Jump to content

New Marine Setup

Recommended Posts

Hey Guys,

I'm starting to dip into Marine today! I have my tank ready, and now I'm just uhmming and ahhing about what type of water to use :( (Before you say it, yes i know it has to be salt water) lol.

I have been doing some reading, and pricing RO units and now I'm stuck.... I want to do it 100% the best way I can, but we're having some money issues and I probably wont be able to get a RO unit for a long while. I have a 400litre tank.

Should I hold off and leave it empty and get a RO unit to fill it in a few months?

Or buy RO water (where should I buy it from, I'm in Upper Mount Gravatt and how much is it)?

Or just use tap water and balance it out... Help me?

I will of course be getting an RO unit for water changes after the initial fill as I really don't want to chance the council "accidently" tripling the dose of chlorine in it.

Any help would be awesome guys.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi. Shameless plug here but we are right around the corner from you. Come in and say hi to the staff. We are one of the few marine speciality shops around - and nothing beats face to face contact when you've got lots of questions.

In answer to your question - at work and home I (we) make our water with RO and salt. With the floods recently natural seawater isn't that great in the "easy to collect" areas. It's been affecting algal growth at the very least. That said Ive got my training in the American industry. Where I was is smack middle of USA and we had no choice but to make our own. I've never had a problem with anything - provided I was mixing with RO and using a QUALITY salt mix. :)

Best of luck on your decision. There will be lots of opinions of course but I'm sure you'll find what works for you :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Get your self a couple of 20 litre buckets from bunnings for water changes.

Neutralise your tap water, its fine to use with out an RO unit!

You can leave some tap water sit in the sun for a few days in containers if you want all substances to settle out of the water.

To start your tank get fresh ocean water from any where at the bay side and keep it moving so the life forms in it do not die,it can sit still for a few hours no worries, the water is good at cleveland or Wellington points boat ramps, its all good, low or high tide,the rains are of no concern at the moment!

Fuel floats from the boats so it is of no concern to a marine aquarium!

You can make most of the tanks water with some bagged marine salt,just make sure the tap water is neutralised for a few hours to begin with or you may get an ammonia lock if the salt is added before the chloramine bond is broken and rendered safe.

If you have to make your own water,use 70 percent made water and the rest natural,it will give you a far better cycle and maturing result.

Add your waters and get it running the way you want it to,then add your base live rock or better still the external bio filtering media you want to use,the more the better surface area to control the nitrite cycle.

Always use calcium based media every where in the water,coral-marble-shell grit that sought of thing,it will help with PH and KH.

Get a hand full of marinara mix and hang a stocking bag of it in the water some where for ten days to rot and make varied valuable ammonia for the bio cycle to explode!

Shake the bag each day to get it to not form a massive lump in the bag.

After ten days take it out and get rid of the stinking stuff and test for nitrites until they go way up and then drop to near zero,at near zero add the live rock you want to use and add a small bag of marinara mix any where in your water, the sump is the tanks water as well and take your time with invert placement over some days and when the nitrites are zero even with this bag of marinara in the waters, the cycling is complete!

If you want a far better result than all are advised to do, use a remote cycling start, you wont look back from that one, just at others failures.

And do not turn on a skimmer until cycling is complete!!!!

Your cycling is bacteria on all surfaces,than protists graze on them and take over running the bio filtering to make your tank mature.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I disagree about the rains. My job requires me to test water all day long. Phosphates and nitrates are really high right now in both tap water and in collected seawater. We get calls everyday about noticeable issues happening with peoples tanks recently. Sometimes it's just a diatom outbreak sometimes worse. That's what water flooding out of rivers into a bay does

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The constituents in fertalizers, pesticides and anti-fouling materials from boats don't float. Also leaving tap water out in the sun won't break the chloramine bond - and as the OP is in Mt Gravatt he is on BCC water. Full of chloramine. Sunlight also won't neutralise the heavy metals found in tap water.

So if you use tap water then make sure you use a good tap water conditioner. Please don't use rainwater. Too many unknown variables from your roof and gutters. In marine tanks you also want the hardness and kh as its important in your saltwater.

I use RO because I like eliminating all factors. We've also managed to recycle 100% of our waste water. (We spent the dollars on a machine that gives us 2-1). The waste water has been plumbed to our cleaning taps and our washing machine (soon the dishwasher too when I buy one!). At work it's also plumbed to all of these things - plus the livebearers, Africans and goldies get it - they love it trickled in.

You don't need your RO to start. Rev your tank up and get it started. Just remember to always "test test and test" some more. All successful marine aquariums have one thing in common - perfect chemistry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This was typed!!

(Neutralise your tap water, its fine to use with out an RO unit!

You can leave some tap water sit in the sun for a few days in containers if you want all substances to settle out of the water.)

So you are saying that when you neutralise water from the tap and then sit it in the sun to have the rest of what is in the water settle out its still has bonded chloramine???

The ammonia/chloride combo is left bonded in there, is that what you mean, because why have my past tanks not suffered and the bonded two have been around for a while now.

I don’t need to do saltwater water changes any more, but when it did,the places I suggested I know very well from the late 70s up until yesterday,some of us still have to do water changes.

A marina, that’s a different issue, the water can not be trusted from those sought of places.

I still do tap water top ups of evaporation, always perfect results from what I do with waters.

The live rock/reactor/protein skimmer ways are a delicate form of water purification method, with that type of boutique filtration; sure you have to be very diligent as time goes on!!

Good luck,see yah.

