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Old 12-06-2008, 12:47 AM   #1
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Can I use real sea shells in my salt water tank?

Hello, I am new here. I am also a rookie salt water aquarium owner. So my first of MANY questions is.....Can I put real sea shells in my newly started aquarium? It is a freshwater converted over to salt. It is a 30 gallon. It has so far been right on with the salt levels. There is live rock and sand. It has been running for about two days now. So as you can see we are in the baby stages. My husband brought home real sea shells last summer n they have been sitting in my closet until now. I would like to use some but need to know If I can, how many, and how to clean them if so? Whew!!
Thank you so very much n I hope yall have a great day. Evening.
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Old 12-06-2008, 07:29 AM   #2
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First of all welcome to AA. Secondly it really wont harm anything but one slight problem I see is that they will trap fish waste and uneaten food causing high excessive nutrients in your tank which in turn will cause nuisance algea to flourish in your tank. I thought it was worth mentioning.
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Old 12-06-2008, 10:03 AM   #3
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I had some from my homeland, Peurto Rico in my tank. I would make sure they are genuine shells that haven't been lacquered or treated to preserve them for sale. If they are 100% from the ocean to your hand, rinse them thoroughly in fresh water and drop them in and enjoy. As usual, Melo makes a great point that they will trap junk, but I had hermits who would happily turn them over daily and pluck out the junk. Face them down if you can to avoid that issue, but be ready if you have hermits to see them turned over daily.
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Old 12-06-2008, 10:54 AM   #4
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Thank you very much for your reply. Yes they shells are straight off the ocean. My husband picked them out himself. Thank you for mentioning the possibility of junk hiding in them, that was one of the things that I didnt even think about. SO with that in mind I will add a couple n call it good.
Now on two question 2 lol


What should I start putting in first as far as fish, snails, crabs, etc...is there a process of steps.....
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Old 12-06-2008, 12:07 PM   #5
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After your cycle is complete you need to try to get a CUC (clean up crew) in there. This will be your tank janitors like snails, hermits and a shrimp or two. You really dont need a large crew in there just yet because there is not much in there yet. You could probably put a fish or two in there also but make sure it wont eat your clean up crew. I`ll tell you what. Tell us what kind of fish you are interested in. This thread is in the FOWLR forum so we dont have to worry about corals. What type of fish are you interested in? That question will also help us know what type of CUC to add.
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Old 12-06-2008, 01:17 PM   #6
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I am not intirely sure which fish I want to have in there as there are so many. A couple that have caught my attention are of course clown fish, mandarine fish, some tangs maybe...honestly I am still figuring that part out. How long does it take to cycle the tank?
Right now it is crystal clear n this morning I awoke to a teeny tiny little snail crawling along. I did not even know he was in there. I am assuming he came from either the live rock or live sand. Any way if he is doing ok does that mean I can go ahead and put in a few more snails, n such.
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Old 12-06-2008, 02:22 PM   #7
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Over the next few days you'll begin to see all types of little things start to crawl around in there. To cycle the tank properly will take a good month to 6 weeks (!)... there is an article on here on how to cycle your aquarium properly. While the aquarium is cycling you can begin to think about which fish you'd like in there. You should look into dwarf fish or nano fish only, as most of the other fish require a lot more than 30 gallons to swim around in.
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Old 12-06-2008, 02:33 PM   #8
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drop in a raw coctail shrimp for the cycle to begin. a mandarin needs a well established tank with tons of pods so hold off on that for a while. Nano Fish check out some of those fish and tell us more about what you like.
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Old 12-06-2008, 06:39 PM   #9
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Here is the article . Very good info.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...ank/Page1.html
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Old 12-06-2008, 09:27 PM   #10
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Hello again. Thank you I will look into this a little furthur and get back to yall on this. Thank you so very much I greatly appreciate the help...
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