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Old 12-28-2011, 02:14 PM   #1
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New 36G bow front - 3rd day

Hello,

New member just getting started here. Glad to find such a great resource!
As a b'day present for our daughter we are jumping right in with a 36G Aqueon Bow Front. FOWLR is the goal for now.
I made a slightly larger top for a pet store stand we found on clearance and picked up a Fluval 305 on an Amazon cyber-week sale, about half price.
So Monday we went to the same LFS where we bought the tank and picked up 3 bags of live sand, a bag of salt, hydrometer & pH test kit. Plus a bunch of great advice.
After the first day the water had cleared up and I cleaned out the sediment from the Fluval. 3 days in we are at stable temperature (75F), 1.021SG and pH is nearly where it should be. Hoping to get some live rock today or tomorrow and a few starter fish this weekend. LFS recommends some Damsels for starters - and they'll even take them back after the tank cycles. Great store.
So that's where we are, no questions for now but I'm sure we will later!

- D
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Old 12-28-2011, 02:42 PM   #2
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Welcome to AA!!

Check out our articles section of fishless cycling. Cycling with fish is inhumane and a thing of the past. Besides if the damsels live thru the cycle, they'll likely be mean, as most damsels are and very territotial towards the newcomers. That means they'll harrass others and could cause stress/illness (ick, etc) and you'll have a heck of a time catching them.

Read the fishless cycling articles and be prepared to wait 4 weeks maybe before you add fish, hermits, snails, and such.

Also to save money. Consider half live rock and half base rock (dry rocks) that will become live and encrusted with growth in no time at all. But please don't do the damsel route for starters and cycling the tank.
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Old 12-28-2011, 03:27 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advice! We'd been thinking the same thing with regards to half live, half dry rock. I just read up on the fishless cycling as well, thanks! Clever idea. The challenge then will be getting the rest of the family to wait, but I'll try!

- D
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Old 12-28-2011, 03:44 PM   #4
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Be careful with a canister. They are known for being nitrate factories.

No skimmer?
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Old 12-28-2011, 05:47 PM   #5
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That is the same tank I have. Petco model, probably little info about things like that. Let him cycle first then work around it.
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:14 PM   #6
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Welcome!

You're gonna want some powerheads for water flow. I recommend two koralia 425's for that tank, one on each side facing each other and tilted up for surface agitation.

Check this out for water params as yours aren't where they should eventually be:

http://www.liveaquaria.com/PIC/article.cfm?aid=89

Also, ditch the hydrometer and find an inexpensive ($35 on eBay) refractometer and you will have much quicker, more accurate results.

Mix salt in water 24 hours before doing a weekly 10-15% water change. Try to only use RO/DI water as you will battle algae if not.

Top-off with RO water, not salt.

If you don't have one, grab a heater as well.

People have had canisters with success, however you MUST keep up with the maintenance of them (cleaning weekly, etc) or they can do bad things in the tank.
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:17 PM   #7
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Also get an API master salt test. ($20) on Amazon I believe. Tests for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH. You will need to test when cycling to know how far along you are. Plus weekly tests after to see how it's going. I see you have pH buffer. You shouldn't need to rise the tank with that as long as you have good salt, surface agitation and keep up with weekly water changes.
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:31 AM   #8
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Wow, thanks again all who have jumped in. Great community.

@Sniperhank: Yes we did see the same tank at Petco, but got it from the LFS - I like to support local small business AND knew I'd be going to them for lots of advice in future. Local store's COST was about $3 less than Petco's selling price. Scary.

@iadubber: I've read a bit about skimmers but wasn't sure it'd be necessary at this scale?? No sump system planned anytime soon either. Baby steps.

@TLTGF: Thanks for all the tips! About the power heads - the 305 makes a lot of current (260GPH) in this smallish tank - I need even more? Great water params link, as I read it I'm right on with pH at 8.2-8.3, salinity 1.021-22 & temp 75F (heater came with the tank). I have my eye on that API master test kit. So far no need for buffer, you're correct. Thanks for the refractometer advice - I haven't been thrilled with using the hydrometer, one tiny bubble stuck on the needle messes up the reading.

I knew this was gonna be a cash suck but must admit I'm surprised how much fun I'm having at it nonetheless. Already imagining various extra special purpose tanks & bigger main tanks, etc.

- D
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Old 12-29-2011, 03:08 PM   #9
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You were right about your levels. I've been so into a reef that everything seemed off. I'm at 1.026 sg, 79*F, so that's why I was thinking you were low.

As far as flow, a rule of thumb is 10-20x per hour of water flow. 36*10-20= 360- 720gph flow. For a reef it's closer to 40-50x.

It's really up to you. If you feel there's enough flow, that works. Just ensure there is no dead spots for detritus to build up on the rocks. Also you wanna make sure your sandbed doesn't get a build-up as well. And... Fish love flow!

It's all pretty much preference - I love flow, so I tend towards the high side myself.
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Old 12-29-2011, 05:58 PM   #10
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Great, thanks. I may add just one PH opposite of the filter outlet then, see how it goes. So much to learn!

- D
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