would be a big help here. a FOWLR utilizes live rock as a natural filter.

those bio cube protein skimmers are not very useful. i would rather be diligent on my water changes than have to stare at that thing in my 20 gallon tank every time i look in. i firmly believe that tanks under 30 gallons (unless they have a hidden area for mechanical components) shouldn't have protein skimmers. unless of course you like that sort of thing...changing out air stones on a regular basis, and the aesthetics.

nothing wrong with using HOB filters. i said to change out the pads to start fresh with a nice clean tank. no reason to add filth captured from your fresh water fish.
i removed the mollys and put in a shrimp about ten min ago.

found someone on craigslist who has 30lbs of live rock, selling at $2 a pound. i plan on picking some up this afternoon. thanks for the info about the pound/gallon. i like to have things a bit overkill, would it be bad to go with more?

i am not going to looks right away, having a stable tank is more important to me than looking at the protein skimmer. i try to find some good articles about them. would it hurt to have it? i can always hide it behind some live rock if i get sick of looking at it.

i thought keeping the old filters would be beneficial because of the bacteria growth on the pad. but then again im not the expert here, lol.

ill pick up a better saltwater test kit today as well.

did adding the live aragonite have any benefits? i thought it would give me an advantage in the cycle process.

thank you for your help Mr_X!!
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Old 12-19-2010, 10:26 AM   #10
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the thing about too much rock is- you want to be able to create an environment where you have decent flow throughout. you don't want dead spots or just a pile of rock. plus, there is the aesthetics aspect.
my advice would be to add as much rock as you can while still limiting dead/no flow spots and it still look pleasing to the eye.

the live sand might have some bacteria on it, but i wouldn't hold my breath.
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