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Old 03-12-2013, 12:04 AM   #1
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New 55g tank

So I am about to get me a 55g tank. This will be my 2nd tank. Upgrading from a 20g tank. I am looking for a good guide to use. I used colorful rock substrate and fake decorations on my 20g. With the 55g I want to use sand and also want to use live rock but not completely dedicated to live rock due to the curing process. I also plan on using water straight from the ocean as I do with my 20g.

So basically my first questions are......
Can I use sand from the beach or should I buy live sand or what?
Recommendations on live rock if its worth it or not. I love how it looks tho
And a good step by step guide.
Also do I have to use a skimmer and RO/DI
And lastly instead of using a side hanger filter would a bottom filter work with sand?
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Old 03-12-2013, 03:14 AM   #2
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I wouldn't use sand from the beach, nor would I bother with 'live sand' I would just use dry sand and give it a good rinse.
Definitely use ro-di for top offs and continue with ocean for PWC.
I used all live rock to start my 55g. It was expensive but I don't regret it, looks good from day one, covered in all shades of coralline I would do the same again if I was to upgrade.
Are you keeping the 20g? Or moving it over to the 55g?
I don't run a mechanical filter at all so can't help you with that one...
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Old 03-12-2013, 03:16 AM   #3
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Oh and you don't have to run a skimmer but I recommend it, I use one. Don't buy a cheap one tho or you will regret it later on
Under gravel filters have no place in salt water, in my opinion...
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Old 03-12-2013, 03:44 AM   #4
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So from what Ive been reading and what you say the impression I get is under gravel filter is a bad idea. And with Live rock there really isnt a need for a filter correct.

As for the 20g me and the wifey had talked about putting it in the bedroom, but I am unsure of that yet. That was another question I had tho. Since it is already cycled and its here would using that water to start my new one be a bad idea? And what about the fish in it? I prob have the cheapest fish you can get to start out with which is 2 stripped damsels, and 2 clownfish. Also had started a cleaning crew of a Hermitt crab, couple of Halloween crabs, and a couple of turbo snails of which the hermit crab ate one I think lol. (Got more shells enroute right now, hard to believe I cant find good shells in hawaii lol). But thats one key question I left out I was wondering about. To use or not to use the 20g tanks water in the 55g tank or make prob 3 trips to the ocean with my two 10g buckets.
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Old 03-12-2013, 03:52 AM   #5
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If it was me I would keep the 20g because you can never have enough tanks! Using the water from the 20 won't really help the 55 anyway, the BB isn't in the water. You could, like me set it up without a filter. Have a read up on the Berlin Method of filtration. Of course like many things there are variations to the rules
I think it's important to use all live rock and lots of it to begin and although strictly speaking the true method is a bare bottom I did end up putting a very shallow sand bed in.
I run a powerful skimmer and have 2 x powerheads. I do 20% PWC weekly. My parameters are stable and always have been, nitrates never more than .5
It was also a quick cycle, about 2 weeks.
Hope this helps!
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:56 AM   #6
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So got another question. I want to do a reef aquairum but price might be a factor right now as I'm paying for a wedding Ceremony. Could I start the tank up an let it cycle and add fish and such and add live rock at a later date?
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Old 03-14-2013, 03:05 AM   #7
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Not really, you need the rock for the cycle. You could set it up with all the live rock, a couple of power heads and a heater initially. Stock lighting or cheap lighting until you are ready to do reef. Fish don't need fancy lights so you could lightly stock the tank with fish. Once you have a bit more cash invest In the skimmer and then upgrade those lights for corals. Most suggest waiting 6months to a year before adding corals anyway which will give you a chance to get used to the maintenance and upkeep. You will need to think about where you get your water (ro-di preferably) an test kits for monitoring your water and salinity...
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Old 03-14-2013, 03:21 AM   #8
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I get my water from the ocean. Tried doing it myself the first time and it didn't work out too good. So I drive the 5 min to the beach and get it from there. For my 20g tank it's my Monday night routine to do my water exchange
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Old 03-15-2013, 04:40 AM   #9
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So what about this. What if I did my bottom in sand. Then went and bought some live rock and supplemented with base or dead rock would it work? Or is that another bad idea
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:39 AM   #10
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Yeah that would work, you decided to go no mechanical filtration? Just take it real slow, don't go adding fish too soon... A lot of people go loads of base rock and a small amount of live to seed it. What have you decided for set up?
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