This is the first time i have posted on this brilliant forum but i have been reading it avidly for the last couple of weeks. Ok, so i've been keeping tropical fish for about 10 or more years now, i currently have a nice 6foot tropical tank with a fire eel in it, anyway thats besides the point lol.
I have always loved the idea of a Marine tank but have always been scared of due to the real or perceived difficulty in keeping it.
Well over the last couple of weeks i've been thinking more and more and decided to go for it, so over the weekend i bought a Nano-Cube 24.
We were advised from the shop (heritage aquatics in Wallington, they only sell marine) that i should first put the water in (no shocks there) allow it to get to to temperature (currently around 24-25celsius) add the salt, then when that is all disolved, mixed ect add the live sand.
First off i must apologize for the rambling nature of this post lol, at the moment i seem unable to give it in bite size chunks which are easily digestible, i do apologize for that.
Anyway, the salt we were given was one called instant ocean, it reccomends 1/2 cup of salt per US gallon, the nano cube is 24US gallon so 12 cups seems good.
To be safe i added 10, on the basis if i needed to add more i could more easily than having to dilute a water too salty.
oh i should of mentioned this before, the water im using is from the shop and is RO water.
So where was i? Oh yes, so the salt seems to have all been disolved, so i added the bag of Carib live sand, and left it with the filter/heater on to do it's thing.
It's another day since the sand went in, actually 1.5 days, anyway, the water is now perfectly clear.
I do have a queery though, the hydrometer im using (red sea brand) reads about 1.025
I tested it via a periodic measurement too but they both read more or less the same.
My confusion is that doesn't that indicate there is too much salt in there? Which is troubling because im still "meant" to add another 2cups.
The meter did drop a little after the sand was added, but it is currently hovering about 1.025+
I must again apologize for this seemingly rambling post lol.
OK, so according to the Man from heritage, he reccomends me comming back in a few days to install the live rock, from the little knowledge i have so far i asked if it is best to kick start it with some fish food etc, but he reccomended starting the cycle with the live rock.
I suppose my absolute question is have i messed up something on the hydrometer, because im a little worried why this salt level seems so high.
I have the hydrometer in the tank exactly how the instructions say to have it, it isn't next to the outlet of the pump, and it is as far as i can see level. I've also given it a good wash/banged out bubbles yet the level of salt remains.
Thanksyou for reading and again sorry for such a tangled thread, im sure when my experience with marines goes up i'll be able to offer problems singley lol
Your cup might be a larger size than the one used to calculate the amount of salt needed. Just keep it at 1.024 and you will be fine. I have binned my hydrometer and got a refractometer,far more accurate and easy to use.
What i should have mentioned which amazingly i didn't in my extremely long rambling post lol, the thing i used to measure the cups was in fact a cookery measurer, so one would assume (prob wrongly lol) that it's accurate.
I think i will look into the refractometer, looks like a far more sound way of calculating salinity.
A cup measurement is always one size, but depending on what you put in it the weight will vary.
I hate things that ask for a cup as it isn't included in my measuring jug, so I have to convert the weight for each ingerdient seperately from cups to gramms. At one point I always thought of a cup as 200gramms for everything which is why my baking was particularly bad.
Same here, binned my hydrometer because it is usually way off the actual salinity. Picked up a refractometer and can't fault it! Except in order to read it properly I point it at my front window and I'm sure it looks as though I'm perving at my neighbours with something that resembles binoculars. No-one's come knocking down my door as yet, phew!
Hello Baybud :)! Welcome to the forums and congratulations on taking the first step into the world of marines, I promise you wont be disappointed :). It can be quite daunting at the start, but you'll get the hang of it in no time, soon it'll be just as easy if not easier than the tropicals and it'll be very very rewarding :).
I have heard that the refractometers these guys are talking about are a lot more accurate than hydrometers. In saying that I've used a hydrometer for many many years and never had a problem with it. If it says 1.025 then that is probably what it is and there is nothing wrong with that amount of salt in your tank, that should do perfect.
It is on the high end of the 'accepted' scale which tends to be around 1.021-1.026 if I remember correctly. What a lot of people don't realise is the seas where our fish come from change salinity all day every day and often get as high as 1.030. So 1.025 will be no problem for what you want to keep, but if you do want to bring it down a bit just gradually add a little bit of RO water everyday until you dilute the solution :).
It sounds like you have quite a knowledgeable shop keeper there, that'll be invaluable to you in the future I'd say :). He's right that you shouldn't need to add any food to start the cycle. See in tropicals you add the food as a source of ammonia and this gets the bacteria going, but in marines you use uncured live rock. If its uncured it means it has a lot of decaying life on it, and this provides the source of ammonia instead of the food :).
Hope this helps some :)
Oh and just a tip, to save you rushing to the marine shop for RO water in an emergency, you should always keep a few gallons of RO stored at home. You'll probably need to add some every few days as water evaporates to keep the sg stable and you never know when you'll need to do an emergency water change. Or better still, get yourself your own RO unit, it'll be a great investment :).
Sorry I know you didnt ask about any of that just thought I'd throw that out there for ya :)
Anyway good luck, in my opinion you are ready for your live rock now - which is always a very exciting time :). Just make sure you've got enough flow in there too :)
one of the advantages i find with a refractometer over the hydrometer is I never have to worry about salt building up or it getting dirty. Also, no probs with air bubbles giving false readings. Lastly, since i always check salinity of my livestock before acclimating, i can use a very very small amount of water with a refrac.... just 2-3 drops is enough.