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Old 12-27-2012, 03:16 AM   #1
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I just found out my lfs is shutting down on January 15th, I also brought home a 55 gallon tank recently (pics tomorrow, doing a leak test overnight outside)that came with a bucket of sand, random black pebbles, some type of canister filter and lights, not LED though.

I'm hoping that with a bit of investing I can possibly be prepared to bring home some livestock and be able to safely house them while my tank cycles. The employees are down to sell anything from the display tanks and I know I will be able to get some super deals.

This is my first salt tank, I was going to take a few months to set it up and research everything but both my partner and I love corals so I need the low down on all the essentials in case I can bring home a bunch at a discount in 2 weeks.

I always did fishless cycles in my fresh tanks, is that possible with salt? I was going to buy live rock and sea water from this store Friday. I don't have an RO/DI system and will probably buy one, so cheap/good model links are appreciated.

The fish we saw today and really wanted he called a "barnacle bunny" or buddy-- I couldn't find it on image search. It was this tiny tube guy with red eyes, living in the rock in a picotope they had on sale. It was $300, so if I need to I could buy that ten gallon thingy and keep a few fish innit while the main tank cycles.

We want a couple mandarin gobies, a Valentini puffer or a cow fish, not sure if 55 gallons is big enough though. Also considering Eels we saw.

Am I being reasonable? I have nothing to do but this before school starts in February. I need to build a sump/refugium or whatever else too, and if I need to order things online like a new filter and all the test kits, I would like to place an order by Friday too.

Thanks, shopping lists you can suggest would help a lot!
Add to:
-LEDs (ack $$)
-test kits reef and/or salt API master drip kit
-skimmer
-sump (types? DIY?)
-power head (strength? models?)
-live rock (how many pounds for 55g?)
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Old 12-27-2012, 04:26 AM   #2
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This isn't easy to say, but don't get your hopes up too high, but if you can obtain some of the pet shops sand (or buy live sand), get some of the shops filter media, and use real ocean purified Pacific ocean water and 2lbs of live rock per gallon of water you might be able to pull it off.

Tips from my experiences-
RO/ DI or distilled (NOT spring or purified drinking water) it's way too hard to use tap water!!

Typical reef tank has a 2-3 inch sand bed with at least 1lb of live rock per gallon of water.

You should really at least have your clean up crew able to live in your tank before you try fish, considering you're not experienced.

Don't be sloppy- make sure to stir your sand when doing large water changes. How frequently you do large changes depends a lot on your livestock selection, how much cultivated live rock you have (this will eventually be where most of your filtration takes place, believe it or not) and the amount of circulation and filtration you are running.

2-4X filtration rated for your tank should be used.

A skimmer, though technically not necessary, will become one with tanks 55g and over.

With a coral tank comes some pretty hefty price tags, the 2 saltwater tanks that I have probably have drained me of thousands of dollars in initial set up and chemicals, not to mention the precision needed to maintain parameters. Test kit is pretty well mandatory.

Yes, circulators are needed, as well as powerheads (for a 55g).

You may want to think about researching refugiums, just a thought.

Coral lighting gets very costly depending on what you would like to grow. Bare minimum for hearty corals are spectrum LED, if you want to get fancier more delicate corals you will most likely need an actinic t5 at the least.

The fish you have listed together would be too much fish for your tank, and puffers, box fish and cow fish are pretty closely related and I don't think they get along with each other, and trust me, you will most likely have a very hard time growing corals with a puffer in the tank, when they are little they are pretty tame, as they get bigger they tend to get mean.

Good luck!! PM me if you have any problems
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Old 12-27-2012, 04:28 AM   #3
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Oh and I'm not sure if mandarin goby are a good idea, they aren't your typical saltwater fish and are very hard to keep from what I've been told
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Old 12-27-2012, 02:20 PM   #4
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A-ha, good info. The fish we are really open to changing if puffers aren't great with reefs. I enjoyed the cow fish but even a few wrasses would be fun. The goby is too delicate you think? So incredible, but maybe after the tank has matured and if there is room we could revisit the gobies. It's hard looking at the little guys they have in stock that will soon be homeless!

I figure all the live sand and rock I need I can get from their many many tanks. This place is super clean and never seen a ich victim of anything so I pretty much hope to get healthy livestock. I may ask to buy a seeded
Filter that is on a tank before they tear down, just set it back up at home- I only live 45 minutes away.

