I know bacteria is on surfaces…but will NSW help bacteria diversity?

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Why would you spend money on NSW. Drive to a beach and collect it like I do. It's free and no one owns it so they can't charge you for it or tax you.
Oops. I literally live 5 minutes away from the beach but I spend 120 dollars every month for a guy to come. He collects water when there is a tide…I always thought beach water was super polluted.

@Paul B How do I collect beach water without being afraid of sunscreens or other pollution?
 
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And thank you everyone for giving me kind words. I had some people freak out and tell me to return my corals or let someone else hold it or else they’ll die. I panicked, but I didn’t give the corals away because in my heart I knew what I was doing.
 

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. . . if there’s no bacteria there. . .
. . . imagine the ocean. Much more available bac. Very diverse . . .

Oh, there's a few there alright. To add some numbers to Brandon429's post, there's about 1 million bacteria and archaea per ml, 10 million viruses per ml. Here's the refference, it's at 1:20 into this video:

 

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why did you put a reef in that
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virus info above


multiplied by the number of failed siphon attempts I’ve committed/failure to disjuncture in time lol

means I want gastric pump right now
 
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@Paul B How do I collect beach water without being afraid of sunscreens or other pollution?
The ocean is a big place and that sunscreen you hear about is such a small quantity that I am pretty sure you can't even test for it. It is also oil so it floats like gas.

The oceans are polluted for sure but where do you think your fish and corals came from?

I have been to many places where our fish come from and most of those places don't even have sewage treatment plants so the sewage goes right into the water. Those places are almost always tourist spots who come slathered in sunscreen.

I started my tank with water from the East River in Manhattan. Not the bast place.


But Miami is much cleaner than New York and I still collect water here all the time, just not in the East River. I collect it on Long Island 60 miles from the City.

I feel even semi polluted water is much better than ASW which doesn't even have a small portion of the chemicals and trace elements found in nature.

Our New York water is teeming with fish so how polluted could it be? Virtually all the major fisheries in the world are in northern waters because of the mud in it and the fact that the ocean currents here bring nutrients from up north. That mud houses microorganisms which is the beginning of the food chain. Tropical waters are basically dead which is why although there are plenty of fish on coral reefs, there is almost nothing off the reefs.



Here in New York I dove for lobsters for many years and especially at night the water is just loaded with life. Sometimes plankton or any tiny life is so thick you can barely see through it.

Pollution is over rated in this hobby making people afraid to collect water which is free and the best water you can get.

Of course I wouldn't take it right from a marina, boat ramp, or very busy water way. But the water off the beach in Miami is connected to the rest of the worlds oceans, where your fish came from.

If you are still afraid of ocean water, at least use some of it and collect whatever you can find in the sea for the bacteria which is totally absent from ASW that came from a lab someplace,
 
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I don’t personally use nsw but I think it doesnt hurt to try. Regarding adding biodiversity (algae, inverts, bacteria etc). I’m not very sure how much nsw will help since alot of it comes from either using live rocks or from the corals themselves (frag plug for example). As you start buying and adding corals you are going to introduce new organisms into your tank, so your tank will never be sterile nor lacking in any form of biodiversity. Alot of the beneficial algae, bacteria and inverts settle on the rocks, corals itself rather than free floating in the water. Its not that there wont be any in the water itself but probably spores and eggs mostly.

At the end of the day, it is best to be patient and take things gradually. Part of the thrill of this hobby is watching your tank progress and develop but obviously you don’t have to wait until a year to add new corals or critters. Just like some have pointed, start with the easier and hardier tester corals and progress from there.
 
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I got mostly sand because it’s a surface which means more bacteria. The water is super clear and it’s making me want to use this water for my water changes.
F12F6D88-DFE9-488A-B127-B9D9E4EFF324.jpeg
F12F6D88-DFE9-488A-B127-B9D9E4EFF324.jpeg
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C5CDB3FB-4621-47C2-972C-324FD1030763.jpeg
1F3D1794-ED16-4067-91DC-82AFFF8A5F92.jpeg
 

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I got mostly sand because it’s a surface which means more bacteria. The water is super clear and it’s making me want to use this water for my water changes.
F12F6D88-DFE9-488A-B127-B9D9E4EFF324.jpeg
F12F6D88-DFE9-488A-B127-B9D9E4EFF324.jpeg
B64A39AE-0DA2-40A0-B212-33CE7732F033.jpeg
C5CDB3FB-4621-47C2-972C-324FD1030763.jpeg
1F3D1794-ED16-4067-91DC-82AFFF8A5F92.jpeg
And it looks like you got a bit of sargassum! A warning there, it’s very difficult to keep alive in a tank and when it breaks down it can cause a nutrient spike. Take it back tho, cuz it’s gonna have lots of beneficial pods on it probably
 
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I would so use that water. :p Many people will tell you it has pollution, anthrax, Covid, Godzilla larvae etc. Don't listen to them as they think their water and their fish came from Poland Spring.

It didn't.
 

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I would so use that water. :p Many people will tell you it has pollution, anthrax, Covid, Godzilla larvae etc. Don't listen to them as they think their water and their fish came from Poland Spring.

It didn't.
Don't underestimate those Godzilla larvae. I saw a documentary at the theater where one grew up and destroyed NYC!
 
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I added it. I’m so glad I did. The sand is BEAUTIFUL. Wow! I was having trouble with my sand blowing everywhere…this grain size is perfect and the color is so nice. I’m so happy I did this. I tested the water: salinity 1.028 Alk 7.6dkh phosphates 0.01
 
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I will most likely add this water every once in a while, but I can’t manage to do my water changes with it because my tank is too large and I maintain my alk much higher. It would be too much of a hassle, but this is perfect. I might add more sand so I can tell family it’s from Miami Beach. It sounds much cooler than some sand I bought…plus it looks much better.
 
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I will most likely add this water every once in a while, but I can’t manage to do my water changes with it because my tank is too large and I maintain my alk much higher. It would be too much of a hassle, but this is perfect. I might add more sand so I can tell family it’s from Miami Beach. It sounds much cooler than some sand I bought…plus it looks much better.
Do you have a FTS, or at least a pic showing off your new fancy sand? Would love to see your tank!
 

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Why would you spend money on NSW. Drive to a beach and collect it like I do. It's free and no one owns it so they can't charge you for it or tax you.
If you’ve ever lugged buckets of water up the beach into your car you would know why you don’t wanna do this
 
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