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Old 08-03-2005, 11:38 PM   #1
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Beginner with many questions and pictures

Hey everyone, this is my very first post here on Aquarium Advice and I'm looking for a very enjoyable experience here . I've been reading about saltwater aquariums for a few weeks now and decided that I would like to take on this hobby and create one. I've got a few questions and a few pictures, so hopefully that will aid you in helping me out. Thanks

Well here's my story:

Last week while I was visiting my girlfriend, her dad was nice enough to give me his old saltwater aquarium with various equipment that he used years ago. I would like to know what some of the stuff does, where it goes, and what else I will need to make sure I have a suitable habitat for my fish I will get later on. I know I sound really new to this, and well, I am. I don't plan on setting the aquarium up for another two or three months though. I'm waiting for my mom's lease on her apartment to end so that she can move and I'll have a more permanent home for the fish and the aquarium.

Notes:
-I live in Florida
-I plan on making a fish only tank
-I'm going to get a bigger tank for the sump
-Please escuse the crappy picture quality; I took them with my phone
-I am planning on getting tank decorations such as rocks and stuff later on when I actually set up the tank
-I know about cycling the tank and the nitrogen cycle and stuff
-I know the proper pH, salinity, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels

Pictures:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

Questions:

1. I do not know what pictures 4-7 are, nor what they do or where the go.
2. I have old sand that was used before. Should I replace it or keep it?
3. What type of lighting will I need?
4. Should I clean the sump/filter thing?
5. What's a protein skimmer and do I need it?
6. Am I going to need more vinyl tubing?
7. What do I connect it to?
8. Is there anything else I need to go out and get?

Please help! Thanks to anyone who actually read that whole thing.

-Alex
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Old 08-04-2005, 12:00 AM   #2
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I'm a newby myself, but I can answer a few of these.

4 is a water pump of some variety. I'm not sure which. (Maybe used to pump back from the sump or for enternal water flow.)

5 and 7 are powerheads (water pumps). You place these in the tank to circulate the water.

6 is an air pump. I'm pretty sure that conventional wisdom says you don't need this now. You get air exchange by circulating water, making the surface of the water move, and don't need to add air.

What kind of sand is it, do you know? If you drop a little bit into vinegar, does it fizz like an Alka Seltzer? If so, keep it. If not, then it won't hurt your tank or fish, but it's not as good as the fizzie (aragonite) kind.

Yes, clean the sump.

A protein skimmer cleans excess protein from the water. You won't need one right away, but within 4-6 months after starting.

Vinyl tubing, I assume you mean airline tubing, would connect to to the air pump (#6) and to an air stone. Don't need the air pump (unless you want to use it to make a quick sponge filter, maybe), so don't need the tubing. I find it dread useful stuff though, and have a constant supply on hand. Of course, I also have a freshwater tank...

Even if you do Fish Only, you should probably get some live rock. It's great for biological filtration, hiding places for fish, and cool coriline algae.

What size is the tank?

Joleen
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Old 08-04-2005, 12:09 AM   #3
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Tomorrow I'll check and see if it fizzes with vinegar. It's a 55 gallon. Could I put the powerheads inside of the sump? If so, where and how can I connect tubing to it to circulate the water to the tank.

I think #6 is for the undergravel filter that he also gave me (not pictured). I probably will get some live rock or live sand. If it fizzes does that mean it's live? Thanks
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Old 08-04-2005, 12:14 AM   #4
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Do not use an UGF they are nitrate factories. You use the powerheads inside the tank.
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Old 08-04-2005, 12:34 AM   #5
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Oh yeah I wasn't going to use the UGF. He just had that too and gave it to me. So how exactly do the powerheads move water from the sump to the display tank? Or are they just there to circulate the water?
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Old 08-04-2005, 01:44 AM   #6
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The powerheads go directly into the tank. You probably want to point the flow from them at the return flow from the sump, each other, walls, etc. This breaks up the flow of the water, which is better for the fish. They're just there to circulate water.

Is there a pump already in the sump? I'm just assuming that #4 is for the sump, but he might have used it for extra water circulation within the tank, too. If it is for the sump, then there should be a return line somewhere that hooks into the outflow of the pump and goes into your tank.

If the sand fizzes, it means it's made of aragonite, which buffers your pH (keeps it up). Snails, 'pods, and other things supposedly like it better, too. "Live" sand just means it already has 'pods and bacteria. Any dead sand will become live over time, and you can help it along by getting a couple of cups of sand from an established tank or buying a product like GARF's Gunk.

As for lighting, the general rule of thumb, if I'm remembering correctly, is 5 watts per gallon. That's good for most corals and inverts. If you want a FO or FOWLR, less light should be OK. I'd go with the better lighting (probably Power Compacts, since you're just starting) because if you're anything like me you'll start admiring the pictures in the Showroom forum and will want to add corals and such.

You should probably check out www.wetwebmedia.com for more information on saltwater tanks before you buy anything. There's so much information out there that you can quickly get overwhelmed, though. After about 3 months, I've finally learned enough to know I don't know near enough. At least now I now FOWLR is not a strange brand of aquarium...

Joleen
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Old 08-04-2005, 02:34 PM   #7
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btw,

since your in clearwater

one of this boards (and mine) favorite places to get Live rock is right by you in Tarpon Springs... right off Alt 19

Check them out,and you will be able to hand pick your rocks with them.

They are bunch of great people.
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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 08-04-2005, 02:41 PM   #8
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Welcome to the world of saltwater aquariums! Be careful, it can be very addictive. LOL.
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Old 08-05-2005, 07:35 AM   #9
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Thanks for the help everyone!

Yeah but there's no pump in the sump yet... could I use #4 for that? I'll have to check out that place with Live Rocks
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Old 08-05-2005, 09:05 AM   #10
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#4 looks like a Hagen AquaClear powerhead.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...4&N=2004+22788

http://www.bigalsonline.com/catalog/...193&pcid1=2181
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