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Old 06-14-2006, 02:33 AM   #1
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what equipment do i need?

I currently am active duty in Japan, and i have started up a saltwater fish tank. i have a 150 liter tank, a bio filter that sits underneath of my tank, and a heater that currently keeps my temp at 25 celsius. i have 3 anthias, 1 coral banded shrimp, 1 chocolate chip starfish, 5 snails (not sure what kind), 3 large live rocks, and my substrate is dead coral (i'm pretty sure). i have a simple test kit, tests for Ph, ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. i have some chemicals, but i'm not sure what they are because they're written in japanese. i actually have quite a few questions. first, i need some more equipment to help out before i start buying more creatures for my tank. i need a protein skimmer, but i don't know much about which kind to get. i can't exactly go to the local fish store and look around, so i look on the website aquariumguys.com. also, i'm pretty sure that i need to get at least 1 powerhead, maybe 2. i already am putting aside money so that i can get a nice test kit that tests for 10 different things. i am not sure about what chemicals i need. i would like to get the basic chemicals that i need, but i want them in english so that i know what they are. do i need some sort of stress coat or something? what about any other chemicals? i have experience with freshwater, but saltwater is new for me. overall, what chemicals and equipment should i start ordering so that i can have my tank successful?
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Old 06-14-2006, 08:10 AM   #2
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Lots of folks don't really use chemicals for SW tanks. Regular water changes seem to do well for water stability, cleaning , and general supplement updates. Maybe a phosphate reducer on hand just in case readings get too high and excess algae is present. Copper is another med that is used to fight ick or marine velvet and stuff like that, but never used in a tank that houses crabs, snails, or other inverts.

Maybe others would offer some chemical to keep on hand, but I'm not a chemical guy. OK, maybe a ph buffer from time to time. Still IMO, the key to more succesful tanks is not relying on chemicals.

BTW, for me and the other lazy readers....150 liters is how many gallons?

Your tank is drilled? Describe what's in your bio-filter below.

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Old 06-14-2006, 11:08 AM   #3
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my tank is about 45 to 50 gallons. the tank is not drilled, just from what i have read about different things, i think my filter is a bio filter. it has three different levels in it and i'm not sure what one of them is, one level is carbon, and one level is hard white stone like things that look like shipping peanuts kind of. it still works in the same principle as a different filter, one hose sucking in water, and the other hose going back to the top of the tank and shooting new water back into the tank. and about the chemicals, the guy that i got my stuff from sold me 4 different chemicals to start out. two of them are in yellow bottles and the chemical is actually a blueish greenish color, and the other two i think are just some sort of bacteria to help out the tank. like i said, i'm not actually sure what they are because it's all in japanese. and thanks for the welcome here. i have been reading a lot on the different forums and i like this place a lot.
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Old 06-14-2006, 02:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
it has three different levels in it and i'm not sure what one of them is, one level is carbon, and one level is hard white stone like things that look like shipping peanuts kind of. it
Sounds like my Fluvial canister. You probably only need the carbon (keeps the water clear) and the other media is for helpful bacteria, not sure about the third thing you have in there, but you might not need it.
Does it look like this:
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...3&N=2004+22777

I agree with austinsdad, PWC (partial water change) should keep your "chemicals" in check.

Quote:
substrate is dead coral (i'm pretty sure).
Yep, sounds like CC (crushed coral). You should vacuum that whenever you do a PWC, IMO. It will build up all kinds of waste and get dirty looking. You might think about switching to Aragonite sand, do this about 30-50% at a time.

I have a 55G and use 2 PHs (power heads) for circulation.

As for the rest of the equipment, that will depend on if you want to go with FOWLR (fish only with live rock) or reef. Also, this deends on what other test kits you might need. It sounds like kit you have is good fro FOWLR.

