I just recently joined this forum after checking out several others.
I've had 55g FW
tanks for years, community and cichlids, and my wife and I decided we wanted a SW
tank. Our LFS
(I'm still catching on to the lingo around here, lol) was going out of business and I got what I think was a really good deal. A used 125g tank, 80# of LR
, wet/dry with plumbing and media, Mag 1200 return, aragonite substrate, hanging light canopy with 3 VHO
bulbs, 2 jager heaters, and very nice homemade stand for $175.
I plan on FOWLR
. As I started cleaning everything I used FW
- a rookie mistake- but have since been curing the LR
in a kiddie pool and it is showing signs of life, so I guess I didn't kill everything!
I've looked around the forum at other newbie's questions- some helped, some didn't- so I thought I'd begin my own thread "diary". I have some questions.
The first applies to the initial water fill. I called another LFS
that delivers RO
water for a fill and they quoted me a price of...$500!!! Five hundred bucks?? Are you KIDDING me??!! So that option was out, and I started looking at RO
units on EBay, and through research I discover the ratio of RO
water to wastewater is 3:1 to 4:1! I try to be environmentally conscious and the thought of wasting 375g of water to gain 125 disturbs me. I have no way to capture and store that much wastewater for future use.I understand not using tapwater, even with conditioners. So...
Is DI water acceptable?
I can get it from a local grocery for .19 a gallon and haul it 10g at a time. I still plan on getting a RO
unit for topoffs. Or how about plain well water?
When it comes time to fill the tank
, can I fill it about half way, mix the salt, place the substrate and LR
, then finish filling in smaller mixed batches?
- A very learned friend has a system on his 15-year established 250g SW
tank that he made. It consists of PVC
pipe running along the back and sides with holes drilled in it and a pump to push out detritus. I'd like to do the same- good idea? Powerheads- how many, what flow rate? I understand the principle of eliminating dead spots, but is there a given formula to go by?
- As I mentioned, I have a hanging canopy. I'm considering placing it on top of the tank, but I'm concerned about the weight- it's made with treated wood and has to weigh a minimum of 80#. Too much weight? If placed on the tank the lights would be about 6 " from the water's surface- too close?
I'm sure I destroyed any possible life in the aragonite. Will the LR
organisms spread to the sand, or should I buy a small amount of live sand to seed what I have? I have also been told by some that the arag crushed coral I have is too coarse- that is, too big, and will catch more detritus. Should I go with a fine sand, and should it be live?
I know I've gone on a long time, and I apologize. I like to be thorough, lol. We're excited about our first SW
setup and want to make as few mistakes as possible- even though I've already made some!
Thanks very much!