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Old 09-25-2014, 11:56 PM   #1
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Keedee's First Salt-Water Setup (55g)

Hi there! So right now I have four freshwater tanks on the go and was just given an old 55g tank (for free!) - so I decided, why not use it as my first salt water tank.

Now, I don't really know much about setting up a salt water (though I've got a couple good books) and this tank needs some work (had been sitting in a friend's garage for a while). It's covered in dust and dried on algae. From what I understand it was used as a freshwater tank.

Came with hood and lights (one of which doesn't work but I think I need new bulbs anyway if I want to keep corals) plus a 100w heater that I have yet to test.

- my first question is: how much light will I need for corals? It has 2 15w t8 bulbs right now. Can I simply get higher wattage t8's and just screw them into the existing fixture?

Also I believe I'm going to have to figure out how to make a sump...

This is mostly a place for me to track my progress and hopefully get lots of helpful tips on how to go about doing this!

**Note this is not where the tank is going to stay. I'm getting a stand for it in the near future.
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Old 09-26-2014, 12:50 AM   #2
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I can't give you a ton of help with the SW as I'm starting out with my own also, but I can say is I would swap the lights from one to another to ensure if it's the bulb or the ballast.

Also, I built my own stand for a 55 and it cost me about $30 bucks for material, and a couple (2 to 2-1/2 hours) on a Saturday. I made it wider than the tank for other daily use things to fit on and a shelf on the bottom for all the non daily stuff.


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Old 09-26-2014, 03:09 AM   #3
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An 18" T8 is 15 watts and not higher. If you were to get a brand new 10000-12000K bulb you might support some mushrooms. You will need a T5HO using 2 or 4 bulbs to support other corals. And if you're going to replace the light, you might as well go led.


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Old 09-26-2014, 10:16 AM   #4
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treemanone2003 - yeah that makes sense. I'll be sure to test that when I test the heater today. (Though as Ingy said I'm probably going to have to replace them anyway)

Ingy - So if I were to go LED what kind of wattage should I be looking for (to support corals but not mushroms) - and I've seen a lot of people mix blue and white LEDs for reef tanks. Is that mandatory? (Though I do like the look of it anyway)
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Old 09-26-2014, 10:40 AM   #5
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You aren't really looking for wattage in terms of LEDs...it's complicated. Google the taotronics LEDs on ebay or amazon. They are cheap and will do everything you want.
In terms of the blue/white mix, yes it is mandatory. Coral need a certain spectrum to get the energy they need, which you will find in the 14-20k kelvin range. White is 10k...keeping it extremely simplified.
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Old 09-26-2014, 11:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniperhank View Post
You aren't really looking for wattage in terms of LEDs...it's complicated. Google the taotronics LEDs on ebay or amazon. They are cheap and will do everything you want.
In terms of the blue/white mix, yes it is mandatory. Coral need a certain spectrum to get the energy they need, which you will find in the 14-20k kelvin range. White is 10k...keeping it extremely simplified.

I understand keeping it simplified but I was under the impression that wattage played an important role based on how high the light is from the bottom of the tank and what is being lit.


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Old 09-26-2014, 11:40 AM   #7
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Before you go out and spend...spend$$$ I would look around for a complete setup to save money$$. Sometimes you can find a setup for under $1000.00
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Old 09-26-2014, 11:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treemanone2003 View Post
I understand keeping it simplified but I was under the impression that wattage played an important role based on how high the light is from the bottom of the tank and what is being lit.


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That's what I thought too. I'm heading over to my local lfs tomorrow anyway for my other tanks so while I'm there I might as well ask their opinion on lights since they have a bunch of good looking reef tanks I figure they know what they're doing with the lights.
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Old 09-26-2014, 11:52 AM   #9
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Before you go out and spend...spend$$$ I would look around for a complete setup to save money$$. Sometimes you can find a setup for under $1000.00
That would be a lot easier but for me the fun part is starting a tank from the bottom. It's going to be slow progress but it's just what I personally enjoy
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Old 09-26-2014, 01:11 PM   #10
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Also when I was cleaning it out today I noticed a 'Tempered glass, do not drill' sticker on the bottom of the tank. Does this mean I can't do a sump? (because from what I gather about sumps you need holes in your tank, correct?)
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