Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 11-03-2003, 05:06 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Zelienople, PA.
Posts: 4
Starting a 75 gallon reef tank

I am getting ready to start a 75 gallon reef aquarium. I have done much research and here is what I plan to do:

Install a plenum
Add approx. 100 lbs. of LR
Protein skimmer
Heaters
Mechanical filter

I have learned in my research that lights are to be kept off for
approx. 2-3 weeks. I understand that it will be some time until
the tank cycles.

I just want to do this right the first time and welcome any suggestions
and or comments. Thanks for your time!
__________________

__________________
litehousekeeper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2003, 06:18 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Park Rapids, Minn USA
Posts: 173
My advice,....Be patient and don't rush the cycle. It is the most important part of set-up. I have heard where tanks have taken from 2-8 weeks to fully cycle.

Howard
__________________

__________________
You can never have too many friends.
fishtender is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2003, 06:35 PM   #3
AA Team Emeritus
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Chatsworth, GA
Posts: 4,071
Send a message via Yahoo to loganj
Re: Starting a 75 gallon reef tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by litehousekeeper
I am getting ready to start a 75 gallon reef aquarium. I have done much research and here is what I plan to do:

Install a plenum

A plenum will certainly work, but why not a DSB instead. I think you would have a greater biodiversity in the sandbed that way.

Quote:
Add approx. 100 lbs. of LR
That's about what you'll want to use...I wouldn't use any less.

Quote:
Protein skimmer
Definitely! Are you planning a sump or intending to use a HOB type skimmer? We can recommend some that seem to work well when you're ready.

Quote:
Heaters
Heaters as in more than one? Once again...good idea. Redundancy is good and smaller heaters will take longer to overheat the tank if the thermostat sticks on.

Quote:
Mechanical filter
Why? You won't need it at all. The LR and the protien skimmer is all the filtration you'll need. The plenum or DSB, whichever you choose, will help keep nitrates in check. The mech filter is a waste of money IMO. The only purpose it will really serve is to add flow and that is done cheaper with powerheads.


Quote:
I have learned in my research that lights are to be kept off for
approx. 2-3 weeks. I understand that it will be some time until
the tank cycles.
Probably around 6 weeks...that is about the average. Cycling time will vary some from one tank to the other. I have never kept the lights off on any of my tanks while they were cycling...not sure why one would do that unless it's to try to control the algae.

Quote:
I just want to do this right the first time and welcome any suggestions
and or comments. Thanks for your time!
Keep the questions coming and keep researching. I can recommend a book to you that I think everyone starting their first SW tank should read. "The Concientious Marine Aquarist" by Robert Fenner.
__________________
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
Logan J
loganj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2003, 11:12 AM   #4
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Zelienople, PA.
Posts: 4
First of all, thank all of you for your timely response! It is
greatly appreciated.

I have researched between the DBS and the plenum and know of the
many pros and cons of both. Such controversy with these two! But,
I will go with the plenum and adhere strictly to the specs on making
one and hopefully one day, have a reef aquarium to be proud of.

As far as the skimmer, I will be using the HOB type. I won't be using a sump.

I will be using 2 heaters. As you stated, this will keep the tank from
overheating if one should stick and also if one should shut down for
some reason, will have one still in there as a back up until another
can be purchased.

I should have been more clear on the mechanical filter. I have one that
will not be working full time. I would only use it if I need to use activated
carbon for some reason. Is this okay?

If you suggest using lights, what cycle time should I use whilst cycling the
tank? I will be using a 48" Aqualight Dual Linear Strip Light PC (4X65W) with 2-Actinic and 2-50/50.

I know I certainly will have to be patient. Even if it takes longer than
expected to cycle the tank. I DON"T want to crash the tank! And above
all, I will not overstock!

Today, I will fill my new tank with fresh water, to make sure there are
no leaks. In about 2 days, I will empty it, wipe it down and build the
plenum, less the substrate for now. Hopefully, within the next week,
I will add the substrate, mix my sea water and add that and place the
live rock. Will do testing of the water parameters until it is coming
out of my ears, and watch and wait.

Thanks again for your suggestions and comments!
__________________
litehousekeeper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2003, 12:12 PM   #5
AA Team Emeritus
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Chatsworth, GA
Posts: 4,071
Send a message via Yahoo to loganj
Skimmer...IMO a Aqua C Remora Pro with a Mag 3 pump and a surface skimmer would be the way to go. My next choice would be a Berlin HOB. You can run the mech filter all the time with no media in it to gain a little flow in the tank. Add the AC when you need it. That'll work just fine. I really can't think of any reason not to run the lights on a regular schedule (10-12 hrs per day) while you're cycling the tank although someone else might. That is how I have done all of mine anyway. Sounds like you are on the right track and I hope you'll keep us updated on your progress.
__________________
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
Logan J
loganj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2003, 09:26 AM   #6
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Zelienople, PA.
Posts: 4
I have been doing more research on the plenum vs. DSB issue.
I think I may be leaning more toward a DSB now. This Southdown
sand that Home Depot is supposed to have... I've been reading
that a 4" layer of this under LR will make a good DSB. What is
your opinion on this?

