Waterloo’s First (future) Saltwater Tank

Waterloo

Member
....*Sigh*...so. Just when I think I am set on a game plan I get a curve ball lol

Yesterday, my boyfriend found a free bowfront tank on the curb and picked it up for me. (#RelationshipGoals...) anyway. Had a clear cut path for my freshwater water builds and now I’m thinking it’s about time I start a saltwater.

My experience with saltwater just comes from helping my step dad with his 120 gallon reef/fish tank. Sure I helped out and learned some but after revisiting the hobby on my own with freshwater shows I know diddly squat so even more so with salt!

I am in full research mode only at the moment so requesting links, Facebook groups, YouTube videos, books to buy etc or if you are so kind to drop me a tip below of your own experiences that would be very appreciated!

The tank I believe is a 26 gallon...was getting mixed gallons from calculators and really isn’t too much bigger then my current 20 fresh so I’m guessing.

I was told that you could have a HOB filter with salt but not really sure how that work or if it’s an actual realistic option. Really no idea what I need or to get equipment wise.

I was thinking as far as stocking get a pair of ocellaris clownfish. Would be pretty to watch and active. I think would work for this size tank and always wanted some as a kid. Coral I would love but I’m thinking I’m going to need to start of with something hardy enough to grow in a salty toilet as I’m barely confident in just plants lol

If you want to follow along get ready for a bumpy ride. But it should be fun!

Photo below of the tank and currently just stuck on the lead from the 20. Just switched out to a new light so it’s floating. It will not be used for this. Thanks!!!

(Ps. Mobile app is giving me trouble and couldn’t get it over to Saltwater builds which I’m guessing this should go if a mod can move it that would be awesome! )
 

PonzLL

Member
**** stop you're out of control!!
 
  • Thread Starter

Waterloo

Member
There is no turning back!!! Lol
 

YATT

Member
two things
1. Triple check that tank is sealed well! Free in curb!!!!
2. Think about money you’ll be spending in salt setup. Man, my freshwater setup has already doubled my original budget.
 
  • Thread Starter

Waterloo

Member
YATT said:
two things
1. Triple check that tank is sealed well! Free in curb!!!!
2. Think about money you’ll be spending in salt setup. Man, my freshwater setup has already doubled my original budget.
Water has been in it since I got it. Almost 24 hours full and haven’t seen or felt any issues so far

Money is definitely a reason why this will be a slow build and why I want to get as much research in first before I jump all all in
 

Jesterrace

Member
Okay first things first:

1) The first thing I would do is either invest in an RODI system or make sure you have a local fish store that regularly changes their RODI system filters and sells RODI or RODI pre-mix. One of the mistakes many folks make when they transfer over from Freshwater is that they assume that they can simply add salt to treated tap water and be good to go. Tapwater comes with many solids/minerals that do not do good things to captive marine environments (ie out of control nitrate, phosphate, nuisance algae, etc.).

2) HOB Filters work great for smaller saltwater tanks, although the stock filter media (outside of straight carbon) generally doesn't transfer well to the salty side, so during the cycle just run straight carbon and after that you can switch to something like Chemipure Elite, GFO (Granulated Ferric Oxide) to reduce phosphates from food sources or you can convert to a refugium with Macro Algae (ie Cheato) which will help consume excess nitrates. I strongly recommend either the Fluval (aka Aquaclear) 50 or 70 varieties for HOB as they can take a wide variety of media bags or they can easily be modified into a refugium for the cheato.

3) A pair of Ocellaris (aka Nemo) or Percula Clownfish will work fine in that tank (stay away from the other varieties as they are bigger and more aggressive), along with one or two other smaller fish (ie goby, blenny or royal gramma basslet). Corals will definitely add more cost as they can be pretty expensive and require full spectrum lights (which tend to be pricey in the LED varieties. For a FOWLR (Fish Only With Live Rock) any LED light will work. You can start with a FOWLR and a cheap LED and gain some experience and then branch out into corals and upgrade to a nicer light later.

