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Old 06-12-2011, 12:07 PM   #1
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I just bought a 55g tank(no built-in overflow) and I haven't decided if I want another FW or start a SW tank...

Is 55g big enough? How much will it cost me to start a SW tank w/ corals? What do I need to buy and where can I buy it cheap? Do I need a filter(canister) or a sump? Or both? Are UV sterilizer and RODI necessary? Skimmer? What's the CO2 for in a SW tank? I just want to know the necessary equipments for now and will be asking later what I need to add to the water. Thanks a lot!
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Old 06-12-2011, 12:45 PM   #2
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That size is definetely big enough. I would look at yur local online classified for a salt water forum and buy the equipment off of someone else. I would just keep the tank as it is with your canister if you already have it. If you don't, then consider installing a 20 gallon sump underneath.

UV sterilizer, protein skimmer and RODI water are not necessary. The co2 tank would be for a calcium reactor, which is also not required.

Start with what type of corals you want, then a very strong light fixture, budget for live rock and then go from there.
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Old 06-12-2011, 01:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChizerBunoi
That size is definetely big enough. I would look at yur local online classified for a salt water forum and buy the equipment off of someone else. I would just keep the tank as it is with your canister if you already have it. If you don't, then consider installing a 20 gallon sump underneath.

UV sterilizer, protein skimmer and RODI water are not necessary. The co2 tank would be for a calcium reactor, which is also not required.

Start with what type of corals you want, then a very strong light fixture, budget for live rock and then go from there.
I have a dual T5HO with 10,000K and 1 actinic bulb? Do i need to add another fixture? Dual or single? Which light spectrum? I don't have a canister yet and really looking forward on using a sump. Sump will be the filter? Is $70 for a skimmer a good price? The girl where I bought the dual fixture is also selling a skimmer. I forgot which brand though. I just texted her. Waiting for a reply. All I need to start the cycle are live rocks, sump and salt(what's the ratio?)? How about to measure the salt in the tank or whatever is needed to measure what's in the water?
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Old 06-12-2011, 01:09 PM   #4
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How does a calcium reactor works? I already have a 10-lb. CO2 tank. What else do I need? Thanks.
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Old 06-12-2011, 01:14 PM   #5
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How about sand? Should it be "live sand"? How many lbs. for a 55g?
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Old 06-12-2011, 01:17 PM   #6
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no the sand and rock does not have to be live, but you can make it live by cycling it for a few weeks with a raw shrimp or by adding pure ammonia.

as far as the lighting with a dual fixture you'd only be able to house some leather corals and mushrooms, i'd get a 4 lamp T5ho with individule lamp reflectors
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Old 06-12-2011, 01:21 PM   #7
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no the sand and rock does not have to be live, but you can make it live by cycling it for a few weeks with a raw shrimp or by adding pure ammonia.

as far as the lighting with a dual fixture you'd only be able to house some leather corals and mushrooms, i'd get a 4 lamp T5ho with individule lamp reflectors
Thank you.

Does getting both live sand and rocks help with anything? What if I just add another dual fixture? Or does it have to be 4 lamp with individual reflectors?
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Old 06-12-2011, 01:30 PM   #8
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yeah the reflectors double the light output of each lamp, you can see a big difference in the ammount of light a reflected lamp puts out compared to one without.

as for the rock, it'll shorthen yous cycle time if you get all live rock, you won't really be able to add fish to a fishless cycle, which 99% of us recommend doing
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Old 06-12-2011, 01:37 PM   #9
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yeah the reflectors double the light output of each lamp, you can see a big difference in the ammount of light a reflected lamp puts out compared to one without.

as for the rock, it'll shorthen yous cycle time if you get all live rock, you won't really be able to add fish to a fishless cycle, which 99% of us recommend doing
Is that a yes on just getting the 4lamp fixture? Would i still get a wide variety of corals to choose from if i just add another dual fixture?

I'm planning on using pure ammonia. I have some left from cycling my FW.

Would you please explain to me how a calcium reactor works? Thanks
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Old 06-12-2011, 01:39 PM   #10
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Lots of questions! This is good!

If you plan on getting corals, get a 4 bulb T5. It does not have to be one unit, you can have 2 2 bulb fixtures.

Depending on the type of coral you don't need the CO2. The coral that would need that are going to be for more experienced reef keepers anyway.

Don't use a canister filter, they usually are just nitrate factories anyway. Go with a sump. You can buy an overflow or make one from PVC to keep the cost down. Going with an overflow, see what it's GPH is rated for (or if you build your own you will need to test this) and then get a return pump that is slightly more (because you will need to deal with head loss from pumping up).

Live rock will help with the cycle process. It should speed it up.

The amount of sand will depend on how deep of a sand bed you want. I'm GUESSING around 40 or so lbs for a 2" or so dept. There are calculators out there, just search for them for your best answer.

Have fun! Be patient!
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