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Old 01-01-2014, 03:06 AM   #1
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New 36 Gallon Reef

First of all sorry for the long post and don't feel it's necessary to answer all my questions if you only know the answer to a few, Any help is greatly appreciated! I currently have a 36 gallon freshwater aquarium (bowfront). I will soon be converting it to a reef tank and would like some help. I currently have 2 ten gallon tanks with sand/live rock/and easy to care for corals(leathers) and a small CUC. These tanks are just for my science fair experiment so they will be available by the time I go to begin the set up of this new tank. First question: can I use the water/Live Rock/live sand in these 2 aquariums as a start to my new tank (I will have to buy more sand/live rock, but just as a start?) Second question: I currently have a large canister filter for the 36, I have read that these can cause nitrate problems in saltwater aquariums, is anyone using canister filters and can confirm if this is true or not? It seems like the general consensus is that sumps are the better way to go, can one of the 10 gallons be used as a sump/does this require an overflow/drilling the tank? Third question: Stocking! I've done a fair amount of research/spending time in this app and have found that I'm fairly limited due to the tanks size, if anyone has a similar sized tank or is just generally knowledgable in the hobby I'd love to hear your ideas! Sorry for the long post there's just so much to learn, Can't wait to get started 😊
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Old 01-01-2014, 12:52 PM   #2
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In terms of reusing water, I normally say it is a waste. Why carry over nutrients that you will want to export later on? There isn't any beneficial bacteria in the water column, it is in the sand and rock in the established tanks.
In terms of the sand and rock, I would reuse it. I would rinse the sand in the old tank water to ensure there isn't any excess food/poop in it before the transfer, back to not wanting to export nutrients later on.
In terms of your canister filter, it is doable. Normally these are frowned upon in the SW world for the exact reason you listed. But, if they are broken down and maintained well there won't be an issue with them. I have never attempted, but I would suggest breaking down and cleaning weekly, just as with partial water changes.
If you choose to go the route of a sump, you can get HOB overflows for your system...but drilling is better as it is gravity driven. The HOB overflows can loose siphon...though there are units out there like the CPR overflow that works to prevent that with the assistance of an aqualifter.
In terms of stocking, you are correct with being limited by the size of the tank...but there are several "nano" fish out there that can suit your needs. My first tank was a similar sized bowfront I bought from Petco. I had some clowns, a royal gramma, a chalk bass...just to name a few. I suggest checking out liveaquaria.com and doing some research as to what you like and if it is all compatible together.
Good luck, ask whatever you need and we'll try to help.
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Old 01-01-2014, 01:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniperhank View Post
In terms of reusing water, I normally say it is a waste. Why carry over nutrients that you will want to export later on? There isn't any beneficial bacteria in the water column, it is in the sand and rock in the established tanks.
In terms of the sand and rock, I would reuse it. I would rinse the sand in the old tank water to ensure there isn't any excess food/poop in it before the transfer, back to not wanting to export nutrients later on.
In terms of your canister filter, it is doable. Normally these are frowned upon in the SW world for the exact reason you listed. But, if they are broken down and maintained well there won't be an issue with them. I have never attempted, but I would suggest breaking down and cleaning weekly, just as with partial water changes.
If you choose to go the route of a sump, you can get HOB overflows for your system...but drilling is better as it is gravity driven. The HOB overflows can loose siphon...though there are units out there like the CPR overflow that works to prevent that with the assistance of an aqualifter.
In terms of stocking, you are correct with being limited by the size of the tank...but there are several "nano" fish out there that can suit your needs. My first tank was a similar sized bowfront I bought from Petco. I had some clowns, a royal gramma, a chalk bass...just to name a few. I suggest checking out liveaquaria.com and doing some research as to what you like and if it is all compatible together.
Good luck, ask whatever you need and we'll try to help.

Okay thanks! I'm sure I'll have more questions as I go through the process of setting this tank up but you've given me a great start 😊
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