Thinking of starting a saltwater tank - Page 2

carloz209

Member
jkkgron2 said:
Sorry for posting again, but I think I need to specific what I meant. I noticed you had said that live rock will be able to support the fish from the start and that life rock will take a lot more time. I have access to both so if the live rock will be able to support the fish better then should I get that instead? If so, how do I prevent unwanted pests?

I thought that the live rock and live sand was the filter? If so then wouldn’t I just need to get established live rock? Sorry for all the questions. I want to make sure I understand everything before I actually start getting the stuff.
LIve rock and sand are nowhere near enough to keep a SW tank clean you def need a filter that has been fully cycled. rock and sand help but they wont get rid of detritus and other organic materials that your filter will. as far as rock i am no expert i personally started with base rock so it took over 3 months for it to fully develop into live rock and its transition was something cool to watch because i knew i was doing right and my parameters were in check.
As far as getting live rock unless you Quarantine it or do what is called curing, it will most likely bring all the hitchhikers from its previous owner and container. I never did that so you would need to do your research on curing live rock if you dont want any hitchhikers. The good news is that i believe you can cure your rock and start cycling your tank at the same time within the same tank so 2 birds with 1 stone just do your research.
 
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jkkgron2

Member
carloz209 said:
LIve rock and sand are nowhere near enough to keep a SW tank clean you def need a filter that has been fully cycled. rock and sand help but they wont get rid of detritus and other organic materials that your filter will. as far as rock i am no expert i personally started with base rock so it took over 3 months for it to fully develop into live rock and its transition was something cool to watch because i knew i was doing right and my parameters were in check.
As far as getting live rock unless you Quarantine it or do what is called curing, it will most likely bring all the hitchhikers from its previous owner and container. I never did that so you would need to do your research on curing live rock if you dont want any hitchhikers. The good news is that i believe you can cure your rock and start cycling your tank at the same time within the same tank so 2 birds with 1 stone just do your research.
I’m aware of what curing is. I think that if buying live rock is the main issue then I’ll go with Caribsea Life rock and dry rock. The life rock should help the process somehwhat, along with the live sand. By filter do you mean a powerhead? Or just a regular filter?
 

carloz209

Member
jkkgron2 said:
I’m aware of what curing is. I think that if buying live rock is the main issue then I’ll go with Caribsea Life rock and dry rock. The life rock should help the process somehwhat, along with the live sand. By filter do you mean a powerhead? Or just a regular filter?
I mean an actual filter with bio, mechanical media and chemical media if you want to. besides that you will also need a power because SW tanks need flow. Dont count on live rock and sand to do much honestly they will help but mostly your filter will do the heavy work.

If you want to start it this weekend and go with dry rock you will need to clean it since it will have lots of debris and dust on it so hose it down for a few minutes then proceed to arrange it in your tank however you want add your water and mix it in the tank since you dont have anything in there its ok but make sure you have your powerheads on so they can mix the salt. start your filter ASAP and let the cycle commence once your filter is fully cycled you can theoretically add the clowns if you want. Just make sure you parameters are in check such as Salinity Ph, ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates.
 

Fishproblem

Member
carloz209 said:
I mean an actual filter with bio, mechanical media and chemical media if you want to. besides that you will also need a power because SW tanks need flow. Dont count on live rock and sand to do much honestly they will help but mostly your filter will do the heavy work.

If you want to start it this weekend and go with dry rock you will need to clean it since it will have lots of debris and dust on it so hose it down for a few minutes then proceed to arrange it in your tank however you want add your water and mix it in the tank since you dont have anything in there its ok but make sure you have your powerheads on so they can mix the salt. start your filter ASAP and let the cycle commence once your filter is fully cycled you can theoretically add the clowns if you want. Just make sure you parameters are in check such as Salinity Ph, ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates.
I think that mechanical filtration can definitely be helpful (again, I'm a total noob), but I've seen a whole lot of nano reef builds (the majority, even) that go without. Those builds use nothing but flow, spot cleaning, and larger water changes to provide the nutrient export and general water maintenance you're referring to. Can you speak to the difference between the two strategies?
 
