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Old 02-19-2012, 04:54 AM   #1
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Salt Water Rookie

So I'm new to salt water. I have a 45 gallon tank and a 20 gallon tank. And I want to hear from you all before I make a decision on these questions.


1. I know tap water isn't the best but is it do-able? After each week when I drain the tank partially I plan on replenishing it with bought salt water is that okay?

2. The 20 gallon...quarantine or sump?

3. When I add water (if i go tap route) what do I test for other than PH Amonia Nitrites Nitrates?

4. Is a 350gph a high enough flow for a 45 gallon?

5. Skimmer....do I need it right away?

6. I can add rock when I first start my cycle....can I add shrimp and crabs then too?

7. How do I add amonia to my tank when I think my cycle is complete....is there something I can buy? Or do I just throw some nasty raw shrimp in there?

8. If the cycle doesn't get rid of the ammonia in 24 hours how do I add more bacteria to the tank to process it?

Thanks in advance!!
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Old 02-19-2012, 05:32 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard11
So I'm new to salt water. I have a 45 gallon tank and a 20 gallon tank. And I want to hear from you all before I make a decision on these questions.

1. I know tap water isn't the best but is it do-able? After each week when I drain the tank partially I plan on replenishing it with bought salt water is that okay?

2. The 20 gallon...quarantine or sump?

3. When I add water (if i go tap route) what do I test for other than PH Amonia Nitrites Nitrates?

4. Is a 350gph a high enough flow for a 45 gallon?

5. Skimmer....do I need it right away?

6. I can add rock when I first start my cycle....can I add shrimp and crabs then too?

7. How do I add amonia to my tank when I think my cycle is complete....is there something I can buy? Or do I just throw some nasty raw shrimp in there?

8. If the cycle doesn't get rid of the ammonia in 24 hours how do I add more bacteria to the tank to process it?

Thanks in advance!!
1.tap water for the start up? Its do able..but youll run into algae problems and will wish you had used rodi!

2. QT, without a doubt IMO

3. i dont really understand, is this for the fill up? The water changes?

4. I'd say so

5. Not right away. You can get away with not having one at all

6.if you want to do a fish-in cycle sure. But i dont suggest that. Inverts usually arent too hardy as it is

7. After you cycle your tank, the ammonia will be produced by the fish you add.

Are you meaning to ask how to cycle a tank with ammonia?

8. If it cant get rid of the ammonia and convert it to a safe level in 24 hrs, your cycle isnt complete and you have to continue dosing ammonia
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:08 AM   #3
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Before deciding to use your tap water check with your water company to find out just what is in your water. I know some people in NC can use tap water without a problem because it is good others can't even top off even once with it and not have issues. You also have a lot of other stuff that needs to be tested for if you go with tap water route since you don't want to much of one thing and not enough of another like magnesium, phoshpates and other things that is in the water. If you are going to spend the money
and time to have a tank you want, imo it is best to go with ro water from the beginning.

I use the raw shrimp it is more natural and less of a hassle but that is just me.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:57 AM   #4
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+1. Check with your water company, but you may just want to go with rodi water to play it safe.

The raw shrimp method is a great way to cycle your tank. Add your substrate, BS, LR, and water. Dump the shrimp in and start testing your water for ammonia after a couple of days. When the ammonia starts to go down, start testing for nitrite. When both are 0 for a couple of days your tank should be cycled and you can add a couple snails, crabs and a fish. Just remember to take it slow!. Depending on how much LR you use it could take 2-3 weeks to cycle. Maybe less.
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Old 02-19-2012, 01:14 PM   #5
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Sorry I'm exposing my noobness here but what is LR?
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Old 02-19-2012, 01:16 PM   #6
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Also when I do my weekly water changes I was planning on going with store bought salt water to reduce chemical levels depending on which I have in my water. Does this sound like a good idea
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Old 02-19-2012, 01:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Sorry I'm exposing my noobness here but what is LR?
Live rock. BS is base rock.
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Old 02-19-2012, 01:35 PM   #8
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Wow I feel dumb now. Just got a few more noob questions for you all. Sorry for my lack of experience.

But now I'm a bit confused about cycling. I keep reading stuff on here and am a bit confused about it.

So here's what I think I've pieced together.

Get your tank set up

Add water / filter / skimmer / heater

Add live sand live rock base rock.

Wait...(how long) then add raw shrimp

Check levels of ammonia nitrites nitrates for next few weeks

Do I do water changes here?

Do I let ammonia reach 0 then test it again and once ammonia can reach 0 in 24 hours and nitrites then it's safe to add fish / coral?

Then how ofen do I cycle after that? Or is the tank constantly cycling itself once I add the fish?
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Old 02-19-2012, 01:42 PM   #9
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You don't need live sand... Its overrated... But if thats your choice fine.

Tank-live rock then add your sand because the fish will dig and cause the "foundation" to moved causing rocks to shift. Water... Just get at least 80% purified or RO which means reverse osmosis. After that place heater in tuen to 80. Turn on pumps and filters. Test nitrates, nitrites, PH, and ammonia. Then put shrimp in same day. Test every day making a log of your results. You'll see them go up up up and then down to 0. Ph should be btw 7.0-7.5 depending on what you put in.

Skimmer.... Possibly. I do a water change each week and do not require one because of that.
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Old 02-19-2012, 01:43 PM   #10
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Oh and water change once your levels are 0. Some people say 50% or 25%. i do 25% of my rank each week.
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