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Old 11-15-2002, 11:19 PM   #1
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Need help on setup

Hi,

My husband and I have been doing a lot of research on starting our new tank, we've done FW for about 6 years until the fish we had for that long died we have two 250 magnum filters and were using a biowheel, anyways that's besides the point, we've done a lot of reading on how to set this new tank up but we are at a standstill because we are getting conflicting opinions, 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.
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Old 11-15-2002, 11:41 PM   #2
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Quote:
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.
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Old 11-16-2002, 12:00 AM   #3
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Wow!

Wow!

Thank you for responding so quickly! I'm sorry we forgot to add it is a 29 gallon tank, we'd like bigger but don't have the room for it plus we had just bought a nice stand and hood for it when the fish died a couple months later. We thought it was weird when the fish guy had told us to all everything at once, it makes more sense to do the water and salt first especially when adding live rock and sand. We really like to go reef but are finding until we get a bit more experienced with keeping things in check that we will just do the living rock and a few fish, love the mandrin gobies but that one will have to wait until later. This has got to be the hardest hobby, it really teaches you to be patient unlike fresh water, from what we have been reading it will involve a lot more care and patience. But we look forward to it, would love anymore info especially lighting, can we just use striplites and attach them to the hood? We have a glass lid that sits on top of the tank. Tried reading info on lighting but frankly am confused on whats what and what it is needed for. Remember we've only had freshwater and a standard flouresent bulb to light the tank before but we are extremely willing to learn.

Thank you again for your help and responding so quickly!
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Old 11-16-2002, 12:09 AM   #4
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U thought the first response was quick. How 'bout this one

HEHE.

We have a thread in the general retailer section about not trusting LFS's (local fish shops). Its a fun read. basicly it talks about not trusting someone who makes $ off their own advise.

Its good to wait for reef setup. the only real difference between a reef and a FOWLR is corals. And for corals you need BRIGHT light.

You can get by with the strip lights you have but a double strip light would be better at least for now. I personally dont like glass tops but unless you build something to mount those lights in and put them above the water you gonna have to use the glass lid.

Dont worry you will gain knowldege as you go along. as my sig says. take is slow as 'nothing good happens fast in a reef' this holds true for all saltwater.

You will find lighting is a confusing and much debated subject.
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Old 11-16-2002, 12:18 AM   #5
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Thank you!

Boy you are fast! Thank you, we plan on starting it this weekend! Thanks for being quick and for having an informative site. We'll be back often!
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Old 11-16-2002, 12:41 PM   #6
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Live rock

Ok,

This maybe jumping ahead a little bit, we've got the water in and have a question before we go out and buy some live rock. How can you tell if it is real live rock, is there something to look for? Reason I'm saying this is whats to stop someone from putting a dead rock in some water and trying to sell it to someone new like me and saying it's live? The same fish store that all the other fish stores recommend going to has two different types of "live rock" one is for 1.98 lb and the other is 5.98 lb, is there some way of telling with out asking this guy and looking like you are someone who doesn't know what they are looking for? Also with live sand, I've read you can buy live sand and it comes in the water, then I've also read and been told in different FS that it's in a bag. What do I need to be looking for and is it really live being in a bag?

Help!
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Old 11-16-2002, 02:39 PM   #7
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No i would not say your jumping the gun at all.

You can tell good live rock by a few factors. 1 is color. Good live rock will have some nice colors to it. Base rock which might be the cheapest will usually be just a bland drab grey color. Live rock will have some coralline growth on it. This is what is the purples, blues, and sometimes red colors on the rock itself. Look for maybe some small feather duster worms on the rock.

The higher quality the rock the more stuff will appear to be growing on it.

Live rock will never be sold dry so if they are selling you that as live rock then just pass it by.

Also, give the rock a good smell. If the rock smells rotten or dead then its not cured. If the rock smells like the ocean or just does not stink then its probably cured.

Good live rock is less dense and more porus than other types of rocks. A 10lbs rock that is the size of a grapefruit is not a good rock but a 10lb rock the size of a basketball would be a nice rock.

Look for strange shapes and items that you can use to build tunnels and little caves with.

IMHO the live sand that is sold in bags and is stored on the dry goods sheaves are junk. Its just sand that is supposed to have bacteria in it. Good live sand will be sold out of a tank. preferably a tank that is connected to the stores filtration system. Good live sand will not only have bacteria in it but have all sorts of worms and baby starfish in it.

Look on the side of the tank if you can see little worm trails then the sand is better quality than the stuff in the bags.
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Old 11-17-2002, 09:56 PM   #8
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What if..

Ok, we've checked around for live sand in a tank, unable to find anyone except one place that has it in a box, it was like a shipping box. We are in Orange County California and haven't been able to find anyone that has it in an aquarium. Thank you for the advice on the live rock we will be looking for that, we've got our water at 1.025 which a osilating power head and next pay day we will be investing in the live sand and live rock once we find a place that carries both. We were going to use just regular strip lights to mount to a wood hood that we bought but it hangs lower than we'd like it to be. Any suggestions on some that work good that can be attached to a hood for a reasonable price? The water temp is about 77 degrees, I know once we get the lights on there it will raise the temp, we have NOT put a heater in the water at all yet, should we? We aren't experiencing a cold winter, but then when does Southern California, any suggestions? Btw Fishfreek saw you found the other site, like this one you are are fast!

Thanks again!
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Old 11-18-2002, 01:29 AM   #9
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Hi. Welcome Fish Freek is quick.
I would add a heater into the tank to raise the temp a little more.
If your not in a big hurry try getting your liverock and live sand online.
Overnight shipping can be done.
Here is a site to start with. www.ffexpress.com
Good luck and be patient it will come together.
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Old 11-19-2002, 01:21 PM   #10
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Thanks!

Thanks for the help and the website will check it out! Still trying to figure out the lighting and have been reading everywhere and getting confused.
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