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  1. #1
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    3 weeks old tank.

    I've setup my first salt water tank about 3 weeks ago.
    It's a 20g.
    Got the live rock, aragonite, lights and all looks OK.
    Last week I got 2 blue and 1 zebra hermits.
    Also got 3 nerite snails (con only find 2 in my tank? Don't know where the other one is??)

    I've got stuff growing on the live rock. But not much other life that I can see. I have a couple of pod's.

    Now for my question: Do I need to add anything else?

    I'm starting to get some hair algae (I think) should I get some Cerith snails? (How big a bio-load is a snail?) Should I get something for the sand? I also want some spiny astrea snails.

    My PH is at 7.8 (Adding PRO dKH but having problems pushing it up) Adding calcium to get it to 420 (is that good?)

    Basically I need some guidance.

    Do I need to add more stuff or just site back and relax.

    Also have a question about lighting time. I was told 10h is good but to have my actinic on and off 1 hour before and after the daylights.

    Thanks to all for taking the time to help.
    P.S. I'm french so I never make any typos......they are actual mistakes :sorry:
    I'm not in a rush.....but I am on a budget! :bigcry:

  2. #2
    Senior Member pwall's Avatar
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    I would recommend to 'sit back and relax'.
    The tank is only 3 weeks old....you'll get a hair algae outbreak...but it will evantually burn itself out.

    Lights on for 10 hrs a day is ok. You may want to reduce it to perhaps 5hrs a day for a few weeks and slowly increase it. That will help with the algae outbreak.

    For a cleaner crew, you will want to build it up to 1 cleaner per gallon (combination of snails and hermit crabs).

    How much flow in the tank? Are you using a sump ?
    Regards,
    Patrick.
    Ottawa (Orleans), Ontario
    Yahoo IM: pwallnfld

  3. #3
    Senior Member pwall's Avatar
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    Welcome to Aquaria.ca by the way!
    Regards,
    Patrick.
    Ottawa (Orleans), Ontario
    Yahoo IM: pwallnfld

  4. #4
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    You don't need to add anything else.

    I'd forget all the water parameters right now excpet Ammonia, Ntirite, and Nitrate. Your pH is likely low because you're still cycling rather than not having enough alk. Wait for them to hit 0.

    Hold off on the alk & Ca dosing until you've got a handle on the other parameters and somethring in the tank to use th Ca & alk your putting into it.

    A water change will replace any Ca / Alk requirements your tank currently has.

    Cheers!
    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary measure.

  5. #5
    Member
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    Jun 2005
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    Thanks for the welcome.

    For water flow I have an Aquaclear Powerhead #201 and a #402 and I also have an Aquaclear 200 Powerfilter I turned into a refugium. (What sould be the light cycle of the refugium?)
    P.S. I'm french so I never make any typos......they are actual mistakes :sorry:
    I'm not in a rush.....but I am on a budget! :bigcry:

  6. #6
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    Well, welcome to the hobby and good bye to your money. Letís see what you have and we can better answer you. Exact equipment, stock, and setup will help us point you in the right direction. Also what style of tank are you going for, reef or fish only with live rock (FOWLR)?

    If you can only find two snails check for new empty shells. Hermits are known for going Ďhmm that looks neat let me try it oní and killing the snail. Empty shells help keep hermits for doing that but, some types of hermits are known to hunt snails Ďjust becauseí. Snails are also good at blending in with the rockwork. As for the bioload, anything alive will add to it. Some are Ďdirtierí than others but snails donít really add that much. For the exact amount of snails youíll need, itíll vary from tank to tank. Youíve got a few so wait and see how much theyíll clean up. If they canít keep the tank looking good then add a few more and see how they do. The key to a good cleanup crew is diversity. Conchís will stir up the sand but need a large grazing area. Nassarius snails will also stir up the sand bed, are smaller than conchís but usually hide during the day. Turboís and Cerithís are also good Ďlawnmowersí.

    A good salt mix such as Instant Ocean will have buffers (pH, Ca, ect.) and all the essential elements youíll need. Just make sure you let it mix up overnight with a powerhead or an airstone so itís all dissolved and ready for the tank. If you havenít been told yet use RO/DI water. A good rule of thumb is to do a 5%weekly water change. Some people donít agree with doing water changes but, all the tanks Iíve seen with the water changes look better. As with anything in a reef stability is the key. If you do decide to do the water changes smaller changes, 5%/week, will keep your levels good without the stress a large change, 20%/month, would cause.

    On to the lighting. 10 hours are fine but donít go over 12. Also 10k is just the colour of the light. Photosynthesis occurs best under 6700 but most of us donít like the pee yellow look and your corals wonít fluoresce. So we go 10-14k with actinic (03) and keep the 6700 for the fuge. This will give you a bluer look but will also allow for photosynthesis for the corals. The reasoning for the 1h before and after your 10k is mainly two part.

    1) Itíll give you the dusk/dawn effect and you wonít shock the hell out of you night time critters or stress your corals by giving them full sunlight all at once. If you donít believe me turn all your lights on at once at 2am in a dark room. Those pods will scatter. Itís kinda like getting a spotlight right in your face in the middle of the night while youíre sleeping. Youíll wake up but you wonít be happy.

    2) There are colours that fluoresce under 420-460nm light. You may not see, or atleast see them as nicely when both lights are on so this will give you another way to appreciate your corals and colours you normally donít. True actinic is 420mn and looks purple.

    So hereís my rant and Iím sure you knew some of this already.

    Edit: my server lagged but I'm glad to see so many people that want to help

  7. #7
    Senior Member rockgarden's Avatar
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    I noticed that you like wine making.

    SW aquariums are like a batch of home made wine. Ask anyone and they will tell you that home-made wine is supposed to get better if you leave it alone for a while.

    Tough to do but beneficial.

    My advice: Let the tank age while making another batch of wine. In about 28 days both should be about ready for more attention and you should be able to enjoy them both at about the same time.

    Also get a good flashlight so that you can sit in the dark and use the flashlight to watch everything going on in your tank after he lights go out.

    Ron
    When not looking after fish, I am attached to my camera.
    Galleries at: http://www.nikonians-images.com (rockgarden1) or at http://www.sportsmemories.ca/opc/index.php (Ron)

  8. #8
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    ...get a good flashlight so that you can sit in the dark and use the flashlight to watch everything going on in your tank after the lights go out...
    And alot of batteries...

  9. #9
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    Moon lights The LED moon-lights I was hesitant to add to the canopy were worth every single penny and then some. I almost wish it got darker faster 'cuz you can't see anything with them until about 10pm right now lol.

    Cheers!
    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary measure.

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