Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater Fish Only & FOWLR
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 10-07-2009, 02:47 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Uhrichsville, OH
Posts: 4
confused newbie

Hi
i am new to saltwater... i have had fresh water tanks for years, currently run 2, a 50gal and 75 gal, gold fish and tropical with no problems and well established.. we are now wanting to venture into saltwater, to explore the new breeds and so forth saltwater can provide...
however, i have been spending time reading up on here and other websites as well as various documentation and so forth and it has just made me more confused than anything, seems there are so many different opinions on what is best, worst etc. i am hoping someone can lay it out for me and tell me what i am still in need or, or what i have that i shouldnt...
currently i have a 55gallon tank. i have an emperor 400 bio wheel filter on the back and a gravity fed filter behind with a maxijet 1000 pump. i am using filter pad and bio balls in the gravity filter at the moment.
the substrait is natural gravel with live sand over it, about an inch of sand, varies across the tank, as i let it fall naturally and gave a nicer bed than flat... maybe this is wrong...
i have a single heater, currently keeping it at 75oF but it not maxed out so can turn it up..
lighting is just a single 32inch flourecent, powerglow bulb, 40W.

we are wanting to obviously have fish, i have been told the best fish to start with are damsels, which is what we shall use and then go from there. as far as coral goes, id like to have some, im not looking for a huge coral reef tank, although they look nice it is expensive and plan on doing this over time, so for now just live rock and some coral, but keep the start up costs down until i am confident i have it all right. unlike fresh water tanks, if you screw up and kill everything, thats a huge chunk of change you just destroyed...

i have heard bio balls are actually bad, but then i have heard, they are great... some people say, put sand in the sump, other say, it will just ruin your pump...
the pump is old now, i plan on replacing it but it works fine just doesnt always restart on its own if power goes out so will be replaced.
currently, i calculated im pushing 660gph from both filters, i was told looking at between 7-10 times tank capacity which i am well within, is this correct?

basically i just need someone who knows, to just let me know what i need to change or add or remove, before i start spending money on live rock and eventually fish... its been cycling for about a week in its current form, im in no rush, just want to make sure least get a good start...

thanks...i hope...
nick
__________________

__________________
unclebobsuncle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2009, 06:29 PM   #2
SW REEF 20+ YEARS
Community Admin
 
melosu58's Avatar



Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Virginia
Posts: 38,632
1)http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...ank-73477.html

2)http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...ank/Page1.html
__________________

__________________

SITE ADMINISTRATOR

You can view many of my fish and corals in my photo albums in my profile.

View my tank


AA Community Rules|AA TOS

Forums 101 - posting, accounts, basics
melosu58 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2009, 08:27 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
fishmonkey's Avatar


 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 1,207
haha, Mike those two things were what i wa going to post, but you beat me to it lol.

okay, so if you want corals, you are going to need to have some good lighting, and unfortunately, its one of the most expensive, and important, parts of having a saltwater tank.

the water flow seems about right, but if you have frequent power outtages, then getting a new one is definitely going to be nessecary.

you are also going to need a protein skimmer, and also an RODI unit for sure.
__________________
fishmonkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2009, 01:08 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Uhrichsville, OH
Posts: 4
thanks..
yes i read through that stock list, that was what confused me, as it contradicted other peoples opinions, hence my confusion on some aspects...
protein skimmer.... now, have to forgive me, as i said, i been fresh water up until now and not really messed with a lot of these fancier filters.. but my understanding is, its a filter that takes the water from the surface, skims the surface, correct? my gravity filter ( i may be calling it the wrong thing) uses a, box, which hangs on the back of the tank and has slots in it, taking water from the surface, its currently set about 1/2 inch into the water. it then uses a syphon to pull this water out and into the sump below... is that doing the same thing as a protein skimmer?

i will have to look into RODI..

