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Old 12-10-2003, 11:32 PM   #1
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New to the SW world

Aight guys, i'm finished with my 60 and 10 gallon FW planted tanks and just got hold of a 30 gallon tank I want to go salt, FOWLR. For right now, planning about 30 pounds of LR with no LS. Want to put maybe a couple clownfish with inverterbrates. Possibly doing low light corals, not for right this moment though. I'm planning on putting a TetraTech filter in there for the surface agitation and you can put a heater in the filter itself, plus the nozzle for the output pulsates back and forth to give you some currents simulation. But, I am VERY new to salt right now so please answer a couple newb questions for me:

1. I know RO/DI water is very good, but can i just use tapwater aged a couple days? I was even thinking about getting this tapwater filter from Aqarium Pharmaceuticals for about 35 bucks.

2. For maybe 2-3 fish plus mild number of invertebrates, is a skimmer needed? Also, what is the exact purpose of the skimmer?

3. For lighting, is 2-3 WPG a good number for maybe a few soft corals and some polyps? And for just live coral, what are the requirments for light? And are tubeworms hard to take care of and what are their req?

4. Really newb question, after getting the salinty correct in the tank, do i have to add salt to the water i add to it? I'm thinking only when doing water changes i might but when just topping off i dont, please correct me though.

i think thats about it...if anybody has some good links on fully understanding the saltwater world it wouldn't help to share them with me. I'm not new to the fish world believe me, just to the saltwater portion. See yall
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Old 12-11-2003, 02:02 AM   #2
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Re: New to the SW world

Quote:
Originally Posted by hitatree
1. I know RO/DI water is very good, but can i just use tapwater aged a couple days? I was even thinking about getting this tapwater filter from Aqarium Pharmaceuticals for about 35 bucks.
For at least the initial fill I would strongly urge the use of RO water. It will help in avoiding problem with algaes as the tank cycles. Afterwards you might get by the the water filter but they do not do nearly the same job and are akin to a Brita water filter IMO. They will not properly remove the metals and other polutants that a SW tank will be sensitive to.

Quote:
2. For maybe 2-3 fish plus mild number of invertebrates, is a skimmer needed? Also, what is the exact purpose of the skimmer?
The skimmer is not essential but it can help cut down on your maintenace a great deal. The main purpose is to remove DOC from the water that in turn can degrade water quality if not removed. Regular weekly water changes will be a must without one. You will also need to be very mindful of feedings but with 3 fish you should be fine depending on species.

Quote:
3. For lighting, is 2-3 WPG a good number for maybe a few soft corals and some polyps? And for just live coral, what are the requirments for light? And are tubeworms hard to take care of and what are their req?
Watts/gal is not a good guideline to follow but for what you propose, may suffice depending on the soft corals. A 2x65w PC light would actually allow for more diverse corals if you went that route...

Quote:
4. Really newb question, after getting the salinty correct in the tank, do i have to add salt to the water i add to it? I'm thinking only when doing water changes i might but when just topping off i dont, please correct me though.
Water added to replenish evaporation sure be pure water, no salt. Salt does not leave the system and should only be used when doing water changes. The saltwater should be premixed seperately, brought up to the same temp, salinity and ph as the main tank prior to doing the water change. It should also be aerated with a PH for a good 24 hrs.

I would also skip the HOB filter if you can manage it and increase the LR density. About 50-60 lbs total rock would eliminate the need and a couple of PH could instead be used for water movement. What is the GPH rating of the Tetratec HOB?

