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Old 08-28-2012, 08:13 PM   #1
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New to saltwater reef

My girlfriend and I are moving into our first place together. All I have is a 12g freshwater that just fizzled out after 3 years of my goldfish.

She is thinking of buying me a tank for Xmas. I am thinking a 75g and I eventually when money comes in make a reef tank.

I guess what I'm asking is what are things I need to start pricing out do I can begin to budget this along with other expenses.
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:29 PM   #2
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Are u wanting reef tank with coral or fish and live rock? So you know what tank im guessing the 75 gal, what else you will need: light (depends on if you plan on keeping coral or not, &if u want coral what kind softies/leathers or sps/lps) softies are good and are usually the easiest to care for some type of t5 bulb lighting and will be cheaper. To grow lps/sps anemones require very good lighting looking at mh or leds(reef leds).

filters; you need different filters most people will use sumps/ refuigiums for saltwater aquariums. You can buy then very exspensive or you can make the diy sumps. Usually a good idea to use breeder tanks to do so. They dont have brackets and you will have more vertical room using them.
If its a fowlr(fish only with live rock) then you can get away with really good hang on back filters but I dont reccomend it. The reason why you limit youself with them. With a sump you can an ato (auto top off) which can keep your water level exact bc of water evaporation, crucial in marine tanks bc sality can change and its a pain not to have one. If you decide to have a type of reef controller/ or apex you get probes to measure your readings. Would you want all that stuff in your display? I want the least amount of wires ans equipment in my display as I can have.

Next you will need a return pump usually 7-15 X volume of you tank is what you want. I like the quiet one pumps.

some things you will need heater, marine test kit I use api brand. Substrate and rock, dry rock is alot cheaper prolly around 60 to 75lb for a 75 gal tank. Look at reefrock.com or marcorock.com. You will need to sit the in buckets for about 2 weeks to a month with heaters and anything to give the rocks water movement. This will help from having a bad diatom outbreak which many of us went through.

You may want to get some powerheads to keep the water moving around in your tank. If you have the money get magnetic powerheads the ones that have suction cups fall alot. Hydor, sicce, deceng prices ecotech I would love to have but cant drop 450 on powerheads just yet.

the list goes on to what you want tanks can get very complex you can get uva sterlizers, protein skimmers(not neccessary, but will benefit your tank greatly).

to get you started I would do a diy sump, get a return pump 7-15 X volume of your tank. heater, light (you dont need anything great to start off with, but until you atleast have t5's I wouldnt get any coral), sand, rock (dry or live) live rock is exspensive (get dry rock and a couple pieces of live to seed it with). I believe marcorocks you can get part dry/live packages.

Hope this helps
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:07 AM   #3
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This helps me out immensely! My goal is to have as little wires as possible, but if its a must, its a must. I would like to get soft coral (pretty much the easiest I can keep alive)

Would I be able to turn my 12g into a sump/refuge?

How many power heads would I need? Is there a flow rate that I should be hitting?
Is there a type of heater that works better?

Instead of buckets could I use my tank and kind of cycle it?

Maybe I'll take some time to my lfs to see what they say also so I can see some of these things. I am a very visual person.

Thank you so much for the response!
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:46 AM   #4
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Im my opinion you will definatly need a skimmer as this will take the grime out of the unwanted nutrients and the fuge will do the rest since ive ran a fuge with my skimmer i havnt had to do a wc in 3 months so far and my water quality is spot on... Sump with fuge is always the best filtration in my eyes. if you have the money go with leds ive been lucky and have kept lps sps softies and a nem with t5 lighting mh's are brilliant for light intensity but your most likely need a chiller for temp.... You can set up fairly cheap if you put alot of work in and can be quite patient
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badgers reef
Im my opinion you will definatly need a skimmer as this will take the grime out of the unwanted nutrients and the fuge will do the rest since ive ran a fuge with my skimmer i havnt had to do a wc in 3 months so far and my water quality is spot on... Sump with fuge is always the best filtration in my eyes. if you have the money go with leds ive been lucky and have kept lps sps softies and a nem with t5 lighting mh's are brilliant for light intensity but your most likely need a chiller for temp.... You can set up fairly cheap if you put alot of work in and can be quite patient
Skimmer refugium/sump phosphate reactor if your doin sps calcium reactor soon down the road
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badgers reef
Im my opinion you will definatly need a skimmer as this will take the grime out of the unwanted nutrients and the fuge will do the rest since ive ran a fuge with my skimmer i havnt had to do a wc in 3 months so far and my water quality is spot on... Sump with fuge is always the best filtration in my eyes. if you have the money go with leds ive been lucky and have kept lps sps softies and a nem with t5 lighting mh's are brilliant for light intensity but your most likely need a chiller for temp.... You can set up fairly cheap if you put alot of work in and can be quite patient
You should still be doing waterchanges even so your parameters are on point wc help add trace elements and minerals that are being used up
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:43 AM   #7
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Powerheads I believe you want between 30 to 45 gph of you tank volume. What you do is add the gph from how ever many powerheads you have and divide by the volume of you tank. Hydor makes good powerheads depending on how much flow you want or you tank needs will depend on what powerhead you need to get. They also have a clontroller for these called the smart wave its neat/ not neccessary. You could also look at the sicce voyarger they have the wave surfer that you can use. I would atleast get 2 powerheads for each side of you tank running atleast 1200 gph each that will set you at 2400/75=32 times your tank volume.

