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Old 12-27-2009, 08:00 PM   #1
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Is my friends advice accurate? Or will i kill them all.

Alright so im about to start my first salt water fish only tank. I have a friend of mine who is insanely good about this stuff. He has worked at fish shops for years. I've been reading a few books and magazines about getting started on salt water tanks and it seems pretty legit. But my friend knows ways around everything that ive learned from the books. Just wanted to kinda verify with you guys and make sure its ok.

So as i said im starting a 75gal salt water FO tank. Got my live sand and getting ready to pick up my live rock. Got a few power heads and a nice little canister filter. Now, he says thats all i need. PERIOD. The reason for this is because i live in Florida. What he does is goes out and collects salt water out about waist-chest deep in the ocean and puts that water in the tank. As far as maintence goes, all he does is top it off with some purified water as needed(like the kind you can get from walmart or publix for $.50 a galon), and once a month do a 20-30% water change using fresh sea water. No protein skimmer or heater needed.

Can anyone verify if this will work? Its not that i dont trust him. I mean, this guy knows a lot. But because im a beginner and kind of trying to pinch my pennies, it'll be nice to know that i can take a few shortcuts.
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Old 12-27-2009, 08:22 PM   #2
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If you get water from the sea you risk introducing parasites and bacteria into your closed system. While in the wild this may not be a big deal, this could wipe out your hole tank.

I don't do sw, however the above goes for sw and fw. The only topping the tank off does not sound right either, from reading others posts as I understand it you need your nitrates (the end product of the nitrogen cycle) as low as possible.

I'm sure the sw peeps will chime in here so I'll leave the rest of it to them.
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Old 12-27-2009, 08:33 PM   #3
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I would see his tanks and if they are healthy, do what he's doing. I agree about the parasites and disease thing, ocean water sounds good (seeing as they live in the ocean..) but it's got drawbacks too.
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Old 12-27-2009, 09:10 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by partypalooza5 View Post
I would see his tanks and if they are healthy, do what he's doing. I agree about the parasites and disease thing, ocean water sounds good (seeing as they live in the ocean..) but it's got drawbacks too.

Yeah all his tanks look really good. The only thing that i saw that he said was really good and awesome was the fact that he had quite a bit of this purple looking alge all over the place. He said that that type of alge helped stabalize his tank. But other then that his fish were clean and happy looking. Had some grouper he caought straight out of the ocean, along with a triggerfish, lionfish, and an eel.
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Old 12-27-2009, 10:25 PM   #5
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You can get away with what your friend is doing. If you can get the water from the same area as he does. You have to be religious and do the water changes. I would go with 20% every two weeks, at least at first. As your tank becomes mature and stable then you can vary it to maybe a month,, let your test kit be your guide. As far as replacing evaperated water, yes just use RO water...better yet, RO/DI water.
Yes, purple coralline algae does help to stablize your PH and Alk. or at least let you know that it's in the right ballpark.
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Old 12-27-2009, 10:31 PM   #6
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Awesome thanks a lot. I think im going to play around with it for a while. Im going to go catch some baby fish out of the inlet near my house (red drum, grouper, flounder) and see if i can raise them and how it plays out with the strategy he uses.
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Old 12-27-2009, 10:44 PM   #7
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Wait you said Fish Only(FO)right?Then why are you putting live rock in it or is this a FOWLR(Fish Only With Live Rock)?
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Old 12-27-2009, 10:54 PM   #8
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I'm sure that's what he might. Remember to QT your fish to be sure they are disease free or you will be in for lots of problems.
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Old 12-27-2009, 11:26 PM   #9
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Wait you said Fish Only(FO)right?Then why are you putting live rock in it or is this a FOWLR(Fish Only With Live Rock)?
yeah sorry! Its gonna be a FOWLR tank =P
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Old 12-28-2009, 09:35 AM   #10
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It sounds like your friend is doing OK. The only thing I would change is adding a skimmer. Skimmer remove DOC`s which eventually will change into nitrates. I would not mess with those fish you mentioned. They belong in the ocean and not in a tank. They wont last long in a tank Get the conventional SW fish that will survive in an aquarium.
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