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Old 12-09-2009, 04:19 PM   #1
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Silly enough to use tap water

I should have known better, but I used tap water for the setup. The sump may be a little hard to explain, but fairly common I'm sure... 125 gallon tank, my sump is 20 or 30 gallons, and at one end has a kind of box. The water from the siphoned water above pours onto the "box" over a boat load of bio balls and small ceramic rings, keeping 4 to 6 inches of water in the sump to be pumped back to the tank. There are a couple more boxes worth of ceramic rings in the sump area as well. Sponge type filters between the "box" and the sump, a protein skimmer, and a couple of micron filters.

So, I set her all up, filled it with water, got the SG to 1.0235, ph is good, added water conditioner to remove chlorine and heavy metals... In fact everything is fine except for the nitrate and nitrite (and silicates) from the tap water. Added 8 damsels. What's even more embarrassing is that I own an RO filter. But it only produces 20 gallons a day. Thus a water change of 60 plus percent is not practical, besides which I have no vessel(s) that large. The only pet store within a reasonable distance will sell me all the pre-mixed salt water I need for $150.00. 12 to 16 - 5 gallon containers.

There is a place about 30 miles away that sells purified water like you'd use in an office water cooler, but again, how to transport. I imagine by now you have the picture. I tried the Kordon AmQuel+, but tests show no difference. I am down to 4 fish. </SPAN>Ideas?

I do have a very clean 30 gallon trash bin, if I kept the water in the aquarium agitated to provide air, could I drain it down to say, 40 gallons and start mixing salt water in the 30 gallon vessel, and refill the tank over a period of 8 days? Doesn't seem wise to me.

Of course I can do a 20 gallon water change every day, or 40 every 2 days, but that would get expensive and at the rate of dilution, it would take forever.
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Old 12-09-2009, 04:34 PM   #2
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Do you have a Wal-mart nearby? Almost every wal-mart sells filtered RO water from Culligan for 37 cents a gallon. Many grocery stores will as well. I have 5 places within 5 minles of my house that I can get Culligan water from. I got a bunch of those orange 5 gallon buckets & lids from Home Depot for $2.50 each and filled them up and then mixed the SW in a 25 gallon rubbermaid tub. I would however suggest strongly that you get a 20 or 32 gallon BRUTE brand garbage can new (don't use one that you've ever used for anything else) those are the toughest and safest to use, the tubs will bow out and I've heard they will eventually break under the pressure over time, the Brute cans will definitely not.

Last week I pulled 40 gallons from Wal-mart in once shot for $15 and another 15 from a Hy-Vee grocery store. Best place to get it.
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Old 12-09-2009, 07:20 PM   #3
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As long as it`s the initial fill up you`ll be OK. I woul;d not recommend it but you`ll be OK. You`ll probably experience more diatoms and a little more algea at the start but you`ll be OK in the long run as long as you use RO or specifically RO/DI water.
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Old 12-10-2009, 04:01 PM   #4
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I think I'm going to do a combination of the 2. By tomorow evening I should have 40 gallons from my own RO and I'll buy 40 gallons from a local providor. 2/3 of the water should be enough.

Thanks much!
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Old 12-10-2009, 04:22 PM   #5
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are you blaming the tap water on the fish deaths? or did i misread that? it doesnt sound like you cycled the tank, but maybe i misread the post?
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Old 12-10-2009, 06:20 PM   #6
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What the rookie said... Did u cycle the tank? You mention nitrites, are you testing for Ammonia, nitrites and nitrates? How bout that silicate #, did you test for that?

I would guess you're either not cycled (as prev mentioned) or the 8 fish at once over loaded you.

What are your water param readings?
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Old 12-10-2009, 06:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badamsios View Post
Added 8 damsels.
What was this for? Cycling with live fish is old school and not humane. Read this

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...ank/Page1.html
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Old 12-10-2009, 10:09 PM   #8
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Figures, We have shrimp all the time. Love Cajun shrimp and always use raw shrimp to make it... Anyways, yes, I believe the tap water is responsible. After the 1st couple fish died I remembered that the last time I checked the tap water it was pretty bad. Ammonia was low, but the nitrites and nitrates were VERY high. And I mean nearly the top of the scale.

I have no idea why the ammonia is low but the others are high, but I have a new test kit, as well as the quick dip sticks. I have no silicate test kit. After a tank cycles i've never seen a problem with that.

PH, Ammonia, Alkalinity, Specific Gravity are all great. It seems to me that starting a new tank with dangerous levels of Nitrate is nightmare in the making. Bottom line is, I have to get the nitrates down. As the tank cycles it's only going to increase.

My thinking now is, since it's been almost 3 weeks, there's likely a good start on the bacteria. As of this evening I have 100 gallons of RO water getting happy with salt. A 75% water change can only help, not hinder. It's either that or rip it all apart and start over.
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Old 12-11-2009, 01:51 PM   #9
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No need to start over just cycle the tank and when it`s done cycling just do some PWC`s.
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Old 12-12-2009, 01:11 AM   #10
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Uh, what's PWC's? I'm Army. Looks like Privates with crabs. And don't pardon the pun
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