correct way to use nsw

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Charl_Stanhope, 20 Mar 2011.

  1. Charl_Stanhope

    Charl_Stanhope

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    Ive been spending hours and hours on the internet to find out what the right way to use natural sea water in a tank is. Ive been getting so many different ways to use it and its very confusing. Since I stay a few hundred metres from the ocean and I can get very clean water, Im using it. I mix it with r/o water when doing water changes to get the correct salinty level.

    What is the correct way of using it.?

    some say I must let the nsw stand in a dark place for a few days before I use it for the small organisms to die and then sink to the bottom. others say I must filter it to take out all the organisms. Im from hermanus so the water temp is quite a bit colder than my tanks. Any suggestions or should I just switch to a good salt mix.
     
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  3. Dane

    Dane

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    There are a few different ways to look at it.

    1) Get the temp right and away you go.
    2) Get the temp and salinity right and away you go.
    3) Correct temp, salinity and store in a opaque-ish bucket in a lit area for a while so algae grows on the walls of the container and pulls out the nutrients.
    4) Correct temp, salinity and store in the dark.

    Personally, #4 is my bottom option. You dont want die off to happen if its not going anywhere. I follow #1, and havent had any problems. But I would advocate #2 or #3.

    I only use the water if its fairly clean. If theres seaweed etc than I fish it out or dont use it. Today I opened a container I collected last week and it stank, so I chucked it. Just follow common sense.
     
  4. Charl_Stanhope

    Charl_Stanhope Thread Starter

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    so you suggest that I just get the temp the same as my tanks. I filter it to get rid of all the "floaters" like the seaweed etc. Im struggling with algae a little.itll be good for a month or two and then get a little for a month. Im using phosguard,purigen,a good skimmer,r/o water,im very under stocked,doing 10% water change a week.Ive tried everything to get rid of algea but i cant seem to get rid of it for good. Ive got enough flow,more than enough. ive got turbos and starfish. Ive spend ALOT of money buying the best stuff to get rid of algae. Im on the verge of going to a salt mix but Ive tested the nsw im getting and theres no signs of,no2,no3,po4. The only thing i can see thats wrong is the ph thats a little low. I want to add corals but I dont feel like spending money on something thats just gonna die. Ive had my tank for about 14 months now. My fish are very healthy and I havent had a dead one for a long time.
     
  5. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Can you post a photo of this algae that you are struggling with?
     
  6. Dane

    Dane

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    No, as I said, the best way to go is to correct salinity and temp so that it remains at whatever constant level you have chosen for your tank. Definitely get rid of any stuff floating around, and only use it if it smells "fresh". Make sure you are collecting from a clean area, and that there is not an onshore breeze blowing (it blows all the kak on the surface of the water in to the coast). I wouldn't advocate the way I run my tank. I can't afford test kits, refractometers etc etc etc, so I have to get by - but this is not how I would suggest things are done.

    As viper says, pics of what you're struggling with can help us, help you! ;-)

    If you're testing your NSW and its nutrient free than I can't see why it would be the source of your problems. Lots of other things can cause that. Do you have a tank thread with full details of your system? Filtration? Bioload (I know you said this is very low), how old is the tank? etc etc etc?
     
    Last edited: 20 Mar 2011
  7. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    some good advice offered above just make sure the collection point is pretty stable and clean (no sewage outlets nearby, not near any abalone farms discharge lines etc etc)

    i pretty much collect and drive straight home and do the exchange of water, i dont wait or calibrate. the water we get is pretty much good to go for our use here.

    also give us some more info / pictures of your system..
     
  8. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Agreed - this is extremely important.

    This is pretty much what I used to do when I stayed in Riversdale, and collected from Stilbaai.

    With the water being much colder than the tank water, there is (IMHO) a pretty low risk of having any "nasties" surviving long enough to cause problems in your tank - of course, you do need to warm the water to within one degree of your tank's temperature before you add it.

    What is your tank's salinity? I find it strange that you need to dilute the natural sea water - it should be pretty close to an SG of 1.025 without any dilution. (What instrument do you use to test the salinity/SG? Also, do you test the water cold, or after it has been warmed to your tank's temperature (I'm assuming somewhere between 24°C and 27°C...)

    I agree with previous posts, that you should give us more info on your setup (and some photos, if possible) - do you have a deep live sand bed and/or live rock? Are you perhaps using a trickle filter or cannister filter? What type of skimmer?

    Oh, and doing 10% water changes every week is great, but if I had unlimited access to fresh sea water, only a few hundred meters away from my house, I would do even more/larger changes.

    Hennie
     
  9. Dane

    Dane

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    BTW - by nasties I meant the die off because of the transition from cold to temperate water, sorry - was a bit unclear.

    I was also wondering this. Good point on testing at the right temperature, this affects your reading. I just make sure I keep my tank at the same water level all the time.
     
  10. Charl_Stanhope

    Charl_Stanhope Thread Starter

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    sorry im only coming back now. was away for weekend. I havent got a thread containing info about tank. but ill tell you everything I know

    Ill post a pic or two.

    Ive got a boyu tank which is 128 l and its been running for about 15 months.

