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Old 10-22-2013, 01:42 PM   #1
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New to saltwater, lots of ?'s

I currently have a 75 and 55 gallon in my garage, id like to set one up for saltwater. I am brand new to it, have had FW fish for a few years now though. So if I had a 75 gallon, glass tops, stand, lights, and a marineland 400 and a heater, what else do I need? Protein skimmer? Which one? Size? where to buy? Live sand and coral? Again wheres the cheapest to get? And water? Do I mix it with my tap water? Or do you buy it by the gallon? Sorry im such a newb, saltwater seems to have more variety and looks alot cooler imo. If someone could hook me up for what I would need for a 55 or 75 gallon thatd be awesome! I dont wanna go to petco and get screwed with buying things I dont need.
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:02 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by ufc94champ View Post
I currently have a 75 and 55 gallon in my garage, id like to set one up for saltwater. I am brand new to it, have had FW fish for a few years now though. So if I had a 75 gallon, glass tops, stand, lights, and a marineland 400 and a heater, what else do I need? Protein skimmer? Which one? Size? where to buy? Live sand and coral? Again wheres the cheapest to get? And water? Do I mix it with my tap water? Or do you buy it by the gallon? Sorry im such a newb, saltwater seems to have more variety and looks alot cooler imo. If someone could hook me up for what I would need for a 55 or 75 gallon thatd be awesome! I dont wanna go to petco and get screwed with buying things I dont need.
You're in the right place. Read some threads and you will get the idea pretty quickly.

Top things to look into;

RO/DI water and a reflectometer.
A efficient protein skimmer and sump if possible.
LED lighting, or T5
Proper stocking, no tangs or mandarins until you get your act together and have a big enough tank,
Flow requirements, much more of an issue with SW.

Everything you need to know is here and has been debated by the community. But in every thread you will see some consensus as to the proper methods to use.
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:11 PM   #3
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I am no expert but from my experience I'll give you what I know. I'm sure others will chime in and fill in the gaps that I have missed. For water invest in a Rodi unit they are easy to install and will pay for themselves. Don't use tap water. Buying water will get costly as time goes on. Protein skimmer is user preference, try to find one that fits your budget and is at least double the capacity for your tank size. Live sand is roughly one pound per gallon of fish tank so you would need about 75 pounds. I would say get two power heads for a 75 gal tank. Also look into getting either a sump or refrugum. Freshwater lights won't work for saltwater unless you have led lights. If you go reef you will need lights capable of growing coral.
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:13 PM   #4
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I am no expert but from my experience I'll give you what I know. I'm sure others will chime in and fill in the gaps that I have missed. For water invest in a Rodi unit they are easy to install and will pay for themselves. Don't use tap water. Buying water will get costly as time goes on. Protein skimmer is user preference, try to find one that fits your budget and is at least double the capacity for your tank size. Live sand is roughly one pound per gallon of fish tank so you would need about 75 pounds. I would say get two power heads for a 75 gal tank. Also look into getting either a sump or refrugum. Freshwater lights won't work for saltwater unless you have led lights. If you go reef you will need lights capable of growing coral.
I agree with the above, except in a SW fish only tank FW lights will work fine.
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Old 10-22-2013, 08:01 PM   #5
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Is the 75 on a stand? Does the 55 fit under it? You'd be well on our way of that's the case - if it was me I would look into getting the 55 drilled and use it as a sump - You can you tube how to DIY sumps and partitions for a refugium. Then you'd just need some powerheads for flow, liquid saltwater test kits, refractometer, ro-di unit and of course a light
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:34 PM   #6
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I could use the 55 but I would be so lost on how to set that up I wish I had a friend in the hobby. I plan to set up the 75 and here is what I have so far... heater, marineland 400 hob filter, tank/stand. And my order that I havent placed yet on petco... I Would also get a hydrometer and I have t5 lights already. where do I find a rodi unit?? Would you say all this plus a rodi unit and saltwater test kit and id be good?

Coralife Super Skimmer Needle Wheel Protein Skimmer
6" X 8" X 20.5"; For Aquariums up to 65 gallons
SKU: 1000160
$94.99
Nature's Ocean Bio-Activ Live Aragonite Reef SandNature's Ocean Bio-Activ Live Aragonite Reef Sand
20 lbs.; Grain size: 0.5-1.7 mm; Natural White #1
SKU: 708950
$26.99 X3
$80.97
Instant Ocean Aquarium SaltInstant Ocean Aquarium Salt
46 lbs.; Treats 160 gallons
SKU: 927988
$39.98
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:13 PM   #7
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It's a good start look at bulkreefsupply.com you also need at least two power heads, base rock and most importantly live rock.
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Old 10-23-2013, 01:32 AM   #8
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Honestly, you tube have plenty of how to DIY the sump idea. IMO that's the best set up for that size tank, and you can keep all your business in there, skimmer heaters out of the display. No need for the hob filter. If it was me that's what i would do! I regret not knowing that before I set up my 55g. If I could turn back time...
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Old 10-23-2013, 04:40 AM   #9
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don't buy live sand. id look into pool filter sand. its a fine grain sand and looks amazing in sw tanks, also is pennies on the dollar compared to that live sand. use the money you save on sand and put it towards a skimmer. this reef octopus 4 would be a great skimmer for your setup
Reef Octopus Needle/Pin Wheel Protein Skimmer
granted its not exactly cheap but a quality skimmer will save you a huge headache down the road.
try the DIY refugium/sump. its insanely easy and cheap to do. just watch some youtube videos and youll be good to go before you know it.
also don't order that salt from petco.com, amazon is cheaper and you get 200g not 160g.
Amazon.com: instant ocean 200g
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my 125g Sw...Round 2!http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...220171-33.html
ever see someone cut a 125g in half??
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...-286438-4.html
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Old 10-23-2013, 04:44 AM   #10
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if you don't like the Reef Octopus skimmer, here's a comparable skimmer by Bubble Magus
Amazon.com: Bubble Magus Curve 5 Protein Skimmer: Pet Supplies
I have the Curve 7 on my 125 and let me tell you, this thing is utterly amazing. well just read the customer reviews, they speak for themselves
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my 125g Sw...Round 2!http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...220171-33.html
ever see someone cut a 125g in half??
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...-286438-4.html
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