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Old 04-20-2012, 12:26 AM   #1
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What else do I need to get before I can start putting water into my tank

I did a quick Google search for my tank I bought at Petco today and a reply to a post from 2011 by carey came up. I wasn't sure I wanted to "hijack an old post like that, so I thought I'd ask here.

I am 100% new to fish and saltwater/freshwater. I have been wanting to get into this hobby for a while, and today I finally bit the bullet and found a great tank (or so I think it's great) for a great price. It was onsale from $130, for only $79. It's the Aqueon Deluxe Aquarium 29 *Gallon* Kit. It includes a Glass Aquarium, QuietFlow Power Filtration, Heater, Premium Fish Food, and Water Conditioner. I want to get clown fish, and some live rock. I have done some research, but not a ton. there is just so much out there It's kinda hard to know where to start. I thought you (carey) would be great to talk to, as you already did it.

What else do I need to get before I can start putting water into my tank, and start my "month" of lifeless cycle. I want to have live rock, live sand, and clown fish. Maybe a few more fish later, but for now that's my main goals.

I would like to spend as little money as possible, but I would rather spend a little bit more now, to have something that is going to make my life easier, then to try to cut corners to save a buck, only to loss fish, or the equipment break.

I guess I should tell you about my situation a bit. I live in a 2 bedroom apartment, on the 1st floor, there is a basement, but we have hard wood floors, and I think they are pretty sturdy. I have iffy-ish power, a little worried about that. Like sometimes fuses and what not blow. It's an older building, but for the most part it's ok. So maybe a battery backup power supply? I dunno what wattage I would need for that.

Also I have seen some people have big garbage buckets full of water for filtration. Or 2nd tanks. At the moment I do not have the room for anything that big, I really only have the room for the tank I have. Maybe I can get a 2nd smaller tank, but that'd be really hard. Is a salt water tank possible to maintain with just the one tank and not tons of extra space. I see peoples setups in their basements that kinda scare me, they have two big garbage bins, with another tank, not sure what I am looking at. lol.

I guess the best step would be to give me some pointers, and if you could "hold my hand" into a step by step guide of what to buy, that'd be amazing. I know I ask a lot, and you don't even know me, but I just thought you'd be the best one to ask as you had the same exact tank as me at one point. It looks like you might have moved on to bigger and better things.

Thanks for the quick reply in advance.

Michael/iAddiction

(was originally going to be a PM to carey, but it was too long, plus I thought someone else might want to learn from me, or could help me too )

I want to go to petsmart/petco tomorrow to get a few more things, so any and all advice would be great. Carey, hoping I hear from you soon!
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Old 04-20-2012, 02:23 PM   #2
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Sorry it took so long to respond, been living in world of warfcraft for the last few days. LOL

My first tank was a 29g and I found it to be a great size to start with. There are a few things that you'll need to start like: A test kit like API saltwater master kit, you'll need that for cycling. I would also suggest a refractometer to test for salinity, here's the one I have eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices.

I would also HIGHLY recommend using ro/di water from the start. You can either get your own unit or buy water from your LFS or supermarket if they have one of those water machines. here is the cheapo ro.di unit I used for a year
eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices. This unit is cool beacuse you can hook it up to your sink or a garden hose and then when done making water you can just put it in a closet until next time.

Are you going to go for corals at all? That will determine what lighting you will need. As far as rock and sand, I used about 30lbs of sand in the 29g and had 30lbs of live rock I got from craigslist cheap. You can also get cheap dead base rock and seed it with a few lbs of live rock to save a bunch of money. Here is the rock I am talking about
ReefCleaners.org | Clean Up Crews and Macro Algae look on the right side of the page and rock should be there.

Thats just a start for ya! LOL feel free to post any other questions.

Also, here are some articles you might find helpful regarding the cycling

Ammonia conversion to nitrate
Cycle your salt tank

And as far as running a sump tank, I didn't and I kept a really clean and healthy tank. Just can not skimp on the water changes is all. I also purchased a hang on skimmer a short time after I set up the tank which helped alot. A sump would be a great thing to have but I don't feel it's totally necessary with that size tank.

