Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 09-29-2010, 02:29 AM   #1
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Magma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Calgary, Canada
Posts: 339
Got the setup but need the help

So I have had FW tanks for years now and well like everyone I have talked to had mentioned, they are fun but Salt Water just seems to be more involved and fun in the long run.

So we (wife and I) after looking around picked up a Red Sea Max 130D. Its the all in one package and seemed like a great starter package, it was between the JBJ LED Nano Cube (26G) personally I wanted a little more space just in case.


I havent setup the tank yet but will be starting a cycle very soon I plan on running the cycle for probably a month just due to time constraints from work. So we need to know a few things before we start and we came here to find out.

1. Best salt to use, and how to add the salt to the water.
I know it sounds like a funny question but really how do you add the salt? premix your water and them dump into the tank? or fill the tank with fw then add the salt? and how about when you do water changes?

2. What kind of sand should I be picking up? we would like maybe white or black but so far we have only really seen a few choices and most are white.

3. What would fit best in a 33G tank for livestock? we wanted to do a shrimp or 2 and some crabs, maybe a snail

4. Live Rock....how do I know its cured? (or ready I guess) and how long should it cycle before adding cleaners/fish to the tank

5. Should I add corals before or after the fish?


What we wanted was some clowns (1 or 2), fire shrimp, crabs, starfish and probably some kind of sea anemone to start, probably some more soft corals later.

Thanks in advance we want to get some ideas from hobbyists before we went out and got all the wrong stuff or the wrong fish for our tank.
__________________

__________________
Magma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2010, 10:00 AM   #2
Sliced Bread
 
neilanh's Avatar


 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 8,482
Welcome to AA! Kudos to you for coming and researching first before doing anything.

1. Salt - Salt is highly a matter of personal preference, but in some part salt selection depends on your tank type (FO, FOWLR, Reef). It appears you want to work up into a reef scenario. Again, it's highly a matter of opinion but I use Reef Crystals with great success.

For your initial fill (when the tank is empty) you can do whatever is easiest for you. FW in the tank, then add salt is okay for this if you want. For your water changes, though, you'll need to store the FW and mix the salt in a spare container with a powerhead and heater for at least 24 hours before adding new water to the tank.

2. Dry Aragonite sand is really good, and pretty cheap. Don't waste money on "live" sand that's been sitting on a shelf somewhere. The sand will become live over time. There's a few different grain types to aragonite, and that's mostly personal preference too on how you want the bed to look.

3. You'll want eventually to add some snails and maybe hermit crabs as your clean up crew (CUC). You could have a shrimp in there, and probably a pair of clowns would be okay, but that'll be about it for fish.

4. If you get LR from an LFS, they should be able to tell you if it's cured or not. If you order it online (often cheaper) you'll have to cure it after shipment anyway. Since you need to cycle your tank anyhow, you can cure the LR and cycle the tank at the same time, so don't worry too much about getting cured rock. Adding LR to an established system is where you have to be careful about ensuring the rock is cured to avoid an ammonia spike.

5. Corals first, fish first, doesn't really matter. Typically fish will come first, you'll need to wait a little while for your system to really get established and stable before adding corals as they're much more sensitive than fish are.

The only other comment is on your anemone. Anemones need a really stable environment, so most recommend that you wait 1 year or so of having your tank setup before attempting one of those.

Again, welcome to AA!
__________________

__________________
~Neilan
In the DC Metro Area? Check out GWAPA and WAMAS
neilanh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2010, 03:34 AM   #3
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Magma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Calgary, Canada
Posts: 339
ok so now my next question, about the saltwater in a bucket..

What do you use to get your SW ready in? Would a giant rubbermaid container work? or should I get a small tank?

Also how many snails/crabs should a CUC consist of for a 33G tank?
Are starfish considered CUC? if so what kind should i be looking for?

we just want to do it correctly and if it takes a few months of prep so be it. Its better to have it all ready to go than to lose an expensive fish or coral I think.
__________________
Magma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2010, 10:22 AM   #4
Sliced Bread
 
neilanh's Avatar


 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 8,482
I mix about 20-25g at a time using a 30 or 33g Brute trash can that I got from home depot. Rubbermaid tubs would work, or a small tank would work. Whatever you have easiest access to.

