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Old 10-18-2009, 05:32 AM   #1
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Starting my first 55G FOWLR tank

Hello guys,
I am a new member to your forums and figure after browsing through all your very helpful posts on starting a SW tank, i decided to give it a shot after several successful FW tanks upto 55G.
I took the time to read over several posts and helpful books on marine aquariums to attempt to get some sort of hold on this very confusing transformation.
Now for the good part, I just wanted to name what i am planning on adding to my 55G tank to get the show on the road:

Filtration: 1 Aqua-Tech 30-60G Filter With Bio-Fiber Biological Filter 160gph (from previous FW tank setup)
1 Rena FilStar External Canister Filter (360gph)
Most likely a protien skimmer a little ways down the road.

Heating:
1 200 watt UI aquarium heater.

Lighting: Basic flourescent lighting (2 bulbs across hood) I know i need to change that if i plan on going the reef tank route, but i am gonna take it slow before i move in that direction.

Than obviously the thermomator, hydrometer, live rock, live sand, water testing kit, salt additives and de-chorinators for the water. (feel free to correct me if i am missing anything!)

My main question is what to do first?! I know you need to mix the saltwater seperate, but i dont know if you add the saltwater first or the sand and live rock first, than i know you need to begin cycling the water, and i know you add a fresh dead shrimp for every 30 gallons (I believe.)
I would greatly appriciate if you guys gave me some good concise pointers, to help me get started and organize this mass new amount of information, i took in over the last couple months.
Thanks a lot guys i look forward to your very helpful advice!
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Old 10-18-2009, 03:25 PM   #2
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live sand is best to be added first then the rock.

the cycle takes about 1-5 weeks so that gives you time on which type of fish or such you want
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Old 10-18-2009, 05:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
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live sand is best to be added first then the rock.

the cycle takes about 1-5 weeks so that gives you time on which type of fish or such you want
Thank you for your assistance.. I know that the live rock and sand do help with cycling so that makes sense to add that stuff first
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Old 10-18-2009, 06:15 PM   #4
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Skip the "live" sand, go with dry.
Get a refractometer instead of a hydrometer.
Save money and go with 75% base rock (dry, usually is bleached) to 25% LR.
I prefer to add the rock then the sand so the rock is firmly seated on the tank's bottom.
Skip the "additives" your salt mix should have everything you need.
RO/DI water is your friend or just buy the RO/DI unit for around $100-150...get the 75GPD unit.
I like 2 heaters for both redundancy and to even out the heat and they won't both be running all the time.
Powerheads are definitely needed. I like Hydor Korelias.
Yep, 1 unseasoned, raw jumbo shrimp per 30 gallons.
That's all I have for now and welcome to the "saltie" side!!
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Old 10-18-2009, 10:15 PM   #5
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best to take the media out of your HOB filter and put some LR pieces in there. I run LR in one of mine and Phosban in the other.
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Old 10-18-2009, 11:19 PM   #6
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hey congrats on your build...sorry i named my thread so close to yours..but i guess we're going through the same process...check out my thread as well..GOOD Luck
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Old 10-19-2009, 03:45 AM   #7
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hey congrats on your build...sorry i named my thread so close to yours..but i guess we're going through the same process...check out my thread as well..GOOD Luck
haha nice to know i have someone going through the same crazy transformation from freshwater to saltwater like i am..
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Old 10-19-2009, 05:22 AM   #8
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+1 for roka64 post
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Old 10-19-2009, 07:20 AM   #9
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UPDATE: Just made another couple purchases at my LFS and bought a fluval 305 cannister for filtration along with my hang on the back filter. I do have 1 question as far as amounts of sand needed... I believe its 2-3 inches across the bottom . I have 50 lbs of live sand, 15lbs of crushed argonite from the carribean. I would assume i would need more of each but wanted a reccomendation before a second trip to the LFS. Also, once i have my base of sand and argonite do i start the cycle before or after i purchase my live rock?(and how much live rock is reccomended for a 55g?)

All help will be greatly appriciated!
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Old 10-19-2009, 08:43 AM   #10
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Is crushed aragonite anything like crushed coral? As opposed to finer grained sand. If so, I hope it's not too late to trade it in.
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