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sue17fan 06-05-2013 10:07 PM

Newbie to SW getting confused??
Hubby and I have both had lots of experience with Freshwater and have always wanted a saltwater set up. We finally have a place for a tank and decided this would be perfect. (we have given it lots of thought and research)

We bought a complete used saltwater setup everything but the fish. (Craigslist- never again -it was supposed to be 75 gal, but according to measurement its only 60)

I haven't gone through everything for inventory but I don't see skimmer (based on pics ive seen) and the filter is a HOB Tetra Whisper power. This is going to be a FO tank, 60 gal. Not sure what kind of fish besides clowns. (love those)

Do I really need a skimmer with a power filter? I've read the bio wheel filters are better and I'm looking at the Emperor line.

Sand or gravel? I've never used sand or had live plants? Are live plants better?

I have a bunch of dead coral, would they be safe to use?

Once I get it set up with just water how long should I wait to get fish?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

SaltwaterNuB 06-05-2013 11:50 PM

A lot of people love skimmers because they greatly improve water quality. Its ideal to have the filtration 1.5x the size of your tank. Substrate is what you prefer. There's not right or wrong. I've never done or heard of plants in a saltwater tank.
You could do a fish less cycle using a table shrimp. You want to invest in a test kit. The ammonia will spike the drop off. When it has dropped off and there are no nitrites and nitrates you're ready for fish.
The coral you have should work. My tank had nothing but coral skeletons to start off with. They would turn brown and ugly so fast, so I removed them and went with live rock.
Ask more questions, hopefully someone experience will chime in.

Budda619 06-05-2013 11:55 PM

Skimmer is good to have as it removes protein out of your water column before it rots and turns in to ammonia, nitrite and finally nitrate. It also helps aerate the water. Less maintenance and fewer/smaller water changes

Bectan01 06-06-2013 12:19 AM

Did it come with any live rock or you starting from scratch? I would use sand and invest in some live rock if you don't have any. For a 60g I wouldn't go with a hob filter at all and just get a good (rated for twice your water volume) skimmer. Does it have powerheads too? You got any pics of the set up? You will need test kits and a refractometer for measuring salinity. Have you thought about water? You may need to invest in a ro-di system for making water too ;)

Grizz 06-06-2013 06:05 PM

You wont need a skimmer with a 60 as long as you keep the Bio load lite just a few (4-5 small fish) A skimmer will save you money in the long run as well as a few backaches. Also you dont need 'Live rock use dry base rock it will become live as your tank cycles just get a few lbs of live rock to seed the base Here's a cupple of articles to help you on your way.

sue17fan 06-07-2013 09:21 AM

Thanks for all the advice, it really help and the links are great. As soon as I can I'm going see exactly what I have and take pictures. I like the idea about using some live rock as seed rock and just using a skimmer, no filter. If I have to invest in something it would be the skimmer.

sue17fan 06-07-2013 09:25 AM

Also about sand.

I live in Myrtle Beach, could I use some beach sand as Live Sand to start or would that be too risky? I also thought about getting a friend of mine to take me out in his boat to get sea water, any thoughts?

sue17fan 06-07-2013 09:27 AM

I have the test kits already, was looking at RO system. The only power heads are on the filter.

Bectan01 06-07-2013 09:49 AM

If its a 75 you will definitely need a few powerheads. There are mixed feelings about using sand from the beach - too risky I think, you don't know what could be in it! Parasite or toxic stuff you can't test for. You don't need live sand, all sand will become live over time. Same goes for ocean water, unless you wanna go out in your friends boat and get it every week! Making your own salt water means you can monitor what is in it. On a 75g you are going to want to do 10-20% water changes weekly or at least fortnightly...

mr_X 06-07-2013 11:02 AM

I would use the beach sand. Just rinse it well.

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