Complete Newbie to SW

Discussion in 'Reef Fishes' started by Vash612584, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. Vash612584

    Vash612584

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    Within the next two weeks i plan on purchasing a 55gal kit at walmart (which is where i work). It comes with the tank, a 30-60gal power filter, a 200watt heater, 2 hoods with lights. what all am i going to need to purchase to set this up as a fish only SW tank? I was looking at getting the salt and live sand at the local petco, and mixing the live sand with washed playsand. I know i need a marine water test kit, but unsure of anything else. I would like to add some live rock into the tank eventually but cant afford to do it at the moment.

    Thanks in advance for your help,

    Vash
     
    Vash612584, Mar 12, 2007
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  2. Vash612584

    bobby I like to do bad things.

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    hehe right behind you. hehe
    You will need a skimmer. Play sand can cause algae outbreaks in your tank, I would stick with reef sand. You can get a 30 lb bag of dry sand and a 20 lb bag of live and you should be fine, however, if your wanting a deep sand bed you will need more sand than that. Something else you might want to look in to, is a hob refugium, you can pick one up cheap on ebay. But the main thing I would get would be a good skimmer to remove organics. When you go to buy fish after its cycled go slow and add no more than 2 fish then wait about 3 weeks to add more, also when you buy food for them go with frozen, because flakes and pellets will put phosphates in your water and also cause algae. Well good luck, welcome to living reefs and dont hesitate to ask anymore questions.
     
    bobby, Mar 12, 2007
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  3. Vash612584

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    Hi and welcome to the reefs.
    You know that your just getting ready to get into the addictive hobby there is right?
    Forget about the play sand,I already tryed that and it didnt work.Once it had water over it looked like crap.Go ahead and invest in a 30lb bag of aragonite sand.The dry aragonite isnt that expensive,plus it works as a natural buffer to help keep your PH stable.
    If I remember right I give about 15.00 bucks for 30lbs of the dry,then bought a 10lbs bag of live sand to seed it with.I think.
    You'll also want to add a protein skimmer a little later on.There really not a have to item for fish only,but one will make a big difference in your water quality.
    You'll need a couple of powerheads to keep the water moving.Most folks use maxi-jets.In a 55 I suggest the maxi-jet 1200's,one in each back corner with the flow aimed toward the center surface to break the surface tension and oxygenate the water.
    Just remember to take it slow,saltwater cant be rushed.
     
    yote, Mar 13, 2007
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  4. Vash612584

    reeffreak

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    Yeah I would definitely get a skimmer,try the Corallife Super Skimmer(a good skimmer at an affordable price).I don't know to much about playsand,but I would skip that.I would go with 80% dry aragonite sand and 20% live aragonite sand.Even if you can only buy one live rock a week,I would definitely do that.Live rock will eventually be your main filtration.Good luck and have fun.

    ps...are you doing a FOWLR(fish only with live rock) or a reef?
     
    reeffreak, Mar 13, 2007
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  5. Vash612584

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    The hood lights you buy will be fine for fish only. But if you plan on adding any corals later on, you will have to upgrade lights. The filter will also be fine for fish only, if you stock your tank lightly. I second the suggestion to get a good protein skimmer, that will help immensely. As for the test kits you need, the basics are salinity (a hydrometer or refractometer), pH, alkalinity, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.
     
    Bifferwine, Mar 13, 2007
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  6. Vash612584

    reeffreak

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    Oh yeah you would need a couple powerheads..the Maxi 600,900,1200 are good.(about 10-20 dollars online)
     
    reeffreak, Mar 13, 2007
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  7. Vash612584

    Vash612584

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    Im debating on whether to get just a 55 gallon tank and a stand and start with 55lbs of live rock and 50 lbs of argonite sand. do you guys have any links for a good light setup for a tank this size?
     
    Vash612584, Mar 13, 2007
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  8. Vash612584

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Lights are generally expensive. You have three options: Power compacts, metal halides or T5s. You want at least 3 watts per gallon to keep most soft corals, and even more (around 8 watts per gallon) if you want to keep SPS or anemones. But that's a general rule.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2007
    Bifferwine, Mar 13, 2007
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  9. Vash612584

    reeffreak

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    Vash you never mention if want to do a reef or FOWLR.If you are doing a reef with corals that need moderate lighting then this will work
    T-5 Aquarium Lighting: Nova Extreme T-5 Fixtures w/Lunar Lights

    If your doing fish only than standard flouresants will work fine..you may want to change the bulbs to 50/50 bulbs(half daylight,half actinic) or if its a double strip light than 1 10k(daylight) and 1 actinic.Mushroom coral can even be keep under them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2007
    reeffreak, Mar 13, 2007
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  10. Vash612584

    Vash612584

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    i was originally thinking about going fish only now im thinking about going fowlr
     
    Vash612584, Mar 13, 2007
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  11. Vash612584

    reeffreak

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    Its a progression thing...later you may wanna go full reef.
     
    reeffreak, Mar 13, 2007
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  12. Vash612584

    JellyMan

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    Hello and welcome to the reefs, I dont need to comment on the topic above as much, I feel every think that needed to be said has been. however the coralline will grow greatly under strip lights due to them not putting out enough light to cause a serious algae problem, which is known to suffocate coralline, as long as you stay on top of your phospates and silicates youll do fine, the right bulbs will grow some great coralline algae however any coral life on the rock most likely will not grow all that well due to the lack of lighting it needs, the featherdusters, bivalves, sponges, etc will grow but that is about it. Hope this helps
     
    JellyMan, Mar 13, 2007
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  13. Vash612584

    d.french

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    ask around about lights, i'm sure someone in here or on rc with have a 48 inch light for sale kimoy use to have on for sale. You can find one used pretty cheap some times.
     
    d.french, Mar 13, 2007
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  14. Vash612584

    Vash612584

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    how hard is it to convert a freshwater tank into a saltwater one. I had something come up where i'm going to be able to buy the tank and stuff like that but wont have the money to do it as a saltwater tank. I was thinking about setting it up as a freshwater tank and moving my cichlids and aggressive's into it.
     
    Vash612584, Mar 14, 2007
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  15. Vash612584

    reeffreak

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    Depends,Vash you could probably get away with using the equipment but not the gravel or decorations.You should only need salt and substrate.I know this addiction can cost some $$$.Later on down the road look into a decent skimmer,but if you keep up with the waterchanges you may get away without one.After talking in chat you sound like you really wanna go salt,go ahead and take the plunge.Good luck on whatever route that you take.
     
    reeffreak, Mar 14, 2007
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  16. Vash612584

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    Switching one from fresh water to salt waters no different than setting up a new tank.Just replace the filter media,add sand,,mix up some salt water ,and WA LA you got it switched.
     
    yote, Mar 14, 2007
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