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jkkgron2

Member
Fishproblem said:
I think that mechanical filtration can definitely be helpful (again, I'm a total noob), but I've seen a whole lot of nano reef builds (the majority, even) that go without. Those builds use nothing but flow, spot cleaning, and larger water changes to provide the nutrient export and general water maintenance you're referring to. Can you speak to the difference between the two strategies?
Agreed.
 

carloz209

Member
Fishproblem said:
I think that mechanical filtration can definitely be helpful (again, I'm a total noob), but I've seen a whole lot of nano reef builds (the majority, even) that go without. Those builds use nothing but flow, spot cleaning, and larger water changes to provide the nutrient export and general water maintenance you're referring to. Can you speak to the difference between the two strategies?
first of all nano reef refer to tanks smaller than 20 gallons i believe something ridiculously small like a 5 or 10 gallon so their parameters will shift drastically within a day. So i wouldnt dare to touch them myself since i also consider myself a beginner. But for example if you have a 10 and a 40 SW tank and each one loses 1 gallons of water to evaporation thats only 2.5% of a 40 BUT its 10% of a 10 gallon tank thus increasing the salinity far more drastically on the 10 gallon tank. The same goes for all the nutrients that the WC replenish such as Calcium and Magnesium which are really important for coral growth and the essence of reefs. SOrry if im all over the place.
 
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jkkgron2

Member
carloz209 said:
first of all nano reef refer to tanks smaller than 20 gallons i believe something ridiculously small like a 5 or 10 gallon so their parameters will shift drastically within a day. So i wouldnt dare to touch them myself since i also consider myself a beginner. But for example if you have a 10 and a 40 SW tank and each one loses 1 gallons of water to evaporation thats only 2.5% of a 40 BUT its 10% of a 10 gallon tank thus increasing the salinity far more drastically on the 10 gallon tank. The same goes for all the nutrients that the WC replenish such as Calcium and Magnesium which are really important for coral growth and the essence of reefs. SOrry if im all over the place.
I’m still a bit confused. I’m definitely a beginner so chances are I’m wrong but from what ive read a protein skimmer, powerhead, live rock, and live sand are all you need for filtration and water movement because filters like HOBs can become nitrate traps.
 

Fishproblem

Member
carloz209 said:
first of all nano reef refer to tanks smaller than 20 gallons i believe something ridiculously small like a 5 or 10 gallon so their parameters will shift drastically within a day. So i wouldnt dare to touch them myself since i also consider myself a beginner. But for example if you have a 10 and a 40 SW tank and each one loses 1 gallons of water to evaporation thats only 2.5% of a 40 BUT its 10% of a 10 gallon tank thus increasing the salinity far more drastically on the 10 gallon tank. The same goes for all the nutrients that the WC replenish such as Calcium and Magnesium which are really important for coral growth and the essence of reefs. SOrry if im all over the place.
Yeah, I know that nano reefs are under 20 gallons - the tank that jkkgron2 is planning is a 20 gallon (at most... they might still be using a 10g?). It's not a reef, but the general principles still apply. Across all of fishkeeping, larger water volume equates to less dramatic swings in water conditions. What I want to know if you can tell us why you find mechanical filtration so necessary in a saltwater tank when the rock acts as biological filtration and water changes are so doable in tanks this size?
 
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jkkgron2

Member
Fishproblem said:
Yeah, I know that nano reefs are under 20 gallons - the tank that jkkgron2 is planning is a 20 gallon (at most... they might still be using a 10g?). It's not a reef, but the general principles still apply. Across all of fishkeeping, larger water volume equates to less dramatic swings in water conditions. What I want to know if you can tell us why you find mechanical filtration so necessary in a saltwater tank when the rock acts as biological filtration and water changes are so doable in tanks this size?
I’m planning on a 20g but if for some reason the 20g doesn’t work out then I’ll be using a 10 gallon.
 