Hope that helped some. lol
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:18 PM   #3
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World of Warcraft! That's too funny I play WoW & Star Wars. Crazy lol. Anyway I guess this just opened up a world of other questions for me, I don't know if I should flood the forum with them, or perhaps we can talk via AIM or something? Let me know what would work best.

I guess I'll ask some questions for now

To answer your question. I would like to have the live rock and coral. So the better lighting will be something I will need.

What in my kit can I actaully use? Should I just return it, and buy just an empty tank? Seams the lights, and possibly the filter won't be able to be used. If I do keep my kit, can I just replace the bulbs, or am I going to have to buy a whole new setup? I bought a stand today, so I guess my next step would be getting the lights. What do you recommend for that?
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Old 04-21-2012, 03:31 AM   #4
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I also started with a 29g aqueon "kit". And the only thing I even used at all was the heater and that was only for short time. If you can catch petco's $1 a gallon sale then I think it's worth it to get the tank and buy the pieces. You can use the hang on back filter, I happen to have an aquaclear 50 and like them so i went with that. Saved the kit filter as a backup, and when I sold the 29g I sold off the stock filter with it.

I went with the odyssea t5 4 bulb fixture on mine. It was adequate I suppose but if ypu are on a budget i would recommend fish need it;lights; food;Sponge and add quality bulbs and you'd be set. That would let you keep most corals, give your tank a great color and would come in under $200 which for reef lighting is a deal. LOL You also could go with a fancier unit but then the cost will be more. All depends on your budget.

You can post here, if I dont' answer i'm sure someone else will jump in. This site is real good like that, everyone is always looking to help out.
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Old 04-21-2012, 08:20 AM   #5
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I ran my 55 gallon for two years with a.penguin 150,job and a seaclone 100 skimmer which I don't recomend the skimmer did 10% pwc every week and all was well also lots of live rock
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:43 PM   #6
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(note, I ask a lot of questions somewhat within this post, sorry if it's confusing. Thanks for any and all advice)

Hey guys! Just want to give you some progress on my tank! Super excited! Just got done with day one of getting everything set up. I bit the bullet and went to my local salt water fish store and asked them some questions, asked my brother some questions, and of course the info you guys gave me here was great! Here's my day in a nutshell, (and what I bought/how much)

I ended up going with salt water, becuase that's what I really wanted to do. I used my 29g Aquarium from Aqueon. This was the starter kit. I used the heater that came with it. I might replace this at some point because the tempature gadge is just a - and + not a number. It'd nice nice if I could change it to a number (I was told 78 is a great number to strive for, so that's what I am trying to get. That starter set was $85.53 with tax. I didn't use the filter, and won't be using the light/hood much longer.

Note: I bought a stick on (almost like a sticker) thermometer (paid 3.49), but it's not really working. I'm thinking the water is still too cold, to registrar? My brother has a magnetic one, that goes inside the tank, I might upgrade to that soon too. I hope by tomorrow the heater turns off, and my temp. show up. Should I be worried?

I bought a stand off of Craigslist for $40. It's very heavy duty, made of all wood, and so the guy who sold it to me says, used to have a 50g tank on it. so my 29g fits great. However it's just about the perfect fit for my 29g so I find it somewhat hard to believe he has a 50g, unless the size isn't much different, just the high, but still. I like it. Might have to modify it someday if I want a sump, but I am not going to worry about that for now.

Then today I bought all of this from my local salt water LFS store in Rochester, NY The place is called Caribbean Forest. Thermometer 3.49.

I got a simple Instant Ocean Hydrometer for $11.99 I think I am going to take your advice and get a refractors soon Carey, but for now I needed something to check my salt levels.

I got a Marineland Bio-Wheel Power Filter Penguin, 200. It filters 200 GPH, and its for up to 50 gallons. That was 49.99. It's not bad. I really like it, wish it was a little quieter, but I know nothing will be silent, I'll get used to the water sound. Any suggestions on how to muffle it?

I ended up going with the better salt, it was called Reef Crystals. I got a 50 pound bag and used a little over half so far. Giving it a day before I add anymore salt. My level says about 1.020 but I am worried I am doing it wrong, because I was getting really wonky readings. So I am going to let it sit for a day. The salt was 21.99, and I still have some left.

