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Old 03-19-2009, 04:18 PM   #1
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First Saltwater Tank (150+ In Wall)

I'm in the research phase of my first saltwater aquarium. I have two books I'm reading along with everything I can read online (articles here are great) and more books to come.

I'm finishing out my basement and this would be a good time to add an in wall 125-240 gallon tank. Looks like a 125 is going to be the tank.

I will not be putting the tank together until later in the year, so I'm looking for deals on tanks and equipment while reading, reading, and reading.

If I don't find any good deals on a tank, I'm falling back to a 55 gallon which will require a big change to my wish list.

I like the idea of a FOWLR tank with a peaceful/semi aggressive community.

Equipment (researching)
Drywall/Greenboard, mildew resistant paint
55 gallon sump (main tank if I do not find another)
EuroReef or Vertex Protein Skimmer
T5 Lighting
Concrete blocks, plywood for a stand
Pumps (Dolphin/ Iwaki/suggestions?)
Plumbing for a closed loop/sump system
Two 150w titanium heaters with controller
Live rock and base rock (maybe make some with Aragocrete)
3" of aragonite sand
Saltwater mix
Saltwater master test kit
Refractometer
Spectrapure ~75 GPD 3 stage RO/DI unit

Wish list (still researching & dreaming too big!)
Snowflake or Zebra Eel
Porcupine Puffer
Blue & Yellow Hippo Tang
One Spot Foxface
Heniochus Black & White Butterflyfish
Annularis Angelfish
Volitan or Antennata Lionfish
Halloween & Electric Blue Hermit Crabs (should get 2" or so)
Assorted Angler (after the above get larger, a nice one that my lion won't eat)
Nassarius Snails

Plan (changing daily)
Make artificial Aragocrete rocks and let them cure.
Place concrete blocks for stand.
Place the aquarium on a sheet of plywood with foam for leveling.
Finish drywall and check aquarium for fit.
Begin making saltwater.
Place 55 gallon sump, add skimmer, pumps, heater, run plumbing
Add lighting, electrical
Prepare rock for mounting in the tank (drill holes, elevate, etc.)
Add saltwater, test system.
Remove and store water to make room for rocks.
Add base rock
Add live rock to sump and main tank
Add sand
Cycle tank and take loads of tests.

Add the following livestock with waiting time between additions
Hermit Crabs, empty shells and snails
Eel
One Spot Foxface
Blue & Yellow Hippo Tang
Annularis Angelfish
Heniochus Black & White Butterflyfish
Lionfish
Porcupine Puffer
Angler (cross fingers)
Ghost Shrimp and a few chromies J

I’m not in any hurry and I understand the work involved here. I've been reading the forums here for a few weeks as a guest and I'm looking forward to all the great advice. It seems like a good community of people.
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:28 PM   #2
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Everything sounds pretty good. Getting the tank will round out what equipment and fish ect you are going to get. Check Craigslist in your area there are usually pretty good deals.

Oh and as for the foam, you really don't want to do that. You should only put foam under a tank when it is specifically recommended by the manufacturer. If you aren't sure don't use foam at all.
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:00 PM   #3
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Looks like you`ve been doing your research. Read this from our site on equipment needs.

Stock list and tips for maintaining your SW tank.

BTW welcome to AA
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpetter View Post

I like the idea of a FOWLR tank with a peaceful/semi aggressive community.

Equipment (researching)
55 gallon sump (main tank if I do not find another) I'd go 75g.
AquaC EV Protein Skimmer Can be finicky to adjust. You'd be better off with a Bubble King, EuroReef, Octopus Extreme/MSX, or Vertex.
Lighting (not sure, some sort of PC?) If you are positive a reef is not in the future plans then I'd still go with a low-light T5 setup.
Concrete blocks, foam, plywood for a stand
Pumps (Dolphin/ Iwaki/suggestions?) Return Pump? Reeflo Snapper.
RENA SmartHeater I'd go two 150w titaniums with a Ranco/Aqualogic controller
live rock and base rock (maybe make some with Aragocrete)
3" of aragonite sand
Saltwater master test kit
Refractometer
75 GPD 3 stage RO/DI unit Spectrapure is my choice

