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Old 03-14-2004, 02:34 AM   #1
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Setting up a new 29 gallon tank, any help apprecaited!

Well let me first tell you about my tank.

It is a 29 gallon glass tank with a crappy hood that will need to be replaced. I plan to build a top myself and just add in the light fixtures. We are planning on making it a fish only tank because money is limited as it is a high school tank. We want to put in a couple of clowns, a shrimp, a couple of hermit crabs, and maybe another fish or two after it has cycled and established a bit. Here is what we have so far:

29 gal tank
filter : aquaclear 200 (definitely not my choice)
heater : 100 watt (seem to keep the water the right temp, and it is in a warm room)
substrate: crushed coral
decoration : some rock (haha we need a lot more of something)

I have quite a few questions so brace yourselves

First lest discuss the filter. My thinking is that it is not adequate, or barely adequate, but have wondered if we got a decent protein skimmer (seaclone 100) we could get by. I am fairly sure that we are going to need to get a protein skimmer (that is what fish people and my reading have told me) but that will set us back $200 Canadian and we really don't want to have to buy another canister filter or something like that. What are your opinions on the matter? We want to have success but do not want to spend and arm and a leg.

Next is the feared issue of live rock (for me at least). It is darn expensive here (like 9 bucks a lb) and we would probably need like 30 lbs. Is it absolutely necessary or is there a way that we can avoid the use of it? I think that it is really nice to have in an aquarium but when it is going to cost 270+ dollars to have I would like to avoid it.

How much light will I need to have for a fish only tank, approx. wattages would be nice. I also fear having to go out an buy an expensive light setup.

I will stop the questions now before I bore you too much. I really and truly thank you for your time and knowledge. I'm sure that I sound like a moron but I am more than willing to learn all that you will teach me. Thanks again.
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In desperate need of help, but very excited to learn. I have tasted the world of aquariums and now I'm hooked.

Here is what I have now...

29 gal tank
aquaclear 200
prizm skimmer
maxijet 900 powerhead
100W (maybe 150W) heater, but heating isnt a prob
1.5 inches of crushed coral
some decoration stuff including a couple peices of old dried coral.) Not sure if it is real to be honest...
Crappy lights that I am going to rebuild, just for come flourescents
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Old 03-14-2004, 10:23 AM   #2
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When you say its a high school tank. Do you mean your in high school so you have a high school kids budget? or that its a tank that will be setup IN a high school?

What temp do you have the tank at now? Ideally I like to shoot for 80-82F. One thing if its in a high school is when they turn the heat off and the room temps maybe start to drop that the heater be able to handle the load then.

I would look for something better than the aquaclear 200 fore sure. Is that the only form of water movment in the tank? If so then you should look for a few good sized powerheads to add to the tank. Maxijet is my brand of choice and for your setup a few 900's or 1200's.

A skimmer will definatly be a benifit if you can work it in to your budget. The skimmer and the aquaclear would not be something that if you had one you didnt need or could not benifit from the other. They will complment eachother more than replace one another.

Rock is a good thing for both natural decoration as well as its filtrational properties. Live rock is bound to be expensive locally for most everyone and most of us have to resort to mailorder rock. Usually we can mailorder rock for 1/3ed the cost of it local. You could use base rock and it will become live over time. THe downside is you wont have the look of the live rock or a while and you wont have the bio benifits of the live rock right away.

I would suggest cycling the tank with a raw shrimp vs cycling with clowns. This is more humane on the clowns.

For a FOWLR setup I would shoot for at a bare minimum a single 55W PC 50/50 bulb but a dual 55W PC setup would be much better.
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Old 03-14-2004, 03:07 PM   #3
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Thanks alot fish freak,
The tank is in the lab area at our high school, and we have a budget of probably 500 dollars more that we (a small group of us) won at a science olympics competition.

We have the oposite problem than most schools as far a heat goes, we get a lot of evaporation because the lab get super hot. So we have no problem at all keeping it at the right temp. It sits fairly steadily at about 81 faren. and the heater only turns on once and a while it seams.

