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Old 01-12-2014, 10:49 PM   #1
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My first saltwater fish tank - need some input

Hello everyone. Glad I found this forum.

I have read many pages of threads and watched hours of youtube videos. I'm hoping for some input on what I could be doing wrong or better. I'm hoping to prevent a lot of issues since this is a big investment.

I plan on buying most of my stuff from the bulkreefsupply because their price seem reasonable and videos were helpful. If you have other websites to suggest, feel free to comment.

Materials to gather:

- 30 gallon tank (I have one already)
- RO/DI filter by BRS
- Instant ocean salt
- refractomer
- Substrate will be Fiji pink arag
- dry rock (instead of live rock)
- Canister filter by Hydor Pro 350 (rated for 60 to 100 gallon)
- Powerhead by hydor koralia Evolution 600 gph
- Heater
- digital thermostat
- test kit for pH, ammonia, nitrates and nitrites
- Instant ocean bio-spira


Steps:

- clean the tank without using chemicals
- Layer a bag of sand then aquascape with dry rock and use the rest of the sand.
- mix the salt with RO/DI water and fill the tank
- add in Instant ocean bio-spira to makeup for the live rock I won't be using
- Let the tank settle down for a day before...
- Run the Canister filter, powerhead and heater
- Wait one to two weeks before adding one fish at a time - probably going to start with a clown fish


What I'm skipping:

- Live rock, I pondered this many time but I rather not introduce any critters and don't want to cure the rocks for 2-4 weeks. I live in an apartment so it will smell pretty bad. I know live rock can be purchased cured but there is always the possibility.
- Protein skimmer - cost and effectiveness balance is a issue for me here
- LED, due to cost but eventually I want to get one like the Panorama Pro module
- I already own a HOF but I think a canister filter will be better in this case. Any thoughts? Most videos I've seen, everyone is using a HOF for a saltwater fish tank. A sump is a little too much for me now but I would eventually like to use one if I ever plan on adding corals.
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:53 PM   #2
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My first saltwater fish tank - need some input

If I was choosing between a canister filter and a skimmer I would go for the skimmer every time. I also like to run 2 smaller power heads on opposite sides to randomize the flow more. Also skip the bottled bacteria and just add a thawed table shrimp in a media bag to start your ammonia spike. Just my $.02
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Old 01-12-2014, 11:00 PM   #3
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As far as the live rock you can cure the lr and cycle the tank at the same time. LR is important to a SW tank as the nitrifying bacteria needs surfaces to reside on and LR accomplishes that purpose. If you are worried about critters then do base rock instead. Dried out former LR.
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Old 01-12-2014, 11:04 PM   #4
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Thanks, I actually meant dry live rock which is another synonym for base rock?
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Old 01-12-2014, 11:06 PM   #5
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Doesn't matter what type of rock you use it will all end up "live" eventually, just a matter if preference. Also I would put the rock down first then add the sand, more stable IME.
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:43 PM   #6
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Seems like a lot of maintenance with a canister filter now that I've looked more into it. But I do want to use carbon to keep the water clear. Do they have a external protein skimmer that I can place below a fish tank?

Not sure if a setup is possible of having water output into a skimmer then to a GFO & Carbon media reactor to input back into a tank.

I live in an apartment and there is limited space from a horizontal perspective.

Since I'm just doing a 30 gallon tank with no corals, I've found a few post saying that I would be able to get away with just a protein skimmer and live rocks.
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Old 01-13-2014, 03:06 PM   #7
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Ya you can also pick up a hob filter to run media. They also have hob protein skimmers. Are you running a sump or just the tank?
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Old 01-13-2014, 05:05 PM   #8
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I couldn't find a free standing protein skimmer online - kind of a like canister filter that is place below the tank. I'm trying to avoid a hob protein skimmer since I will have a lot hanging in the tank already. Most of the skimmers I see are for a sump
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Old 01-13-2014, 06:24 PM   #9
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I wouldn't bother with a canister or a hob, just a skimmer and a couple of power heads and let your live rock do the work... I use an in tank skimmer, from tunze does the job if your not using a sump. So in the tank, heater, two power heads and the skimmer that's it. I hide my skimmer behind a tall rock
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:17 PM   #10
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live rock and powerheads! i personally cant stand the look of excessive equipment in a DT. my own 125 has 2 powerheads in the DT, thats it. both heaters, the skimmer and the reactor are all down below.
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