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Old 02-16-2008, 12:20 AM   #1
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New 55gall setup

Well, The wife found an add for a complete 55 gallon setup for sale for like 300 bucks so we jumped on it. It has about 80lbs of live rock and a couple HUGE PH's. Also has a backpack skimmer and a nice wooden stand. We went over to the guys house and put everything in buckets. Now he said over the past 6 months he really neglected the tank and was even topping off with tap water which in this area is pretty yucky. I only kept about 1/2 the water and plan to set it up with a new sand bed and new water. Now it looks like he had some algea issues as well. Should I scrape the tank really clean or is the coraline thats on there benificial? There is noth coraline (On the back side) and yucky algea on the front side.

Also - Imma head to the LHS tomorrow and pick up some lights. (He just had a flourecent because his power compacts blew a ballast. He gave me 2 brand new bulbs for the PC but Im not sure what the LHS sells. Is this something I should order online?

Also - How many snails should I throw in this tank? Ohh - Is it going to cycle? I have the rocks still submerged in the buckets with the original water. I figered it shouldnt cycle too bad because I would hope there would be minimal die off.

Any suggestions on what to watch out for or "DONT DO THAT" would be really helpfull...

TIA,

Jerry

PS - my 20 gallon is still rocking strong since your guys's advice over a year ago so your site has definately got my vote of confidense.
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Old 02-16-2008, 12:40 AM   #2
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If it was me I would just start from scratch really first emptying the tank totally scrubbing every tidbit of algae and making it crystal clear. Replacing all of the substrate with new and scrubbing the rocks off gently to remove any nuisance algae and carefull not to scrub off the coraline algae. Fill the tank with new RO/DI saltwater put the rocks in and then the new substrate. And cycle the tank as if it was new testing the paramaters often to make sure that things are stable before adding any life to the tank(did the setup come with any fish or invertabrates?). And the lighting would really depend on your future plans for the tank Are you going to do Reef or Fowlr?
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Old 02-16-2008, 01:02 AM   #3
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I was hoping to do Reef in the future. Not a whole lot but I am sure like everything else it will be addictive. I didnt plan on adding any thing live untill the tank had cycled properly. I just figured since the rock was "cured" already the cycle wouldnt be that strong. The tank has NO fish and NO inverts other than the hitchhikers. (Might have seen a crab or two). I will go ahead and scrub the tank down till its crystal clear. and follow your instructions.

Just curious why you add the substrate AFTER wards. Wouldnt it get all in the rocks then and make a mess?
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Old 02-16-2008, 01:34 AM   #4
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Adding the substrate afterwards will help to secure the rocks in place to prevent them from toppling, I would play around with your rocks about 10times or so to find a nice secure placement that you like and then stick with it. I think I rearranged my rocks about 10times and then when I added more rock I rearranged another 5times before I was happy. If the sand gets in the rocks just brushing it off works fine. And If you are planning reef I would definately save some money and get a Metal Halide fixture there are corals that can surive on less than intense lighting but the high powered metal halide fixture will give you more flexability on which corals you choose. Are you using RO/DI water and testing the SG with a Refractometer(just curios)
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Old 02-16-2008, 09:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fijiwigi View Post
Adding the substrate afterwards will help to secure the rocks in place to prevent them from toppling, I would play around with your rocks about 10times or so to find a nice secure placement that you like and then stick with it. I think I rearranged my rocks about 10times and then when I added more rock I rearranged another 5times before I was happy. If the sand gets in the rocks just brushing it off works fine. And If you are planning reef I would definately save some money and get a Metal Halide fixture there are corals that can surive on less than intense lighting but the high powered metal halide fixture will give you more flexability on which corals you choose. Are you using RO/DI water and testing the SG with a Refractometer(just curios)
I have been using Distilled water from wal mart and Intant Ocean mix. I test it with the refracto right now but I will change over to an electronic one wants I go for corals and stuff... (At least thats what I think)
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Old 02-16-2008, 11:23 AM   #6
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Continue to use your refractometer and use the money you would have spent on a digital meter towards new lights or PH's. You should definately order lights and most equipment online. The local lfs just can not compete on price for hard goods. Livestock is different if you have a good lfs nearby.

You may want to use that saved money to buy a RODI unit. There are some inexpensive units on eBay for around $100.00.

The LR from the tank probably has a lot of die off if the tub is not heated and has no circulation. Depending on how long it takes to get the new tank set up the LR might be usable as base rock only.

You can add a heater and a ph now to help keep it alive. You should test the tub water for pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. You may need to do water changes in that tub to keep the LR live.

Clean the tank thoroughly (use white vinegar if necessary)
Rinse the tank several times with tap
Add the rock
Add the sand (new)
Add fresh SW mix
Let the tank cycle

That's the short form of what I would do.
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Old 02-16-2008, 06:23 PM   #7
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I agree with the guys. Start all over and set up and cycle your tank again.I would put your new sand down first and then wedge your LR together. Also dont forget to was your LR off with SW so as not to lose your beneficial bacteria.
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Old 02-18-2008, 05:38 PM   #8
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Well - I got her setup guys/gals! Imma do some tests tomorrow to see where I stand as far as numbers go..

Untill then here are some pictures...
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Old 02-24-2008, 06:16 PM   #9
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OK New questions...

What are my stocking options? Like - what do you think will make a good looking SW tank? I know I want an O Clown and some Anenome's (SP). I would also like to get the Blue Tang.. What else can I throw in their? What other Corals?
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Old 02-24-2008, 10:58 PM   #10
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Congrats on the new tank! Looks like you are off to a good start.

As far as stocking goes...you have lots of options. It would appear you are interested in a reef and the lights you have will support a nice variety of soft and LPS corals. Lots of great options but they may be a bit down the road. For fish, o. clowns are a great starter fish. Try to choose fish that are reef-safe from the get-go to make things easier down the road. I would pass on the blue tang (hippo, I presume) but you might want to look at the yellow-eyed Kole tang or yellow tang for a tank of this size.
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