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Old 07-27-2005, 10:33 AM   #1
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New Tank Questions - 55 Gallon Cycle In 6 Days?!?

Hey Guys!

I've decided to go into the saltwater world by starting up a 55 gallon tank. I currently have 660 gph of filtration by means of hob filters. Yesterday I bought argonite sand from caribsea, salt, and a hydrometer.

The tank has been running water for about a day and I'm curious about the salt level. How long does it take to get accurate readings for salt in the tank? Sometimes when I use my hydrometer it is almost all the way up, and other times it is only a few notches above acceptable. I'll just dilute it down to get a better mix but I'm curious if the readings are accurate after 24 hours.

I do plan to buy live rock in the future but not yet. My main filtration will be mechanical. Eventually I would like to get a skimmer as well. My lighting is far below anything acceptable but it will work for a fish only tank.

I am planning to buy a few fish and use biospira for saltwater tanks. Has anyone tried this product before? I've read several people comment about this product on the freshwater forums but rarely talked about on the saltwater forums.


Thanks for reading a newbs post.
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Old 07-27-2005, 10:44 AM   #2
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I am not certain about the time it takes to get an accurate reading for the salinity levels. However, I am in a similar position being that I just started a Saltwater setup yesterday. I noticed oddly varied readings of salinity as well. The high readings, as it turns out, were caused by bubbles attached to the swing arm on the meter. It turns out that I had to tap it or thump it several times to remove the bubbles and get an accurate reading. Not sure if that is your problem but, I thought I would make mention of it.
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Old 07-27-2005, 11:21 AM   #3
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Once the salt is fully disolved and mixed with the tank, the reading won't very. But you do need to check for air bubbles as mentioned. And rince it out with fresh water when you're done to keep salt from drying inside it.
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Old 07-27-2005, 11:39 AM   #4
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There are numbers on the hydrometer you want the salinity/spacific gravity of the water to be between 1.021 -1.025 and you want it to be constant once you pick where you want it.. In a rref tank most run around 1.025 ina a fowlr you can run on the low end.
Once you get critters or fish in the tank never add dry salt to the tank, you need to mix the slat water out of the tank in buckets. do some reading on the site there is a lot of good info out there for newbies... good luck..
Any questions just post away..
Like mentioned above... check for bubbles in the hydro.
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Old 07-27-2005, 01:47 PM   #5
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Most people today recommend natural cycling without the use of chemicals and fish. You can throw a piece of coctail (raw from the grocer) shrimp in there whole and let him decay. That will produce the bacteria necessary to prepare your tank for fish.

Bummer on the live rock. That's the best means of filtration going in addition to providing your fish a natural environment where they can feel safe and secure.

The most frequently quoted phrase is "nothing good happens fast in this hobby". Unfortunately the converse is true as well. Bad stuff... happens REALLY fast.

Good luck with your move to saltwater!
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Old 07-27-2005, 02:23 PM   #6
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As the Monkey said....beware of the bubbles. LOL. Make sure there are no bubbles on the "arm" of your hydromter. They will make you crazy trying to get a reading unless you thump them off.
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Old 07-27-2005, 04:36 PM   #7
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Thanks for the messages guys! I went out and bought 30 lbs of live rock and I also have 20 lbs of live sand, and 30 lbs of regular argonite sand. I'll let the live rock cycle my tank.


The pet store guy that has been doing saltwater for 5 years says he uses his python on his salt tanks without any problem... but it does seem odd not to add salt to the water before dumping in the tank.

I got a good deal on the rock. $3.99 a lb for Figi Live Rock
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Old 07-28-2005, 03:03 PM   #8
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How would you go about using a python to change water in a saltwater tank?

Does anyone out there try this method?


Thanks.

BTW The LR is beautiful I should get an ammonia reading soon.
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Old 07-28-2005, 07:22 PM   #9
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Good move on the LR this is one of the things you shouldn't skip IMHO. Good luck on your new SW tank.
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Old 07-28-2005, 09:46 PM   #10
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Make mental note...First thing to replace, buy a refractometer to replace the hydrometer. You will thank me later.
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