My boyfriend and I decided to start our own saltwater aquarium, having no prior experience. We did some research, found all the supplies we need and have begun to set it up, but I'm afraid we've gone too fast and/or done things too out of order to correct now.
We have a 15 gallon tank with a light, a filter, pump, made our own protein skimmer, a refugium tank, heater, thermometer, hydrometer, live sand, live rock, distilled water, and the salt to add to it. Oh, and a test kit for ph, nitrate, nitrite, etc. We've made sure to get the appropriate size/watt/gph
The way we set it up: 1. Pour distilled water and appropriate amount of salt into tank. 2. Hook up pump and filter, and let it run for one day. 3. Check salinity of water. 4. Pour in live sand. 5. Add live rock. Steps 4 and 5 took place the same day (yesterday), and the water is still cloudy because the sand won't settle. After reading other threads, I'm beginning to think we did things backwards and too quickly. Also, we didn't rinse the sand.
My questions for you, wise aquarists, are: Did we do things out of order? If so, how should we have done it? Is there any way to clear the water or make the sand settle? Should we have rinsed the sand? Is there any way to correct our mistakes now, or do we need to dump it out/remove the water and start over? We greatly appreciate the help!