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Old 04-19-2005, 09:29 AM   #1
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Qn's abt SW. Helps if you're Aussie! :)

Hi, I have some FW tanks and I've always thought abt getting a SW tank. Was just wondering if some1 else from Australia could help me with the setup. I've managed some light researching, but since this is more of a "wish" than a "will get" thing, my research is far from complete.

For a SW tank, I've noticed filitration can be in the form of LR with a protein skimmer and powerheads to move the water. Is this right?

I've heard of some ppl getting sand from the ocean, or using pool filter sand, but it shouldn't have silicone content or something. If I can get it somewhere in Sydney, would a beach be ok, or would I need to go further out? I don't really want to pay for expensive argonite? sand from a LFS, esp how Oz LFS seem to sell at prices a LOT higher than in the US.

What type of "rocks" are there? Is coral LR? One subset of another? Or totally different? What are other types I may see in the LFS.

Ppl seem to say RO water is better than treated tap water. If it is significantly better, where could I hope to find some in Sydney, and how much would I be looking at? Would you be looking to use it at every water change?

I guess that's a start to my enquiries. Hope some1 can help
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Old 04-19-2005, 01:50 PM   #2
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Not from Australia but can provide some direction.
On the filtration question your correct if you have a protein skimmer, enough LR and power heads that all you should need. Always exception and differences in opinion.
Beach sand is a complicated situation. First you want sand from as far from the city as possible (less pollution) Second don't take it from beach, you want to get it from the water, again less chance of pollution. Test the sand with vinegar. If it bubbles it aragonite based. and not silicate. Just remember besides the sand your bring in what ever is living in that sand.
The rock for live rock can be any porous rock. Yes dead corals are porous and can be used as LR. If your think about collecting your own, you better check the laws, coral reefs are protected. You can use BR, which is cheaper. Some people use volcanic rocks in there tanks because its porous and is cheaper. You can make your own rock from cement and calcium based products (crushed coral, crushed oyster shells, agaronite sand, etc.), thats the cheapest but takes the longest.
RO is a filter that remove impurities so it is better. You can purchase your own filter system to make your own RO water.
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Old 04-20-2005, 01:49 AM   #3
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Thanks mate for your insight.

I think I might just tell him to find a "HD" equivalent like store here and see if he can get a hold of some aragonite based sand. If not, I guess he can try the LFS for sand. If its not OVERLY expensive, it would just be on-off anyway.

My main confusion I have with SW is the rock types that I see at the LFS. So generally, from what I read from you, LFS sell porous rocks. LR = live stuff on rock, and dead rock or base rock = nothing live on the rock? (sorry if thats really stupid for me not knowing). By adding raw shrimp (etc) to base/dead rock, it will eventually make it live?

Therefore, would the difference in price between rocks at the LFS be:
a. the type of rock (volcanic rock? what other types are there?)
b. whether it is base rock or live rock?
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Old 04-21-2005, 03:13 PM   #4
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LR has bacteria growing in the pores of the rock. The stuff on the outside makes it more appealing. BR does not have the bacteria already. Once its in the water bacteria will start growing inside and it becomes LR will you also get growth on the outside. It takes months to get the coralline algae growth on it. Thats one of the considerations (do you want color right away or can you wait). The other LR introduces hitchhikers, most of which you'll want in the tank.
Most live rock and BR comes from dead corals so it will leach alk and calcium (helps regulate pH). BR is dug up from the ground easier to acquire so cheaper, LR is taken from the ocean or cultured in the ocean, so more work and therefore more expensive. Volcanic rock will not its just cheap porous rock. There are other types of rocks that can be used, cant recall right now.
Different corals have different shapes and densities. The shape can affect price (branching and shelf more desire).
If money is tight, could start with mostly BR and add one or two piece of LR later(to introduce hitchhikers). I started with one piece of LR and have been adding BR since.
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