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Old 11-29-2006, 07:53 PM   #1
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Newbie, Help please!

Hello all, I recently bought a used 46 Gal Bow Front. The previous owner used it for freshwater.It came with a stand and 2 Emperor 280's. I want to use it for a reef tank. I went to the lfs and showed them, $510 dollars later i walk away with

1.Rena Filstar xP3

2.ViaAqua MULTI-SKIMMER II

3.3-20 lb bags of CaribSea ARAG-ALIVE

4.Coralife Deep Six Hydrometer

5.Saltwater Master liquid test kit(tests ph,ammonia,nitrite, and nitrate)

6.1-15 lb bag of Instant Ocean Sea Salt

7.200w marineland stealth heater

8.1 bottle of Kordon AmQuel plus, 1 bottle cycle, 1 bottle Stress Coat

I have a couple questions, the first is i filled the tank up with tap water( i live two blocks from lfs and they said it was ok).All i have added to the water was the recomended 5 ml per 10 gal of Stress Coat and then waited 24 + hours.If this is bad,can you please let me know what tests to do on the water before i dump the water and start over.Then i added the sand. Is this ok? I have my skimmer unpluged and i have the filstar running along with one of the Emperor 280's going. Is the Emperor overkill? Also my temp has never been stable do to a bad heater that never worked(im waiting for them to ship me a new one,local fish store wont exchange.)Its been like that for about two weeks,could this be bad for my sand or water quality? And my last question is do you guys think that i will need a powerhead or more than one if so any recomendations for brand and flowrate? I plan on buying about 60 pounds of live rock once i get my heater and get my temp stable.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read such a long post,any comments are greatly apprecated
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Old 11-29-2006, 09:01 PM   #2
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It sounds like you are off to a good start. Honestly, you could have gotten by without some of the stuff the LFS sold you, but thats here nor there. First and foremost...do NOT cycle with live fish. There are much better and more humaine ways to cycle a tank. Check out the "Articles" section at the top of the page for some great info on getting started and cycleing. Good call on the LR, it will sure help your tank out.
Quote:
I have my skimmer unpluged
Good. No need to use it now. Skimmers remove DOC from the water in a new tank thate are none.
Quote:
i have the filstar running along with one of the Emperor 280's going. Is the Emperor overkill?
I do not think so. I would remove the biowheels from the Emperors and use them only for water movement and chemical/mechanical filtration.
Quote:
Also my temp has never been stable do to a bad heater that never worked(im waiting for them to ship me a new one,local fish store wont exchange.)
temp is not a huge issue when ycyling but you should attempt to keep it stable. If the LFS would not help you out with this matter...find a new LFS.
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Old 11-29-2006, 09:05 PM   #3
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Welcome to AA. I`m not much on tap as it has lots of chems that a reef tank dont need. You LFS should have sold you an RO/DI unit. You`ll need one if your`re going to have a reef tank. I`ve never had a filter on my tank in nine yrs so I dont know about them. LR and skimmer and PH`s are all that is needed IMO. Good Luck on your tank and remember to cycle without fish.

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Old 11-29-2006, 09:34 PM   #4
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In this situation would you dump the water and start over?
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Old 11-29-2006, 09:49 PM   #5
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I don't think you need to dump the water. I would have at least 2 ph on opposite sides pointed at each other. I have maxi-jet 1200 in my tank. So far they do a good job. Have you added salt yet?
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Old 11-29-2006, 10:11 PM   #6
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Yes i have added the salt .I cant believe I forgot to mention that. SG is 1.021 according to the hydrometer,but then again my temp is only 68.7 it says it gives corrected readings in temps 68-85 F so im right on the border there
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Old 11-29-2006, 11:11 PM   #7
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You sound like you are on your way. I really don't buy equipment from my LFS. Here is an example:
Test kit at LFS
$28.99 (same kit you got)
Here the good drsfosterandsmith.co]
...click on the bold link...Just learned it today...
I actually buy most of my dry goods from them.
Get the refractometer (hydros tend to depend on temp and water movement). I also bought sand from them 270Lbs a 6 foot lighting system and a few other things and shipping was $15.99!
I definitely wouldn't dump the water.
I like to premix my water for at least 24+ hours. This sounds like a lot, but it is pretty easy.
Friday-add water, ph, heater, salt.
Sat-test salinity and temp
Sun-remove old SW from tank, clean equip, pump new SW into tank.
It sounds like it takes a long time, but you will get to know how much salt goes into how much water in no time (definitely do NOT add salt directly to your tank). My PWCs take about 15-20 minutes total (even though it takes three days, the actual work is minimal).
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Old 11-30-2006, 01:03 AM   #8
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Re: Newbie, Help please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RHINO13
Also my temp has never been stable do to a bad heater that never worked(im waiting for them to ship me a new one,local fish store wont exchange.)
Like Lando mentioned, if you spent over $500 with that LFS, and they wouldn't swap that heater right then and there for you, find another fish store. That's ridiculous.

Mixing the first batch of salt water in the tank is just fine, but as Roka mentioned, once you start doing partial water changes after your cycle is done, premix the salt and water in a separate bucket/tub/holding tank for at least 24 hours. You're going to want another heater and powerhead for your mixing/storage container.

And don't forget... when you notice your water level going down due to evaporation, add NON-saltwater. Either add distilled water, or RO/DI water, or treated (dechlorinated) tap water. "Topping off" is done with plain water, water changes are done with salt water. Seems that many people overlook this little tidbit of info and top off with salt water which in time will increase the salinity levels and cause you major problems.

Powerhead brand? I'd go with Maxijets. Low power consumtpion for a lot of flow, inexpensive, and reliable from my experience. Not sure the gph on that canister filter, but most likely you'll want at least one powerhead positioned opposite of the canister filter outlet, shooting across the flow from the canister... kind of an "x" pattern. You might want another powerhead depending on your rock arrangement once you get it in there.

Personally... I'd make a list over the next week or two of hardware you're going to want to buy. Trust me... you'll realize more stuff in the weeks to come. Then buy online. Online prices are literally 1/2 of what you'll pay in the LFS. And that includes shipping. Try DrsFosterSmith as mentioned earlier, or marinedepot.com, or premiumaquatics.com. I've used them all and would use them again. There are others out there too, but those are just the ones I have first-hand knowledge of and would recommend.

Have fun!
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Old 11-30-2006, 01:26 PM   #9
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No dont dump your water now. Just have to deal with it now. But in the future I would use RO/DI or distilled water if you are planning a reef tank. IMO
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Old 11-30-2006, 01:45 PM   #10
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First of all i would like to thank everyone for their time and efforts in trying to help me. melosu58[/quote]Just have to deal with it now. What exactly do you mean? How would you go about dealing with it?[quote]But in the future I would use RO/DI or distilled water if you are planning a reef tank. IMO Do you mean with future water changes and top off? If so before or after i add live rock(start cycle)
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