Originally Posted by mousefue
A salt water and no sure of the best combination to do it I really like to have fish and coral and live rock xx
I simply bought the following to start:
60 Gallon Aquarium, 40lbs of crushed coral, a Penguin Emperor 400 hang on the back filter, a 300w heater, and a koraila 1150gph power head. Also 2 bags of salt...one bag is enough for about 50 gallons of watter. Also got the API Saltwater test kit and one bottle of the instant ocean bio-spira. Also bought distilled water (did not have funds for a ro
unit) and 2 uncooked cocktail shrimp.. The distilled water was bought at a beverage wholesaler/supplier..I bought about 75 gallons and still have about 10 gallons spare for top-off.
Process: Rinsed the new tank out with water....thoroughly. I used tap water (we have a well so there are 0 chemicals and water is tested almost pure for consumption). I then put the tank on the stand.. I thoroughly rinsed out the 40lbs of crushed coral...it took me 2 plus hours to rinse it out and make sure it was clean and dirt free. I put the crushed coral in the tank and then added about 40+ pounds of live rock / base rock combined. I then mixed the distilled water with the Instant Ocean salt as per directions and started to pour it in the tank...I poured it on the rocks so it did not disturb the crushed coral. Once the tank was filled, I installed the 300watt heater and turned it on; it was quite cloudy....I let it sit for about 24-36 hours and the water started to clear up; the temperature at this point had stabilized to about 76+ degrees. I then installed my hang on back emperor 400 filter with the two included carbon filled foam cartridges and the two empty media boxes. I let the tank run for another 24-36 hours and the water was crystal clear. I used my hydrometer to check salinity and it was perfect.... I let the tank run for another 12 hours and then went to the local grocery store and bought some cocktail shrimp for dinner....I snuck two of them away
. The two cocktail shrimp were rinsed with distilled water and then put into a small piece of old panty hose...which was tied off. I simply dropped the entire thing in the tank and let it run. I did water tests about every 2-3 days to make sure things were running smooth. After about 7 days the ammonia began to rise and spiked quite high....the PH, Nitrites, and Nitrates were normal... I continue to let the tank run and then eventually had Nitrates on the rise.. This is all good news so I continue to let it run...we are now at 14 days and water testing was normal again with a bit of an ammonia spike. I did a 10% water change by removing old water and adding clean distilled water with salt. Let the tank run again for about 2 days and tested the water. Ammonia was on the decline, Nitrates were on the decline, PH and Nitrites had stabilized. Voila...we were headed in the right direction. The two cocktail shrimps had basically decayed and so it was time to remove the small panty hose bag... I then let the tank continue to run its cycle...the water was and is crystal clear. At the 19 day mark I removed the filter cartridges and rinsed them off with about 1/2 gallon of distilled water....not worried about bacteria since my filter has the biowheels which collect and maintain a good bacterial/bio field. I let the tank run another 2 days and then did a water test...which is the image posted above. 3 weeks into the cycle and I am confident that the advice I received here was correct....I am quite comfortable adding live stock now..but am going to wait another 2-3 days and then maybe add some hermit crabs, snails, and maybe 2-3 green Chromis. I will then let the tank adjust to its new bio-load and measure water next Saturday...
Any other questions, let me know... I am a newbie to Salt water..but have done freshwater for a long time. I am sure my steps above may not be what most would do...but I followed the advice here and am certain it is pretty close.