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matthewh133 08-30-2011 12:04 AM

55 gallon reef - First Saltwater Build Ever!
Hey guys. So over the past couple of months I've been reading and collecting everything I need to set up a saltwater reef tank. I plan on housing LPS/Softies/SPS.

Now, I'm at the stage where I've got nearly everything set up, ready to go, including the sump, BUT I have a couple of things left to do before and this is where I need help.

I had a weir installed recently. I also plan on putting some sort of vinyl background on the back of the tank. What is the best option of covering up the weir so I do not see the overflow pipes and hide it? It is currently just a small, rectangular glass weir that I can see straight through. I want the color to be the same as the background of the tank (which I have yet to buy). I plan on getting a nice blue colored background.

My other question is, once I have the background on and it's ready for water, so I just buy sand, cover 2-3 inches deep and buy some RO/DI water from the LFS and tip it in? Is there any special methods on this initial process?

Last question. How much live rock should I put in to start the cycle? Also how do you guys keep your rock from tipping over? I know you can glue/epoxy the live rock together to create a sculpture, but how do you keep that sitting on the bottom without moving?

Thanks a lot for any assistance guys. I'll be sure to update this as progress continues!

carey 08-30-2011 09:38 AM

Welcome to the salty side of things! LOL

What is a weir? rofl?

When adding water to a tank with sand out a bowl or plate in the tank and pour into that, a lot less sand kick up that way.

I would suggest at least 70lbs of rock total. You could get 50lbs of base rock which is nice and cheap and very porous and then the rest in live rock.

I really jam the larger pieces of rock into the sand, some people put the rock in first then the sand to make sure there is no shifting.

Keep us posted on your progress, pictures are great too, even if you don' think it's pretty yet, we love pictures!! LOL

matthewh133 08-30-2011 07:27 PM

Thanks for the tips Carey. I'll be sure tonged some pictures up as soon as there's some water and sand in the tank!

I'm not 100% sure on the definition of weir myself lol! I actually had it installed, it's a small overflow in the back right corner o my tank. Currently it's just glass so I can see straight through to the overflow pipes etc, so I want to cover it with something that I can also match colors with the vinyl on the back of the tank.

carey 08-30-2011 07:32 PM

You'll have to take a picture of a weir for me, I'm curious now. LOL

matthewh133 08-30-2011 07:50 PM

Haha I'll try once I set my computer back up! I have another question. I have LED lights, and they are very bright. There is independant switches for the blue and white LEDs. Do I have lights on 24/7, or are the lights switched off at night?

I ask because the tank is in my bedroom lol.

Also, any tips on hanging these lights without coming all the way down from the ceiling? :) something preferably inexpensive if possible!

carey 08-30-2011 08:29 PM

I have mine run blues from 9am til 9pm and whites come on at 10am and go off at 8pm. If you have moonlights then only keep them on while youre awake, they are only for show.

I wish i had an answer, I am in the same position, I have no logical way to hang them. I was thinking on making a jimmy rigged mount to the tank stand and having it go over the top so I can hang from there. Kinda like a plant hanger. if you have a wall then it will work for you. I have no wall and my ceilings are too high and sloped to hang from there.

matthewh133 08-30-2011 08:38 PM

Thanks Carey!

About the hanging, I actually have a picture of a tank that might help, maybe..

It's got a kind of 2 metal bars that go up from the back of the cabinet. Then these arm things that stick out from them that holds the light. This metal bar also allows you to move the arms up and down. It seems like it may be a possible solution, but I haven't really looked into it 100% yet.

I'll upload a picture once I get my computer back up.

matthewh133 09-05-2011 05:49 AM

Hey guys, need to get all the plumbing done to get this tank under way. How much roughly would plumbing parts cost for a project like this?

paulweck 09-05-2011 04:14 PM

for my 45 gallon tall i spent about $65 at the home depot for all my sch40 pvc pipe, unions, ball valves and fitings. are u gonna be using a sump?

matthewh133 09-05-2011 06:26 PM

Yeah using a sump, the reason I ask is I have someone coming to install it for me and I wanted to make sure his price was good, which it sounds like it is :)

Getting close to the time for sand and rock to go in now. Having everything put together in a couple of days, then just have to wait for the glue to settle.

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