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Old 10-22-2012, 04:12 PM   #1
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Tom's 55G Saltwater

Hey all.

I am quite new in the fish hobby. I have a 29G FW tank thats been running great & currently I have a 10 gallon salt water tank that has about 20 lbs of live rock, some frags on them, a smaller rock that has mushrooms, an anenome ( XL in size ) since I was planning on doing this 55 a SW and 1 clown fish. I have 3 snails, 1 emerald crab, and 1 peppermint shrimp. I recently added a sand sifting sea star as well. He's interesting always digging and climbing up the walls.

Got a good deal( I thought) on Craigslist for a 55G tank w. stand. It has the hood with 2 lights (one for each side of tank) only 1 bulb works for now but its very dim. He also gave me a 7-8'' bubble wand and an air pump ( 2 outlets) all for $100. I have a picture on my phone ill post up later.

This is going to be some sort of a slow build, putting everything together but that gives the tank plenty of time to cycle and make sure everything gets done properly the first time, unlike my other tanks.

I am on a very strict budget. The tank did not come with a filter. I have heard great things about HOB filters, and this is what I am used to having so I want to go that route. Very easy to clean and they are quiet. I would assume doing 2 filters (1 on each side of the tank, the cut outs in top hood are already open for it). Any one know what type of HOB filter(s) I can get at a good price? Or is anyone on Long Island need to get rid of one?

As far as a heater goes, what watt heater do I need for the 55G tank? 1 or 2?

I was thinking of doing live rock to help the cycle of the tank but doing some base rock as well to save on costs. Eventually, correct me if I am wrong, this will become live after a yr or so. I want some sort of an aquascape that starts low on the left rises in the middle then goes low on the right like a normal scape. The substrate for the ground I wanted to do sand like I have in my 10G now. On a 55G tank how far up from the bottom would you recommend to go? 1, 2, 3, 4 ,5+ inches? I want a nice bottom since I have a sea star and plan on getting some sand sifters to help maintain the tank.

When cycling the tank, Should i take anything out of my 10g i have now nd put it in the 55 when its filled with sand & water. I do not want to put the anenome/clown/starfish in there until its fully cycled. I heard to help the cycle as well to put in a raw shrimp and let it break down in the tank? When doing this how often should I change the water? When should I check the levels?

That's pretty much it for now. Once I get the water in ( still trying to figure out what to do) my bedroom is where the tank is, and the closest bathroom/sink/water access is down the steps around the corner. I can pull the hose from outside and bring it through my window and mix the salt water in my room or my buddy has a machine that makes the salt water drip out into buckets which I am probably going that route. He has a tank thats been set up for a while so he knows the salt/water ratio for making water.

But once I get the water/sand in the tank and throw some live rock in there I will post up some more pictures when I get a filter(s)/and 2 circulation pumps going. I was planning on doing 1 on each side of the tank kinda facing eachother.

Any input would be great otherwise I'm on my own! I want to do it right, as affordable as possible and make it look great!

Thanks, Tom.
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:00 AM   #2
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Anyone?
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:17 AM   #3
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Glad you got a good deal on CL .
You can do a DIY sump and pay for plumbing w/ about the same amount of filter(s) you'd need on a 55. Those tanks are better off w/ canister filters or sumps, especially if you want to keep corals. Not saying it's easier, it's just considered a better method of filtration. Just get 1 heater, it should say what wattage for how many gallons.

Yes you can buy mostly base rock and some LR to seed it. Whatever ratio you want is fine, some people do 70% base, 30 % LR some more or less. I personally did all BRS pukani dry rock and love the look and how porous it is, no pests, and easier to aquascape. So you don't even need LR if you don't want it.

I have about 3 inches of sand, but I anything works. I'd say just keep the 10 and 55 separate and don't move things around so much (since I remember your 10 is pretty new).

Yes, shrimp or pure ammonia is another source of ammonia to get ammonia up to 4-5ppm which is what you want. LR has some die off, but usually not enough to have a strong cycle and have enough BB to support the livestock that you later put in your tank. You only do a water change when ammonia and nitrite are at zero. Maybe wait until nitrates are 80 or something pretty high, then do a PWC. If you do water changes during the cycle, you will be delaying it.
More on the cycle: Cycle your salt tank - Aquarium Advice

I know how annoying putting my first batch of water in my 70 gallon w/ 55 gallon sump since my tank is upstairs and the RO/DI system is downstairs. Every week I have to haul 15 gallons of water of old water down and 15 new gallons up. It's tiresome, but I'm gaining muscle .

Good luck, I'll be following on this build
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:20 AM   #4
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lol thanks! I Just want to make sure i cycle it properly so thanks for the link! Yea ill be gaining some muscle as well haha. thanks for the luck, im sure ill need it!
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TommyP
Hey all.