Heaters- you will need to prolly look at heaters ranging from 250-300 watts. There are many brands you can get, I would her one that has a degrees on it bc when I first started I didnt have one with the degrees and it seemed to take me foever to tune it in by the therm. You also will wanna ger one of those they have digital ones to tell you the temp 7 bucks on ebay/ or you can buy the temp strips at wally they might even have the digital ones at wally.

As for the rock in the tank/ you can start out with all of you rock in your tank (talking about dry rock) be prepared for the ugly diatoms to breakout. I did it this way still not for sure why it does that, it will soon start to go away between a month to 2 months. I just kept cleaning thats all I knew that I could do. This could be true or not Ive heard people turning there light off for a week and it going away. That may only be for algea blooms not 100% sure. Make sure to clean everything like your rock and sand, it will make your tank really dusty for awhile.

I forgot to tell you that you will need away for the water to go out of you tank into the sump. You will need to either ger your tank drilled by someone that knows how (becareful do drill if temp. Glass) many time tanks are only temp on the bottom glass so you could get it drilled through the sides. or you can buy a 75 that is rr (reef ready) those are drilled. Thr other option is an overflow box it siphons the water from you tank in a box then the water goes to you sump. This is good for tanks thay cannot be drilled. They all have difderent prices you will need to match you overflow with the return rate od your pump. I figured have a quicker overflow rate that return rate so there wont be more water coming in than going out. Which will save you from flooding your tank.
My opinion if it can be drilled drill it much safer for the tank/ reasons why/ you overflow can lose siphon if it does and you dont know about it then your pump will pump all the water from you sump into you tank whjch will flood over the sides bc no water is being siphoned through the overflow. Another thing I hate is that some overflow only have one plastic scre that hold the overflow box and skimmer box togeather which gives the error of tilting which theb could lead to siphon break. These boxes are usually bulky sitting in the tank blocking light.
Reasons to drill/ ur tank will be safe really no worry of overflowing unless your sump isnt big enough incase of a power outage or ur return pump stops working. It looks better in the tank you will want to get the skimmer boxes that go all the way up your tank in the inside, this makes it look like its suppose to be there. My favorite you do have that big bulky box haning on your aquarium. Its up to you. RR/drilled is the best way but more exspensive than the overflow. Im not saying overflows are cheap bc they arnt. It all comes with what you want make some easier on me one less thing to worry about messing up you will want it RR/drilles. If you want the overflow bc your tank cant be driller then thats fine too,but your have to watch you siphon. I would say you need to get an overflow with 2 siphions bc if something gets clogged in one then the other is still running. Im sure they have came out will better overflows than whats on my 55 by now im just set on drilled tanks, which I will be doing to my 140 in jan.

I think thats all you asked, any more questions ill be following this thread.
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:08 PM   #8
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That's a lot of info all at once!

I think I understand most of it. I hope I can get a 75g reef tank pre-drilled or look at getting it drilled. I want it looking the cleanest and if it means that then I'm up for it.
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Old 08-29-2012, 10:40 PM   #9
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Check craigslist I got my 140 with stand for 150 bucks. It gonna cost me 200 to get everything I want to do to get it rdy. if you live in ky then there is a website called kyreef.com click forum scroll down to local hobbiest for sale, there they have a lot of stuff for sale. I got a 40 breeder for 40 bucks. If you dont live in ky then you may also have a state reef site idk if you will or not.
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:07 PM   #10
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I live by Chicago.
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