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Old 04-28-2012, 10:47 PM   #1
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36 gal Aqueon Bowfront New to saltwater

Hi all... So I've had a freshwater tank for a couple of years. I received the aqueon 36 gallon bowfront package setup. It came with the hood, heater, 18 watt lamp, filtration system and tank. I want to build this as a reef tank. I know its on the small side but really I don't have the room for something larger. I don't know exactly where to start. Well sort of. I know I want to change out the lighting to 4 t5 and 2 moonlight led's. But I have no clue what fits my tank. I know that I do not want a sump but do want a protein skimmer but again no clue what fits in my tank or if a protein skimmer can be used without a sump or if I should use the filtration system that came with the setup along with the protein skimmer. I do want a deep live sand bed and dry rock to aquascape and cycle my tank but I don't know how deep the sand should be and if this will effect how I calculate for the amount of watts for lighting. Water to start off with... Should I buy it or just use tap water condition and salt the water myself. If I prep the water myself do I mix it in a bucket first or do it all in the tank? Powerheads.... Do I need these when I'm cycling my tank? Will one be sufficient? I'm so confused. I'm sure some of these questions seem silly... But any help would be appreciated!
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:28 AM   #2
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Hello, yes you can use a protein skimmer without a sump, they make hang-on- the- back models. If you wanted to, you could also use the standard filter that came with your tank package.

From what I have read, in order to have the benefits of a deep sand bed (DSB) it needs to be four inches.

I would recommend making the saltwater yourself using and RO/DI unit. These units remove impurities from your tap water. The water that you make should go right into a bucket, where it is to be heated and mixed with salt for about twenty-four hours before use.


Hope this helps.
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:53 AM   #3
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Unfortunately, an Ro/di unit is not possible at this time. What are other options to fill my tank?
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:00 AM   #4
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At this time, I don't have a RO/DI unit either, I buy water from a Glacier vending machine. 30 cents a gallon. Riskier than making your own, I know, but it has worked for me.
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Old 04-29-2012, 02:50 PM   #5
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That might need to be my solution for the time being. Do you do your salt mix and heat your water in a clean garbage can? How does that work?
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Old 04-29-2012, 03:08 PM   #6
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Carey was nice enough to give me this link;

eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices

That's the RO/DI unit I use. $66 + free shipping
(I'm pretty broke atm too, so this was the only choice)

I'm still brand new to sw, but I mix up some salt and RO/DI water in a 5 g bucket (for you it'd prob be a garbage can or larger container - my tanks small) then stir it up really good and leave it overnight with the powerhead blowing it around.

I hope I'm doing that right, so correct me if I am not
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:26 AM   #7
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Do you think I can get away with doing my water mix in the tank & letting it mix for 24 hrs then adding sand & rock after the saline level & temp is right? I'd like to save the $30 it will cost to buy a huge garbage can to put that $ towards something else if I can.
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:06 AM   #8
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For the initial setup before cycling that is fine. You dont have to worry about too much besides ammonia/nitrite/nitrate while cycling. I cycled my last tank at 1.044 salinity because i messed up my measurements. Didnt worry about it til the cycle was done.
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:14 AM   #9
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Thanks so much! I'm really getting excited to start this! As far as equipment goes all I need is some decent lighting and I'm ony way. I went to the LFS today and he was animate on me getting a sump set up... But I think with this size tank the deep sand bed, protien skimmer and filter that came with my tank should be sufficient. What do you think?
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:19 AM   #10
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Yes, you should be fine. My 55 gallon sw tank is set up without a sump. Just the items you have listed. Its been up and running for over 10 months. I also have the dual t5s with soft coral as well.
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