thanks... ill follow the above guide.. i guess its like a lot of things, different people have different ideas of how to do things... the lighting i did look into yes and that is going to be an expensive part.. but should just be a one time set up cost and not require much more financial input as long as nothing breaks...this tank is built into a wall and the top is hidden, so the lighting doesnt need to look fancy or anything, long as it outputs what it needs to, it wont be seen.

thanks..
__________________
unclebobsuncle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2009, 01:15 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Pleasanton CA
Posts: 625
Send a message via AIM to match55 Send a message via MSN to match55 Send a message via Yahoo to match55
you don't want sand/mud in your sump but in the refugium.
its really optional, depend on what u r gonna put in your refugium, you may want to put some sand.
but someone in here also told me if u r not putting 4"+sand to great a DSB, then there is no use putting sand.
__________________
Thanks to AMD, HN1, Zero, partypalooza, thincat, and thominil who helped me in almost every questions. Thanks everyone!!!!!
46gal Reef
match55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2009, 02:42 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 787
I've also been told to avoid damsel fish. They can be very aggressive and nasty. If you are going to get them, get them last.
__________________
Jaybird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2009, 04:21 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: not here anymore
Posts: 5,338
Quote:
Originally Posted by unclebobsuncle View Post
...
protein skimmer.... now, have to forgive me, as i said, i been fresh water up until now and not really messed with a lot of these fancier filters.. but my understanding is, its a filter that takes the water from the surface, skims the surface, correct? my gravity filter ( i may be calling it the wrong thing) uses a, box, which hangs on the back of the tank and has slots in it, taking water from the surface, its currently set about 1/2 inch into the water. it then uses a syphon to pull this water out and into the sump below... is that doing the same thing as a protein skimmer?.
No.

A protein skimmer can pull water from anywhere, but essentially is a thing that make a ton of little tiny bubbles and creates a frothy foam of your saltwater. The foam then rises up through a tube and spills over into a collection cup. Y'know that line of foam you see along the beach? That's essentially what a skimmer is trying to recreate. The tiny bubbles attract organics before they break down into ammonia/nitrites/nitrates and get them out of your tank.

A surface skimmer attachment (which you're describing) is not the same, although you can use one with a protein skimmer.
__________________
Kurt_Nelson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2009, 06:20 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Palestine, TX USA
Posts: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by unclebobsuncle View Post
Hi
we are wanting to obviously have fish, i have been told the best fish to start with are damsels, which is what we shall use and then go from there.

For goodness sake, don't put a damsel in first. I learned the hard way. That little $5 demon cost me about $200 in fish. Just my two cents!

Oh and read everything you can find on cycling your tank. I was told how to do this from the guy at my LFS and it's been a real problem getting the tank properly. Read this article if you haven't already done so:

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...ank/Page1.html

I'm still a newbie myself but I would hate for anyone else to make the same mistakes I did. Just trying to help save you some time and money. Lessons learned right!

Enjoy your new tank!
__________________
teapage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2009, 12:01 AM   #9
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
HappyHooligan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 209
Hey Unclebob,
I was in the your exact position 6 months ago.
In my opinion start with a FOWLER system. They are actually pretty self sustaining aside from some water monitoring and water changes.
FOWLER systems give you a chance to work with and get familiar with saltwater without dropping a lot of money right away on lighting and other filtration.
You can always upgrade later.
No matter what you decide you have great resources here at AA!!
__________________
HappyHooligan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2009, 12:08 AM   #10
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
fishmonkey's Avatar


 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 1,207
yeah, the protein skimmer takes organics out of the water, and the RO/DI unit filters your tap watter before it goes into the tank. your gonna need both.
__________________
fishmonkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2009, 12:39 AM   #11
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Uhrichsville, OH
Posts: 4
yes.. thats what decided to do.. just do fish and live rock, save the coral for a later date....
__________________
unclebobsuncle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2009, 02:36 AM   #12
SW REEF 20+ YEARS
Community Admin
 
melosu58's Avatar



Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Virginia
Posts: 38,632
Quote:
Originally Posted by unclebobsuncle View Post
thanks..
yes i read through that stock list, that was what confused me, as it contradicted other peoples opinions, hence my confusion on some aspects...
protein skimmer.....

