First Salt Water Tank 90 Gallon (REEF)

Discussion in 'New to Reefing' started by Chevrefils, Apr 21, 2013.

  1. Chevrefils

    Chevrefils

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    Hey there guys new to the site and the marine keeping hobby. I kept African cichlids for a number of years having a 6ft 125G showtank with 50 G DIY sump. It was an absolutely beautiful tank, but due to a move i was forced to sell it all. I am now back into the fish keeping hobby however new to the salt water and looking for some advice!

    Currently cycling my 90 gallon tank with base rock, biowheel, ehiem canister filter and powerhead i have yet to add the salt as thats coming in this week. My brother owns his own exotic pet store so i will be getting everything for free or cost. :bounce:

    Also coming in this week is a large amount of live rock, sand, and reef capable light which i believe is a coral life. Now i know canister filters are typically not used on saltwater tanks but im just using it to start the cycle as it already had a bacteria colony established.

    Now im looking for advice on what equipment i should use? This will be a reef tank eventually however i will not be using a sump at this time but will in the future. I would like to keep, shrimp, crabs, easy to keep soft corals, and a mixture of reef safe fish.

    What kind of HOB protein skimmer would you guys recommend considering cost/performance?

    Best power head considering cost/performance?

    What other mechanical filtration should i be using beyond the biowheel and canister? (Marineland 400)

    Also are RO units really that necessary?

    Feel free to comment on any of this, including species of inhabitants. Im a rookie so just looking to learn :mrgreen

    Thanks!
     
    Chevrefils, Apr 21, 2013
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  2. Chevrefils

    Jml32788

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    -Reef Octopus are great HOB protein skimmers. Get a skimmer that is rated for more than a 90g tank though. I would lose the canister filter all together after your cycle is complete.

    -RO units are a MUST in my opinion. a very very very small group of people can actually get away with not using an RO unit. I would suggest a stage 4 or better.

    I don't have any preference in power heads. To me, if it moves water at the rate I want it to then its good enough for me. Your flow rate will be determined by what you decide to keep in your tank. If you stay with soft corals then you wont need as much flow as if you were going with the LPS/ hard corals. But, if your getting things for cost/free then try to spring for some EcoTech MP40 power heads. They have a small footprint and have some nice features.

    You don't really need any mechanical filtration. Just plenty of rock and keep up with water changes. You could always pack that canister filter with just carbon and run it if you ever need to. But I wouldn't run it constantly with carbon since it will strip the water of essential elements like calcium.
     
    Jml32788, Apr 22, 2013
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  3. Chevrefils

    Marinne13 Northern Reefer

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    no need for a filter, LR is all the filtration you need...you could use a HOB filter and just run carbon in it

    you will need a RODI unit or buy distilled water

    powerheads is all preferance, IMO get ones with magnets as they are more reliable...in a 90G I would get maybe 2 750GPH powerheads or a 750 and 1050GPH

    Like Jml said, Reef Octopus makes great HOB skimmers

    when you say the canister filter has a bacteria population, what do you mean...did it come off a SW tank or a freshwater tank?
     
    Marinne13, Apr 22, 2013
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  4. Chevrefils

    Chevrefils

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    Awesome thanks for the responses its a great help.
    The canister filter came off a freshwater tank, which i realize is different so right now im technically not even cycling the tank properly as i have yet to add the salt. Thats okay im not in a rush. However the filter did have bio matter which i guess will aid in the cycling once this has begun? That is, nitrites, ammonia, etc. I will be adding a large amount of live rock when i add the salt so this should speed up the process.

    However my experience with beneficial bacterial from freshwater is basically the more surface area for the bacteria the better. Thats why i added pot scrubbies and bioballs in my sump which helped with the filtration. Does this technically work the same with salt water but people instead just use live sand and live rock?

    As for the RO unit, how difficult are these to set up? I have absolutely 0 experience with them so i would imagine you would attach one somewhere to a water source? Would you then need a bin or tote dedicated to filling with RO water? Thanks for the help, i do search, but given my busy work and life schedule i tend to get my best information from simply asking.

    Cheers :Cheers:
     
    Chevrefils, Apr 23, 2013
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  5. Chevrefils

    Marinne13 Northern Reefer

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    RO units are easy to setup and you can get a nice brute trash can or container to mix your satwater...get a heater and small powerhead to circulate the water while mixing

    I hope this 90g wasn't filled with the freshwater you used for cichlids? you need fresh RO water and as far as the bacteria from the canister, it needs to be cleaned before throwing it on the new tank and I wouldn't even use the canister if I was you

    you also need to add salt before the LR and not at the same time...if the salt is not dissolved it will burn and kill the life

    the bacteria in saltwater lives in the rock and sand so the canister filter is just going to house nitrates and become a potential problem for you
     
    Marinne13, Apr 23, 2013
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  6. Chevrefils

    Jml32788

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    Get the salt in the water before you add rock. Get the salinity right, turn on you power heads and let them run for a hour or 2 to mix up the salt and water. Then add rock.

    RO units are simple. It's as easy as screwing a fitting onto a hose or faucet. I recommend the Bulk Reef Supply Ro/di units. You can find them on their website.
     
    Jml32788, Apr 23, 2013
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  7. Chevrefils

    Chevrefils

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    Update:

    Alright so i have definitely educated myself within the reef hobby in the past month and a half. So i purchased the salt, put in live rock shortly after, and cycled for a further 3 weeks with 2 new Koralia pumps located on either side of the tank. One directed to the surface and the other towards the live rock. A week ago i put in the first inhabitants and all has been great. Coraline algea is growing all over the rocks.

    So far,
    1 Blue Green Chromis
    1 Blue/Yellow Damsel
    1 Pink/Yellow Damsel

    I realize the damsels can be aggressive as they mature so those will be the only 2. I will be adding a few more Chromis so they can school. I did have a fire goby in there as well which was doing amazing, until unfortunately as ive learned they are jumpers. Tank is open topped.

    As for the RO unit, i will not be installing yet. I will be moving to a larger home come end of summer once that is done i will definitely add one.

    I am at a crossroads with one other thing though. My tank is undrilled, and if i want this to be a successful reef tank down the road, should i purchase a HOB skimmer, or drill my tank and build a sump with a conventional protein skimmer? Or also another option, having HOB overflows flowing into sump?
     
    Chevrefils, Jun 9, 2013
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  8. Chevrefils

    AnthonyTheNewbie

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    You can make a DIY overflow with PVC. I have one, and it works well. Also, be careful with the bg chromis. They tend to form a food hierarchy. The low man on the totem-pole gets starved. So, be prepared to replenish your stock every so often. Google DIY overflow PVC for videos of how it's done. It'll cost you like 10-15$ in parts lol
     
    AnthonyTheNewbie, Jun 9, 2013
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  9. Chevrefils

    jwaf

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    If you get distilled water be carful it may be distilled on copper which is a no no for coral.
     
    jwaf, Jun 10, 2013
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