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  1. #1
    MARSH GUEST
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    Post First thread.. First tank!

    Hey MARSH folks! So I just got my first tank today: a 20 gallon Innovative Marine Peninsula and I'm super excited! We have about 8.9 lbs of live rock and a bag of CaribSea live sand in there right now, in addition to some fresh RO/DI water and a little used water from our friends at FJW.
    I also am a little overwhelmed.. I knew from the beginning I didn't buy enough live rock, but the tank looks really sparse so more of that will be coming soon. I also think I filled the pump area up too much, might have to get a little out of there.
    So now I need some answers to a few noob questions:


    • I bought a bottle of FRITZ TurboStart 900, should I throw that in today? Or wait a few days?
    • Should I run my pump right now or just let the water and sand settle?
    • A big concern is the amount of water my tank took. Unless those Lowes buckets hold more than 5 gallons, my tank only took 3 full buckets and a splash from the 4th.. did I do something wrong already?


    First and very crappy picture: Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet
    Last edited by jstj0sh; 05-27-2017 at 07:22 AM.

  2. #2
    Supporting Member Clownfish Chris's Avatar
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    First, welcome to Marsh! Second, there was s a lot to take in with this hobby and can be overwhelming at times. Sit back, don't panic, and enjoy the ride.

    Make sure the live rock stays live by being in water with proper salinity. I would shoot for 1.026. As to the tank volume, it is calculated as total volume without rock or sand. Stuff in the tank reduces actual water volume. Also, I would avoid mixing water from LFS tanks into your tank. That is a sure fire way to introduce diseases into the tank. If your salinity is below 1.009 you likely don't have an issue. I made many of these mistakes myself and many more.

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  4. #3
    MARSH GUEST
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    Thanks for the words of encouragement - I've been doing tons of research and still feel like I've only learned whats at the tip of the iceberg!

    I'll scoop up a refractometer and make sure those salt levels are looking ok. If I need to add more - where are the best deals around town for bucket/bag? Good to know about the LFS, I''ll refrain from doing that again. Will the TurboStart help kill anything off that shouldn't be in there?
    Last edited by jstj0sh; 05-27-2017 at 07:41 AM.

  5. #4
    BOD MEMBER johntdaballa's Avatar
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    You should be able to pick up some nice deals this weekend . PetSmart has a deal for 30% off on one item. Pick up a instant ocean reef crystals.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    John T. Daballa
    M.A.R.S.H. - BoD
    Marine Aquarium and Reef Society of Houston

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  7. #5
    Supporting Member Fish Keeper82's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jstj0sh View Post
    Will the TurboStart help kill anything off that shouldn't be in there?
    No, TurboStart and other additives of the sort add nitrifying bacteria that speed up the nitrogen cycle making it safe for quicker addition of livestock. This product adds bacteria that transforms toxic ammonia to less toxic nitrite and then to nitrate that in low parts is completely safe. This process happens naturally but takes time. These products have us spoiled now. These products will do nothing for pests or disease.

    Dr G's Marine Aquaculture - Fritz-Zyme TurboStart Live Nitrifying Bacteria
    -Josue

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  9. #6
    MARSH GUEST
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    Makes sense! So it looks like I already have some mistakes to fix haha

    From what I'm reading, the water, even just with the live rock, needs to be heated so I will get that order placed. I need to make sure the salt levels are correct, and then how do I make sure theres no bad crap in my water now - ammonia and nitrate tests? Also should I scrub my rocks down at all, there seems to be some white film on them in a few places.
    Last edited by jstj0sh; 05-27-2017 at 09:07 AM.

  10. #7
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    Welcome to the hobby! You will need amonia nitrite and nitrate test kits. I would get API they are cheaper and they do the job! As for the rocks it's up to u. I'm not really qualified to answer that I'm about a year and a half In this hobby. But I would leave it. That matter will die off and start ur cycle! U will see a spike in ammonia, then see that drop to 0.Then see a spike in nitrite, then see that fall to 0. Then u will see a spike in nitrate. And when it gets to 60 ppm I would do a 20% water change. And then it will go to a diatom bloom let it be do not add any livestock! In about two weeks it will get to be hair algae then add in ur clean up crew and 1 or 2 fish. But still do regular water changes in those two weeks. That is what worked for me in my 13. And it worked for others outside of marsh. And what I'm doing to my 65. But that should put u in the right direction. As for salt I saw that infinity fish had some good prices on salt. And I would also recommend to go to all the LFS and check them out and decide which one you like the best!


    Lucas. Happy reefing!

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  12. #8
    Supporting Member PorpoiseHork's Avatar
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    Hello and welcome. The best piece of advice I can give is be patient. Allow your tank to cycle properly before you start adding livestock. There are plenty of very informative video series on Youtube about this topic. Keep in mind it may take up to 4-5 weeks to properly cycle, but your patience will be rewarded. If you rush it you will likely be fighting various nuisance algal blooms of differing types for months before the tank is fully matured.

    Quote Originally Posted by jstj0sh View Post
    From what I'm reading, the water, even just with the live rock, needs to be heated so I will get that order placed. I need to make sure the salt levels are correct, and then how do I make sure theres no bad crap in my water now - ammonia and nitrate tests? Also should I scrub my rocks down at all, there seems to be some white film on them in a few places.
    Yes you need to run a heater and keep the water temp around 76-78F. A light isn't needed during the cycle. And no you don't need to scrub the rock.

    As far as the water, start testing for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and phosphates. The best thing to do is get a large shrimp from the store and toss it in the tank and leave it in there for about 3 days. This will feed the bacteria you have seeded but be sure to ghost feed the tank every few days to keep the bacteria alive. You will see an initial spike in ammonia, then after about a week or two the nitrite will start to climb. At that point the ammonia should start to fall. At about week 2 you should not have any more ammonia and nitrite will spike. Then around week 3 the nitrite will fall, and everything will look good. DO NOT ADD LIVESTOCK YET. You're in the valley at this point and a big nitrate spike is on it's way. Give it another week and the nitrate levels should have spiked. This is when you want to do your first of weekly water changes. A 5% water change is all you need. At this point your tank is ready for the clean up crew. Give it another week and you can start adding livestock and soft corals. Be sure not to add too much too quickly as you do not want to shock the system.
    Last edited by PorpoiseHork; 05-31-2017 at 09:27 AM.

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  14. #9
    MARSH GUEST
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    Thanks so much for this info! I really appreciate it. I got an API test kit today and got my heater in there yesterday, so hopefully I can start seeing some of these results!

  15. #10
    MARSH GUEST
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    Hey guys, a lot has happen since I've posted and I plan on making a build/progress thread soon, but right now I'm having a problem with Asteria starfish and I'm seeing a few Amphipods. Is it time for me to introduce a CUC? And do I need a Harlequin shrimp to take care of the starfish?


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