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Old 12-14-2005, 09:39 PM   #1
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55 gallon setup

ok guys I have the opertunity to get a 55 gallon salt water tank at a very good price. It is only the tank and stand so I need to know what else i need to buy before I walk into a LFS and get ripped off. Please advice me on the size of filters and type of surface substance.

Also how much coral and stuff should I buy?

I know that I need to get the tank first then the filter and lighting and sand. Then I cycle the tank which takes a good long time. After that I can start introducing fish to the tank.

I would like to get the following. tell me if I am doing something wrong here.

2 clowns
3-7 Blue Green Chromis damsels
1 yellow tang
1 Royal Gramma basslet


if this good for a 55 gallon? can I get one more colorful fish in there and if so what do you suggest?

Please advise me on filters and stuff like that i dont wnat to get ripped off at the LFS but I want a good one that will last me some time and not break right away.

Thanks
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Old 12-14-2005, 11:00 PM   #2
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What do you mean by "coral and stuff?"

I'd look into using live rock as a filtration mechanism. If you put 50-70 lbs of LR in that tank, along with 2 MaxiJet 1200 powerheads, thats the only filter you need. Look around online for LR, it may be cheaper than LFS "live rock", and more colorful

Avoid crushed coral as a substrate. Go with a fine sand.

The tang may be pushing it, but I've never tried keeping tangs. They love lots of swimming space.

Depending if you wish to house any future corals (let us know, so we can recommend lighting setups), a dwarf angel like a coral beauty or flame angel might be nice. Some will nip/eat corals, hence the coral disclaimer.
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55g reef, 2x250W 10k MH + 2x96W PC actninc, 10g sump, AquaC Urchin skimmer, 65lbs LR

xenia, mushrooms, wels. open brain, fungia radiata (orange), green eyed zoos

flame angel, mated pair of false perc, 6-line, firefish

20gH electric yellow cichlid
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Old 12-15-2005, 09:44 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply.

What I meant by Coral and stuff was coral, live rock, and live sand. So you think the fish I picked are about right? What type of coral do you recommend?

I will get the live rock that you suggested and the powerheads. I will also use live sand on the bottom of the tank. Thanks for the advice.

I want this tank to be stunning. I want bright colorful fish with great looking live rock and coral. I have seen some tanks with bleached out coral. do you suggest using this or is it bad for the fish?

I simply want a great looking show piece adn I am not sure how to get to that point. that is why I am asking lots of different stuff and it is also why my terminology in not exactly correct.

Thanks for the help and any more advice would be great.
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Old 12-15-2005, 09:59 PM   #4
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One of the most important things for you to understand is that these "stunning" tanks do not just happen overnight. It takes a very long time to build these reefs and gain the knowledge to maintain them.

This hobby takes a lot of time, patience...and money. You can do things on the cheap but it usually takes some experience to know what corners you can cut.

With all that being said...your fish selection is pretty good with the exception of the yellow tang. I would really not suggest a tang in a 55 and would not suggest a tang for a beginning aquarist. If you were just considering a FOWLR tank I would suggest a dwarf angel such as a coral beauty...but if you are going to want to have a reef....that may not be such a great idea (though I have successfully kept a coral beauty in a reef).

If you are going to keep a reef you are going to want to figure out what kind of reef? SPS? LPS? Zoas? Shrooms? A garden-type reef? If you don't know what these terms mean..you have a lot of studying to do.

Your reef choice will also dictate what type of lighting you need to get. Three suggestions....
1) read, read and then read some more.
2) don't skimp on lighting
3) don't skimp on a protein skimmer
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Old 12-15-2005, 10:49 PM   #5
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Note that coral is one of those things you add much later in the game, after the tank has been established, cycled, and stablizied.

Lighting is one of the three most important parts of keeping corals (other two are enough flow, and good water parameters). Determining the type of corals also dictates the minimum lighting intensity nessecary. A normal output fluorescent is never enough, PC/CF is enough for some things, and MH is great.

The other part on water parameters involves a system with no detectable phosphate (I run phosphate media myself), very minimal nitrates, good Alk and Ca, and good skimming.

Take your time, nothing goes fast here
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55g reef, 2x250W 10k MH + 2x96W PC actninc, 10g sump, AquaC Urchin skimmer, 65lbs LR

xenia, mushrooms, wels. open brain, fungia radiata (orange), green eyed zoos

flame angel, mated pair of false perc, 6-line, firefish

20gH electric yellow cichlid
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Old 12-16-2005, 02:55 PM   #6
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Yes I had my 20g Reef running for about a year and I cycled a 55 about 4 months ago. Last week we moved everything from my 20 into my 55. The wait was worth it. As I started the 20g reef because I didnt want to get ahead of myself but after running a year free I moved it. Its been in for about 2 weeks. I ordered 492w MH fixture which should be in any day. Right now I have a Med Hippo Tang, and a Med Yellow Tang but this is only a temp home for them. My buddy and I are working on 200g. As for the time you have now , like what I did, Start reading everything and anything you can find on saltwater tanks/reef tanks and understand what has to go on to have a thriving system
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