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Old 12-08-2014, 04:47 PM   #1
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New to saltwater!

Any advice on anything?
I Am for sure getting a 24 gallon nano cube and I just need advice not getting any crazy corals I need advice on how often to test and what everything needs to be for a perfect tank


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Old 12-08-2014, 06:39 PM   #2
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New to saltwater!

Hi there! I'm new to saltwater too but I can share some of the mistakes and things I have learned going into this hobby.

When cycling your tank the most common way to do it is with a fresh raw shrimp in a pantyhose (keeps tank cleaner) until your ammonia rises to about 4.0 and as the ammonia starts to lower, your nitrites will rise, and then lower. As the nitrites lower, your nitrate will raise. Once you have zero nitrites your tank is cycled. You'll want to do a number of small water changes to get your nitrates down.

Get a refractometer. My hydrometer was reading 0.04 lower than my refractometer came in at. They're much more accurate.

Use reef salt, rather than regular saltwater salt - it has the elements you'll need in it to grow corals if you choose to.

As for test kits the best ones (from my research) are the Salifert and RedSea. You'll need the regular pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate kits for a FOWLR tank. If you want to go into corals you'll need kits for calcium, magnesium, alkalinity/KH, and phosphates.

When cycling your tank you'll probably be testing your ammonia, nitrates and nitrates every few days or so. After that you will only need to check ammonia and nitrite if you find you are having problems with your tank. I test my nitrates every now and then - but I know when to do my water changes so they stay low. If you decide to add corals I would check the other parameters such as calcium, magnesium, phosphates, alkalinity once a week or once every two weeks. Your reef salt should maintain your levels as long as you keep up with your water changes.

Most people keep their salinity around 1.025-1.026. The latter number is the salinity of natural saltwater but many hobbyists keep theirs at 1.025.

Your other parameters should be around the following:
pH: 8.0-8.3
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: <20 (but lower if reef tank)
Calcium: 420
Magnesium: 1400
Alk/KH: 10
Phosphate: 0.01-0.08 (but not 0)

You'll figure out where your params should be over time but hope this helped a bit. Cheers.
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Old 12-08-2014, 07:01 PM   #3
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Thank you very much! also I was wondering if I should get like 10lbs of live rock and the rest dry rock and cycle my tank with that? And also when you put the shrimp in you take it out when ammonia hits 4.0? And where do I get shrimp? And how often should i test?


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Old 12-08-2014, 07:10 PM   #4
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Thank you very much! also I was wondering if I should get like 10lbs of live rock and the rest dry rock and cycle my tank with that? And also when you put the shrimp in you take it out when ammonia hits 4.0? And where do I get shrimp? And how often should i test?

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I would go with that route. Your live rock will seed the dry rock and within a couple weeks to months it will turn live. That is what I did. Much cheaper.

Taking the shrimp out once it hits 4.0 will ensure you get a complete cycle and not just a partial cycle. As for where to find the shrimp I'm not too sure. Seafood section maybe? Hopefully someone can shed some light on that. I didn't go that route.

Alternatively you could get bottled ammonia and start the cycle that way. Just add it until it hits 4.0.

Once the cycle is complete you can (optional) dose your ammonia once again up to 4.0 to check that it goes through the nitrite cycle and back to 0 the next day. Though it's not really necessary I don't think.

Your cycle will probably take a couple weeks so perhaps maybe every couple days? That way you're not using up all your tests. There's no real rule as to when - it's up to you and your curiosity. You'll know it's progressing as you see the parameters changing.
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Old 12-08-2014, 07:25 PM   #5
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Thank you so much! What did you do to cycle your tank?


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Old 12-08-2014, 07:29 PM   #6
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Thank you so much! What did you do to cycle your tank?


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I used a bottled cycling product that works for both freshwater and saltwater. Looking back, it wasn't the best way to cycle as I don't think my ammonia went as high as I would've liked. (Was out of town after I added the product so by the time I tested it was in the nitrite stage) If I were to do it again I would do either the shrimp or pure ammonia.
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Old 12-08-2014, 08:20 PM   #7
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Gotcha so I should test every two or four days until ammonia gets 4.0?


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Old 12-09-2014, 02:28 AM   #8
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Gotcha so I should test every two or four days until ammonia gets 4.0?


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Yep That should be good.
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