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Old 05-14-2013, 06:31 AM   #11
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Your live rock looks god and will certainly help with the cycle. What's your future plans for this tank? Fish only or reef? Only reason I ask is if it is going to be a reef I would recommend starting with fresh water and fresh sand too if that was from the old set up. The bb in fresh is different to salt. Tap water is no good long term for a reef tank and if this water was previously used to house freshwater fish I can only assume its from a tap. Doing things right the first time will save you a hell of a lot of time and money in the future. Ro-di water is best for salt you may also need a powerhead and some salt water test kits as well as a refractometer for salinity (hydrometers are ok but not as accurate) Cycle the tank using a raw shrimp and test for amm until you see a spike (good cycle is 4ppm) then you will see nitrites and then finally high nitrates. Should take between 2-4 weeks. Any other questions just ask!
I'm planning on keeping it as a FOWLR tank. One of the reasons being having a coral reef tank is kinda illegal here, and I have no money for better lighting, corals, etc. So I am wanting to keep this FOWLR. Can I get away with tap water for a FOWLR tank? I am trying to keep down my expenses, as I just spent $100+ on a filter, hydrometer (which I understand is sketchy on measurements), as well as salt. Then I spent about $150 today on LR at $7/lb. I have very little money left of this paycheck to last me two weeks as it is. I do have a saltwater master test kit.

should I continue dosing with prime and stability? or just wait/not use it? Also, should I use the shrimp method or pure ammonia? If I go the shrimp route, how much do I put? Sorry for all the questions. I wanna do everything right before I end up hurting my future fish, and my bank account.
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:05 AM   #12
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If finance is tight tap water will be ok, you will encounter more nuisance algae along the way and try not to keep inverts as they are sensitive to copper (commonly found in tap) over time it can be harmful so think about changing if you can later down the track what kind of fish do you plan on? Just one whole raw shrimp will do it and if you can put it in a pantyhose (easy to remove after) keep it in until you see the spike.
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:14 AM   #13
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If finance is tight tap water will be ok, you will encounter more nuisance algae along the way and try not to keep inverts as they are sensitive to copper (commonly found in tap) over time it can be harmful so think about changing if you can later down the track what kind of fish do you plan on? Just one whole raw shrimp will do it and if you can put it in a pantyhose (easy to remove after) keep it in until you see the spike.
I plan on possibly keeping a green spotted puffer. LFS sells him in brackish, but I figured I can drip acclimate him to full marine. I hear you can get RO water on the cheap at walmart? if so, I'll most likely do this. I don't plan on any inverts. and ok, I'll probably do the raw shrimp route. unless anyone thinks pure ammonia is the way to go? One more question for now, would I need to invest in a nano protein skimmer/ better lighting? Just wanted your guy's opinion. Thanks for the input.
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:20 AM   #14
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I believe so (I live in Australia and we don't have Walmart) you can go either way with the cycle - there are equal parties for and against the two methods, most people are against a fish IN cycle. What kind of lights do you have, if any? For fish only it really doesn't matter, the lighting is more for your enjoyment. In my opinion you do not need a protein skimmer on that size tank but you will find people that do use them. It would do no harm in adding one later but again not necessary. If it was my tank I wouldn't use any mechanical filtration, I run a 55g reef with no mechanical filtration at all
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:19 AM   #15
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I prefer to use pure ammonia to cycle my tanks. Much easier to know exact levels and calculate how fast it is being processed. I would stop with the tap water and the additives. Use rodi water and salt. Also, just to be sure, you need to use marine salt and not aquarium salt. They are 2 different things.
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Old 05-19-2013, 04:03 AM   #16
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Saltwater Aquarium Salt: Aquarium Systems Instant Ocean & Reef Crystals Synthetic Sea Salt

Since you are one a tight budget I know where your coming from! As for salt Go to Dr Foster and Smith, they have Salt Mix for the cheapest on the Internet. Cheaper then ebay, and even better after 49 buck is Free shipping. You can do what you want but Id recomend buying the 200G Box(That what I get) It lasts me about 2 Months of water changes on my 55. I wish I would of Know this before I started my Tank, I got my 55 at Petco on sale for the $1/G Sale and Got 2 50g Bags of Salt mix @ $23 Each... So By that time I spent More money for half that amount of salt. When it come to your tank, its not saltwater with out the salt. So its the most Important think to the tank. Its the best way to start saving money for your tank.

As for your hydrometer they are normally off buy a few points, at least mine was. Also was the biggest pain in the *** for readings, I got a off brand Refractometer of ebay, for around $24 Free Shipping.

Link - Best Deal Salinity Salt Refractometer 4 Aquarium Hydrometer Softcase | eBay

Lastly you said getting RO water from walmart, In all honesty if you save your money you can get a cheap RO/DI Unit off Ebay for around $65 bucks that also what I did. It Doesnt have any fancy stuff but it get you a hell of alot better water.

Link - Portable Drinking 100GPD Reverse Osmosis Ro System | eBay

Hope this helps!

-Jesse
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Old 05-19-2013, 04:58 AM   #17
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Thanks for the links! I really appreciate it!
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Old 05-19-2013, 06:37 AM   #18
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Glad I could help I hope free shipping isnt void being your in Hawaii
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:29 AM   #19
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Glad I could help I hope free shipping isnt void being your in Hawaii
Unfortunately some are void or are slow boated here. but the price for shipping upgrade isn't too bad.
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:44 AM   #20
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I would also have a lot more rock and raise your SG to .025-.026.
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