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Old 11-17-2010, 12:34 AM   #1
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Setting up 55 gallon salt water tank?


I am extremely new to fish aquariums, and am in the process of setting up a 55 gallon salt water aquarium. So far I have purchased a 55 gallon Fujimoto aquarium with glass lid, a Rena XP3 canister filter, a solid wood aquarium stand with canopy, and some assorted odds and ends.

I am curious if I can do this with the canister filter first of all? When I bought the stuff from a local fish shop, one of the staff suggested the Rena XP3, and I told him my ambition was a reef tank with coral at some point, now it seems that I may have been misinformed.

Another question I have is can I add live rock as I can afford it? This stuff runs about $6.99 per pound to $10 per pound locally, so to just go out and buy 55 pounds of it would be tough for me.

What is a good substrate to use for a salt water tank, my local shop sells live Fiji Pink sand, which I like the look of.

Thanks for any advice.


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Old 11-17-2010, 03:10 AM   #2
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it seems to be the general consensus that canister filters are nitrate breeders. you will probably be better off setting up a sump, i'll let others chime in on that one.

as far as live rock goes, when I set my tank up I had 10lbs from an existing tank, bought a 8lb piece of live and the rest was base rock, which will become "live"

live sand is usually a waste of money, how live does it stay sitting on a shelf in a bag??
Be sure to post pics of the build up and let the tank cycle!
hope this helps, from one newbie to another

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Old 11-17-2010, 06:00 AM   #3
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the fiji pink is good to use, but bill is right. "live" sand is just sand with some bacteria on it. any sand you put in the tank will become live after a time. i would choose a calcium based sand that is slightly larger than sugar granules. just buy dry sand and rinse it very well before adding it.

before you get too deep into a reef, i would like to suggest a different tank. i have never heard of a fujimoto aquarium, but if it's a standard sized 55, it's only 12" from front to back. these can be extremely challenging to aquascape. i would suggest either a 40 "breeder" style tank, or a standard 75.
i would much prefer putting all rock in at the same time. dry base rock is much cheaper than purchasing live rock from the LFS, and is also free of detrimental hitch hikers.
a drilled tank with a sump would be a much better setup than un-drilled with a cannister filter. if you plan to keep the rena, i would suggest rinsing it out thoroughly weekly.
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:20 AM   #4
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Thanks for advice guys, I told the staff at this particular fish shop that I wanted to do a salt water tank, and they suggested the Rena XP3, I even had to wait for them to get some in because they sell so many of them. I'm pretty much stuck with the Rena because I've already set it up and have it plumbed, I doubt they will exchange it for a sump now.

Yes, my 55 is the standard 48"X12" size.

What are the advantages of a sump over a cannister? Any good ones you would recommend?


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Old 11-17-2010, 10:47 AM   #5
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