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Old 08-25-2003, 10:55 PM   #1
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Newbie Question- Using Seawater and Misc

I'm still trying to come up to speed on how to start a reef aquarium on a budget, and I had a couple of newbie questions.

As background, I have a 40gal tank and was going to use either a cheap 20 gallon as a sump or a cheap 10 gallon as a sump and another 10 gallon as refugium. Everything I've read has made me decide on DSB for the main tank, as well as a protein skimmer for filteration, some live rock, and possibly an old cannister filter I have.

Anyway, here are my questions:

* I live a mile away from a long fishing pier here in Northern CA and was wondering if it's a really bad idea to start my tank up with seawater (grabbing it near high tide) as opposed to using a mix? The water is definitely cold compared to a typical reef tank so I'm not sure what micro-organisms would survive.


* What sort of lighting (less expensive the better) do I need for a 10gallon refugium? Do I need both a full spectrum flourescent and a acitinc (sp?) bulb as well.

* I've read a couple places where a refugium should be above the main tank so the water flows out via gravity. Will keeping it below and using a sump pump chew up any critter making the refugium a bad idea in the first place?

* If I go with just a single 20gal sump to start with, is it worthwhile to put DSB in that as well, and if so, do I need lighting for a DSB?

Thanks,

Will
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Old 08-26-2003, 02:04 AM   #2
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I don't think using the seawater will be a very good idea. I would think it would be kinda dirty and would your tank wouldn't be as clear as if you were to use the mix...I am takin a guess at this but I heard somewhere that using ocean water is not as good idea...somone pls correct me if im wrong here
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Old 08-26-2003, 06:10 AM   #3
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IMHO natural seawater is the best as it is all natural. A simple note in using seawater is that you must make sure it is free from polution and such.. Natural Seawater also must sit for about a week or two before use to kill planktonic organisms to die or the use UV Sterlizers.. Correct me if I am wrong here as from the many books that I have read this seems to be the case in all of them... IMO i can really believe this as well nothing made by nature could ever be exactly reproduced by scientists. I myself live about 45mins from the ocean but find it too much of a hassle to drive to the beach to get Water that I am unsure of how poluted it is.. Just my 2 cents here..

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Old 08-26-2003, 10:04 AM   #4
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My two cents is that I would not advocate using the natural seawater unless you can validate that it is "nasty stuff" free. You cannot know what contaminants and other microorganisms are present in the water, especially so close to the shore where a lot of affluents are in the water and who knows what else. What I think you would want to do is provide the cleanest contaminant free water you possibly can for your fish. Remember that you are mimicking a minute ecosystem of where the fishes used to live, without the benefit of the vast volume of water to dilute and move contaminants away. I think providing the RO water with the salt mix is the most prudent approach. 8) Any other comments on this?
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Old 08-26-2003, 12:12 PM   #5
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I agree with cj10488 only in the case that the water you are going to capture is miles away from any inlet. If at high tide, and the water is clear, especially when there are no storms for a few good days, you should be able to get the water and take it home. You will need to store the water for a minimum of 2 weeks, in black light proof containers. Then, you will have to siphon off the good water and leave the dead organisms behind.. You guessed it, a pain in the rear if you ask me. however, it has been done and with great success. I find it a hassle to do all of this....
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Old 08-27-2003, 08:12 AM   #6
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As for the sand questions, you do not need lights for LS.

IMO if your going to have a DSB, you should have it in the sump tank and only an inch or so in the display, just my opinion, for aesthetics!

HTH
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Old 08-28-2003, 01:46 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone for your advice! I think I'll start out with a mix because it will be much easier and then for water changes, possibly go natural and leave it in the dark for a couple of weeks. Also, thanks Reefaddict on the sump answers.

For a hobby that is so complicated, it's great to be able to get the advice from you veterans!
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