Fishproblem

Member
jkkgron2 said:
I’m planning on a 20g but if for some reason the 20g doesn’t work out then I’ll be using a 10 gallon.
Righto! That's what I thought. As far as I know, nano in salt is commonly 20 or under. Around 6ish gallons turns into pico territory.
 

carloz209

Member
Fishproblem said:
Yeah, I know that nano reefs are under 20 gallons - the tank that jkkgron2 is planning is a 20 gallon (at most... they might still be using a 10g?). It's not a reef, but the general principles still apply. Across all of fishkeeping, larger water volume equates to less dramatic swings in water conditions. What I want to know if you can tell us why you find mechanical filtration so necessary in a saltwater tank when the rock acts as biological filtration and water changes are so doable in tanks this size?
Mechanical filtration removes the actual waste the organic material and detritus that stays in the tank otherwise. Mechanical is not the same as biological. Biological is the beneficial bacteria that removes ammonia and nitrites but does nothing about the actual organic material you can see and touch. thats where mechanical comes into play.

Look at your filters and tell me what you see first its a sponge or something big that traps leftover food and waste thats Mechanical. The biological media will do nothing to clean all that filth out of the tank and that is what live rock and sand are biological media.
 

Fishproblem

Member
carloz209 said:
Mechanical filtration removes the actual waste the organic material and detritus that stays in the tank otherwise. Mechanical is not the same as biological. Biological is the beneficial bacteria that removes ammonia and nitrites but does nothing about the actual organic material you can see and touch. thats where mechanical comes into play.

Look at your filters and tell me what you see first its a sponge or something big that traps leftover food and waste thats Mechanical. The biological media will do nothing to clean all that filth out of the tank and that is what live rock and sand are biological media.
Right. I'm well aware of the difference between mechanical and biological filtration. However, I'm also aware that there is a huge issue in saltwater, especially in smaller tanks, of mechanical filtration becoming a nitrate sink. My understanding is that unless you are removing and replacing filter floss, for example, every two days, it becomes a hazard and not a help. The increased flow in a saltwater tank traps organic material and debris in "dead spots", no? Most reefers I plan to emulate use a turkey baster to spot clean those areas to remove organic waste to keep it out of the tank, rather than allowing it to accumulate in a mechanical filter.

Live rock in the appropriate amount is enough to sustain the cycle and keep nitrate levels down (EDIT: Keep ammonia levels down. Water changes are necessary for nitrate removal). So, then, mechanical filtration is only to keep water clear (as in freshwater, as well). Turbid water is not "dirty", or dangerous, chemically speaking. So, then, why do you favor mechanical filtration over manual waste removal? How frequently do you clean the media in your filter, and what sort of mechanical filtration do you use?
 
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jkkgron2

Member
Fishproblem said:
Right. I'm well aware of the difference between mechanical and biological filtration. However, I'm also aware that there is a huge issue in saltwater, especially in smaller tanks, of mechanical filtration becoming a nitrate sink. My understanding is that unless you are removing and replacing filter floss, for example, every two days, it becomes a hazard and not a help. The increased flow in a saltwater tank traps organic material and debris in "dead spots", no? Most reefers I plan to emulate use a turkey baster to spot clean those areas to remove organic waste to keep it out of the tank, rather than allowing it to accumulate in a mechanical filter.

Live rock in the appropriate amount is enough to sustain the cycle and keep nitrate levels down (EDIT: Keep ammonia levels down. Water changes are necessary for nitrate removal). So, then, mechanical filtration is only to keep water clear (as in freshwater, as well). Turbid water is not "dirty", or dangerous, chemically speaking. So, then, why do you favor mechanical filtration over manual waste removal? How frequently do you clean the media in your filter, and what sort of mechanical filtration do you use?
What do you recommend I do? Do you think it’s safe to use 4 pounds Caribsea life rock, 20 pounds live sand, 16 pounds dry rock and then add the clownfish a week after? during that week I would be dosing 1 ppm ammonia everyday to help prepare the tank. I would also be using a refractometer (for water changes and measuring salinity ), a protein skimmer, and a powerhead. Also do you have any tips on how to remove pests from live rock?
 

carloz209

Member
Fishproblem said:
Right. I'm well aware of the difference between mechanical and biological filtration. However, I'm also aware that there is a huge issue in saltwater, especially in smaller tanks, of mechanical filtration becoming a nitrate sink. My understanding is that unless you are removing and replacing filter floss, for example, every two days, it becomes a hazard and not a help. The increased flow in a saltwater tank traps organic material and debris in "dead spots", no? Most reefers I plan to emulate use a turkey baster to spot clean those areas to remove organic waste to keep it out of the tank, rather than allowing it to accumulate in a mechanical filter.