4) You will definitely want a good fitting lid of some kind as virtually any marine fish can jump out of an open tank (some are more prone than others, but all fish are potential jumpers)

5) In saltwater tanks the primary filter is the live rock (or dry rock that is seeded with bacteria to become live rock). It is generally recommended to go with at least 1lb of rock per gallon of tank. You have several options, you can go with regular live rock, which is loaded with bacteria and biodiversity, but it is pricey and can come with pests (ie Aiptasia, Fireworms, Xanthid Crabs, Mantis Shrimp, too many bristleworms). You can go with dry rock (live rock which has died off completely) and then seed with bacteria, to start the process of becoming live rock again, it is the cheapest option by far and virtually pest free, but also takes longer to establish a healthy functional bacteria filter. The last option is a recent development of man made options (ie Caribsea Life Rock), it's dry rock, but with a bacteria coating, it is nearly as expensive as live rock, but it is pest free. You could also do a mix of one of the live options with dry rock (ie a couple of pieces of life rock and dry rock for the rest, that way you have a source of bacteria and still save some money). The cycle is maintained by the rock in a saltwater tank.
 

Lchi87

Member
Moved this for you. Congrats on deciding to go salty!
 
  • Thread Starter

Waterloo

Member
Jesterrace said:
Okay first things first:

1) The first thing I would do is either invest in an RODI system or make sure you have a local fish store that regularly changes their RODI system filters and sells RODI or RODI pre-mix. One of the mistakes many folks make when they transfer over from Freshwater is that they assume that they can simply add salt to treated tap water and be good to go. Tapwater comes with many solids/minerals that do not do good things to captive marine environments (ie out of control nitrate, phosphate, nuisance algae, etc.).

2) HOB Filters work great for smaller saltwater tanks, although the stock filter media (outside of straight carbon) generally doesn't transfer well to the salty side, so during the cycle just run straight carbon and after that you can switch to something like Chemipure Elite, GFO (Granulated Ferric Oxide) to reduce phosphates from food sources or you can convert to a refugium with Macro Algae (ie Cheato) which will help consume excess nitrates. I strongly recommend either the Fluval (aka Aquaclear) 50 or 70 varieties for HOB as they can take a wide variety of media bags or they can easily be modified into a refugium for the cheato.

3) A pair of Ocellaris (aka Nemo) or Percula Clownfish will work fine in that tank (stay away from the other varieties as they are bigger and more aggressive), along with one or two other smaller fish (ie goby, blenny or royal gramma basslet). Corals will definitely add more cost as they can be pretty expensive and require full spectrum lights (which tend to be pricey in the LED varieties. For a FOWLR (Fish Only With Live Rock) any LED light will work. You can start with a FOWLR and a cheap LED and gain some experience and then branch out into corals and upgrade to a nicer light later.

4) You will definitely want a good fitting lid of some kind as virtually any marine fish can jump out of an open tank (some are more prone than others, but all fish are potential jumpers)

5) In saltwater tanks the primary filter is the live rock (or dry rock that is seeded with bacteria to become live rock). It is generally recommended to go with at least 1lb of rock per gallon of tank. You have several options, you can go with regular live rock, which is loaded with bacteria and biodiversity, but it is pricey and can come with pests (ie Aiptasia, Fireworms, Xanthid Crabs, Mantis Shrimp, too many bristleworms). You can go with dry rock (live rock which has died off completely) and then seed with bacteria, to start the process of becoming live rock again, it is the cheapest option by far and virtually pest free, but also takes longer to establish a healthy functional bacteria filter. The last option is a recent development of man made options (ie Caribsea Life Rock), it's dry rock, but with a bacteria coating, it is nearly as expensive as live rock, but it is pest free. You could also do a mix of one of the live options with dry rock (ie a couple of pieces of life rock and dry rock for the rest, that way you have a source of bacteria and still save some money). The cycle is maintained by the rock in a saltwater tank.

Um wow! Thank you so very much!
 
  • Thread Starter

Waterloo

Member
Lchi87 said:
Moved this for you. Congrats on deciding to go salty!

Awesome, thank you. Honestly knew it was just a matter of time. When I first saw the tank I knew it wasn’t meant to be another freshwater lol
 

stella1979

Member
Yay!! That boyfriend sounds like a real keeper. Btw, started this last night but my eyes got droopy, so I left it until today and see that you've gotten a really great reply from Jester already. Anyhow, perhaps some of this will still be useful.

