Saltwater Tank Begins!

So Thursday I decided I was just going to jump in and setup a saltwater tank.  I can read all I want, but until I actually apply what I’ve read and try some stuff, I’ll never really learn.

I was lucky enough to have a buddy (Jim D.) who had two 10 gal tanks that he didn’t use anymore and his wife was trying to get rid of for him.  He was kind enough to just give them to me along with a bunch of other assorted things that were too small for his big tanks.  He gave me two small powerheads, some carbon, a filter, a thermometer, some sand, about 8 gal of  saltwater, 5gal of R.O. water, and a bunch of other assorted stuff.

On the way home from Jim’s house I swung by a saltwater fish store and picked up a light (AquaticLife 20″ T5 HO), a water testing kit (API), some cheesecloth bags for the carbon, about 10 lbs of live rock, and a refractometer.

When I got home started to assemble everything.  First I rinsed off the tank with water from the tap.  Then I washed it out with distilled white vinegar.  Then rinsed it out with R.O. water.  After I toweled it dry, I added the sand, and then filled it about half way with saltwater.  I added my live rock, and then filled the tank the rest of the way.  I threw my lights on and went to add the filter when I realized it was cracked about in half.  Luckily the local pet smart was still open and had some saltwater supplies (fiter, salt, a stupid piece of reflective paper to put behind the tank, etc).  I got home, got all of that rinsed off and in the tank, and now it’s just humming away.

I gave the water a quick test and ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite levels are perfect, but my Ph is low (about 7.4) so I’ll probably have to test again in a couple of days and see if it’s changed at all.  If not, I’ll get some water additives and see what I can do about it.  My salinity is also a bit low (at around 1.017), but I’ll watch the tank for the next couple days and as water evaporates, I’ll fill it up with saltwater to attempt to get that to about where it should be.

Anyways, that’s where it sits now.. Let’s see how long it takes me to murder everything I add to the tank.