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Old 03-31-2011, 08:45 PM   #1
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first timer questions

starting a tank this weekend, I have a lot of questions and would appreciate any response. I am just starting with a 55 gal tank (pic attached), 4 basic shop lights, base rock, a 110 aqua clear hang on filter, powerhead (didn't buy yet), substrate (didn't buy yet).
in the future I will upgrade lighting and add more live rock and corals etc..but right now just trying to get the thing started.

Here are my questions so far:
1) Does this set up sound reasonable or am I totally off base?
2) What else do I need initially that I'm missing? (I know Ill probably need heater/thermometer and refractometer)
3) Is $3 per pound unreasonable for base rock? I know I may get it a little cheaper but would like to support my local fish shop.
4) How much base rock should I start with If I intend to add LR later?
5) Will base rock eventually become the same (aesthetically speaking) as LR?
thanks in advance for any responses
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:14 PM   #2
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Size is good always better with a larger tank because their is more room for error than a smaller tank. $3 live rock sound ok I guess I seen cheaper and more expensive. Why not go with a canister filter this way you can add a uv sterilizer if u want, protein skimmer, it's easier when you have these inline. But you can get all hob version but then you see everything. IMO

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Old 03-31-2011, 09:20 PM   #3
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If your going to go LR. I wouldn't go base rock. Buy live rock all the way you'll be much more happier you did

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Old 03-31-2011, 09:27 PM   #4
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Hi there welcome tot he forums!

Nice new tank good choice. Yes you can make base lock "live" by buying some LR as well. It will catch onto the base and in a few months you won't be able to tell the difference.

The HOB you got is fine, AC makes the best filters imo.
I would suggest two powerheads and a protein skimmer since your using a hob filter. Your LR will do 80% of the filtration anyways.
Will you be going reef or just fish? Its recommended to have between 1 and 2 lbs of rock per gallon.
Again welcome and enjoy your new tank!
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiro View Post
starting a tank this weekend, I have a lot of questions and would appreciate any response. I am just starting with a 55 gal tank (pic attached), 4 basic shop lights, base rock, a 110 aqua clear hang on filter, powerhead (didn't buy yet), substrate (didn't buy yet).
in the future I will upgrade lighting and add more live rock and corals etc..but right now just trying to get the thing started.

Here are my questions so far:
1) Does this set up sound reasonable or am I totally off base?
2) What else do I need initially that I'm missing? (I know Ill probably need heater/thermometer and refractometer)
3) Is $3 per pound unreasonable for base rock? I know I may get it a little cheaper but would like to support my local fish shop.
4) How much base rock should I start with If I intend to add LR later?
5) Will base rock eventually become the same (aesthetically speaking) as LR?
thanks in advance for any responses
Sounds like a great plan to me thus far.
1) Totally reasonable.
2) RODI system or source and test kit along with the thermometer & refracto.
3) Totally reasonable
4) 1# per G is usually a good fudge start. 1/2 that with base, 1/2 LR would do well IMO.
5) Yes. Smart way to do it as long as you cycle properly and stock gradually.

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Originally Posted by Loach23 View Post
If your going to go LR. I wouldn't go base rock. Buy live rock all the way you'll be much more happier you did

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Why would someone be happier spending more money if it were needlessly? As long as the load on the tank is built up gradually it's all the same pretty much.
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:44 PM   #6
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live rock to me equals pods, worms, feather dusters etc.
bacteria will populate anything in time, even a plastic scuba diver bubbler

but i'll never consider that plastic scuba diver "live",

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Old 03-31-2011, 10:35 PM   #7
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LR can also include fire worms, gorilla crabs, mantis shrimp and an assortment of other nasties.
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:49 PM   #8
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You intend to add LR later?? how much later? You will want to add it to the tank in the beginning, if you add it later it can cause another cycle in the tank, which isn't good if you have fish, corals, or invertebrates. This can be avoided if you cycle the rock in a separate tank before adding it to the main display, or if the rock is bought cycled.

I really like the tank, stand is beautiful. Remember to try to pick out nice pieces of rock with holes and caves, i see so many people buy just dense chunks of rock that don't look too great (they are also heavier than the holey pieces and therefore more money!)
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Old 04-01-2011, 01:41 AM   #9
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KMS...I see what your saying. I do intend to add fish soon and corals at a later time, so I guess its better to buy all your base/live rock at once and be done with it.

One more question, Is any certain type of lighting necessary for LR or is LR not dependent upon light?

thanks everyone for the advice
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Old 04-01-2011, 08:19 AM   #10
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I've added LR later after having fish in the tank already. Two things to help that out. One would be putting it in a tub of saltwater (heated and with flow) and test until ammonia is at zero. The second is simply only adding a piece or two at a time.
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