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Trying my Luck in the Saltwater World

This is a discussion on Trying my Luck in the Saltwater World within the Beginner Saltwater Aquariums forums, part of the Saltwater Fish and Coral Reef Tanks category; --> Originally Posted by wake49 I was hurrying to post this and wasn't able to finish it. I do use water changes on a regular ...

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Trying my Luck in the Saltwater World
Old 11-24-2009, 05:46 PM   #21
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wake49 View Post
I was hurrying to post this and wasn't able to finish it.

I do use water changes on a regular basis. What I change varies with the seasons, I seem to do more in the summer, when my tank is warmer. I change as little as 20% a month and as much as 40% a month. I have found that my Alkalinity and Calcium stay within reasonable levels when I do WC. Don't get me wrong, I still test and dose regularly.

Here is the idea in a nutshell: The Nitrogen Cycle. Get familiar with it because a lot of people in this hobby are infatuated with it. And we should be. The nitrgen cycle has an end product of nitric acid, or NitrAtes. This is why Protein Skimming is so important, they pull out the organic compounds before they break down into nitrates.

Nitrates are an acid. Alkalinity is your aquarium's ability to keep a pH stable as acids and bases are introduced into the water column. Saltwater is basic (pH 8.3) in nature. Bicarbonate in the water is basic. Bicarbonates make up the largest part of the buffering system in seawater. As acids are introduced into the system (in the form of nitrates), the buffering system acts like a sponge, absorbing the acids while keeping the pH at a steady level. As more acids are introduced into the system, the alkalinity can no longer keep the pH stable. As the pH drops, bicarbonates are converted into carbonic acid. As you can see, Nitrates are detrimental to the buffering system.

I do WC to replace trace minerals and as I said, I don't see Calcium depleted as fast with regular water changes. Every week I am good for at least 5 gallons and as much as fifteen gallons (I have a 150 gallon tank).Since I change the water out of the sump, I don't really disturb the DT at all. I just shut the flow down on the return pump and replace five to fifteen gallons in the sump. In a 29 gallon biocube, I would be more inclined to change one or two gallons a week, over the course of two changings. This would be the least disruptive to the inhabitants I think.
that shouldn't be a problem I can afford that no problem -- plus there's premixed saltwater I can get from the local market that I can just have sit there

my biggest question before I sink 300 dollars in a biocube is -- do I need a skimmer now. I think I have the nitrification cycle down as far as what does what, even though it slightly differs from salt and fresh, but the principal's the same. my main thing is to make sure that the water stays pristine, and before I throw fish in the water I want to make sure the rock is finished curing or at least the tank is acclimated for fish (no real timeframe specified) I might get precured rock, or try to cure it myself in the tank, but I've heard of bad crashes with curing rocks in tanks, so I'll most likely stick to precured. I know with the bio cube will I need to add anything else? skimmer? power head? etc, if not, I think I should be okay and I'll start the process by next week.

if I get a skimmer there's one air driven one for the biocube and that's not what I really want, though if that's the only option that'll be it. If there's one that can be inclusive in the tank, i''ll be more than happy to take that one in consideration or if I don't need one that'll be great.

I found the fish I want, and it's perfect --

at first I wanted an emperor angel, but that requires a 120+ -- no way...

so here's my list of fish I want to place in and this will be a full reef (slowly built) --
1 Flame Angel
1 small damsel or goby (may not be compatible)
2 Clown fish
+ some inverts (need recommendations for both for cleanup purposes and viewing purposes -- ie. pretty but useful - crabs, starfish, or shrimp)
1 lowlight coral frag

I think this would be perfect if I can get this list.

rock will be about 25 lbs of dry and 5 lbs seeding, since i won't be adding fish anytime soon I can wait for the rock to seed in the tank. (well, whichever is cheaper to be honest)
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Old 11-24-2009, 06:45 PM   #22
 
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UPDATE:
I took the plunge,

Oceanic Biocube 29 Gallon 249.00 - 5.00 + 17.99 = 262.99 (no Tax)
Oceanic Protein Skimmer for 29 Gallon - 24.98 + 5.99 shipping (no tax)

Now I just need Sand + live rock + saltwater + fish.
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:10 AM   #23
 
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No you will be needing a lot more things. trust me.

1. Test Kits.
2. UV Sterilizer.
3. Ph Buffer (though Optional)
4. Strong lights if u will keep Corals.
5. Quarantine Tank.
6. etc.

Saltwater Tank is an expensive project. Plz read everything carefully before investing.

Though one of the most beautiful thing in this world.
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:30 AM   #24
 
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So you just spent $300. Get ready to spend about ten times that.

Let us know once you get the tank and fill it. We'll give you a step by step.
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:45 AM   #25
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaitmi View Post
No you will be needing a lot more things.

1. Test Kits.
2. UV Sterilizer.
3. Ph Buffer (though Optional)
4. Strong lights if u will keep Corals.
5. Quarantine Tank.
6. etc.

Saltwater Tank is an expensive project. Plz read everything carefully before investing.

Though one of the most beautiful thing in this world.

1. I have test kits
2. UV sterilizers are only if you ever have disease or algae bloom-- I qt my stuff so i'm not going to purchase something that I don't need.
3. Ph Buffer -- Why would you want to mess with the water's balance when you can actually just do some work to clean up the condition of the water?
4. This should be a given
5. Hence not need a UV sterillizer
6. what the heck?

sorry I'm not trying to be {rude}, but I always do my research before taking a plunge. Your comments come off as though you're being {rude}. If not, sorry and i'm being a bit critical. But a lot of things you've mentioned isn't something I'd take into consideration. {edit by moderator for language}

Especially about PH buffering. One thing you never do is actually interfere with the actual water chemistry unless you absolutely take it down to the T, the dips and the hikes will kill your fish through shock -- salt or fresh.

