Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 07-08-2008, 12:42 AM   #1
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 15
HI...just starting out on a salt water aquarium

hello Im pretty much a new when it comes to salt water aquariums.

I have been researching about it in the internet
I have a 30 gallon tank...I have filled my tank...dechlorinated it...and ran my filter, heater set to 75 f, and power head is working...and have added sea salt as instructed and my hydrometer reads it between 1.020 and 1.023

okay I know that I have to wait for like weeks until I can add fish because certain bacteria r needed to be present in the water. My question is when can I add live rock or coral..do I have to wait it out too...or can I add it immediately
__________________

__________________
ejay1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2008, 02:32 AM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: not here anymore
Posts: 5,338
Welcome to Aquarium Advice!

Just like fish (and even more so), you don't want to add corals, crabs, snails... anything alive to your tank until it has cycled. Completely. Ammonia and Nitrite levels should both read 0.0. (You've got test kits... right?!) Only then is the tank ready for inhabitants.

You are correct that you need bacteria to set up home in your tank to convert that ammonia and nitrite to nitrates. The bacteria will live in any powerfilters you have, but mostly in your rock and sand. This is why it's called "live" rock... it's alive with you bacteria. Soooo... just having a tank of water isn't going to give those bacteria too much of a home - you need to put the rock and sand in now and THEN cycle the tank.

Please read over the "articles" section of the website and you'll find numerous helpful articles to get you started. I also found just plain browsing the threads useful when I was starting out. (I lurked here for 3 months before I even put water in my tank!) And of course keep asking questions.

Sounds like you're using tap water, which is probably OK if you're going for a "fish only" tank. But since you asked about corals, I'm assuming you're planning a reef tank. Corals do not tolerate much in the way of nitrates and phosphates, and you'll normally find some amounts of those in tap water. Tap water works for some people, and not for others. But before you get too far down the road, I'd use those test kits (nitrates, phosphates, etc) on your source water to see exactly what you're putting in the tank to start with. If your source water has any detectable nitrates or phosphates, you probably want to start researching your options for purified water, either from a local fish store, or from buying your own RO/DI filter.
__________________

__________________
Kurt_Nelson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2008, 03:05 AM   #3
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt_Nelson View Post
Welcome to Aquarium Advice!

Just like fish (and even more so), you don't want to add corals, crabs, snails... anything alive to your tank until it has cycled. Completely. Ammonia and Nitrite levels should both read 0.0. (You've got test kits... right?!) Only then is the tank ready for inhabitants.

You are correct that you need bacteria to set up home in your tank to convert that ammonia and nitrite to nitrates. The bacteria will live in any powerfilters you have, but mostly in your rock and sand. This is why it's called "live" rock... it's alive with you bacteria. Soooo... just having a tank of water isn't going to give those bacteria too much of a home - you need to put the rock and sand in now and THEN cycle the tank.

Please read over the "articles" section of the website and you'll find numerous helpful articles to get you started. I also found just plain browsing the threads useful when I was starting out. (I lurked here for 3 months before I even put water in my tank!) And of course keep asking questions.

Sounds like you're using tap water, which is probably OK if you're going for a "fish only" tank. But since you asked about corals, I'm assuming you're planning a reef tank. Corals do not tolerate much in the way of nitrates and phosphates, and you'll normally find some amounts of those in tap water. Tap water works for some people, and not for others. But before you get too far down the road, I'd use those test kits (nitrates, phosphates, etc) on your source water to see exactly what you're putting in the tank to start with. If your source water has any detectable nitrates or phosphates, you probably want to start researching your options for purified water, either from a local fish store, or from buying your own RO/DI filter.
Well I was going for a fish only tank...I was planning on buying a test kit they have for nitrate and ammonia..I used one of those dechlorinators u get in petsmart...I turned on my fitler....and the salt is said to lower nitrate and amonium too...is there anything else...getting rid of the nitrate and ammonia was one of my first worries. I was actually looking for an reverse osmosis filter in my local petsmart and the employees looked at me funny.

I know about the live rock being essential for bacteria...I was planning on driving up to petsco this friday to look for one...how much do they go for( I knoe they will be expensive)...Im not looking for anything fancy...just enough so fish can survive.
__________________
ejay1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2008, 03:19 AM   #4
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 15
oh one more question...what is th best brand of live sand to get...and do I need any kind of special light for a salt water aquarium...or is it the same thing as freshwater aquariums??
__________________
ejay1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2008, 07:38 AM   #5
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
SpeedEuphoria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: BCM
Posts: 1,225
You need different light for SW and lots of it for corals
__________________
10G,Planted- Endler's Livebearers+RCS, 55G,planted
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt_Nelson View Post
Understanding the basics will let you make informed decisions on what advice to follow, and what advice is just plain hooey!
SpeedEuphoria is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2008, 11:32 AM   #6
AA Team Emeritus
 
roka64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 13,860
Send a message via AIM to roka64 Send a message via Yahoo to roka64
I wouldn't waste my money on "live" sand. Just get the dry sand and rinse it out. Salt will not lower your ammonia. The cycle goes like this:
1. Spike in ammonia
2. Rise in nitrItes with a decline to 0 of ammonia
3. Rise in nitrAtes with a decline to 0 of nitrItes
You do PWCs to remove the nitrAtes.
I would suggest a refractometer over a hydrometer, a QT and a RO/DI unit (about $100 on ebay), use a little LR and a bunch of base or lace rock (they will become live over time).
__________________
Age is relative, you are only as old as you act....of course, this works in reverse....

