Water and Live Rock from LFS for New Tank
Scenario: Person has 20G tank with heater, light, protein skimmer, sand and some method of moving water.
What would keep them from buying 20gal of water, and live rock from their local store? Wouldn't the tank already have an established cycle using the same water and rock?
Excuse the ignorance and newbie question....
great idea but you don't need to go to all the hassle and waste money on buying 20 gallons of water from the lfs.the live rock and some of the water from the established tank will do well to start your own colony of bacteria in your tank.the bad side is you migh pick up unwanteds from the water and introduce them to your tank as well plus you might not know if the water they are selling you is from a tank that has been struck with some kind of sickness.thats why we net out and qt fishes after we get them back from the store and not just pour everything in. a safer and better bet would be to get a naural bacterial booster that can be bought in most lfs.
i dont think the water carries much of any, if any benificial bacteria. it could however carry disease, like free swimming ich.
IMO taking it slow and patiently is the best way to have a saltwater tank. nothing good comes fast.
i suggest looking into a RO/DI unit, a bucket of salt ( pick one and stick with it ) an extra powerhead, and a bucket/food safe container to make your own saltwater 24 hours in advance. the RO water will also come in handy for topping off any water that evaporated ( salt doesnt evap ) and in time the expense of the RO unit pays for itself. afterall, if things are done right this is a long term hobby.
after pre-mixing your saltwater 24 hours in advance, test the salinity with a refractometer. fill your tank. now if you get fully cured live rock you shouldnt see much, if any of a cycle. this doesnt mean go out and get your rock with your fish. i would keep just the rock in the tank atleast a week or two to monitor your levels. then add a small clean up crew. then wait another week or two, test levels, and add your first QT'd fish.
if its dry rock, this will take about 2 months to cure and turn live, before you can start to add your clean up crew.
So the theory is sound, just not tested or advised. The only reason I even brought it up is a family friend runs a pretty good size saltwater only store and has some HUGE tanks. Cost of getting the setup water would almost be nil.
if your talking about the established water that has been cleaned through their industrial grade uv filter & sterilizer. i would say go for it.it's as good as it gets :-D but that's just me :lol:
the store prob. sells RO and/or pre-made saltwater by the gallon as most fish stores will. the issue with this is, you do not know how old their RO filter membranes are. since you know the owner there may not be much of an issue to ask to see a TDS reading of the RO water. you want this to be 0, if not as close to 0 as possible.
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