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Old 06-26-2013, 01:11 AM   #61
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Everyone: I'm all set up. water is flowing nicely...lots of rock and more on the way.

Did a water test today just to see what the numbers are. Don't know where they should be on a new tank. I guess I need to test the salinity too but don't know how. I have one of those refractometers (I think that is what it is called) Can someone tell me how to use it please?
Ha! I just checked and I have a hydrometer. Not a " refractometer". Must have made that one up! Some of my posts have been almost comical. Thanks for hanging in there with me!

Still need to know how to use it

Also need to know how many shrimp to throw in and whether or not to leave the shells on them.
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Old 06-26-2013, 01:45 AM   #62
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For the hydrometer...I usually submerse them a couple of times just to get it ready. Empty all of the water out and then slowly put the bottom of it into the water and continue to push it straight down into the water. Slow...really slow, is the key. The water will go in. You want it to fill slowly and not get bubbles on the little needle/arm. Fill it all the way, take it out and put it on a level surface. Wherever the needle ends up pointing is where your salinity is.

There is such a thing as a refractometer. They are very accurate. Hydrometers tend to be off, either reading too high or too low, which can be really bad in a reef and not so good on a FOWLR.

For shrimp...one or two, fresh not frozen, I've taken the shell off...not sure that matters. It was interesting asking the guy at the meat counter for two shrimp. He did not believe me and I finally had to explain that I was dead serious and what I was using them for.
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:45 AM   #63
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Do I put the hydrometer directly into the tank to collect the water?

Someone told me once it was up and running that I shouldn't skick my hands into the main tank...do everything from the sump?

Another question: there seems to be a lot of debris in my new sand. Looks to be pieces of wood, or most likely pieces of stalks of seaweed or something. should I get that stuff out of there? Does stirring up the sand bother the sump/return pump?
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:37 PM   #64
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I dip my hydrometer right in the tank. You can siphon any debris off the sand if it's seaweed your gonna want to get it out.
stirring the sand bed can release nitrates better to add some nassarius snails they will stir the bed for you Just be sure to wait until things are stable before adding them
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:40 PM   #65
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+1

I think that with most of then, it would only be your finger tips getting wet since you will be holding the top and it will be full before the top of the hydrometer is fully submerged. Just make sure your hands are always clean.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:48 AM   #66
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The shrimp are in....tails, shells, legs and all. I put 2 pretty good sized shrimp (18-25 count) in there and now I'm thinking I might need to retrieve them and peel them? Do I leave them in forever, or will I pull the remains out at some point after they kick off the cycle?

Did the salinity test tonight. Its at 31. Is that OK?

If not, how do I alter it up or down?
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:53 AM   #67
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1.031? No. that's not OK. it's need to be around 1.24-1.26
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:05 AM   #68
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1.023 specific gravity

31 salinity (actually between 30 and 32, there isn't a mark for 31 so this is my guesstimate)
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:38 AM   #69
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Got my live rock in the mail today. There are several fragments and " crumbs" that broke off during shipping. Should I toss those in the display tank? Or maybe in the sump?
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:03 AM   #70
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I put the rubble in my sump
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:48 AM   #71
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I put the rubble in my sump
All of the rubble or just pieces of a certain size? I put the larger pieces in, but there is a lot left that is probably equivalent to aquarium gravel size.

Not sure i put it in the right place either.
Before or after the sponge? ( i am set up w the bio balls for now but will probably switch to the other setup at some point. ). I put them on the side w the return pump. Move them ?
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:18 PM   #72
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I put most of the small pea size stuff after the sponge (easier to clean) I also some use of the larger chunks (2-3 inch) as a base to set some of the larger rocks on leaving a small space under them. My engineer goby likes the caves
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:26 PM   #73
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My live rock has just been sitting in my aquarium so far. Today I am going to arrange it. Any tips on teh best way to stack it all up? Should it be close to the back of the tank? In the middle?

I think I am supposed to make hidey holes for the fish, right?
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:40 PM   #74
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I have my rock against the back wall, I like the look and just let the snails clean the glass and the coralline grow. It seems to me that the more hides holes there are the happier and less stressed the fish will be, it will help the fish get along too. I think as far as it goes it is pretty much just personal preference. One thing is if you want burrowing creatures you will want the rocks on the bottom of the tank not up on the sand so the rocks don't crush them.
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:46 PM   #75
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Do I need snails? What burrowing creatures might go in? Is this just a preference or is there something beneficial to the tank? Good idea about making sure rocks are on bottom.

I'm about 2 weeks into the cycle. Starting to think about stock now. So many decisions to make!
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Old 07-07-2013, 12:56 AM   #76
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Snails aren't needed, I went months without them but I added them to clean the back glass.

Burrowing creatures such as watchman goby and pistol shrimp.
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Old 07-07-2013, 03:28 PM   #77
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Still piddling with my live rock arrangement. Any advice on what to do with the dead space in the back corner by the black plastic thing where the water goes in and out?
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:56 PM   #78
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More Questions

My last 2 water tests the ammonia level was -0- but I am skeptical.

Could the raw shrimp have done their job that quickly? They have been in for nearly 2 weeks. (put in on June 25th) I did a water test on July 1 and ammonia was -0- Tested again today and still -0- I really expected to see some ammonia along the way.

Question 2: should i put a heater in the water now or wait til fish?
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Old 07-08-2013, 04:44 AM   #79
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Got my live rock in the mail today. There are several fragments and " crumbs" that broke off during shipping. Should I toss those in the display tank? Or maybe in the sump?
Put the rubble in ur sump.
In the future u will be looking for it to attach frags when ur buddies hook u up with corals and no plugs
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Old 07-08-2013, 12:37 PM   #80
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My last 2 water tests the ammonia level was -0- but I am skeptical.

Could the raw shrimp have done their job that quickly? They have been in for nearly 2 weeks. (put in on June 25th) I did a water test on July 1 and ammonia was -0- Tested again today and still -0- I really expected to see some ammonia along the way.

Question 2: should i put a heater in the water now or wait til fish?
That's why i use bottled ammonia easier to dose to 4ppm Add the heater now it will speed the cycle up a bit.
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