Filling Up A 60 Gallon Fowlr Tank

Discussion in 'More Saltwater Aquarium Topics' started by CHAMELEON_BREEZE, Apr 18, 2019.

  1. CHAMELEON_BREEZEValued MemberMember

    If I were to get a 60 gallon tank and fill it up with 15 of those 5 gallon saltwater boxes, will It keep adding the salinity? I don't know if I keep adding 5 gallons on top of 5 gallons of saltwater, it will read 1.032 on my hydrometer. Also, can I maybe use tap water conditioned with Instant Ocean Marine Conditioner then mix it with salt?
  2. FishGirl38Well Known MemberMember

    So, answers to both questions are no and yes.

    The pre-mixed saltwater should have a controlled salinity that matches that of true sea-water. probably somewhere between 1.023 and 1.025. Essentially, it's balanced by volume so...I'm not sure how to explain this, but if 5G=1.024, then 10G is also going to be 1.024, and so on and so forth. It shouldn't compound because the salt is distributed with the volume as well. If you increase the salt without increasing the volume, then it would compound but that's more like adding salt to an already set up tank. If you're adding water that matches the salinity of what's in the tank, the salinity measurements should be consistent.

    But, the cheaper, more controlled way to go about it would be the second option you've mentioned, mixing your own saltwater. and Yes, for a fowlr tank, You could use dechlorinated tap water and marine salt to mix saltwater. Thats how we do it where I work. Thats what we recommend customers do at my work. You won't need RODI water for a fowlr tank UNLESS later down the line you decide to turn it to a reef tank. (and even if this is the case, you could use dechlorinated tap water until you decide to change the tank, then switch from marine salt to reef salt, and dechlored tap to RODI water, and slowly change/monitor the trace element levels before adding the reef organisms). Its harder to set up a reef this way, because instead of working with a blank slate, you'd have to get the fowlr in the right parameters for a reef, but its still possible.

  3. CHAMELEON_BREEZEValued MemberMember

    Okay! Sounds good! How about a mixed reef, too? I might add some Brittle Stars and Trochus Snails.
  4. FishGirl38Well Known MemberMember

    Well, I'm not sure what you're referring too with a 'mixed reef'. perhaps a reef with fish in the tank. But I consider this just, a regular reef.

    If you convert your fowlr over into a reef, you'll want to make sure you don't add any fish that will eat or harm your corals or inverts. Like triggers or chocolate chip stars. If you do add some brittle stars to your tank be cautious. Most brittle stars are okay except for the green brittle stars. Those guys will eat your other starfish, and aren't good for a reef aquarium. Most lankia starfish are okay.

    and youd be absolutely fine to add the trochus snails to a 'mixed reef' (fish+reef), just as long as you don't also have hermit crabs. With a reef tank You kind-of have to pick either snails or crabs as a clean-up crew. Its hard to have both because the crabs will kill the snails to get to the shells.
  5. JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

    Hydrometers are notoriously inaccurate and are not to be trusted. Refractometers are the way to go if you want to know where the salinity is at. The only time that you really end up raising salinity is if you have evaporation and top off with saltwater (instead of RODI water). That will raise salinity since the water evaporated but the salt content is still there from the evaporated water.

    As for tapwater, I am going to have to disagree with FishGirl on this one. The reason being that unless she lives in the same state, city and part of town as you do, she has no idea what is in your municipal tapwater and whether or not it's safe for use with marine applications. There is so much variation with what given municipalities have in their tapwater that it can even vary from one part of town to another. I know a lady who used tapwater with no issues when she first started marine tanks and then a year later moved to another part of the same city and continued to use tapwater. Within a week her entire tank was dead. What happened? She discovered that her tap water in her area had trace amounts of ammonia in it. Keep in mind that many municipal water systems periodically do flushes which can produce trace elements of ammonia in the tapwater. Harmless to humans and general tap applications, but deadly to a captive marine environment.

    So the issue isn't whether or not the tap water can be used, the issue is that there are so many random variables with how the tapwater that it's impossible to know for sure that it is a long term viable option. Issues with tapwater range from out of control algae problems all the way to death for everything in your tank. Given that you are almost guaranteed to be spending over $1K on a setup of this size BEFORE adding any inverts or fish does it really make sense to cut corners on having piece of mind for the water that is going into your tank given the fact that for a whopping $60 from Amazon you can get a portable 4 stage 50 gallon per day RODI system?
  6. CHAMELEON_BREEZEValued MemberMember

  7. JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

    To me it's kind of a no brainer and a pretty small price for piece of mind for the long term health of your tank. Even with a good sized tank, you only need about 15 gallons a week (10 gallons for a saltwater change and 5 gallons for an RODI top off) and it is a 50 gallon per day unit that is portable. You can even hook it up to a garden hose if you want.
  8. CHAMELEON_BREEZEValued MemberMember

    I think I might get it then. I do have some questions though.

    First, when I hook up the filter to the hose, can I filter the water right away? Or do I have to wait for it to filter?

    Second, once I get some RO water in my bucket to mix with salt, do I still need to add water conditioner? Or it it already good to put in the tank once it's filtered?
  9. JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

    No water conditioner is needed provided you add the correct salt as they have all the minerals you need in it (ie Instant Ocean, Red Sea). As for the filter it takes most of the day to get the desired amount, but that's the way virtually all RODI systems work. This one produces one gallon of RODI to 6-7 gallons of waste water so make sure you have an area where you can send the waste water to. I would plan on running the system the day before you do a water change that way you can make sure it's all prepped and ready to go.