Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 05-08-2014, 12:51 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Smalltown, North Dakota
Posts: 11
Send a message via MSN to sharlotte_g Send a message via Yahoo to sharlotte_g
Please Help..so overwhelmed..so many questions

Hi. I'm a newby, I'm talking right out of the womb, new. I've never had a fish tank before and now I'm in the process of setting up a sw tank. Thank goodness for the thread that shows all the acronyms because..whew.. I was lost, and to be honest, still am.

Okay. So far:
Day 1: May 5- I have a 29g Coralife Biocube. I've set it up and put a 20lb bag of live sand in it and then on top of that a 20lb bag of live crushed shells. Then I used 5 gallon buckets to fill with tap water and poured in the salt and mixed it in each bucket before pouring it in to the tank. I was able to fit 20 gallons of water and it is still a little bit above the "max" fill line. I thought that only 20g was due to the fact that I have 40lbs of sand/shells. Right?

Next, I added a full 3.38 oz bottle (says for 30g tanks) of Instant Ocean BIO-Spira Water Treatment.

I have a submersible heater that maintains temp at 78F (not changeable) in the tank and a shock absorber stick. Both are on the inside of my tank, not the back part that you can't see. Not sure if I can put those in there or not?? I will be adding the protein skimmer in the empty back compartment. The other two compartments contain the water pump and the filter and carbon cartridges.

Day 2: I poured 3 caps full (30ml) of API Stress Coat Marine Fish & Tap Water conditioner.
Next, cleaned the inside of the glass with a sponge since could see the different level water marks from pouring in the buckets. It easily wiped off.

Then, I ordered an Aquatic Life 115 mini Internal Protein Skimmer/Filter, 30 gallon. It will arrive today (5/8/14)

Day 4: Here I am.. just sand and water in the tank.

Supplies: The only other thing I have is the Instant Ocean Hydrometer salt tester.

Questions: (so many)
1.) what other testing kits do I need? I know there are like ph levels and nitrite/nitrate levels to test? Calcium? Magnesium? Oh boy.. so many..not sure which one's I need?

2.) I want to purchase live rock now. I have read so many different things that say what is what but still unsure of what I want/need for my little tank? I have read that Tonga Kaelini is good so how many pounds for a 29g?
3.) If you have live rock, is that considered a reef?
4.) I want to have fish and coral to make it pretty. . . and some anemones?
5.) I believe my next step is to buy rock. Do I buy two different kinds at same time and put them in tank same time or only introduce one kind of rock to the tank at once?
6.) Opinions about best online sites to buy live rock? Kaelini and the shelf kind..I believe the fish like caves and holes to hide in so if I mix those two it should be good for fish and to put coral on?

Oh boy.. I have a thousand more questions but I'll stop here. I just need to get to my next step which is the rock and test kits....

Please help me.. I'm clueless but I want to learn as much CORRECT information as I can in hopes of being an expert some day down the road...far far down the road. LOL

Suggestions are needed please to help guide me.
Thanks!
__________________

__________________
sharlotte_g is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2014, 01:06 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Shanetweedz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Maine
Posts: 331
For test kits you can you RED SEA reef foundation kit and api saltwater kit it should cover everything
__________________

__________________
Shanetweedz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2014, 01:08 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Shanetweedz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Maine
Posts: 331
stock lighting will be only sufficient for softies and some hard corals
__________________
Shanetweedz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2014, 01:16 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
BigRedsReefs10's Avatar

POTM Champion
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 4,675
Tap water is generally a no no for reef systems, and crushed coral can trap detritus
__________________
BigRedsReefs10 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2014, 01:21 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Shanetweedz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Maine
Posts: 331
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigRedsReefs10 View Post
Tap water is generally a no no for reef systems, and crushed coral can trap detritus
+1 and you could buy dry rock on bulk reef supply
__________________
Shanetweedz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2014, 01:22 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 342
Well first off, welcome to the SW hobby. I'm going to try and give you the answers I know and then if others have more details on those answers they can build off of the basics that I can give now. I'll answer all you numbered questions then give a few details you might need to know.