Last edited by Pasfur; 11-25-2009 at 08:31 PM..
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:59 AM   #26
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wake49 View Post
So you just spent $300. Get ready to spend about ten times that.

Let us know once you get the tank and fill it. We'll give you a step by step.

Hi Wake,

thanks for the info -- i'll take it 1 step at a time, i'll be back for sure, I won't have fish for a while and I've read enough about the cycling to expect a diatom bloom, so i'll have questions when that comes.

I'm going to get enough Argonite sand and no goby so I won't want to deal with sand in the filter overflow.
I will have about 5-10lbs of live rock and 15-20 lbs of dry rock.

that will cost me a bundle. I heard making small crevasses will be good for the fish to hide in.

I will be going with 2 clown fish and a flame angel. I'll let you guys know.
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Old 11-25-2009, 08:48 PM   #27
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CamryDS View Post

You guys are one of the best, that's why I came here.

Thanks for the compliment. I agree we have a nice group here and hopefully you gain a lot of takeaways for your project.

I want to offer a point of disagreement, although very mild. I see a big benefit for UV Sterilizers that you are overlooking. Even in tanks with the use of a Quarantine, the UV has benefits on the display.

I have kept no less than 25 or 30 at home marine aquariums over the years, and in my experience the systems with a UV have far less problems with the spread of disease. Even in perfectly kept aquariums, problems develop from time to time with small injuries and secondary infection risks. Fish do not live forever, and these situations are eventually going to occur. The UV kills water born pathogens and reduces the risk of disease spreading from one fish to another. It also creates a more sterile environment, in which fish appear to fight off infections naturally, with the reduced risk of secondary infections.

As an example, in my 180 FOWLR, my Clarkii Clownfish caught a very nasty eye infection. My expectation was the fish had zero chance of recovery. The entire eye was cloudy and glossed over, swollen to the size of a marble. Without any interference from me, the fish fought off the disease and is fully recovered. No other infections set in, and no other fish became infected. I attribute the infection to a bite incurred in the positioning for food in the feeding area. Anyone with experience in fishkeeping understands the seriousness of an eye infection, and this situation is an excellent example of the inherit benefits of a UV.

That being said, it is clearly not a required piece of equipment. But it sure doesn't hurt!
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Old 11-25-2009, 09:21 PM   #28
 
Careful with that flame angel, as with any angel they always find corals to be tasty snacks!

Make a build thread? Always good to read/look at the pictures and the better your tanks known round here the more specific people can be with advice.
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Old 11-26-2009, 04:25 PM   #29
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pasfur View Post
Thanks for the compliment. I agree we have a nice group here and hopefully you gain a lot of takeaways for your project.

I want to offer a point of disagreement, although very mild. I see a big benefit for UV Sterilizers that you are overlooking. Even in tanks with the use of a Quarantine, the UV has benefits on the display.

I have kept no less than 25 or 30 at home marine aquariums over the years, and in my experience the systems with a UV have far less problems with the spread of disease. Even in perfectly kept aquariums, problems develop from time to time with small injuries and secondary infection risks. Fish do not live forever, and these situations are eventually going to occur. The UV kills water born pathogens and reduces the risk of disease spreading from one fish to another. It also creates a more sterile environment, in which fish appear to fight off infections naturally, with the reduced risk of secondary infections.

As an example, in my 180 FOWLR, my Clarkii Clownfish caught a very nasty eye infection. My expectation was the fish had zero chance of recovery. The entire eye was cloudy and glossed over, swollen to the size of a marble. Without any interference from me, the fish fought off the disease and is fully recovered. No other infections set in, and no other fish became infected. I attribute the infection to a bite incurred in the positioning for food in the feeding area. Anyone with experience in fishkeeping understands the seriousness of an eye infection, and this situation is an excellent example of the inherit benefits of a UV.

That being said, it is clearly not a required piece of equipment. But it sure doesn't hurt!
UV will never hurt, but as far as it really being required, probably not -- I am pretty reasonable, but I've also seen the damage to a system that has an improperly installed UV and it wasn't a prettypicture. so on both sides either beneficial or not i'll stay away from UV, but you do make a remarkable point and i take that with respect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by willieturnip View Post
Careful with that flame angel, as with any angel they always find corals to be tasty snacks!

Make a build thread? Always good to read/look at the pictures and the better your tanks known round here the more specific people can be with advice.
yeah I hear you on that, i'm going to try to find a couple of coral specimens as well as do some research on it so i don't waste 50 dollars on coral and find them dead the next day or vice versa if something was poisonous.

i'll begin a build thread once I get the tank up and at least with sand and live rock with a clean up crew settled. then i'll deal with coral and etc.

one last note, I know I sounded harsh on the last post in response to the other guy, and in turn I do apologize for it. it wasn't meant to purposely hose him out, but I guess it was a bit too direct without huge reason.

in turn, my apologies.
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Old 11-26-2009, 07:37 PM   #30
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CamryDS View Post

Especially about PH buffering. One thing you never do is actually interfere with the actual water chemistry unless you absolutely take it down to the T, the dips and the hikes will kill your fish through shock -- salt or fresh.
I just saw this comment. I want to point out that there is a difference in pH buffering and buffering to build alkalinity and calcium levels. The monitoring of alkalinity and calcium, and adding buffers and supplements, is a vital part of saltwater aquarium maintenance. Neglecting to account for the importance of this aspect of marine aquarium care is very ill advised.
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