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Old 04-20-2006, 03:12 AM   #1
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What should I do?


I'm Ken, and I'm new around here, but i'll probably be a quite frequent visitor. I've been doing Aquariums for a couple months now and I've kept all sorts of freshwater and brackish fish. I've just purchased a 75 gallon tank off of eBay for a very good deal. And I cannot decide what to do with it. My initial thought was to do a "big" fish tank, i've got a Clown Knife that needs a home, as well as oscars and other larger fish. But this idea quickly lost appeal to me. My next thought was just a standard freshwater tank, I was thinking schools of Corydora and Tetra, but the problem is i cannot stand to see a freshwater tank without really well done plants. Doing plants in this tank would be a pain because I don't have the lights for it. So what i'm really trying to decide is wether i'll do this tank as a brackish or a saltwater tank. The guy I bought it from said that he did this tank as a full blown saltwater tank with no problems, but I'm doubtful of the water quality i'll be able to achieve with the current equipment.

Currently the tank has a TetraTec power filter, it's huge and has a built in heater, both of which are well suited for this tank. For lighting i've got a 48" hood with a 40 watt bulb. Actually i've got two of those, so I have 80 watts of lighting, but i'm not so sure i'll have 80 watts for very long.

So i'd like to find some answers to a few questions before I set this tank up.

Will I be able to support a Saltwater setup and maintain a good level of water quality with this setup?

Is the lighting enough?

Will I need a protien skimmer?

Will I need live rock?

What about substrate? I've filled it with about 70lbs of childrens playsand, which is fine for brackish, but i've read I need to get crushed coral for a salter tank.

I believe i'd like to do this as fish only tank for now, I don't think I have the cash or experience yet to do a full blown reef setup, as much as I'd like to, and I think as I gained experience, that is what this would become. Thanks for any advice!


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Old 04-20-2006, 07:49 AM   #2
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OK Ken First of all welcome to AA
If you are going to go FO or FOWLR your lighting will be OK. Nowhere near enough if you go reef later on. Dont know about that type of filter but IMO LR and skimmer is only filtration you need. CC is not needed. IME I have had both and sand by far was the better of the two. CC will get food or fish waste under it and cause problems like high nitrates. I use aragonite sand . And IMO 75 gallon is a good size to start off with. And my last advice is to do alot of reading and asking questions to get off on the right foot. WE care.

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Old 04-20-2006, 08:40 AM   #3
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I am familiar with the tetratec and it would not be adequate at all for that tank. Stick with sand and liverock as crushed coral will present you with problems down the road. Find a good protein skimmer, don't skimp here as it is a very important piece of equipment for a salt tank.
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Old 04-20-2006, 09:20 AM   #4
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I am currently working on removing my CC. It does get a lot of goop in it and is hard to anything but worms to move it around.
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Old 04-20-2006, 09:34 AM   #5
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It`s hard for sifters to go through it also.
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Old 04-20-2006, 05:26 PM   #6
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IMHO that filter eh hem...kinda sucks. Go out and pay 30-40 bucks for a better HOB or possibly a canister or something. If your just beginning you shouldn't just rely on live rock and a skimmer to do all the filtration, because frankly, you probably won't have much success. I hate the fact of people having no filters on they're tanks, but some of the more experienced people have had reefs without filtration (hobs, canisters, and the like) and had great success somehow, but a beginner probably wouldn't have the best of luck with it.

Will you need live rock? Flat out no but it's probably a very good decision to at least get a few pounds to help out with decoration and a great biological filter.

Is the lighting enough? Yes if your not getting into the reefs. If later on you want a few things certain types of macro and mushroom corals usually do good under lower lights, mushrooms actually will die under high lighting. If you do want macro do your research first. SOem CANNOt, and I say cannot with an absolute, be kept under low lighting. A lot will go sexual (turn white and die) if under low lighting.

Protein skimmer a necessity? NO. It's not a necessity but it's one of the greatest add-ons you can get. Not only does it oxygenate your water but takes out phosphates, dissolved organics, and numerous other unwanted materials. Go for ones like the coralife needle-wheel skimmer or the hang on back nautilus. Watch out for the hang in tanks ones (plastic tubes with a wooden stone) and the seaclones.

Substrate- With what you have it's ok. I personally hat eplaysand but it's okay to use in saltwater tnaks. If you can get crushed coral cheap or in small amounts get soem and sprinkle in the back to help out with buffering the water a bit.

Fo or FOWLR tanks aren't as much as reefs but they are still usually expensive and not only require the big equipment but all the little things that need to be bought. DO your research beforehand and make sure you have a thorough understanding of saltwater before you try, I guarantee it'll be easier in the long run!

Well, i'm getting a typing cramp lol so i'll leave it at that for right now.

I'm tired of getting pointless messages. If your going to start a conversation or ask me something, keep up with it.
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