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Old 05-12-2009, 11:03 PM   #1
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Help!!!!! 150 gallon tank saltwater

hi im new to saltwater stuff i've had freshwater for 5 years now and i just love watching the fish but we just bought an 150 gallon tank that was fresh water and we turned it into saltwater we went out and bought salt and sand and 4lbs live rock to start with. we reused 3 power hearders and the filter that hangs over the ledge which is the only one with carbon in it and the heater. it has the regular lighting hood. I need help to know what to get next. i put in a domino damsel and a yellowtail blue damsel and 2 snails and a feather duster to start with and just bought 5 more lbs of live rock. we want it to be colorful. i dont know where to go from here i guess we want some reef and we most definatly want fish. any help would be apreciated. i would like to know specific and links to things to look into for options vs cost. thanks

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Old 05-13-2009, 02:12 AM   #2
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well... i think you need a lot more live rock for a 150g... second off...protein skimmer? some sort of fancy vibrant backround? theres tanks out there that are smaller than 20 gallons that have more than 30lbs of live rock... i'd say invest in more live rock... maybe some proper lighting for brightly colored fish..? just suggestions, im sure theres others here that will chime in that know a lot more than i do...

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Old 05-13-2009, 03:42 AM   #3
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i have been trying to look at lighting but i have no idea what im looking at from what i gathered i need like 500 watts of some sort of bulb. ok lets put it this way im a blonde when it comes to this i enjoy watching the tank more then tv im just trying to figure out what i need to do. and we plan on getting more live rock just piece at a time. i figured i need about 250 lbs but thats for a reef and not sure we want to go that far but somewhere inbetween a reef and a fish only. but see you say proper lighting but i cant find a place to see what its going to cost me for the size of a tank.
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Old 05-13-2009, 03:48 AM   #4
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First off, Welcome. I think you should try and return your fish and featherduster. You have to cycle your tank first. Your tank needs about 1-1.5 lbs of live rock per gallon of tank water. You should cycle your tank with two or three cocktail shrimp from the Deli. Be sure it's raw and unseasoned. Check this sites "sticky's" for more information on a new tank setup. The amount of light for a saltwater tank is almost triple that needed for a planted tank and by far the most expensive, followed closely by the price of live rock. You will also need a protein skimmer if you are going to grow corals.
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:28 AM   #5
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The lbs or rock isnt due to reef, its due to the amount of bacteria it will house. The bigger the tank, usually the more fish you will have and the bigger fish a 150 will house. I would agree with thincat, taking those fish back may be your best bet at the moment. Your next step would be by far a protein skimmer, and with that big of a tank I wouldn't cheap out on it.
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Old 05-13-2009, 08:04 AM   #6
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Let's take a step back. Live Rock is NOT required for a saltwater tank. It greatly enhances the look of the tank , adds biological filtration and is required for some livestock (or something similar) feeding patterns. You can run a pure sand bottom or a bare bottom for that matter. If you choose to use rock, you can use it a pure decoration or add it in quantities that will allow you to use it for filtration. If you choose not to use live rock then you need a canister or HOB filter (with the size of your tank probably multiples of those). You also don't need any specific lighting if all you plan on having is fish. A protein skimmer is a great tool as well but not required. Plenty of successful tanks have neither.

As far as the fish are concerned, they should be taken back if possible. Cycle your tank fishless. Get the right water testing chemicals, do it right, then add fish.

You don't need to spend an arm and leg to get into saltwater. If the passion takes then in the long run you'll start looking at other species (coral, inverts,etc) that require specific lighting (read that $$$$), and other semi-required equipment to make their survival more likely.

Yo do not need to make that leap now if you choose not to.
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Old 05-13-2009, 09:26 AM   #7
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Old 05-13-2009, 09:41 AM   #8
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if you have another (smaller) tank...I'd simply set it up as a QT tank to house your critters while the tank cycles.(done correctly the cycling process should only take a coupla weeks)instead of taking your fish BACK to the LFS.
A 10 gallon would likely be perfect. W/proper lighting and PWC's that are very easy w/ such a small tank...you should have no problems.
As far as the liverock input..."I" agree w/ all thats been said thus far.Its basically a 6-of one...1/2 dozen of another situation - according to your particular tastes. Welcome to A/A....listen closely to the old timers around here...and gaurenteed they'll take care of you like you're one of their own.
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Old 05-13-2009, 09:47 AM   #9
Thanx but no.....

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I would disagree. In the end your now cycling with fish in a small container. If the choice is made to cycle with the fish, the larger tank is preferable as the toxins are more diluted to the fish while still being present for the S L O W build up of bacteria. Unless you can get yourself a nice hunk of cured LR to drop in there.

'done correctly the cycling process should only take a coupla weeks' ... hmmmm might be a tad optimistic
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Old 05-13-2009, 10:13 AM   #10
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ok as i said before it was a freshwater tank that had undergravel filteration along with one that hangs over the back. I took the trays out for the sand the power heads are auquaclear power head 400 and theres 3 of them and the one that hangs over the back is a aquamaster 400. with the power heads i stuck a sponge on the bottoms to make those a filter. not sure if that is enough filteration. its going on three days with the fish and we will continue to add live rock each week when the hubby gets paid and dont think we are adding more fish just yet. and i keep testing the water every day to see how its doing. so i guess im missing this protein skimmer and better lighting for a nice tank. from what i seen these protein skimmers are bulky and ugly. i dont have a cabinet around my tank so wouldnt even know what to look for to buy.

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