I would suggest a few suppliments for your critters. Garlic (for finicky eaters and health) Zoe, selcon, (various vitamins).
A refractometer or hydrometer (i prefer the refracto) to test your salinity.
Thermometer
Heater

You can update your "my info" to let us know what you have, tank size/equip/critters and such.
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Old 06-14-2006, 10:49 PM   #5
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Welcome to AA

Just so you are aware the CC star is not reef friendly. If you get corals the Star will have to go. Good Luck
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Old 06-15-2006, 12:12 AM   #6
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the top one is obvisously my star fish, and the middle one is just a view of my live rock, and then the last is an overall of my tank. i do have the same filter that you were talking about roka, it just looks a little different. i would eventually like to have a reef tank, so i would like to start getting the right kinds of equipment now instead of having to upgrade later. and i do want to take out the crushed coral, but i had read that if i want to get sand that i should get it from the local store, but my local store doesn't have sand in the 1 saltwater fish tank that they have. i saw some of the sand you mentioned on aquariumguys.com, is that good sand?

http://aquariumguys.com/aragalive.html

how do i go about changing out the coral to the sand? can i do it all at once, or a little at a time? i took a red flashlight last night and just looked a little bit through my substrate, and i saw probably hundreds of little tiny white worms traveling around throughout the coral. if i get sand, will those worms die? i asume that they are good because of everything that i have read about different species. also, there is some simple equipment that i have seen that i would like to purchase soon, but i'm not sure if it is the right stuff to do the job for me or not. first, i want to purchase 2 powerheads. these are the ones that i was thinking about...

http://aquariumguys.com/aquaclear21.html

i want to get 2 of them like i said, but i don't have an undergravel filter, so i'm not sure if these will work just to circulate my water. also, i want to get a protein skimmer in the near future, if i get these powerheads, will one of them be able to run the skimmer or not?
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Old 06-15-2006, 01:03 PM   #7
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Sand,
As long as you get Aragonite sand and NOT silica based sand.
As for changing the CC, I did about 30% at a time, so I didn 't stir up the "nasties" already in the CC and also to let the various critters, ie: worms, bacteria and pods to migrate over.

Quote:
i asume that they are good because of everything that i have read about different species.
It depends on the type of worm. fireworms are bad, bristle worms=good.

I have 2 PHs in my 55G right now. I would get two smaller themrometers, for redundancy.


Quote:
but i don't have an undergravel filter
IMO, this is a thing of the past and many people don't use these anymore because they tend to cause "dead spots".
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Old 06-16-2006, 02:24 AM   #8
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so overall i think that in a couple of weeks, when i get paid again, i am going to order 1 powerhead, 1 20lb bag of aragonite sand, and also 2 small thermometers. should that be an okay order to start out? the way that i have my filter set up, the return line goes horizontal along the back of my tank. there are a bunch of little holes drilled in the tubing, and i have them pointed up at a slight angle so that they are actually coming out of the water and then going back into it creating oxygen bubbles all over my tank. the tubing actually goes lengthwise past the half way mark of my tank, so there is already quite a bit of water movement. is that powerhead one worth buying?
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Old 06-16-2006, 11:11 AM   #9
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20 lbs of sand will barely give you 1” of sand. I’d go for 80 lbs to give you roughly 3” personally. Slowly scoop out all the CC and your worms are generally useful to your tank and will do fine in sand so I’d keep them if possible.

I’d still get two powerheads placed on opposite sides of your tank and pointed at each other and towards the surface to create a slight surface ripple for good oxygen exchange. If you only get one you will have dead spots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevefromga2000
there are a bunch of little holes drilled in the tubing, and i have them pointed up at a slight angle so that they are actually coming out of the water and then going back into it creating oxygen bubbles all over my tank.
Creating oxygen bubbles is fairly pointless for oxygen exchange and micro bubbles can even be harmful to fish/inverts sometimes. The bubbles themselves do nothing to add oxygen to your tank. Oxygen exchanges at the surface and you only need a slight ripple to effectively do it. Anything more will create too much salt spray. Even with the canister I’d still get two more powerheads on each end and place the output of the canister in the middle. You always want a little more current then just adequate current
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Old 06-18-2006, 08:34 AM   #10
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do you think that those powerheads that i was looking at, see previous statement, would work? they look like they hang on the back at the top to me. everything that i read about throughout this forum mostly talks about pointing them up, but if their already at the top of the aquarium, how would i face them? or am i even correct in thinking that they are placed at the top instead of the bottom? and about the sand, i think that makes sense, i will just have to wait to buy the sand until after i get both of the powerheads for my aquarium, whichever ones they may be.
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