Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
Old 09-03-2003, 03:19 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Newbie
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 6
Send a message via AIM to wildtiger77
New to SaltWater: Need Steps

I am coming from a Freshwater 55 Gallon tank to a Saltwater and need help. I have the following from the freshwater.
- 2 Canaster Filters (Up to 75 Gallons I assume each)
- Tank ornaments from the LFS
- Heater
- Underground Bed attachment I never user
- DIY Canopy and Stand
- 55 Gallon Tank
- Two fluorescent Lites

I know I need to buy the following
- 2 powerheads
- Skimmer
- Salt
- Sand

I am after starting up a Reef Aquarium and adding fish down the road. I love the look of saltwater and thought I would give it a stab. I am not rushing this project but would like more advice on steps to take.

This is what I understand for Steps

-Clean out Aquarium
-Add Regular Sand (southdown tropical playsand) from homedepot
-Put a plate and start running water in
-Let Sand Settle
-Add Salt and check to get correct level.

Then what is next.... Do I need to hook the Canaster Filters up or can I disregard them? If I use them do I remove the Carbon?

Do I hook up the Skimmer and the powerheads and turn them on?

This is where I get lost. - - - If I am going to add Live Rock (Cultured) do I put them in right away or wait......

If I use Uncultured (How long does the smell last)...

1. Directions correct?
2. How long to a wait between steps?
3. Do I need two powerheads?
4. Should I add Instant Ocean Sand for the petstore?


wildtiger77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2003, 04:36 PM   #2
AA Team Emeritus
BillyZ's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Western NY
Posts: 4,064
Welcome to AquariumAdvice

with what you have from your old tank:
You likely wont need the canister filters. all the sand and LR will be your filtration. Tank ornaments as well, you'll likely not like how they look in your reef. Keep the heater, if it was for a 55 gallon to begin with then it should be strong enough. The undergravel filter (assuming thats what you were refering to) you wont use. The rest is good, you will likely replace the two lights that are there. If you want to "go all the way" since you already have DIY hood, if it has room, look into a MH and PC kit to install. at a minimum you'll want to put some PC lights in there. THe ones you have now, (NO flourecents) will not be enough for a reef tank.

you're right on with what you need with the following additions:
Test Kits
for powerheads, you're going to want a total of about 600 GPH between them and anything else that moves water in your tank.

For your old aquarium, have you ever used any copper based medications in the tank? if so, this can cause problems with many reef inverts. I'll let a few others chime in with if the tank is still usable that way or not.

Your plan for set up is good. after the sand water and salt are in the tank, add your heater and powerheads and get the tank "moving" once its up to temp, check your sg again and adjust. if you're going to add LR then putting that rock in your tank will start your cycle. If it is exceptionaly clean LR (from a good LFS for example) you may need to add a fresh raw shrimp from the grocery store to boost the ammonia to get the cycle going. Read up in our articles section on Cycling, Curing LR and there's a wealth of other info there too that I'm sure you'll find useful.

Acronyms and Abbreviations
BillyZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2003, 10:21 AM   #3
Aquarium Advice Newbie
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 6
Send a message via AIM to wildtiger77
When do I turn on the Skimmer?
When you say add the sand, your refering to just regular Tropical Sand and not the Instant Ocean?

Continuing my Directions.
-Check for Correct Lites
-Get Salt, Temp, Lights correct (What Temp?)
-Add Liverock (I need to research more)

Continue to cycle and keep an eye on the water

Should I worry about the water at all since the Live Rock starts the cycling - example, if the ammonia level gets to high should I worry about it killing the Live Rock??? I think I worded that correctly.

Also when I fill the tank for the first time - Can I just add water from the tap with Chlorine in it and all or do I need to treat the water first???

wildtiger77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2003, 10:25 AM   #4
Aquarium Advice Regular
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Fort Worth
Posts: 50
Send a message via ICQ to roblikesfish Send a message via AIM to roblikesfish Send a message via MSN to roblikesfish
Instant Ocean is the Salt....... I am unaware if they make sand .
Fish out of water
roblikesfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2003, 01:24 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Regular
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Fort Myers Florida
Posts: 58
You may want to watch that tap water. My tap water has some ammonia in it so I have to use spring water (you can also probably use one of the britta filters you attach to you faucet head). If you are going to add tap water put dechlorinator drops in. Also do not put live rock or live sand in with the tap water, make sure your SG is where you want it before you put them in. Im not real clear on the sand you are using. Are you going to put playsand down then live sand on top? If so the playsand can probably go in with the tap water, but im not positive.
OUfishman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2003, 02:17 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Newbie
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 6
Send a message via AIM to wildtiger77
I have an Idea for setting up a sump. I have the two canaster filters - I can have the one canaster filter pull water out and place it in a Rubbermaid tote under the aquarium and I can use the second one to pull the water out of the tote and send it back up into the aquarium. Then inside the tote I can put everything else I need.

Does this sound logical - - I then would be able to put Carbon in one of the canaster filters that is pulling water off of the surface and have it sent through the Canaster filter with carbon or without...

Has anyone ever thought or tried this..

Can someone tell me what a Sump is trying to accomplish... Pulling the water off the surface will pull the stuff the skimmer would origionally pull off the surface... Correct? Then if it goes down into a Canaster filter - I can just take out the guts of the filter so it just pumps the water into the Tote. I can then have the skimmer take all the nasty stuff out or I could have the filter do it onthe way down. The other Canaster filter will just take it and clean it again and send the water back up to the tank.

Along with this I would have 2 Powerheads pushing at least 600 gph.

Anyone think this might work???? :| :|

wildtiger77 is offline   Reply With Quote

salt, saltwater

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
after cycling... next steps? jgross15656 Saltwater Fish Only & FOWLR 11 10-19-2008 08:50 PM
Steps for starting up tank Terrier Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 4 11-23-2004 08:30 PM
steps in set-up tarheelblue2121 Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 5 12-07-2003 11:17 PM
What are the steps needed after getting everything? Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 4 05-23-2003 11:00 AM
Three Steps to a Reef Aqarium CMKll Aquaria Off-Topic 4 03-21-2003 09:21 PM

» Photo Contest Winners

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:28 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.