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Old 02-28-2004, 01:20 PM   #1
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water changing

I've got a 40 gallon brand new SW tank. I have no idea how I'm supposed to do it's first water change. I'm assuming that I have to mix in the salt first but do I have to let it sit for some period of time? Should I mix it all in one container? (i'm not sure I have anything that can hold 10 gallons, and if I did, I don't know how i'd get it into the tank. There's no fish in there yet. Also, I cycled it using the shrimp method. both ammonia and nitrite's have spiked but, how long can there be between when I take the shimp out and when I add fish? You know, like before the bacteria die cuz they don't have any ammonia to eat? I don't have any LR. thanks
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Old 02-28-2004, 07:59 PM   #2
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What many of us do is pickup a good 30 gal plastic trashcan. You could use one of those 20 gal clear totes if you wished. As long as it does not have any holes in it. Fill this with water. Add a heater and a powerhead or two. Let the water come up to tank temperature and then slowly sift in salt till you have added approx the right amount to get the SG up to the level that you keep your tank at. Losely cover and let sit overnight. Check the SG of the water and if its in line with your tank then your ready to use the newly mixed water.

You dont want to add fish till ammonia and nitrite are zero. Unless you leave the tank empty for a few weeks at zero ammonia after the shrimp cycle you wont have to worry much about the bactera dieing off.
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Old 02-28-2004, 08:17 PM   #3
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Excellent idea. Thanks a bunch.
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Old 02-28-2004, 10:13 PM   #4
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Another little tidbit is to use a large powerhead like a maxijet 1200 and some 1/2" hose to pump the new saltwater into your tank. This way you you can limit your heavy lifting as much as possible.
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