Live rock in the appropriate amount is enough to sustain the cycle and keep nitrate levels down (EDIT: Keep ammonia levels down. Water changes are necessary for nitrate removal). So, then, mechanical filtration is only to keep water clear (as in freshwater, as well). Turbid water is not "dirty", or dangerous, chemically speaking. So, then, why do you favor mechanical filtration over manual waste removal? How frequently do you clean the media in your filter, and what sort of mechanical filtration do you use?
your comparing nano and larger tanks. I am no expert in nano tanks so i can not speak about it myself of whether you should or shouldnt use a filter with mechanical when spot cleaning is doable. but with a bigger tank spot cleaning is not practical or doable that is my point. I personally have a 29 cube tall so i know spot cleaning is not doable. as far as my filter being a nitrate trap i have no issues with nitrate they are constant at 0 to 5 ppm and i havent lost any fish. I clean my filters every two weeks again my mechanical i will completely clean out once and then the second time will replace.

as far as dead spot when you do a WC i will move the sand around anything that in there come out and gasses are not accumulated which is something that can happen with live sand. And yes your correct turbid water is not dirty per se since it will always be turbid after you perform a WC. In conclusion if you have a tank 20 or bigger i strongly suggest you have a filter but if you prefer to do spot cleaning on a 20 long than go for it your call.
 

Fishproblem

Member
jkkgron2 said:
What do you recommend I do? Do you think it’s safe to use 4 pounds Caribsea life rock, 20 pounds live sand, 16 pounds dry rock and then add the clownfish a week after? during that week I would be dosing 1 ppm ammonia everyday to help prepare the tank. I would also be using a refractometer (for water changes and measuring salinity ), a protein skimmer, and a powerhead. Also do you have any tips on how to remove pests from live rock?
I think you should add all that rock and sand, dose ammonia, and test the parameters, then continue to do so with water changes as appropriate until the cycle is present and complete, when you see ammonia disappear, no nitrite, and nitrate levels rising, just like in freshwater. The process is the same, the strains of bacteria doing the job are just different. Then, when you're at the point the cycle is done, add the fish! And continue checking parameters and doing wcs as needed to be sure you're on top of things if the BB colony needs to catch up to the new bio load and goes through a mini-cycle. That said, I'd trust Jesterrace or Rcslade124 's advice over my own!

No idea about the pests. I'm just putting my first build together, and I'm using dry (never been live) rock to avoid them. For aiptasia, people shoot lemon juice at them with a pipette, or kalkwasser (which you won't need or have on hand), or a medication that I think is called aiptasia-x. Algaes can be a problem, like bubble algae. A lot of reefers end up using emerald crabs for that, but there might be a better way to handle it in a FOWLR.
 

Jesterrace

Member
jkkgron2 said:
Im curious, as long as I keep the salinity levels the same each time i do a water change (my LFS sells saltwater and the salinity levels are almost always the same each time they make the saltwater. I’m also getting a refractometer) and only use RODI for top offs wouldn’t that prevent any swings?

Because the clownfish has such a small bioload for a 20 gallon tank I feel like waiting a week or two might be sufficient because I’m already using 20 pounds of live sand, 16 pounds of dry rock, and 4 pounds of live rock. If that’s not the case then I can wait longer. I definitely don’t want to hurt any fish!
Until the tank is completely cycled definitely don't add any fish. Once it is done then wait a week or so to make sure things are stabilized and then I would add the fish. Be sure you get a decent test kit (API can be hit and miss for saltwater).
 

Jesterrace

Member
Fishproblem said:
I think you should add all that rock and sand, dose ammonia, and test the parameters, then continue to do so with water changes as appropriate until the cycle is present and complete, when you see ammonia disappear, no nitrite, and nitrate levels rising, just like in freshwater. The process is the same, the strains of bacteria doing the job are just different. Then, when you're at the point the cycle is done, add the fish! And continue checking parameters and doing wcs as needed to be sure you're on top of things if the BB colony needs to catch up to the new bio load and goes through a mini-cycle. That said, I'd trust Jesterrace or Rcslade124 's advice over my own!

