Importance of Certain Water Parameters?

dragonbyte
Member
Hello, I'm relatively new to marine tanks and I am currently only just researching how they work and such.

I have been doing freshwater for over 4 years now and feel comfortable getting into marine now, I do have a question about how important different values of water perimeters are compared to others. I have seen new ones that I have not seen in freshwater before like Phosphates, Magnesium, Iodine, Specific Gravity, Strontium, etc.

These are all so new to me and I wanted to ask your opinion on which one is more important then the others and I should keep an eye on more, I'm planning on using a 40-46 gallon aquarium if your wondering. Thanks!
 
Dechi
Member
I’m also new to reef tanks but from what I understand, as long as you don’t have any corals what matters is having a TDS of 0, correct PH, no ammonia and nitrites and as little nitrates as possible.

Without corals it’s pretty much like a freshwater tank, except with saltwater and rodi instead of tap. And even then, if you only have fish, tap water is fine.
 
  • Thread Starter
dragonbyte
Member
Dechi said:
I’m also new to reef tanks but from what I understand, as long as you don’t have any corals what matters is having a TDS of 0, correct PH, no ammonia and nitrites and as little nitrates as possible.

Without corals it’s pretty much like a freshwater tank, except with saltwater and rodi instead of tap. And even then, if you only have fish, tap water is fine.
Thanks for the information!
 
Zach72202
Member
Just going to throw this out there.
TDS-Total Dissolved Solids

If you have a TDS of 0, it is literally RO/DI water, so impossible for saltwater tanks. As with marine salt, you will have a very high TDS.

That being said, the rest of the information is correct.

Saltwater fish are generally pretty sensitive, as they aren't from a river where parameters are always changing, they are in one big body of water that circulates, but params are relatively consistent.

You want your pH 8-8.4 ideally,
ammonia/nitrites 0, of course
nitrates <20ppm.

When it comes to a reef tank, things get more complicated. There are corals that use minerals in the water to grow. This is when things like strontium, calcium, alkalinity, magnesium, and these others come into play. This is why when you go to the dosing section of saltwater it looks like a drugstore. I will be honest, I am not well versed in this, but I can tell you that soft corals are easiest and do not really 'need' perfect parameters. Softies are things like zoas, palys, frogspawn, kenya trees, pulsing xenia, mushrooms/riccordias, green star polyps. Things get harder with LPS and SPS corals, they want more of these alkalinity and calcium parameters as they are 'stony body' corals.

In general, if you plan to start out with a reef, softies are easy. Just make sure you get a good reef salt. Something like instant ocean marine salt is good for fish only, but the reef salt has more of the minerals for corals.

Personally I have Brightwell Neo Marine, and it seems to work, though I have not been using it long term. I have heard really good things about Tropic Marin as it is one of the best apparently.

For most softies, if you just keep up on water changes and use a good salt, you won't really need to dose anything. Maybe a good coral food, but that's really it. If your keeping it simple.

I am pretty new saltwater myself, but this is my findings and what I have been told.
 
Dechi
Member
Zach72202 said:
If you have a TDS of 0, it is literally RO/DI water, so impossible for saltwater tanks. As with marine salt, you will have a very high TDS.
Thanks for clarifying, I left this part out but yes, of course, I meant 0 TDS before adding your salt mix. :)
 
fish 321
Member
Zach72202 said:
Just going to throw this out there.
TDS-Total Dissolved Solids

If you have a TDS of 0, it is literally RO/DI water, so impossible for saltwater tanks. As with marine salt, you will have a very high TDS.

That being said, the rest of the information is correct.

Saltwater fish are generally pretty sensitive, as they aren't from a river where parameters are always changing, they are in one big body of water that circulates, but params are relatively consistent.

You want your pH 8-8.4 ideally,
ammonia/nitrites 0, of course
nitrates <20ppm.

When it comes to a reef tank, things get more complicated. There are corals that use minerals in the water to grow. This is when things like strontium, calcium, alkalinity, magnesium, and these others come into play. This is why when you go to the dosing section of saltwater it looks like a drugstore. I will be honest, I am not well versed in this, but I can tell you that soft corals are easiest and do not really 'need' perfect parameters. Softies are things like zoas, palys, frogspawn, kenya trees, pulsing xenia, mushrooms/riccordias, green star polyps. Things get harder with LPS and SPS corals, they want more of these alkalinity and calcium parameters as they are 'stony body' corals.

