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Old 03-03-2009, 05:30 PM   #1
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New to the site, New to Saltwater, aquired 55gal

Hello everyone! My name is Nick and im in Mobile, AL. Im new to the aquarium scene. I just bought a 10 gallon from someone on craigs list and have it setup with about 13 tetras and some live plants (ill post pics soon). I just bought a 55 gallon tank and stand with pump and filters from a friend last night and im thinking about setting it up with FOWLR.

So theres my intro and ill post up some pics as soon as i can. Im still doing research on what all ill be needing to setup for cycling, but looks like im goign to go with 1" live coarse sand and 50% not live and 50% live rock for decor. I will want to prob go to live coral later, but i cannot afford that at this point.

I believe i have a magnum 350 for a pump and 2 bio wheel filters as well for that system. I have 1 power head and im going to sell it and get 2 new 50's. Im also going to get 2 50w heaters.

I cant seem to find a place locally that has good pricing on things, so it looks like im going to stick with buying online... any suggestions for good places to get good live sand and rock and you know this through experience with them?

Any other general advice, chime in And if your in the mobile area, dont be shy! I can learn some things from ya!

Thanks and i look foward to working with you guys here on the forum!
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Old 03-03-2009, 06:08 PM   #2
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As an update to what i have,

the 10 gallon tank is newly setup by me from scratch and I used treated tap water to start. I have a pelican filter with biowheel, 50w heater and under gravel air tube on small air pump. I have about 7 various plants planted in the rocks and about 5 of the same type floating on the surface. The surface ones as this time take up about 25% of the surface. I have 13 tetras, 3 black fin, 3 serpae, 3 von rio, 3 cardinals and 2 neons. I know this is alot of fish, but i have been doing 20% changes every day now for a week since the ammonia has been rising. It will get to about 1.0 and il do the change and it goes back to .50. I think this should be fine until i get some bacteria growing. I did a test today at lunch and im finally getting some nitrite readings. It had been staying at 0ppm all week.. I didnt do a nitrate reading today, but it started kinda high, but it has been droping as i have been doing water changes i assume. Not sure where it orig came from, but it was there. Im using plant food and also using zyme that will inhibit the bacteria growth. Total time since first fish have been (originally just 6) in the water has been 2 weeks. Now i know this is way too many fish, but im thinking it will be ok if these fish are disposable in the end anyway. I keep this tank at 79F. pH 7.2

Granted, im new to all this, so chime in for my freshwater setup

My new tank, 55 gallon, doesnt have anything in it yet. Like i said earlier, i have the magnum filter and 2 biowheels. Flourescent lights are ontop, but ill prob replace the bulbs setup for corals. Anyone got any experiance with LED light ?? a whole nother topic.... Ok, so keep in mind ill only have (FOWLR) fish only with live rock to start. My main question with this project is the obvious question everyone is always asking at first and despite i have done alot of reading online on this subject, I am still uncertain as to which way to go with... Cycling, of course. Im thinking the best way for me to do this is with just with treated tap water (or maybe get my hands on some RO water to start with) and slowly feed it ammonia for 6 weeks with all the filters running and just use a zyme bacteria inhibitor in the process. Ammonia being from the store with no additives. I see this being the cheapest way to get my cycle going. Im assuming not even to put the live sand or live rock in yet and wait till i have a cycled tank so i dont kill the livestock in both with the ammonia. my local store sells saterwater @ $1 a gallon, but i figured i should just buy the stuff that makes it in dry form.. Or can i just start with treated tap water??

Suggestions so far on my 55gal project?
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Old 03-03-2009, 06:27 PM   #3
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welcome aboard
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Old 03-04-2009, 01:58 AM   #4
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Thanks!
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:49 AM   #5
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:59 AM   #6
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See the articles section at this site on cycling with grocery store shrimp. Ammonia and nitrite test kit is a must for that.

Also, I'd really consider statying away from the coarse sand or crushed coral. They tend to harbor nitrates after a while. I'd suggest the fine, dry bags of arogonite sand.

The bestest advice I can give is to research and go slowly.

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Old 03-04-2009, 10:10 AM   #7
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+1 on the Aragonite.. Just get Dry.. It will become "live" on it's own.

Also..for the cycle.. I would obtail all your LR first then just cycle your tank with it. More then likely, the "DIE OFF" on the Live rock will be enough to start your cycle. Throw in a shrimp from the grocery store and you'd be good to go.

You asked about where to buy LR online...

I bought mine from Underwateroutlets.com which is a vendor on this site. Easy to deal with a great pices compared to LFS in my area.
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Old 03-04-2009, 10:23 AM   #8
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PS.. Welcome to AA!!!

Another Question... Did you buy all this stuff new?? If so, might be a good idea to return some of that MEchanical Filters and buy a Protein Skimmer instead.
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Old 03-04-2009, 11:19 AM   #9
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Thanks for some of the advice guys! and the warm welcomes =)

Ive read that the fine sand is alot harder to maintain with a vacuum type of cleaner. Ive never had to clean a tank out yet, so im unsure about any of that..

I bought the 55gal tank, stand, magnum filter and bi wheels and also came with 1 powerhead. Im going to sell the powerhead and buy 2 50 powerheads and run those with the magnum and biowheels until i get a cycled tank. I need to buy the 2 50w heaters as well so that i can get the temp up to help bacteria growth go faster. I was actaully just thinking i want 3x 50w heaters to aid in backups of 1 were to fail. keeping them at 50w will protect me against over heating due to a stuck on heater as well. I cannot bring back the mechanical filter, but i could always sell it... but. i was thinking of getting a protein skimmer as well. Is it not normal to use both and just use one or the other??

So you guys suggest using the 2-3 shrimp for a 55gal tank cycle method and not the ammonia from the store and keep at 4ppm?

So if i go ahead and get live rock and cycle the tank with it in there, isnt the ammonia going to kill ALL the live parts of the rock bacteria and totally make the live rock $$ pointless? I was thinking to use 50% non-live rock and 50% live rock on top. or even 70% non, 30% live, just to save on $$ starting off. Let me know some more on this, plz.
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Old 03-04-2009, 11:24 AM   #10
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by the way, i was going to ask.. The tank is a little dusty and stuff inside the tank and i was wondering what i should use to get it all clean besides just water? i dont want to use anything with additives that will linger in the water once i start to fill it up with perm water. is just like windex ok?

And also, is it ness to have the water im using to cycle the tank be the salt water that i will be using when i start to put live stuff in? well thats obviously saying that i dont put the live rock in to start.. but thats still up for discussion.. i just want to try to not spend alot of $$ at first until the tank is cycled, because im worried im goign to kill all the live stuff off and be pointles... unless you tell me theres huge advantages to starting with the live rock and you tell me a way to keep it all healthy throughout the cycling =D thanks guys!
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