SkimrArt

What is Skimming? by Randy Holmes-Farley - Reefkeeping.com
__________________

SITE ADMINISTRATOR

You can view many of my fish and corals in my photo albums in my profile.

View my tank


AA Community Rules|AA TOS

Forums 101 - posting, accounts, basics
melosu58 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2009, 09:30 AM   #13
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 787

Wow, that article on Reefkeeping.com is great! I've learned quite a bit about my skimmer. Thanks.
__________________
Jaybird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2009, 11:21 AM   #14
is back to save the day!
 
Zer0's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 3,194
Ok well anyways.. there's some pretty straight forward comments going around here, and some of which are not at all necessary depending on what kind of livestock you will have in the tank.

For one thing, lighting is definitely not a must. If you plan to just have fish and live rock for a good amount of time, then the light fixture you currently have will do just fine. It is only when you start to wander in to the realm of corals will you need a better lighting solution. I'm guessing your using the 75G tank, so with a tank that deep you are going to want to look for T5 High Output light fixtures. I have a 55G tank myself, and from what i have learned, 75G tanks and 55G tanks are relatively around the same depth. So whether you are going with your 55G or your 75G you are going to need strong lighting. Generally speaking, T5 HO's are considered pretty cheap for the amount of light they produce and their effectiveness at keeping coral alive and healthy.(Assuming you have the proper light fixture over your tank.) Then, we have the metal halides which are boatloads of money... but you are getting what you pay for. Metal Halides produce great quantities of light and apparently, they give a wider spectrum of light which is better for the corals.. or so i've been told. Metal Halides are really expensive, so if you are on a budget they certainly wont be anywhere in that budget haha.

Just something to note for future reference.. Assuming your 75 or 55G tank is close to 20" deep or higher, not matter what light fixture you end up bying, you will need to find one with a generally high wattage. If you want to have a wide variety of coral you are able to keep alive in your tank, look for fixtures that have over 320Watts. I have the "Current USA, Nova Extreme Pro" which is a 6-bulb T5 HO fixture with each bulb being 54Watts. Now this is over a 55G tank with a depth of 21".. and with this fixture i can keep alive just about any coral, including anemones which need very strong lighting to live comfortably. Just something to consider.

On another thing, protein skimmers are HIGHLY reccomended for any tanks over 40G so it would be in yours and your tanks best interest to buy a protein skimmer as well as not slack on the one that you buy. Your tanks have A LOT of water, and an efficient protein skimmer is a must if you want that water to be clean and your livestock happy and healthy. Some of the cheaper but well-made skimmers are "Reef Octopus" skimmers, CPR skimmers, and a couple other ones i forgot the names of. Whatever you do, stay away from the skimmers named "SEACLONE". These skimmers are horribly made, are cheap, and usually break in a short period of time and ends up causing you to spend more money on a better skimmer which should have been done in the first place and would have saved you money. It just is not worth it to get a crappy skimmer.. just because it's cheap. Stay away from the ones you see on ebay for 30 or 40 dollars, because they will wind up giving you more headaches then results. Definitely do not slack in the protein skimmer department.

Another thing... You said you used "natural gravel"? What is that? Is that like the gravel that is found in freshwater tanks? They look like the ugly vibrant colored gravel for fish tanks.. except without the vibrant color? Haha. First off, it is good that you put a decent layer of sand over it.. but what will happen if you decide to get inverts that burrow in the sand? They will start to dig through the sand, and all of that gravel will begin to get pushed to the surface and will accumulate and cause nitrate problems in your tank. Now, it really does not seem like a life or death situation at this point.. or even in the near future.. But if you plan to keep this tank long-term and you plan to have some interesting and diverse creatures in there.. you might want to consider removing the gravel later on and replacing it completely with sand. It's better for the tanks ecosystem as well as its inhabitants.