I have been looking into a couple of powerheads, and hopefully if we win some more money we can get a wave powerbar thing. When we started this project all I knew about was freshwater tanks, and the people that I am working with, though they are extremely nice people, went out and bought the filtration system without proper research, and so se are kind of stuck with it. I will look around for a couple of maxijet powerheads. Plus we have a 'bubble bar' just to ensure that there is enough dissolved oxygen in the water.

With respect to the skimmer, are you saying that if we do get a decent one that we will be ok with the *curses under breath* aquaclear? Or do we need to upgrade both?

Ok, I think that I will try and convine the teacher that we need some live rock, and also some base rock so that it can spread. She was a zoology major and so she has a soft spot for setting things like this up . Ok so here are my questions about live rock:

1) What type is best, and is it better to order over the internet even though I am in Canada?
2) How many pounds will I need of the LR and how many pounds of the base rock?
3) What is the bare minimum lighting need to keep the live rock. Is it the same as the requirements in the last post.

Finally, thank you for the suggestion about the raw shrimp. My group wanted to throw a couple of clowns in their right away, and I was a little worried but you have cleared up my worries.

I just want to thank you again for your support. I really appreciate it!
__________________
In desperate need of help, but very excited to learn. I have tasted the world of aquariums and now I'm hooked.

Here is what I have now...

29 gal tank
aquaclear 200
prizm skimmer
maxijet 900 powerhead
100W (maybe 150W) heater, but heating isnt a prob
1.5 inches of crushed coral
some decoration stuff including a couple peices of old dried coral.) Not sure if it is real to be honest...
Crappy lights that I am going to rebuild, just for come flourescents
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Old 03-14-2004, 03:58 PM   #4
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With high evaporation its important to make sure the tank is topped off daily or every other day.

Stay away from the Azoo Powersweeps. Just a percaution so you dont waste your money.

Well there is a big debate over live rock and whats better. Fiji or FL aquaculture for example. The fact that your local rock is about 3X more than you would pay for intenet rock even after shipping (not sure what the costs to ship to canada are so im basing it on US shipping costs).

If you mix baserock and live rock you can use as little or as much of it. All in all your rock should be somewhere around the 30-45lb mark.

Well to keep the bactera on the rock alive as well as the worms and pods that live on/in the rock you dont need any light at all. To keep any macroalage growing on the rock or to encourage the coraline algae on the rock you will want probably at a bare minimum 2-3W per gal.
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Old 03-14-2004, 08:04 PM   #5
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Thanks alot. You are so much help!
I will find some prices for things tonite and put together a little write-up so that I can ask for money in a more directed manner. I think that they (the other group members) were trying to go extremely cheap. I am trying to be thrifty, yes, but also successful, or else the money that we have already put in is a waste.

Just another question about the filtration. Will I be ok if I put in say 20 lbs of LR and 15-20 lbs of base rock, and added a protein skimmer but just leave the aquaclear and not add another filter?
__________________
In desperate need of help, but very excited to learn. I have tasted the world of aquariums and now I'm hooked.

Here is what I have now...

29 gal tank
aquaclear 200
prizm skimmer
maxijet 900 powerhead
100W (maybe 150W) heater, but heating isnt a prob
1.5 inches of crushed coral
some decoration stuff including a couple peices of old dried coral.) Not sure if it is real to be honest...
Crappy lights that I am going to rebuild, just for come flourescents
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Old 03-15-2004, 08:28 PM   #6
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Calgary, Canada
Posts: 131
I went to my LFS today, and I think that I am going to get the redsea prizm skimmer, and a couple of powerheads but I reall want to keep the cost down as much as possible so I have delayed the purchase to shop around.

About powerheads for water circulation, how important is it how have full circulation in the cycling stage, and will one maxijet 900 work for just cycling?

Any help would be great. I am trying to be cheap here.
__________________

__________________
In desperate need of help, but very excited to learn. I have tasted the world of aquariums and now I'm hooked.

Here is what I have now...

29 gal tank
aquaclear 200
prizm skimmer
maxijet 900 powerhead
100W (maybe 150W) heater, but heating isnt a prob
1.5 inches of crushed coral
some decoration stuff including a couple peices of old dried coral.) Not sure if it is real to be honest...
Crappy lights that I am going to rebuild, just for come flourescents
excited_newby is offline   Reply With Quote
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