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bradk

First foray into saltwater (Biocube 32)

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bradk

Hello all,

 

I posted in the welcome forum but figured I'd maybe start my own thread here as well.

 

I've had tanks in the past, but they've always been tropical, so this is my first attempt at saltwater after doing some due diligence. I settled on the Biocube 32 along with the stand, which I got a slight discount on. Right now it's sitting in my bathtub filled with water to make sure there's no leaking.

 

About to head to my LFS to look into pre-mixed seawater because I don't feel comfortable with tackling that on my own right off the bat. The initial plan (within next couple of days) is to acquire live rock and live substrate (aragonite was recommended to me due to the weight). I'll be buying the live rock out of live tanks, so hopefully all hitchhikers are good ones.

 

at some point I'll have to look into a heater and wave maker? and possibly other things. My thermostat is set to 74 24/27, but also I live in the desert so when it gets to be 115 outside, it's about 78 inside (which I guess is closer to the ideal than 74). also I'm committing myself to the intank media basket for reasons I'm not all that sure on, but it seems to be the way to go.

 

The plan is then for clownfish and hopefully some coral, and/or anemone. 

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bradk

Went to a couple of LFS, got the seawater for $1/gallon and filled her up. also got the caribsea hawaiian black live aragonite and some caribea life rock shelves that I pieced together and expoxied. very happy with how it turned out, it's basically a ring that also has a lot of holes to swim through. it's a little deeper than it probably should be, but it fits and there's some space around it.  I'm scrapping the live rock for now. LFS also sold some bacteria and dr. tim's live nitrifying bacteria. LFS advised to bring water to them in a week for testing. 

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j.falk

I'll advise you to get your own test kits and don't rely on the ones the LFS uses to test your water.  If something bad is happening in your tank, you need to be able to test for the problem immediately.  Also...not all test kits are created equally...you want good quality ones that will give you a correct reading.

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bradk
1 hour ago, j.falk said:

I'll advise you to get your own test kits and don't rely on the ones the LFS uses to test your water.  If something bad is happening in your tank, you need to be able to test for the problem immediately.  Also...not all test kits are created equally...you want good quality ones that will give you a correct reading.

Thank you. The LFS advised me against it because they said most people don't routinely use them and when they do, the reagents have expired. When I looked into it, they didn't seem to be wrong. A lot of people mention on the API reviews that while the nitrates(?) and ammonia run out faster, most of the other chems are nearly full after a year. LFS said it's easier for them to do it because they go through so many kits anyway just for themselves. But I don't think that the kits are that economically unfeasible, even if most of it goes unused and needs to be disposed of at the end, especially considering the cost of everything else.

 

I was planning on buying my own kits, especially during the cycling process and I imagine I should do them at least weekly once there's livestock, but the API reviews aren't that great. Do you have recommendations?

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Melfy77
1 minute ago, bradk said:

Thank you. The LFS advised me against it because they said most people don't routinely use them and when they do, the reagents have expired. When I looked into it, they didn't seem to be wrong. A lot of people mention on the API reviews that while the nitrates(?) and ammonia run out faster, most of the other chems are nearly full after a year. LFS said it's easier for them to do it because they go through so many kits anyway just for themselves. But I don't think that the kits are that economically unfeasible, even if most of it goes unused and needs to be disposed of at the end, especially considering the cost of everything else.

 

I was planning on buying my own kits, especially during the cycling process and I imagine I should do them at least weekly once there's livestock, but the API reviews aren't that great. Do you have recommendations?

I use Salifert for ammonia (when cycling), nitrates, alk and calcium. For phosphate I use the phosphorus low range from hanna checker. Api are not accurate nor sensitive enough, although I guess for cycling it's an "okay" test kit. 

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j.falk

I use Salifert as well...API is garbage in my opinion.

 

Saltwateraquarium.com has all the Salifert test kits in stock and free shipping to boot.

 

You'll spend hundreds of dollars on livestock in the long run...it'd be wise to have the proper test kits on hand should an emergency arise.  

 

And make sure you get a refractometer...they are $15 - $20 shipped on Ebay and a necessity.  You need to be able to test your specific gravity on a regular basis.

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