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Old 11-17-2011, 10:11 PM   #1
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new to saltwater but with moderate freshwater experience needs help

Hello all I have been in the freshwater forums on here for a while. I am getting a 55 gallon longish tank and stand, filter, heater and pump for under $100.00 I also have an extra marineland penguin filter from my other 55 gallon that I can use as well. I want to start a saltwater tank. I know I will need a hydrometer a color code sheet from a saltwater API kit and maybe a powerhead. Anything I might need besides that? I have play sand. Is it suitable for sw too? Also what kind of saltwater fish are easier intermediate fish to start with? Sorry for all the questions and thanks for any help!
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:17 PM   #2
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Skip the hydrometer and get a refractometer. You might as well guess (or taste) with a hydrometer.

Play sand is horrible for fw tanks and even worse in sw. I only use and recommend Estes Marine Sand (also known as Stoney River and Ultra Reef). It comes in color options and is very uniform in the perfect size. I wouldn't run a Penguin, or any HOB, on a sw tank.

Are you wanting to do a reef or just fish?
What fish?
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:21 PM   #3
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I'd like to evantually do a reef aquarium. But of course I want to build up to that. I'm open to alot of different kinds of sw fish. There all so pretty. I could get a eheim canister from my lfs but it'd be sort of dissapointing to have two hob filters and nothing to do with them. How much is the sand that your reffering to? My Ph from the tap is kind of high 8.0. So any recommendations can keep that in mind.
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:41 PM   #4
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The sand I recommend runs about $1/lb.

1-Do not even think about using tap water, that is the fast track to an algae farm. You need to either buy RO and make your own water, but premade water, or buy an RO/DI system to make your own water.

2-Stick with natural filtration. HOBs and canisters are NOT the way to go. A natural reef tank will have a lot of live rock (1.5-3 pounds per gallon) and this will serve as 80% of your filtration. The rest comes from a good skimmer and a refugium. On a 55 you should be able to fit a ten gallon sump on there which is where you can house the refugium. I would do either the best HOB skimmer or an external skimmer like the AquaC EV series.
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishguy2727
The sand I recommend runs about $1/lb.

1-Do not even think about using tap water, that is the fast track to an algae farm. You need to either buy RO and make your own water, but premade water, or buy an RO/DI system to make your own water.

2-Stick with natural filtration. HOBs and canisters are NOT the way to go. A natural reef tank will have a lot of live rock (1.5-3 pounds per gallon) and this will serve as 80% of your filtration. The rest comes from a good skimmer and a refugium. On a 55 you should be able to fit a ten gallon sump on there which is where you can house the refugium. I would do either the best HOB skimmer or an external skimmer like the AquaC EV series.
So I would need a sump just for a regular salt tank even if I don't plan to add any live rock or reef items for a while? What is a refugium? A hob Skimmer? Sorry I'm new to salt. I would need like the water u buy from Walmart and others? The ro/di water correct? Seems alot more pricey than I at first realized.
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Old 11-17-2011, 11:30 PM   #6
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You should add live rock now whether you put corals on top of them or not, they are an important part of a naturally filtered tank (this means easy for you to maintain, better for the fish, etc.).

A refugium is a type of filtration that uses macroalgae to remove nitrate and phosphate so that it is not available for bad algae in the tank. It is usually a section in the sump that has a light over it so that the macroalgae (usually chaetomorpha) can grow.

A protein skimmer is a type of filter/equipment for saltwater tanks. They can go in-sump, hang-on-back (HOB), or external.

You would need to buy either distilled water or buy water from an aquarium store. RO drinking water is not pure enough.

SW is not cheap. You can cut costs by getting good deals on craigslist or local clubs, but it is not something you can cut corners on without your tank suffering. The good thing is that if you setup a sw tank properly it will be even less maintenance than a fw tank.
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Old 11-17-2011, 11:53 PM   #7
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If you can somehow gut out those HOB filters you can make them into a HOB refugium. Very useful for pods and macro algae. If you have an aquaclear it's really easy to do.
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Old 11-18-2011, 12:33 AM   #8
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If you can somehow gut out those HOB filters you can make them into a HOB refugium. Very useful for pods and macro algae. If you have an aquaclear it's really easy to do.
Well one of my hob has plenty of space for media its about a space 3" wide 1.5" long and around 6" deep. It was on a friends 70 gallon tall tank. I have it on a 10 gallon fishless aquarium I've been using to build bb on the wheel and filter that's in it.
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:37 AM   #9
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Well if you can take off the bio wheel and the media you could probably put some chaeto and rubble.
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Old 11-18-2011, 11:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwimsWithFish
Well if you can take off the bio wheel and the media you could probably put some chaeto and rubble.
Yea both of those pop right off.
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