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Old 05-11-2011, 10:53 AM   #1
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Question I really don't know where to start...

Hello. I am setting up a 37 gallon aquarium, and it is going to be FOWLR. I have reef crystals, live sand, and rain water (we have a cistern, so it is just stored rainwater). I don't have any live rock yet, but am going to set it up now, and as I get the money, add live rock from there. My question is, how do I start setting it up? Should I put the water in, then salt, then live sand, or live sand first, and just mix up the salt a bucket at a time? I just don't want to kill the stuff in the live sand.
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Rick
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:13 AM   #2
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You'd want to mix the water with salt. Probably half a cup to every gallon your mixing. Then most people would say you need to let it mix for 24 hours, but that parts up to you, you have no fish to kill. Once you have the water mixed, add the live sand, water and all, then fill the aquarium with the water you've mixed, but do it slowly, to keep the cloudiness down. You can also poor the water into a bowl, or onto a plate.

And what kind of light fixture do you have?

I am a little concerned about your rain water though. How pristine is your cistern? And where does the water drain from? Like, if its off your roof, does it contain some tar particulates?
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:27 AM   #3
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I'm not to sure about the rainwater thing. I'm sure someone else on here might be more knowledgeable on that. But I would add the live sand and mix my salt in a bucket of the water you're gonna use.

I would then place a bowl of some kind in the tank on the sand and pour my saltwater mix into that so it minimizes the stir up of sand and whatnot. Then once you are at a good enough level of water as to not kick up alot of sand you can take out the bowl and finish top'n off the tank.

Then Turn on the heater to about 85, turn on you're filter and power head or heads and throw in a raw frozen shrimp (Thawed) and hurry up and wait. Keep you're lights off to help with pevent'n alge build up.

And just stay diligent and remember to test you're water and do PWC's (Partial Water Changes)when you have to and you'll be cool.
If I missed anything I'm sorry I had to kinda write this out fast I'm sure a few people will set you straight if I missed anything.

I would think the rainwater would be fine cuz there are no additives in it but honestly I'm just guess'n. You can also go to the top header of this siet and click on articles to get an Idea of what you gotta do for a fishless cycle. Not sure if it's for fresh or salt but you can follow the fishless cycle part. Good luck.
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:28 AM   #4
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Uh oh beat me to it while I was type'n it out. hahahahah
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:33 AM   #5
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It drains from our spouting into the cistern, but we have a metal roof( it is pretty clean though, no rust, and we keep the spouting pretty clean). I am not really sure about the cistern. We moved into an Amish house, and that was their main drinking and cooking water, so I don't think it is too bad. I have a flourescent light, but I am not going to be keeping any coral, just the live rock. I am going to have to mix the salt in the tank (I don't have that many buckets lol). I saw you can use a 55 gallon trashcan, but the pump from the cistern is in our mudroom, so I would have to carry it from the mudroom to our house, so I could only do it in the tank (I can do a few buckets, but don't have enough to fill a 37 gallon aquarium). I have a power head, so that could probably mix it for awhile. For our cistern, every time it rains, all the old water is washed out, and filled up with new water.
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Rick
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:18 PM   #6
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I wouldn't use rain water, there could be a lot of issues that will harm your live stock down the road. Do you have anyway to purchase an RODI system, or just buy some RO water?
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purevil21 View Post
I wouldn't use rain water, there could be a lot of issues that will harm your live stock down the road. Do you have anyway to purchase an RODI system, or just buy some RO water?
I would buy some if I could, but I just don't have the money. The only two waters I have is well water, and rain water lol.
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:52 PM   #8
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It's your call, and you may be fine. But I wouldn't risk a lot of money worth of livestock using that water. You may want to wait until you can save up some money to buy RO water.
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Old 05-11-2011, 01:23 PM   #9
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You can always use distilled in a pinch and that's pretty cheap. But when money is tight I know you're pain and the dellema you have by want'n to start up right away and not wait. Maybe one of the moderator's have a better idea of how you should aproch the rainwater situation. send em a message.
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Old 05-11-2011, 01:34 PM   #10
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I hate to also say it, but, rainwater may not be your sw tank's best friend. :-( An idea could be to test the water and see whats in it. But I bet you can't test for everything.

If you are spending so much to set up and stock a saltwater tank the best bet is to buy ro/di water. I used to get mine at the Publix supermarket from their water machine for 30 cents a gallon. can't really get much cheaper than that unless you invest in a $70 or so ro/di unit for yourself.
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