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Old 10-29-2013, 01:38 PM   #1
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New to the salt world

Hello all!

I am a fairly experienced former freshwater tank owner, interested in building a saltwater coral and fish system. Living in Montana I am finding the web to be a wealth of information, as we'll as a wealth of confusion! I am trying to make a go of this on a very limited budget, don't want the wife to kill me, but I have always wanted to do this. I have been into the only salt water fish shop in my area, and I think it is a pretty good shop. They have led me down a path that may be doable, the cost is still a little high, and I still don't know what I will do for sure. I am fairly handy, and building/assembly interests me a lot. I would like to go used as well, to save some cash.

Here is what I am thinking so far:
I would like to place the display tank in a wall of my basement that backs into my mechanical room. From here I can connect easily to power, and my r.o. System.
The lfs has a used tank that I believe is 36" x 24" x 18". I can't go 48" as the wall is too short. I think the used tank would work well, but might be a little tall?
I then am thinking about a 75 for a sump and refuge, and am really confused by all of the different options that a sump entails, the lfs owner seems very experienced and has said he can do the design, I am just trying to understand, whilst trying to see the future, to know what is coming.

He mentioned a 1900 gph pump
Live rock
Live sand
Led lighting
Water movement pumps in the display
Auto top off
Bulkheads and drilling the tank
And a few other things I cannot remember at this time

I know that he hadn't mentioned a skimmer, is that necessary at this time?

Any advice anyone may have is welcomed, I think I have opened a can of worms, but I am excited to get this going and watch it come to life!

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Old 10-29-2013, 10:10 PM   #2
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Old 12-11-2013, 10:49 AM   #3
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Well, here I go! I have collected a tank that will fit the space I have, I am going to build the frame work, cut a hole in the wall and build my sump, I may buy my live rock and sand, to start the cycle and then build the sump and plumb it up later. Is that a good way to go? Any advice is much appreciated

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Old 12-11-2013, 12:47 PM   #4
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No, that's not a good way to go. Build the entire setup and then cycle everything at once.

The dimensions of this tank-36 x 24 x 18.....is that 18 tall or 18 front to back? You mentioned it maybe being too tall. Even at 24" it's not too tall if you are comfortable with it. i like a shallower display so I can easily reach the bottom without getting my armpit wet

You don't need live rock or live sand either. You can buy dry rock and dry sand and it will become live in a short time. Live only means it's covered with bacteria. It doesn't have anything to do with little critters living on it.

I don't think you need a 1900gph pump either for return. As long as the tank doesn't sit too much higher than the sump (for instance, if you were to have the display on the first floor and the sump in the basement below), You could use something like a 1000-1200gph pump

A protein skimmer is a component that cleans the water. No one needs one with a reasonable bio load and reasonable husbandry, but it can never hurt to have one.
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Old 12-11-2013, 12:58 PM   #5
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Thanks for the information! I am headed out to the local fish guy today to get things finalized and do some of the ground work.

The tank is 36 wide x 24 tall and 18 deep

I'll have to make sure on the pump size I may have been incorrect or he may have been thinking of something else to be pumped off of it

I think I will start a post on the getting started forum so that I can document this adventure!
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