Originally Posted by Mahunky06
I have purchased a new tank! I have bought a 200L (52 gallons) tank...the biggest i could go to in the house! I bought it on sunday and this is what has been done so far:
The tank was filled with RO water and 25kg washed ocean rock (not live) added as base rock from day one. The heater and external filter (Fluval 205) have been turned on and the tank is currently getting to temperature...takes a long time at 200L! I have added 3/4 of the recommended amount of salt to the tank and that is all dissolved (have not added the rest as i am aware that the relative gravity is different at different temperatures so waiting for that to plateau first). Have ordered 25kg of live sand, which i am picking up on saturday (1 week after set-up) to add to my tank. At what point should i add live rock? My LFS have said that if i buy a skimmer then i will not need to upgrade my filtration, but for marine life it is likely that i will need to either upgrade OR get a protein skimmer?
I'm very excited but obviously i am going to do it right this time and take it slow...
Thanks for your continued support.
First, let me ask... for "washed ocean rock" can I ask where it came from? Now before you get too far into this its important to make sure this rock didn't come from a beach or other such natural habitat.
For you live rock, once your spg/salinity is 1.023 - 1.025 and your temp is stable at 76 - 78 it's time to add your rock and live sand. The organisms in your live rock and live sand will need a stable temp and spg/salinity in order to survive and function.
As for your LFS's suggestion for not upgrading filtration if adding a skimmer, I have to say I must strongly disagree. Fluval 205 is made by Hagen, and their flow rate and rating for it are for up to
40 gallons. Circulation has to be taken into account, so power heads will surely be needed, but a skimmer is not going to replace filtration or circulation needs. Another thing to consider with the fluval 205 is flow rate... a canister filter is not going to offer flow rate like a hang on filter. Lack of circulation will lead to algae blooms, cyanobacteria blooms, and ineffective filtration. A skimmer is a great thing to have on any saltwater tank, and I will agree with adding one, but a skimmer is designed to collect the proteins that collect at the surface. Outside of these surface proteins, a skimmer isn't go to effectively remove other forms of waste, like a filtration unit will.
After all of your disappointments, money spent, and frustration, I would really hate to see you have further problems. I promise I am not trying to spend your money, but some things just can't be done without if you wish to keep a healthy tank.
Don't forget water testing during this time. Once your live rock and sand go into the tank, you'll want to start your water testing. Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate should be monitored through the cycling phase (all 3 are needed to track your cycle properly and effectively), and its a good idea to check pH and calcium initially, and then from time to time during cycling and after to make sure things remain properly balanced. Calcium should read 400 - 500 for a healthy tank, and remember, fish need the calcium as much as the corals do. This is one important step that many miss, and knowing and keeping calcium properly balanced is just as important as temp, other water params, etc.
Patience... remember that will be your best friend over the course of the next 6 - 8 wks and all the time with saltwater. An average saltwater tank will take 6 - 8 wks to completely cycle, and only then is it a good idea to add your first fish.