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Old 11-28-2005, 04:14 PM   #1
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My first aquarium...All-Glass 90g with Megaflow - need help!

I'm kinda embarassed about coming looking for help, but I can't seem to find much in the way of a step by step guide (yet, still looking!).

Ok, the deal is -
I was given a very nice present for my 30th birthday -
90g standard All-glass (48x18x24) reef-ready tank.
Megaflow sump(?) - big box with blue balls and an open area beyond a spongey filter pad.
A device that looks very similar to a blender (has a pump attached tot he bottom.. I'm assuming this is a skimmer that creates a vaccuum and sucks the solid waste from the water.
An additional pump.
Tubing/drain&return kit/heater stick
Hood lamps/top/stand etc

Ok, my problem is.. there's no instructions...Couple of diagrams for the pipes and a parts list for the skimmer thingy.
I've done all the easy stuff, but that was all no brainer.

My biggest two questions:
The skimmer - seems like it fits perfectly inside the sump box so:
Water comes down the drain, goes into top of the box with the balls, the skimmer sits in the open area, pulling water through the balls, churns the water, additional pump pulls water from skimmer outtake and pushes it out the return. - Is that right?

Second question -
This heater rod thing.. I assume it's intended to go inside the tank itself, but can it be used in the skimmer side of the sump (if what I thought previously is somewhat on the mark)?

I know this is a large commitment and can take a very long time to do properly, I just want to do it well and myself (I called an aquarium store and they want to charge a 100 bucks an hr to do all this stuff, when I know it's not difficult, just new to me..)

Surely appreciate any tips/help..

Thanks

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Old 11-28-2005, 06:55 PM   #2
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I'd suggest picking up some books first.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...&link_code=as1

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...&link_code=as1

Both of these are very good books. Your local library probably has them as well.

The next step is, plan what you want to do with your aquarium. Figure out what fish and what corals/harder inverts (if any) you wish to keep. Let us know and we can recommend certain setups. Using live rock as a filtration mechanism is strongly suggested. Say no to under-gravel filtration, and wet/dry filtration unless you do not wish to have any rocks in your aquarium.

Your skimmer needs to sit in the sump. It moves its own water, but not much. The second pump is the return pump, which moves the water back through the tank.

Yes, the heater can be used in the sump.



Also see the articles here: http://www.aquariumadvice.com/showfaq.php?fldAuto=2
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Old 11-28-2005, 07:15 PM   #3
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ahhhh thank you.. I figured I had it right (mainly cause all the tubing they supplied seemingly only worked out well that way...lucky I guess).
Appreciate the heater part too..

I've actually been reading up on things quite a bit the past few days, I already have viewed several pages on the state of the water and different specimen communities that would be good for a beginner like me.

At first I was very much going to go with a freshwater because of my inexperience. I was of the old sort of mentality that a marine tank would be next to impossible for a newbie to take care of, but through many sites (this one included..incredible find!) I think I can manage a fish only marine tank if I just be patient and go slow, following the wealth of knowledge provided.

I want my critters to be healthy and happy, certainly not lose one or all.
Ahh and I plan to use only dead coral as decoration, from what I read the ecosytem is hard to keep in balance otherwise (for someone like myself) so my current setup should do the job as long as I use/maintain it all properly.
Reef will be something I try after a couple of years of fish only..
Thank you for your response, it really helps.
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Old 11-28-2005, 08:54 PM   #4
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Welcome to AquariumAdvice.com!!!
Without a pic and name/model of the sump it is pretty hard to help. I suggest going to the LFS where it was purchased for some help in set up. They can walk you through visually and it would be a great help. As for starting out with SW...if you go slow and do your research, there is no reason you can not be successful. Get some good books and start reading. Keep stopping by here for answers to your questions. Deciding you want a SW tank is just the beginning...
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Old 11-28-2005, 09:32 PM   #5
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Good luck We are here to help you. Like they said do some reading to decide the 100 questions you`ll have. Like I said write if you dont understand
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Old 11-28-2005, 10:07 PM   #6
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Thanks for the warm welcome!!
I know the following pictures arn't the best.. I'd need to pull it all out and photo each piece individually (which I can do, was hoping they'd be somewhat recognizable).
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Old 11-28-2005, 10:17 PM   #7
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Whew, that worked I spose..

I can say I learn by leaps and bounds about this whole thing every day, and certainly keep adding to the realization to take it nice and slow and build a world, not just rush out and grab whatever seems cool/nice and just hope for the best..

Tonight's realization was the importance/wonder of live rock and how it will greatly benefit the ecosystem I would like to build..
Not really so much into having a reef tank per-se, but the benefits of any live rock seem to greatly outweigh a system without it.
Far better then seed fish I imagine (as a starting point..a new tank seems perfect for live rock and building an ecosystem)... that and I've sort of got the goal of no death in the tank...if something happens along the way 'because', so be it. I'm going to try my hardest to make sure a death is natural and not by my hand (my pets are my kids...).