I also got Live Sand. It was 32.99. I think that was a bit $$ but It was local. I didn't want to go driving all around today (even though I did lol) It was simple. I don't know if I want to get more, or if I can get more? It seams a bit low to be honest. I wouldn't mind having a little bit more. The guy at the place said 20 pounds would be plenty. However I wish it was a bit higher. How would I go about added more live sand if I already have the water in?

I also got about 7.2 pounds of Fiji live rock. I will get more, but I thought this would be a good start. He only charged me for 6 pounds which was really nice. It was 6.99 a pound. I want to get 30 pounds of it soon. Def. will want more before I start putting fish in. Again how do I add this now that I have the water in? Will I have to take some water out?

The total for all of that was $175.38 after tax.

I left, and went back in to pick up a Hydor Koralia Circulation and wave Pump. It was 46.99 It flow rate is 425 gph. After tax t was 50.75

The guy at walmart told me I could use tap water. My brother insisted on me using RO water. I went to my local walmart and bought 29 (one gallon) RO waters. Their Green top Drinking Water. It says Produced by Reverse Osmosis right on the bottle which was great. I have three gallons left. I also splurged and bought a 20 oz red bull (for me not the tank. The water was $27.57 after tax (not including the red bull that was $4.48! Yikes)

So, so far I have spent a grand total of: $339.23.

That's not too bad. And my brother surprised me with buying the light you recommended in a previous post Carey. I hope you still recommend it!The 30in 4Bulbs fixtures. From fishneedit. It was 109.99 + tax. He got me two white, two blue at 10k power. Do you still enjoy them? I made a two and a half hour video of me setting it up. I might edit it and upload it to you tube.

My list of things I am going to be getting tomorrow or very soon:

More live rock.
A magmatic thermometer.
A glass top when my new light gets here. They sell them for $24.99 at my local store.
A master API test kit to test my levels.

Then my someday soon in a few weeks/months.
A protean skimmer
A refractometer.

Anything I am missing that I NEED like yesterday? And what do I need before I put fish in?
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:10 PM   #7
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Glad you are rolling along! Isn't it fun to buy stuff for the tank? lol That makes my day getting tank gear.....

Cool, glad you got the light. In the future you might wanna change out the white 10k bulbs with something a bit less yellow/green, that's the only thing I didn't like about the lights lol.

When using the hydrometer make sure there are no bubbles on the swing arm, that can affect the reading, just flick it near the arm with your finger and any microbubbles shiould come off.

Not a bad price for the live rock either, are you going to add just dead rock now or stick with the live rock? Also, sorry to burst your bubble but the "live" sand usually doesnt do much as far as cycling the tank but since you got it, done is done.

I use those little suction cup thermometers in all my tanks, less than $3 at walmart so I generally buy a few at a time since the suction cup eventually looses it suction. And yes, great call using ro water and NOT tap. You will not regret it, I promise. lol

You say you want lids on your tank? With the light fixture you have I would leave it open top unless yopu plan on getting jumping fish like wrasses. Open top also helps keep the ph up and the gas exchange going.

NOW, as far as adding fish here are some articles that are simple and very well written. Nothing too long but great information.

Ammonia conversion to nitrate
Cycle your salt tank

I personally used pure ammonia that i got from ace hardware to cycle my tank(s). In my opinion it lets you dose precisely and there is less wait for a shrimp to decompose to initiate an ammonia reading. I would however NOT cycle until you have the water test kit, you may have a quick cycle and might miss it if you aren't testing. Then you will be second guessing yourself as to when to add fish. lol Been there, done that.....lol

Hope this all helps! The articles are a must read though so see what you think and if yu have any questions about it just post.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:56 PM   #8
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Just a quick update: I got more live rock, and live stand. Still waiting on my lights to be shipped. I got my salt to 1.023/4ish so that's good. But my ammonia won't spike! Still waiting

I hope I didn't do anything wrong.
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Old 04-28-2012, 12:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iAddiction
Just a quick update: I got more live rock, and live stand. Still waiting on my lights to be shipped. I got my salt to 1.023/4ish so that's good. But my ammonia won't spike! Still waiting

I hope I didn't do anything wrong.
Have you added a source of ammonia?
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Old 04-28-2012, 02:32 PM   #10
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add a deli shrimp that will help get your cycle going
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