No idea about the pests. I'm just putting my first build together, and I'm using dry (never been live) rock to avoid them. For aiptasia, people shoot lemon juice at them with a pipette, or kalkwasser (which you won't need or have on hand), or a medication that I think is called aiptasia-x. Algaes can be a problem, like bubble algae. A lot of reefers end up using emerald crabs for that, but there might be a better way to handle it in a FOWLR.
Aiptasia X is great when Aiptasia are few and small in number. While you won't get any on your dry rock you will need to keep an eye out on your corals as they can hitchhike on them (I ended up getting one this way). The advantage to Aiptasia X is that the Aiptasia views it as food, whereas other methods if you bump it or jostle it while trying to dose something the Aiptasia will retract completely quicker than you can blink.

As for Bubble Algae, Emerald Crabs CAN eat it but it doesn't mean that they will and Emerald Crabs are a bit of a gamble with corals as they are opportunists and can turn on them. Personally the only crabs I would trust in a reef are the smaller hermits. If you have a larger tank Foxfaces can also eat it (when I had some start appearing in my DT my One Spot wiped it out in a hurry). The chemical solution generally used is Vibrant, but be aware you have to follow the dosage/instructions 100% or you can do bad things to your tank. Whatever you do don't pop bubble algae manually or it will spread like crazy. Keeping on top of water changes and regular filter sock/pad/cup/floss, etc. changes (ie once every 3 days) as well as limiting lighting to around 8 hours total will go a long way to helping to keep bubble algae out.
 

Fishproblem

Member
Jesterrace said:
Aiptasia X is great when Aiptasia are few and small in number. While you won't get any on your dry rock you will need to keep an eye out on your corals as they can hitchhike on them (I ended up getting one this way). The advantage to Aiptasia X is that the Aiptasia views it as food, whereas other methods if you bump it or jostle it while trying to dose something the Aiptasia will retract completely quicker than you can blink.

As for Bubble Algae, Emerald Crabs CAN eat it but it doesn't mean that they will and Emerald Crabs are a bit of a gamble with corals as they are opportunists and can turn on them. Personally the only crabs I would trust in a reef are the smaller hermits. If you have a larger tank Foxfaces can also eat it (when I had some start appearing in my DT my One Spot wiped it out in a hurry). The chemical solution generally used is Vibrant, but be aware you have to follow the dosage/instructions 100% or you can do bad things to your tank. Whatever you do don't pop bubble algae manually or it will spread like crazy. Keeping on top of water changes and regular filter sock/pad/cup/floss, etc. changes (ie once every 3 days) as well as limiting lighting to around 8 hours total will go a long way to helping to keep bubble algae out.
You're the best! All of this is insanely helpful. One thing re: Vibrant - I thought I read that the "havoc" is that it can basically strip everything out of the water column and starve corals and what have you. Is that true? (Hope I'm not hijacking your thread, jkkgron2 !)
 

fishkeepinginaisa

Member
This might help out. I made this video about how to convert fresh water tanks to salt. However ten gallons might be a little small for a pair of clownfish. Usually they need around twenty gallons. A neon blue goby would be alright in a ten gallon though!
 
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jkkgron2

Member
fishkeepinginaisa said:
This might help out. I made this video about how to convert fresh water tanks to salt. However ten gallons might be a little small for a pair of clownfish. Usually they need around twenty gallons. A neon blue goby would be alright in a ten gallon though!
That had some great info! If I don’t end up just getting live rock then I’ll keep that in mind. Seems great for just a budget tank!

I’ve been doing some more research with the live rock and I think that I found something that might let me get some without worrying about the aiptasia. If I were to get that piece of live rock I found then could I just get a peppermint shrimp to eat the aiptasia? Also, any tips on how to remove montipora from the rock?
 

Jesterrace

Member
fishkeepinginaisa said:
This might help out. I made this video about how to convert fresh water tanks to salt. However ten gallons might be a little small for a pair of clownfish. Usually they need around twenty gallons. A neon blue goby would be alright in a ten gallon though!
I agree that 10 gallons is cramped long term for clownfish.

The fish ideally suited for that tank long term would be:

Firefish
Small Gobies (ie Clown Goby, Neon, Rainsford, Orange Spotted)
Barnacle or Tailspot Blenny
Possum Wrasse
 

Jesterrace

Member
jkkgron2 said:
That had some great info! If I don’t end up just getting live rock then I’ll keep that in mind. Seems great for just a budget tank!