My favorite early resource was BRS's 52 Weeks of Reefing playlist. BRStv is still one of my favorite resources. Yes, the 52 weeks is a much bigger tank and an absolute dream build. There's plenty of product placement and expensive equipment mentioned, but there is tons of applicable information too. Also, check this out. A budget nano guide written by my own salty mentor, Nart

Nart's Budget Nano Saltwater Guide For Beginners

You certainly can, and I do, run an HOB on my 20 gallon long mixed reef tank. Without going into too much detail, (because you can find much of it in articles and stickies here), the rock in a salty tank serves as bio media. That is, cycle maintaining beneficial bacteria will colonize on and in the rock, and this is why we don't always see bio media being used at all in salty setups. Often times, on bigger setups with sumps for filtration, we don't see a ton of bio media in there if there is any at all. Sumps may contain mechanical filtration and nutrient reduction methods only... though I must say, if I had a sump it would have a great refugium in it, which would also include rubble capable of hosting beneficial bacteria. Anyhow, I think you saw on my thread that we use an Aquaclear 70 that we modified to contain a minI fuge, and I couldn't recommend this method more. It gives us nano keepers an easy way of getting a benefit that is usually reserved to systems including a sump.

You've decided on a pair of clowns. That's great, and as Jester said, you have room for a couple more. The clowns will likely be your most aggressive fish, and the most aggressive should always be added last. The more timid fish will appreciate a couple weeks aggressor free so they can get comfortable and begin eating in their new environment without worrying about scary guys. So, I'd suggest that you head over to LiveAquaria's site and sort marine fish by tank size. They are actually pretty good about minimum tank sizes, and this is a place to see most of what's available to you. Most LFS's will happily order a fish for you if you'd rather not buy online.
 
  • Thread Starter

Waterloo

Member
stella1979 said:
Yay!! That boyfriend sounds like a real keeper. Btw, started this last night but my eyes got droopy, so I left it until today and see that you've gotten a really great reply from Jester already. Anyhow, perhaps some of this will still be useful.

My favorite early resource was BRS's 52 Weeks of Reefing playlist. BRStv is still one of my favorite resources. Yes, the 52 weeks is a much bigger tank and an absolute dream build. There's plenty of product placement and expensive equipment mentioned, but there is tons of applicable information too. Also, check this out. A budget nano guide written by my own salty mentor, Nart

Nart's Budget Nano Saltwater Guide For Beginners

You certainly can, and I do, run an HOB on my 20 gallon long mixed reef tank. Without going into too much detail, (because you can find much of it in articles and stickies here), the rock in a salty tank serves as bio media. That is, cycle maintaining beneficial bacteria will colonize on and in the rock, and this is why we don't always see bio media being used at all in salty setups. Often times, on bigger setups with sumps for filtration, we don't see a ton of bio media in there if there is any at all. Sumps may contain mechanical filtration and nutrient reduction methods only... though I must say, if I had a sump it would have a great refugium in it, which would also include rubble capable of hosting beneficial bacteria. Anyhow, I think you saw on my thread that we use an Aquaclear 70 that we modified to contain a minI fuge, and I couldn't recommend this method more. It gives us nano keepers an easy way of getting a benefit that is usually reserved to systems including a sump.

You've decided on a pair of clowns. That's great, and as Jester said, you have room for a couple more. The clowns will likely be your most aggressive fish, and the most aggressive should always be added last. The more timid fish will appreciate a couple weeks aggressor free so they can get comfortable and begin eating in their new environment without worrying about scary guys. So, I'd suggest that you head over to LiveAquaria's site and sort marine fish by tank size. They are actually pretty good about minimum tank sizes, and this is a place to see most of what's available to you. Most LFS's will happily order a fish for you if you'd rather not buy online.

Thank you for the playlist. we don't have patients in the office today so have it playing as we speak as I work.

I was watching a few videos last night about how to convert the aqua clear to a fuge and it seems very straightforward. The only mixed remarks I saw was having a special light on the fuge "filter/tank" do you have a little light on yours?
 

stella1979

Member
I do have a plant light over my AC70. This one... which is perhaps more than I need, but it does the job.
 

