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Old 06-06-2008, 06:32 PM   #1
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Our Marine Environment

OK so Yesterday we got started with our Salt Water Tank. My step daughter already has a 30 and 20 galat the house and maintains our 30 gal at our restaurant in Camden Maine.

My wife and I decided on the Salt Water. It is totally awesome. For now we have a 24 gal bow front, lighting is a 250 watt HQI with 6 blue and 6 white LED's. We set it up with living rock, green zooanthus and a leather soft coral, 6 snails, and 6 hermit crabs. I have attached a photo of it.

Camera is an Olympus E300 EVOLT 8 mega pixel.

We are holding on the fish for a couple of weeks as I am having 2 hip surgeries this summer and we will get the fish in between.
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Old 06-06-2008, 11:42 PM   #2
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It looks great. I can't offer any constructive advice as I am a freshie but I am sure that if you have any questions, our members that delve in SW will be able to help.
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Old 06-07-2008, 12:21 AM   #3
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very pretty tank, I also can't offer any advice I am a freshy as well.
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Old 06-07-2008, 02:14 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by neocamden View Post
OK so Yesterday we got started with our Salt Water Tank.
We set it up with living rock, green zooanthus and a leather soft coral, 6 snails, and 6 hermit crabs.
Did you just add salt water and then add everything?
Did you cycle this tank before adding the zoo, leather, snails, etc.?

Assuming the tank was cycled and all parameters were good before you added anything, what you feedding the tank to keep everything alive?
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Old 06-07-2008, 03:03 PM   #5
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tank contents

Well first of all, at the advice of the tropical fish place we deal with (35 years worth of knowledge), I set it up with distilled water and instant ocean. It cycled for about 5 hours, and the salinity and PH were right on the money. As a matter of fact, we set it up on Thursday and it has been fine since. We put living sand in the bottom and the living rock as well, along with the coral several hours later. Temperature ranges from 77 to 78 degrees.

There are no fish as of yet and therefore there is enought in there for the critters. Fish will be added in about 2 weeks once I get through the first hip surgery of the summer
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Old 06-07-2008, 04:47 PM   #6
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Not to disparage your local fish store (lfs), but Instant Ocean is a brand of synthetic sea salt. It does NOT cycle the tank. When we talk about cycling a tank we mean building up the colonies of beneficial bacteria that turn the ammonia produced from fish waste and uneaten food into nitrite, then into nitrate (different bacteria) and finally back to nitrogen. That's called the nitrogen cycle. Ammonia and nitrite in even tiny amounts are toxic to fish. Fish can live with nitrates up to about 80- 100 ppm but corals need levels less than 10 ppm.

Nitrates are removed via anaerobic bacteria that live deep within LR or a deep sand bed, by macro algae growing in a sump or refugium, or by regular partial water changes (10%-20% weekly).

The lfs sell several type of rock; dry base rock that will be colonized by bacteria; uncured LR which was harvested from the ocean and transported damp but not underwater, so there is some die off of organisms living on it; or fully cured LR which is cured in vats at the LFS where it is colonized by the bacteria and ready to be used in a tank.

Adding a sufficient amount (1Ĺ - 2 pounds per gallon of tank capacity) of fully cured LR can minimize any cycle that a tank goes through. You should still test daily for the presence of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Without any fish in a tank, the bacteria still need to be fed or the colonies will start to die off. It doesn't take much, just a small pinch of fish food once or twice a week.

Was the living sand from a bag or from a tank at the lfs? If it was the pre-bagged stuff that supposedly can be on a shelf for a year it most likely was just wet sand.

Do you have test kits for pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?
If not you should order them now. Most of use order most drygood products on the Internet from places like Drs. Foster and Smith , That Pet Place, Marine Depot, Big Al’s, etc. as their prices are about half of what a lfs charges.

Did you read the article on fishless cycling that was posted in your other thread?

Your tank can bring your endless hours of enjoyment, You just need to go slow and understand the phases that a new tank setup will go through during the first year.
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