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Old 10-10-2004, 11:05 AM   #1
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Preparing for a 29G Saltwater Tank-My brain is melting!

Now that my 90 gallon Freshwater is running and stocked nicely....it is time to try my hand at a 29G Saltwater (FOWLR for now).

I have only spent 4 weeks visiting all the LFS within a 100 mile radius, read, read, and read more posts on this forum than I ever thought possible...and I am now as confused as ever.

Would some of you pros please critique my planned setup! It will be occuring in the next week or so:

29G Tank (sitting on a desk for now until the room is ready for a stand)

Glass Canopy (cannot leave open due to Kids & Cats)

Aquaclear 110 (old 500) HOB filter (for mechanical and biologic)-will have
just foam and Ceramic Rings Bio-Media (Siporax brand) seeded at LFS

2 x Maxi Jet 600 Powerheads

Deep Sand Bed (about 5-6 inches) consisting of:
60 lbs Agaramax (sugar sized) Sand for bottom 3-4 inches
30 lbs Seaflor reef sand (larger than Agaramax to keep it down)

Ebo-Jager 150W heater

Current Satellite PC 2x65w w/ 1 lunar light 30 inches with Light supports

20lbs of Live Rock from LR.com (1/2 Keys & 1/2 Gulf)

Oceanvisions Black background

Everything comes in at about $500..which I think is a decent price.

My guess is that I may need a Protein Skimmer a few months upon startup. I will NOT have a sump right off (perhaps 6 months down the road when I get a Cabinet Stand), but are there any recommendations for a QUIET HOB Protein Skimmer that could be used in a SUMP when I have the running. I love the looks of the AquaC Remora...but I don't want it to go to waste after I have the Sump installed and have to purchase another.

Plan is to cycle tank for 4-6 weeks (while saving money for Cleaning Crew and fish)

I am incorporating about 4 different philosophies in this tank set up...taking what I feel are the best aspects from the LFS and Online recommendations and based on my 15 years of FW experience.

A friend and I are doing the same exact setup at the same time...so hopefully our team work will come in handy.

Thanks so much for any recommendations!

90 Gallon Fresh Water Planted w/ CO2:
7 Brilliant Rasbora, 6 Harlequin Rasboras, 3 Dwarf Neon Rainbows, 1 Red Tailed Shark, 2 American Flag Fish, 4 Skunk Botia Loaches

40 Gallon Breeder Salt Water: 4 inch DSB (2/3 Agaramax & 1/3 Sea Flor), Bak Pak 2R Skimmer w/ BBX, 2 x JBJ PHs, Coralife Lunar Aqualight (2x96w), 30lb Base Rock and 40lbs of Live Rock.
Inhabitants: Purple Firefish, Pygmy Angel, Lawmower Blenny, 2 Cleaner Shrimp, 1 Peppermint Shrimp, Pistol Shrimp(HH), 1 Emerald Crabs, 3 Porcelin Crabs(HH), varying amounts and varieties of hermit and snails.

3 Gallon Eclipse:
1 Goldfish (won free at a fair...cost $50 in equipment)
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Old 10-10-2004, 11:28 AM   #2
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Your off to a good start. I would use eggcrate instead of the glass canopy for better gas exchange. Should still keep out the cats and kids. I would recommend you double the LR to 40lbs, this will put you in the 1-1/2 pounds per gallon range. I would either have the tank drilled and do a sump right away or skip the sump altogether because of the potential problems when using an overflow. IMO, its important to run a skimmer from the beginning as this is when the the nutrients and water parameters will be under a constant state of flux until the tank matures. This will minimize the the nuisance algae outbreaks and get you off to a better start. Good Luck.

46g SW, 65 lbs Fiji LR, 4" Aragamax DSB, Coralife 2X96w CF, CPR Bakpak II, CPR Aquafuge 12 w/ 2x9 Coralife Mini Aqualight, 4 Maxijet 600's, PCI 200W Titanium Heater, 2 Blue Green Chromis, 1 Gold Bar Maroon Clown, 1 Purple-Stripe Dottyback, Finger Leather, Trumpets, Rose Coral Open-Brain, Pagoda Cup, Xenia, Star Polyps, Yellow Polyps, Various Mushrooms, Toadstool Leather, 12 Astraea, 10 Nassarius, 4 Bumble Bee, 6 Cerith Snails, 12 Red Tip Hermits.
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Old 10-12-2004, 10:26 PM   #3
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I definitely think you should use a skimmer too! I had a 29gal reef tank, and I even had a crappy skimmer, and no sump...that was not a good idea! I had so much algae growing on all my LR it was absolutely ridiculous!! Needless to say that tank crashed, so I started over with a 29g with a 20g sump and I got an AquaC EV 120 skimmer with the Mag 5. Best thing I ever did! I absolutely love my tank now and I have over 30 corals in there that are all thriving! I would surely recommend the AquaC skimmers, they really work well, and they are quite, unlike most skimmers! They use a spray injection, instead of venturi and what not, so they make very little noise. Don't go with a cheap skimmer, like I did to start with...waste of money...I definitely DO NOT recommend the Turbofloter skimmers...complete junk in my opinion.
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Old 10-13-2004, 11:59 AM   #4
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I'd second the skimmer comments. Poll the forums and you can find several that would be appropriate HOT, or HOB for ~$150.

