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Old 11-01-2005, 01:31 PM   #1
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Help on getting started.

I know alot of these questions will be simple to answer, and make myself look quite dumb, but bear with me, I have done alot of reading and there is alot of opinons out there that differ alot. Anyways I have everything ready to go except my live rock, so my first question is when rinsing the sand, I can use regular tap water right? I do not have to purify it yet for rinsing the sand? Also when making my saltwater mix, is it really bad to use tap water? I live in BC canada so our water quality is very good, so can I just use it with some water declorination? I have some stuff called aqua plus for chlorine and chloramine, then add my salt for my saltwater mixture? To make myself look extra dumb I thought I had a 20 gallon tank, turns out its a 10 gallon tank and I have already bought all my stuff for saltwater, I have read its gonna be problems, I have also read it won't be too bad if you keep a vigilant watch on the water quality, any opinons? I would really hate to waste all this money, and I really wanna get into saltwater to test it out before investing in a large tank, any opinions on what to stock it with?. Thanks in advance
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Old 11-01-2005, 03:53 PM   #2
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well.. you asked a lot of "can I" questions and often the answer is "you can, but..."

you can rinse your sand with tap, but honestly you don't need to rinse your sand.

you can start with dechlore-tap water, but that often leads to a worse algae bloom during or right after your initial cycle.

you can have a 10 gallon SW setup, but if this is your first SW tank you may very likely end up frustrated as you are still going to be learning and developing good SW care habbits while battling the chemistry in a small SW tank.


IMO: Upgrade to at least a 20 gallon tank. You can keep everything you've got so far so nothing will be wasted, you may just need a bigger heater and a little more sand (depending on what you have). You can keep the 10 gallon and use it as a sump/fuge for your 20 gallon. I would really suggest a 55 as a better starting tank size, if you can swing it, I highly recomended.

Don't rinse your sand.

You're going to want RO or filtered water for water changes and top-offs anyway, so either find a cheap source (grocery stores often dispense RO water) or find a reasonable filter and use that.

Mix your first batch of saltwater outside of the tank, (get a rubbermaid tub, very cheap, and very handy). I have a 30 gallon tub i use to store RO water so I always have some on hand. Put the sand in your tank while it's dry, then add you're pre-mixed SW into the tank. put a plate or bowl into the bottom of the tank and pour the water into that, it will minimize the amount of "stir up" you get when first putting the water in.

then run your cycle (please read our article on how to run a fishless cycle)

the best advice I can give is to be patient. Cutting corners (like using tap water) only ends up in more work later on and so isn't really a short cut. You have to be patient with SW setups. They are slow adjust, but quick to fail. You have to give the tank time to adjust to any change you make, be it adding new critters, changing the lights or salt mix, etc.

keep the questions coming, it's what we're here for!
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Old 11-01-2005, 04:51 PM   #3
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so you do not recommend rinsing the sand? It says on the bag to rinse it before use?. Will look into a larger tank, but I think I am stuck with this one for now, and if its a hobby I enjoy like I suspect, then I will be getting a larger one soon. I do expect the 10 gallon to be a challenge, but I am not one to give up easy. Thanks for the advice, trust me if I could go bigger right now I definetly would.
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Old 11-01-2005, 05:04 PM   #4
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what kind of sand are you using?

The reason I say not to rinse the sand, is that your sand bed will actually become host to a large variety of bacteria and micro and macro fauna. There's a lot of articles out there that suggest having a sand bed with a large diversity of grain size (from fine silt to sugar grain size) helps promote a diversity of life and bacteria in your sand bed (this is a good thing)


that small of a tank, with no sump or refugium will require a great deal of attention and maintenance. As far as lingo goes, folks refer to that as a Nano tank. You might want to search around for that term and read up on some of the pitfalls and setup suggestions to keep yourself prepared.
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Old 11-01-2005, 05:09 PM   #5
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It is Carib Sea White Marine Sand, I bought it here
http://secure.bigalsonline.com/catal...d1=1695;pcid2=
I have done alot of reading on these nano tanks, I figure it will give me a taste of what saltwater is like as my experience in freshwater dosnt count towards anything in sw, still wish it was a 20 gallon like I originally thought
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Old 11-01-2005, 06:52 PM   #6
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so rinse it? dont rinse it? anyone else? oh and if you do have to rinse it, whats a good quick method? throwing it in a bucket and swish it around and drain the water out, then repeat? Thanks, I have no internet access at home right now so replies in the next hour would be much appreciated
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Old 11-01-2005, 08:20 PM   #7
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no one at all??
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Old 11-01-2005, 08:30 PM   #8
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I always rinse my sand.

I put it in a bucket/tub out in front of the house and I stick my garden hose in it. Then swish back and forth repeating until the water is fairly clear. then I drain the water well. and add to tank, then I put a large bowl in the bottom of the aquarium and add the water for the tank into it. This keeps down the sandstorm that will develop if you just add the water into the sand or the water and then the sand.

Best of luck!

Mark
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Old 11-01-2005, 08:38 PM   #9
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I have rinsed and not rinsed and I see no benefit to rinsing. The sand storm can be beat. Either by using a plastic bag to cover sand before adding water or using a PVC pipe to direct it into the tank with water in it. Using the PVC you will still get some silt but it will help cut it down. Even rinsed sand will cause a sand storm.
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Old 11-01-2005, 09:14 PM   #10
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No need to rinse is my answer
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