Nart

Member
I'm liking it... another one into the dark side of the saltwater realm
I currently have a 5 gallon budget build that I am doing right now, I've been posting updates on it here and there on my Instagram @mightynanotank if you want to follow along.
It also utilizes a simple HOB filtration system. I'll be releasing all the info of specs and mods pretty soon once it clears with my sponsor for that build. It might help you with some ideas for yours.
 
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Waterloo

Member
Nart said:
I'm liking it... another one into the dark side of the saltwater realm
I currently have a 5 gallon budget build that I am doing right now, I've been posting updates on it here and there on my Instagram @mightynanotank if you want to follow along.
It also utilizes a simple HOB filtration system. I'll be releasing all the info of specs and mods pretty soon once it clears with my sponsor for that build. It might help you with some ideas for yours.

Awesome! And hey we are neighbors! I'm in Northern Virginia as well
 

Nart

Member
Waterloo I feel like reefers are a rare breed in NOVA lol. the nearest LFS from us is 30mins away... what a drag to drive to each time...
 
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Waterloo

Member
@Nert My favorite is ReefEscape over in Fairfax. They have some awesome display tanks and one has some gorgeous puffers and lion fish. My daughter loves them. Phil is pretty awesome to talk to there and even gave me some free frogbit for my tank when I asked if I could buy some
 

Jesterrace

Member
Sounds like you two are right near where I grew up. I'm originally from McLean.
 
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Waterloo

Member
Awesome! I have only been in the area for a year. Originally from Kansas and grew up there. Moved here last September
 

stella1979

Member
I wonder if you have any idea how lucky you are to be Nart's neighbor?!?!! He's got the fire and fair prices when you're ready to step up that coral game.
 
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Waterloo

Member
Okay...dumb question number 1 for the day I get copepods are beneficial for an aquarium.. I remember my little sister and I in awe at the little Madarinfish sucking them up...Loved watching that bright little fish go to down!...back to question...I do not remember how all of them ended up in my dad's tank. Do you or can you buy them or do they just kind of show up on rock that you buy? BUT if you bought dry live rock (which I think is the direction I am going to go to...) they won't be on the rocks right?

so where do you get them?! lol


stella if you are lurking I am on week 9 so far of BRS playlist. You are right. Guy has a DREAM tank going on
 

stella1979

Member
No dumb questions here. We can't help what we haven't learned yet.

Pods can be purchased... but I only used dry rock, have pods, and I didn't buy them. They may come on anything that goes in your tank without being dipped. Weird, because I dipped all my corals at first, but perhaps the small population of pods I saw early on came from the cruddy chaeto I got from an LFS... which also gave me aiptasia! Later, I saw a nice population increase after tossing that chaeto and getting better from your neighbor Nart. Phyto is pod food, and every time I feed the corals, I mix powder food with phyto. Lots of people just dose a couple of drops of concentrated phyto in their tanks daily, and this is done with the idea of feeding the pod population.

Where does one buy pods? Or phyto? Well, you kinda get what you pay for here. For example, my first bottle of phyto was Kent's, ordered cheap on Amazon, and umm, it's hot here so boxes are hot when we get them. Used that stuff for a long time and corals were happy and the pod population is good. However, being in the hobby, you run across products people looovvee, and wonder if they'd be better. So, I decided to step up my game with the phyto and purchased a fresh bottle of Reef Nutrition's stuff out of a refrigerator, where I found the bottle slightly vented, purportedly to allow living things inside access to oxygen exchange. Well, who's to say just how alive that bottle is, as it is not natural to have live things in bottles, but the fish went more nuts over coral food than they usually do the first time I used it. It may be that RN is simply a higher concentration than Kent's or something, however, Reef Nutrition and Algae Barn are the brands I've come to know as the 'best' when it comes to buying live bottled things... that is pods or phyto. After only a short time using it, I already like RN's better than Kent's.

I'm trying not to go all mandI police here, but you do know how difficult it can be to care for these guys, yes? I looovvee Mandarin fish and had one in my first salty tank many years ago. I loved him and did my best with the info I had, but the poor guy starved, like so many do, even though he was put into a well-established sumped 55g. They're my favorite fish, but I will not have one in a nano tank. I'm wearing my purple mandI tee right now, with a big old mandI on the front, and 'GOT PODS?' on the back. A mandI is capable of decimating the pod population in smaller setups in no time at all, so it takes some serious work, time, money, and dedication to keep one alive in new or smallish setups. Indeed, I am the mandI police around here.
 