In general, if you plan to start out with a reef, softies are easy. Just make sure you get a good reef salt. Something like instant ocean marine salt is good for fish only, but the reef salt has more of the minerals for corals.

Personally I have Brightwell Neo Marine, and it seems to work, though I have not been using it long term. I have heard really good things about Tropic Marin as it is one of the best apparently.

For most softies, if you just keep up on water changes and use a good salt, you won't really need to dose anything. Maybe a good coral food, but that's really it. If your keeping it simple.

I am pretty new saltwater myself, but this is my findings and what I have been told.
In my opinion Instant Ocean is the best bang for you buck in a reef tank. Its cheap, mixes up well and lots of coral growth from softies, lps and sps.
 
Dechi
Member
fish 321 said:
In my opinion Instant Ocean is the best bang for you buck in a reef tank. Its cheap, mixes up well and lots of coral growth from softies, lps and sps.
I wanted to buy it but I’ve read it needs to be stirred 12 or 24 hours, I can’t remember which, and I thought that was a ridiculous amount of time. So I went with Red Sea ; 1 1/2 hour and you’re done !
 
Zach72202
Member
fish 321 said:
In my opinion Instant Ocean is the best bang for you buck in a reef tank. Its cheap, mixes up well and lots of coral growth from softies, lps and sps.
Theres instant ocean reef, and instant ocean marine. From what I was told they are very different as the reef mix has all the nutrients corals need. I was told the regular marine in the purple bucket is good for brackish fish and FOWLER tanks. Just what I have been told. I used the instant ocean purple bucket for my brackish fish, but now they are transitioned to full marine, so I just use the reef salt as that's what I use for my other tanks.

Dechi said:
I wanted to buy it but I’ve read it needs to be stirred 12 or 24 hours, I can’t remember which, and I thought that was a ridiculous amount of time. So I went with Red Sea ; 1 1/2 hour and you’re done !
A lot of people will say that its good to mix water for a few hours, maybe a few days to make sure its fully dissolved, which is fine and dandy for people who have a mixing station, but some of us just have one small saltwater tanks where that doesn't make sense to have.

A mixing station if you didn't know is like a designated plumbed container, where I have seen rubbermaid trash cans used, where thier RO line runs into that and they can mix the exact amount and have it waiting there for anytime. Basically a holding bay, where you can really do it anytime, so having it mix for any amount of time isn't a big deal.
 
fish 321
Member
Dechi said:
I wanted to buy it but I’ve read it needs to be stirred 12 or 24 hours, I can’t remember which, and I thought that was a ridiculous amount of time. So I went with Red Sea ; 1 1/2 hour and you’re done !
I only let mine mix for an hour.
Zach72202 said:
Theres instant ocean reef, and instant ocean marine. From what I was told they are very different as the reef mix has all the nutrients corals need. I was told the regular marine in the purple bucket is good for brackish fish and FOWLER tanks. Just what I have been told. I used the instant ocean purple bucket for my brackish fish, but now they are transitioned to full marine, so I just use the reef salt as that's what I use for my other tanks.



A lot of people will say that its good to mix water for a few hours, maybe a few days to make sure its fully dissolved, which is fine and dandy for people who have a mixing station, but some of us just have one small saltwater tanks where that doesn't make sense to have.

A mixing station if you didn't know is like a designated plumbed container, where I have seen rubbermaid trash cans used, where thier RO line runs into that and they can mix the exact amount and have it waiting there for anytime. Basically a holding bay, where you can really do it anytime, so having it mix for any amount of time isn't a big deal.
I use the instant ocean marine and have not had any problems.
 
Zach72202
Member
fish 321 said:
I use the instant ocean marine and have not had any problems.
News to me! If anybody asks me about it I will for sure mention I have heard people use it in reef tanks without problems too! Do you dose anything though?
 
fish 321
Member
Zach72202 said:
News to me! If anybody asks me about it I will for sure mention I have heard people use it in reef tanks without problems too! Do you dose anything though?
Nope I don't dose anything. I never new there were different types until you mentioned it. Mabey the next time I buy salt I'll try the reef salt and see if it makes a difference.
 
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