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I'm a virgin on the saltwater scene...can I start my 155 gal tank with ocean water?
 

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If you're in the San Diego area, Scripps water is great! I'm in Okinawa now and collect water off shore; no measurable nitrates (Red Sea MCT), .04 phosphate (Red Sea Pro), and .03 Org with a Coral Shops test kit. Results have been great thus far; I collect at high tide and avoid going after any significant rain or rough seas.
 

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I use ocean water exclusively....but I live in Okinawa. If you get ocean water, get it from a either 30' down (from boat) or, if you don't have a boat, go out to chest high water at high tide to get your water. Be sure to test the water...not all water off shore is clean.
 

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Underwater Demolitions
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I live near a deep-ocean fishing port. They have NSW hoses that they use to fill fish containers; the ones they ship live to Japan. I used about 20 gallons for a water change and 2 fish got ich. Now by brain knows that the NSW was probably not the problem... "After this, therefore because of this" is a logical fallacy. However... There is enough doubt in me to go back to ASW. Besides the harbor master is mean. I'm not allowed to use the taps when they are unattended, and they are only attended when the fish are being unloaded and them I'm told I'm in the way.
 

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The long Island Aquarium uses ocean water and its a 20,000 gal pristine reef tank.
 

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There is a little aquarium here along the coast that works to re-populate the coral reefs. these guys have the setup. Large hoses go out into the water about 200 feet sucking in new sea water and the water pumped out is sent up to the coral cliffs to drain back to the ocean. It's fricken cool. Literally, the ocean is their sump.
 

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I only go out 'til the naughty bits are close LOL.

lol...I don't mind it. I do a lot of snorkeling and diving so I usually grab it before I go out. During the winter months here I get my water from the Marine Fish Lagoon. Only ¥200 for 20L.
 

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Since I've had no issues with the water collected, I have no need to venture further out. I dont mind going further out when the water is warm(er) but it's cooling off quick!
 

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The only real trouble with ocean water is that you may bring in harmful bacteria or algae. It doe's work in the ocean though.
 
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