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Old 04-04-2007, 01:10 AM   #1
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55 Gallon Newbie Startup

Hi Everyone,

I have been lurking the forum a while and been keeping Freshwater for about a year and would like to get a nice 55 gallon saltwater aquarium going. I need everyone's expert advice to help me get through this and get it right. (I am a perfectionist in too many ways).

Anyhow, so far I have an All Glass 55 gallon tank with 80 lbs of Aragonite Sand Subtrate. Its about 2-3" worth. Next I am planning to get a 216 watt T5 fixture (Probably one from Hellolights.com as they have the individual reflectors). I am going to get two Penguin 1140 Power Heads, a 200W Stealth Heater, a protein skimmer (not sure which yet, and not sure if its needed during cycling).

Anyhow, that's the plan at the moment. What do i need from my list to get the cycle started? I also need advice on water changes once I start to add inhabitants.

I plan to use Live Rock and Base Rock for Filtration. 50 lbs from Marco Rocks and 30 Lbs live rock.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Adam
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Old 04-04-2007, 01:40 AM   #2
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Welcome to AA!!!!!!!!!!!

Sounds like you have a pretty good idea of where to start. You don't need a skimmer for the cycle or even lights for that matter. I had both when I cycled my tank just because i got everything ahead of time.

Are you planning on a sump? I would suggest one as they help in many ways. It does not have to be a fancy acrylic one either. The extra water volume and a place to put your heater(s) skimmer and other things make the sump a nice addition!

What kind of tank are you planning? FOWLR or Reef? This will determine what you need in addition to the equipment you listed.

I personally do PWCs every other week of 25% of my total system volume (about 25gallons). More frequent PWCs help maintain trace elements, reduce phosphates/nitrAtes and keep your fish happy with fresh (SW) water!

80LBs of rock is excellent! You have been paying attention!


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Old 04-04-2007, 02:12 AM   #3
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Haha, I try to read as much as I can. You should see all my post on the RC Universe forum (I fly model airplanes as well).

Anyhow, to answer your questions.

I am not sure about a sump. I dont know how they work, or what I need for one.

I plan on doing a reef tank.

I am guessing water changes would be done through the sump?

Lastly, are the powerheads needed for the cycle too?
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Old 04-04-2007, 03:26 AM   #4
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Flow is a good idea when cycling! You don't need the flow you will need for a reef to cycle but the more the better IMO.

Here is a good bit of info to read about sumps....
http://www.melevsreef.com/what_sump.html

If you have a sump that is the best place to do a PWC, that is how I do my water changes....
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Old 04-04-2007, 09:30 AM   #5
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Sounds like you have the basics but there are a couple of other "must have items" you need like a hydrometer (or better refractometer), test kits, GFCI, ect.. and a couple of optional equipment items you may need like ro/di filter & QT tank (not really optional IMO) for example.

My Stock list and tips for maintaining your SW tank goes into more detail.
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Old 04-04-2007, 01:31 PM   #6
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As far as the cycle here is a good article.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...q=2&fldAuto=15

Welcome to the SW side.
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Old 04-04-2007, 04:40 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info everyone. Is it best to make your own sump or are there some good commercially available sumps?

As far as the cycle and setup goes. What is the process of putting rocks into the tank? Do I fill it up with salt water first, and then put the base rock and live rock in? Or can i arrange it and then fill it up with salt water? Is there a certain way to arrange live rock vs base rock so that the base becomes live quicker?
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Old 04-04-2007, 06:44 PM   #8
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I would mix the water and salt together and make sure the salinity is right and then place the sand in with a PVC pipe and then finally add the LR. The quicker way would be to add cured LR but not necessary. Any combo of LR and BR will work but not as quick.
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Old 04-05-2007, 01:55 AM   #9
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Any and all LR or "live" anything needs to be put into SW. I mixed my SW up in my new tank as I didn't have a large enough container at the time to mix it in. I let that run for about a week and tested PH, SG and Temp...once all that was where I wanted it I added the sand...I was silly and got the LS..(oh well sped up the cycle) got all of that in the tank and then added the first piece of LR...over the next month or so I added more rock base and LR until I got through my cycle...took about 6 weeks to completely cycle...that was because I kept adding LR to the system (die off).
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Old 04-06-2007, 08:51 PM   #10
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Hmm. I already have my sand added. I am guessing this will just cause one big huge dust storm in the tank when i mix the water. Is this bad?

Also is it bad to add all the baserock and liverock in at the same time?

I am going to have to put things on a bit of a hold while i try to figure out this whole sump idea. I dont know if i have much room below my tank to house a very large sump. What would be the minimum size recommended for a 55 gallon? I'd really like to use a sump, but it sure looks like quite a bit of work. I do have time this weekend though, so maybe I'll just build the sump this weekend.

Thanks again all! I can't wait to get the cycle started.
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