1.) I would buy API Saltwater Test kit for testing Ammonia, Nitrate, Nitrite, and PH. Since you are wanting corals eventually, I would also buy Red Sea Calcium, Magnesium, and Alkalinity test kit. (You dont need to buy this until you start keeping corals.) You might want to consider getting a Refractometer instead of a hydrometer...it is more accurate.

2.) You will need about 30-40lbs of LR

3.)Your tank is not considered a reef until the addition of corals. At this point (once you add fish) it is consider Fish Only w/ Live Rock (FOWLR)

4.)What kind of lighting do you have in the cube? To sustain corals you need good light so I would ask some people on here that have upgraded their lighting in cubes. Also, make sure the salt you purchase is reef salt so that it has the additional nutrients that corals need to grow. Just so you know anemones are hard to keep and you have to have your aquarium established a while before introducing them. (I don't have any so someone else can chime in here)

5.)I'd buy all your LR at once and introduce it at once.

6.)Bulk Reef Supply is where I buy my rock. I buy it dry and it becomes live through the cycle.


Couple of things to address outside of your questions. Most will tell you not to use tap water because it adds nutrients to the water that help algae growth. You should try and use Reverse Osmosis/De Ionized Water (Ro/Di)
You can put your heater in the back part where the water flows and you should be able to put your shock absorber back there as well but I don't know that for sure.

Finally after adding your LR, you need to add an ammonia source so that the cycle can start. DO NOT add any fish until the cycle is done. The cycle refers to building up of beneficial bacteria that breaks down fish and food waste in your water. Now the cycle, add your ammonia source (froze shrimp in some pantyhose) and test every few days. You should see a spike in Ammonia then it'll disappear, then you'll see a spike in Nitrites (NO2-) then it'll disappear, and you'll see a spike in Nitrates (NO4-). When your tests read 0ppm Ammonia, 0ppm Nitrites, and some Nitrates you should be able to do a partial water change and add fish! Add fish slowly so the bacteria that you've been growing in the cycle are able to adjust to the bioload.
__________________
KantGetRite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2014, 01:25 PM   #7
Giant Clam Addict
Community Admin
 
Sniperhank's Avatar



POTM Champion
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Summerville, Pennsylvania
Posts: 18,539
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharlotte_g View Post
Questions: (so many)
1.) what other testing kits do I need? I know there are like ph levels and nitrite/nitrate levels to test? Calcium? Magnesium? Oh boy.. so many..not sure which one's I need?

2.) I want to purchase live rock now. I have read so many different things that say what is what but still unsure of what I want/need for my little tank? I have read that Tonga Kaelini is good so how many pounds for a 29g?
3.) If you have live rock, is that considered a reef?
4.) I want to have fish and coral to make it pretty. . . and some anemones?
5.) I believe my next step is to buy rock. Do I buy two different kinds at same time and put them in tank same time or only introduce one kind of rock to the tank at once?
6.) Opinions about best online sites to buy live rock? Kaelini and the shelf kind..I believe the fish like caves and holes to hide in so if I mix those two it should be good for fish and to put coral on?!
1. An API master test kit is good enough to get your tank cycled and to go from there.
2. You want to aim for 1-1.5lbs of rock per gallon. Now, in terms of live rock...you don't have to buy it live. To save money you can buy macro or base rock. Rock and sand being called 'live' is in reference to the bacteria that you are going to grow in the rock and sand when you cycle your tank...so why spend the extra money? It will help you avoid hitchhikers that can end up frustrating you as well.
3. A reef tank is a 'reef' when it is simulating an actual reef...so rock isn't all you are looking at. This is about corals and whatever else you'd end up putting in from shrimp, crabs...whatever. This is contrasted to a FOWLR (Fish only with live rock) system which...only has sand, rock, and...fish!
4. If you want to keep corals and anemone, you will need intense lighting...mostly for the anemone. Stock lighting won't cover it. In general, anemone can grow quite large and shouldn't be housed in tanks >20 gallons. We can talk lighting more later on.
5. Buy whatever rock you want, though I still suggest Macro/base rock. Toss it all in your tank at once and cycle away! I'd try to mess around and put the rock in a formation that pleases you before any livestock goes in. I personally hate having to move stuff around, especially if a coral has encrusted over it.
6. Bulkreefsupply.com sells base rock. When I started I ordered all of my rock live, though it didn't arrive that way, from saltwaterfish.com. I was happy with my order from there.
Sniperhank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2014, 01:47 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Smalltown, North Dakota
Posts: 11
Send a message via MSN to sharlotte_g Send a message via Yahoo to sharlotte_g
Do you recommend I take out as much of the crushed coral that I have in there then? I just thought it looked nice on the shelf at the LPS and not sure if I needed it or not but thought it looks more realistic. I have no clue what is good and not.
__________________
sharlotte_g is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2014, 02:26 PM   #9
Giant Clam Addict
Community Admin
 
