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Old 09-23-2006, 05:07 PM   #1
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New To Marine Reef Tanks....


i am new here and i am new to the hobby, i have had freshwater tanks for years ect, ect. I recently aquired a 46gallon bowfront marine set up with about 50 pounds of live rocks a small assortment of invertabrates and 2 small fish (clown and a damselfish). I moved the tank to my home in one night and set it back up, retaining as much of the original water as possible. (i moved everything in a small subcompact, so that wasnt a lot of water) I had no salt mix so i set it up with the water i had and left it for a day, hoping for the best.

Yesterday i bought some salt mix and made up the missing 25 gallons (aprox) of seawater, tried to match the temperatures and ph, and added it to the tank. So far it seems to be going fine, the mushrooms i have in there are open and appear happy and the sea urchin and fish are active. The fish fed well yesterday and appear to be healthy.

The tank came with a small protein skimmer and a canister filter, but due to the amount of live rock i have not hooked up the canister filter as the tank should have enough beneficial bacteria to consume the ammonia produced. I have hooked the protein skimmer up and it seems to be functioning fine at this time.

My understanding is that the most important parameters to check are specific gravity (salinity) of the water, and the PH of the water to ensure stability. I have purchased a hydrometer and a high range PH kit which i will use tonight. I have also gotten some Kent Superbuffer-dkh to add if the carbonate hardness level's are amiss. i do have ammonia, nitrite and nitrate test kits as well and i will check everything tonight to see where i stand with the water quality. I have a basic understanding of the bio-chemical process that takes place inside the tank, but no real experience other than the fresh water tank keeping.

Is there anything that i am missing or neglecting to do that you would suggest? Thanks Jamie

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Old 09-23-2006, 10:28 PM   #2
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Run the cannister empty, or maybe with rubble. This will become a high flow refugium. Call it "turbo-cryptic system", (I hope Tyree is not listening!) Sponges, tunicates,feather dusters and the like will grow inside, acting like a passive low maintenance mechanical filter for the system.
Get a container to pre-mix future water in, large enough for more water than you expect to use. For example; if you want to change out 10 gallons, keep 20 on hand, always ready. When you are finished changing out water, mix up a new batch. The pre-existing salt water will ensure faster, more stable water.
Do not forget to monitor the calcium as well. Without it the carbonate is at a loss...

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Old 09-24-2006, 01:15 AM   #3
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Just to add to what has been said, sometimes disturbing the sand and tank, like during a move, can cause a mini-cycle. Sometimes not. I would monitor especially ammonia for a few days.

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Old 09-26-2006, 08:47 PM   #4
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Great thank you, unfortunately the water i mixed up was out of the tap due to needing water very quickly. I have noticed algae beginning to bloom a little, not too bad. i will be sure to use RO/DI water from now on. The tank also came with a little canister sized water filter that fits to the tap. It says on the box that it removes phosphates and other trace elements from the water. Does this actually work? i have tested the water for PO4 after the fitler and it comes back negative? Is this a false economy? because i see that RO/DI units are hundreds of dollars and i think this thing was cheap?
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