I already have a couple of dogs, and know how much tlc they require to keep healthy happy and well adjusted.. I am learning that marine life is just as fragile and needy...
(at least they won't chew up the couch)

I do sort of have a question on live rock... I know I'm not ready to order/go buy some, but I have a 90g tank.. most places I can reference at this hour (online) list quantities either very small (I've read figures from 1-1.75lbs to up to 2.5 lbs per g of rock), 20-25 or much higher.
I was thinking that if I went with the live rock in a new tank, 20-25 would be a good start and wouldn't cause any problems all around.. of course, I know nothing from experience, only reading...


After reading much in many places, this link has a clear cut example (no doubt one methodolgy?) of what I'm reading.. I hope it is a well thought out piece..

http://aquarium.union.rpi.edu/setup.html
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Old 11-28-2005, 10:34 PM   #8
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For maximum benefit, the recommended amount is 1-1.5lbs PER gallon of aquarium water. In your case, 90lbs-135lbs. You can run with less though, just may need supplamental filtration for heavier bioloads.

What you can also do it buy 70 lbs of cheap, dead, dry baserock (from various vendors - make sure its either calcium based or of marine origin), and seed your system with 20-40lbs of liverock. The baserock will soon become live as well.
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xenia, mushrooms, wels. open brain, fungia radiata (orange), green eyed zoos

flame angel, mated pair of false perc, 6-line, firefish

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Old 11-29-2005, 08:26 PM   #9
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It sounds like you well on your way to being someone who will take care of your tankmates.
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Old 11-30-2005, 12:41 AM   #10
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Sure hope so.. I take the 'critters' in my life seriously...
I'm not one to seek therapy over loss of a pet, but I don't take it lightly neither..
Biggest issue now is the matter of community in my water..
Of course, like anyone new.. I want it all.. Bursts your bubble to find out seahorses are food or killed or whatever by most anything... puffers eat most anything...cukes are...deadly..sort of... etc etc etc...
I just want a very well balanced and diverse tank with lots of interest...
Time is fortunatly on my side (and my wallet thanks me for that notion..)

Any references to a well balanced community are well received (and thanks to all the posts here I have read about natural foods and bottom life and rocks and and and and...what a wealth...)


You guys should sell a book that has a gold trimmed leather cover and nothing but a link to here in the one and only page...makes alot of other references look like...shrimp food...
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Old 11-30-2005, 08:45 PM   #11
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[quote="Feron"]Sure hope so.. I take the 'critters' in my life seriously...
I'm not one to seek therapy over loss of a pet, but I don't take it lightly neither..


You keep that thought and you will be a fine addition to the team. I`m so tired of people not caring about the tank inhabitants wheather they live or die, I`ll just get another one.. That is what tells the difference between an aquarist and a hobbiest.
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Old 12-01-2005, 10:45 AM   #12
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Ok, update of sorts..

The pump I have is a mag7, the skimmer is a pro clear aquatic systems?
I've got a UV sterilizer on it's way (altho I won't implement that puppy until a month or so after the LR gets in there and is done cycling and the bottom critters are introduced) a turbo-twist 36w and appropriate pump.

Just got done carving the wall apart to kind of inset the tank (I want to see it from both sides...office & kitchen).

So now I am plugging everything up..
drain to sump, skimmer in sump, skimmer to mag7, mag7 to return.
UV sterilizer will be pulling water out of the sump, uvin it and returning it to the chamber where the skimmer sits..
I figured since the flow through the steri is so much lower it shouldn't cause any problems that way....

sound ok?
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Old 12-01-2005, 10:50 AM   #13
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ahh and I forgot, I also put my heater stick (200w) in the sump in the first chamber beyond the bio ball thingies..
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Old 12-01-2005, 03:17 PM   #14
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Changed things... on more thought I figure that mag7 might cause the skimmer to implode or something... or simply ruin it's process...added a tube to put the skimmed water back through the wet dry, and the mag7 stands on it's own in the sump to pump out water... I guess finding a good balance of water is key here or the mag7 could potentially keep the skimmer from doing it's job...space is limited (especially since the stand has drawers and the skimmer is tall) so I might have to get creative with another small pump before the main return pump going to a small tank.box just for the skimmer...

<shrug> live and learn... long time before any specimens are introduced..
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Old 12-01-2005, 08:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feron
Changed things... on more thought I figure that mag7 might cause the skimmer to implode or something... or simply ruin it's process...added a tube to put the skimmed water back through the wet dry, and the mag7 stands on it's own in the sump to pump out water... I guess finding a good balance of water is key here or the mag7 could potentially keep the skimmer from doing it's job...space is limited (especially since the stand has drawers and the skimmer is tall) so I might have to get creative with another small pump before the main return pump going to a small tank.box just for the skimmer...

<shrug> live and learn... long time before any specimens are introduced..
Sounds good! Skimmers usualy need big pumps, but don't actually put a lot of water through them (its more for the pressure to drive them). They're usualy pumped seperately and simply drain back into their source water from there.