I have also come across a protein skimmer that is sold in my area and
have heard good things about it. It is made by Mirart. It's a double
chambered HOB protein skimmer with baffles, which is supposed to
mimic a taller one. It has 2 limewood diffusers and water is pumped
to it via an intank 70 gph powerhead. Also has 2 separate skimmate
cups. Has anyone out there seen or used one of these? LFS says that
he used one on his 150 system and worked very well. If anyone wants,
I can enclose a pic.

Tank didn't leak when filled with FW and sat for 2 days. Finally emptied
the FW and hope to get the DSB started soon.

Thanks for your time!
__________________
litehousekeeper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2003, 08:07 PM   #7
AA Team Emeritus
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Chatsworth, GA
Posts: 4,071
Send a message via Yahoo to loganj
4"-6" of Southdown will make an excellent DSB. I'm using DSB's in all my tanks and haven't had any problems with them...my nitrates are 0 in all tanks. You'll want to seed the Southdown with a cup or two of sand from an established tank once yours has cycled.
I'm not familiar with the skimmer you mentioned. I can tell you that airstone skimmers require a little more maintenance than the venturi or injected types. Most of them work quite well though. I'd like to see a pic of it anyway.
__________________
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
Logan J
loganj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2003, 08:42 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: grand rapids mi
Posts: 143
I'm also for the DSB vs plenum.

If that's a 75E gallon, then you don't have a lot of depth in the first place to be playing with plenums.

The play sand will work fine, but my advice is to get a couple bags of LFS live sand in place of an equal amount of play sand, like 25% live sand to 75% dry sand. While I realize this is more money, the live sand is a *lot* cleaner than the dry play sand when mixed with water, and if used over the top of the cheaper sand will keep it better settled.
__________________
wseaton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2003, 09:07 PM   #9
AA Team Emeritus
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Chatsworth, GA
Posts: 4,071
Send a message via Yahoo to loganj
Not to be difficult, but I'm thinking the DSB will take up more room than the plenum. Also, IME, the sand will settle in a few days. Once it gets a coating of bacteria on it, it will stay put pretty well. I think, and this is just my opinion, that the bagged LS is not a good deal. All you're getting is some bacteria and that is questionable. If you inoculate your sand with a cup or two from an established tank, you'll get (hopefully) some live detrivores as well as bacteria. Anyone you know who has a reef tank...hit them up for a cup of substrate. The more diverse the collection of critters you have, the better off you are. JMHO.
__________________
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
Logan J
loganj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2003, 11:59 AM   #10
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Zelienople, PA.
Posts: 4
I bought the sand, but the name has changed to Old Castle
from Southdown. Exact same packaging. It reads on the label not
for aquarium use, but I have read threads that it is just fine. I used a
calculator from a site that said I needed 200 pounds for a 4" deep sand
bed for my 75 gallon tank. That will cut me down to a 16 " water
depth, but I am willing to part with the 4" to have a good bed. Also
will cut down on the amount of live rock that I will need.

Quote:
If you inoculate your sand with a cup or two from an established tank, you'll get (hopefully) some live detrivores as well as bacteria. Anyone you know who has a reef tank...hit them up for a cup of substrate.
This is what I plan to do. I have a source to get a few cups of live sand
from a well established tank with no diseases.

Quote:
I'm not familiar with the skimmer you mentioned. I can tell you that airstone skimmers require a little more maintenance than the venturi or injected types. Most of them work quite well though. I'd like to see a pic of it anyway.
I have uploaded 2 pics of the skimmer and soon as they are
approved, you may view them in My Gallery.

Another question that comes to mind, is when using powerheads for
circulation in the tank, how much of this very light sand is going to
be shifted around? I know not to aim them directly at the sand, but
I want to position them to get a good flow all around the LR. I
imagine after getting a good coating of bacteria, that the sand
should pretty much stay put.

Also, what are thoughts on stirring the top 1/2" of sand for cleaning,
say as when doing water changes, and the such? Even though
there are sand stirrers present.

Thanks again for the quick and insightful responses!
__________________

__________________
litehousekeeper is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
5 gallon, 75 gallon, reef, reef tank, starting, tan

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Starting a 35 gallon hex saltwater reef Shawn_Schlorff Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 22 01-11-2009 01:54 PM
starting new reef tank rtclaus General Hardware/Equipment Discussion 5 10-01-2007 11:29 AM
I need help starting a reef tank with fish palmero Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 9 06-29-2005 12:08 PM
Starting 29 gallon reef how much light ? la9 Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 10 09-02-2004 06:57 PM
Starting reef tank tuwhada Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 6 08-04-2004 12:39 AM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:06 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.