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Old 07-07-2015, 09:55 PM   #1
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First attempt at a reef

Hi everyone,
I have been thinking of diving into saltwater for awhile and finally made the plunge. I am working through stocking options and know that it will be a reef. I have some coral and fish in mind but not settled on anything yet. I have the tank filled with water, live rock, and pump running to start my cycle via shrimp while I decide on the rest. I have a question though. The pump I have is a Danner Supreme Model 7. I heard these were quiet but it is not. Are there any tricks of the trade at making the return pump quieter? Any recommendations for the newbie? I have some freshwater tanks and know this is completely different. Thanks.

Current setup:
55 gallon tank with sump
57 lbs of live rock
200 watt heater
and the Mag Pump #7.

Necessary options:
Skimmer - any recommendations?
lighting - depends on stock
live sand - 40 lbs - 50 lbs
couple of powerheads
test kits - recommendations on which ones I need?
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Old 07-08-2015, 12:44 AM   #2
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Ok, here goes nothing. Lemme know what you need after you read this:


#1-Dry Rock, there are a few hitchhikers on Live Rock that people want to stay away from, so they opt for using Dry Rock, or Dead Rock. Macro Rock is a good place to start looking for that. Either way you go you will need a minimum of 1lb per gallon. You can use Fully Cured Live Rock, and have the tank cycled in just a few days also. Other way is to use just a couple of pounds of Live Rock and the rest Macro or Dry Rock.

#2-Replacement filter media like filter floss and activated carbon (if you get a filter) Which is really not necessary.

#3-Multiple Power heads (2 or 3) 10x your water volume for just a Fish Only With Live Rock, and at least 20x your water volume for a Reef Tank. So lets say your going reef, and you have a 100g tank, you would need flow in that tank at minimum of 2000gph, or 2 1000gph power heads.

#4-Protein Skimmer, rated at 2 times your water volume. Unless your tank is under 30g, in which case you can do 10% water changes a week to rid the system of detrius. But, you'll have to watch the water parameters close, if things go haywire, you'll have to do more water changes.

#5-Saltwater Test Kits. Reef Test Kit. Test for Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, PH, Phosphates, Calcium, ALK and Magnesium.

#6-Saltwater fish food. Mysis Shrimp, Squid, Cyclopease, Algae Sheets, Romaine . Flake food is not really a good food to feed your marine fish.

#7-Aquarium vacuum. This one is iffy. Most don't use one, if you have enough flow in the tank you won’t need one

#8-Rubber kitchen gloves

#9-Fish net

#10-Two, clean, never used before, 5-gallon buckets

#11-Aquarium thermometer, digital being the best.

#12-Brush with plastic bristles (old tooth brush) - needed for cleaning the live rock if you don't get Fully Cured Live Rock.

#13-Power Strip, possibly GFCI outlets by the tank.

#14-Optional but definitely recommend getting a Reverse Osmosis or RO/Deionization filter for the make-up water, and a barrel for storing the water.

#15-Possibly a Quarantine Tank for your new fish. They sit in here for a few weeks to kill off parasites and bacteria, to keep it from getting in your main tank

#16-Heater rated for your size tank.

#17-Saltwater Mix. Marine Salt. Instant Ocean is the cheap Salt that beginners and Advanced use alike.

#18-Saltwater Hydrometer or even better a Refractometer, which is more accurate. There is also a Digital Meter that is way advanced if you have the cash.

#19-Aquarium filter (not absolutely necessary if running with adequate amounts of live rock, but nice to have if you need to use a mechanical filter or activated carbon, or GFO and such)

#20-Aquarium substrate such as live sand or crushed coral. Some go bare Bottom, others choose the 1-2" bottom, others, more advanced will try the Deep Sand Bed, which is over 6" deep.

http://www.scaquariums.com/sc-aquari...n-skimmer.html

http://www.americanaquariumproducts....gen_Cycle.html

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=...eads&_osacat=0

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=...eter&_osacat=0

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-0-10-Sal...item3a792587d1

http://www.marcorocks.com/

http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/bulk-dry-live-rock.html

http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/a...lies.cfm?c=393

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/fish-s...ps/c/3578/9805

http://www.americanaquariumproducts...._Lighting.html

http://live-plants.com/

http://successfulreefkeeping.com/lea...r-coral-needs/

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trks...hting&_sacat=0

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=...ting&_osacat=0

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/fish-s...ps/c/3578/4685

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...m?pcatid=15473

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...fm?pcatid=4749

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...fm?pcatid=4145

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2004/4/chemistry

http://successfulreefkeeping.com/lea...r-coral-needs/

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Old 07-08-2015, 06:57 AM   #3
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^VERY NICE!^
link for the skimmer that did not come up
SCA-302 180 gallon Protein Skimmer
Nice additions and links .
Thanks RM!
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Old 07-08-2015, 09:07 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice. I'm familiar with the theory of setting up a reef through my research but their is no substitute for experience. I will continue to make good use of the above and the links provided. And will pick up some of my remaining equipment through the above links I'm sure.

I do have a dilemma though. My return pump is LOUD. In researching, all I can find are statements you can make the pump quieter but no advice. Has anyone had this issue and found a way to make their return pump quieter?
Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-09-2015, 12:03 AM   #5
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Only way to quiet down a pump, is to place a rubber bumper under the pump itself, to dampen the vibrations.
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Old 07-10-2015, 11:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BGK21 View Post
Thanks for the advice. I'm familiar with the theory of setting up a reef through my research but their is no substitute for experience. I will continue to make good use of the above and the links provided. And will pick up some of my remaining equipment through the above links I'm sure.

I do have a dilemma though. My return pump is LOUD. In researching, all I can find are statements you can make the pump quieter but no advice. Has anyone had this issue and found a way to make their return pump quieter?
Thanks in advance.
I have a mag 3 that made an awful rattling noise. I took off the impeller cover, cleaned it all out and made sure that all the surfaces inside were smooth, there were remnants of a seam left over, re-seated everything and now it is much better. I think maybe the impeller wasn't 100% seated in there or something.
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Old 07-10-2015, 12:37 PM   #7
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That can be pretty common, even as some of our pumps age. Even if some algae somehow was floating through and was sucked into the impeller the same issue can be caused. If a pump is loud, always take it apart to clean it out first.
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Old 07-16-2015, 10:43 PM   #8
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I've taking the pump apart to clean twice and added some rubber and a filter underneath. No luck....

Oh Well. I have been looking through the live rock and there is a lot of activity. Are there certain pests I should be aware of and if so, what is the best way to remove them? I have seen some starfish and worms. There are two corals of some sort that I fear may be a pest. I think they may be Aiptasia sp. or Anemonia cf majano. Here are some pics:
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Old 07-16-2015, 10:55 PM   #9
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Def aiptasia. Use a product like aiptasia-x or joe's juice to eradicate them.
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Old 07-18-2015, 01:58 PM   #10
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Thanks, I will pick one of those up today.
I went with the shrimp method for cycling and the shrimp is fully decomposed now. My readings are
Ammonia 0.2
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 50
pH 8.2
Alkalinity - still figuring out how the test works
SG - Figuring out the refractometer

I assume when the cycle is complete to do a roughly 50% water change and I should be good to start adding corals/fish. I will need to keep an eye on those nitrates!

With the shrimp fully decomposed, what should the source of ammonia be to continue the cycle?
Thanks in advance.
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