    Im running a skimmer in chamber 1,with some filter floss which I clean every second day and replace every week or 10 days. Chamber 2 ive got my heaters,number 3 im running purigen and phosguard.in chamber 4 a return pump. ive chucked all the junk that came with the tank. im testing the water when at right temp,the salinity is about 1.029 straight out the sea and i dilute it with ro water. i would love if i dont have to mix it coz its a mission everytime. Im using a Tetratec hydrometer.i paid 300 bucks for it. Ive got another one,a chae hydrometer which i have to keep in the tank to meausure the salinity.That one gives me a reading of 1.020. Maybe the expensive one is wrong and I need to add


    Ive got 20kg of live rock,using fine beach sand,got no corals(would love too keep em but dont wanna kill anything and my water doesnt look right.)

    Ive got 3 small starfish,2 turbo snails,2 small clowns(3cm), 1 tomato clown, 1 butterfly fish and a small dottyback. (they all look very happy and active)

    My flow in the tank is 1700,got a seio 1000l per hour flow pump.

    my water parametres: less than 10 N03mg/l.say almost close too 0.

    N02-zero
    Ca-400 mg/l
    kh,8d
    ph-7.8
    p04-between 0.03 and 0.1mg/l

    Im using the salifert po4 testing kit,the tetra no2 test kit,and the tetra 5 in 1 test kit. ill buy seperate test kits once the tetra once are finished or arent they that bad.

    please help coz its driving me up the walls.i dont know what to do anymore and im close to giving up. Im getting so much advise from my two lfs and they both rip offs and crap.dont know much and the internet is confusing.
     
  11. Charl_Stanhope

    Charl_Stanhope Thread Starter

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    here some pics of my problem

    [​IMG]

    This is after a week of not cleaning my glass.Also,whats the pink stuff growing on the one rock[​IMG]

    I can see a patch of cyno coming,its about the size of a R2 coin and I dont want it again. Ive recently moved so I dont know if my tank is going through a cycle agian coz its gotten quite bad since the move. Ive always struggled with the algae but is quite hectic now.
     
  12. KeeganP

    KeeganP

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    Sorry to ask Charl, But how long did you cycle your tank for?

    Edit. Sorry didnt see your other post :p
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 22 Mar 2011
  13. FransSny

    FransSny

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    Hi Charl

    see you are in Hermanus, I stay in Sandbaai..can come and have a look if you need help
     
  14. Kunhardt

    Kunhardt

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    if its pink stuff that doesnt come off the rocks, then its Coraline and thats a good sign, if its more red and comes off then its cyano...but it looks like the former to me.

    Your rocks look clean of algae from the pics, just a bit of what looks like diatoms on the glass...if it is then most likely your tank has gone through a little cycle after you moved.

    With a small tank in summer its going to be hard to control your temp and keep it stable this could result in the cyano as well.

    Dont stress...it gets easier as time goes on and your knowledge grows.
     
  15. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    To be honest I don't see any problems with your tank? The algae on the glass is quite normal, you need to buy yourself a magnetic glass cleaner and clean the glass every 2 or 3 days. It should lessen as your tank matures but you will still need to clean the glass every couple of days, otherwise you are going to get coralline algae start growing on the front glass and then you'll need to start scraping.

    The swing arm hydrometer that you have is not really ideal, they can be sort of accurate but it can take just the smallest of air bubbles on the swing arm to affect the reading. My advice would be to find someone close to you or an LFS that has a refractometer and ask them to test the sea water for you, I can pretty much guarantee 99.99% that the salinity of the sea water will be well within the normal range, there should be no need whatsoever to dilute your sea water, it's the first time I've heard of anyone doing that.
     
  16. Kunhardt

    Kunhardt

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    Trust Dean...he knows all about algae :lol:
     
  17. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    :stupid:
     
  18. Charl_Stanhope

    Charl_Stanhope Thread Starter

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    Could it be that my salinity is to low and thats why Im struggling with algae. Should I just slowly but surely use less and less ro water untill i eventually use pure sea water. The pink stuff on my rock dont come off easily.so it must be coraline. I know what cyno looks like coz when i started I struggled hectically. ive got a little spot of it and Im scared that its gonna become a problem again. Ive got a magnetic glass cleaner but it seems like its scratching my glass. Also,Ive got a few spots of blue/purple coraline starting to grow on my rocks but its happening very slow compared to the pink coraline. That rock got covered in like a month. A fish store told me that I need to add stronthium and magnesium and once a month add some calcium but my calcium levels dont seem to be dropping even though im not adding any of the mentioned stuff. Im to scared. I bought it,cost like 600 bucks but I cant test for it so dont wanna add it. do you agree
     
  19. Charl_Stanhope

    Charl_Stanhope Thread Starter

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    It would be awesome if you could pop in and maybe give me some advice(where i can find a good fish store etc etc) coz im really confused. I also stay in sandbaai. If you could maybe pm your number then I could give you a call.
     
  20. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Yes, that's most likely the case. I would take Frans up on his offer to come and look at your setup, and test the SG of the water while he is at it - send him a PM...

    That's just because they want to make more money out of you. without any corals, and with only a slow growth of coralline algae, there is certainly no need to add anything except alkalinity (buffer), and THAT you can do very cheaply by adding bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) that you buy at the chemist (it's the same chemical that is used in the commercial "aquarium brand" buffers, perhaps only a bit purer, as it's certified for human consumption).

    Don't leave it in your tank - only place it in the tank when you want to clean the glass. Also, make sure that you do not pick up any sand particles when cleaning close to the bottom of the tank.

    Hennie
     
  21. Charl_Stanhope

    Charl_Stanhope Thread Starter

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    will definitely take up his offer. Thanks for the good advice Hennie. h
     
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