Also.. Don't feel pressured like you HAVE to buy an RO/DI unit. It is definitely not one of the most important components of a saltwater tank, and saltwater aquarists have survived for years without one. Is it a good investment? Yes. Will it make all the boo-boos go away? No. It will definitely help in the elimination of unwanted metals and other elements that may cause algae growth and other growths, but i know other people including myself that use RO/DI water and still have some issues regarding algae and other wierd looking things that grow all over the tank. In my opinion, getting an RO/DI unit is a sound idea and great investment, or even using RO water from supermarkets or pet stores, BUT if you are on a budget with this tank it surely is not a must.

Good Luck and remember to come back with more questions.
__________________
Thanks.
-Kevin
Zer0 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2009, 03:27 PM   #15
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Uhrichsville, OH
Posts: 4
zero... thanks... that helps a bit... seems a lot of guides etc assume the reader is out to produce the great coral reef in their living room right away, which i am not..
the 75g is currently tropical, id love to use it for the salt, but the fish in there have grown beyond a 55gallon capacity.. balas are about 6 inches already and still growing.. so swapping would not be good for them.. and i grown attached to the lil sharkys....
so the 55gallon is the salt.. it is standard depth though, 21"... the lighting, i doubt is going to be adequate either way. it is only a single T8 bulb.... i have considered swapping out with the 75g which uses 2, but i will probably have to upgrade.. however the entire thing was used for salt water before, it was given to me since it developed a leak.. leak been fixed, its been tested and confident in the repair, but he managed to keep salt water alive with just that single light... how good it was, i dont know, i never saw it set up.. the coral he gave me had been dry for months so is dead as a door nail now.. but i will upgrade the lighting... i have advantage of i dot need to use a special tank hood, since i can mount any light i want under there, it cant be seen... so thinking shop light with high output ballast and bulbs.. dont know research be needed...

protein skimmer iw ill have to invest in yes.. that much seems to be a common opinion...

natural gravel... it is actual gravel... not the small fake stuff for freshwater.. pebbles i guess... natural color.. i know salt water and sand would not go well with colored gravel and would make a mess... it was well cleaned and not just picked up from a quarry... its been in a tank before and this time it was left in a weak bleach solution for a few hours and then rinsed 5 or 6 times.. (much to the disgust of the girlfriend since i used the bathtub)
i dont plan on keeping it in there... just acting as a filler for now... once i know what im going to do and decided on final set up, i will start replacing it with sand.

RO/DI will come later... although on that note, i havnt actually done anything yet, wasnt sure, but, when using tap water... is it ok to use the chemicals you would in a fresh tank, that eliminate chlorine etc... 'stress coat' for instance? i know they say it safe for all fish and tanks, but i take that as what it is, marketing...

i think we have decided, for now, it will be fish and rock... partly because coral is something that obviously needs a high investment and also, i think be too much to take on straight away..

one last question.... the old coral i have, which i know is dead and so forth now... but, is it ok to put that in the tank? dont expect it to amount to anything, just more for decoration than anything... that be ok or is there side effects to doing that?
__________________
unclebobsuncle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2009, 06:14 PM   #16
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
HappyHooligan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 209
If it's dry now, and you add it to the tank, it may cause an ammonia spike from anything dead still stuck to it.
Of course if your just starting a saltwater tank it would be perfect to cycle the tank with your other LR.
__________________

__________________
HappyHooligan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Confused... The_Wolfman Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 1 01-14-2009 07:43 PM
Please help. Im a confused Fish Loving Newbie TheRealFF Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 18 03-02-2006 12:29 AM
Im getting a little confused... BrennanX Saltwater Reef Aquaria 9 01-24-2006 08:10 AM
Confused. Joey17 Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 9 08-24-2005 06:51 PM
HELP A CONFUSED NEWBIE!!!! Symon1 Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 3 01-12-2005 12:22 AM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:12 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.