Sniperhank's Avatar



POTM Champion
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Summerville, Pennsylvania
Posts: 18,539
I would. Eventually all the sand will settle at the bottom, leaving the other junk at the top and able to be a trap for uneaten food and poop.
Sniperhank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2014, 03:30 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Smalltown, North Dakota
Posts: 11
Send a message via MSN to sharlotte_g Send a message via Yahoo to sharlotte_g
Quote:
Originally Posted by KantGetRite View Post
4.)What kind of lighting do you have in the cube? To sustain corals you need good light so I would ask some people on here that have upgraded their lighting in cubes. Also, make sure the salt you purchase is reef salt so that it has the additional nutrients that corals need to grow. Just so you know anemones are hard to keep and you have to have your aquarium established a while before introducing them. (I don't have any so someone else can chime in here)

5.)I'd buy all your LR at once and introduce it at once.

6.)Bulk Reef Supply is where I buy my rock. I buy it dry and it becomes live through the cycle.


Couple of things to address outside of your questions. Most will tell you not to use tap water because it adds nutrients to the water that help algae growth. You should try and use Reverse Osmosis/De Ionized Water (Ro/Di)
You can put your heater in the back part where the water flows and you should be able to put your shock absorber back there as well but I don't know that for sure.

Finally after adding your LR, you need to add an ammonia source so that the cycle can start. DO NOT add any fish until the cycle is done. The cycle refers to building up of beneficial bacteria that breaks down fish and food waste in your water. Now the cycle, add your ammonia source (froze shrimp in some pantyhose) and test every few days. You should see a spike in Ammonia then it'll disappear, then you'll see a spike in Nitrites (NO2-) then it'll disappear, and you'll see a spike in Nitrates (NO4-). When your tests read 0ppm Ammonia, 0ppm Nitrites, and some Nitrates you should be able to do a partial water change and add fish! Add fish slowly so the bacteria that you've been growing in the cycle are able to adjust to the bioload.
The lighting for my Biocube is as follows:
(1) 36 watt True Actinic 03
(1) 36 watt 10,000K Daylight
(2) 0.75 watt Lunar Blue LED Bar and I have 4 additional slots to add more LED lights

I am forgetting having anemones. No problem. I just need to order my live rock online now and still questioning what kind to buy. I've read there are Figi rock, Tonga branch, and Tonga Kaelini rock. Which is best for small fish for a small 29g tank?

People have already replied to get dry rock. Is dry rock just the plain rocks without any living thing on it? The plain white stuff the pet stores have? How does this get all the live starfish and snails on it that the live rock get? Or it won't have it unless I buy them individually?
__________________

__________________
sharlotte_g is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
lps, question, questions

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
Help! Overwhelmed New to Fish Tanks Robyn Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 49 06-15-2013 02:16 AM
Overwhelmed.....and in need of help!! Ripken1ab Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 3 10-15-2012 09:47 PM
help.sooooo overwhelmed Spicemonkey Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 25 09-24-2012 10:57 PM
just started my tank and im so overwhelmed. please help jdmek108 Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 9 09-26-2010 06:43 AM
new 37g tank, help me im overwhelmed with decisions! bubble bobble Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 2 09-12-2006 02:22 AM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:51 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.