I am quite new in the fish hobby. I have a 29G FW tank thats been running great & currently I have a 10 gallon salt water tank that has about 20 lbs of live rock, some frags on them, a smaller rock that has mushrooms, an anenome ( XL in size ) since I was planning on doing this 55 a SW and 1 clown fish. I have 3 snails, 1 emerald crab, and 1 peppermint shrimp. I recently added a sand sifting sea star as well. He's interesting always digging and climbing up the walls.

Got a good deal( I thought) on Craigslist for a 55G tank w. stand. It has the hood with 2 lights (one for each side of tank) only 1 bulb works for now but its very dim. He also gave me a 7-8'' bubble wand and an air pump ( 2 outlets) all for $100. I have a picture on my phone ill post up later.

This is going to be some sort of a slow build, putting everything together but that gives the tank plenty of time to cycle and make sure everything gets done properly the first time, unlike my other tanks.

I am on a very strict budget. The tank did not come with a filter. I have heard great things about HOB filters, and this is what I am used to having so I want to go that route. Very easy to clean and they are quiet. I would assume doing 2 filters (1 on each side of the tank, the cut outs in top hood are already open for it). Any one know what type of HOB filter(s) I can get at a good price? Or is anyone on Long Island need to get rid of one?

As far as a heater goes, what watt heater do I need for the 55G tank? 1 or 2?

I was thinking of doing live rock to help the cycle of the tank but doing some base rock as well to save on costs. Eventually, correct me if I am wrong, this will become live after a yr or so. I want some sort of an aquascape that starts low on the left rises in the middle then goes low on the right like a normal scape. The substrate for the ground I wanted to do sand like I have in my 10G now. On a 55G tank how far up from the bottom would you recommend to go? 1, 2, 3, 4 ,5+ inches? I want a nice bottom since I have a sea star and plan on getting some sand sifters to help maintain the tank.

When cycling the tank, Should i take anything out of my 10g i have now nd put it in the 55 when its filled with sand & water. I do not want to put the anenome/clown/starfish in there until its fully cycled. I heard to help the cycle as well to put in a raw shrimp and let it break down in the tank? When doing this how often should I change the water? When should I check the levels?

That's pretty much it for now. Once I get the water in ( still trying to figure out what to do) my bedroom is where the tank is, and the closest bathroom/sink/water access is down the steps around the corner. I can pull the hose from outside and bring it through my window and mix the salt water in my room or my buddy has a machine that makes the salt water drip out into buckets which I am probably going that route. He has a tank thats been set up for a while so he knows the salt/water ratio for making water.

But once I get the water/sand in the tank and throw some live rock in there I will post up some more pictures when I get a filter(s)/and 2 circulation pumps going. I was planning on doing 1 on each side of the tank kinda facing eachother.

Any input would be great otherwise I'm on my own! I want to do it right, as affordable as possible and make it look great!

Thanks, Tom.
Wow that's a long post... Let's see how much of this I can help you with.

Idk about the filters cause I don't use filters on my sw tanks.

The heater I'm not sure about but I think for a 55 you need a 2 watt.

The base rock should turn live in just a few months actually. Might take up to 6. But good plan to save on costs

Good luck with the aquascape, sounds good just make sure to have some caves.

The sand I'd do at least 2" possibly more depending on what sandsifters you plan to have.

Anything you add from your other tank will just make your cycle go faster.

Put the shrimp in there and let it rot. Don't do any water changes till the cycle is over. Test the water whenever you want. Your waiting till it'll read ammonia-0 nitrite-0 nitrate-some high number.
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:26 AM   #6
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i know it was a long read lol i was really bored at work the other day so i decided to type away. thanks for taking the time to read and for the advice. I heard as well to buy ammonia from ACE hardware store? i really dont want my bedroom to rot like a decaying shrimp especially since its getting cold now in NY im not leaving the windows open for it to air out. Anyone know the brand or type I have to purchase?
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:29 AM   #7
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Yes you can buy ammonia from ACE just make sure it has no fragrance. Wouldn't blame you about not wanting to smell decaying shrimp!
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:31 AM   #8
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I heard a way to make sure it's the right stuff is to shake it and make sure there's no bubbles
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:52 AM   #9
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Yep, Khij got it right! The ammonia from ACE is just called janitorial strength ammonia. But not many places carry the right kind. It can't have any surfactants in it. If you shake it an there are bubbles, then it has surfactants and you can't use it. No bubbles when you shake it is what you want.
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:15 PM   #10
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Thanks! Ill try to get the right one with no bubbles!
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