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Old 05-17-2012, 02:16 AM   #1
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New 30 gal Saltwater setup

Hello folks. I am new to the saltwater aquarium but have had freshwater ones for decades. I have the following equipment
30 gal tank
Whisper 20-40 filter
Aquion 700 circ pump
125 w heater (I think, but it's plenty for my tank)

I went with a "au natural" start to my tank by getting clean sand from the ocean beach near my work. The beach is not accessible by the public and so there is no worry of local pollution. I also got the water from the ocean as well. As I live in Canada and on an island, there is almost no boat traffic here either. Clean water and clean sand. A nearby neighbor was closing down her 90 gal reef tank and I got about 20 lbs of live rock to add once the tank had been up for a bit with another 5 lbs from the start. I also ended up taking 2 damsels as well. I know I didn't cycle the tank properly but I am hopeful with all the live rock and live sand I got that it will be ok. I'll watch the levels closely.

In addition there are plenty of brittle stars, small snails and feather dusters. But I also got 2 caterpillar looking worms with the big one being about 4" long. What are they? They appear harmless. Are they?

Bauer I'll have lots of questions once i see if all goes ok to start
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Old 05-17-2012, 02:18 AM   #2
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Big worm
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Old 05-17-2012, 05:01 AM   #3
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That is a bristle worm. There is lots of debate on this guys as beneficial or not. I believe they are good for the aquaria as they eat other pest. However, if you find a big red one (can't tell by your pic) they can be aggressive, more so, they can get big enough to attack your fish and inverts.

What are your water levels (ammonia and nitrites) . There is a good chance you are going to cycle anyways. Ammonia spike would more than likely kill the fish.
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:54 PM   #4
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Ammonia was 0.25 ppm last night. I will keep a daily watch on it. I'll post if it starts to climb quickly.
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:35 PM   #5
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.25 is already elevated, it will get higher. I would test that real ocean water first. Its not clean in all areas. Boat traffic is only part of the problem. If collecting natural saltwater it is advised to collect as far from shore as possible and not from an inland area. Pesticides etc. from run off and thousands of other concoctions leech into the ocean from land. And its advised to test from the area you collect for everything you possibly can. Ocean water is not all the same, especially near land.

Chances are your water is fine, but just letting you know there is a reasonable chance its not good enough also.

The damsels stand a high chance if dying. They are very hardy so they can live through a cycle if the spikes dont get high enough. However its kinda cruel in my opinion you use a fish in this way. Other ways of doing it. But we all learn and move on.

Your going to want more live rock especially if your planning a reef tank. If a reef tank is planned general guideline is 1lb per volume of water so in your case 90 lbs. if fish only with live rock about half or more is generally recommended. Depends on rock density and surface area.
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Old 05-17-2012, 09:16 PM   #6
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Test of water at collection was:
Ph 8.0
Calcium 340
Carb hard 130
Phosphates, amm, nitrate, nitrite all 0

Last night
All the same Exocet amm 0.25

My tank is 30 gal. Got stuff out of a 90 gal tank
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Old 05-17-2012, 09:27 PM   #7
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Ph calcium and alk are kind of low reef tanks. It wont become a problem until you ger corals that begin sucking the alk and calcium out of the water. Keeping it between 400-500 helps and you may find yourself dosing a lot. Depends what you plan to keep tho.
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Old 05-17-2012, 09:37 PM   #8
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This tank is my practice tank. I will be custom building a 90-120 gal unit beside my fireplace. When I get to work on that I will be hitting you guys up for advice. For now it's a FOWLR tank to practice on. So i haven't bothered with the reef needs.
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Old 05-17-2012, 09:45 PM   #9
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Your right i forgot you were doing fowlr just threw me off cuz you posted the calcium lvls lol. Yeah you will be fine with that water, assuming nothing else is in it you dont know of such as toxins or pests.
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:55 PM   #10
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Amm level probably around 0.2 now. Just off the .25 colour to the good side
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