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Old 04-09-2010, 10:53 PM   #1
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Saltwater Questions

I have recently decided to start a SW tank and i just purchased a 75 gal tank with a custom sump..I have a couple of questions for you experts out there..First i would like to use black sand which are Tahitian moon sand or the black Aragonite Reef Sand..The moon sand comes dry and i would have to make "live" the other sand comes live but is way too expensive for me..So i was thinking on doing 50/50 combo..would that help make the dry sand live? Faster? Also lighting for the tank..I cant use halide lighting because it would heat the sand up since its black..So i would like to use t5 but i don't know much about light in general what would recommend..Also lighting for my sump what would you recommend by watt per gal be? its a 25g sump
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Old 04-09-2010, 11:02 PM   #2
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Think really hard about using black sand. It gives a really cool look, but it's almost impossible to keep clean, so the look it does create degrades rapidly. It's not harmful, just not so pretty anymore.

You don't have to start with live sand. There wasn't a single grain of live sand in my tank when I started it. It'll become live over time. Buying live sand off the shelf isn't really helpful, as you might guess anything that's been sitting on a shelf long enough isn't live anymore anyways.

As for lighting, what do you intend to do with the tank? Are you planning on corals? what kinds? This will determine what kind of lighting you need.

As for your sump, unless you're planning to have a fuge in there too (i.e. macro algaes) then you don't need any lighting at all.
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Old 04-09-2010, 11:10 PM   #3
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I plan on growing corals mostly LPS but mixed with a few SPS if possible..And for the sump i plan on having macroalgae in the sump yes..Why is it hard to keep the black sand clean? are there ways i could keep it clean?
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Old 04-10-2010, 12:23 AM   #4
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You'll want at least T5HO's but Metal Halides would be best. It depends on your wallet and preferance. Plus, Metal Halides generate a huge amount of heat, as opposed to the very small amount T5's genrate. You can make it with T5's no worries.
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Old 04-10-2010, 12:54 AM   #5
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Okay would it be better to go with a six bulb of 4 bulb?..Because i have done some reading on orange green and yellow coralline algae..And apparently those algae prefer less light? i don't know if this is true or not..If i did 6 bulbs would i be able to get away of growing corals on the bottom of my tank?..Is it also true its hard to find Marshall island and Tonga rock?
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Old 04-10-2010, 12:59 AM   #6
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I have no idea on how many bulbs you'll need, it depends. Whats the dimensions of your tank?
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Old 04-10-2010, 01:09 AM   #7
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its a 75 gal tank..4 ft long 18" deep and like close to 2 ft tall..Also about how long would it take to make dry sand live?
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Old 04-10-2010, 02:02 AM   #8
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If you want SPS, You'll need halide. They will die under T5HO imo, or at least they will not do any good. SPS will be fine under T5HO.

Sand will become live over time, When you get your LR, Creatures from the LR will move into the sand and spread and what not. It'll all just happen on its own. It could take 3months, It could take 1year. Depends on your water conditions and how you cure the LR or if you buy it cured.
There is alot of things that can change the slightest thing in SW tanks.
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Old 04-10-2010, 07:26 AM   #9
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Danny are you saying SPS are fine under T5HO or you need at least Metal Halides? Cause your first and last sentance in your top paragraph contradict eachother.
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Old 04-10-2010, 08:01 AM   #10
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