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Old 08-25-2004, 06:23 PM   #1
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Water Changes - Easiest Method?

Hey! I'm making the plunge to saltwater... and so excited! For my FW tanks, I'm used to just adding conditioner to the tank as I add the tap water... so now with a SW tank... I'm wondering what will be the easiest method of adding water. I've read a few times that having a sump is preferable... please excuse my ignorance - I have no idea what a "sump" is, really. If I was to buy a 10g - how would I go about setting it up as a sump? Or what are my options? Please help me!

Here is what I've got and planning:
44g pentagon, 2-3" sand
Buying LR (preferably in BC, Canada) in the next few days
Penguin 170 filter
1 Aquaclear 403 ph
lighting (LFS said I have adequate light until I get corals/anemone)
heater

Also, I just thought of another question. With FW, partial water changes (without vacuuming) are encouraged during cycling - am I mistaken to be under the impression that the first water change in SW should occur after the tank is cycled?
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Old 08-25-2004, 06:40 PM   #2
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In the articles section, there are good articles to help you out. Sumps explained. fishless cycling. I would reccomend a sump.
you may also need to pick up another ph. You should have 10-15 times gal for water flow.
What type of lights, no, pc vho, or mh?
Water changes are of some debate. Some say don't bother till it's cycled because it prolongs the cycle. Others say it helps keep hitchikers alive.
you may also want to look into a ro/di unit. it will help you in the long run
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Old 08-25-2004, 07:05 PM   #3
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If your cycling with live rock then I would do water changes when ammonia levels got close to 1.0 This will keep as much life on the rock as possible. If your cycling with fish then you MUST keep ammonia levels as low as possible for the sake of the fish. If your cycling with shrimp then let your ammonia levels climb and fall before a water change.

This is my method of water changing.

A few days prior I make up a 30gal trashcan size of RO water. I drop in a heater and powerhead once I have enough water to cover both.

Once the trashcan is full of water and the water is up to temp (78-80) I start adding salt. I use a 2 cup scooper and I sift the salt in the trashcan till I think I have enough added.

I let that sit 24 hours then I check salinity and make minor adjustments till I get it where I want it. 1.025 for my tanks.

Then the day im ready to do the water change I drain water out of the tank using a hose. I go over the live rock taking up detrius and other things that might have collected there. I dont syphon my sand bed unless I have to get something off the surface.

Then I take and add the new saltwater into my sump. In the case of a tank with out a sump I pump the water into the tank with the aid of a maxijet 1200 powerhead and some 1/4" hose.
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Old 08-25-2004, 07:23 PM   #4
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Thanks alot for the advice! I forgot about the articles here... not sure how I could do that. I currently just have the flourescent lighting that comes packaged with the tank I purchased. I will probably do partial water changes just because I don't like anyone (hitchikers included) to suffer! I'll look into ro/di units for sure. The plan is to cycle with live rock and then get a clown fish or two... Marlin and Nemo... I have young kids! Thanks again - I'll read up and let you know how we do!
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Old 08-26-2004, 03:35 PM   #5
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Hi again! I'm wondering if I need to wait until my sand storm is completely gone before buying my live rock. Would putting a shrimp in help at all or is it simply a matter of waiting it out before it's clear? ... we're on our 3rd day now and still can't see through the tank Should I drain and refill using a plate??
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Old 08-26-2004, 04:37 PM   #6
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when adding sand it can take a couple days to clear up, i wouldnt worry about it. i wouldnt add the shrimp either, wait until its clear for that, especially if the tank is not cycled yet. i think it would be fine to add the LR tho.
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Old 08-26-2004, 06:12 PM   #7
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Thanks Kate! I was actually planning on helping the cycle with a (raw) shrimp. I'm going to look at LR this afternoon!
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Old 08-26-2004, 06:59 PM   #8
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also, with water changes, you have to mix the water and salt in a container about a day in advance, and let it circulate with an airstone or powerhead. freshly mixed saltwater will burn the fishes gils...an you don't want that.
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Old 08-27-2004, 04:32 AM   #9
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Thanks malkore! Yup... bought an extra powerhead today just for that purpose.
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