Wish list (still researching & dreaming too big!)
Snowflake or Zebra Eel
Porcupine Puffer
Blue & Yellow Hippo Tang
One Spot Foxface
Heniochus Black & White Butterflyfish Eventually become aggressive
Annularis Angelfish
Volitan or Antennata Lionfish
Halloween & Electric Blue Hermit Crabs (should get 2" or so)
Assorted Angler (after the above get larger, a nice one that my lion won't eat) These are not considered hardy animals so be prepared.
Nassarius Snails

Add the following livestock with waiting time between additions
Hermit Crabs, empty shells and snails
Eel
One Spot Foxface
Blue & Yellow Hippo Tang
Heniochus Black & White Butterflyfish Switch with Annularis
Porcupine Puffer I would add after lionfish
Annularis Angelfish Switch with Heni
Lionfish
Angler (cross fingers)
Ghost Shrimp and a few chromies Will be eaten

I’m not in any hurry and I understand the work/cost involved here. I've been reading the forums for a few weeks as a guest and I'm looking forward to all the great advice. It seems like a good community of people.
Don't forget about powerheads or a closed-loop system for water flow. I hope you will have some in-wall exhaust?
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Old 03-19-2009, 11:52 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Ziggy953 View Post
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Everything sounds pretty good. Getting the tank will round out what equipment and fish ect you are going to get. Check Craigslist in your area there are usually pretty good deals.

Oh and as for the foam, you really don't want to do that. You should only put foam under a tank when it is specifically recommended by the manufacturer. If you aren't sure don't use foam at all.
Thanks for the greetings. I'll remove the foam pad from my list.
Good idea on Craigslist. I've already found a great deal on a 125.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melosu58 View Post
Looks like you`ve been doing your research. Read this from our site on equipment needs.
Thanks. I'm sure I've just scratched the surface. I'll read the article you mentioned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Innovator View Post
Don't forget about powerheads or a closed-loop system for water flow. I hope you will have some in-wall exhaust?
Do you mean for the evaporated water? The back end of the tank will be open on the other side of the wall. The back will be in the storage area of the finished basement. That way I can easily access everything. Is there something else I'm missing?
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:38 AM   #6
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No, I mean some type of exhaust system to vent the heat and moisture that would eventually rot your walls. Since the back end is open all you would probably need is to make sure that room is well ventilated. Everything else I went ahead and highlighted in blue per your original post
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Old 03-20-2009, 10:06 AM   #7
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No, I mean some type of exhaust system to vent the heat and moisture that would eventually rot your walls. Since the back end is open all you would probably need is to make sure that room is well ventilated. Everything else I went ahead and highlighted in blue per your original post
I didn't notice the blue highlights. Thanks for all the great advice.

I didn't think too much about ventilation, thanks for the tip.

I think I'm going to go with a 125 that is currently being used for SW.
I can get it for cheap on Craigslist.

I had my eye on a 240, but at 8 feet it would not fit the space I had allocated.

I'll look into all the suggestions and redo my plan.
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:05 AM   #8
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I strongly suggest finishing the "hole" you put the tank in. Use green board to finish off the raw opening and then use a mildew resistant paint to paint the entire area around the tank. You don't want exposed lumber around the tank. If the room you are putting the tank (storage side of the tank) has a window you will be able to vent the room easily if not you may want to look into getting a humidistat fan for the room to keep the humidity down.
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Old 03-23-2009, 11:45 AM   #9
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60x17x24 Tank

Would this be a good size tank for a FOWLR? It's seems it would be too narrow for the rock and have room for fish to move about. It's about 105 gallons.

What is the best size for a FOWLR aquarium with larger 8"-1' fish? 24" wide?

I'm looking at these from Glasscages:
180 Wide 72 x 24 x 25 Tall
240 - 6 Tall 72 x 24 x 31 Tall
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Old 03-23-2009, 04:02 PM   #10
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If the cost isn't a big difference I would go as large as you can. The 2' front to back is awesome and. Personally if you can do it I would go with the 240g tank. The vertical height and the front to back depth will give you more options for your rock work. The additional water volume will help your overall system too. I wish I had the room for a larger tank. I've come across some great deals on huge tanks but alas I'm stuck with the 120g tank.

Go as big as you can!!
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