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Old 09-30-2012, 07:30 PM   #1
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The big the post...2 tanks worth

So a few of you might have seen my lighting post about a 38 gallon on the inexpensive side to start and then I may upgrade lighting down the road. Here is that thread. But I feel obligated to make a full post. Also if you see any seemingly random questions that is me getting spaced out I'll put them in a different color.

My friend and I are both going to be building saltwater tanks together. I have a 38 and he has a 40 breeder. I figure the equipment will be very similar.

What we have:

Me:
spare heaters x2 100w
AC 50 eventually a spare AC 70 and some pos aqueon.
thermometer
air pump
saltwater liquid test kit for basics (will expand)

Buddy:
heater/filter/thermometer/airpump
needs full testkit.

Likely neither of us will be running sumps to start.

My thoughts were this. We both need new lights cool things is they are both 36" tanks so I can shop for identical fixtures. I know that my tank is deeper and I need the stronger fixture but they should be close. We both need sand and live rock. I was thinking of ordering 100lbs of each from someplace like marcorocks.com or bulkreefsupply.com and that way we can save more doing a bulk order together. Atleast equipment wise we should be able to hit the free shipping total for most websites if we order together. My real questions are to make sure I am on par with my expectations of what we will need. I know the common things like the refractometers and protein skimmers.

Power heads and flow were something I wanted to ask about. How many and how should they be angled?

And suggestions for equipment are always welcome.


As for set up here were my thoughts since will both be taking it slow. Once we have a bulk of the equipment set it up and do the shrimp cycle method. leave this running for a few months with constant ammonia sources to truthfully cycle and build the bio load up. Do you need a light to cycle the tank? The only reason I ask is that I was hoping to seed with a little cured live rock and hopefully spread some coralline algae.

So I think that is it for now, any tips, tricks, hints would be super welcome. ALso the eventual plan for the HOBs was to use purigen.


Thanks
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:47 PM   #2
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You won't need the air pumps as bubbles just create salt creep and powerheads are used to aerate the water. Koralia evolutions are going to be your best bet when it comes to how good they are/how much they cost. Really depends on how much flow you want...you can have 2 550s facing each other on the sides for the most random flow I guess...experiment where you want them.

Marcorocks and BRS don't sell live rock, but dry "base" rock. I got BRS pukani rock on sale...bought a 100 lbs for my 70 gallon tank and it was too much! I'd say 1 lb per gallon is good...might even want less. I still have 4 huge pieces left that I can't fit in there. Pukani rock is REALLy porous and lightweight so you get more for your money, and it's pest free b/c there's nothing live on it, and it's easy to aquascape with. From the 100 lbs I bought, I got 12 one foot pieces and 3 two foot pieces...you can ask for smaller pieces too b/c they come really big! I've heard good things about marcorocks too, but this was just my experience. Any sand you get I recommend RINSING it! The water won't be so cloudy, especially when fish or inverts kick it up.

Just a little suggestion...JeremyS. posted a link on $1 protein skimmers that you can make out of water bottles and an airstone (would be even better since you already have the pump for it).

For live rock...coralline algae does need light and calcium to grow...but other than that you don't really need the lights on. The shrimp method seems fine..it's going to stink though. You were warned!
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:00 PM   #3
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How bad does the shrimp method stink? Like could I saran wrap the tank for a few weeks and come back so I can avoid stinking up my whole apt. Also for seeding the live rock I was going to pick up some cured LR from that fish place.
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:10 PM   #4
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Like could I saran wrap the tank for a few weeks and come back so I can avoid stinking up my whole apt.
That's hilarious! Well you should put the shrimp in a bag (filter back, a stocking, whatever) so the decomposing shrimp won't fall apart and get all over your tank). You mean seeding the dry rock with live rock? That would be fine, or you could just get all dry rock which will eventually become live...really depends on what you want. Don't know HOW bad it stinks, but something that's decomposing is going to be putrid for sure...I think you only need it in there a week though..until the ammonia reaches 4-5 ppm.
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:18 PM   #5
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hey saran wrap could keep it in... lol i know its funny but hey being creative is part of the fun.
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:23 PM   #6
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True, I guess you could do it, but there wouldn't be good gas exchange and you would have to add water when it evaporates...
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:34 PM   #7
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yeah but with saran wrap i could make it air tight. for the first bit of cycling wouldnt i be able to rely on the evaporated water condensing back into the tank? and i like the idea of 2 power heads facing each other, i was also thinking of making it so they were aiming into each other to create turbulence.
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:37 PM   #8
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Oh yeah...the water wouldn't be able to evaporate...oops silly me..But you do want gas exchange (O2 and CO2)...I guess it wouldn't really matter for a little while, as long as you don't have any fish or inverts. Would your friend do the same thing?
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:41 PM   #9
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we will be doing the same thing, he made noob mistakes in his fw days but i was able to help him and teach him so now im kinda his go to. hes good with the regular maintenance etc. i just think that the shrimp method will be the easiest. and he kind of tasked me with figuring it out since im more experienced with aquariums. and you know how it is, you help your best friends.

if there an easy way to test or observe the flow created by powerheads?
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:50 PM   #10
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How about you put in the shrimp and when the smell get's unbearably foul, then wrap it...open windows..whatever you can do...you'll want to test for ammonia so you know when to take the shrimp out.
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