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Old 03-07-2011, 01:39 AM   #1
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Getting frustrated...

I knew when I started my tank back in January that there would be a lot of conflicting opinions on how to do things, but it seems like everything I do is up for debate. I found another LFS that is larger and closer than the one I originally bought all my tank supplies from. Of course in the opinion of this new store, I've basically done everything wrong...wrong water, wrong salt, wrong testing supplies...you name it. The original store knew that I wanted to have a reef tank and they told me that treated tap water and Instant Ocean would be fine to use along with the dip strips to test with. The new store says that I shouldn't use tap (which I do agree with now) and that Instant Ocean isn't good enough for reef tanks...they recommended a different kind (sorry, don't remember the name). And they talked me into buying the API test kit with the vials and solution...which I was thinking of doing anyway.

They also told me that I don't need to add anything to my 2nd tank to cycle it...I took this tank over from someone else so it was fully stocked with rock that had been in the tank for years. But my gut tells me I should still attempt to cycle it...there's nothing in it but rock so there's nothing feeding it. Ammonia and nitrites are 0 and Nitrates are about 10ppm...but that could be from my tap water. So I'm not sure what to do with the 2nd tank...

The thing that's even more confusing is that the books I have all say different things too...especially about filters and such. I keep telling myself though that I can't be doing too bad as I have not lost any fish and my one coral is doing great (those are all in tank 1).

I'm just getting frustrated...I don't know who's opinions to trust!

Thanks,

Rachael
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Old 03-07-2011, 01:48 AM   #2
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Well what I would do is do a cycle any way just to make sure that u have a good bacteria level for natural filtration. As far as filtration... It's really up to you. I would recommend a sump it just makes things so much more easy and you don't have to keep buying filter media. Insta ocean is ok but I would recommend something else. I just don't like how it mixes. Even after mixing it for two days with a mixing kit I find it still leave the tank cloudy. Your test kit I would upgrade to the API just because they are more accurate then the test strips. All in all I would go with your gut when it comes to picking a store lol and plus if u need any Info this board is more then likely to help you. I personally would listen to the people on here over the Lfs but that's me.
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Old 03-07-2011, 03:04 AM   #3
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i have a reef tank and i never have any problems with instant oceanit is just as clear as any other salt.
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Old 03-07-2011, 03:27 AM   #4
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I agree with what your second LFS has told you. Everyone has an opion on what salt id best. The only way is that when you run out of one brand to try a different brand. To find out if your second tank has cycled is to add some fish food...not to much and see if the readings are still spot on. API test kits are a good choice. I would not use an outside filter as your LR is your main filter. If you already have one...remove the filter media and put LR rubble in it.
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:22 AM   #5
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I know just how you feel in the frustration department! I have done so much reading and have asked so many questions to the LFS, other tank owners and everything in between! I can tell you that the people on this site have helped alot. And when it comes down to it, it's all about what you want to do and use! Opinions are always a good thing bit weather you take them or not is entirely up to you. Trial and error, I think I've been told that 2.5 million times! That's what it's all about, figuring it out as you go while getting advice from pros like the ones on this site!
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Old 03-07-2011, 05:36 PM   #6
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Old 03-07-2011, 06:22 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone...

Quote:
Originally Posted by thincat View Post
To find out if your second tank has cycled is to add some fish food...not to much and see if the readings are still spot on.
How much food is "not too much" (one pinch of flakes, two?)... and if it is going to cause the ammonia to rise...about how long would it take for that to happen? The tank in question is 46 gallons btw...
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:09 PM   #8
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Idk for sure about the fish food. What I would recommend is adding pure ammonia to the tank to bring the level up to say.... .2 then test in a few days. If the ammonia levels read 0ppm then you are good to go.
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:25 PM   #9
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if you transported the rock fully submerged there is a good chance that tank will not need a cycle. i would not add ammonia to a tank and risk killing off a lot of life on and in those established rocks.


while instant ocean salt won't hurt anything, it requires dosing to get it up to NSW, while many tailored "reef" grade salts do not. if you don't mind testing constantly and dosing accordingly, then stick with the IO.
otherwise, i would try some reef grade salts and find one you like.
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Old 03-08-2011, 12:43 AM   #10
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if you transported the rock fully submerged there is a good chance that tank will not need a cycle. i would not add ammonia to a tank and risk killing off a lot of life on and in those established rocks.


while instant ocean salt won't hurt anything, it requires dosing to get it up to NSW, while many tailored "reef" grade salts do not. if you don't mind testing constantly and dosing accordingly, then stick with the IO.
otherwise, i would try some reef grade salts and find one you like.
The rock wasn't fully submerged...but it didn't dry out either. It was wrapped in tank water-soaked newspaper and wrapped in plastic. And then the day after I got it home, I put it in buckets of saltwater while I got the tank set up. It was outside of a tank environment for about 4 days. Both stores #1 and #2 told me it should be fine...which is why I was told not to do anything to it. So I guess I'm still not sure what to do. I don't want to go ahead and put fish in it in case it's not cycled...but I don't want to try to cycle and kill anything either! I can tell you that any amount of algae that was on the rock has definitely come back to life...is that a good sign?

As for the reef salt...Store #2 sells premade RO saltwater for .79/gallon that contains the reef salt they had recommended. So I might give that a try. They showed me their commercial RO unit and the 300 gal tanks they mix everything in for their aquariums. It was pretty interesting...
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