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Old 08-17-2012, 10:50 AM   #41
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Thanks....so aquarium and hood is good to go, fluval c3 hob from my freshwater would be fine but just to confirm do I remove filter cartridge and just use it for carbOn? Keep filter in? Also read about turning HOB filter into refugium by placing live rock in there? I have old top fin 20 can I just remove filter pad and put live rock in there? Or put live rock in fluval c3 where filter pad would go?

Could you also give me an idea on which protein skimmer? I have a big ALS near me so maybe pick one from their online store so I have an idea...bigalsonline is the site. And if anyone can direct me to which light when I go reef? I think length of tank is 20-24 Inches...would I just be replacing bulbs In current hood or need entire new hood?
Sorry very new at this
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:38 AM   #42
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A fluval c3 is fairly narrow if I recall correct so not ideal for a refugium. Aqua clear are good choices though, your topfin would probably do the trick also. Just remove media and fill with LR ruble. As far as the filter goes I would leave it run empty till your cycle is complete then put new cartridges in. Marine is different from fresh water for filtration. In freshwater we get bacteria colonized on our filter media, in marine it's the rock. That's why it's called live rock and flow is so important. As far the lights go they are fine for now but when you move over to a reef tank you will need a whole new light fixture. Also I would recommend you keep the lid open on the tank to promote better gas exchange. Most people have their lights suspended over the tank and keep the top open fully or have a mesh cover to keep fish in and let gases escape/penetrate the water.
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:46 AM   #43
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Another good piece of advice I can offer is go on YouTube and search BRS TV. They have a great video series on starting a reef tank.
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:04 PM   #44
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So in order:

1. use current tank and hood

2. put in sand

3. Hook up power heads (is 2 koralia 425 too much)

4. So turn on fluval c3 without filter pad or do I leave freshwater one in there or does it matter...do even need a filter pad? I think c3 is narrow but should fit LR rubble as cartridge is pretty thick. If I am using only c3 would u first turn on until salinity is correct then add LR to tank and filter? If I should use top fin 20 for LR rubble does this come on when I add live rock to tank or b4?

5. add salt water mix, get it to right salinity,

6. Add LR

7. Do I need to add bacteria source to complete cycle or will live rock do the trick?

8. How long after I add LR should I test for cycle completion?

9. Once complete can I add fish right away or should I wait a few months? Maybe clean up crew only first?

10. Just to be clear...no sump is needed? I have spare 5 gallon kicking around if necessary?

Thanks so much again and I will check out that video
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:26 PM   #45
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1- would be mix up salt water to correct temp and salinity 78-80 degrees and 1.025 for salinity. For starting out you can do this right in the tank but should be done in a different container once tank is running. Also only fill the tank about half way with water and mix cause when you add the rock it will displace water. this is where powerheads come in handy mixing up the salt so you will want to get them installed at this point. Two 425 pumps is way over board. I suggest two 200-250 gph ones. This is also when you want to install your heater to maintain the temperature.

2- add rock. Rock should be placed directly on the glass bottom of tank or have egg crate material under it which is bought at a hardware store in the lighting section aka fluorescent light diffuser. you want to have 1-1.5 lbs of rock per gallon of the tank. For your tank you will want 15-20 pounds.

3- add sand.

4- all the previous steps can be accomplished in a day but cycling takes time. If you added all live rock then the cycle will likely be shorter. This is where testing comes in. Test ammonia nitrite and nitrate. Do some reading on fish less cycle to learn how to cycle properly. Once cycle is done then you can slowly add animals.

As far as the filter goes throw the cartridge out. And don't bother running it until the cycle is complete. Once the cycle is complete then you can add a new pad and fire it up. If your running rubble in the other filter you can run that during cycle but you don't want to have carbon in the system while cycling.
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