11/23/2003, 11:16 PM
Okay so the tank is supposed to be delivered in 2 weeks. Then I have to set it up, hook up the lighting, plumb the sump, hook up the calicium reactor, CO2, protein skimmer, and powerheads.
Once I have this done, what is the next step? Do I have to have my RO filter going full tilt to come up with the initial 200 gallons (150 in the tank, 50 in the sump) or do I then order my 1st shipment and then add water over the top of that...
Also how do I mix the initial water before adding it to the tank? Does it go in a garbage can to get all mixed up and heated or what?
Sorry, I'm a newb.
11/24/2003, 08:01 AM
Fill it about 2/3 of the way to 3/4 of the way with your water. I personally don't use RO/DI water (all my water is straight from the tap; plus some stress coat if I'm in a hurry; gently aged in a rubbermaid if I'm not). My city water is actually pretty good except for being marginally high in arsenic (around 15 ppb, if I recall). I do get diatoms, but I consider that food for snails. If your city water isn't great, go ahead & fill your tank using RO/DI (or if you've got the patience).
For an empty tank, go ahead & mix the salt in the tank (unless you're doing a DSB or Jaubert or other variation, where you need to put substrate in the bottom of the tank first). Again, for an empty tank, don't heat the water until it's in the tank. But go and buy yourself a new plastic garbage can or rubbermaid container, a powerhead, a 50W submersible heater, and some tubing. You'll use those to keep pre-mixed water ready for water changes (or fill tank). Remember: 12 gallons of water in a rubbermaid is ~100lbs!
Go ahead & put your regular heater in the main tank (don't worry, you'll remove it later), and throw some powerheads in. Plug in heater & powerheads. Then, call TBS. Give them a credit card #, order your package, and tell them when you're going to be ready for it.
When the first part comes to the airport, don't be stupid like me: Open all the boxes, to figure out which has sand, and which has rocks :D . Turn off powerheads. Stir up the sand in the plastic bag, pour out the top silty water, then, either scoop sand into your tank, or gently place bag in tank, and turn upside down. You'll get a big silty mess, but don't worry, it'll go away after a few hours. Smooth out your sand. Take your rocks out, set them on a tarp, and wait for 20-30 minutes. Many hitchhikers will follow the dripping water onto your tarp. Identify the keepers, throw them into your tank. Then, aquascape half your tank (you'll reaquascape with the second half, so don't get too finicky).
Now, stir in the bacteria that's packed in the packing list, and add heated saltwater to the level necessary for your skimmer to work (e.g. into your overflow & sump) (that's why you need the extra 50W heater, to keep the rubbermaid water warm). Turn on your powerheads immediately for circulation, but wait 2-3 hrs before starting to skim. Be gentle with your lights for the duration of the cycle (5 hrs/day max, according to the sheet which comes with the package).
Test your pH, salinity, ammonia, nitrites, nitrates every day.
Test Calcium & alk. 1x/week (you have nothing that will eat your calcium yet).
I wouldn't bother setting up the Calc. reactor until after the second half is in, and you've got corals, etc. going.
I find it easier to aquascape if I don't have to bury my arms all the way into the water (hence, fill only 3/4 at first). Once you've got stuff in, you can fill the rest of the way.
Oh yes, the most important part: Have a digital camera ready to go, so you can take pictures & post them for the rest of us!
11/24/2003, 09:00 AM
Sorry to ask an off topic question splach, but hdtran, could you post or pm your tap water params for me. I would like to compare them to my tap to see if I can get by without RO/DI.
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