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Old 06-09-2013, 10:58 AM   #1
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Need advice BEFORE I set up!

I have always wanted a saltwater tank and now I have one...sitting in a lot of parts in my garage. I'm looking at all of your posts, articles, stickies, etc and I am completely lost

I'm not in a rush to get this done. Indeed, I know there are several things I need to do before I even consider sand, rock, cycling and fish.

A little history on where my tank from: My sister-in-law kept this tank for 10+ years. It was her first. I watched her grow and develop it over time..even move it from one house to another. (she may have even got a new tank during that move...not sure, but the rocks/coral/fish all transferred) They made another major move and this time the tank didn't go with. They transferred it to a friend who gave it a go and didn't have any luck. Everything died and she pulled the plug on the project.

Now it is in my garage and I want to do this right! This is where I need your help.

I have a 75 gallon tank and that's about all I know on the equipment. I was there when we took it apart and took some photos so I would remember how to put it back together, but the equipment is foreign to me. There is a huge custom built cabinet/stand and all of the pump stuff sits inside. I'm pretty sure there are bioballs and water sits in a chamber underneath..thats where you add the salt and keep the heater then it pumps back up into the aquarium.

Can you tell I am new at this?!

Q1: We took out all the live rock-the corals were dead- and it is wrapped up in towels in 3 laundry baskets. Can I clean this and re-use somehow or do I need to toss it and buy new? If re-usable..how do I clean it?

Q2: We tossed all of the sand--definitely starting over with that. Any tips on what to buy?

Q3: How do I clean the tank itself before I set it up? What works and what is a no-no?

Q4: is 75 gallons a good size to start with? At this point would there be any reason to consider something larger? (the stand could definitely handle it) I saw several comments on the petco $1 gallon sale...maybe I should take advantage of it.

I think that's a fair start with the questions. Step one for me is to take the plunge and gain enough knowledge to move it out of the garage!
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:27 AM   #2
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Q1: Yes you can absolutely reuse it. Before you fill the tank just rinse it off with rodi water. You will also need to buy some live rock to "seed it" with. The microflora/fauna will eventually migrate over and eventually you wont be able to tell the difference between the two.

Q2: Aragonite sand is what people usually go for. Best way would probably to find a cheap source of dry sand and then again seed it with either some live sand, or live rock would do the trick also.

Q3: Use a 50/50 water and vinegar mix to clean the tank.

Q4: A 75g tank should be great for you. If you end up really enjoying the hobby, you will eventually want a larger tank though. I think that happens no matter what size you have. So if you have the money for it, and the inclination, then get the biggest one you can. Also, if the tank is 10+ years old it might be a good idea.

P.S. Get rid of the bioballs and make that chamber into a refugeum.
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Old 06-09-2013, 02:13 PM   #3
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A 75 is a great tank to start with plenty of room for error but not so large that it's a job to maintain Here's a few articles to get you started
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Old 06-09-2013, 04:17 PM   #4
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I just bought a 75 gal & moved it, stock & all last Saturday, so I've had it for a week. I've learned SO MUCH this past week!! So we'll be learnin' together! I'm definitely learning on a fast track due to having to keep the stock alive & I have quite a bit of FW knowledge to help me along-- It has given me the basics of fish keeping. I kinda wish I had a smaller tank as I don't plan to keep any larger fish or larger quantities but I do agree that the larger the tank, the less of a swing in the water parameters so that's a good thing for a novice. I think any bigger, I'd be going crazy as I'm doing lots of water changes since the tank was not running as properly as the previous owners had thought or else the move really stirred some bad things up.

Something you may wanna consider getting to understand that I had NO CLUE about was how the overflow & sump work w/ water levels and how that affects things. I ditched my bio balls & put a filter sock in, put live rock in the sump & plan to add Chaeto too. All my parameters are great now. pH came back up when I started only putting saltwater in the tank where the previous owners were adding distilled water for evap. LFS said always add at least a tiny bit of salt to RO/DI or distilled water when topping it off or else the pH will drop. So those are some subjects I'd familiarize myself w/ before getting started. Maybe read some articles on the top big common mistakes people make. Good luck!!
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Old 06-09-2013, 06:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TangoTank View Post
I just bought a 75 gal & moved it, stock & all last Saturday, so I've had it for a week. I've learned SO MUCH this past week!! So we'll be learnin' together! I'm definitely learning on a fast track due to having to keep the stock alive & I have quite a bit of FW knowledge to help me along-- It has given me the basics of fish keeping. I kinda wish I had a smaller tank as I don't plan to keep any larger fish or larger quantities but I do agree that the larger the tank, the less of a swing in the water parameters so that's a good thing for a novice. I think any bigger, I'd be going crazy as I'm doing lots of water changes since the tank was not running as properly as the previous owners had thought or else the move really stirred some bad things up.

Something you may wanna consider getting to understand that I had NO CLUE about was how the overflow & sump work w/ water levels and how that affects things. I ditched my bio balls & put a filter sock in, put live rock in the sump & plan to add Chaeto too. All my parameters are great now. pH came back up when I started only putting saltwater in the tank where the previous owners were adding distilled water for evap. LFS said always add at least a tiny bit of salt to RO/DI or distilled water when topping it off or else the pH will drop. So those are some subjects I'd familiarize myself w/ before getting started. Maybe read some articles on the top big common mistakes people make. Good luck!!
If you keep adding saltwater for refilling evaporated water, you're are going to drastically raise your salinity.
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:15 PM   #6
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lfs said always add at least a tiny bit of salt to ro/di or distilled water when topping it off or else the ph will drop.
trolled!
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Old 06-09-2013, 09:48 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by rossv View Post

trolled!
What does that mean???

So I looked up "trolled," etc... I mean no harm by what I'm saying. I've had 2 IRL sources of that info AND researched it myself. And I hope that any advice anybody receives here or ANYWHERE, they seek multiple different sources before acting. These particular things that I feel are things I had no clue about getting started in SW, people don't regularly mention & can make a difference in your tank. The pH on my tank was pretty low & the only thing we can conclude was that the previous owners were topping off w/ distilled water. This tank has no top & evaporates quite quickly.

So instead of accusing people, how about just say "I don't agree w/ that statement, I think RO/DI or distilled water is just fine in my experience." A lil kindness can go a long way. We are all real people here even w/ the anonymity of the Internet.
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Old 06-09-2013, 09:52 PM   #8
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If you keep adding saltwater for refilling evaporated water, you're are going to drastically raise your salinity.
I'm not saying full salinity saltwater, just add a bit of salt to the plain water & let it set, etc. Adding distilled or plain RO/DI water straight to the tank will drop your pH. Saltwater is a solution. When you add unsalted water to a tank, your creating the solution *in* your tank--not good. I hope that makes sense.
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:33 PM   #9
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I was saying your LFS trolled you mr sensitive... chill.
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:39 PM   #10
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I was saying your LFS trolled you mr sensitive... chill.
What would be the point of that? Either the LFS trolling me OR you stating it that way... Hence, me not understanding what you meant. I've heard the info from more than 1 source. How about some support info in your accusation.
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