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Old 03-06-2017, 07:29 AM   #1
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Thinking about starting a reef tank again

Hey guys. I have been out the game for a few years now. I had a reef aquarium before but ended up selling it as I moved house.

I was in a garden centre a couple of weeks ago was looking at all their aquariums. I have defiantly got the bug back as I haven't been able to stop thinking about getting a tank!

The thing is this time I want to do it right! When I started up before it was my friend giving me the advice. It was until later that I found out I had basically done everything wrong!! From getting sea from the harbour to cycling my tank with fish! I started to research a lot more because as you can imagine I had a LOT of problems! That's why I sold up and decided that I would start again but do it right from the get go! Obviously I am no expert so just wanted some advice on equipment and cycling etc.

The tank I am looking is 365 litre system (300l tank with 65l sump) which is about 95gal I think.

2x hydra 26hd lighting units

TMC reef skim 500 dc protein skimmer

Fluval sea marine sump pump sp4 (1822 GPH)

Hydor koralia generation 3 5000 circulation pump

2x jäger 300w heaters

My questions are:

1) is this equipment good/sufficient for a reef tank?

2) I know this is an expensive hobby bout could I save money by getting other equipment that is good/reliable but not as expensive?

3) i have read that live sand is a waste of time. Is this the case? Is there a way to calculate how much sand I will need? (Also depth of sand recommendations)

4) I probably will be moving house again in about 5 years. Is it easy enough to move a tank? I don't think I can hold off another 5 years to get a tank.

Any help would be appreciated
Thanks
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Old 03-06-2017, 12:20 PM   #2
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All of that equipment should be just fine.
Live sand is a waste. You simply need 1 lbs per gallon of sand. You want to get yourself an agragite based sand, but some use pool filter sand as well.
Moving a tank isn't really that hard...just time consuming with tons of 5 gallon buckets.
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Old 03-06-2017, 01:32 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply. is this all the equipment i would need to get started or would you recommend anything else? i have an ro/di unit already. i am just going to start buying items and hold off buying a tank right now. i just want to make sure i get everything i need for keeping fish and corals
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Old 03-06-2017, 03:16 PM   #4
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live sand is a waste?????? awwwwwwwwww money wasted

I did one bag of live sand then like 4 or 5 of just regular white sand
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Old 03-06-2017, 03:22 PM   #5
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live sand is a waste?????? awwwwwwwwww money wasted

I did one bag of live sand then like 4 or 5 of just regular white sand


I just read that live sand isn't actually live as it has been sitting on a shelf too long. I'm no expert that's why I was asking the question lol.
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Old 03-06-2017, 03:38 PM   #6
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God knows how long it sat in the warehouse then on the store shelf . as long as you find a agranite based sand you'll be set it will become live over time . you said your tank is about 95g best answer I can give is put your rock first , reason for this is if fish undermine the rocks this will prevent them from going through the glass , once you do that start with about 75lbs sand than add more if needed . the rock will take a good part of the surface area that needs to be covered
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Old 03-06-2017, 05:03 PM   #7
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God knows how long it sat in the warehouse then on the store shelf . as long as you find a agranite based sand you'll be set it will become live over time . you said your tank is about 95g best answer I can give is put your rock first , reason for this is if fish undermine the rocks this will prevent them from going through the glass , once you do that start with about 75lbs sand than add more if needed . the rock will take a good part of the surface area that needs to be covered


Thanks! I will keep that in mind. That's another thing. When arranging live rock is it best to just place rocks on rocks or is there a way to fix them? In my last tank I just placed them but this tank will be way bigger compared to my last one.

I take it LR is best rather than buying a pre made arrangement idea? I believe the LR is better for filtration? Or would porous rock work just as good with some LR added?
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Old 03-06-2017, 06:34 PM   #8
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I always try to put eggcrate down before rock this is that little extra insurance that your rock wont crash threw your bottom glass , been there done that not fun ,


there are several ways you can do the rock epoxy together as you go or you can drill and use plastic pins , or they could be glued together these will keep rock from shifting . you can just do the old stacking method but there's always that chance a fish decides to rearrange causing a catastrophic disaster .

as for rock you can go with dry base rock it will become live once you get through your cycle and your guaranteed not to bring in any bad hitchhikers , it's also a lot cheaper on the pocket ,

as for cycling everybody experiences different lengths of time cycling it can be 4 to 8 weeks some even achieve it faster .
Cycle your salt tank - Aquarium Advice
the biggest part is to have patients everything should be done with baby steps this will insure a stable environment add any stock you decide slowly 1 or 2 every few weeks giving the beneficial bacteria time to build up , so it can support your second set of fish ,
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Old 03-06-2017, 08:07 PM   #9
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'Live sand' isn't most likely live due to sitting on the shelves for ever. Even with that said, sometimes it is the only way to get sand of a specific color...if that is your thing. I can't think of any other route to get quality pink or black sand.
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Old 03-08-2017, 03:30 AM   #10
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Thanks for the help guys! So is there anything else I need to add to the list regarding equipment?

