Setting up an ( instant ) Saltwater Tank


First let me say , I DO NOT recommend this for a beginner . Second this method is not cheap but it does work.
Before I started my first Saltwater tank I researched for over a year, bought several books on the subject and joined 3 different saltwater forums. To make a long story short I now have 7 tanks running and 2 builds started, I got into some rare and rather pricey fish. One major rule with rare fish is , you never know when one will become available , as a result you may have to set up a tank in a hurry. This is just one method that has been used by me and friends from another forum that also have rare fish. I run 2 QTs at all times but once in awhile a fish becomes available and I have no place to put it.

I use a 20 gal tank.
Caribsea livesand ( be sure to check the date on the bag ) freshness counts
Liverock from a LFS ( the more aged the better, i.e. lots of life , coralline and such )
Well aged mixed water ( I use 2, 33 gal. Brute garbage cans with heaters and powerheads )
HOB filter ( your choice ,but I recommend one rated for a larger tank )
Heater rated for tank
Prime or Amquel and Stabil ( use as directed ) If you use Amquel be aware it can reduce the oxygen level of the tank for a short time , so using an airstone with it helps.
Test kits ( duh )
When you pick up the LR I recommend taking a large cooler and newspapers . I ask my LFS guy to wrap the rock in damp papers then in large plastic bags that I leave open in the cooler. In hot weather I put cold packs in the cooler , in cold weather , hot packs.
The trick is to have everything on hand and ready when you get the LR home to prevent die off.
By using the additives and having plenty of water on hand for small daily water changes I have used this method on three occasions without any issues.
I have only added one fish to a tank set up this way as adding more than one would be a huge risk.
This method is not for everyone and in my case not a permanent set up , eventually the fish is moved to a DT and the tank taken down. It isn't cheap but it is doable . I also have to mention I order all my fish online ,which gives me at least 24 hours to get ready.
Has anyone else used this method ?



HI and you're spot on Kat66 this is a great plan/thread !

Though if you don't have the immediate and very local availability and a couple of LFS to choose this plan it's very virtually impossible IMO. It's a beautiful plan but if someone were to live where these luxuries are not available it may be difficult and the COST is involved too.

I'm fortunate to live in a city where these ingredients are PLENTY available (with looking around with a good eye/ money) but I don't know how this can be accomplished elsewhere in more rural areas?

* I have friends who set up tanks like this for very wealthy clients and YES, it works very well .

* interesting/fun thread, what are your thoughts on this-further?


Like I said , it's not for everyone. As a matter of fact I live in a rural area, the nearest town has a pop. of 700. The closest LFS is 32 mile round trip, they don't always have LR, so I have made A 100 mile one way trip to Chicago to get what I need. As crazy as it sounds , I don't do it very often , I'm definitely not wealthy so I save up for these ventures.
I almost didn't make this thread because I don't want to give folks new to the hobby the wrong idea. You still have to be vigilant with testing and WC and have a backup plan if things go south.



Kat66 Yeah, I don't keep Saltwater tanks-sorry


I don't keep them either ,they keep me .

Question Man

Or just use the aquabella bio enzyme. Works every time.

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