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Old 07-12-2012, 02:56 AM   #1
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new 55 gallon tank. need help!

I am new to saltwater aquariums and I have watched alot of videos and have read alot of sites on how to start and maintain a saltwater tank and I need just straight forward no bullshit advice.
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Old 07-12-2012, 03:13 AM   #2
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Well your in a good place to start, Find a LFS you like and just ask ask ask learn from years of others mistakes and experience never be scared to ask stupid questions or ask for explanations most people in this hobby love to talk about it
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Old 07-12-2012, 03:18 AM   #3
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Thank you! But one other thing. I've seen some tanks with and some without a sump. would I need one?
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Old 07-12-2012, 03:38 AM   #4
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I have run tanks with out sumps for years with no major complications (BUT)
now I found out the benefits a sump can give for certain applications


It all depends on your future plans and what you expect from your tank
give us a idea of what you want for your tank and we all can give you a more accurate answer

Almost forgot welcome to AA
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Old 07-12-2012, 03:47 AM   #5
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I want a tank with real live plants and coral i'm done with the fake plastic stuff it doesn't give off the same look. I want a couple clownfish some gobies and maybe a small snowflake eel. Just a nice colorful tank.
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Old 07-12-2012, 05:23 AM   #6
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You do not *need* a sump, but they provide numerous benefits.
Increased water volume (stability)
A place to hide equipment (skimmer, heater, etc)
A place to cultivate macroalgae for nutrient export
A place to grow live food such as copepods, amphipods, mysid shrimp, etc.
There are not many true plants for marine aquariums other than seagrasses, but there are tons of beautiful macroalgae species available.
I wouldn't advice a snowflake eel in a 55, especially with small fish such as gobies. While snowflakes primarily prey on small crustaceans, they are not above eating fish. They are also incredibly strong escape artists. Lid must be weighted or otherwise secured.

As for straightforward no bs advice... Slow. Best word of advice I can give. Read every day. Browse the forums and read from start to finish, any thread that catches your eye. Read up on every type of fish, algae, coral, or motile invert that you are even thinking about contemplating to dream of buying.
Don't rush the cycling process, or skimp on equipment. Get what you will need before you need it.
And if you don't know something, ask! We're happy to answer!
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Old 07-12-2012, 06:24 AM   #7
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Thank you. I'm going to my local fish store tomorrow to ask about the equipmeny I need
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:49 AM   #8
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This is pretty easy to answer. Get yourself some sand, many like pool filter sand but I prefer aggregate based sand personally, some rock, either live or macro based rock, and some salt. Pick up a master saltwater test kit so you can watch your cycle/parameters. Add an uncooked live shrimp and your cycle is off and running, will take about a month.

With that out of the way, we can start talking about what all exactly you want to have in your tank. This will state what kind of lighting you'll need, how much flow...ect. In terms of a sump, I continue to support them for the information stated above. We can help you out with that as well...it will break down into if you would prefer a drilled tank or overflow... There are many benefits to a drilled tank, infact though I have never had a drilled tank I would support this. But without knowing anything about your tank and that it is probably tempered glass...you will have to go with an overflow if you decide to go the route of a sump.
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:53 AM   #9
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I was thinking about going with an over flow. It is a tempered glass tank not a new one either i'm buying it from someone and it is a few years old I believe
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:59 AM   #10
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Well allow me to suggest the CPR overflow. Mine does a great job. I run it in tandom with an aqualifter pump to make sure that it does not loose siphon and overflow my display tank.

It might be a good idea to skim through my thread, Upgrade 55 gal build. It seems to be along the same lines as what you are trying to accomplish. There was alot of input in the beginning with discussions about lighting, corals, sand, and disgust for seaclone skimmers.
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