Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
Old 11-16-2010, 09:15 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 40
New to saltwater tanks.

hello!.. i just recently had my last freshwater fish pass away. .. been thinking about getting new freshwater fishes but i think i want to try out saltwater fishes. .. i went to petsmart/petco/sharkaquarium yesterday and bought a bunch of products that i think i will be needing.

46" gal bow aquarium with stand w/ light
45 lbs of top fin gravel
Fluval 305 external canister filter 70gal
Instant Ocean sea salt, 25gal (i will be going back this week to get another 20-25)
Marineland 200watt heater
stick-on hydrometer and thermometer

i have not bought any fish because i am still doing research. i probably have been to 4 petsmarts and 3 petcos around my location and i can honestly say that no one i spoke to knew what they were talking about. a few even said they only knew freshwater. that is why i decided seek info online. i THINK i have a good foundation on how to take care of fish but my only concern is when it comes down to chemicals to help balance the tank.

i bought API Stress Coat and API Stress Zyme. are these products helpful? i am also considering buying Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Saltwater Liquid Master Test Kit - Saltwater - Fish - PetSmart
when i go back to get the rest of the sea salt.

people say don't use tap water but if i use the API stress coat it should remove the chlorine? correct?

can i just mix the water and sea salt in the aquarium? i know people recommend buying a garbage container from a hardware store but right now space is limited for me. eventually i will buy a bucket to help mix when i do my partial water changes. so can i fill the tank up and mix the salt in? .. 45 gals of water and then add the 45 cups of sea salt.

sorry for all the questions but i really want to get this right the first try. it's not fair for the fish if i bought them right now at the beginning so i want to do as much research as i can.

any other recommendations? .. product suggestions? ..


jsa83 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2010, 09:35 PM   #2
Community Admin
melosu58's Avatar

Tank of the Month Award
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Virginia
Posts: 37,891
Moved to the SW getting started forum.

melosu58 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2010, 10:04 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Addict
mr_X's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Fairless Hills, Pa.
Posts: 17,895
Send a message via MSN to mr_X
hi. you might want to get a large can of salt. you will end up using it. you don't need any chemicals to balance the tank.
sea salt isn't mixed 1 cup per gallon. it should have instructions on the box/can, but you need to check the water with a device that measures specific gravity. you might be able to get away with a hydrometer, but i recommend a refractometer. it's about 15 dollars more, but a zillion times more accurate. you can find them on ebay.

return the gravel and buy some aragonite based sand, or crushed coral. if you don't like having to vacuum the substrate, choose granules slightly larger than sugar sized. the smaller the granules, the less spots for uneaten food and fish turds to get caught in. the reason you want a calcium based substrate is because it naturally buffers the PH.
i don't know about stress coat and stress zyme. if you decide to use tap water for this tank you can use "prime" or "amquel" to make the water safe.

you can mix the initial fill water right in the tank, but you can't add salt to the tank after you have livestock in it.

you cannot buy fish now. you will have to cycle this tank first. you've kept fresh tanks so i am guessing you know about cycling a tank.
many people do this with a piece of shrimp or fish from the supermarket. something to create ammonia.
mr_X is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2010, 09:22 AM   #4
AA Team Emeritus
cmor1701d's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Belle Mead, NJ
Posts: 7,814
Good advice from Doug above. I'll add some reading material for you.

Start with our Articles section, then move on to some specifics.

Stock list and tips for maintaining your SW tank

How to cycle your tank with out the use of fish

Quarantine article

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure: A Quarantine Tank for Everything by Steven Pro


Reef Aquarium Water Parameters
cmor1701d is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2010, 08:22 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Addict
Floyd R Turbo's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: West Des Moines, Iowa
Posts: 1,682
+1 on Mr. X.

Tap water is acceptable but you probably want to test your tap water. Nitrates and Phosphates cause algae, and are present in most municipal water systems. That's why most people invest in an RO/DI system (<$100 on ebay), purewaterclub items - Get great deals on Household Series, Aquarium Series items on eBay Stores! or when I get in a pinch I go to Wal-mart and fill 5g Home Depot buckets with Culligan water for 37 cents/gal.

You can go ahead and but bulk salt because you will use it. I buy it in the 200g box (4 bags). For Instant Ocean the mix is 1/2 cup to 1 gallon of water, that bring salinity up to about 28-29 for me. I keep my FOWLR tanks at 31-33 and reef at 35.

I'm a Seachem Prime fan also. You don't need stress coatings unless you have sick fish in most cases.

+1 on refractometer. Hydrometers are worthless.

National Industrial Supply items - Get great deals on Refractometer, Refractometers items on eBay Stores!
My tanks: 120 Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber, 60 Reef Pond w/floating Algae Scrubber, 40 Breeder Reef w/L2 UAS Tester Algae Scrubber
I maintain: 144 SW Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber | 200 SW Reef w/L4 Algae Scrubber
Special knowledge: Algae Scrubbers, Acrylic Fabrication
Floyd R Turbo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2010, 05:28 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice FINatic
ChizerBunoi's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 648
Welcome to the forum.
ChizerBunoi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2010, 09:15 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Activist
Idaho-Tank's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Idaho
Posts: 178
Most people I know that go from FW to SW never go back.. Its more work, more money, and more challenging but more rewarding IMO. All great advice above! I would X2 on the Refractometer and RO Water.

Try to do things right the first time and use this and sites like this - where you can learn from others mistakes.
Idaho-Tank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2010, 09:38 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Freak
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 332
+1 for all above...and get your test kits.....
abdhalim2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2010, 07:09 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 40
hey .. thanks a lot guys! i got the specific gravity right. ... took your advice and got a refractometer. i also bought live rock. i put it in around 3PM yesterday. the water was crystal clear when i left for work @ 8AM today but when i got back home @ 6:30PM the water was very cloudy. what could have caused this? ... i was told the best way to cycle is with live rock. ... what should i do to fix the cloudy water? ... a worker at an aquarium store told me that it would clear up in a month!!! .. is that true?..

i bought a marine test kit... ammonia was at 0 when i tested it and then gradually went to .25-.50.. how can i bring it down? ... pH level is @ 7.8-8.0 .. how can i get it to 8.2?

and thank you so much! you guys are great help!

would the cloudiness go away if i do a water change?
jsa83 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2010, 07:10 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 40
heres a pic


jsa83 is offline   Reply With Quote

salt, saltwater, saltwater tanks, tan

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2 saltwater tanks into 1 Wolverine1 Saltwater Fish Only & FOWLR 5 05-11-2010 08:34 PM
new to AA new to saltwater tanks Derdy88 Saltwater Reef Aquaria 10 08-12-2008 04:31 PM
Novice to Saltwater Tanks unknown_7 Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 5 07-16-2005 11:16 PM
New To Saltwater Tanks TEC5154 Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 4 06-28-2005 09:20 AM
Saltwater tanks flamingonhot Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 56 11-02-2004 09:32 AM

» Photo Contest Winners

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:37 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.