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Old 01-20-2013, 12:26 AM   #1
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beginner need advice.

So I'm very excited I have had a 75 gallon fresh water tank for about a 1 & 1/2 years. Now I decided to start a saltwater tank and I am working with a budget so keep that in mind I'm going to be doing a 75 gallon for the salt too. I just finished building a double 75 gallon stand. Still got some wood work to do but tanks are ready and fresh water is in place already.

So I have a filter that I would like to use if possibe to save money. It is a cascade 1500 has 5 baskets for filter media. What would u recommend in each basket for saltwater. I do not plan of reef yet aleat but maybe in future for not I think ill just go with some live rock. And I'm going to go with some live sand too.

So let me know what else I should do what I should first. Anything I must have to start. How fast can I get fish in. Any way I can speed the cycle up? Well let me know please I want to start stuff tomorrow.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:27 AM   #2
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Here is a pic of whole build
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:32 AM   #3
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First patience..sounds like your excited but sw takes time. Most people in sw don't use hob filters or canister filters. If your set on it I would but live rock ruble in the filter and maybe carbon and that's it..traditional filter pads tend to accumulate nitrates and cause problems, might not be a big issue on a fish only tank but if you go reef it will.

Your biggest needs are going to be live rock and sand, and power heads for flow.

Given your set up I am assuming your nt doing a sump so I won't go into that.

You will need test kits for ammonia nitrites and nitrates to start. And a hydrometer or refractometer to measure the salinity.

Then salt.

Depending on your water source you will possibly want an Ro/di filter to purify your house water to use in the tank.

To start but the lr in, then then sand, for your first full you can get away with mixing the salt in the tank but after fish are in tere you will want buckets or trash cans for the water changes.

Add water and salt to get yor salinity right. The add ammonia to start the cycle. Either raw shrimp or pure ammonia work.

Then wait and test. First the ammonia will spike somewhere around 5 ppm then they will fall and the nitrite will spike. Then the nitrite will fall and the nitrates will stabilize. Ideally you want ammonia at 0 nitrite at 0 and nitrate low as possible.

Once thts done then you can add fish, but the cycle can take 2-6 weeks. Remember to add fish slowly so the bacteria had time to catch up to the bio load.
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:45 AM   #4
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Thanks for all the info. Now for the ro/di filter is that a must for saltwater? Where I live water is pretty good and no chlorine at all in the water. I use our water straight from the tap in my freshwater tank.

What about temp I run around 78 in my feshwater tank. What temp should I run the saltwater at?
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:50 AM   #5
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I wouldn't trust tap water personally. You can twst the tds (total disolved solids) and if its 0 then if say your call. Other than zero you'll want an Ro/di especially if you ever want reef.

It may work for fresh but saltwater fish are more affected by water quality.

I run mine at 78 as well so that's fine.
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:54 AM   #6
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So is there any alternative to those system to making water better they seem to be a bit out of my buget. Can I possible treat water in a container?
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:56 AM   #7
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Typically not. It's either buy a Ro/di or get water from a lfs or like a grocery store that has those water purofiers but I've heard mixed results from those.
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:59 AM   #8
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Does it cost to get water from the fish store? Never done that but seems would be a good ideal for new tank. Or no?
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:23 AM   #9
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Yes it costs but that price will depend on the store..and with. 75g your going to be using a bit of water....long term it will benefit with an Ro/di.

Bulk reef supply has them for about $130... And I believe there is a group but coming up next week that may also save you some money...

With out your initial full say you do weekly 10% water changes. 7 gallons a week x 4 weeks a month. Plus you need freshwater to replace what you lose for evaporation so say that's 35 gallons a month that you have to go get from the store and haul back...just adds to more of a reason to save and get an Ro/di
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:35 AM   #10
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Yeah, I have a 29 gallon tank and I am hauling water every two weeks. I live about 30 miles from the closest LFS which sales salt water already mixed. It sucks, but I can't put a RO/DI system in my living area. First thing I am going to do when I get a new house. :-p

The savings on gas alone will be well worth the 200 I am going to spend on a RO/DI system.

It may suck, but if your not willing to drive to get your water or spend the money to get a RO/DI system than you might not want to do Saltwater.
I can tell you one thing from my experience from setting up a 29. IT"S EXPENSIVE!! :-p No matter your budget it always goes out the window when doing a FOWLR tank.

Things you will need and I suggest because it will help your tank in the long run!!

1. 75 pounds at least of live rock. This adds good area for the beneficial bacteria for your tank, and gives good hiding places for your fish. Most stores will sale it for you at $4.99 a pound if you go buy around 50 pounds. $374.00 dollars right there. You can order online and get 50 pounds of uncured live rock. This just means that the rock has not been able to sit and die off happens. If your cycle your tank first this shouldn't be a problem as your rock will cure while the tank cycles. This is a cheaper way, but shipping can add to the cost.

Another way is you can buy 75 pounds of base rock at around $2.99 a pound and than at least 20 pounds of live rock. The 20 pounds of live rock will seed the rest of the rock into live. This can take up to 6 months, plus the live rock wouldn't be discounted and can sale up to $6.99 per pound. You can add as much or less as you want but good rule is at least as much pounds of live rock as the tank.

2. A filter. I use the fluvial 206 for my filter. I have filter media it's comes with in and I have been running it for two months. I clean it out every week to make sure it's not going to be a nitrite factory. You must be diligent when having a canister filter and clean it out weekly. You already got one so you should be good.

3. A Hang on the back Protein skimmer being your not doing a sump tank. I got the Reef Octopus BH 1000 and it cost me $160 dollars plus shipping. This is important for your water quality to be up. It will be a little unsightly and make it hard to have a lid on (Most saltwater tanks are open top to allow Oxygen exchange). I use an egg crate light cover cut into the shape I need for a lid. This gives me some peace of mind and the benefits of an open top.

4. Live sand. Most live sand cost about $35 per 20 pounds. You don't need all of your sand to be live, but just like the live rock it would help right away for water quality.

5. Heater, a good heater can cost you up to $40 dollars or more. I got mine for $45.

6. Power heads, You want to have every good flow for your tank. This helps with leaving no dead spots for algae to grow and other things to settle. They can cost from $35 on up.

7. Don't forget your temperature thermometers. Always need to know what your temp is. thankfully they are cheap. Got a cool digital one for $8 bucks.

8. Lighting. This is where it can get nasty on price. Depending on what you are doing lighting can be very important. If you are only doing a FOWLR than I wouldn't worry about lighting too much, as the regular tank light should be fine. If you want to go reef, well than your looking into the hundreds of dollar rang. Sometimes even the thousands.

That really almost everything you can need. As you can see to do it right can cost a lot. I promise you thou, if you do it right the first time the money you save from not having to buy fish after fish will be worth it.

Also when you set up your tank, a lot of people cycle their tank first before adding any fish in. There is many ways to do this. I used the Shrimp method. Just threw a few things of uncooked shrimp into the tank and let nature take it's course for about 3 to 6 weeks. Once my water tested good, I added my first two fish. I waited about 2 weeks before adding another fish, and than one week for another. You don't want to add too much fish too fast as it will shock the bio-load and cause a mini cycle.

Also research your fish!! Don't put a fish in that requires a 100 gallon tank thinking it will be fine in a 75 gallon. Also you got to make sure you know what tank you want. If you want a reef tank some fish are not reef safe, but if you just want a FOWLR tank almost all fish would be fine in that set up. Don't overstock your tank as well. I only got 4 in my tank, and I am sure I can add maybe 2 more, but I won't because under stocking is best. It helps keeps the water clean and pure and easier to maintain the tank.

Good luck!!
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