Let us know what you get the tank settled in the wall and get some water flowing through it.


Have you thought about possible stocking lists yet? It helps to get some ideas on which fish/inverts you'd like to keep in your tank, make sure they're all compatible, and figure out the correct order to add them. We can help suggest things and figure out problems as well
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55g reef, 2x250W 10k MH + 2x96W PC actninc, 10g sump, AquaC Urchin skimmer, 65lbs LR

xenia, mushrooms, wels. open brain, fungia radiata (orange), green eyed zoos

flame angel, mated pair of false perc, 6-line, firefish

20gH electric yellow cichlid
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Old 12-02-2005, 01:17 PM   #16
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Going to be a busy weekend.. I plan to have the wall all done tomorrow, and the first water test sunday..
The RO/DI unit I ordered will be here next week, so I plan on getting the water all set be end of week next week.
Then it's 125 lbs of 50/50 rock (LR/base).
I went with the tahitian black moon sand, as well.. I like the black, and I figure it'll be close even with fish poo.
After the cycle, I plan on planting various ocean plants - even if I know they'll get eaten. I had also thought about getting some feeder shrip and see if they'd multiply if left in the tank without predators.
Then comes the cleaning crew - hermits, turbo snails, tiger tail cuke, maybe a slug ans a couple stars...and of course, the cleaner shrimp (2 or 3 skunks probably at first).
I'd also like a blue lobster.. I read they will get along ok.. I can't believe how many snails and turbos they recommend for this size tank.. but I imagine the hermits will help keep the snails population in check.
From there we get into the fish.
Clowns, blue goby, yellowtail damsel, flame/longnose hawk, foxface lo,
purple firefish, dartfish..
Those are all possibles...I have some more 'advanced fish' for later on down the line..no rush..
Those fish 'should' all play well with themselves and the cleaners...with the exception of the hawkfish I guess...they might eat the shrimp if I don't let the shrimp grow a bit first.
It's kind of nerve racking to find out my tank is 'limited to' 18" of fish...
that's not that many fish..
I figure that if I have only one larger fish I might be able to exceed the 'rule of thumb' since I have the uv sterilizer (and have thought about adding an ozone thing). That and the plants and lr and what not.. I figure I can get a way with a bunch of small fish..

All in time tho, no rush..
No corals tho.. not yet anyhow
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Old 12-02-2005, 09:43 PM   #17
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You are right no rush. I`ve been building my reef tank for eight years now
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Old 12-03-2005, 03:16 PM   #18
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I agree, this site is awesome. People here are very helpful.

One experience from a SW beginner myself: the best decision I made when setting up was to buy LR from established systems. Not only was it cheaper (<$2/gal instead of >$4/gal), but since it went from tank to tank in under an hour, there was virtually no die-off. That meant the biological filter was established, so I did not have to go through a long cycle (any cycle, in fact). The rock also came with tons of macro-life, including cool inverts like a pistol shrimp that I didn't discover for a month.

So, if you can manage to find someone in your area selling large quantities of LR from their reef for FOWLR tank, I heartily recommend purchasing.
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Old 12-03-2005, 03:33 PM   #19
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I'd vote against the yellowtail perhaps. They get mean And are basicly impossible to get out of a tank once they go in (quick ones they are)

Imo, the 100 snails or so they sell in kits is way overboard. Many might starve over time as the tank matures. I probably have 20 in my 55g (until the astreas start falling off the glass - wish they could right themselves). Its a good idea to get some variety in snails though, such as turbos and astreas, along with nassarius and cerith snails. Perhaps a fighting conch too.

I'd watch out for sand sifting stars as well. They may not be able to find enough food over time.

Watch out for the hawkfish, sometimes hey find shrimp ultra tasty (like the live ones in your tank )

Saltwater has a much lower fish density, but much more interesting fish. They also tend to be much more territorial in nature, which along with reduced oxygen soluability on saltwater, leads to less fish per aquarium. Note that I'd consider some fish "free", such as the adorable clown gobies, as long as you add one.
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xenia, mushrooms, wels. open brain, fungia radiata (orange), green eyed zoos

flame angel, mated pair of false perc, 6-line, firefish

20gH electric yellow cichlid
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Old 12-03-2005, 05:58 PM   #20
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I think the hawkfish will have the opportunity to eat the shrimp even if it grows a little, the hawkfish might tear the shrimp to pieces.The hawkfish will also eat smaller fish too.I reccomend the dartfish becuae they are really cool fish,I used to have one and it would pop in and out of it hole, they are really colorful fish too.I don't think you should go over the limit with the SW fish capacity, it can turn into disasterous result on water quality.Damselfish are very aggresive and I don''t really like them, so I suggest using SW mollies instead of damsels becuase they are more colorful and less aggressive.One more thing is to change the bio-balls in your sump into some other media such as live rock rubble becuase as I have read, bio-balls eventually cause nitrates in the tank to rise.HTH
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