I’ve been doing some more research with the live rock and I think that I found something that might let me get some without worrying about the aiptasia. If I were to get that piece of live rock I found then could I just get a peppermint shrimp to eat the aiptasia? Also, any tips on how to remove montipora from the rock?
Peppermint shrimp CAN eat Aiptasia but it doesn't mean that they WILL eat Aiptasia. Peppermint Shrimp can also eat certain types of corals so they aren't 100% reef safe either. Honestly I would skip the live rock, get a piece of caribsea life rock and then call it good. You get the bacteria benefits of live rock and zero chance of pests on it. It's not worth it to try and get rock and then remove pests afterwards as you basically have to strip it down to dry rock in order to get rid of stuff once it has spread. At that point you have negated any possible benefit of the live rock. You can also just do all dry rock and use bacteria seed and a source of ammonia to cycle the tank. It will take longer, but it will establish the biofilter. Bottom line it's easier to keep pests out of your tank then to try and take care of them after you have a rock with it.
 

Jesterrace

Member
Fishproblem said:
You're the best! All of this is insanely helpful. One thing re: Vibrant - I thought I read that the "havoc" is that it can basically strip everything out of the water column and starve corals and what have you. Is that true? (Hope I'm not hijacking your thread, jkkgron2 !)
That is true, but once again a lot of those issues come back to dosing and following directions to the letter. I don't recommend it's use lightly for sure, but it can work when all else fails. You just have to be prepared and make sure to pull out things like Chaeto, etc. while you run it.
 
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jkkgron2

Member
Jesterrace said:
Peppermint shrimp CAN eat Aiptasia but it doesn't mean that they WILL eat Aiptasia. Peppermint Shrimp can also eat certain types of corals so they aren't 100% reef safe either. Honestly I would skip the live rock, get a piece of caribsea life rock and then call it good. You get the bacteria benefits of live rock and zero chance of pests on it. It's not worth it to try and get rock and then remove pests afterwards as you basically have to strip it down to dry rock in order to get rid of stuff once it has spread. At that point you have negated any possible benefit of the live rock. You can also just do all dry rock and use bacteria seed and a source of ammonia to cycle the tank. It will take longer, but it will establish the biofilter. Bottom line it's easier to keep pests out of your tank then to try and take care of them after you have a rock with it.
Ok, if the peppermint shrimp won’t always eat aiptasia then I’ll Avoid live rock. So how long do you think it would take for the bacteria to be able to support a clown with 4 pounds of Caribsea life rock, 16 pounds dry rock, and 20 pounds of live sand?
 
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jkkgron2

Member
I’m about to head to the LFS to pick up 4 pounds of Caribsea life rock. Is that ok? Just want to make sure this isn’t a bad idea before I get it.
 

Rcslade124

Member
It's not bad. I have heard of hair algea with life rock. If you are doing some dry some life rock I would personally just do all dry rock
 
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jkkgron2

Member
Rcslade124 said:
It's not bad. I have heard of hair algea with life rock. If you are doing some dry some life rock I would personally just do all dry rock
I’ll go with all dry rock then .

what test kit would you recommend I get? I know some say API doesn’t test that great for saltwater so I’ve been looking at other options.
For the cycling process should I use some sort of dead shrimp and put it in the tank (I’ve heard that this method is faster and more effective than adding dr. Tim’s ammonia) or just use Dr. Tim’s ammonia?

Edit: Does this rock seem ok?
 

Rcslade124

Member
Yes that rock works. Test kits for basic parameters salifert makes a good ammonia and nitrate test. No need to test nitrite. For reefs most suggest hanna phosphate ulr and and hanna alkalinity. If u have api for freshwater it will also test saltwater for cycling purpose
 
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jkkgron2

Member
Rcslade124 said:
Yes that rock works. Test kits for basic parameters salifert makes a good ammonia and nitrate test. No need to test nitrite. For reefs most suggest hanna phosphate ulr and and hanna alkalinity. If u have api for freshwater it will also test saltwater for cycling purpose
I’ll just use my api freshwater one then. Is there any difference in how many drops I need to use?
 

