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New RSM 130D - NOOB!


osagendn

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Ok so I have been reading over the forums for the last few days when I found out my wife got me this tank for Christmas. I was totally pumped!!! I have wanted a reef tank for the last 12 years! Now I got one!!!

 

I have to say GREAT FORUM. I live in the Charleston, SC area and I am not really wanting to ask a whole lot of questions as most of them have been answered here. But I do have a few I have not really found yet. I know the WAIT... then WAIT some more then WAIT some more thing. I just want to make sure I am on the right track.

 

Today I got my RO water in and added my salt. I have noticed that my temp has gone from 79 to about 82.

I have to still get my SG right as it was a bit high today and a bit low today earlier. I adjusted the salt this morning. I still have too much salt in the water it is like past the 1.030 mark on my Hydrometer. I know I should get one of the refractometers not sure which one though. The book said to add 9.9 lbs of salt to my tank. Well that was not right. Way too much salt.

 

My next step is to add my substrate and then my live rock.

 

So my questions are as follows:

 

Am I on the right track?

Is the temp difference normal?

What is a good hydrometer to by for a noob?

Is there any chart for gallons of water to cups of salt to get the right SG?

If you have too much salt any idea what a good ratio of Fresh RO water to reduce the level?

Also I have lots of air bubbles in the tank. Is my skimmer air valve open too much or is something I should expect. It has been this way since last night.

 

Thanks again this forum rocks!!!!!! :D

NeadomT

 

 

Thanks again!

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Welcome to Nano-Reef.com

You'll want to read over Stevie-T's Indexed RSM thread for everything about your tank.

 

My best advice.....

1) ditch the POS hydrometer that came with the kit and upgrade to a refractometer.

the cheap ones (~$45) from www.marinedepot.com or www.drsfostersmith.com should be fine.

2) ditch the test kit that came included with your tank too and get one from API if you don't want to spend

too much.

3) Read, read, read some more on Stevie T's thread. :)Stevie T's Thread

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:welcome:

 

I wish I had time to respond to this better. Read over my thread if you haven't, click my signature. The 130 and 130D are basically the same tank.

 

Skip on the hydrometer and get a refractormeter

 

Salt will depend on what brand. I use Red Sea coral pro. It is about 2.5 cups in 4 gallons to reach 1.025, but test to find what works for you.

 

Take out the water and add fresh to bring it down, I would start with a half gallon and see where that gets you. Make sure there are no bubbles in your hydrometer.

 

The temp is pretty normal. Pick up the extra cooling fan for the back if they didn't include it. IT will help with the temps, especially if you upgrade the transformer from 7V to 9V. Try and keep your tank under 82°, 79-80° would be ideal. How are you measuring this temperature?

 

Happy new year

 

2) ditch the test kit that came included with your tank too and get one from API if you don't want to spend

too much.

 

 

good advice! Basically that entire starter kit is junk, the only thing I used was the salt.

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Am I on the right track?

Is the temp difference normal?

What is a good hydrometer to by for a noob?

Is there any chart for gallons of water to cups of salt to get the right SG?

If you have too much salt any idea what a good ratio of Fresh RO water to reduce the level?

Also I have lots of air bubbles in the tank. Is my skimmer air valve open too much or is something I should expect. It has been this way since last night.

 

Thanks again this forum rocks!!!!!! :D

NeadomT

 

 

Thanks again!

 

 

Welcome to NR and the RSM!!

 

Regarding the temp, are you sure it's the tank and not the thermometer? Some of the digital therms are notoriously inaccurate. Once you've eliminated the therm as the problem, you can look at the RSM heater - I had RSM replace mine, and the replacement was almost as bad as the original. Spring for the $16 and get the Stealth.

 

On salt, you have a 34gal tank so the salt should have weighed in at around 7.5lbs. For startup, I used the Red Sea starter kit salt, and followed their directions (you can check the booklet, should say around 7.5lbs)

 

To bring it down, since you have no stock yet, I'd scoop it out 1/2 gallon at a time, and replace with RO water, let it circulate for a while and recheck. My guess (and it's a rough guess) is you will have to replace about 5 gallons to get it back in line... best to go slow and get it right.

