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Old 12-14-2010, 10:07 AM   #11
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Do you think I can mix up say 50g in that drum with salt and get it ready to start my tank and use all that for the tank itself? Then you said you just keep unmixed water in the drum after that? How often do you have to actually add salt to the tank after it's started? I'm guessing evaporation only takes away water leaving the water in the tank with a higher concentration of salt? So to refill from evaporation you use unmixed water but for a PWC you use mixed water? Sorry, still new to all this and trying to get opinions from anywhere and everywhere.

If I take a good portion of their live sand and rinse it will that then take away it's "live" effect?
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:11 AM   #12
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you never add salt to the tank after the initial fill. only when you remove salt water do you add more salted water. yes, you are correct in your assumption.

if you rinse the live sand in salt water, it should not hurt the bacteria on it. what i would do is put it in a bucket, and pour salt water in it...stir the sand around, then pour off the nastys that cloud up the water...and repeat..until the water stays clean when you stir it.

nick, live sand is only live because of bacteria on the granules. this happens with any sand when it's in the tank for a period of time.
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:31 AM   #13
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nick, live sand is only live because of bacteria on the granules. this happens with any sand when it's in the tank for a period of time.
I think I've wrapped my head around that understanding. I'm not quite sure how to word things yet since I'm still new to this. I know that the sand is live in their tank because it's an established tank. Figured since I was getting live sand I'd like to keep it live (as in try not to kill off the bacteria) and take advantage of the quicker cylcing. I'm sure the live rock will help with this as well.

I think the game plan we have worked out is that I'm going to get my tank setup, water mixed, purchase and rinse dry sand. add sand to tank and fill tank. Make sure it's the right salinity and temp. (What's a good temp btw?) At that point we'll bucket the live rock and live sand she has and bring it over and add it into the tank.

Is there anything that I'll need to keep an eye out for at that time? Should I invest in some crabs or snails or anything to help with the cycle and tank clean up?
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:40 AM   #14
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no. no livestock until you are sure you aren't going to have a cycle. as much as i disagree with their "cleaning" ability, they are supposed to be added after the cycle.
if you can get all live rock and transport it in buckets, you might skip a cycle for the most part. you might just get a diatom bloom and that's about it.
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:45 AM   #15
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Works for me! Only time will tell with the cycle I'm guessing? Just keep an eye on ammonia levels to spike?
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:45 AM   #16
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yeap.
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Old 12-14-2010, 11:10 AM   #17
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Thanks for all the help it's really appreciated. I'm hoping to look at the new tank sometime today. It comes with a sump tank but I'm guessing it's a wet/dry setup from the sound of it. After a lot of reading it looks like I'd be better off selling that and making my own sump so working on that issue now.
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Old 12-14-2010, 05:49 PM   #18
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Thought of something else.....

What rating of a heater would you recommend and what about using two in the tank? I'm kind of worried about if something happens to one then there is one for a backup?
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Old 12-14-2010, 05:52 PM   #19
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i agree. i would recommend using multiple smaller heaters instead of one larger one for the reason you mentioned.
i have 4 heaters on the tank i maintain at the local gym. 2 in the display, and 2 in the sump.
2 x 150 or 3 x 100 would work i suppose.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:06 PM   #20
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That does make good sense. I guess if I ran two each should be capable of heating the tank itself or else its a bit pointless if one goes out. If i have 3 then only two really need to be able to heat the tank.

Next set of questions. Lighting. The more I read the more I know I'll be considering a reef when my tank and I are ready.

I am looking at a 65g now which has a 4 bulb fixture. It seems the dimensions (I haven't seen it yet) are 36"w x 19"d x 24"h. I am assuming it has T8 fixtures. Since I do want corals at some point will T5HO bulbs reach the sand bed at 24" minus the bed depth? I'd imagine I will need a 6 bulb setup. From the research it doesn't look like a 8 bulb setup would fit. The tank is supposed to have a canopy. I'm very good with wiring (big into RC cars) and have a good understanding of electronics. Anything I can do myself to save money I will consider.
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