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Old 10-06-2013, 10:43 AM   #1
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1st salt water tank

I'm new here I'm starting a 40 gallon breeder reef tank, I'm wanting this to be a slow process. To achieve a basic reef starter tank that I can learn from. what is the no frills tank equipment that I can build on over time. Type filter, led lighting, skimmer and what would I need and not need, that I could improve on over a year or too. I want this to be a enjoyable learning experience not a stressful experience. Just seems everything is so overwhelming and know that it can't be that hard if you do it slow and build on it

Thanks

Rob
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Old 10-13-2013, 04:16 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome to aa. I now own a 25 gallon reef tank. I started off with a basic light and a hang on the back filter for my fish. I didn't have coral then cause as you may know your tank has to be at least a couple months old in order to hold corals. I'd say that you wouldn't need a protein skimmer unless you want to deal with the more complex hard corals. Not a single one of my corals died and I don't own a skimmer. So after a while I upgraded to a power head and a light strong enough for corals. I only have soft corals. If you don't have a skimmer than your gonna do simple water changes a couple times a month. I had all this success by slowly building onto my tank. I recommend you only own soft corals as they are more forgiving to a beginner than hard corals. For corals your gonna need 1 lb. of live rock per gallon. This is a very rewarding experience but it'll be trial and error too. Good luck
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Old 10-13-2013, 04:57 PM   #3
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Thanks Datreeferman for the advice just the direction I was looking for. right now I have 20 lbs. of live rock in a tub of saltwater with lights and some dry rock with it, and another 20 lbs. of dry live rock soaking in saltwater until I buy or build a stand for the tank and get it set up.
What size, type, or make of hang on the back filter do you use. How much and what type sand do you use. The way you started your tank and progressing is how I hope to progress. Hope to have a lot of questions as I progress in this hobby

thanks again
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Old 10-13-2013, 05:11 PM   #4
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We'll I'm happy to help I used a aqueon hang on the back filter about ten to twenty more gallons per hour than it said on the box. EX: I have a 25 gallon tank and I bought a 50 gallon filter. Or you can use one 20 gallon filter and one 30 gallon filter. That's what I did. Now for the corals I kept the thirty gallon filter and use a 500 GPS powerhead witch is much cheaper than a protein skimmer and a powerhead. I also use a 2-3 inch live sand bed which is very good for all the organisms in the tank.owning a saltwater tank is much easier to own than most other people say it is.
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Old 10-13-2013, 05:37 PM   #5
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I would buy lights that can support SPS corals now the dimmable taotronics on ebay will set you back around $150 Also invest in a RO/DI unit, these two things will save you money and headaches later.
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Old 10-13-2013, 06:02 PM   #6
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Thanks I bought a RO/DI a few weeks ago thru a group buy from Bulk Reef Supply I use the RO for my freshwater tank. I was looking at those lights but a little confused on which and what size would best fit a 40 gallon breeder tank. Is it better to cover the top of the tank or leave it open I appreciate all the help I can get.
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Old 10-13-2013, 07:03 PM   #7
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Definitely leave the top closed. There are many fish that like to jump. Also your water evaporates faster if you leave it open. Your tank will also be more susceptible to airborne toxins so leaving it close is the way to go.
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Old 10-13-2013, 07:10 PM   #8
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Leaving a tank cloed lid will also affect the ph unfortunatley. Unless you have fish that like to jump I would very much advise to go open top. You8 can also get the clear netting from bulk reef supply and make a screened top for just a few bucks which solves both issues.

You want the open top to keep the gas exchange going properly, if not you can run with low ph which is not a great idea if it can be avoided. I recently made screened lids for my 125g and it cost me about $40 total with brs netting and screen frames from Lowes.
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Old 10-13-2013, 07:51 PM   #9
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I have a closed lid fir my reef aquarium and it works for me.it dosnt affect my ph. But thats just 4 me,it has small holes for inserting heaters, filters, etc. I also think its more attractive,neting is a good idea too. But thats jist my opinion.
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Old 10-14-2013, 06:56 AM   #10
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This light covers about 30x30 inch area and will let you grow almost any coral. Screened lids are the way to go IMO.
16" 120W Dimmable LED Aquarium Light Fixture | eBay
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Old 10-14-2013, 08:45 PM   #11
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Thanks for the advice I ordered dimmable 16" LED light fixture. Now what size power head and is it better to use one or to use more than one.
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Old 10-15-2013, 06:34 AM   #12
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I'd use two hydor 750s One on each back corner aimed at the front center the flows will collide and give a nice random flows through the tank
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Old 10-16-2013, 05:34 AM   #13
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Equipment Needed

What I wish I had known when I started is that you need two heaters and powerheads--one for the tank and one for mixing the saltwater. Just something you might want to consider.
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:38 PM   #14
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Thanks I had a heater in my saltwater mix but not the power head but I had to 450 and I just bought 750 that Grizz suggested. Still building the stand for the tank.
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Old 10-18-2013, 11:11 PM   #15
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I received the 16" LED what would be the maximum height does it need to be above the water and what would be the minimum that it can be. I'm wanting to build a canopy to house it leave the top open for the fans, or is there an easier way of mounting it above the thank
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Old 10-19-2013, 12:27 AM   #16
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I think my led panel is about 10 inches from the water and I bought expensive stupid "arms" that come off the back of the tank and hang over to the center of the water. You can get something similar from home depot, plant hangers. Or a type of metal sheperds hook. Just mount it to the back of your stand and voila. Or you can use bookshelf brackets as well, mount them to the wall and hang from there.

Keep in mind the higher up you hang the light the more "spread" you will have over the sides of the tank as well as reducing the amount of light received by the tank. I think with the short depth of the tank though that you will be safe at most any height, just dont hang them real low over the water. lol

Hope that helped a bit.
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Old 10-19-2013, 01:25 AM   #17
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And to add more to your plate, if you plan on having multiple fish, a QT tank is a must..... you can roll the dice putting fish in, but if you bring in ich or another disease, marine fish are a lot more expensive to lose than FW..... you should QT your fish for at least a month prior to placement into your main tank. IMO, a small tank like a 20 long with a small heater and basic HOB filter is all you need, but another added expense to consider.

On another note, you mentioned using RO water for your FW tank.... are you blending it or using pure RO? RO membranes remove most of the buffers from the water, so using pure RO for FW can cause a pH crash.
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:41 PM   #18
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I finally finished stand and hood for my 40 gallon breeder tank 40 lbs. of live sand, 20 lbs. live rock another 25 lbs. of dry live rock, 2 Koralia 850 gph, penguin 350 power filter, 16" dimmable taotronics led lighting. Rocks been in the tubs for a couple months.
Got the tank setup filled tank with saltwater from the tubs after a week to my water sample to the lfs everything was good. bought my first fish clown and we will see how it goes and see where it takes me again not in no hurry. how can I add a photo
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:52 PM   #19
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here is picture of stand and tank and the lonely clown fish

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...cture63766.jpg
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...cture63768.jpg
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