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Old 08-20-2009, 01:34 AM   #11
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Ok well first off, six months? No. For a tank this big, i suggest getting the skimmer now. you are going to need it once the cycle in your tank is complete. Unless you want to do water changes everyday, for the next six months.. As for the salt, Thos are good choices, but i say go with Oceanic. They are great. As for the lighting, im not sure that would be enough for the big 55G tank you have. Im not an expert on lights, but i think you would be able to get away with just a few softies, nothing special. You wouldn't have that many options to go with i know that much. As for the sand, i dont know what colorquartz is, but my decision still stands at dry aragonite. Its the best for SW tanks.

As for mixing the salt, just keep your powerheads on to give your tank good flow and pour the salt in there. I wouldn't suggest doing this method, but it looks like you cant turn back now. Just be aware that you can NEVER pour salt directly into the tank when you have inhabitants in the tank. Salt is caustic to marine life, and could burn fish gills etc.. You always have to premix your saltwater from now on. HTH!
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Old 08-20-2009, 01:54 AM   #12
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just a couple of these.....

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Old 08-20-2009, 02:04 AM   #13
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So funny MG. You posted in the realm of SW. its fair game now -_-

;D
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:10 AM   #14
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just trying to help out a follow fw keeper.
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:17 AM   #15
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I think mgamer hit it pretty close!

Quote:
Originally Posted by manoosie View Post
Ok, here is my current plan of attack:

Filter
I currently have a Cascade 1000 canister filter (100 gph) and one powerhead. I will add one more powerhead to make sure the waterflow is sufficient. I was told today at my lfs to think about a protein skimmer in about six months. I will probably pick on up at that point.
If you're going FO (fish only) this is probably OK. No skimmer will most likely mean higher nitrates, but that's acceptable for FO. If you start adding corals though, you're going to want to get those nitrates down under 10ppm, which could be a long haul if you slip into bad habits up front. Not having a skimmer up front won't kill ya, but it will sure help keep things up from the beginning - as it sounds like corals will eventually come down the road.

Quote:
Salt
Quote:
There appears to be a wide variety of salts out there, including those at my lfs. I would like to keep my options open for an eventual reef tank, but that is pretty far down the road so I think i am safe to just buy the common stuff (Instant Ocean, Oceanic, & Red Sea.).
Agree... everyone has their favorites for different reasons - just make sure you get one that is readily available so you can stick with it.

Quote:
Lighting
Quote:
My current lighting is two Coralife T-5 Colormax Lamp-48" I think these should suffice if/when I get LR down the road, and maybe even some soft coral. Is that right?
That will work for Live Rock, but not for corals. Maybe some mushrooms, but that might not even be enough there. What type of lighting you should get for corals depends on what type of corals you want to keep.

Quote:
Substrate
Quote:
I current have T grade 3m colorquartz sand. Worked great in my fw tank and I think this should work just fine in a saltwater tank (I got different sand for this sw tank btw).
Not sure by your post what exactly is going in the tank, but you want an aragonite-based sand - grain size should be no bigger than 1.0-1.5mm. Smaller is better.

Quote:
Live Rock
Quote:
I imagine this cannot go in until the tank is cycled, and even then I will probably want to get my feet wet a little bit before buying some rock. Looks like you can get lr for as little as $3-4 shipped. My lfs quoted me $7 a pound. I will probably get some base rock and mix it with some lr a few months after I cycle my tank. Probably will end up costing a couple hundred bucks.
You want to put the live rock in the tank BEFORE the cycle. If you wait until after the cycle, the stuff on the rock dieing off will cause another cycle. Unless, that is, you buy fully cured rock - which is probably what your LFS quoted you at $7/lb. After your tank is up and running and cycled, if you add live rock you will either want to cure it in a totally separate container/system, or buy truly cured rock. For a 55g, you're looking at 50-75 lbs of live rock.

Quote:

That is about it. To start, it seems right now I just need salt, a sw test kit and a dechlorinator (live in vegas with hard water). What is going to be the easiest way to combine the salt and water considering I already have substrate and water in my tank?
A big Rubbermaid storage tub or garbage can - mix it up in there and let it sit for a day or so. Then add to your tank... in several batches, obviously. You're going to want something to store the saltwater in anyway, so might as well get it now and find a home for it. It's always good to have 20-40% of your tank volume of premade saltwater "on hand", in case you have to do an unplanned water change. In addition, you don't want to add freshly mixed saltwater to a tank that has live critters in it.

Quote:
After that I should be ready to start cycling (without fish). I will just find an article here on doing that, although I was told its not much different than cycling a fw tank.

Anything to add to that plan? When I started by fw tank I got a ton of information from this site and it went very smoothly. I understand something always pops up, but I want to be prepared as possible and do this right from the begining. The more I understand the more I can contribute down the road.

Thanks!
Oh... there's going to be lots more "stuff" you need - you know how that goes. But the one obvious thing I see missing is a refractometer. Definitely a must-buy to make sure your salinity is where it should be. Don't go for a cheap swing-arm hydrometer... you'll end up throwing it away and buying a refractometer eventually, so just start down the right path to start with!
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:53 PM   #16
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Ok, so today I will go get the salt and a trash can to mix it in... is it as simple as pouring the right amount of salt into the water along with decholrinator and letting it sit for a day before I put it into the tank? Why do I have to let it sit for a day when I have no fish in my tank right now?
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Old 08-20-2009, 03:23 PM   #17
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If your tank is empty right now, you can add the water and salt directly into your tank. Add a heater and powerhead to allow the salt to mix in. You will also need the refractometer to be able to measure if you have added the correct amount of salt. I picked one up at drsF&S, something like $40 shipped. I believe then, you can start cycling the tank. I would however recommend buying a ro/di unit to filter out your tap water before filling your tank.
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Old 08-20-2009, 03:58 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by manoosie View Post
Ok, so today I will go get the salt and a trash can to mix it in... is it as simple as pouring the right amount of salt into the water along with decholrinator and letting it sit for a day before I put it into the tank? Why do I have to let it sit for a day when I have no fish in my tank right now?
You need to let it sit so it can settle and complete dissolve before introducing it to livestock. If you have no live stock you dont have to do this
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:35 PM   #19
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You'll need a pump or pwerhead to mix it in the trashcan along with a heater to bring it up to temp and a refractometer to test the salinity. Do NOT count on the instructions on the bag of salt to be accurate.
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:40 PM   #20
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just a couple of these.....

That's so funny!!! I bankrolled my reef with one of these:
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