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New 16 gal FOWLR

Discussion in 'General Marine / Newbie' started by JaySea20, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. JaySea20

    JaySea20 AC Members

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    This is my first time to try a saltwater setup. It is a 16 gal bowfront with 26 lbs of live sand w/ aragonite. 4 pieces of "dead" LR and 2 peices of florida LR.
    a Marineland Penguin Bio-wheel 150 and an Oceanic Biocube protein skimmer. I doubt this protein skimmer will be worth its weight in air, but I am giving it a shot anyway. I was curious what test kit I should buy to run a FOWLR for now, but possibly go to a reef tank in the future. The only additive I am dosing now is Calcium Bicarbonate.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Ace25

    Ace25 www.centralcoastreefclub. com

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    How long has it been setup and why would you dose calcium in a FOWLR tank?

    Actually.. what is calcium bicarbonate? It isn't baking soda, that is Sodium Bicarbonate. In 2 part mixes, Alkalinity is Sodium Carbonate and Calcium is Calcium Chloride. In 1 part (Kalkwasser) it is Calcium Hydroxide.
     
    #2 Ace25, Aug 22, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2010
  3. JaySea20

    JaySea20 AC Members

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    The fish store told me that the calcium would help the live rock growth. And it is Kent Marine Liquid Calcium. My Bad, It is Calcium Chloride.
     
  4. Ace25

    Ace25 www.centralcoastreefclub. com

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    Naw.. it isn't going to really do anything for you. Just another bottle to waste $ on at this point. It is still a good bottle to have on hand, better than having a bottle of Iodide, but for now I doubt it is needed. One thing you will learn quickly is LFS are there to sell you things, whether you need them or not.

    Dosing Calcium without testing is very bad... also dosing Calcium without keeping the 3 majors tested and in balance will just throw your water parameters out of whack. Alkalinity, Calcium, and Magnesium all go together and require certain ranges of each to be able to keep things balanced. So before you dose anything, always test first, with at least a liquid test kit, not test strips.
     
  5. JaySea20

    JaySea20 AC Members

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    Thanks for the info!
    My initial question was:
    "I was curious what test kit I should buy to run a FOWLR for now, but possibly go to a reef tank in the future"
     
  6. Ace25

    Ace25 www.centralcoastreefclub. com

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    You will need Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate to start out with to verify the cycle is complete. API brand is the common one you see at LFS and are acceptable. Later on if you go reef you will want Calcium, Alkalinity, and Magnesium.. Salifert is a good brand for those. You will also what to pick up a $50 Hanna Phosphate meter to test phosphates with if you go reef tank.

    Test kits are vital to a successful tank. Yes, it sucks that you have to buy them, spend a bunch of money on something you can't enjoy, but the sooner you get them and get used to doing them on a regular basis the better your tank will be. (weekly at first, then bi-monthy, and finally monthly once you see things are stable).
     
  7. JaySea20

    JaySea20 AC Members

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    Awesome!

    I knew I picked the right forum. Thanks for the info.

    I have a freshwater API kit. Will this kit work for SW, or will I need to get a SW kit?
     
  8. Ace25

    Ace25 www.centralcoastreefclub. com

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    Good question.. unfortunately I can't say for certain if they will work. I believe they will work for FW and SW (API's website doesn't list Ammonia tests separate for FW or SW) but I would wait for someone like Amphiprion on here to verify that. You can use them and just see what the results you get are.. no harm in that other than it may not be accurate, but you should have a definitive answer soon enough. ;)

    http://aquariumpharm.com/Products/Product.aspx?ProductID=69
     
  9. flossyfloofloo

    flossyfloofloo AC Members

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    i use the api freshwater test kit and yes it is ok to use for saltwater thats why u get (or should of) colour cards for saltwater testing as the colour does vary a little
     
  10. Ace25

    Ace25 www.centralcoastreefclub. com

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    Duh on me!! ;) Your absolutely right.. been so long since I used API test kits myself for the basics (I use API Alk and CA to verify my salifert test kits) and I always toss out the FW card right away since I have no need for it and don't want to confuse myself. lol!
     

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