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mtk
01/28/2016, 11:59 AM
Hey everyone.

I am in the process of starting a new new red sea reefer 170 (34 gal display and 9 gal sump total water is 43 gal) and playing around with making this a nps tank. I live in Montauk point long island NY and have access to clean saltwater. I was just wondering what everyones thoughts were with using natural sea water. I feel this will bring in cretin nutrients to the tank that you just can't get from mixing your own saltwater. Please give me your thoughts on this. The only thing I ask is you don't bring up the legality of collecting natural sea water as that can be a debate all on it's own that also depends on your location.
Thank's

DrewHaus
01/28/2016, 01:26 PM
I would take a sample from where you plan to collect it from and test it for starters. As long as it's collected in a clean location off shore, it should be fine!

mtk
01/28/2016, 05:07 PM
As far as water quality it is good. I was wondering about the pro's and cons to using it in a nps tank. The long island aquarium uses water from a area not to far from me on there 20,000 gal reef tank.
here is a you tube video of that tank.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuB4PHXOGmg

DrewHaus
01/28/2016, 05:18 PM
In terms of nutrition, which is very important for nps, I wouldn't expect natural sea water in your area to harbor a lot of phytoplankton, marine snow, or other stuff they naturally feed on (at least not in the quantities present in their natural habitat). It's likely that there will be some of that, but probably not enough to sustain nps long term without additional food sources being provided. Here is an article talking about this:

http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/oceanography-book/phytoplanktondistribution.htm

mtk
01/28/2016, 05:27 PM
Thank's for the link. I will look at it in a few.

DrewHaus
01/28/2016, 06:33 PM
That 20k gallon reef looks incredible by the way. Someday I will have to go for a visit.

mtk
01/28/2016, 07:18 PM
it is a great tank and Joe (he owns it) is a great guy. I had spoken to him about using natural sea water in a normal reef. He is on Long Island Reef Association site if you ever wanted to get more info.

DrewHaus
01/28/2016, 08:17 PM
Awesome! Thanks for the info. I'll have to check it out next time I'm on the east coast.

I've always liked the idea of using natural sea water. Unfortunately, I live about 20 minutes from the coast and wouldn't trust the water near the shore. Good luck with your NPS tank!

noy
01/30/2016, 11:47 AM
As far as water quality it is good. I was wondering about the pro's and cons to using it in a nps tank. The long island aquarium uses water from a area not to far from me on there 20,000 gal reef tank.
here is a you tube video of that tank.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuB4PHXOGmg

You may want to have a set up to cycle the water through carbon/purigen to take out potential heavy metal contamination just as a safeguard before you put it into your system.

Reef Frog
02/03/2016, 05:50 PM
I've read about how the Long Island Aquarium uses natural sea water. They do massive mechanical micro filtration before it goes in the aquarium and run it through different kinds of media reactors. It's not raw sea water by any means. I don't know for sure, but my guess would be they use real seawater primarily for cost reasons, not for any superior qualities it may possess. But that is just speculation.

OP: What are you keeping that you think might benefit from the nutrients that may or may not be present? When you say nutrients are you thinking minerals, trace elements and such or referring to possible food?

Depending on the time of year, Atlantic seawater can be so green you can't see through it in a clear drinking glass, but I'm not sure how much zooplankton might be present and if it's enough or the right type to feed filter feeders. All that micro algae may turn out to be a blessing or a curse.

In my opinion natural seawater would offer no benefits to the NPS stony large polyp corals that are commonly kept. I can imagine it might be the root of some serious nutrient spikes with all those organics in it. Also, just because it's collected out of a remote location a few miles off shore is no guarantee that there are no contaminants present.

With that said, many public aquariums use natural seawater collected off shore successfully and have been for decades. It sounds like a very interesting experiment. The good thing is that with a small tank it's easy enough to switch fears and go with synthetic seawater fairly easily if things don't work out. If you go this route I hope you post on it. Good luck!

mtk
02/04/2016, 08:08 PM
Thanks for everyone's input. I will keep everyone updated. when I say nutrients I am talking about keeping a blueberry gorg.

username in use
02/10/2016, 02:26 PM
Hey Montauk! East Hampton here. I used to run an NPS tank before I had kids and could devote the time to it.

I used water that I collected around Napeague. Summer months had much more life in it than the winter months for sure. Definitely not enough to sustain NPS corals, but enough for them to all puff up a little larger and eat for a couple hours.

As far as the collecting, just collect on the tail end of the incoming tide, away from any heavily trafficked areas. We have some really clear, crisp water here. It is a little low on salinity so I usually adjust it up a bit with some salt. It is also low on alk/cal but that is easily corrected with BRS 2 part for pretty cheap.

Im happy to answer any questions about local collecting if you are interested.





I've read about how the Long Island Aquarium uses natural sea water. They do massive mechanical micro filtration before it goes in the aquarium and run it through different kinds of media reactors. It's not raw sea water by any means. I don't know for sure, but my guess would be they use real seawater primarily for cost reasons, not for any superior qualities it may possess. But that is just speculation.

I'm pretty familiar with the aquariums workings and know the curator and the aquarists pretty well. Ive spent a lot of time in the back talking about everything. They run the sea water through a sand filter like you would have on your pool and then a large skimmer. That is pretty much it. It's definitely a cost/ease issue. They have a water truck that brings it in a few thousand gallons at a time. It supplies all of their salt water displays.