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Old 01-15-2016, 05:42 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Florida
Posts: 20
New 29g starter, lots of questions!

Hi there, yet another person here first time doing salt, in a 29g tall. I've been slowly acquiring all of my supplies ,it's over the year(s?), and on my last paycheck thanks to holiday and overtime pay, I've ordered the finishing touches so to start on my setup.
For now, I'd like to start with FOWLR, at least until I feel confident in maintaining a saltwater aquarium, and then perhaps later I'll dive into corals and such.

Right now, this us what I have, sand and base rock should be here next week. I do not have an RO unit, but was planning on getting water from my LFS. I'm also planning on getting about 5 pounds of Live rock to help feed my base rock.

I do have some questions, mostly advise on my best setup possible to keep the water quality at its best. But first, what I have:

250gph hydro wavemaker
(Also happen to have 2 SunSun 528GPH wavemakers)
100 watt hydro (also have 50watt submersible heater)
Coral life Protein skimmer (I've seen some other people who didn't have a bio cube use it
Aqueon quiet flow 30-45g HOB
Fluval sea marine and reef 24"-34" 25w LED strip
25# base rock
40# live sand (Caribsea Arag-alive. Honestly I don't know what I was thinking when I ordered that much, I think I got excited about the deal and thought for a brief moment I had a 39 gallon. Oh well, I little extra stored away won't hurt anything).
Salt, of course

1. I realize a 100watt probably won't cut it in a 29 gallon, I bought it when I originally was going to start smaller. I do have a spare 50watt (from overseas, no name brand), and was curious if the two together would be ok? I live in Florida, so it only gets cold maybe 1 1/2 months out of the year.

2. As you can see, I have a number of wavemakers to choose from. The original I was going to use was the hydor and Aqueon HOB filter together, but again, bigger tank, what would be the best combination circulation/flow wise? The filter turns out 200gph if I remember correctly.

3. In regards to the HOB filter- I've seen some that say you don't need it with salt, especially with live since that is your BB source? I've also seen ideas of turning it into a mini refurgium with live rock rubble in it? Eventually I would like to incorporate a sump, (not drilled though), I saw a really nice tutorial on YouTube how to make one out of a 10 gallon. Just not now.
But is it worth it to have the HOB, or just stick to the wavemakers for circulation and rock for the BB? And if the refurgium is not a good idea, then what would be ideal to put in it for saltwater?

4. For future reference, to clarify things, when I do add a sump, the idea behind that is to increase the water volume and help the parameters stay stabilized longer/better, correct?

5. How many times per week do you recommend checking the salinity of the tank, for an aquarium this size? Or do I just kind of got to "feel it out" with my tank?
Also I have a glass lid, in hopes of helping with evaporation, but I see a lot of mentions of screen tops is that just personal preference or is there a method to the madness (besides the obvious keeping the fish in and the cat paws out). If need be I could switch it with my crabitat screen lid.

6. I have a freshwater API test kit, and was told that I could use it on SW (for FO, obviously not the reefs) only the colors would be a little different- in other words I'd just have to print out the SW color chart. Has anyone had any experience doing this?

7. Good book suggestions! (I have "Aquariums The complete Guide to Freshwater and Saltwater aquariums" by Thierry Maitre-Allain and it has been awesome at helping me understand basic maintenance especially cycling, understanding filters, plants, ect mostly for freshwater, but I feel it lacks on salt and would like a more in depth guide, also to touch more on corals and the fish themselves.)

Thanks a bunch in advance for any help!

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