Rcslade124

Member
It's the same just color chart is different. U will have to Google a saltwater chart. For cycling you will just want to know a close rang of ammonia. Nitrite isn't toxic in calcium carbonate/salt. Nitrate will be throught the roof with nitrites. So really just testing ammonia for 24 he consumption
 
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jkkgron2

Member
Rcslade124 said:
It's the same just color chart is different. U will have to Google a saltwater chart. For cycling you will just want to know a close rang of ammonia. Nitrite isn't toxic in calcium carbonate/salt. Nitrate will be throught the roof with nitrites. So really just testing ammonia for 24 he consumption
How often should I do water changes? I was thinking 25% weekly while cycling?
 

Rcslade124

Member
None while cycling. Just like freshwater. You don't need to do water change until you are consuming ammonia in 24 hours. It's just like freshwater let it all sit and the bacteria to colonize everything. Once you consume ammonia in 24 hrs do a large water change redose ammonia. If it clears in 24 hrs you can add a couple of fish then just monitor ammonia.
 
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jkkgron2

Member
Rcslade124 said:
None while cycling. Just like freshwater. You don't need to do water change until you are consuming ammonia in 24 hours. It's just like freshwater let it all sit and the bacteria to colonize everything. Once you consume ammonia in 24 hrs do a large water change redose ammonia. If it clears in 24 hrs you can add a couple of fish then just monitor ammonia.
Sounds good. I was doing some digging and my local petco (which is actually a very good store) actually has established live rock that comes dry and becomes established in their tanks so no aiptasia or anything comes with the rock. Do you think it’d be safe to use? I’ll still do the cycling process regardless but this might make it easier. They also sell peppermint shrimp so that’ll Atleast help with any aiptasia issues.
 

Rcslade124

Member
Yes that would jump start the cycle.
 
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jkkgron2

Member
Rcslade124 said:
Yes that would jump start the cycle.
I’ll get some of their rock then. Thanks!!
 
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jkkgron2

Member
Has anyone gotten the Rock rubble Live rock from premium aquatics? It’s crazy cheap and I’ve heard good things about it so I’m considering getting 20 pounds of it once it’s back in stock. If I get some then I’ll also get 10 pounds of dry rock because the rock rubble is really small.
 

Jesterrace

Member
jkkgron2 said:
What are some common saltwater diseases that I could identify when I get my clownfish?
Brooklynella (this one is very deadly), ich, velvet, and possibly Uronema. The first 3 would be the most common though.
 
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jkkgron2

Member
Jesterrace said:
Brooklynella (this one is very deadly), ich, velvet, and possibly Uronema. The first 3 would be the most common though.
I might order treatment for brooklynella just so I can act fast if Any fish were to get it. One Question, if one fish in a tank had any of those diseases is it likely all the fish have it?
 

Rcslade124

Member
Yes it is a large chance that any fish gets sick all will. You cannot treat a reef tank that will have corals with medication. So with saltwater it's either full qt before going to the display or you hope to manage the disease with variety of food and proper condition.
 
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jkkgron2

Member
Rcslade124 said:
Yes it is a large chance that any fish gets sick all will. You cannot treat a reef tank that will have corals with medication. So with saltwater it's either full qt before going to the display or you hope to manage the disease with variety of food and proper condition.
If the clownfish I get ends up being sick will I be able to treat in the main tank because I won’t have any corals? That’s my biggest concern because I won’t be able to have a saltwater qt set up (also I’ll only be starting with one fish so no point in quarantining). Another idea I had was I could start out with a trio of mollies. If I did that then I would be able to get the hang of keeping saltwater fish without risking losing a $30 clownfish because of a rookie mistake I made. Do you think That’d be a good idea? It would also prevent any diseases getting in the tank, Atleast at first.
 

Rcslade124

Member
If you ever plan to have corals you cannot treat the tank. The rock will absorb the medication and Leach it back out. Yes you can get Mollie and it will be free of saltwater disease. But let's be honest you want a saltwater tank. Get a couple clowns and enjoy them. Clowns are pretty bulletproof. Top off evaporation with fresh rodi water to keep salinity in line and the clowns will survive.
 

fishkeepinginaisa

Member
Jesterrace said:
I agree that 10 gallons is cramped long term for clownfish.

