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I am thinking of getting one but I want to know how you use or change your water and how often is sea water from the spit better than just adding salt and do I need a chiller for just fish an liverock and this will not be in a airconditioned room. I realise I will have to wait for it to cycle unless I get already setup tank anything else I should worry about tank I want is 4x18x18

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I personally use a salt mix that I prepare with a powerhead and heater the day before a water change (just use a large plastic barrel). The reason most people won't use collected water is because things die during transport and can cause water quality problems. I also have a fish and live rock only tank but summer is always stressful, I suppose if you have the finances to buy one it certainly won't go astray. You can prime your tank just using live rock and bio-starters. Just make sure you check water regularly with your test kits.

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south port seaway water is great! just collect at the top of the tide and not on a real rough day. i sell it in my aquarium in 25L drums and we keep 2000L on hand at a time, it never dies and never goes off... just make sure u leave the lid off otherwise it will, ( not completly off, but just unscrewed) and dont store it in the sunlight. remember if u dont use ocean water..... use reverse osmosis water/or rainwater! the amount of people who by and expensive good quality salt there ruin it with tapwater is unbelieveable. unless of course you want your tank to have phospahte, silicate, additional nitrate, and flouride(which will wipe out everything should u get 16x the safe level like some qlders) also some synthetic salts will need additional buffers to hit the ph of 8.3...... more haslle than its worth... hit the seaway.

Depending what fish u have will determine whether u need a chiller or not. but maintaining good water quality will be just as important. hardy tangs: pacific sailfin, scopaz, olivacious, choc, and the occasional blue tang, clowns: maroon, tomato, skunk, , just about all your damsel species will be fine, then all ur odds and ends, lionfish, triggers, soapfish, cat sharks ( not port jacokson), Moral Eels ... the list is endless.

Keep your lights off during the day in summer, hood and lids off too... if u know its going to be a scorching hot day, run a pedestal fan over the top of your tank, that will help minimise the temp... and LOTS OF OXYGEN (where a sump + skimmer is perfect).

good luck, its not as hard as it seems just do it right! no shortcuts.... hey hans...(fish will come in nxt week mate)

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Ok so sea water seems to be good I got a empty spa pool that's in the shade and put the saltwater in there? Would that work. I want to set up a 4x18x18 in my room which has a ceiling fan can that cool the tank down?.

Also the fish I'm after would be more predator fish like a moray eel,snapper and a coral cod(red with blue dots) or grouper so not too many fish but would that be ok?

And one more thing does anyone sell any of this stuff really just a protein skimmer and someone who could show me how or something as I just want to experiment atm then maybe change to a bigger tank later on(ps I'm low on cash) cheap as possible lol. I know that saltmarine tanks are pretty exy but I just want to experiment :)

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Also the fish I'm after would be more predator fish like a moray eel,snapper and a coral cod(red with blue dots) or grouper so not too many fish but would that be ok?

Not sure that a 4x18x18 will be big enough for those species mate... coral cod can get to 40cm, and snapper, grouper and moray to around 1m. It would take them ages to reach full size but its still not ideal.

Would make for an awesome looking tank though...

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initially you will be fine with the predators... after all u can get coral cod at 5cm and morays as thin as a pencil... its water quality that u need to look after:

1 small fish in a big tank= hardly any maintenance

several medium sized fish in a small tank = lots of maintenance ... this will be you, especailly considering u want to keep it budget..

the spa sounds fine, try sealing it really really well( so no bugs or dust get in)... but how on earth will u get bulk water from the sea way to fill a spa? my recommendation... a few 25L drums.. say 6. 75L water change each week - fortnight, so each trip to the sea way could last u 2-4weeks.

the ceiling fan might do it.. but u really want a close breeze going across your tank..( u will get alot of evapouration this way.... make sure u top ur tank up with freshwater... as salt will not evapourate)

my advice... start off with one fish.... maintain that for a few months then add something else... most predators will only be really savage to fish they can either eat or are of the same species... but wouldnt hurt for u to start with something a lil more peaceful... i.e lionfish, Tang, Snowflake or zebra moray, queen trigger. etc.

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