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Waterloo

Member
Yes, for sure on the mandi! They are some awesome little fish. Scooting their little selfs around lol

Thanks for the insight on buying pods and phyto. Everytime I start thinking “yes! I can totally do this!” I read or observe something someone says and like “this is so daunting!”
 

Nart

Member
Reef eScape is my shop! The workers there are awesome. Ollie is always a big help when needed.
 
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Waterloo

Member
Question time! So I am still staring down my empty tank. I remembered my step dad and I going to garden stores and buying rock for his SW. I get that rock is your "filter" and you want something porous, lots of nooks and what not for fish and coral. But then I was watching I youtube video talking about how you should use rocks that are only inert so they do not leech different chemicals into the water in a short or long term time. BUT did not really explain what an inert rock was or what to look for.

Insights?
 

Lchi87

Member
Inert just means its non-reactive and won't degrade in water. I don't have any experience in using anything other than live rock and I will say that most reefers go that route as well.

So live rock comes in dry and wet versions. Dry ones need to cure, wet ones are pretty much plug and play, which is what I used for my tank. I like it because it speeds up the cycling process because some of the good bacteria is already growing on the rock. When you transfer it into your tank, you'll see some die-off but the ammonia from that helps to kick-start the cycling process.

There's also different kinds of wet live rock ( confused yet? lol) Some of them are actual rock taken from reefs in the ocean, which comes with the most biodiversity but also isn't very environmentally friendly for obvious reasons and can potentially harbor some bad hitch hikers. Reef saver rock is man made rock that is formed and then tossed into the ocean to cure and retrieved at a later date. These are "cleaner" in that you typically won't have pests that come along with it but there is also less biodiversity; so there 's the trade off.

I haven't used dry live rock so I can't speak to that. Hopefully you found this useful. Stella will correct me if I missed anything, I'm only 10 months into this side of fish keeping myself.
 

Nart

Member
Waterloo I'll just be lazy and copy paste off my budget guide. Hope this helps.

5 – Rocks:
Time for rocks? Rock on!

Before we start, you need to know the term ‘curing’ and you need to know that not all rocks require curing. So what is curing? It’s a process where you soak the rocks in a bucket of saltwater with a heater and power-head, so that the rocks release all the dead organics (Dead organics such as: clams, sea sponges, shrimps, etc... things that'll release nitrates and phosphates) that was once on the rock, into the bucket before it goes in your tank. If you don’t cure the rocks and try to start your tank with it, you’ll run into major issues with algae plaguing your tank. Curing rocks can take anywhere from 2 to 6 months to cure the rocks.

Now that we got that out of the way. Let’s go over the different types of rocks and the pros and cons of it. I’ll go over the popular ones and give you my recommendations.

Live rocks – What is the meaning of live rock? It’s literally what it means. The rocks are live. Full of life, beneficial bacteria is crawling all over it. Usually, it’s from the ocean. So with live rocks, also comes the possibility of pest hitchhikers that could be of nuisance to your tank. It’s a gamble you’ll have to take if you go this route and address the issue with hitchhikers as you progress. The pros of live rock? It’ll cycle your tank really quick (either instant cycle or within the week) and usually does not need to cure if you purchased it locally. Live rocks can be purchased a few ways. Online, local listings, or the LFS. Ordering live rocks online can get expensive because of the shipping, especially depending how much you need. They even have ‘aqua-cultured live rocks’ where they drop dried rocks into the ocean and let them become live again. Live rocks are generally expensive, around $5-10 per pound. I recommend you stopping by your LFS and seeing the live rock yourself if you decide to go this route. This way you can pick and choose what pieces you like. Would I recommend live rocks to a beginner? No. Way too many unknowns and variables that you don’t want to start out with.

