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Old 03-10-2010, 11:29 PM   #1
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Did i do it wrong again. (New Tank)

hello, im new to the fish tank scene. i started with a 10g for goldfish and im suprized im not in jail for murder. After doing alot more online reading i relized what i did wrong and made it up to the fish by making it an xtra nice tank for them lol. Goldfish got boring so i bought a 29g and cycled it correctly ( no deaths ) for my 8 cichlids. everything was perfect but being a college student i got way to much time on my hands besides sitting and watching fish. so i decided to make a saltwater tank. im goign to start small. The saltwater is going to go to the 29g after i buy and cycle a 75 for the cichlids. well i read on another site that i should fill with water. then remove the chlorine then salt to the correct standard, then add sand and let set for couple days to let everything settle. WELL then i came to this site where everyone seems to know alot more of what to do and how to do it and i did it very wrong. 2 questions. im going to cycle with dead shrimp but did i mess it up with the sand? and do i need to cycle it with a rock in it or is the rock somthing i put in later after the cycle is complete? at the moment i have a backside small filter running. no heater. ( water stays bout 71 right now. will buy heater in about a week.) and prolly little over 3" of sand. ( to much sand? or is there such thing as to much sand?) ty for any answers. and i will continue to read the forums. just thought i would through another situation out there for some eager answerers!!
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:41 PM   #2
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Welcome to AA.

I think you are fine the way you started the tank. I don't see what adding the sand before or after the water will make much of a difference. It will just take longer for the sand to settle...if it hasn't already.

You are going to cycle the tank a good way though...with the shrimp. I would go ahead and add some rock...if you are planning on having live rock, now would be a good time to buy it...then start cycling. I would get the heater before adding the live rock though.

3" is more sand than I like, but I think its more personal preference. Usually people do a little or alot (deep sand bed), but I think 3" will be fine. Others will chime in and let you know for sure. Just make sure when you add the rock that you push the bottom pieces down into the sand instead of letting it rest on top...that way if you have any sand sifters or diggers they won't collapse your rock.

Keep reading and learning and you will do fine! I had ~6 years of freshwater experience before I started my first saltie tank and I feel/have felt like a real newbie all over again.
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustOneMore20 View Post
Welcome to AA.

I think you are fine the way you started the tank. I don't see what adding the sand before or after the water will make much of a difference. It will just take longer for the sand to settle...if it hasn't already.

You are going to cycle the tank a good way though...with the shrimp. I would go ahead and add some rock...if you are planning on having live rock, now would be a good time to buy it...then start cycling. I would get the heater before adding the live rock though.

3" is more sand than I like, but I think its more personal preference. Usually people do a little or alot (deep sand bed), but I think 3" will be fine. Others will chime in and let you know for sure. Just make sure when you add the rock that you push the bottom pieces down into the sand instead of letting it rest on top...that way if you have any sand sifters or diggers they won't collapse your rock.

Keep reading and learning and you will do fine! I had ~6 years of freshwater experience before I started my first saltie tank and I feel/have felt like a real newbie all over again.

+1. Good advice and a positive attitude
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Old 03-11-2010, 12:53 AM   #4
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Sounds like you know what you want to do, so that's good. JOM20 gave you some good advice about the sand and rock and i fully agree. You don't want to leave any gaps under the rocks because that could spell disaster.

You're going to want to check out this thread to get a detailed idea of the things you will need:
Stock list and tips for maintaining your SW tank.

Since you have a tank under 40 gallons, a protein skimmer won't be necessary since weekly PWC's will accomplish the same amount of filtration. Also, you will want a good ratio of live rock to water(about 1.5-2lbs PER gallon) to establish a good ecosystem and for biological filtration as well. So with weekly PWC's and the proper amount of live rock, you should have all the filtration you will need.

Definitely want to get a heater because the temps need to be in the range of 78-82 degrees Fahrenheit for tropical saltwater livestock.

Also, you may want to consider buying an RO/DI unit, since there are many chemical/elements in tap water that can turn a saltwater tank nasty REAL quick. Plus, it's better for the livestock, and you won't need to worry about chemicals to clean the water since the unit removes 99% of all contiminants from the water that is going through the unit. What comes out the other end is pure RO water. Which is the best you can do for any saltwater tank.

You're also going to need something to measure and keep track of the salinity of the water. You can choose a hydrometer or a refractometer, however, most hydrometers give people more headaches than results, and a refractometer is highly recommended. And you can find them fairly cheap on ebay. I got mine for 25$ shipped. If you go through retail sites they usually cost you 40-50$.. so try ebay before any other places.

Anyways, i think it sounds like you know what your doing so far since you know you have to cycle before anything. It's in your best interest to check out this subforum:
Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started - Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community

TONS of questions there are answered about getting started with your saltwater tank and chances are you may be able to find the answers to some of your questions with a tiny bit of searching. You will find tons of great information that will aid you in the beginning of your saltwater journey here on AA, so stick around, ask questions, and research! Research is key.

Good Luck and Welcome to AA!
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:22 AM   #5
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:59 AM   #6
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tyvm everyone. glad to be here.
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Old 03-14-2010, 11:12 PM   #7
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0PPM Portable 50GPD Reverse Osmosis RO+DI Water Filter - eBay (item 170457482067 end time Mar-17-10 19:47:51 PDT)

for 5$ more you can get a 100gpd.. I got one, works GREAT!
Beats out all the crap for 100-300$, cept you need a tds meter, get the 20$ hm.. the 3 model or above I think is what it is..

Btw, fyi, I would stick with the shrimp, tried biospira, didn't work for me.. Nite out II worked though..
But taking it slower with no additives and ro/di water creates better stability in the long run... Oh ya, keep the sand in, maybe aim for 4" max, but cycle WITH it, so the DE-nitrifying bacteria starts to grow..
As far as rock, don't have any experience here with it, but I've heard it's better to cycle with it as well.. Some say live, some say dead, but if it's going to be fishless for awhile some say it's better to do live? That way parasites etc die without fish? (don't quote me on that )
/shrug
Just a few things I've learned, maybe other experiences are different..
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Old 03-14-2010, 11:20 PM   #8
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welcome to AA
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Old 03-21-2010, 04:15 PM   #9
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keep up the good work.

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