Cheers
Steve
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Old 12-11-2003, 03:30 AM   #3
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Let's seeee... the tetratec's range from 150gph-300gph-500gph. Yea i guess i can skip the HOB filter and just go with the powerheads and live rock. I'm getting three of them from ebay for like 10 bucks, can't beat that. Also, i'm seeing about getting two electronic coralife ballasts that can hold 2 T12 flourescent bulbs each. For a 30 gallon i'm gonna shove 4 36" tubes, it's going to hang over a little i know, to have about 120 watts. I'm trying to save a little money here and there and these two ballasts are 31 bucks! I'm just looking into the soft corals but for now it's just a thought. I know about the better quality of PC, i'm experianced with freshwater plants and have read up on the pros of different lighting but this saltwater tank isnt going to be a show winner. I might go with a protein skimmer to cut back on maintenace since i alrady have two tanks in my house, is a skimmer that simply sits in your tank with the airstone good enough? The RO water is still tough to take at 75 cents a gallon from the fishstore or 150-200 bucks to get my own. If i can spend the extra money to at first fill the tank with RO water and then use the filtered water from then on I can handle that.
thanks for the help and if anybody can actually give me a good list of starter fish and/or other invertebrates or coral i'de be thrilled. thanks
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Old 12-11-2003, 10:31 AM   #4
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I know people who have had trouble with the heaters in the TetraTec filters...I'd stay away from that. I'm sure it's a good filter, but I'd use a good submersible heater. The Won Pro Heat and Pro Heat II's are the best available IMO.
For what you're going to spend on the NO lighting system, you could install a pair of 96w PC's with a Fulham Workhorse ballast. I don't have the Workhorse line on my site yet , but you can get one from Reef Geek for about $35.00
http://www.reefgeek.com/products/cat...ng/100103.html
You should be able to buy the two 96w bulbs for about what the 4 NO bulbs will cost you and you'll have a much better lighting system. JMHO.
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Old 12-11-2003, 02:28 PM   #5
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Actually logan, that PC does sound good for that price. I got outbid on those two Coralife ballasts but since I can get this PC for around the same price, no prob. I think if I'm going to get such high lighting I'm going to get coral, I just can't help myself. If i'm going to start venturing into coral, am I going to have to install a sump or can I just leave it without a filter of anykind. I was going to have about 3 PH in the tank, the protein skimmer possibly, and air stones in the tank.
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Old 12-11-2003, 02:45 PM   #6
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not sure if you need the airstone in the tank.. you asked that earlier about the skimmer. If I were you i woudl get a skimmer, as everyone has told me that it helps a lot, but this also depends if you have a fish load to worry about. Skimmer apparently do semi take out the additives that you will want in there. An airstone skimmer (I fought a bit on this but after a bit...) isn't necessarily a good idea for two tings. 1) its quite inefficient and 2) it will take up a bit of space INSIDE your tank. I am currently in your situation now.. my tank has some soft corals (in a 45G tall). If you should worry about anything as of right now.. your number one priority should be the water chemistry. I was lucky and it seems that my corals are doing just fine (but it did take some moving around). I have a Filstar XP3 filtering the system as I have no LR, but will be seeding it (put a small amount and let it grow to the other rocks) soon. For the time being I have no skimmer, but also have no fish either... so I will put a carbon pouch in my filter and have been doing 10% water changes weekly. I have been using treated tap water.

I guess this info is to just compare with what you have. Good luck!
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Old 12-11-2003, 03:14 PM   #7
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You don't have to have a sump. It's a great place to put the skimmer, heater, ect... though. If you wan't a good HOB skimmer, the Aqua C Remora is about the best one available. You won't need a filter if you have at least 1 1/2 lbs of LR per gallon. You won't want to use an airstone in the tank. They serve no purpose and will cause salt creep to get all over your lights and the side of your tank.
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Old 12-11-2003, 03:20 PM   #8
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Though you don't need a sump... as logan said its a GREAT place to put your other things. I must admit if I were't such a lazy bum I could have easily saved myself some money and build a sump, instead of buying the XP3. Though I love this canister filter a lot, a sump would have been nice because I could have hidden all my accessories in it instead of my tank. Again about the airstone, Logan brought up another good point, salt creep is hella annoying, especially when it gets on your lights. As of right now I don;t think you super need a skimmer, but as you increase your fish load, or just don't have the want or time to change your water weekly (if not twice a week) then a skimmer will be quite helpful. Plus no salt creep by a skimmer too
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