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Old 10-07-2012, 04:50 PM   #1
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First 100g Saltwater setup

Hi my name is Megan. I just recently got a 20g tank that i turned into a FW tank. I did a few things wrong because i let my excitement get the best of me, and this cycle has been harder then it prolly should. So for my next tank we are going big because i want a SW tank sooo badly but this time i want to be beyond prepared!! So any knowledge you'd like to throw my way i would highly appreciate it. I would like to keep this thread to save my progress in my knowledge and to keep a list of things i need to acquire.

Set up:
Tank- Prolly going to see if i can catch a deal on craigslist?
Stand
Filter(s)- Don't know what are the best but plan on looking into canister and undergravel.
Live rock- Dunno how many pounds yet
Live sand- Dunno how many pounds yet
Lighting- I want corals and fish
Heater- Just going to get he basic watts needed for this size?
Skimmer- Have no idea about these things
Marnie salt/ Water conditioner- Whats the best type of conditioner to use for a SW tank?
Saltwater master kit

Tools for cleaning the tank:
What is the best way for cleaning a tank this size?
Siphon
Algae scrubber

Cycling- I think i'd like to try to do a fishless cycle for my SW tank. What is the best way to go about this?

Types of fish-
Haven't even started thinking about this yet

Types of corals-
Haven't even started thinking about this yet
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:00 PM   #2
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Hi megan. I currently have a 60 gallon tank and i can share what i have experienced so far. I needed 3 big bags of the live sand so you may need 4 for the 100 gallon. I would suggest getting as much live rock as you can afford for the start up because you need 1-1.5 lbs per gallon. I dont know anything about the undergravel filters, i use a hang on the back marineland which is easy for me to clean and maintain. I use instant ocean marine salt, just make sure you mix seperately to make sure its dissolved before adding to the tank. I have seen ppl just poor the salt into the tank and wonder why it was sitting at the bottom. I used a 30 gallon trash can to pre-mix at start up. I also used this stuff call bio-spira after everything was set up. It adds bacteria to the water that is suppose to instantly cycle the tank. Some ppl say it dont work but it worked for me. I added 2 clowns a wk later and still have them today. I use prime to condition the tap water but lately i been buying RO water from my local fish store.
As far as cleanin i only use the magnet scrubber to clean the glass and i let the snails do the rest. For the sand i have a diamond watchman goby that sifts the sand thru his gills all day long and keeps it clean. Just make sure the base rocks arent just sitting on the surface because he digs under them to build his home. Good luck. I hope this helps.
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:06 PM   #3
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Yeah, craigslist will probably be your best bet for a bargain. Just make sure it's a legit deal, like no leaks, too pricey, etc. So you do want corals? What is your budget so we can get an idea on what kinds of equipment you can afford, etc.? The lighting will be the most important and expensive piece of equipment that you'll acquire. Since you are very new to this I suggest reading some articles about starting up a SW tank. There's some good ones here on AA. My best advice is RESEARCH! It saves headaches, money, and time, like you already have found out. It would take eons to go over all equipment that you could get and the fish and cycling, etc. I can help you with individual questions. Best of luck and would love to see your progress on this
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:49 AM   #4
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Thank you both the advice! I guess my first question would be best place to get the best price on live rock?

As far as a budget Im not sure. Like as far as equipment I'm getting what I have to get it is what it is. Im not going to go for the best of the best on everything but im mean decent quality stuff so I can have a smooth running tank. Now fish and corals I will prolly build on slowly I'm wanting to do a lot of research so I can build a happy tank. But yea keyword is research I've done some but I've got a lot to go. Hahaha
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:56 AM   #5
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Look on Craigslist for live rock! It's cheaper! Regular stores want $9.99 per lb but people on Craigslist sell is for $2.50 per lb.. When you buy live rock make sure the water is out of it otherwise it just weighs it down!

If you buy a tank from Craigslist try to get an all in one package depending on what size.. I bought a 135 gallon with a 55 gallon sump.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:59 AM   #6
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Also, wait to get corals & stuff till your tank is cycled. Get an extra pump for a trash bin to mix your saltwater. I have a 35 gallon trash bin with a lid I got from Home Depot. I got the pump from someone off Craigslist & I let it mix for 24 hours with RODI water. I would invest in a RODI system for sure.
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:01 AM   #7
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LR is really expensive, usually $4-8 a lb and 1-2 lbs per gallon is what you'll want to get. I just went with all BRS pukani dry rock for many factors, one being it's pest free. It is more expensive than most dry rock, but I love the appearance more than most base rock and fiji LR (which is what is mostly sold). It's extremely porous and light weight so you get more for your money. I'd say 1/2-1 lb of it per gallon would do fine. Or you could get mostly base rock and some LR to see the base rock. Eventually, everything will become LR, so why not save money .

I suggest getting a pre-made sump or doing a DIY sump which is quite easy and inexpensive. Undergravel filters is an old fashion method of filtration, so def. don't recommend those. If you don't want to do all the plumbing and the sump, then I recommend a canister filter like Fluval or Eheim.

To cycle the tank you need a source of ammonia like a table shrimp (or 2 b/c of your size tank) or if you don't want the stench, pure ammonia that you can buy from a hardware store. The die-off from the LR will provide some ammonia, but not enough.

If you want to keep corals, RO/DI is a necessity. They are about $200ish. You can buy them at BulkReefSupply, marinedepot, buckeye field supply, really any where. Plus I'd imagine it would be difficult to haul 10 gallons of water for water changes every week and 100 for first starting out!
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrs.octavia.rollins View Post
Look on Craigslist for live rock! It's cheaper! Regular stores want $9.99 per lb but people on Craigslist sell is for $2.50 per lb.. When you buy live rock make sure the water is out of it otherwise it just weighs it down!

If you buy a tank from Craigslist try to get an all in one package depending on what size.. I bought a 135 gallon with a 55 gallon sump.
Yes water weight makes the rock more expensive, but if it is not in water, then it's not live rock anymore. Good LR has bacteria, sponges, algae, hitchhikers like pods, worms, etc. If it's out of water, all those things cannot live anymore and the rock is not "alive".
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obscurereef

Yes water weight makes the rock more expensive, but if it is not in water, then it's not live rock anymore. Good LR has bacteria, sponges, algae, hitchhikers like pods, worms, etc. If it's out of water, all those things cannot live anymore and the rock is not "alive".
True, what I'm saying is.. When your going through the bin or wherever they have the live rock at I pick it up get the water out, weight it real quick & put it in my bucket with water. That way I'm paying for the rock not the rock & water..
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obscurereef View Post
To cycle the tank you need a source of ammonia like a table shrimp (or 2 b/c of your size tank) or if you don't want the stench, pure ammonia that you can buy from a hardware store. The die-off from the LR will provide some ammonia, but not enough.
When i cycled my tank i added bio-spira because its suppose to instantly cycle a tank. I didnt add any shrimp or ammonia. Me and a buddy did an experiment with this stuff because a lot off ppl said it didnt work so we wanted to test it. We added 2 clowns 2 firefish 1 sixline wrasse and 1 bicolor dottyback in under 24 hours and they all survived.
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