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NorthDakotaRose
12/08/2015, 07:33 PM
Hello, new to saltwater tanks just set one up about a week ago. Water was mixed and held salinty for 24 hours after which live sand was added. 24 hours later more live sand was added, levels stayed between 1.021 and 1.024, so i added dead rock about 48 hours ago. The levels stayed fine until this morning it dropped to 1.019. I then took one gal of water out and replaced it with one gal of double salt water. The reading is still at 1.019 and its been 9 hours ago. What do I do now? I'm lost and the gal helping me at the pet store is off for a couple day. Thank you for your time. :confused:

shifty51008
12/08/2015, 08:03 PM
What are you useing to check your salinity?

[Welcome]

bertoni
12/08/2015, 09:58 PM
That sounds like problems with the measurement device. Generally, I would avoid making extra-strength saltwater, since it'll have a tendency to precipitate a lot of calcium and alkalinity. Replacing evaporation with saltwater is a safe way to increase the alkalinity of the system. Water changes with saltwater at the proper salinity should be fine, too, if done slowly enough.

NorthDakotaRose
12/12/2015, 10:05 AM
Hydrometer, is what they told me to buy at teh pet store.

NorthDakotaRose
12/12/2015, 10:11 AM
Well now they had me go buy live rock, my level was at 1.022. The lady said it was lower than what they kept theirs at, yet they told me to add the new live rock. This morning now my level has dropped again this time between 1.019 and 1.018, so I topped off the tank with some salt water I made in a gallon jug. I really do not understand why it weems to do so well until they have me add stuff. This would be week 3 for the tank and I have not added any type of shell fish or fish to the tank. Sorry for the dely in my response, I thought I would get an email when someone relyied to teh thread.

disc1
12/12/2015, 10:15 AM
Hydrometer, is what they told me to buy at teh pet store.

Make sure you are knocking off all the bubbles. They will make it read low.

NorthDakotaRose
12/12/2015, 10:27 AM
I have been making sure to knock the bubbles off. Is this normal for it to go up and down like this after being fine for a couple of days?

disc1
12/12/2015, 10:34 AM
I have been making sure to knock the bubbles off. Is this normal for it to go up and down like this after being fine for a couple of days?

No, it's not normal. It usually indicates that you are having a problem measuring it. What type of hydrometer are you using?

NorthDakotaRose
12/12/2015, 10:40 AM
It's an instant ocean brand

disc1
12/12/2015, 12:51 PM
It's an instant ocean brand

The plastic kind with a swing arm? Then you absolutely must make sure every single little tiny bubble is off the thing. It can be a real pain.

Get a refractometer. They are much easier to use and will give you better readings. Just be sure to calibrate it with a good 35ppt standard and not DI water no matter what the instructions with it say. There is a DIY formula for the standard.

NorthDakotaRose
12/12/2015, 01:23 PM
Yes thats the one. Ok, does the pet stores carry these or should I buy one online? Not to sound stupid, but what does 35ppt mean? What is DI water? I am so over my head with this one. :worried:

NorthDakotaRose
12/12/2015, 01:39 PM
Ok, the local pet store didn't have one so I ordered it online. What should my salinity be at? Also what temp would you recommend? I'm trying to make a Nemo tank for my yougest. Also how long would you wait to put in anything after I find out my ture salinity? I only ask as I'm thinking the people I'm dealing with are not as helpful as they sounded.
Thank you so much for all your help!

disc1
12/12/2015, 01:41 PM
Yes thats the one. Ok, does the pet stores carry these or should I buy one online? Not to sound stupid, but what does 35ppt mean? What is DI water? I am so over my head with this one. :worried:

35ppt is 35 parts per thousand. That's the concentration of salt you are shooting for in your tank that will give a specific gravity of 1.026.

DI water is deionized water. If you don't know what that is then you should. Are you using tap water in this tank? You can do that but it often leads to having more of an algae farm than a fish tank. A good RODI (reverse osmosis deionization) filter will clean up all the potentially nasty stuff that can come in with your tap water and give you nice clean pure water to mix your salt with and to top off your tank with.

disc1
12/12/2015, 01:42 PM
Ok, the local pet store didn't have one so I ordered it online. What should my salinity be at? Also what temp would you recommend? I'm trying to make a Nemo tank for my yougest. Also how long would you wait to put in anything after I find out my ture salinity? I only ask as I'm thinking the people I'm dealing with are not as helpful as they sounded.
Thank you so much for all your help!

When you say nemo tank, do you mean just having the clown fish? That's doable. But the mix of fish seen in that movie is a horrible idea for anything other than animation. They won't do well together in real life.

NorthDakotaRose
12/12/2015, 01:49 PM
I live in the country so we have rural water and yes it comes from the tap. No one had said anything about using anything else or buying a special filter. I told the people at the store to sell me whatever I needed. I've spent about $500 and still have no clue what teh heck is going on.

NorthDakotaRose
12/12/2015, 02:00 PM
No, it was going to be the clown fish and Dory, the star fish, the crab lobster looking thing and a couple more fish that were in the movie.

NorthDakotaRose
12/12/2015, 02:04 PM
No, it was going to be the clown fish and Dory, the star fish, the crab lobster looking thing and a couple more fish that were in the movie.

NorthDakotaRose
12/12/2015, 02:13 PM
So what can I do to make this as close to a Nemo tank, which must have a blue fish as my little one says. I told the people at the store and she was more than willing to sell me everything and me take them home together. I can see not having a professinal store dedicated to salt water tanks is going to be an issue for me. Sorry for so many questions.

disc1
12/12/2015, 03:00 PM
No, it was going to be the clown fish and Dory, the star fish, the crab lobster looking thing and a couple more fish that were in the movie.

How big of a tank do you have? Dory needs at least six feet long. She will get to the size of a dinner plate.

disc1
12/12/2015, 03:04 PM
If you will recall from the movie, the guy who put them in that tank together was kind of the bad guy. You don't want to be the bad guy do you? I know that's a tough one to explain to the kiddos, but you gotta.

NorthDakotaRose
12/12/2015, 03:56 PM
It's only a 20 gallon tank.

NorthDakotaRose
12/12/2015, 04:00 PM
No, I don't want to be a bad guy. I do animal rescue. Lucky for me I do know what I'm doing with that. I'm building it for my daughter that will be 2 in Jan. She only cares if the fish is blue, she has never seen the movie just has a love of the fish in saltwater tanks. That is the only reason why I tried to make a theme she could see in a movie. What else could I use in the tank that is blue that might get along with the clown fish?

disc1
12/12/2015, 04:04 PM
It's only a 20 gallon tank.

OK, you can put the clown in there. But he is going to rule the entire tank with an iron fist. Unlike the movie, clowns are quite aggressive in real life. I don't know what you could put in there blue that wouldn't get killed. A blue damsel or a blue chromis is the only thing I can think of that would be OK in that small of a tank and they're going to fight with a clown in those close quarters.

NorthDakotaRose
12/12/2015, 04:09 PM
Boy this is turning out to be a mess...What if I put one of the other blue fish in the tank what would get along with them? Say we didn't put the clown fish there.

disc1
12/12/2015, 04:20 PM
In only 20 gallons your options are pretty limited.

You might start a thread on new to the hobby section. You'll probably get better stocking advice out there. I'm not much on stocking small tanks.

NorthDakotaRose
12/12/2015, 04:23 PM
Ok, thank you for all your help with everything.

jason2459
12/14/2015, 08:14 AM
kudos to Disc1 all sound advice.


NorthDakotaRose definitely check out the new to the hobby section and read the stickies on the top especially this one.
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1031074