Man-made rocks – these rocks are man-made with either cement or with their ‘proprietary mix’ aka, fancier cement. Often times these are painted purple to mimic that nice coralline algae. These are often sold dry or as ‘live’ man-made rocks and are very clean, sterile, meaning zero pest hitchhikers, and no curing needed. If you are ordering these ‘live’ man-made rocks online, chances are you’ll still have to cycle the tank, it will not be an instant cycle, for some reason the beneficial bacteria colony seems to die off when shipped. Man-made rocks are usually around $7 a pound. Would I recommend man-made rocks to a beginner? Yes and no. It’s actually aesthetically pleasing to the eye as it adds color to your brand new tank. What I don’t like about man-made rocks though, is that they are very dense and not very porous. It’ll house the beneficial bacteria colony just fine and it’ll handle the bio-load of your tank fine. But I personally prefer the more porous rocks so that the little critters like shrimps, and copepods have more holes and space to crawl around in.

Dry rocks – what are dry rocks? In a nutshell, it was once live and is now dry. Depending on where the dry rocks were collected from, some dry rocks will need to cure and some dry rocks are ready to go into your tank and start cycling. Typically it’ll tell you if it needs to cure. Pros of dry rocks, you can take your time rock-scaping without having to worry about the beneficial bacteria colony dying off, zero hitchhikers, and it’s cheaper when compared to the rocks above. The cons, it takes time to cycle and some you’ll have to cure it before you can use.

With that said… Do I recommend dry rocks? Yes to dry rocks that requires no curing time. It’s cheap and you can treat it like a blank canvas. The dry rocks with no curing time that I would recommend to a beginner are Reef Saver Rocks from Bulk Reef Supply (BRS).
*Update - Reef Saver Rocks are now listed as "Requires Curing" from BRS. Why? I am guessing because they received complaints about the rocks causing brown diatom issues in tanks. To simply put it, all dry rocks will leach silica to a certain degree. Almost all new tanks will go through a brown diatom bloom. It's almost unavoidable. With that said, BRS now recommends that you put Reef Saver Rocks in a bucket to cure it. However, I will say that, it will probably not leach any dead organics into the water. But, to be safe, just toss the Reef Saver Rocks into a bucket and cure it, check back in a few days and see if it's leaching any ammonia, or phosphates. If it's registering zero, the rocks are ready to go in your tank and start the cycle.

My personal favorite dry rocks for a nano tank are PukanI Rocks from BRS. However, with PukanI Rocks you’ll have to cure it, and the typical curing time takes 2 to 3 months from my experience. Though, after its done curing, usually the PukanI rocks are cycled as well, because of the die-off spiking the ammonia and starting the nitrogen cycle during the curing process.

The million dollar question. How much rocks do I need?
Typically for most of these rocks, without over-stuffing your tank with rocks, go with 0.7 to 0.75 lbs of rocks to 1 gallon of water. However, with PukanI rocks, since they are so light and porous you can go about 0.4 to 0.5 lbs to 1 gallon of water.
 
  • Thread Starter

Waterloo

Member
Kinda an update. Kinda not but felt like the Saltwater tank is being neglected lol. My roommate and I are switching rooms/floors. I’ll be renting out the entire basement instead of just a single room so will have much more space for tanks! Obviously would be kinda stupid to do any work filling up the tank when I’ll be moving it in a few weeks and kinda worried about throwing off my 20 gal fresh (if you have been keeping up with that thread I had a slight swing in parameters) I’m thinking that I will really start focusing on getting the Saltwater running in January. Rather buy Christmas gifts for the family instead of buying Saltwater supplies. Speaking of which I think I have most of the basics down thanks to the many budget threads but if you have a favorite MUST have I’ll be curious to know what it is. Until January I will continue researching. Drooling over Pinterest ideas and threads here.
 

Lchi87

Member
More room for tanks is always exciting news! I get you on the presents vs fish stuff. I like to spoil my family extra this time of year so that’s less in the fish budget.
 
  • Thread Starter

Waterloo

Member
May be the end to my future saltwater...hence the May soon to come name change.

Moving went superb! Definitely have a ton more space and storage so naturally I started thinking about working on my still empty and dry tank. But I have approached a problem...

I don’t think the outlets are safe.

