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Old 05-29-2006, 10:58 AM   #1
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Point a beginner in the right direction? (Will floor hold?)

I work at my LFS. I'm strongly considering blowing my entire paycheck around the 15th on a saltwater setup, since I get everything I can order through the store at manufacturer price plus 10% off.

I was thinking of grabbing a 39gal tank to start me off, and find a 40 breeder on ebay for cheap for a sump. Am I correct in the fact that when running live rock in a sump, you really dont NEED any filter such as in a FW setup, because the LR takes care of it?

I really need some links to beginner's reef/FOWLR keeping. I've got 4 250w MH fixtures kicking around that would be great over a reef tank which is why I'm considering it. I'd love to keep corals, but this is a blind statement as the only thing I know about them is that they look cool.

When I first looked around on the web about 2 years ago I got scared away by prices and the fact that all the "technical terminology" of fish tanks kinda got me confused. But now that I've got 2 freshwater tanks, things like the nitrogen cycle just make sense now.

Can anyone give me some help?

I've looked at the stickies under most of the saltwater forums, but they don't seem to be of much help.

Thanks so much!
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Tanks:
55g - Planted/PFS - Up and running as of 4/30/06, heavily planted running 2x 175 metal halide, dry dosing.

lots of fish.
Royal pleco!!

10g Freshwater - Fake plants/PFS -
Breeding pair of convict cichlids purchased from the LFS I work at for $1.25
(best part is that I have a place to get rid of the fry!)
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Old 05-29-2006, 11:50 AM   #2
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The topic you are wanting information on is so broad, it would be impossible to put all the required information into one sticky or even a short article. We will be glad to help you with any questions you might have. It can be overwhelming at first. My recommendation is to break it down into topics. First a sump is a great idea. This article here will help you a little.
In the articles tab at the top of the forums, you will see other short articles that might be useful to you, such as cycling without live fish and an understanding of the nitrogen cycle itself.

One 250 watt MH lamp would be more than sufficient for your set up if you wanted to do corals.
Corals will limit your choice of fish, as will the smaller tank size.

With a sufficient amount of liverock, you will not need other filtration, in fact, other filtration tends to be counter productive. A protein skimmer is a good idea. Powerheads for circulation as well.

Read through some of that stuff and then post specific questions we can help you with.
Good luck, you are about to embark on a fantastic journey where the money spending never ends, but is more than worth it for the beauty it provides.
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Old 05-29-2006, 12:00 PM   #3
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I'm headed off to work in a half hour or so, and since it's memorial day I think I'll pick up a book in our SW section (just borrow it of course, no need to pay and bring it home ) and dive into it. It's gunna be a slow day, especially since its so gorgeous out.

With ~40gal tank for a beginner, would you say going with corals would be a mistake? Or should I try starting off with a FOWLR setup in the beginning, with plans of adding corals later on (while making sure everything is reef compatible)?

Oh, so much to learn!! I love it.
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Tanks:
55g - Planted/PFS - Up and running as of 4/30/06, heavily planted running 2x 175 metal halide, dry dosing.

lots of fish.
Royal pleco!!

10g Freshwater - Fake plants/PFS -
Breeding pair of convict cichlids purchased from the LFS I work at for $1.25
(best part is that I have a place to get rid of the fry!)
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Old 05-29-2006, 01:21 PM   #4
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All reef tanks start out as FOWLR's and grow into reefs as experience/knowledge grows and money becomes available. The FOWLR tank is the stepping stone because the tank is outfitted with a LR aquascape and the corals can then be added from there.

I would start off with the LR and buy lighting for a reef, that way you won't limit yourself.

One very important thing to remember is.....do it slowly. Don't rush anything, and research like you seem to be planning on. It's a very important step and can be the difference between success and failure. Keeping SW tanks is not difficult, but it does require lots of knowledge.

I have a 46G tank that is slowly growing into a full reef. You'll be fine with a tank that size for a full reef, but I do like to mention (as did Hara) that your stocking options become slightyl limited when deciding to go with corals and/or a smaller tank.

Try and make a list of what you REALLY want to keep, and formulate your system around that.

A ~40G reef tank won't allow for any tangs or angels (maybe a pygmy if you get lucky, they usually nip at corals).
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Old 05-29-2006, 09:28 PM   #5
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Well, the only reason I'm planning at this moment to go with a smaller tank is that its going in my bedroom on the 2nd floor of the house. This section of the house used to be a barn, so I'm not 100% positive on the condition of the floors. The actual flooring itself is wide board planking thats probably 1.5" thick, but I still dont know if I could convince my dad to get another 55.
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Tanks:
55g - Planted/PFS - Up and running as of 4/30/06, heavily planted running 2x 175 metal halide, dry dosing.

lots of fish.
Royal pleco!!

10g Freshwater - Fake plants/PFS -
Breeding pair of convict cichlids purchased from the LFS I work at for $1.25
(best part is that I have a place to get rid of the fry!)
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Old 05-29-2006, 09:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
I still dont know if I could convince my dad to get another 55.
It's worth a shot. I'll back you up.
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Old 05-29-2006, 11:07 PM   #7
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If you could provide details of construction, I'd be glad to throw in my 2 cents worth of opinion structural analysis on the flooring.
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7 month old 100 gallon. Hopefully on my way to a great reef tank. A few small fish and a few small soft corals. T5 HO Lights and ro/di unit.
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Old 05-30-2006, 12:17 AM   #8
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Well, I threw the idea at him about 2 hours ago and he said another 55 is fine as long as he doesnt have a saltwater tank come crashing through the floor in the middle of the night.

Flooring underneath has 2x6" joists, with 1.5x8" barn board as flooring. No subfloor.

House is a balloon frame, so none of the interior walls are truely load-bearing, from what I understand.
__________________
Tanks:
55g - Planted/PFS - Up and running as of 4/30/06, heavily planted running 2x 175 metal halide, dry dosing.

lots of fish.
Royal pleco!!

10g Freshwater - Fake plants/PFS -
Breeding pair of convict cichlids purchased from the LFS I work at for $1.25
(best part is that I have a place to get rid of the fry!)
exodus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2006, 12:26 AM   #9
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Sounds a little dicey to me. Thats a lot of weight to support. Tex will be a good person to help you out with this.
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Old 05-30-2006, 12:37 AM   #10
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If I do put a 55 up here, it'll definitely have a 1/2" sheet of ply under it just for safety's sake.
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Tanks:
55g - Planted/PFS - Up and running as of 4/30/06, heavily planted running 2x 175 metal halide, dry dosing.

lots of fish.
Royal pleco!!

10g Freshwater - Fake plants/PFS -
Breeding pair of convict cichlids purchased from the LFS I work at for $1.25
(best part is that I have a place to get rid of the fry!)
exodus is offline   Reply With Quote
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