Alyson White

New Reefer
Hi there! I’ve had various freshwater tanks over the years but I’m just now planning my first saltwater tank! I’ve been doing a lot of research but there are a lot of voices on the internet and I wanted to ask a few questions directed towards people who I can trust to have experience with this sort of thing:
1.) I don’t have access to an RO/DI system. Could I use tap water if conditioned and tested properly? In the past I have used tap for all my freshwater tanks and it has gone well, but I hear that saltwater creatures/environments can be more fragile. Fyi, I’m not planning on keeping anything intense like corals yet, and I am probably going to be getting a clownfish. Additionally: would distilled or purified water be a good alternative to RO/DI?
2.) How powerful of a filter will I need for a 10 gallon fish-only saltwater tank?
I already have a 90gph filter and am wondering if this is enough.
3.) I purchased CaribSea Ocean Direct Caribbean Live Aquarium Sand but the package doesn’t seem to have any liquid in it. I thought live sand had to have water in it in order for the organisms to be alive or whatever? Is this not actually live sand?
4.)
Any additional advice for a newbie?
Thanks in advance!
 

Timbo

Got Reef?
Location
Monroe
1. If you don’t have RODI you can purchase saltwater already mixed but will need RO water for evaporation. You can always use tap water but run the risk of anything happening like algae blooms and just poor conditions depending on what is in the water.
2. Moving the water over at least 10x an hour is ideal so on 10g you are probably ok with what you have for fish only.
3. Live sand bags usually have some water/moisture in them. If you don’t see any it might be old or had a hole in the bag. If moist you should be fine.
4. Read, read, and read some more before you start!
 

skimmerman100

chris
Manhattan Reefs
Location
clifton
U can get ro water in any local fish store, or u can even go to Home Depot, in my area in pa they have water available I’m not sure if I’m your area they offer it and u just mix ur salt, I would just go with ro water and use the salt u desire, cuz some different systems u need less alk or more alk or higher calcium lower calcium in my case I am going full acro so a higher alk and calcium salt would be suitable for me where as if someone has a less calcium absorbing tank with softies u need less since calcium is not depleting fast enough
 
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skimmerman100

chris
Manhattan Reefs
Location
clifton
The cycle will make every beneficial bacteria live so I wouldn’t worry about the sand or rock being live just test and check levels nitrite ph and ammonia and then nitrate and phosphates after the cycle, remember time is ur best friend in reef keeping and patience
 

Josh

in the coral sea...
Manhattan Reefs
Real Reefer
Supporter
Location
Union Square, NY
Distilled water will work, or you can get RODI delivered from your local fish store.
If the bag of sand is completely dry it is no longer "live". You can still use it but try to get a few pieces of live rock to seed the tank and extend the time of the first cycle to acommodate for this process.
What sort of filter and tank do you have? What animals do you want to keep in the tank?

Welcome to the community!
 

Timfish

Reefer
Location
Asutin, TX
Yes you can use tapwater. Here's one of my systems and an ICP test of both tapwater and tank. You should be able to get a copy of your tapwater tests online to help determine if your tapwater is acceptable.

90 Gallon Mixed Reef

ATI 90 PBD Tap.jpg

ATI 90 PBD Tank.jpg
 

Timfish

Reefer
Location
Asutin, TX
The focus of most aquarists when considering water quality has been on inorganic nitrogen (ammonia/ammonium & nitrate) and on inorganic phosphorus (aka PO4, orthophosphate) which are easily tested for. These are jsut parts of the picture, we also have particualte forms and organic forms which play important roles and unfortunately are not easily tested for. Arguably what's more important are the various forms of Dissolved ORganic Carbon (DOC) which has profound effects on the microbail processes in reef systems and can promoate healthy corals microbiomes or promotes pathoginc shifts in coral microbiomes. So it's understandable you're hearing different opinions. Long ago what I figured out what worked best was simple systems with consistant maintenance of which consistant water changes I consider the most critical. Additionally staying on top of alkalinity, calcium and magnesium.

Here's some videos by reef scientists you may find informative:

"Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas" This video compliments Rohwer's book of the same title (Paper back is ~$20, Kindle is ~$10), both deal with the conflicting roles of the different types of DOC in reef ecosystems. While there is overlap bewteen his book and the video both have information not covered by the other and together give a broader view of the complex relationships found in reef ecosystems

Changing Seas - Mysterious Microbes

Nitrogen cycling in hte coral holobiont

BActeria and Sponges

Maintenance of Coral Reef Health (refferences at the end)

Optical Feedback Loop in Colorful Coral Bleaching
https://youtu.be/oadKezUYkJE

Richard Ross What's up with phosphate"
https://youtu.be/ZRIKW-9d2xI
 

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