I switched a breaker using a hair dryer in the bathroom and the landlord asked if I had the bathroom and hallway lights on when it happened. I said yes and she said it was a very common problem not to have too much on at once. One of the outlets I have in my room even started getting warm when I plugged in a simple nightlight by my bed. Needless to say I no longer use it and my roommate who was in the same room voiced the same observation. The 20 gal fresh is on a stable and safe input and have zero concern for it but the others wouldn’t trust for 30 seconds without me in the room. As much as I hate putting the tank in a more permanent storage I just can’t let myself trust what the current setup is for my daughter’s, mine or new future fish.

In a last attempt to not put everything away is there anyway I could test the electrical circuits to ensure their and everyone else’s safety?
 
  • Thread Starter

Waterloo

Member
Nart stella1979 Lchi87
 

Wild Bill

Member
How old is the house?
 
  • Thread Starter

Waterloo

Member
mid 60’s Wild Bill
 

Lchi87

Member
Eek! I hope we can help you figure something out, tank delays are so frustrating!

I’m no help with this stuff though so let me tag Dave125g. He’s one of the “handy” type guys that I know.
 

stella1979

Member
Hmm, idk, but there are a few reasons the nightlight could have caused the outlet to become warm. Is it an incandescent bulb in the nightlight? If so, the bulb itself would radiate heat. If the nightlight is kinda loose in the socket, making a not so great connection, that too could generate heat... in which case, you could just replace the socket or, lol, give the prongs a squeeze then see if it fits better.

As for the hairdryer... well, I'm not thrilled with the landlord's response but it is true that anything that generates a lot of heat, (like a hairdryer, microwave, electric kettle, space heater, etc.), draws considerably more power than say, a lamp or a clock. It's not uncommon for hairdryers to trip a breaker in older homes. Though, we'd assume we could dry our hair with the light in the room on... I mean, geesh. But yeah, I have older electric too, and I have a busy outlet in the kitchen where I must be sure I don't run both the kettle and the mixer at the same time.

As for testing the outlet, well, I asked hubs (certified marine electrician and kind of a nerd, lol) and he joked that you could test the electric for a salty tank by running a fresh tank for a while. Joking! Just joking, but in seriousness he said, why not get the tank running with equipment and freshwater, no life, and see how things go for a little while? Thing is, sure, you could stick a meter probe in there to be sure the outlet is working, and even watch the readout for a while to see that the power is supplied at a steady rate... but this wouldn't tell you anything on the outlet's capability for running long term. I'm not sure there is a tool for doing so since we are talking about a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week thing here.

It's not much, but that's all I got. Hope Bill, Dave, and more of our handy members can offer more insight.
 
  • Thread Starter

Waterloo

Member
Lchi87 said:
Eek! I hope we can help you figure something out, tank delays are so am frustrating!

I’m no help with this stuff though so let me tag Dave125g. He’s one of the “handy” type guys that I know.
Thanks! I could use all the help I can get on this one
 

Dave125g

Member
Wow that little bit tripped the breaker? The only real solution would be to install higher amperage breakers.
 
  • Thread Starter

Waterloo

Member
Not really sure I can find a good solution to everything. In a somewhat defeated compromise. Thought about moving my current 20 gal fresh to this tank even though it’s maybe only 5 gallons bigger and settling for a smaller 5-10 gal salt desk top with shrimp or something. Really don’t see my landlord being much help getting things fixed even if I did offer to pay for the upgrades the house may need anyway.
 
  • Thread Starter

Waterloo

Member
Or option 2. Start with one of my spare 10 gallon tanks and see how it goes. If I need to break down I’m sure I could find homes for things and if it goes well upgrade it up to the 25 ish that’s waiting in being built
 

Dave125g

Member
You may simply need to run some extension cords so that your equipment is running on multiple breakers.
 

jjohnwm

Member
You DO NOT want to install larger circuit breakers. Circuit breakers serve to protect the wiring in the building. The bulk of the wiring is probably 14 gauge, maybe some 12 gauge, and the 15A (15 amp) circuit breakers installed in the panel function to turn off, or "trip", to disconnect the power from a circuit if the amount of current being drawn by the devices on that circuit exceeds the safe capacity of the wiring. Putting a higher-capacity circuit breaker in would allow more current to flow...but the wiring is still only rated for the same amount. This is dangerous; wires and devices will over-heat, insulation on the wiring will be damaged and eventually you will have a fire.

