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Old 02-07-2008, 01:57 AM   #1
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Newbie questions!!!

I am a complete newbie to sw aquariums, and have been doing nothing but research this last month and am still confused on almost everything!!! ^_^ I think I may have "over-researched"....I have a 55 gal. aquarium, completely empty, have not purchased anything else!! I am planning on starting a FOWLR! my questions are:

LR--Can I mix LR and base rock to begin the cycling? would it be better to get fully cured LR?

Live Sand: what's the best type I should get? Should I avoid the bags of LS from pet stores such as Petco? (no idea)
Also: should i use this: Arag-Alive
Bermuda Pink Sand



water: I cannot afford a RO/DI at the moment, is there any decent alternative for water, can I use Water Repair™ Series: Neutralize on it before adding salt? also, suggestions for salt-mix!! :P

lighting: for a FOWLR 55gal. setup, what kind of lighting would be best? Also would like to add coral eventually!

FILTERS: should i get a mech. filter as well?? my boyfriend thinks he can make a "sump"

Heater: is this a good heater for my setup:
Rena Cal Top
Light Excel Heaters


protein skimmer: is it necessary to get one right away or can i wait? and is this a good one for my setup:
SeaClone Protein
Skimmer 100


moon lights: just heard about it minutes ago, any info on this would be great!!! sorry if this is a stupid question: is this something you use w/ another light source, or just the moon light??




FISH THAT I 'D REALLY LIKE: (NOT ALL, JUST MY TOP PICKS)

Clown Goby, Citrinis

Yellow Watchman Goby

black and white butterfly fish

Flame Angelfish

I wanted a 3 stripe b & w damselfish but everyone keeps sayin' not to get a damselfish!


some other small ones i can't think of!


Also want a starfish: w/ my fish selection would i be able to get one? is so what kind? also when should i add the starfish? before fish, or later?

Also, any ideas what kinda cleanup type crews to get , like shrimp, crabs, snails, etc. And what would be a good amount for my setup?


Sorry so many questions, I've somehow confused myself....any help, info , ideas or just opinions would help out sooooooooo much!!

Thanx! ^_^


( I want happy healthy fishies)
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Old 02-07-2008, 02:00 AM   #2
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EDIT: Also: Is it safe to order fish????? This idea scares me...lots
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Old 02-07-2008, 09:47 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tertlecrazy55 View Post
I am a complete newbie to sw aquariums, and have been doing nothing but research this last month and am still confused on almost everything!!! ^_^ I think I may have "over-researched"....I have a 55 gal. aquarium, completely empty, have not purchased anything else!! I am planning on starting a FOWLR! my questions are:

LR--Can I mix LR and base rock to begin the cycling? would it be better to get fully cured LR? You can mix LR with base rock and it is a cost effective way to setup a tank in fact. Cured rock will allow your tank to cycle slightly quicker but will cost you more money to buy. I would order uncured personally.

Live Sand: what's the best type I should get? Should I avoid the bags of LS from pet stores such as Petco? (no idea) You can get live sand from the pet store in the bags that have water or you can get dry sand and add some live sand to that to kick off the seeding. If you order live rock you can easily and cheaply just buy a couple pounds of live sand too to help seed the dry dead sand you buy at the LFS. Or sometimes if you ask nice the LFS will give you a cup of their LS to help seed your tank.
Also: should i use this: Arag-Alive
Bermuda Pink Sand



water: I cannot afford a RO/DI at the moment, is there any decent alternative for water, can I use Water Repairô Series: Neutralize on it before adding salt? also, suggestions for salt-mix!! :P You can often times buy RO water from your LFS or get distilled water from the grocery store until you can afford a system of your own.

lighting: for a FOWLR 55gal. setup, what kind of lighting would be best? Also would like to add coral eventually! For FOWLR you can use pretty much anything but if you are wanting corals you will need at least PC lights to keep the eaiser soft corals and T5 or MH for more light dependent corals.

FILTERS: should i get a mech. filter as well?? my boyfriend thinks he can make a "sump" Sumps are good. Some people use mech filters, so don't. Depends on how well you are willing to keep up with maintenance.

