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Old 10-03-2008, 07:03 PM   #1
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Question New tank is home....

Well......finally did it after getting rid of my 2 fw tanks awhile back. Picked up a 46gal bowfront, stand, fluval canister filter, crushed coral substrate, heater, digital thermometer, hydrometer, test kits,.....and on and on.

Got it all set-up, water in it, heater is wamring it up, filter is running, light on.

I am going live rock, no coral.

Questions:

Recommended method of cycling, and with or without live rock in the tank while cycling? Owner of LFS said to use fish, he recommended a fish (cant remember name) that would help cycle, but was hardy enough to do well even when the initial ammonia spikes.

Water temp? I set the heater for 77 to start, just to get it warmed up.

Stocking once cycled? My wife wants clownfish, which I will do, but what else do you all recommend. Being my first SW I dont want any fish that are a PITA to feed or need some exotic food.

Clean-up crew? What should I go with?

When should I add salt? Should I get an electronic hydrometer? The one I got is a cheap one with a floating arm in a vial thing.
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Old 10-03-2008, 07:19 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by EMTtony View Post
Recommended method of cycling, and with or without live rock in the tank while cycling? Owner of LFS said to use fish, he recommended a fish (cant remember name) that would help cycle, but was hardy enough to do well even when the initial ammonia spikes.
Your LFS is dead wrong. Read this

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...ank/Page1.html
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Old 10-03-2008, 07:36 PM   #3
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Sounds like the LFS wants to make a sale.
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Old 10-03-2008, 07:58 PM   #4
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Mike got it covered for the cycling part.

Temp - 77 is fine
Fish - what do you like? A pygmy angel would work with the clown and maybe a goby of some type.
Cleanup crew - couple snails and hermit crabs...once you start seeing algae for them to eat.
When to add salt? Not sure I follow you, but the salt should already be in the water in your tank by now. When doing water changes, get the water in a container, mix in the salt then warm it up and let it mix for 12-24 hrs. Get yourself a refractometer to measure salinity.
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Old 10-03-2008, 08:11 PM   #5
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Mike got it covered for the cycling part.

Temp - 77 is fine
Fish - what do you like? A pygmy angel would work with the clown and maybe a goby of some type.
Cleanup crew - couple snails and hermit crabs...once you start seeing algae for them to eat.
When to add salt? Not sure I follow you, but the salt should already be in the water in your tank by now. When doing water changes, get the water in a container, mix in the salt then warm it up and let it mix for 12-24 hrs. Get yourself a refractometer to measure salinity.

I just put water in the tank a couple hours ago. Instead of buying the pre-mixed seawater, i bought bulk salt. Just haven't put it in yet.

Also what are you all running in your filtration? Will salt be slowly diluted by using certain kinds of filtration media?
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Old 10-03-2008, 08:30 PM   #6
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What do you mean by bulk salt? I use the instant ocean brand...not regular table salt. You should pre-mix the salt in the water BEFORE putting this into the tank.

Basically it sounds like you should take the water back out, pre-mix some instant ocean (again, not purely salt) and then add it back into the tank. Then, let the tank sit for a while.

Your hydrometer is fine, that's what I use.

For a clean-up crew I have 5 hermit crabs, 8 nassarius snails, 2 cerith snails, and one peppermint shrimp. I will be adding a skunk cleaner as soon as i can find one.
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Old 10-04-2008, 01:30 AM   #7
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You mentioned buying crushed coral for your substrate. Many people have issues with CC down the road because it traps deterius and caused nitrate problems. You may wanna pull that out of there before the sand bed gets established and you fish in the tank to worry about.

Quote:
Clean-up crew? What should I go with?
Don't add the crew until the tank if finished cycling but when it is... i would start with 5 nassarius snails. maybe 3-4 astraea snails, 2 turbo snails since you have no coral to knock over, and then 3-4 blue leg hermits. Some people don't like hermit but you could always just substitue a couple more snails if thats they way you wanna go. You will need a larger clean up crew as the tank gets establised but if you add to many to fast they will just starve. They may be a little large as is.

Quote:
Should I get an electronic hydrometer? The one I got is a cheap one with a floating arm in a vial thing.
hydrometers suck. I would strongly sugges you pick up a refractometer from e-bay or something. Well worth the money. hydrometers can give you a reading that is quite a ways off for a few different reasons.
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Old 10-04-2008, 01:31 AM   #8
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Magnus... Not sure why you think the person is using table salt... they just said they bought bulk salt, and I'm thinking that means a bag or bucket of salt mix. But anyway...

As cccapt mentioned, you normally want to premix the salt mix and water outside the tank and let it aerate and dissolve before adding it to the tank. If you just have a tank full of water right now, and no sand or rock, then it's totally fine to add the salt to the water and stir like crazy. Powerheads will help keep things mixed up. No need to take the water out.

Filtration media won't dilute the salt. Not sure what you mean there, but any type of chemical filtration won't suck up the salt.

I'd ditch the floating arm hydrometer. They can really be inaccurate, and it's probably best to just spring for a refractometer ($50 or so) and get your salinity dialed in correctly in the beginning.

And yeah... melosu gave you a good link to follow regarding cycling your tank. Much easier and kinder than buying a damsel (probably what the LFS was trying to sell you) to cycle it. Plus, with a 46g, you probably don't want a damsel in there anyway so cycling with a cocktail shrimp per the link will also keep you from having to try and get it out after the cycle... assuming it lives.

Oh... and welcome to AquariumAdvice. Definitely need more West Coasters here!
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Old 10-04-2008, 02:20 AM   #9
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I figured salt because that's all he said...there is more to it than just salt correct?

How inaccurate is the floating arm hydrometer? What makes them inaccurate?
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Old 10-04-2008, 02:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
How inaccurate is the floating arm hydrometer? What makes them inaccurate?
I know they will give different readings depending on temperature if i remember right. Most of the errors come from things like if a bubble gets onto the swing arm it throws it way off or if the are just doesn't rotate smoothly it can get stuck and give you readings that are quite far from what the water is actually at.
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