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Old 06-10-2004, 11:10 AM   #1
jmc
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Adding Water - Conditioning and Salinity

Hello - First post on this board from a newbie in the aquarium world... all answers and input is greatly appreciated and hope as I gain experience can help folks out in return.

I have set up a 46 gal. salt water tank that I intend to maintain as a reef tank. I'm using a wet/dry filtration system with a Rio 2100.

My questions are:

1. I have tap water conditioner and would like to know how fast it works when following directions on the label (my dealer said adding addtional conditioner won't hurt). What is the minimum amount of time one should wait before adding?

1a. Where should I add the new water - to the overflow so it 1st goes through wet/dry filter, or directly to the sump?

2. If salinity in tank is on upper end of safe zone, should I add fresh, conditioned water to the system to dilute the tank a bit, or add new water that is of correct salinity?

2a. Is the water adding process a means to maintaining salinity or am I missing something...

Thanks in advance!

JMC
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Old 06-10-2004, 06:07 PM   #2
steve-s
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Re: Adding Water - Conditioning and Salinity

Welcome to AquariumAdvice.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmc
1. I have tap water conditioner and would like to know how fast it works when following directions on the label (my dealer said adding addtional conditioner won't hurt). What is the minimum amount of time one should wait before adding?
Tap water conditioners are not harmful as a rule (Unless overdosed) but I would avoid ones with aloe. Aloe negatively affect skimmer performance and can render certain resin products useless. Once added to the water give it a few hrs mixed with a powerhead to be sure the chemical reaction has done all it can if being used for fresh top off water. Using in an emergency for the main tank as a nitrite or ammonia binder, it is safe to add directly to the tank without harm to the animals. If used when making a new batch of SW, it can be added a few minutes before with no issues. Just be sure with SW, you allow 12-24 hrs beofre use to be sure the alk/pH part of the chem has settled.

Quote:
1a. Where should I add the new water - to the overflow so it 1st goes through wet/dry filter, or directly to the sump?
If fresh top off water it doesn't really matter as long as it's in a high flow area and not directly into a coral. Fish will actually swim into it which is fine.

Quote:
2. If salinity in tank is on upper end of safe zone, should I add fresh, conditioned water to the system to dilute the tank a bit, or add new water that is of correct salinity?
Not to split hairs but unsalinated RO would be the best option. If adding tap it's fine, just watch out for nuisance algaes, water conditioners will have no affect on that. Add the FW water as need to bring down the salinity slowly. If needed, remove small amounts of SW from the tank. Try not to exceed a change of more than 0.01 SG/day.

Quote:
2a. Is the water adding process a means to maintaining salinity or am I missing something...
Yes, as water evaporates the salt does not. It remains in the system and gains in concentration as the water level lowers.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 06-10-2004, 06:35 PM   #3
jmc
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Re:

Steve,

Thanks for taking the time to answer so completely. My comfort is much higher in regards to adding water lost to evaporation.

A nother question if I may... What tests are a must for a my tank as I begin to cycle with live rock?

Thanks again,

jmc
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Old 06-10-2004, 06:50 PM   #4
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Re:

Quote:
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A nother question if I may... What tests are a must for a my tank as I begin to cycle with live rock?c
The only tests you will really need in the beginning are ammonia (NH3), nitrite (NO2), and nitrate (NO3). These will help determine the cycle process. You can test pH if you like but it has a tendancey to be really wonky during a cycle and is not really worth chasing after unless you have freshly harvested rock and quite a few hitchikers to preserve. Then you can help correct that with daily water changes.

Where is the rock coming from? You might want to give this article a read....
Curing Live Rock? I didn't even know it was sick!!

Cheers
Steve
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Old 06-10-2004, 07:15 PM   #5
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I noticed that article doesn't mention anything about heating.. would it be beneficial to have a slightly elevated temperature to aid the die-off?
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Old 06-10-2004, 08:24 PM   #6
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I noticed that article doesn't mention anything about heating.. would it be beneficial to have a slightly elevated temperature to aid the die-off?
You could if the hitchikers where to be a complete loss from the start. If you are endevouring to preserve as much life as possible, I would maintain temp and salinity at NSW levels.

Personally speaking in either scenario, I would leave it at NSW levels. You never know what is in the rock that could be affected and otherwise might survive. Call me a sentimentalist...


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Old 06-11-2004, 11:35 AM   #7
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Live rock came from my lfs and was not their premium stuff as I just wanted some base to start with while I'm shopping for premium (realizing I don't want to make this a long process b/c I'm cycling the tank). Cured in store.

I have observed several feather dusters, a couple brine shrimp, and some very small stuff on rocks I can't identify but look like tiny corals (purple in color).
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