beginner with saltwater tank needs help
I had received a 30gal tank and I currently have a freshwater Ann and think I have that well under control so I decided to make the 30 gal saltwater. Currently I am in th beginning stages. I washed all the sand and put it into my tank. And that's where im at. It took almost 4 and a half hours to clean the sand which was a Project in itself as I currently live in an apartment with limited space to do so. The questions I have are how do i properly mix the salt with the water? Do I do it in the tank or in a Separate bucket? Which protein skimmer to buy? How long do I wait before I put the fish in? I just am very nervous to mess up and end up with dead fish and am looking for a guiding hand for the process. Any advice or help in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.
I might pick up a good book like a reef hand book or a nano aquariums book. They will cover some really good basics that you will want to know way before you even mix gthe salt. On another note you will need some thing to measure the salinity\specific gravity before you do any mixing as well. What is the substrate you are using as most freshwater types will be of little to no use in a salt water tank.What kind of tank are you aiming for? A fish only tank or a full reef,maybe some where in between?
Thanks badxgillen I have chosen a white sand that my friend (who owns a 120 gal saltwater and a 150 gal saltwater) had recommended I use. I have bought. Tap water dechlorinator as well has a hydrometer and sea buffer I believe it's called.( don't have it right in front of me to tell you exactly) ny friend also recommended the salt we bought which is reef crystals by instant ocean. I have a canister filter thAt I'm using just because I've heard much better things about the canister then the hang on the tank filters. I'm planning on making it a reef tank I know it may take some time so for now im going to start with fish and live rock.
Reef crystals are a nice product but just know that it will start you off at a higher PH and saturation of elements&minerals than most of your standard mixes.
Well the answer to your questions in my opinion would be...
Mix the salt in a bucket with a stir stick or power head to be sure that the salt is entirely mixed with the water and then let sit for a while to let it off gas.Usally it takes about 2 cups of salt to make a 5 gallon bucket to 1.023
There are too many protein skimmers out there to list em all so we might need a little more info on your tank such as if there is a sump? If not it may need to be hang on the back and that would slim down your options quite a bit.Generally speaking over shoot your tank by at least %25-%50 when it comes to the claimed performance of the skimmer.
You can usally add fish once you are sure the cycle is completed and you are getting some nitrates showing. You can speed this up with a jump start of bacteria form a friend or a product containing the essential bacteria colonies.
then let the system run for a week and add 1 male molly and not add food for a week. Then start feeding 1 flake per day or two. Once you can keep the molly alive for a few weeks then try the most expensive marine fish.
alternatively you can add a raw supermarket shrimp and let it rot. When ammonia and nitrIte spikes drop down you should be ready for a fish.
let us know how it works and best tank ever.
still just my .02
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