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Old 04-07-2013, 11:16 PM   #1
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New tank

Hi I was given an 18 gallon saltwater tank from a friend when they upgraded to a bigger one. It has some sand on it with a couples inches of water. I think the sand is live because I see some little worms in it. I'm a little confused as to what to do to get it all setup. I've just had a freshwater tank setup and not sure about how saltwater tanks work.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:34 AM   #2
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Mix some aquarium salt in a bucket and add it to top it off. Add the heater set to 78 F and run your filter without anything in it just to keep the tank aerated and the sand alive. That should keep you going until you can read the startup threads on this site.
I would recommend a FOWLR setup for starters. Easier and less nitrate worries. You can upgrade to a reef later. Do a full cycle and don't try bottled bacteria unless you want to suffer fish deaths later like some others are seeing. When you do get to stocking trust Liveaquaria website for min tank size.
Good luck. Read the startup threads then ask more questions. Welcome aboard.
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:38 AM   #3
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Okay they just gave us the tank with nothing. So I'll need to buy a filter, is a hang on filter fine? Is one better than most fr a tall tank? (It's a 18 gallon hex tank). Also what watt heater? since I've read that controlling temp could be hard with lights when I finally buy them?
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:00 AM   #4
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Sorry, I figured you had a heater and filter. Probably a 100-150 watt heater will do ya. You'll want a filter that takes various media packets. I've never used those myself in a HOB (hang on back) filter so hopefully somebody will chime in. Otherwise you'll have to check it out at your fish store.
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:02 AM   #5
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If it was me I would go out and get about 20lbs of live rock and not use a filter at all. You will be needing to perform weekly water changes anyway. Your rock will be your filter and the more of it the better! You will need a powerhead for water movement and a good ol fashioned saltwater test kit, the API ones are cheap but do the job. Then you will need to think about where you get your water from (no tap water here I am afraid) LFS sell real sea water if you live close to one but most people invest in a rodi system for the home so you can make your own. A refractometer is worth it for measuring salinity (hydrometers are cheaper but not as accurate) it is wise to keep it fish only to start and you can think about corals down the raid when you get the hang of it all, plus reef lighting is much more expensive! Do plenty of research here in the nano section for fish selections while your tank I. Cycling, can take 4 weeks or so in which time you can work out your stock list! Welcome to the world of salt
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:59 AM   #6
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Okay so reading through other threads for a FOWLR tank would I need a protein skimmer? Also I can't add all 20 lbs at once sowed I have a filter running or just add enough water for 1 lb of rock for 1 gallon? As for lighting it seems like it doesn't have to be a specific kind or does it? Want to have it all figured before heading to the store. Oh and they told me that my LFS has the water already made and I just buy it by the gallon is that okay too?
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:03 AM   #7
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On and forgot to add is power head same as a wave maker?
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:48 PM   #8
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Store bought salt water works.
As for a filter or no, I WOULD use one for the media baskets I mentioned. Some take resins designed to remove nitrates. However, if you are serious, I would look to a CPR Aquafuge PS. It has a built in skimmer and refugium where you can grow cheato macro algae to remove nitrates naturally. That and the mentioned live rock will extract some poop and convert the rest into green algae grass for easy removal.
Look here on eBay. I got the 75 gal tank version for my 30 and I loved it.

http://bit.ly/Y8EAgT
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:24 PM   #9
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Okay so I've been researching what to get to start up my tank...I'm getting an aqua clear hob filter because you can put different kinds of media for filtration. Also everyone seems to like the hydro koralia powerheads just wonder if the 240 or 425 would be best for my tank? A 100 watt heater, a test kit, and live rock.

Also something unexpected came and I won't be able to get this stuff until this Friday payday, will my live sand be okay? What can I do from now until then?
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