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Old 11-22-2004, 11:41 PM   #1
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just got a new tank and would like to start a saltwater

ok so i've been reading a ton of topics on here i've been keeping freshwater fish for about 5 years i just got what i think is a great deal on tanks i paid $250 for 120gallon and a 30 gallon both stands a fluval 403 filter and a few other misc filters, power heads, air pumps and so on

i just basically have a few questions

lighting i eventually would like to have a reef tank and since they only came with standard double bulb flourecent lights i know that is one main area i need to upgrade but not sure what type or kind of lighting would work best

also amount of live rock and live sand i would need i have southdown and base rock to add to begin the fishless cycle but i'm not sure how much southdown and how much live sand i would need to seed it with the same with the base rock and live rock

would that 30 gallon be large enough to use as a sump

and what type of protein skimmer and salt does everyone prefer

any help will be greatly appreciated

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Old 11-23-2004, 12:36 AM   #2
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You've been keeping a FW tank for a while. That shoud help a bit, but I'm now learning that SW is a whole new world. If you're not familiar with SW, you should think about buying a good book. Everyone always suggests The Conscientious Marine Aquarist by Robert Fenner. It'll answer a lot of questions.

As for rock, you should think about getting a total of 1.5-2 lbs. The ratio of live/base rock is up to you (I'm gonna go 50/50).

And if you're gonna get live rock, you don't need a lot of live sand. The live rock will seed it for you. Save money and buy the non-live stuff and seed it with live rock and maybe a few cups of live sand from an established tank (maybe a neighbor/friend/lfs).

Everyone here raves about the AquaC line of skimmers or the Bakpaks. I don't have experience with neither, so I can give you miuch advice except that I heard great things about them and I'll probably buy an AquaC within the next week or two.

You got a great deal for your tanks and stands. You're off to a good start. Welcome to the forum. You'll get a lot of great advice here from the other users and advisors. Good luck!

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Old 11-23-2004, 12:39 AM   #3
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ooops i just noticed a typo after I hit submit. I meant 1.5-2 lbs of LR/gal and not just a total of 2 lbs!!!
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Old 11-23-2004, 03:48 AM   #4
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A 120g would look nice with 2 metal halide bulbs... MH has the nice water shimmer effect going for it. Maybe a 2x172W or even 2x250W setup with 2 VHO actinic bulbs...

I use PC lighting on my 55gal. And I already dream of 120+g
55g reef, 2x250W 10k MH + 2x96W PC actninc, 10g sump, AquaC Urchin skimmer, 65lbs LR

xenia, mushrooms, wels. open brain, fungia radiata (orange), green eyed zoos

flame angel, mated pair of false perc, 6-line, firefish

20gH electric yellow cichlid
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Old 11-23-2004, 09:21 AM   #5
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Definitely get a book and do the research. A 120g reef tank will be expensive to setup, even though you already have the tank. You'll spend $200 for 40lbs of good live rock...so figure $500 for 120lbs if you get a sweet deal. Another $500 for lighting.
$300 for a good skimmer too.
In other words, since this is an investment...take it slow and do it the right way.
I suggest the Conscientious Marine Aquarist by Robert Fenner for reading, and setup information.
And of course, ask us questions, and don't be afraid to use the search feature to do some research here as well.
Former advisor and planted tank geek...life's moved on though.
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Old 11-23-2004, 10:06 AM   #6
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if money is tight, buy a bunch of "Dry" rock from hirocks.com and then maybe a 45 pound box of "real" LR to put on top.

use white aragonite playsand (it will fizz when you put vinegar on it. it will also say "not for aquarium use". ignore this.) Southdown, old castle, yard right are the brands you seek. Each of these may have more than one type, so search on here to find the details.

get the best skimmer you can

30g will make a great sump, but you will have to put it under the other tank, not on its own stand
54g all-glass bowfront corner planted FW

Red tiger lilly, Rotala Indica, Sagittaria Subulata, Micro Sword, Cardinal Plant
Fluorite Black sand and gravel
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Old 11-23-2004, 10:15 AM   #7
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Got plans for a quarantine tank?

Fenner will also help to convince you.

Most of all..... WELCOME TO AA!!!!!!


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