 

On water changes, StevieT does 4 gallons/week, and I believe he uses 2 1/2 cups of mix for each change. You can check his thread to make sure.

 

The skimmer does seem to be a common source of bubbles, but you can check the other areas - is the drain open enough, or are the pumps starving? (low water in the pump chamber, or a 'dripping' sound are clues). Skimmers can take some time to break in, and you really have no reason to run it yet anyway (you shouldn't have anything to skim). I'd suggest you turn off the skimmer, or check it in the display tank while it's still empty (submerge skimmer where you can see it, and run. Look for bubbles / air leaks at the seams.) Because someone will bring it up, consider replacing the stock skimmer if it continues to drive you nuts.

 

Consider the refractometer - especially as you are adjusting salinity - it will make your life much easier. A few drops and some light is all that are needed, the rest you read in the eyepiece. Easy.

 

Good luck!

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It sounds like you are definately on your way. I had the same issue and sort of still do with how much salt to use. basically use the 2 bucket method.

 

I mix salt and water into one bucket and inevitable it is off the chart. I use the basic hydrometer to check.

 

Then in the second bucket, put 2 litres of water in then I start transfering salt water from the one to the other checking the salinity after every couple of litres is added. Eventually it get it to even out to 1.025 and then I add it too my tank after ensuring the salt is well mixed and at temperature.

 

I leave the left over mix in the bucket to be used the next week so that it is a little easier for water changes.

 

I would definately work to get your temps down to 78 degrees. During the day your lights will cause it to go higher and at night it is normal for it to go down a couple of degrees, but not drastically.

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Thanks for the Quick Response. I read about 4 or 5 of StevieT's articles. Did not see the RSM Experience.... SWEET!. On the articles, I really like the one about the water changing. I had so many questions. No so anymore that really helped.

 

I will order the Refractometer!!

 

I am using a digital thermostat but I tested it. It is dead on.

On the test kit should I get the strips?

 

Thanks again!

NeadomT

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Ok so I am like on page 44 of SteveT's Journal of Death!!! Thought I would take the chance and SWEET FREAKIN' TANK DUDE!!! Just finished the part about you ditching the leather.... Sad Day! I think it is like some very weird Soap Opra for us Noobs!

 

Anyways I have like 28 more pages...... OMG. Any ways thanks for all of your insight. What a journey I am about to embark on!!!

 

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Spend Some More Money!!!! :huh:

 

Thanks again!

Neadom

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Ok so I spent the weekend reading some more of StevieTs RSM forum. Almost done! I got my tank all setup with some LR about 28 lbs of it. I need about another 15 but that is all the money I had this week. Will go get some more next week. I have crystal clear water a few microbubbles but other than that is it beautiful! So here are my first couple of questions.

 

I have run my testing on my tank and everything seems to be as normal except for my Mag levels. They are through the roof. Yesterday they were like 1960 and today they came down to 1500. I know that my Ammonia, Nitrate and Nitrite levels will be all over the place but should my MAG be like that too?

 

I am using the Red Sea Max Pro Salt in the tank. I have not done any water changes as of yet since I just put my rock in on Friday. Other than that I have my temperature dialed in and I think I have the stock skimmer dialed in. Got some good dry foam at the top and some liquid in my container. It seems to be working. I am running the Chem-Pure with no carbon or the ceramic bio balls. I have my initial rock just setup not in a great layout but it will due for now.

 

Neadom T

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I wouldn't worry about your MAG levels too much now since you are in the cycle. I would also recommend removing the bio balls and the carbon for the time being. You can add the carbon back after your cycle but junk the bioballs. Your live rock will provide all the biofiltration you need.

 

The skimmer may produce skimmate now from die off and detritus from the set up. It is another thing I recommend keeping off until the cycle is over. Not only that but without any fish or bioload, it isn't needed. Chemical filters druing the cycle can prolong it.

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