do we add the water, salt then check the salt content then add the Live Rock then Live sand, or do we do what the local fish store guy says and all it all at the same time? We do know about putting some kind of support for the live rock so that it won't fall if the sand is moved by the digging fish we may get. Also, can we use one of the magnum filters or should we just go with a skimmer and a pump? Also which is the best skimmer that doesn't cost a lot, I've read good and bad about the Sea Clone skimmer. Help is extremely appreciated!
I posted this on another site, but this one seems more helpful and more informative.
Lets get down to business. First off welcome to the site. Second off Kudos to you for researching first. Third, double Kudos for looking for second,third options.
Ok. now that we have that covered lets get along with helping ya out.
First off how big of tank are we talking about?
I would add water and get it up to 80F temp. Also have some powerheads in the tank to provide current. Then once tank is up to temp slowly add salt. I like to shake the salt out with a wax cup so that its spread out evently and not just pour it in. Allow the tank to sit with heater and PH's running for atleast 12 hours. The salt should be totally disolved by this point and you can test salinity or specific gravity. Once that is at 1.020-1.025 then you can add your sand and live rock. You can use PVC
pipe as a structure to keep your rock from being toppled if you have sand digging critters. You could also put the rock in first and then add the sand. This would put the rock on the glass bottom and the sand around it.
When placing the rock try to stack it loosly so water and fish can swim and flow in and around the rocks. Also if possible put the rock in the middle of the tank so you can get to the sides, front, and back. If you add it all at once, (ie put freshwater in tank then add rock and sand then add salt your gonna kill 99% of the stuff on that rock and sand. so you need saltwater to be ready first).
If you want to use the mag's you can remove the media and just use them as water circulation pumps. You want to get at a minimum 1
flow in the tank so if the tank is a 55 gal
then shoot for a min of 550gph flow rate in the tank.
1 to 1.5lbs of LR
and 3-4" DSB
is all the filtration you need. Add a skimmer to that and your set.
Depending on size of tank this will govern your skimmer selection. I have used both the seaclone and the prizm skimmers. I feel for the price
they are a good unit. Are they the best out there? No. But $ for $ they are the best in their pricerange. If your tank is larger than a 55 then you might want to look at a larger unit.
We try. Heck maybe we get you an answer faster than that other site. Who knows.