Also I had a canister filter before so I'm new to the whole sump set up. What is best to put in a sump? I know I want my skimmer in there but do I need media etc?
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Old 03-08-2017, 10:57 AM   #11
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That all varies on the needs of specific tanks.
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Old 03-08-2017, 11:55 AM   #12
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For a tank your size, you'd probably want to drill it and put in an overflow box to take water down to the sump, and drill another hole for your return pump pumping water back up into the tank.
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Old 03-08-2017, 01:02 PM   #13
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For a tank your size, you'd probably want to drill it and put in an overflow box to take water down to the sump, and drill another hole for your return pump pumping water back up into the tank.


Thanks. The tank I'm looking at has an overflow and sump built in. It's the D-D Reef-Pro 1200.

I want to keep fish and corals. I would obviously be looking at corals that are easier to keep to begin with until I learn more about it. I just want to know what I all need to get set up. I've been doing quite a lot of reading but obviously there's differences in opinions with a lot of things. I'm hoping to get my tank in the next few weeks so just trying to get a list of everything I need to begin with.

So far on the list I have

Tank with sump
Lights
Skimmer
Return pump
Powerhead
2x heater
Sand
Rock
Refractometer
Testing kit (PH, KH, NO2, NO3, NH3, NH4)
Ro/di unit
Tds meter

Is this enough equipment to get the ball rolling and start keeping a reef aquarium after a cycle?
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Old 03-08-2017, 03:43 PM   #14
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The TDS meter can come right on the ro/di unit so you'll know when to change out resin/filters. You won't be using it for anything else as measuring the TDS of saltwater, where salt is a dissolved solid, will have a very high number and not tell you anything of relevance.
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Old 03-09-2017, 01:50 PM   #15
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The TDS meter can come right on the ro/di unit so you'll know when to change out resin/filters. You won't be using it for anything else as measuring the TDS of saltwater, where salt is a dissolved solid, will have a very high number and not tell you anything of relevance.


Yeah that's how I have my unit set up.

So do I need things like media reactors or dosing pump or are these just things I can add later?

I was also thinking about putting a refugium in my sump. Is it best to use the mineral mud that you get or should I stick with sand?

I think I'm going to get my tank this weekend from my lfs which is out of town so I want to get the items necessary for cycling my tank and price everything else.
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Old 03-09-2017, 01:59 PM   #16
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There isn't a need to add any type of reactor or dose anything. Some systems might require it later on down the road and it can be added then.
When it comes to a refugium, the goal is algae growth. So with that in mind, I say only to have algae growing in it. No need for sand or mud. More room for algae = more nitrates consumed and then removed. You could also look into DIY'ing yourself an algae turf scrubber. Same concept as a refugium, just grows the algae on a screen that can then easily be scraped off. I've had better results this way and I really like that it assists with CO2 exchange into the system.
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Old 03-09-2017, 02:14 PM   #17
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There isn't a need to add any type of reactor or dose anything. Some systems might require it later on down the road and it can be added then.
When it comes to a refugium, the goal is algae growth. So with that in mind, I say only to have algae growing in it. No need for sand or mud. More room for algae = more nitrates consumed and then removed. You could also look into DIY'ing yourself an algae turf scrubber. Same concept as a refugium, just grows the algae on a screen that can then easily be scraped off. I've had better results this way and I really like that it assists with CO2 exchange into the system.


Ok thanks. I'll look into the turf scrubber. What's your thoughts on a uv steriliser?
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Old 03-09-2017, 08:42 PM   #18
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Worthless. It is extremely difficult to get enough water going through hobby grade units to make them effective. Compare that to the one on the water line coming into my house, which gets all of the water coming in at a specific flow rate, which is very effective.
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:20 AM   #19
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I have ordered my tank and most of the equipment to get started. I'm holding off on buying live rock until my tank comes.

I want to start making saltwater though. My question is

Can I store saltwater in sealed containers for a couple of weeks after mixing?


I have bought a 30gal storage trunk to mix my salt water with a powerhead. I was just going to mix water in it then pump it into a couple of containers and wait for my tank to arrive. This way I will have enough water to fill my tank when it finally gets here.

Any info would be helpful
Thanks
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Old 03-15-2017, 01:21 PM   #20
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You can. It might be best to make up the ro/di water and simply mix everything in the tank once it all gets set up. Make sure not to fill the tank up full since adding the sand and rock to the system will cause displacement.
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