If this were a private single-family dwelling, you could take the time to map out each and every receptacle, light and other device in the house, finding which circuit breaker is hooked up to each one. This would allow you to quickly see which circuits are overloaded, which ones can be utilized more, etc. But in an apartment this is pretty tough to do; all the circuits in your unit should be protected by circuit breakers in the panel in your unit...but in older buildings should be and are can be two very different things.

A receptacle that grows warm when used could be caused by something as simple as the heat generated by a nightlight, as stated above. In fact, there's a good chance that's all it is, since nightlights draw so little current it's unlikely that the receptacle is heating up. BUT, the problem could also be that the wires connected to the receptacle have grown loose in their terminals; not difficult to fix...or it could be the result of substandard wiring or other issues. Long story short...too late, I know...your landlord really should have a qualified electrician come in and check things out.

But DO NOT even think about changing the circuit breakers...or fuses, if that's what you have...for larger capacity versions. This is NOT A SAFE SOLUTION.

The idea of extension cords might very well solve the problem by allowing you to spread the load over a couple of circuits, rather than merely overloading one.
 
  • Thread Starter

Waterloo

Member
Thanks! I definitely appreciate it. I have lost one home to a fire before. (Water heater blew which caused a chain reaction of other explosions...was not fun)

Certain things I just don’t mess with. Which is way as much as I want a saltwater set up if I can’t safely do it it will just have to go on the list of things I’ll have to wait for when I buy my own house and not just renting.
 

Betta'sAnonymous

Member
jjohnwm said:
You DO NOT want to install larger circuit breakers. Circuit breakers serve to protect the wiring in the building. The bulk of the wiring is probably 14 gauge, maybe some 12 gauge, and the 15A (15 amp) circuit breakers installed in the panel function to turn off, or "trip", to disconnect the power from a circuit if the amount of current being drawn by the devices on that circuit exceeds the safe capacity of the wiring. Putting a higher-capacity circuit breaker in would allow more current to flow...but the wiring is still only rated for the same amount. This is dangerous; wires and devices will over-heat, insulation on the wiring will be damaged and eventually you will have a fire.

If this were a private single-family dwelling, you could take the time to map out each and every receptacle, light and other device in the house, finding which circuit breaker is hooked up to each one. This would allow you to quickly see which circuits are overloaded, which ones can be utilized more, etc. But in an apartment this is pretty tough to do; all the circuits in your unit should be protected by circuit breakers in the panel in your unit...but in older buildings should be and are can be two very different things.

A receptacle that grows warm when used could be caused by something as simple as the heat generated by a nightlight, as stated above. In fact, there's a good chance that's all it is, since nightlights draw so little current it's unlikely that the receptacle is heating up. BUT, the problem could also be that the wires connected to the receptacle have grown loose in their terminals; not difficult to fix...or it could be the result of substandard wiring or other issues. Long story short...too late, I know...your landlord really should have a qualified electrician come in and check things out.

But DO NOT even think about changing the circuit breakers...or fuses, if that's what you have...for larger capacity versions. This is NOT A SAFE SOLUTION.

The idea of extension cords might very well solve the problem by allowing you to spread the load over a couple of circuits, rather than merely overloading one.
The breakers could be changed, but the wiring would have to be upgraded to a heavier guage for sure, which is never a terrible idea. But is probably an expense the landlord would not want to take on until after a fire....
 
  • Thread Starter

Waterloo

Member
Betta'sAnonymous said:
The breakers could be changed, but the wiring would have to be upgraded to a heavier guage for sure, which is never a terrible idea. But is probably an expense the landlord would not want to take on until after a fire....

Renting with her for a year and half you nailed it on the head. House was falling apart when I moved here. Fixed drywall, tightened sinks and repaired the washing machine when I moved here. Even had to paint my room when I first got here even though she said she would do it. As much as she isn’t handy around the house she is nice and we have never had any issues. See it as a stepping stone to save money and know it’s nothing permanent right now
 
  • Thread Starter

Waterloo

Member
I mean...do I REALLY need a stand


Testing outlets with an old light.
 

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