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Old 01-13-2006, 01:26 AM   #1
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Just wanna make sure im alright

I am going to be getting a 55gal tank soon from a family member.
I would like ot make it a salt walter aquarium.

I know that i would like the aquarium to be fish coral and invertebrates.
I also know that i will be limited to the type of fish i may keep and thats fine.

I do not have the room for a sump system so im pretty much stuck with a wet/dry system unless you have any other options that will work well.
With the wet dry system do i need any other filters such as a biowheel?

From my reading on the forum ive decided to go with a corallife skimmer

and im probably going to get 2 x 250gph power heads or higher if recommended

the lighting i can find out from another article within this forum im sure

My main question is ive heard that LS and LR carry worms that can kill fish. Is this true and if so is it possible to create LS and LR by adding the bacteria yourself or some other additive to dry sand and rock????

How can i make this system work and be sure its safe is what im asking i guess???

I just want my system to be successful. I dont want to rush things and screw it up.

I appologize if this is repeating another article somewhere but i just had to ask lol.
Thanks for your help i will greatly appriciate it and i hope to enjoy what everyone else on this forum does
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Old 01-13-2006, 02:59 AM   #2
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So you're setting up a reef tank (coral, inverts and live rock make it a reef tank). Your live rock will be your biological filtration, you can use a wet/dry filter or a canister filter. Some of the wet/dry systems (like the tidepool) have a bio-wheel included in the system, but live rock will accomplish that task.

I have a 55G with a canister filter and live rock, it's a reef tank also. The canister filter is basically just to hold the activated carbon and filter floss for filtering out stuff. So again, my live rock is my bio-filtration.

I have two maxi-jet 1200 powerheads, they're 295 gph and I'm about to add a third on advice from the forum, so your 2x250 is a good start. The lighting will depend on what kinds of coral/inverts you want to add. If you get those that don't require intense lighting, you can go power compact, they're good and not so expensive. I have Current USA Orbit flourescents, 4x65Watts (two daylight, two actinics) I don't have intense light-requiring corals, but I have some branching anchors and candy-canes and an anemone, there are other things I could add that would be interesting with my lighting.

You can get dry sand, like aragonite, and add or not add a bag of live sand, that's up to you. I did that and it worked for me. You can add live rock and not worry about worms that will kill your fish, I don't think it's all that likely, but if you're really worried about it, Petco and Pet Club and I'm sure there are other lfs that have cultured live rock. It's basically cultivated in captivity, so it doesn't come in with anything in it but the bacteria you need to process the ammonia and nitrites. I've used "real" live rock and cultured and they both work.

If you don't have much experience and you want a good reference book, pick up a copy of "Saltwater Aquariums for Dummies" and read through it. It was very useful to me. One thing they recommend that you don't need is an air pump and air stones, but everything else is good. It tells you step-by-step how to set up the tank, cycle it, stock it, maintain it, how to pick the right fish and what equipment you need for the type of tank you want.

Don't rush, take your time, you've got the right idea there. Also, check out the "Articles" section of this forum, there is a lot of info there also.
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Old 01-13-2006, 03:01 AM   #3
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FYI, how to cycle your tank without fish (don't kill the damsels!)

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/showqu...q=2&fldAuto=15
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Old 01-13-2006, 08:50 AM   #4
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Get the LR. Yeah some times you could get an unwanted visitor in your rock but that is the exception and not always the rule. There are many benifits to getting your own LR. Sometimes you get some good hitchikers.
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Old 01-13-2006, 10:29 AM   #5
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So if i get dry sand and add some cultured LR i should be pretty safe??? I keep reading about this viniger test for the sand how does this work?
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Old 01-13-2006, 10:37 AM   #6
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Go with the aragonite sand. Silica sand is not good for a sw setup. The vinegar test is used to confirm that the sand is not silica based. Take some sand and add some vinegar. If it fizzes, pops and foam up you have aragonite sand. You may get some fizz and foam with silica based sands bucause sometimes they are not totally clean. I would just go to the lfs and buy a bag or 2 of aragonite sand. It is less than 1 dollar a pound so 60 lbs shouyld be a good start. I am using 40 lbs of dry sand and 20 lbs ls. Together they cost me around 80 dollars. Small price to pay when added to the total setup cost and the benefit outweighs the cost.
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Old 01-13-2006, 11:03 AM   #7
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You guys are awesome on this forum its so helpful. I really appriciate it. There are only 2 or so petstores around here that actually even deal with SW fish. Im hopeing that one of them will carry that kind of sand. If not can i get it else where?? Im starting to get excited now
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Old 01-13-2006, 01:37 PM   #8
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https://www82.safesecureweb.com/weba...ry_Code=COCFLL

I paid $230 for this light, it's on sale here. Check out the home page for the site, they have some deals on various lighting fixtures.

I gotta second melosu58 on the live rock. I have seen three chitons in my tank (they eat algae) and they came in my live rock. You will get feather duster worms, maybe amphipods and copepods (natural food for some fish, they're crustaceans) and other living things in the rock. The fish can graze on these natural food sources. With cultured rock, you won't get that. You will be amazed when you watch your tank under moonlights or with a flashlight. It's another whole world at night. I wouldn't be worried about live rock bringing predators.
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Old 01-13-2006, 03:02 PM   #9
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Sounds good then. Well since im going to go with the live rock what other filtration should i use? Can i get a magnum 350 and protein skimmer and be all set for my filtration??
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Old 01-13-2006, 11:52 PM   #10
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Sounds like a good plan to me. Where are you getting your magnum? thatpetplace.com has it for $74.99. It says there that it's only good for up to 40 gallons for saltwater, but marineland (who makes it) says it's good for up to 100 gallons. It's actually rated at a higher gph than my canister filter. I don't have experience with the magnum, but I've heard good things about it.

Have you decided on a skimmer? I started with a SeaClone 150 and basically wasted my money. I had to replace it because it just wasn't all that great. At first it seemed okay, but I guess you could say that I gained a little experience and began to expect a little more performance than it was willing to give.
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