Refugiums will be my topic of the day! Off to the net
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Old 12-27-2012, 03:02 PM   #5
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mandarin goby or if I'm right, it's also called the psychedelic mandarin dragonet, lol, are extremely beautiful, and with that comes drama a cute little clean up crew with say a peppermint cleaner shrimp, a brittle star, narcissus snails (not 100% on that name), and a couple hermit crabs and- hey, an easier to care for relative of the mandarin- the stone goby, is pretty cool to look at and relatively easy to care for. Chromis, wrasse, clown fish, marine betta.... Liveaquaria.com is good place to get info on fish, you can even order through them, and they have a reef compatibility chart too good luck and welcome to the addictive world of saltwater aquaria!!
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Old 12-27-2012, 04:21 PM   #6
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Thanks, I will visit my lfs on friday and see if I can get my CUC from them or place an order online


How are these lights? What do you estimate these are worth used? I can pick this item up today off CL.

Crap the pic won't load.
Ok it's LED 90watts
45 white 45 blue
Input wattage 85-264v
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Old 12-27-2012, 04:48 PM   #7
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I just picked up an LED light and glass hood, brand new, for $90, but if coral is your main objective you're going to need actinic lighting which can get expensive.

I have a feeling I'll get a few people all riled up by saying this, but honestly when you are just starting to leech your live rock you can use 2 compact fluorescent desk lamps close to the glass and look online for the best option to fit your needs and financial restrictions.

I wish you the very best! Would love to see pics when you're set up!!
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Old 12-27-2012, 04:58 PM   #8
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If your live rock is live enough you can break some of the more cavernous pieces apart to get the basic worms and maybe some other cool CUC members hitchhiking. I've had crabs, stars, worms of all types, snails even coral growing in my tank that came from live rock... Sometimes the only thing you have to buy are the cute cleaner shrimp and colorful little crabs/ hermit crabs and sifter stars... I'm excited for you... It's fun to watch things apparently grow from nothing!!
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marsh View Post
I just found out my lfs is shutting down on January 15th, I also brought home a 55 gallon tank recently (pics tomorrow, doing a leak test overnight outside)that came with a bucket of sand, random black pebbles, some type of canister filter and lights, not LED though.

I'm hoping that with a bit of investing I can possibly be prepared to bring home some livestock and be able to safely house them while my tank cycles. The employees are down to sell anything from the display tanks and I know I will be able to get some super deals.

This is my first salt tank, I was going to take a few months to set it up and research everything but both my partner and I love corals so I need the low down on all the essentials in case I can bring home a bunch at a discount in 2 weeks.

I always did fishless cycles in my fresh tanks, is that possible with salt? I was going to buy live rock and sea water from this store Friday. I don't have an RO/DI system and will probably buy one, so cheap/good model links are appreciated.

The fish we saw today and really wanted he called a "barnacle bunny" or buddy-- I couldn't find it on image search. It was this tiny tube guy with red eyes, living in the rock in a picotope they had on sale. It was $300, so if I need to I could buy that ten gallon thingy and keep a few fish innit while the main tank cycles.

We want a couple mandarin gobies, a Valentini puffer or a cow fish, not sure if 55 gallons is big enough though. Also considering Eels we saw.

Am I being reasonable? I have nothing to do but this before school starts in February. I need to build a sump/refugium or whatever else too, and if I need to order things online like a new filter and all the test kits, I would like to place an order by Friday too.

Thanks, shopping lists you can suggest would help a lot!
Add to:
-LEDs (ack $$)
-test kits reef and/or salt API master drip kit
-skimmer
-sump (types? DIY?)
-power head (strength? models?)
-live rock (how many pounds for 55g?)
Only way you can cycle a tank that quick is basically using cured cycled liverock that already has beneficial bateria growing otherwise not a chance livesand is optional i only use enough to cover bottom simply for cosmetic if you do go with livesand never stir the sand this will cause excessive nutrients to be released youll need sandstirring inverts for sand upkeep the fish you mentioned are not reefsafe other than the mandarin which require live pods for food to establish pod population youll need a refugium with a lil liverock rubble and macroalgae depending on the coral yoill be keeping depends on the lighting softies can get by with less light lps require lil more light and sps are the most light demanding 1-2 lbs of liverock per gallon flow inside tank needs minimum of 30x the volume all way up to 50x total volume ideally skimmer should rate at twice the water volume main test kits are ammonia nitrite nitrate calcium alkalinity ph and magnesium plan on 5-10% waterchanges each week using a quality saltmix means less additives as far as chemicals
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:01 PM   #10
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Ok, well the tank came with two 36" bulbs, one Coralife 20,000 K bulb F30-T12-BP

Other bulb is a Power-Glo 89.46 cm 30 W

How's that for a start? Just plugged them in both working
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