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Old 05-11-2004, 08:06 PM   #1
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soon to be 30 gallon saltwater.

Im sure this has been asked a million times here and this being my first post here Ill just dive in.

I first started with a 30 gallon freshwater tank with a Penguin 330 Bio wheel filter. I then found a great deal on a 55ga tank with stand so the light bulb went off in my head.. why not move the freshwater to the 55ga and setup a nice 30ga saltwater.

Two Eheim 2213s and an extra heater later and the 55ga is all set-up. The tank currently houses 4 Oscars, 2 Dempseys, 2 Irr sharks, 2 Albino Irr Sharks, 3 Albino Convicts, 7 Black Convicts, 2 Catfish, 2 Red Devils, 1 Clown Pleco, 1 Golden Pleco, 2 Stripped Raphaels. My girlfriend went crazy buying all these aggressive fish. I know we will have a ton of problems later.. but thats another story.

I plan on starting out with a FOWLR tank..Now on to my questions..

freshwater is still in there.. how do I properly clean this tank and get it ready for the sand and live rock to begin cycling?
I bought an Eheim 2215 filter... is that enough?
I also bought an Aqua C Remora Protein Skimmer.. is that enough?
do i cycle with LS only or LR only or both?
do i add the aqua c protein skimmer during cycling or after?
which type of LS and LR should I buy?
how long is the cycling process take?
when do I add fish?
I read something about starter fish that help with the cycling. When do I add those?
am I missing anymore equipment?

I have a million more questions... I just ran out of breathe.
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Old 05-11-2004, 08:27 PM   #2
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To clean the tank just empty it and rinse it out real well and let airdry. If you want to use chemicals then you can use a light bleach mix or you can use hydrogen peroxide. If you use bleach rinse well. And let air dry.

Honestly most of use in the SW side dont use canister filters other than for maybe water movemnt. All of your real filtration will come from your sand/cc substrate and the live rock.

That skimmer is great for that size tank.

YOu can cycle with both LS and LR.

Add the skimmer before or after the cycle. DOes not really mater.

The cycling process could take a week or could take upward to 8 weeks. There are so many vairables its hard to pinpiont how long it will take you. THe cycle will be over when no detectable ammonia and nitrite.

Dont add fish till the cycle is over.

Use a raw shrimp to cycle vs fish. For more info on this look in our articles area.

About the only thing I didnt see listed was lighting. What kind of lighting?
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Old 05-11-2004, 08:32 PM   #3
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Re: soon to be 30 gallon saltwater.

Quote:
Originally Posted by evenings
My girlfriend went crazy buying all these aggressive fish. I know we will have a ton of problems later.. but thats another story.
I see a 6' tank in your future...probably soon 8O .

Quote:
freshwater is still in there.. how do I properly clean this tank and get it ready for the sand and live rock to begin cycling?
I'd give it a good scrubbing with white vinegar and rinse it well. Let it dry out and you should be in good shape.

Quote:
I bought an Eheim 2215 filter... is that enough?
Yes, but you really won't need it as long as you have 45-60lbs of LR in the tank.

Quote:
I also bought an Aqua C Remora Protein Skimmer.. is that enough?
Yes, that is as good an HOB skimmer as you can get and it should be plenty for a 30g tank.

Quote:
do i cycle with LS only or LR only or both?
I'd cycle with the LR and add the LS after the tank has cycled. That way, you won't kill off all the critters in the LS with the ammonia/nitrite spikes.

Quote:
do i add the aqua c protein skimmer during cycling or after?
I'd start it up a couple of weeks after the cycle has completed. There isn't going to be much in the tank for it to skim out even then.

Quote:
which type of LS and LR should I buy?
LR...whatever kind you like the looks of. Going with aquacultured rock will have less impact on the natural reefs though. LS...stay away from the bagged stuff. All it has is bacteria and what you want is LS that is full of pods and worms.

Quote:
how long is the cycling process take?
6 weeks is probably about average, but it can vary as much as two weeks either way. You'll just have to keep testing for ammonia/nitrite until the levels fall to 0.

Quote:
when do I add fish?
I'd start with one after the tank has cycled. You'll want to do a large water change and wait a day or two to be sure the water parameters remain good. Make up your stock list before you even start the tank. Depending on what you want to keep, you may need to add the fish in a certain order to reduce aggression. Remember that SW stocking levels are about 20% of what FW levels are. The lower you keep the bioload, the easier the tank will be to maintain.

Quote:
I read something about starter fish that help with the cycling. When do I add those?
Never...for several reasons. 1) Damsels are usually used for this. You haven't lived until you have tried to catch a damsel in a tank full of rock...it's nearly impossible. 2) It tends to kill the fish and even a damsel has the right to live. 3) Your LR will be all you need to cycle the tank...probably more than enough.

Quote:
am I missing anymore equipment?
You'll need test kits for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, calcium, and alkalinity. You'll need a hydrometer to measure salinity...a heater...a couple of powerheads for extra flow (Maxi Jets are recommended)...adequate lighting for the LR. Regular fluorescents aren't really enough. I would say one 96w PC at least...two would be better. A copy of "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" by Robert Fenner will help you more than anything. The last thing you'll need is patience...lots of patience.

Quote:
I have a million more questions... I just ran out of breathe.
Me too 8) .
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Old 05-12-2004, 12:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Quote:
how long is the cycling process take?


6 weeks is probably about average, but it can vary as much as two weeks either way. You'll just have to keep testing for ammonia/nitrite until the levels fall to 0.

this can be much shorter with cured lr or if the dieoff is low, there's no sure thing...could be 10 days, could be 30 or more, when you get to 0 ammonia 0 nitrite you are ready to slowly add stock, though for sw the rule is 1" fish per 5 gallons, so if you want a healthy stable tank, you will be stocking much less than your fw. You are looking at something like 2-4 small fish in a 30, period.
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Old 05-12-2004, 05:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishfreek
About the only thing I didnt see listed was lighting. What kind of lighting?
oooo yeah I forgot about those. I would need a new lid for my tank I guess. what kind of lighting would you guys recommend and how much $$$ am I looking at? I want to start off so it wouldnt be too hard to run a reef/coral system in the future.
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Old 05-12-2004, 09:18 PM   #6
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Well for a 30 gal system I would suggest a pair of VHO bulbs. Should be able to get a premanufactured hood for $200 or so.

Check with a few of our sponsors for light setups. Lighting is its own ball game.
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Old 05-12-2004, 10:57 PM   #7
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I want to thank you all for this forum.. been very helpful and I am learning everyday. I changed my mind and I decided to really start it slow.

Ill start with fish and live sand only. Ill move into live rock and stuff after the summer. Today I bought 40lbs of LS and some decors. Ill start the cycling this weekend. Ill keep you all updated thanks again.
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Old 05-12-2004, 10:59 PM   #8
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forgot to mention that my GF bought me a book. The Saltwater Aquarium Handbook by George Biasiola.

any good?
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