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Old 07-04-2005, 03:38 PM   #11
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Hey Andy. First thing to do is to decide what type of tank you want. FO, FOWLR or eventually a reef? $450 to start is going to be tight. When you start looking at all of the little things you do not realize you need until you need them, well, it sure adds up. Do you have a certain size in mind? What are your thoughts on filtration for this tank, LR, HOB or canister? The above info is good. To get started you will need tank, lighting fixture, substrate (LS or CC, I prefer LS for many reasons), filtration (biological, chemical, mechanical), salt mix, a basic test kit for Ph, NH3, NO2, NO3 and SG. A heater and thermometer, a couple of powerheads to start. A skimmer is also very beneficial but you can get that down the road. This will save a bit of money. I would skip using damsels to cycle the tank. Use a coctail shrimp from the grocery store instead.
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Old 07-04-2005, 09:45 PM   #12
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thanks lando, i was hoping someone out there like you, ok i have got everything, i guess it would be easier to tell you what i don't have. like i said i was getting a SeaClear System II aquarium, so if you have checked that out, i have everything but the aquarium, and the aquarium includes the tank, of course, filtration, and lighting. i had a 50 or 55 gallon aquarium in mind. i was going to start out with FOWLR, but once i get the hang of marine aquariums, i will get into some coral. I DO already have CaribSea Seaflor special grade reef sand, for the substrate, Instant Ocean salt mix, two heaters, digital thermometer, a basic test kit, R/O system water(in house already), stand, a bag of filter floss, some active carbon, QT tank and pretty much everything but the aquarium, lighting, and filters (what would you suggest for a filter?(considering it will eventually become a reef tank). so all in all we are looking to get the aquarium, lighting, and filtration on a 450$ budget.TIA

Andy
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Old 07-04-2005, 09:49 PM   #13
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If I may, I have done some reading up on the ASM series of Protein skimmers.

They seem to be designed by the same folks that built the Euroreef line ( i may be wrong) The Euroreef is a very nice skimmer, and it comes very highly recommend in any size skimmer that you look for.

Personally I am using a ASM G1X that is rated up to 150gal for my 75g... one thing to always remember is to go a size or two larger then what you need. Atleast that is what I learned in my pursuit of information. The only other thing that I am using for Filtration, is LR and possibly a floss bag connected to my overflow pipes to catch some of the bigger particles.

HTH
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75g w/ 30g sump, 160# LR, 60# sand: Inverts =18 turbos, 30 nassirus's, 40 blue leg's, 5 emeralds, 1 CBS, 1 skunk cleaner, 1 brown gulf shrimp? and various other LR hitch hikers yet un discovered or un-ID'ed
Fish=1 yellow tang, 1 yellow headed jawfish, 1 pink/blue shrimpgoby, 2 perc clowns.
Future fish = 1 sixline, 1 lawnmower blenny
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Old 07-05-2005, 11:52 AM   #14
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Okay, looks like you have most of what you need. Next, decide on tank size. The SeaClear tanks are not that bad, but they do sort of limit you as far as customizing your tank goes. And they do seem a bit exspensive. On a budget, I would look at getting a 29-55gal tank, hood and NO florescent light. They are inexspensive and you can upgrade lighting later. For filtration I would suggest using a Emperor 400 as a HOB filtration and start building up your LR in the tank for biological filtration. Get as much LR as you can afford for now. Later you can add more LR or dead base rock which will be seeded by your LR and eventually become live as well. You should consider a skimmer down the road as well.
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Old 07-05-2005, 08:32 PM   #15
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ok i am set on a 55 gal tank. just got paid so i am willing to spend around 100$ on each both lighting and filtration, if this changes your mind. i will dish out the extra cash, if it will accually save me in the long run as in like buying a better filter and lighting now as uposed to buying one now and buying down the road.TIN