The fish ideally suited for that tank long term would be:

Firefish
Small Gobies (ie Clown Goby, Neon, Rainsford, Orange Spotted)
Barnacle or Tailspot Blenny
Possum Wrasse
I had never considered a possum wrasse for a ten gallon. That would be a good fish. Great idea!
 
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jkkgron2

Member
Rcslade124 said:
If you ever plan to have corals you cannot treat the tank. The rock will absorb the medication and Leach it back out. Yes you can get Mollie and it will be free of saltwater disease. But let's be honest you want a saltwater tank. Get a couple clowns and enjoy them. Clowns are pretty bulletproof. Top off evaporation with fresh rodi water to keep salinity in line and the clowns will survive.
Sounds good. I don’t plan on keeping corals anytime soon because of how much the lighting costs so I think treating the tank wouldn’t be a huge loss for me. But, hopefully that doesn’t happen and I’ll be able to get some healthy clowns . I think that right now I’m going to get the powerhead, protein skimmer, and possibly an adjustable heater (right now I have a preset that’s been doing great but it might not be good for long term). Once the live rock from premium aquatics is in stock then I’ll actually start setting up the tank. Hopefully it’ll be soon!
 
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jkkgron2

Member
Alright, I’ve been looking into some more live rock sources and I’ve narrowed it down to three. I’m thinking I’ll get live rock from Tampa bay saltwater but the other two I was thinking about were gulf live rock (which is more expensive), and salty bottom reef company (also kinda expensive). Which do you guys recommend?
 

Rcslade124

Member
Salty bottom has the cheapest option for live rock but they have been out forever. I used kp aquatics dry rock. They have really good live rock so does tampa bay. Either would be great addition. But they both will contain hitchhikers. Mostly good maybe bad. but great options. But dry rock and cycle time is good also. The ugly stage is worse with dry rock but it's all part of the cycle. You have the ammonia cycle like freshwater. Then the algea/cyano cycle. Algea/cyano can get ugly but it's all part of the cycle.
 
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jkkgron2

Member
Rcslade124 said:
Salty bottom has the cheapest option for live rock but they have been out forever. I used kp aquatics dry rock. They have really good live rock so does tampa bay. Either would be great addition. But they both will contain hitchhikers. Mostly good maybe bad. but great options. But dry rock and cycle time is good also. The ugly stage is worse with dry rock but it's all part of the cycle. You have the ammonia cycle like freshwater. Then the algea/cyano cycle. Algea/cyano can get ugly but it's all part of the cycle.
Honestly I don’t mind the hitchhikers at all so live rock isn’t a bad option for me. I’ll check out kp aquatics. Thanks!
 
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jkkgron2

Member
Would a 10 gallon be a bad choice? Originally I was going to take down my 10 gallon that I already have so I could set up the 20 but now I’m not sure if taking down the 10 would be a good idea (all the plants are doing well, are established, and I’ve got a thriving colony of endlers). Instead of doing the 20 gallon I might be able to do two 10 gallons instead but I know it’d be harder. What do you guys think? Is it manageable as long as I have it understocked and get a lot of live rock?
 
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jkkgron2

Member
ryanr what do you think?
 

Fishproblem

Member
jkkgron2 said:
Would a 10 gallon be a bad choice? Originally I was going to take down my 10 gallon that I already have so I could set up the 20 but now I’m not sure if taking down the 10 would be a good idea (all the plants are doing well, are established, and I’ve got a thriving colony of endlers). Instead of doing the 20 gallon I might be able to do two 10 gallons instead but I know it’d be harder. What do you guys think? Is it manageable as long as I have it understocked and get a lot of live rock?
It's definitely been done! I think that if you're committed to the additional efforts that smaller water volume will require, it's totally doable. I'd just be conservative. Are you in the states? The dollar per gallon sale is going right now, so it might make a 20 gallon more doable, or maybe you can get a 5 gallon (either on sale at petco, or used locally) and turn it into a sump if you have space below the tank.

I hope someone with experience can offer you more advice!
 

Rcslade124

Member
Yes it is doable. I would highly recommend a n ato to keep the water topped off. If you lose 1 gallon of water to evaporation you salinity swings will be dangerous. Al's 10g won't house many fish. Maybe a shrimp and goby pair. I personally would not try a nano on my first tank but doable.
 

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