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Old 12-30-2003, 03:10 PM   #1
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Okay, so, next week I will be getting my sand from Big Al's. I am getting ready to start my 55 gallon tank. I need some opinions. Here is a list of the equipment I have:
1. 220 Watts PC lights-JEBO
2. Aqua C remora w/ maxijet
3. El Cheap-O Wal-mart HOB filter(it says 30-60 gal); will be used for water circulation
4. Two maxi-jet 600 Powerheads
5. Undecided on Heaters as of now.
6. I could only afford 60 lbs of sand for now. Could I, or would I be able to add some more sand to get to a DSB as I go?
7. I will be ordering live rock from LR.com or Etropicals, about 30-40 lbs is what I will be able to afford. I have ordered 30 lbs of base rock from hirocks.
8. 200 gal mix of IO
9. floating type hydrometer along with a swing arm type; I know, I know- refractometer is the way to go, but I already bought those two before I knew better, so it will have to wait a few months. I have read good things about the floating type, so I will probably stick with it.
10. I will be getting a rubbermaid tub to mix saltwater. I have an old heater and a couple powerheads to mix. I am thinking an SG of 1.023-1.025
11. I do have test kits, not seachem, but I use the ones I have for now.
12. I have glass tops. I have read good and bad things about using them. I am leaning towards not using them.
13. Once tank cycles (using LR to do that), I will probably add two clown fish once they are out of QT for a month or two.
14. After about the third month, I may add another fish, undecided on what though.
15. After the fourth month, I want to try some mushrooms and such.
16. After sixth month, I may try my hand at a coral. I will have to get more test kits though.

Sorry about the length of this post, but I don't want to mess this up more than I have to. Please comment on what I have and don't need or don't have. I am not for sure if the HOB filter is needed or not.

This site has saved me a bunch of money and I would like to thank everyone for your answers and maybe someday I will be able to help someone out.
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Old 12-30-2003, 04:40 PM   #2
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Don't bother with the live sand. IMO it's a waste of money because there's nothing in it that doesn't come on your live rock. Just get some dry. Otherwise your plan looks fine to me. Have fun setting it up
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Old 12-30-2003, 05:56 PM   #3
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get "play sand" from home depot, its cost about $5 for a 50 pound bag, and works great, i used 100 pounds of it, just make sure you rinise it out very very very well.

Lex wrote: "IMO it's a waste of money because there's nothing in it that doesn't come on your live rock" 100% Agreed!
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Old 12-30-2003, 09:17 PM   #4
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Yeah, I didn't get the "live" sand. I just bought the caribsea sand. I can't get southdown around here right now. I will have to wait until spring to see if I can find some.
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Old 12-30-2003, 09:26 PM   #5
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There are some critter that will live in the sand rather than the rock. However, all you need is a cup or so of sand to seed the dry sand. I like to get some live sand from everyone I can, it diversifys the critters that are in the bed.
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Old 12-31-2003, 12:17 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by reefrunner69
I like to get some live sand from everyone I can, it diversifys the critters that are in the bed.
That's an excellent idea! I'm going to remember that when I start my SW tank in 2004.
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Old 12-31-2003, 09:14 AM   #7
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The critter live in the top 2 inches of the sand I believe. So adding sand later may end up killing some of them. Since you have sand coming I would run out get some extra playsand from Home Depot or wherever. Dump this in first then add the Big Als sand on top. See if the fish store will give you a cup of sand and dump it in to see the new stuff.

The LR will seed the base rock. I assume it is uncured rock since you are cycling with it. If it is cured rock then you won't really be able to cycle with it.

Try keep the SG to closer to 1.025. The fish store may be lower so make sure to do a slow acclimation of the new fish.

Glass tops are fine, but tend to get slat reisdue on them. It just means cleaning them. But a top is a good idea as my brother has seen the occaional fish jump out of his tank. A costly experience.

Get 2 heaters. 1 for each end of the tank. Gives better heat distribution andif one breaks then you aren't screwed.
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Old 12-31-2003, 01:21 PM   #8
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Glass tops are fine, but tend to get slat reisdue on them. It just means cleaning them. But a top is a good idea as my brother has seen the occaional fish jump out of his tank. A costly experience.
A cover over the tank is a good idea for any species of fish you might keep but I would not suggest a glass cover. Unless the sump has a large surface area for good gas exchange, you will end up with ph and possible heat problems. Tight lids that cover a majority of the display tanks surface area have a habit of trapping CO2 and not allowing the tank to breathe. Alternately I would suggest some eggcrate material from the local HD or lighting store. It will still prevent the loss of fish from jumping but wil not hamper your success in a different area...

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Old 12-31-2003, 01:31 PM   #9
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Here is a question that is kind of on topic. You say do not use a top on the tank unless you have a sump that is a large surface area. I have a 46 gal tank and the aqua clear pro 75. The wet/dry filter is good up to 75 gal. Would that be good? Or should I take the top off too? I also have the skimmer in the wet/dry filter and I have found that part of the filter is got little bubbles al over the place. Would I have CO2 problems?
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Old 12-31-2003, 01:58 PM   #10
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Would I have CO2 problems?
That would greatly depend on your ph as it will typically be the best indicator without testing for dissolved O2. If your ph stays constant without continual buffering it should be fine for the most part. Trapped CO2/poor gas exchange will be the greatest contributor to improper or hard to maintain ph aside from overstocking or lack of surface aggitation/GPH.

I am not saying the lid will always be a problem depending on set up, just that it can be a problem to some. Personally I prefer as much surface exchange as possible so I leave as much open as possible that can be done safely...

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