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Old 07-06-2005, 06:43 PM   #16
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As far as doing it right is concerned, definitely go the aragonite sand route instead of crushed coral. It is a much better chemical buffer. It is usually about $1 a pound. The rule of thumb on how much you need in a tank is about 1 pound per gallon. Another great thing to do is add live sand to your tank to help in filtration and general tank health. Live sand (LS) is generally around $2 per pound. The cheap yet effective route is to "seed" your dollar per pound dry aragonite sand with $2 per pound wet Live Sand. This adds the good bacteria and other microscopic critters that come in the live sand and they eventually spread throughout all the rest of your sand.
As for the Fishless cycling method, it works great. Try a googly search for Dr. Chris Cow. He is the innovator of the more humane fishless cycle. It is actually a much faster cycling process. A quick summary of the technique is to use pure ammonia that you would find at the grocery store (it wont fizz up when you shake it) and add 4-5 drops per gallon into your fish tank every day until you see nitrites show up. Then cut the dose to half until you are ready to add fish. This gives you the ammonia spike right from the get go instead of having to wait for it to form natuarally and the bacteria have something to feed off of.
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39 gallon (2yrs) 40lbs live sand. 23 lbs LR (still collecting) , 1 turbo snail, 5 Nasarius snails, 10 blue knuckle hermits, 1 zebra hermit, 1 scarlet hermit, 5 red tip hermits, 1 Green Chromis, 1 Blue Damsel, ? Ricordia, candy cane coral.

135gallon (2 months)
125lbs live sand, 100lbs live rock, 2 175W Metal Halide, 1 175W VHO Actinic (so far). Berlin Protein Skimmer in 40 Gallon Sump. 2 Maxi Jet 1200's. 10 Nassarius, 10 mexican turbos, 10 astreas, 20 Blue Leg Hermits, 20 Scarlet Hermits, 5 Emerald crabs, 5 peppermint shrimp. 1 Copper Band butterfly, 2 False Perculas, 1 Javanese Damsel.
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Old 07-06-2005, 06:52 PM   #17
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Oops, looks like I forgot to read the second page before I put in my two cents. Hopefully some of the info can help anyway.
Hey Lando, I am also looking into lighting. I would really like to get metal halide since I heard they add a nice shimmer effect to the water. The full hood kit is pretty expensive (i have a 24" by 12") around 400 bucks. Is it possible to buy a much less expensive hood and upgrade it to metal halide? Any good sites for lighting? Thanks.
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39 gallon (2yrs) 40lbs live sand. 23 lbs LR (still collecting) , 1 turbo snail, 5 Nasarius snails, 10 blue knuckle hermits, 1 zebra hermit, 1 scarlet hermit, 5 red tip hermits, 1 Green Chromis, 1 Blue Damsel, ? Ricordia, candy cane coral.

135gallon (2 months)
125lbs live sand, 100lbs live rock, 2 175W Metal Halide, 1 175W VHO Actinic (so far). Berlin Protein Skimmer in 40 Gallon Sump. 2 Maxi Jet 1200's. 10 Nassarius, 10 mexican turbos, 10 astreas, 20 Blue Leg Hermits, 20 Scarlet Hermits, 5 Emerald crabs, 5 peppermint shrimp. 1 Copper Band butterfly, 2 False Perculas, 1 Javanese Damsel.
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Old 07-06-2005, 06:55 PM   #18
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It is possible to build your own. You can save a good amount of money buying retro kits and doing a DIY hood. This will allow you to really customize to fit your lighting needs. Check out www.captivereefs.com for a starting place. There is also a DIY forum on this site.
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Old 07-06-2005, 09:24 PM   #19
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so do you think you could give me some suggestions on a filter and lighting?TIA

Andy
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Old 07-06-2005, 09:35 PM   #20
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Quote:
For filtration I would suggest using a Emperor 400 as a HOB filtration and start building up your LR in the tank for biological filtration. Get as much LR as you can afford for now. Later you can add more LR or dead base rock which will be seeded by your LR and eventually become live as well. You should consider a skimmer down the road as well.
This is a good starting point.
For lighting, look at a coralife 48in Aqualight lunar at www.captivereefs.com
I may have just blown the budget with that one
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