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Old 10-24-2017, 07:17 PM   #1
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Starting from scratch

I am setting up my 120gal tank as a reef tank. I have a few things from when it was a freshwater tank. I found a few things I can buy off of craigslist.

I assume some of these are for the base and some for the sump tank.[*]Large full bucket saltwater coarse sand/crushed coral (kept live and wet) - $35[*]Large bucket Half full saltwater black live sand (kept wet and live) - $25[*]Large 5g bucket full Freshwater planted substrate (kept wet and live) - $25[*]Large bucket ĺ full white live freshwater sand (kept wet and live) - $25[*]2x large buckets of natural colored gravel (one course / one fine) - $15 each

55 Gallon sump tank and external pump (waki pump model md-70rlt, tank is Ĺ'' extra thick glass, tank is drilled and includes bulkhead to the pump) - $100


I am still trying to figure out what order to put the rock, sand, and whatever else I should put for the base.

Questions:

Do I fill the tank with water and the correct amount of salt then add the base?

About how long does it usually take for tap water (I know it depends on the water) to chemically change so I can put live base material in without killing it?

I plan on buying a UV Clarifier/Sterilizer. What is a good brand?
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:38 PM   #2
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Donít use crushed coral. Itíll trap debris in it youíll want to remove in a Reef tank to reach pristine conditions. Donít use rocks either. Just sand.
Youíll want 1 lbs per gallon of base rock and also the same for sand.
Youíll want to mix your saltwater in a separate container. Salt will burn and kill livestock. Never mix in the display.
You will need to use ro/di water, not tap. Reef tanks donít do well with things we like in our drinking water. This will take out all impurities.
You will need to cycle your tank. I like the live shrimp method in some panty hose for easy clean up. Youíll need a base test kit for this. API will do just fine.
Skip the sterilizer. The hobby grade ones donít push enough water through to be effective, and some good stuff is in the water to.
Youíll want a protein skimmer. They will remove gunk from the tank that your weekly water changes wonít get.
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Old 10-24-2017, 10:14 PM   #3
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As for sand I wouldn't use someones old sand as it most likely contains nitrates and you never know what ever else could be in the sand like any bad hitchhikers ect.

I have always used pool sand its rather inexpensive and will become live in time you could get by with 2 #50lb bags

as for rock I would use base rock as it will become live in time also , this will also ensure your starting with a clean slate . you could get by with #100 lbs

most of the rock I have is dry base rock it will become live over time reefcleaners/aquarium/rock starting clean ensures no hitchhikers .

now pumps , tanks , skimmers ect you can go with used as you can find some good deals , just be sure they are in perfect running order , you don't want to replace them a month down the line ,

when setting up the tank always add your rock first than your sand this way any sand dwellers won't be able to undermine your rocks down the road , building your rock scape before you add water makes it easier to see what your building easier ,

before adding your water place all your power heads it helps seeing your placement ,
now your ready for your water first place a few plates over the sand to defuse your water so its not hitting sand directly this helps cut down on a sand storm ,

I recommend pre mixing your water before adding it , I like to know my water is mixed well , adding salt directly to tank salt can settle in sand and rock getting trapped not mixing fully , yes it will desolve over time but that can make your salinity rise higher than you need .

you should avoid using tap water you can be adding unnecessary phosphates , chlorine , heavy metals , and other contaminants , Always use RO/DI water ,
you will need to invest in a RO/DI unit or you can get it at your local pet shop , most likely it will come premixed .

once you get things running put maybe 4 deli shrimps in a nylon stocking for easy clean up and you can begin your cycle

Cycle your salt tank - Aquarium Advice

remember don't rush anything all that will do is cause you issues


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Old 12-04-2017, 07:56 PM   #4
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Is this, Osmolator 3155 Auto Top Off - Tunze, needed? How much of a headache-relief device is it?
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Old 12-04-2017, 08:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timl View Post
Is this, Osmolator 3155 Auto Top Off - Tunze, needed? How much of a headache-relief device is it?


Ato in general are a huge A+. Iíve never run a tunze but have heard good things. I had a jbj unit and loved it. Currently have an internal Red Sea unit and canít get it to work right, think the float is messed up. They are amazing. I dump 5 gallons of top off into my sump everyday. Iíd rather it do it on its own.
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Old 12-04-2017, 08:49 PM   #6
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Thanks.
I think my tank is getting closer. The ammonia is still high but stuff is growing on the rocks. Hopefully, it will start changing to nitrite.
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Old 12-05-2017, 12:03 AM   #7
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Keep your lights off while you cycle. Itíll make the algae growth almost 0. No reason to have to worry about it when you elevate your nutrients to cycle the system.
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Old 12-19-2017, 09:24 AM   #8
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I have a water flow problem. I have an overflow pump draining water into the sump tank and a return pump in the sump. Everything flows beautifully unless the power flashes, and I am talking just flashes. It is enough to create a problem. The water reverse flows in the return pump and overflows everything. The return pump is not strong enough to re-start the proper flow. How do I make the overflow system stop when the water reaches a certain level in the sump or set up the return system so it doesn't backflow?

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/images...C_844-fish.jpg is what I have.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51PnCocHzDL.jpg is the return pump.

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/i...06iMqwUOCHDu8I. This is pretty much how I have it set up. The only difference is I have a shutoff valve for the return.
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Old 12-19-2017, 01:41 PM   #9
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It sounds like it is working as intended and that there is too much water in the system. An overflow will run until there isnít any water able to flow into it.
With the brownouts you are experiencing, the return pump isnít starting back up quickly enough to keep the system in fluid motion. The problem isnít the overflow, itís the return pump not starting up quickly enough to prevent an issue.
When sumps are designed, they can only hold so much water and should be done so to hold enough water Incase something like this happens, and they do happen. It did on mine all the time from brown and black outs.
The only other option to assist would to not have the plumbing of the return pump in the water itself to assist with less water flowing into the system, depending on how low into the system. If it is lower than the overflow then the water level will drain to it, rather than the overflow.
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Old 12-19-2017, 04:33 PM   #10
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I used to deal with that for a long time . I finally broke down and got a lift pump it took everything I always complained about away now things run smooth . trust me when I say you'll be glade you spent that 20 bucks after you see the difference
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