Questions loved, heeded advice greatly appreciated!

Vote for AA
Good reading about:
Nitrogen Cycle
Fishless Cycling
Need more help?
Articles
Acronym List

--Scott
roka64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2008, 11:51 AM   #7
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by roka64 View Post
I wouldn't waste my money on "live" sand. Just get the dry sand and rinse it out. Salt will not lower your ammonia. The cycle goes like this:
1. Spike in ammonia
2. Rise in nitrItes with a decline to 0 of ammonia
3. Rise in nitrAtes with a decline to 0 of nitrItes
You do PWCs to remove the nitrAtes.
I would suggest a refractometer over a hydrometer, a QT and a RO/DI unit (about $100 on ebay), use a little LR and a bunch of base or lace rock (they will become live over time).
okay...what does PWC stand for??
__________________
ejay1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2008, 12:06 PM   #8
AA Team Emeritus
 
roka64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 13,860
Send a message via AIM to roka64 Send a message via Yahoo to roka64
PWC= partial water change
If you run into any other acronyms that you don't understand, click on my acronym link, under my sig file.
__________________
Age is relative, you are only as old as you act....of course, this works in reverse....

Questions loved, heeded advice greatly appreciated!

Vote for AA
Good reading about:
Nitrogen Cycle
Fishless Cycling
Need more help?
Articles
Acronym List

--Scott
roka64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2008, 12:53 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
fijiwigi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Eastern Washington
Posts: 1,726
Quote:
Originally Posted by ejay1 View Post
Well I was going for a fish only tank...I was planning on buying a test kit they have for nitrate and ammonia..I used one of those dechlorinators u get in petsmart...I turned on my fitler....and the salt is said to lower nitrate and amonium too...is there anything else...getting rid of the nitrate and ammonia was one of my first worries. I was actually looking for an reverse osmosis filter in my local petsmart and the employees looked at me funny.

I know about the live rock being essential for bacteria...I was planning on driving up to petsco this friday to look for one...how much do they go for( I knoe they will be expensive)...Im not looking for anything fancy...just enough so fish can survive.
First step is to buy a test kit so that you can monitor the cycle. During the cycle about 6weeks is a great time to study so that you fully understand. I know its boring to see a tank of water with no fish swimming around but a good idea. In order to kick-start the cycle though you will need an ammonia source such as a raw shrimp from the grocery store, Fish food, Or my personal favorite Live rock. I ordered my live rock online Liveaquaria.com during shipping whatever live stuff died on the rock helped jump start my cycle for me. The quality of the rock was also much better than my Local Fish store had to offer. When I factored shipping and everything the Rock ordered online was still cheaper the the 8.99 a pound rock sold at the LFS.

Oh and you will never totally get rid of ammonia and nitrates. The bacteria inside your tank will help digest it to a level that is not harmfull to your fish. This also depends on your Bioload (amount of fish in your tank)With a 30g you will not be able to keep very many fish. If you have too many fish and a small tank with little live rock than you may not have the bacteria to keep up with the fish waste. You need lots of surface area for Bacteria growth. Via filter pad, rock or whatever There are many saltwater aquarist that do not use filters (including me) When you have enough live rock there is plenty of surface area for bioligical filtration of your tank the only other thing you need is good water flow and a protein skimmer.
__________________

FijiWigi_Tank_photos
120G Oscar tank in progress
fijiwigi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2008, 01:35 PM   #10
AA Team Emeritus
 
cmor1701d's Avatar


 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Belle Mead, NJ
Posts: 7,814
You might want to start at the Articles section then read the Getting Started thread ,the Cycle your salt tank article and the Quarantine for saltwater fish articles.

If you are not adding a power filter the recommened amount of LR (Live Rock) is 1˝ - 2 pounds of LR per gallon of tank capacity. You can use a mixture of base rock (dry) and LR to get to the right amount.

Your cycle won't start until you add a source of ammonia to the tank. That could be some uncured LR or a raw cocktail shrimp you get at the grocer, or a good pinch of flake food.

You can find a decent RODI unit on eBay. You will need much better lights for corals.
You started out right by posting here. Now you need to do some research by reading the articles and posting your questions as they arise. This community is here to help you avoid the mistakes we have made or read about that other's have made. We also have no financial incentive to sell you anything like the local pet store does.

So....

__________________

cmor1701d is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
salt, salt water, salt water aquarium, starting

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Starting a salt water tank caseydavis Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 18 08-18-2009 10:13 PM
Thinking about starting a salt water tank. Help Please! Drent Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 8 06-07-2006 01:20 PM
Starting a Salt Water tank THEONE1 Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 1 12-28-2004 08:33 PM
thinking about starting a salt water tank aquarium Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 3 10-03-2004 09:18 PM
starting a 29 gallon salt water, am i off to the right start ACreque Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 4 09-15-2003 10:06 PM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:50 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.