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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you lived in Florida and were starting a new tank set-up, could you use water from the ocean? Could you sand the bottom with beach sand you pick up? Just curious to what is acceptible for home use.
 
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yea you could definately used salt water from the ocean if you wanted if I were going to use sand though I would want to go a bit further than the edge of the beach for it
 

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I'm not really sure if that is ok or not... I just wondered how someone that did that would intend to do their first water top-off then first water change... :confused:

Seems to me that eventually, you would need to add filtered water at some point... if that were the case, why would someone go through the trouble of hauling x number of gallons of water from the ocean and eventually have to replace it all with filtered water.
 

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well, you do a weekly run to the ocean for your water change water, and as for topoff water use either distilled or RO.
 
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ok well for your water changes and initial fill up the ocean water would be fine but for top off you would still need to use ro water or you would send your salinity through the roof

oh yea it would be a lot cheaper using fresh ocean water for your tank and probably a lot healthier too since you would also be capturing the microscopic organisms that live in it which would include phytoplankton to feed corals and such

but it is cheaper since you dont have to buy all the expensive salt
 

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The only thing you would have to worry about is pollutants in the water, especially near shore. Boats and people pollute the water. Im not sure if I would want that in my tank.
 

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Good point wasga.

Maybe getting the water with a row boat may be a better idea... if you use a gas boat you would be poluting the water that way possibly.
 

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My Mercury 4 stroke Outboard has a 4 star enviromental rating which i think is the highest at this point (other than electric) It doesnt burn a oil mix like most old 2 strokes do. So another option instead of rowing is buying a nice motor and you could potentially cruise out about 2 or 3 miles offshore to collect your water. Um...you could also shut off the motor and wait oh about 10 sec and the surrounding water would be as clean as if you rowed out.
 

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The sand is the same. Phosphates leached from the ground or from runoff seem to stick in the sand. Also, you would have no protection from parasites or unwanted hitch hikers. If you grab sand from the seafloor, you never know what is in it. Thats another risk that Im not sure is worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Lots of good points and things to really think about, thanks. I ask this because I might be moving somewhere in the Tampa area in a few monthes. Starting a bigger tank all over again has me thinking of different ways to go. Makes me sad to have to take down the tank I already have.
 

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i was just in the usvi and went to their local aquarium. they have ocean water pumped up into their tanks and gravity sends it back to the ocean. so its like a constant water change. if ur going to be living next to the ocean that might be an idea.
 

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reefone said:
i was just in the usvi and went to their local aquarium. they have ocean water pumped up into their tanks and gravity sends it back to the ocean. so its like a constant water change. if ur going to be living next to the ocean that might be an idea.
i was just in st thomas over christmas, what island were u on?
 

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I would be very selective about the time/location of seawater collection. If done properly it is without a doubt the best water you can use. Most coastal public aquariums use NSW, including some of the largest most successful reef aquariums in the world.
 

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we inlanders here do not have a choice.. but if you're going to be in florida, I'd ask around locally and see what people are doing down there and what kind of results they're having in their tanks...
 

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Man...talk about the ultimate sump!! I can see it now...run a couple PVC lines hook up a pump. Who needs water changes? :D
 

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My brother lives down there, about 15 min from Atlantic coast. He has a small tank cleaning company. He mixes his own water from ro/di and salt. He says its not worth trying to get from the beach. Maybe just his thoughts but he's been doing it for years. When I was down there for Christmas I was surprised at how much things cost down there. Fish, corals and rock were all more than I pay locally. I Guess reef tanks are a little more popular down there so demand is higher and so are prices. Good luck on the move.
 

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all i know is you will have to gather the water a few miles off shore, and add it into your tank as soon as you can. you wont be able to store up water because all the organisms will die off. this is basically how people did it when the hobby first started, only people who lived by a coast line could even imagine having a SW tank. i would maybe keep a little salt on hand just in case a hurrican comes by and you need to do a water change lol.
 

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Martin Moe mentioned last year at IMAC that he is in Florida and uses NSW. He detailed his whole set up and to be honest I don't remember alot of it- as it is not an option in Michigan. He has had alot of success doing this- but he is by no means a "hobbyist"- and I believed the water is piped in from several miles off shore.
If you are interested- I would see if you can find more info on his set up. He uses this water in his lab- and last year at IMAC he was working on breeding long-spine urchins I believe.
 
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