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Old 07-09-2008, 07:02 AM   #1
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Help With Salt Water Tank (NEWBIE)

Hey guys,

I have just decided to have some saltwater fishes. I have just bought a tiny tank (22L) i think, hypdro meter, salt, heater, Stree Zyme. Costing me a total of $250

I have been running the water for 3 days now, and i'm wondering what is the problem because my hydrometer goes all the way to the bottom then jumps to 1.021, then comes back down. On day one it was at 1.030!! but now it seems its on rock bottom and from time to time jumps up and down.

I know i need to keep the needle between 1.023 and .1020. What am i doing wrong? is it not enough salt? i have the Red Sea hydro meter and its reading 24degree and 26degree. I am not sure what i'm doing wrong. Can anyone explain!

Thanks
David.
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Old 07-09-2008, 10:24 AM   #2
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Welcome to the site and the hobby!
I would look into getting a refractometer as they are more accurate.
Hydros can be effected by water movement and definitely temp. I found my measurements were way off when I used the hydro with cold water.
How are you cycling your tank?
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Old 07-09-2008, 02:45 PM   #3
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Scott pointed you in the right direction. A refractometer is essential for an accurate reading on SG (specific gravity).

If I read your post correctly you have a 20 litre (5 gallon) tank! That is awfully small for a starter sw tank. What kind of light does it have? What is the filtration and what do you want to do with this tank?

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Old 07-09-2008, 03:28 PM   #4
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I think the fluctuations may be down to the small tank size also. It is very difficult to maintain stable conditions when you get under 10gal for marines. If there is any chance you could get a bigger tank it would greatly improve your chances of success.

Are there any particular marine fish you are interested in? We could offer more advise based on that. At 5gal you are very limited in livestock choices.
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Old 07-09-2008, 04:37 PM   #5
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Thanks for the information and reply!

Well the tank is for my room, and i'm just planning to get around 2 clown fishes. Nothing too major or over the top.

The guy in the aquarium told me to cycle for 1 week than add live rocks. I've filled my tank with water and added near 1kg of sea salt (22L). And now i'm putting 5ml of Stree zyme to increase bacteria before i add live rock. Is the hydro mater going crazy up and down because of the small tank? (water pressure i assume) I got the temperture the the right point 25-26.

How much would a refractometer cost me? AUD wise.

Thanks for all the help! much appreciated
-David
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Old 07-09-2008, 04:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
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The guy in the aquarium told me to cycle for 1 week than add live rocks.
What state or condition is the live rock?

Uncured, partially cured, fully cured, etc.

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How much would a refractometer cost me? AUD wise.
Looks like Guppyís Aquarium Products Online has them for $78.98, but on sale for $39.99 (and out of stock at the moment)
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Old 07-09-2008, 09:24 PM   #7
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LR can be added as soon as the tank is at the correct temperature and the salt mix has circulated for 24 hours. The cycle starts when you add a source of ammonia, not a source of bacteria. The bacteria need ammonia to live, that what they eat. Uncured LR is INO the best way to cycle a tank.

David, I hate to damper your enthusiasm for this hobby but a tank that small is very hard to maintain. Things can go wrong very quickly and there is not enough water volume or beneficail bacteria to you time to react to a situation.

Please read throuhg the articles section on this site and GO SLOW. Take your time to understand all aspects of your tank and you may end up with a beautiful nano tank.

BTW, that tank is too small for 2 clowns. Maybe a couple of purple firefish at most.
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Old 07-09-2008, 09:53 PM   #8
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Something like a little clown goby might be ok. I think 5gal would be more of a pico than a nano and they really are tricky at best. You will have to feed tiny amounts every other day and do very frequent water changes.
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Old 07-10-2008, 07:25 AM   #9
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thanks for the advice guys! appreciated alot! I will see how everything turns out in 2 weeks. I'll end up getting 1 clown fish, and if it survives! i'll post up some pictures!

Thanks again!
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Old 07-10-2008, 11:38 AM   #10
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Wait, let your tank cycle first, before you add fish. Do you have any test kits?
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