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Old 01-29-2005, 07:17 PM   #1
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Newcomer list of questions

Hello,
This past XMAS my wife bought me a 45 gallon tank. This is my second tank but lets assume that I am as "new" as they come. I would like to set up a reef tank and I have the following questions. The tank has about 10 lbs of live rock, some blue legged hermit crabs, 2 sand sifter starfish, and a Cascade 700 canister filter:
1.) Is it possible to have live corals with a canister filter (assuming proper light)?
2.) The tank originally had the live rock for 2wks... and then the hermits and starfish 3wks (5 wks total). Would this be sufficient to cycle? Brown algae is starting to grow on the glass.
3.) Can distilled water be used for topping off or is RO water a must?
4.) I want to add more liverock and I want to add fish. Can I add both at the same time or first the liverock, then the fish?
5.) I believe a protein skimmer is necessary. Any suggestions for this size tank. I would prefer one that can go below under the stand like the canister filter.
6.) If the answer to question 1 is no... would you suggest a wet/dry or algae filter. Are these viable for this size tank?

I am sure I will have more questions but this is a start.
Thank you
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Old 01-29-2005, 08:52 PM   #2
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1. yes
2 \. should be cycled but you need to test
3. yes to distilled water
4. rock then fish because the lr will cause an amm spike.
5 Yes skimmer.
6. answer was yes
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Old 01-29-2005, 09:17 PM   #3
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Most reefers do not use a canister filter because they need to be cleaned every few days to prevent them from becoming a nitrate factory. You should let your test kits tell you if you have cycled. Never add LR to a tank that has livestock unless you know its fully cured. If unsure, place in a bucket of SW for a few days and test for ammonia and nitrite. A good skimmer will help keep the nutrients under control that cause high nitrates and problem algae. If you don't have a sump you will need a HOB skimmer, either a Bakpak or Remora will work well on a 45g. You don't need a wet/dry, just upgrade to 1-2lbs per gallon of LR, and add a few PH's. If you mean a refugium as an algae filter then yes, it will help filter your water. Good Luck.

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Old 01-30-2005, 12:21 PM   #4
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Welcome to AquariumAdvice.com!!
As mentioned, your water parameters will tell you when your tank has cycled. Let us know what your ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, ph and SG are. I would consider bringing the sandsifter stars back to the LFS. Two in a 45 gal. is too many anyways. They quickly deplete the fauna in the substrate and, without a large feedng population, will die. This will not help you out at this stage of the game. Plus, you need all the living organisms in your substrate right now. Your canister filter will be fine for corals, just remember to clean it often. Most just use them to run carbon and increase flow. the filter pads and biomedia can cause your nitrates t be high. You may just want to fil it up with LR rubble. It is by far the best filter media available. Add some more LR to the tank. Shoot for 1.5-2lbs/gal. for good biological filtration. A good skimmer will also help. I would add more LR first. If it is fully cured, that would be better. If you are thinking of having a reef, do you know what type of lighting you want? ust remeber to take things slow. The brown algea in the tank is just and algea bloom. Perfectly normal for tanks that are still cyling. Just give it some time...Lando
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Old 02-02-2005, 04:12 PM   #5
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Thank you all for the replies. The more I research the more I realize what I am getting myself into!
I will keep you posted and look for some more guidance soon.
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Old 02-02-2005, 04:21 PM   #6
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If you're just now seeing the diatoms (brown algae) then I'm thinking your probably not through the end of your cycle yet. I think those burn out towards the tail of your cycle.

LR.com is great live rock and brings very little if any cycle time with it (I think it will even shorten an ongoing cycle process, from my experience).

I have a wet/dry with a built in skimmer that seems to be working well for me.

Before you get that first fish find the QT articles in the Articles section of the site. Well worth the read and may save you from a lot of work later.

Welcome, good luck and enjoy!!
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Old 02-02-2005, 04:34 PM   #7
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1 gallon - SW - crushed coral, live rock. **
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10 gallon - FW sand, rock.
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Old 02-23-2005, 05:08 PM   #8
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Hello and thanks again for everyone's previous suggestions. I have a few more questions as I progress.

1.) I will receive a shipment Friday from liverocks.com of 40 lbs. keys and 20 lbs. base. Does my Cascade 700 canister filter provide enough movement or do I need to add powerhead(s)? The output of the cansiter is connected to a spray bar that goes the entire length of the upper/back wall of the tank. There appears to be good circulation. I plan for fish only reef tank at this time.
2.) With approx 65# of liverock in my 46 gallon tank... do I need media in the caninster? Should I remove the sponges and carbon? I have read that you can put LR in the canister.
3.) I have purchased a Remora Pro skimmer.... should it run 24 hrs per day.
4.) Please suggest the best test kit(s)... I bought one at the LFS and I saw some very negative comments in the forum regarding the brand.
5.) I also have a strange small white fluke looking creature in the tank. It appears to come out at night and is usually on the glass when I turn on the light in the morning... then retreats somewhere. It moves in a jellyfish type of motion and is about 3-4 mm long. Any idea what it is. I also have some pods etc. etc. but this one (I believe there is only one) is strange to me.

Thanks again to all.

Best regards,

Don
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Old 02-23-2005, 09:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Does my Cascade 700 canister filter provide enough movement or do I need to add powerhead(s)?
I would add one, if not, two PHs. Look at the Maxi-jet 900.
Quote:
With approx 65# of liverock in my 46 gallon tank... do I need media in the caninster? Should I remove the sponges and carbon? I have read that you can put LR in the canister.
No. You can just use your canister to add more flow to your tank and a place to ruun some carbon. You can also fill it up with LR rubble for even more biological filtration.
Quote:
I have purchased a Remora Pro skimmer.... should it run 24 hrs per day.
Yes. The collection amount will vary, however.
Quote:
Please suggest the best test kit(s)...
I like SeaChem.
Quote:
I also have a strange small white fluke looking creature in the tank. It appears to come out at night and is usually on the glass when I turn on the light in the morning... then retreats somewhere. It moves in a jellyfish type of motion and is about 3-4 mm long. Any idea what it is
Not sure, a pic would be great. Maybe some type of worm.
Quote:
I will receive a shipment Friday from liverocks.com of 40 lbs. keys and 20 lbs. base
Nice choice! You will love the stuff.
Good luck...Lando
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Old 02-24-2005, 01:26 PM   #10
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Thanks for the info Lando.
FYI I made a mistake in my last post. I meant I am starting of first with a FOWLR... not reef.
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