Heater: is this a good heater for my setup:
Rena Cal Top
Light Excel Heaters


protein skimmer: is it necessary to get one right away or can i wait? and is this a good one for my setup:
SeaClone Protein
Skimmer 100


moon lights: just heard about it minutes ago, any info on this would be great!!! sorry if this is a stupid question: is this something you use w/ another light source, or just the moon light??




FISH THAT I 'D REALLY LIKE: (NOT ALL, JUST MY TOP PICKS)

Clown Goby, Citrinis

Yellow Watchman Goby

black and white butterfly fish

Flame Angelfish

I wanted a 3 stripe b & w damselfish but everyone keeps sayin' not to get a damselfish!


some other small ones i can't think of!


Also want a starfish: w/ my fish selection would i be able to get one? is so what kind? also when should i add the starfish? before fish, or later?

Also, any ideas what kinda cleanup type crews to get , like shrimp, crabs, snails, etc. And what would be a good amount for my setup?


Sorry so many questions, I've somehow confused myself....any help, info , ideas or just opinions would help out sooooooooo much!!

Thanx! ^_^


( I want happy healthy fishies)

Hope this helps some.
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Old 02-07-2008, 09:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tertlecrazy55 View Post
EDIT: Also: Is it safe to order fish????? This idea scares me...lots
Yes, if you use a reputable vendor. Most have a live arrival guarantee if you use overnight shipping and most vendors even require that you use overnight shipping.
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Old 02-07-2008, 10:54 AM   #5
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Wow, thanks alot, that helps soooo much, that was a very quick response!!! I feel much calmer now! ^_^
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Old 02-07-2008, 12:24 PM   #6
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I would definately research for a better skimmer.(AquaCRemora, TurboflotorMulti) This can wait and doesn't need to be added right away some people don't even use them and have success. But they greatly improve water quality by removing the nasty stuff.
For lighting it just regular lighting for now would be ok until you are ready to add corals that need intense light to survive. Fish do fine in any light This also gives you time to save money and buy a good light they are not cheap Metal Halide is preffered https://www82.safesecureweb.com/weba...ry_Code=CAP1HL The coralife ones in this link have 10k/ actinic/ and led lights in 1 fixture. And the better light will help the coraline algae grow but without RO/DI water it will also feed all types of algae and cause a headache.

I hear starfish only thrive in 75gallon+ systems because of starvation and they need room to graze. If you do add a Damselfish just add it last and you should be ok. For a cleanup crew start small like 6-8snails and maybe 1-2hermit crabs and then add more slowly.

Hope this helps
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Old 02-07-2008, 12:56 PM   #7
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well that's definitely a load off about the lighting, at least for the moment, maybe i can use the money to get a ro/di first...i was wondering about the starfish, a lady at the LFS told me i could get a red starfish, sea star, and it would be fine, but she also told me i could keep a yellow tang in my 55 no prob., and i've only heard NO from other people!
Thanks for the input!
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:19 PM   #8
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Check your tap for phospates. May be able to get started easy with that.

I also think you shuld buy uncured rock and mix it with base or dry rock. Uncured means there's gonna be some die-off on it that will create the ammonia to cycle with. Otherwise, a grocry store shrimp will do.

Brittle (except that green one) and serpent stars are good to add with you cleanup crew. One for that sized tank. Hermit crabs, snails, and shrimp will be your likely cleanup crew. A hand ful at a time maybe since they won't have enuf food in such a new tank. You can likely add them after cycling.

I prefer Acqu C remora or CPR bak pak skimmers for the HOB variety. If you do a sump, then you'll have other options to consider.The skimmer will be your filter.

And mostly folks are right about damsels. At least a lot of them are mean and especially if they were in the tank first. Some folks don't have problems with them at all, but I wouldn't chance it.

Stay in touch!
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Old 02-08-2008, 10:18 PM   #9
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Thanks again! I will definitely post back!! ^_^
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:52 AM   #10
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A caution I would throw out there would be careful ordering fish online in the winter. You dont know how many post I`ve seen from people that got their fish or coral dead because of the freezing temps. Welcome to the site.
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