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Old 11-11-2009, 12:00 PM   #1
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New to Saltwater... I feel clueless

Hello!

I am in the process of setting up a 65 gallon reef tank and I know close to nothing. But, I am a quick learner.

I have 60 lbs of live rock in there now and the water has been cycling since Saturday. I bought everything used, but it was all a year old. $275 for tank, coralife lighting, Pro Clear 150 wet/dry filter, and protein skimmer. I need lots of help.

Questions...
How often should I be replacing the evaporated water? I bought my water pre-mixed at the the local shop. I intend to start mixing my own.

Where should I buy a cheap RO water filter?

My lighting is 10,000K and Actinic. Can I have the lights on now with just live rock while the water is cycling? What should I do for lighting once it gets up and running?

My protein skimmer needs repaired... Do I need it right now with just live rock or can it wait a week or so?

Once I am ready to add some things... what should I start with that is fairly inexpensive in case I lose some things while I am learning?

Are there some recommended intro books and articles I can read? I feel like I need a chemistry degree the more I read articles and threads.

Thanks. I'm sure I will have more questions. I'll try to post some pics here in a few.
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Old 11-11-2009, 12:19 PM   #2
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Replace the evaporated water with freshwater every day, or when it gets low. I try to top mine off when it gets down to 1/2" below the top brace. Try ebay for the RO filter. Your lighting is fine now, I would keep it off during the cycle as there is no need to have it on. I would also recommend replacing the bulbs if you plan on getting coral. There is no need for a skimmer when your tank is cycling, most say it will slow cycle down if you have it on too. A good book that I started with was "Reef Secrets" by Alf Jacob Nilsen and Svein A. Fossa. Lots of good info in there, covers just about everything like lighting, skimming, stocking, and even gives you a small profile on a bunch of fish and inverts. Welcome to AA!
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Old 11-11-2009, 12:29 PM   #3
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1) As often as needed. I would replace FW top off water every day instead of waiting so long. It prevents wild salinity swings.
2)If possible I would get a RO/DI unit. You can get them on ebay for about a hundred dollars.
3) What kind of lighting system do you have? what is the wattage of the bulbs?
4) You dont need it right now and there are some folks that dont even need one but IMO they are good to have.
5) There is many inexpensive fish out there. I would check out the images of the folks here so you can get a good idea of what`s out there. Here is a good link
Beginner fish
Just make sure that the fish is recommended for your tank size and is reef safe if you are going to have a reef.
6) Read our articles section and read this link for equipment needs.

Stock list and tips for maintaining your SW tank.

BTW welcome to AA and enjoy your stay.
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Old 11-11-2009, 12:31 PM   #4
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Some Pics

Any thoughts positive or negative would be great.
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Old 11-11-2009, 12:35 PM   #5
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Looks pretty good.
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Old 11-11-2009, 12:44 PM   #6
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Mike,

The lighting system is a Coralife. The bulbs are 10,000K/96 watt and Actinic/96 Watt
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Old 11-11-2009, 01:19 PM   #7
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OK, that lighting should be OK for moderate light LPS and soft corals.
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Old 11-11-2009, 02:18 PM   #8
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Nice looking tank setup. I would remove the bio-balls in the wet/dry filter now and replace it with LR rubble. It will end up being a much bette filter system. The wet/dry setup you have in the picture will end up being a nitrate factory and will be hard to maintain.
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Old 11-11-2009, 04:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thincat View Post
Nice looking tank setup. I would remove the bio-balls in the wet/dry filter now and replace it with LR rubble. It will end up being a much bette filter system. The wet/dry setup you have in the picture will end up being a nitrate factory and will be hard to maintain.
Thanks for the advice. Can you buy rubble cheaper than the big chunks of live rock?
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Old 11-11-2009, 04:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jk1nole View Post
Thanks for the advice. Can you buy rubble cheaper than the big chunks of live rock?
Yes you can buy BR (Dry) and break it up in pieces and put it in there.
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