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Old 05-24-2006, 03:08 AM   #1
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Finally got it

Ok I finally got the tank and the stand... I haven't posted in a bit though. I posted awhile back and many said I actually didn't have to have a cannister filter. I now have the tank and stand and light and will be adding water etc and starting to cycle the saltwater tank.

The LFS said if I run live sand I cannot run a HOB filter I must use a cannister filter as the HOB will fail. He also said I should run an undergravel filter which will create a bed of good bacteria.

I know some of this is conflicting with advice here and I will need to choose whether I want a reef aquarium or crushed corral.

Whats the next step I want to learn the right way and get a thriving saltwater tank the way I learned well about cichlids and freshwater. (my cichlids are very happy and comfortable with no major mortalitys along the way)

I know I want live rock, a couple damsels, a couple perc's, a Yellow Tang, a Yellowtail tang, and a couple firefish...

Is the LFS right and HOB filters aren't compatible with sand? or can I get things started and move to a cannister later? Or must I get a cannister right off the start if I want live sand and live rock?

**EDIT**

Actually I had forgotten some of the original advice I was given and that a cannister or HOB was prolly not needed if I was using Live Rock.

Anyways I have the tank and the stand, I have all the patience in the world so I am in no rush. What is the next thing I should do. The LFS said 1st time through I can use tap water and Live Sand/Live rock. I thought you must always use RO water. What else will I need? Heater? Live Sand, Live Rock?

What should be my next step? I know about the shrimp decaying to get the cycle started... Should I get the Live Rock and Sand in there and then add the water and sand or should I add a certain amount of water and sand and then add the LR and LS? Should I get a heater on there ASAP also and what temp should it be?
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Old 05-24-2006, 08:39 AM   #2
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Robert Fenner's "Conscientious Marine Aqaurist" book is a good start also. What sized tank we talkin' about anyway?

What are your live rock sources? Trying to gather info on when and what kind (cured or un-cured) will be available to you.

Hard to advise on sequences not knowing what's available to you and when. For instance, some cycle with uncured liverock and don't need shrimp pieces.

Got your lighting preference lined up already? Reef or fish only? Hard or soft corals? The book I mentioned above may ghelp you decide more.

Quote:
I will need to choose whether I want a reef aquarium or crushed corral.
Not sure what you mean here. Reef can be diffrent kinds of crushed coral, sand, or be bare bottomed.

Most importantly now IMO, is not to buy anything else until you decide what type of tank you want and what is gonna live in it.

Good luck.
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Old 05-24-2006, 09:41 AM   #3
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My post Stock list and tips for maintaining your SW tank covers all the basic/optional equipment needed for a successful SW tank if you haven’t read it already.

Have you bought a refractometer or hydrometer? No mention of PH or test kits. A heater is a must so temperatures don’t fluctuate and a setting around 78-80 is fine for most fish.

How much lr were you planning on adding? If adding 1.5+ lbs per gal then the use of a HOB or canister isn’t needed since the lr will provide enough surface area for bacteria. I’d still look at getting a skimmer personally to remove DOC.

As austinsdad said if you are getting enough lr (80+lbs for a 55 gal) and if it is uncured then you wouldn’t need to add the shrimp since the die-off from the lr would get your cycle started.

If looking for cheap live rock checkout intmarinefish.com which has lr for as little as $3-$4 per lb shipped.

Couple of more places with quality lr:
www.liverocknreef.com
www.liveaquaria.com
www.tampabaysaltwater.com

For base rock checkout www.hirocks.com

If you do get an ro/di unit then I would fill up with ro/di water. If you are getting your ro/di water from a store then as long as your tap has 0 no3/po4 then you could use that for your first fill up to avoid having to cart so much water. A ro/di unit would be cheaper in the long run.

Your Gettin Started post mentioned a 55 gal. If that’s what you have then the Blue Tang is not recommended for that size tank. IMO one Yellow Tang would be ok along with your Firefish or other similar small fish.
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Old 05-24-2006, 09:41 AM   #4
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The LFS said that if you want a reef tank you need Live sand and if you don't want a reef tank then you just go with crushed corral. He said if you go with crushed corral then you should go with a HOB filter and the cost is a lot less... once again I know that is conflicting with most advice here...

I would love to have the anemones, I know this means I have to get an actinic light to go with my normal florescent. I believe I have access to cured LR at a couple of my LFS. The tank is a 55 gallon non drilled tempered glass tank.