For your CUC, someone else will need to answer in terms of quantities, I'm not good at that stuff.

Im not sure you can keep a starfish in a 33g. What I do know about them is that they are very sensitive to water paramter changes, especially sg, so you'll have to have an auto top off system to maintain your sg perfectly in order to keep them.
__________________
~Neilan
In the DC Metro Area? Check out GWAPA and WAMAS
neilanh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2010, 11:16 AM   #5
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
pat8you's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Woodbridge, Va
Posts: 1,802
Send a message via AIM to pat8you
The only star fish that are really ever considered part of a clean up crew is a sand sifting star. Your tank would be too small for one and you don't really need it anyway.

For CUC i don't usually like to suggest a set number because what is right for one persons tank may be way off for another. I usually start with a small amount (for you probably 3-4 snails and 3-4 hermits) and let them do thier thing. If after a couple weeks they still don't seem to be getting the job done then you can just slowly pick up more until the tank is staying clean. If you pick up to many at once they can run out of food and start to die off.

I would stay away from turbo snails. They are great cleaners but in my opinion they are to big and clumsy. They tend to get suck in rocks and die. They are also really annoying if you have coral frags bucuse they will knock them around.

Last, pick up a few nassarius snails. They are good at cleaning up left over food. they also bury them selves in the sand when they are not looking for food and help to keep it turned over.
__________________
Pat
pat8you is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2010, 03:27 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Magma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Calgary, Canada
Posts: 339
So nassarius snails then are a better choice for snails than turbos. Do crabs and snails mix? or would the crabs attack the snails for there shells?
what kinds of crabs are best for reef tanks?
__________________
Magma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2010, 04:15 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
pat8you's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Woodbridge, Va
Posts: 1,802
Send a message via AIM to pat8you
Sorry i should have been more clear. Get a few nassarius in addition to your normal snails (cerith, turbo, margarita, astraea for example). The "normal snails" will stay in general on your rocks and glass and consume algae. Nassarius snails consume left of food and not really algae.

I like getting either blue or red leg hermit crabs. Those are the only two i trust to be in my reef tank because they stay small enough that they can't do any harm. They may try to attack your snails for their shells but if you just ask the LFS for a few empty shells they will usually give you some. With the empty shells around they will leave your snails alone. Some of the larger crabs sally light foot, or emrad crabs can occasionally get a bit aggressive or cause problems.
__________________
Pat
pat8you is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2010, 04:24 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Magma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Calgary, Canada
Posts: 339
ahh so the nassarius snails focus on left over food.

Now since the CUC is first into the tank should I be throwing in some food for them right away and if so what should I use?

Once i get the fish in the tank they could use the left overs but until then they need something.
__________________
Magma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2010, 04:29 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
pat8you's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Woodbridge, Va
Posts: 1,802
Send a message via AIM to pat8you
If it is really going to be a while before you put fish in you can put in a little bit of food for them. You really only need a small amount. Any food will do they are not picky. As for the algae eating snail you will have plenty of diatoms and algae from your cycle to keep them happy. Make sure you add your CUC after your cycle is finished though.
__________________
Pat
pat8you is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2010, 04:42 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Magma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Calgary, Canada
Posts: 339
oh of course im just getting all the info before I even start I dont want to have problems down the road and rush through google to find out why my tank isnt stable or something.

so how many corals could you keep in a small tank? or do they affect the bio load as much as fish?
__________________

__________________
Magma is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
setup

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
new setup torin31 General Hardware/Equipment Discussion 0 06-19-2009 09:43 PM
for a new sw setup..? iains Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 6 05-15-2006 01:22 PM
55 gal filter setup & CO2 setup Codefox Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 8 01-10-2006 10:59 AM
How does this setup look? Rsquared333 Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 14 01-07-2005 07:18 PM
My First Setup sugarfree Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 20 12-03-2004 11:58 AM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:20 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.