Quick Question

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by Owais, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. Owais

    Owais Cuttlefish Registered

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    This may sound stupid, but I get my saltwater from the beach and I have a 80g tank :bonk: so what is the best way to fill the tank and remove water ?
     
  2. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    I suppose that depends on how far you are from the beach, and how big a bucket you can carry...

    Just to make sure, though, you know that having fresh seawater can't substitute for cycling the tank for 3 months, except in a flow-through system, right?
     
  3. Owais

    Owais Cuttlefish Registered

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    ehm, what do you mean? I know that I have to cycle it for 3 months, but what about when I do a water change ?
     
  4. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    It should be fine for water changes, I just wanted to check; we occasionally get people who just dump some seawater into their tanks, and say "oh, I thought since it was real seawater I didn't need to do all that cycling" or "since I have all the salt water I want, I'll just do a water change every day instead of cycling," and it generally works out badly.

    Another thing that's not always obvious is that when the water level goes down from evaporation, you want to top off with fresh water, since the salt doesn't evaporate... but for water changes, of course, you want salt water, since you're removing and replacing.
     
  5. Owais

    Owais Cuttlefish Registered

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    Hey man really thanks for everything. Yeah the guy in the LFS said the same thing but by fresh water you mean like tap water right ?
     
  6. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    Not tap water. Tap water is treated with all sorts of chemicals to make it safe to drink. RO/DI water, purified.
     
  7. Owais

    Owais Cuttlefish Registered

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    Hmm, well in my country the water is not safe to drink :bonk: so it probably doesnt have chemicals because when I got my tank the marine specialist guy filled like 1/3rd of my tank with salt water and the rest with tap water. His water was very salty so he filled the rest with tap water to level the salt. So I think its safe to use tap water?
     
  8. Owais

    Owais Cuttlefish Registered

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    mistake
     
  9. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    I get fresh (filtered) water for my 50 gallon octopus tank from a local public aquarium (Scripps in San Diego). The basic procedure for doing a water change is:
    1) Fill containers with water and bring home.
    2) Use a hose to siphon 15% of the water out of the tank. Ideally you can siphon it directly into a drain, or into containers that you can easily pour down the drain.
    3) Position the container(s) of new water so that they are higher than the tank (I use a step stool on top of a patio table.
    4) Siphon the new water into the tank (the same amount that you removed)


    Here are some details and advice about some of the steps above:
    Step 1)
    a) Use sturdy closable containers that won't slop water during transport. The best ones will have a handle, a large opening, with a cap, to pour out of, and a small opening, with a cap, to allow air to come in when you are pouring. Places that sell camping gear usually sell 5 gallon plastic water jugs that fit this description.
    b) Water weighs about 8 lbs per gallon. Don't get jugs that will be too heavy to handle, or so small that you need too many of them. If you're doing 12% water changes, you'll need to transport 10 gallons of water, so two 5 gallon jugs should be fine.
    c) you may need a cart to help you move all the water jugs to/from a vehicle.

    Step 2) Sipon out of tank
    a) Clear vinyl hose (tibing) works best because you can see where the water is. If you use garden hose, be sure to cut off the brass metal hardware on each end so that it can't contaminate your tank (brass contains copper).
    b) You may want to vacumm the substratae in your tank when you siphon water out (I do).
    c) If you will use two juggs to transport new water to your tank, you may want to buy 4 juggs total, so that you can siphon the old water into the same sized containers, and ensure that you remove just the right amount of water. I happened to already own 4 five gallon juggs, so I do it this way.

    Steps 3 and 4) Put new water in tank.
    a) I don't recommend trying to just pour 5 gallon juggs of water into your tank because of splashing and spilling. Use a siphon (which requires that you place the new water on a platform that is higher than the top of your tank) or use a pump to get the new water from the juggs into the tank.
    b) if you siphon, be careful about spilling, and make sure that the heavy juggs can't fall off of whatever platform they are on. Also, if you can't safely lift and place the juggs up on the high platform, then use a pump.
     
  10. Tintenfisch

    Tintenfisch Architeuthis Staff Member Moderator

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    Well, if your tap water isn't safe to drink, it's probably not that nice for animals to live in either. Interesting that your LFS person used it though.
     
  11. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I think Owais has a different situation than what many of us are accustomed to. Does anyone have some ideas about how he could filter his tap water without an RO/DI unit? I was thinking about some kind of sand filteration but am not sure that is viable.
     
  12. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    Doesn't Dubai get most of its water from a desalination plant? I'm not sure what that implies for trace minerals.
     
  13. Owais

    Owais Cuttlefish Registered

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    Im not sure, but its probably safe to use because that guy was using it. Also about mating, is it easy to sex cuttlefish ? I mean do you just put a male and a female together?

    Thanks for all the info
     
  14. esquid

    esquid Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    I wouldn't use that as a guarantee, I've seen some pretty questionable things done by aquarium trade/aquaculture professionals. You may want to get a second opinion from someone that works at another location or at the Dubai Aquarium. Have you been to that aquarium?
     
  15. Lime

    Lime O. vulgaris Registered

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    My tank has like a filter and a mixer. I can put tap water in the filter to make it clean for animals then I put special sea salt in the mixer and it mixes the fresh water and salt together for salt water. Is that okay?
     
  16. esquid

    esquid Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    Are you asking if that is okay for you or for Owais?
    Owais is in a different country where the water treatment systems are different and we don't know the condition of the tap water. That is why we are not sure if the tap water is safe to use.

    erin
     
  17. sorseress

    sorseress Colossal Squid Supporter

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    I wouldn't even consider doing that. It doesn't cost that much to buy RO water, and it will be much safer.
     
  18. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    I was assuming the "filter" was an RO/DI system, but looking back, that's not really clear. If it is, that should be as good as buying RO water... but if it's just a drinking water filter, that's more aimed at being good for humans than aquatic critters...

    As far as Dubai water and the LFS person, it's worth noting that there are some trace substances in water that are OK for fish, but bad for cephs, most notably copper, so if this marine specialist is used to mixing water for fish rather than cephalopods, there may be some difference.

    The reason I asked about desalination was that American tapwater has a lot of things done to it to clean it up for drinking that are probably not needed for desalinated water, which is pretty pure anyway, but on the other hand they may still do things like add fluoride, and they may not worry about copper pipes since copper is not a problem for humans. The safest thing would still be to have an RO/DI system, or use fresh seawater for water changes, although having a clean freshwater top-off, as I mentioned earlier, would still be good, but you could probably just buy RO/DI water for that (distilled might be OK, but there's some debate about that.)
     
  19. Owais

    Owais Cuttlefish Registered

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    Thanks guys, anyway its not that big of an issue because the next time I change the water I am going to use fresh saltwater from the beach.

    Another question, how much live rock would I need for 80g tank ? now I have 10kg of live rock so I was wondering how much more I would need.

    Thanks, Owais
     
  20. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    One last thing about collecting your own sea water. Fresh water will float on top of salt water for a while before it mixes, so if you collect your water near the surface after a rain, or near the mouth of a river or stream, you could get a bucket full of mostly fresh water. Does it rain in Dubai? Are there any streams or rivers?

    contaminated runoff can also be a problem after a rain, especially if it doesn't rain often, so don't collect water from near the coast for a few days after it rains, especially near populated areas.
     

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