The anemones are not a must this is a project my son and I have started and his main fish he wants are Firefish, Tangs, and Damsels, I like the Perc's. I would like to go with a project that would be a good learning process for us.
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Old 05-24-2006, 09:48 AM   #5
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It sound’s like your lfs is giving old school advice IMO. CC, UGF, and hob/canister filters were the standard 10+ years ago but most people use sand, lr, and a skimmer even if it’s FOWLR and not a reef.

If wanting anemones down the road you need more then an actinic light to go with your normal florescent. You need VHO/PC/ and/or MH lighting in the range of 6+ WPG.

FWIW most cured LR from your lfs is fairly overpriced IME and contains very little life. Your best bet would be to get it online since your tank isn’t cycled yet. The only advantage to buying cured LR from your lfs is to not have to cure it before adding to a tank that already has fish.
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Old 05-24-2006, 09:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tecwzrd
My post Stock list and tips for maintaining your SW tank covers all the basic/optional equipment needed for a successful SW tank if you haven’t read it already.

Have you bought a refractometer or hydrometer? No mention of PH or test kits. A heater is a must so temperatures don’t fluctuate and a setting around 78-80 is fine for most fish.

How much lr were you planning on adding? If adding 1.5+ lbs per gal then the use of a HOB or canister isn’t needed since the lr will provide enough surface area for bacteria. I’d still look at getting a skimmer personally to remove DOC.
As austinsdad said if you are getting enough lr (80+lbs for a 55 gal) and if it is uncured then you wouldn’t need to add the shrimp since the die-off from the lr would get your cycle started.

If looking for cheap live rock checkout intmarinefish.com which has lr for as little as $3-$4 per lb shipped.

Couple of more places with quality lr:
www.liverocknreef.com
www.liveaquaria.com
www.tampabaysaltwater.com

For base rock checkout www.hirocks.com

If you do get an ro/di unit then I would fill up with ro/di water. If you are getting your ro/di water from a store then as long as your tap has 0 no3/po4 then you could use that for your first fill up to avoid having to cart so much water. A ro/di unit would be cheaper in the long run.

Your Gettin Started post mentioned a 55 gal. If that’s what you have then the Blue Tang is not recommended for that size tank. IMO one Yellow Tang would be ok along with your Firefish or other similar small fish.
I keep hearing massive conflicting advice on the blue tang/hipostus?/yellow tail... Most people say 40 gallons for it and it grows normally 6-8" but in a 55 gallon it will never reach 8" One of our local restaraunts has had one in their 55 gallon with LR for over a year now as well. I told my son I thought I had read here that 55 gallon was too small for it.

No I don't have any meters or test kits yet, I haven't even gotten the salt... I felt it best to come here and find out good advice before I move anymore forward.. My son got his birthday money and decided he wanted his saltwater tank finally. I sat him down and told him it may take awhile to get any life in there but we can start it if he really wants to spend his money on it.
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Old 05-24-2006, 10:10 AM   #7
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Well I’m sure for a short while you could be happy confined to a jail cell of 10 X 6 but eventually you would become uphappy.

A Blue Tang will still reach 10+” in a 55 gal which would barely be large enough to turn around within the tank. They are very active swimmers also and need the space to get their exercise.

Granted they only grow 1”-2” per year on average but I wouldn’t recommend getting a smaller one with the plans to upgrade tank sizes in the future since cost/space is often prohibited.

Lastly you should try to stick to around 10”-12” max total length of adult fish for your 55 gal or you will always be fighting with algae and no3 levels and a blue tang would max out your tank so it’s kind of silly to only have one fish to enjoy since there are so many other smaller fish that work well in a 55 gal.
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Old 05-24-2006, 10:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
I felt it best to come here and find out good advice before I move anymore forward.

... and get the book too IMO.
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Old 05-24-2006, 10:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
I will need to choose whether I want a reef aquarium or crushed corral.
I am almost done removing all of my CC. IME, it gets dirty fast, needs to be vacuumed, and it limited my clean up crew, making for more cleaning...
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Old 05-24-2006, 10:39 AM   #10
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Id also suggest against the tangs. As much as I want one my 60g isnt big enough.

You can get a lot of good looking fish like dwarf angels, clowns, basslets, and many more to make the tank look great.
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