Edited by liquidg
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The main problem with marine aquariums is that everyone is a guru and their way is the only way. What 90% of marine dude's use is RO water for topup and collect water 1 hour before high tide. And also do not collect until at least 5 days after rain and up to 2 weeks after heavy rain. I would NEVER use tap water, give 100% reef safe a ring and he can deliver the water for about $120 for 1000 litres else ask on MASA where they go. Most people who recommend using bought salt usually live too far away from the ocean. Hope this helps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are some truths in these comments, if you have the money, why not go with the RO units, though with major township waters, its not needed, it really is if you have the money to waste and like some toys, then buy them.

If some natural means of bio filtering are in the mix before the toys, they wont harm the out come, not an RO, they have nothing to do with the oxidising nature of the nitrite cycle-bio filtering aspect of your aquarium.

Unless of course if you have a new home and the plumber left some copper particles in the pipes,or you use bore water, but they are issues easily seen!

What the reverse osmosis unit takes out, a properly designed algae area would import it out any way, so to incorporate an Ro unit, is just money or a space issue or you go to the site he speaks of and get pushed to an inadequate and normally polluting refuge set up!

With out a suitable algae area you will need several toys to try and achieve good aquarium waters and you are much better off just going to an aquarium shop, that’s what that site is more or less any way, but possibly with lots of opinions and disorders thrown into the mix.

Pet city and Clayfield know what they are doing, Brian at Clayfield has been in the business for ions and pet city have changed heaps from way back, just go to one of them to speak to some one or get ideas and actual knowledge from the (reef central) not the one that is reffered to or buy from the net,we get our LED lighting needs off the net.

There are gurus?(interesting term)from that site sure,that have read it and preach it, failed but still preach it, have no idea and then still preach it,I would assume they are what this stuff refers to and I agree!

I remember back when I first learnt how to switch on a computer and a mate said have a look at that site, with no idea how to use a computer and very bad grammar and not great spelling, had a look, after 20 plus years of marine keeping by then,here is a site that promotes live rock bio filtering that we found weak, at best in the eighties.

Oh then there is my favourite, algae going sexual,lol,lol,I love that one over there, they are killing it by not knowing what the hell they are doing so the algae in desperation produces spores to perpetuate its species, as some basic life forms will do when faced with immanent death, it is killed by the wrong ways of tying to keep it and they say,it goes sexual, still????

I referred to a marine biologist info so kindly passed onto me years ago that I spoke to, well typed to,one of the teachers at Townsville, and that site, because the museum referred me to her, said the museum was a useless place to access info, they don’t try to profess this guru rubbish, they pass you on to who actual knows!!!!not thinks they know, that’s a guru,right???

Just recently I was directed to some one that is the algae info person for Aus,now that was a wonderful conversation,very informative, now that was serious info,love to see what you are not sure of,confirmed,not on the site you speak of!!!!

I must admit,where you are directing the hobbyist to is still just children playing in a sand box compared to the site reefcentral,but hey,there are lots of buisnesses there,as is with maybe water carriers.

If you want gear, go to a shop or buy on line, if you want info, maybe one of the shops mentioned or contact the museum, or drop into reef central, but for shopping or gurus,go to the sand box.

Edited by liquidg
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are obviously a guru. Never wrong allways right and if anybody doesn't agree are idiots. You and DFF should get on like a house on fire.

lol we are talking about fish, not your god mate

so take a chill pill!


I aint never claimed to be a guru once in me short life

and I dont plan on doing so anytime soon.

That said its hard to not appreciate the passion members bring to this forum :D

I don’t need to do saltwater water changes any more

I think water changes are the secret to aquariums in general.

Its like opening a window and letting some air into a stale room.

We dont have the dilution of the ocean in our aquariums, nor do we have the inexhaustable available minerals.

I was once told by a very condescending "guru" many many moons ago that "anyone can keep fish alive with water changes!"

He was of course referring to his ability to "balance" water perfectly, and therefore never needed to do water changes. ( But hey i beat him in the race to breed cardinal tetra and he never lived it down. That said he knew so very much about fish and was a valued teacher of many priceless tips. But he refused to believe that nitrates ever mattered, and kept a huge fish room using a pH test kit alone. He was keeping fish during WWII and considered Dr Axelrod to be a noob! )

That was around 15 years ago and I took from it the exact opposite of what he meant by it!

That is, to me, with any aquarium, I focus on water changes to keep a stable environment.

Which would be difficult IF I didnt spend time right at the start making my water changes as easy as possible!

its an investment in working smarter, not harder.

But as the OP is probably starting to gather

there are many many ways to succeed with marine aquariums

plenty of paths you can take, none that are definitely wrong lol

The thing is, the original post never says what type of live stock they have planned for the tank......

I mean if its going to be a very high end SPS aquarium.... then get RO and the highest quality reef salt mix you can afford. It will be cheaper in the long run as you wont need as many suppliments or phosphate removal products.

If its going to be a large predator tank with maybe a few soft corals like leathers in there, then natural sea water will probably be alright.

horses for courses.

Edited by DeadFishFloating
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are obviously a guru. Never wrong allways right and if anybody doesn't agree are idiots. You and DFF should get on like a house on fire.

Lol,Lol,you label fellow hobbyists idiots?some just don't know any better on some subjects and your ego typed your response, 30 plus years of extensive marine aquarium experimenting in all areas and a little longer collecting, brings on a very deserved,lol,lol,I like it a lot!

Edited by liquidg
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Create New...