How Do I Put My Tank On The Right Track?

Discussion in 'Saltwater Beginners' started by Heisenberg430, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. Heisenberg430

    Heisenberg430New MemberMember

    I am brand new to the marine fish hobby. My tank is a 75 gallon FOWLR (dry rock). Here is my messy situation:

    1) I mixed Instant Ocean Salt into a 5 gallon bucket and repeated the process. However, I used tap water with conditioner, which I thought was okay since this video used it: . I am having second thoughts now, because I'm reading that RODI water is much safer for fish. I thought I didn't need it, because I plan on only running FOWLR, no interest in corals. Is RODI water the only way to go? My tap water source is in Boone County, KY, if any you want to research the tap water quality here. If I switch to RODI water, do I have to completely take out the current water or can I gradually replace it?

    2) I am getting very low salinity readings in my tank, well below the safe zone. How exactly do I raise the salinity levels? Because I'm sure you just don't pour salt directly into the tank.

    3) I am using a canister filter, a Fluval 306. But I am now reading that they are a bad filtration system for saltwater fish. Is a canister filter acceptable for a 75 gallon FOWLR tank? I am trying to educate myself on sumps but they look very complicated to setup and I'm not sure I'm adept enough to set that up. What options do I have for filtration?

    My tank is nowhere near fish ready, so it's not like I have fish to worry about. Also, I only put four dry rocks into the tank. I figured I could just add more as time goes on. Thanks in advance!
  2. david1978

    david1978Fishlore LegendMember

    Most of the things I don't know enough about so I won't comment on them. The thing with the canister filter thing is it serves no purpose other them to become a nitrate factory if you don't constantly clean it. Typically with that size you go with a sump since you can grow your macro algea to help process nitrates. The biggest difference between saltwater and freshwater is that in salt the benificaial bacteria is in your rock were in fresh its in the filter.
  3. Tony_097

    Tony_097Valued MemberMember

    No matter how good your tap water its still not sw ready as you know you need pure water. You raise salinity with water changed but since you have tap i would empty the tank with rodi mixed water. But to raise salintiy you preform water changes with an elevated leve like for example 1.030.
  4. Trung Nguyen

    Trung NguyenNew MemberMember

    Since you have no live stocks, it's pretty easy to do a fresh start. I would completely dump everything out. Make rodi water. Mix salt with rodi water. Then start cycle from there.

    Canister filter are a pain since you have to clean it out every 3-5 days. Most of the filtration are done through live rocks. You would need about 75-100 pounds.

    I recommended using a sump since it will have space for your skimmer, filter socks, heaters, etc... It also adds water volume to your system. A sump is very easy to setup. You can use a 20 gallon long tank for your sump. You can look at diy in YouTube. Research is the key to success in the hobby. Good luck and have fun.
  5. Lchi87

    Lchi87ModeratorModerator Member

    Hey there, welcome to Fishlore!

    1. Tap water generally doesn’t work out because it’s important to use water with 0 TDS. They’re relatively inexpensive on Amazon and good to have so you can monitor the quality of your water. RODI systems can be somewhat of an investment but totally worth it in the long run! It’s something that I wish I had started sooner because it was getting old buying water and hauling it home from the lfs. :p

    2. To raise your salinity slowly, a water change with a higher level will gradually raise it as @Tony_097 mentioned but since you’re not yet stocked, just drain it completely and start fresh.

    3. I’m not a sump expert since I have only done nano tanks but I do know canisters aren’t ideal like @david1978 said. Sumps are totally overwhelming to me still too but its helped me to watch videos like you have been doing just to learn as much as you can. I’m not handy either but one of the neatest things for me about getting into the hobby was that it makes me try things that I wouldn’t have even attempted otherwise. If you had told me a year and a half ago that I’d be using a dremel and other power tools on my own, I’d have laughed in your face. :p
  6. Trung Nguyen

    Trung NguyenNew MemberMember

    Here's my sump setup. It's pretty simple. I do all water change from the sump.

    Attached Files:

  7. Wild Bill

    Wild BillWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to the salty side of fish keeping. First off, research is a very important thing to do before you even start. I have a 75 myself and totally enjoy it.

    RODI water is very important in this hobby. It helps keep algae down for 1 thing. RODI filters out the chlorine, chloramine, and other contaminates that can kill the inhabitants in your tank. I would personally drain the water and start over using RODI.

    I would dump the canister filter and use a couple of HOB filters to get by at a low cost. Get the biggest aqua clear filters you can and run 1 normal and the other, use it as a refugium. The cost to drill a tank is fairly reasonable, but you need an overflow to set up a sump. You can use a HOB overflow, but the risk of flooding the room is higher.

    I use a brute garbage can to make my saltwater. Just make sure you heat the water with a heater before you mix your water. Heated water mixes faster and easier. Definitely, never use tap water for a FOWLER.

    A tank that size, you will definitely need a skimmer. It helps to eliminate fish waste. The sell HOB skimmers, just get one that’s rated for at least a 150 gal tank (not sure they make one that big). You might be able to use 2 smaller ones.

    A Sump actually makes the salty side easy, you can hide a few things in there and make your tank look nice. Everything is monitored inside the Sump instead of the tank. I personally use a 30 gallon Sump under my 75.

    I hope this info helps you on your quest. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask, there’s a lot of people here that can answer them. Feel free to pm me with any questions you might have also.