I'd also second the LR comments. If you buy 20 now (and pay shipping) then decide to buy 20 again (and pay shipping again) it will cost you alot more in the long run than just buying 40 now. Plus time and effort to re-introduce something new to an established tank, etc. etc.

Last comment, one alternative for now to a sump might be a HOB filter such as an Aquaclear 500. They can be modified to give you about a 1-1/2 gal refugium if you have space between the tank and the wall (about 4").

Have fun.
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Old 10-13-2004, 01:38 PM   #5
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I would use eggcrate instead of the glass canopy for better gas exchange. Should still keep out the cats and kids.
Hopefully the kids still won't throw anything on the egg crate that'd slip thru the holes. Keep the food away from the kids so they don't feed when you don't know it.

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Old 10-13-2004, 10:28 PM   #6
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I would wait till the room is ready for tank before you start it up. It invloves a lot of work to move a tank.
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14G starphire,150W MH+32W act03,AquaClear 150 HOB filter, 75W EboJager, IceProbe chiller, Remora skimmer, closed loop SCWD mag5, auto toper-offer.
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Old 10-14-2004, 12:11 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by klam
I would wait till the room is ready for tank before you start it up. It invloves a lot of work to move a tank.
Definately a good idea. Even though a 29g tank isn't that big, it is still going to be heavy with all of the LRand water already in it. Also, I've found that with a 29g tank (which is basically what I have), you don't have enough room to do a lot of the things necessary for a SW tank. I'm not sure about the sand either. All of the advice that I ever got told me to only put about 1-3 inches of sand in the tank...it will take away from the options in the future as well. I've only got about two inches in mine and it seems like quite enough. I'm also new at this so I would make sure you check with others before taking any advice I give ya. Good luck. Just one bit of advice that I know will be reinerated by everyone...get a water testing kit!!! This will come in more handy than you can ever imagine. Good Luck!
30 gallon tank with dual bio-wheels, live sand and crushed coral, 20 lbs of live rock. Inhabitants are two false percula clowns, one dwarf rusty angelfish, one cardinal, three snails, and nine blue legged hermits.
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Old 10-14-2004, 10:53 AM   #8
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2 things.

A 6 inch deep sand bed is WAY deep. especially for such a small tank. its better to go with a 3 inch deep sand bed.

also, a CPR Bak Pak 2R skimmer can be easily convereted to work well in the sump simply by adding a couple lenghts of pipe. ( I am considering adding a sump myself, and this is what I plan to do with my skimmer. )
Hardware: 37 gallon SW tank and stand by Oceanic Systems, Magnum 350 Pro Canister Filter (half carbon), CPR Bak Pak 2R skimmer, Maxijet 1200 Powerhead, RenaCal 150 W heater, Compact fluorescent lights with moonlights. 40 lbs of liverock, 3" sand bed.

Software:2 Tank-Raised Ocellaris Clowns, 1 Purple Firefish, 1 Electric Orange hermit crab, 18 Blue Legged hermit crabs, 8 or so Nassarius snails, Xenia, Blue, green, and Green Striped Mushrooms.

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Old 10-14-2004, 05:02 PM   #9
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I agree with the others, if you can wait that would be good moving a tank is a pain in the a#@.
1-3" sand bed is plenty a DSB in a small tank has no real benefit. 30-40lbs of LR and a skimmer is a must have.
No to the glass top for reason stated.
Sump the best way to go, 1 can hide heater and get a better skimmer in the sump instead of a HOB. Then you can lose the HOB filter so there is nothing in the tank but fish and LR. HOB over flow is not the best way to go have the tank drilled.
Good luck.........

9/02-125 REEF, 125 lbs LR,LS 4x160 VHO, Reef Devil /Sump, Fuge
7/03-55 FOWLR 60lb LR, 50 lb SD sand 2x40 NO strip light, Reef Devil/sump, Fuge

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