How do I start reefing? I have a fish only tank.

Discussion in 'New to Reefing' started by Shmibly, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. Shmibly

    Shmibly Trying to reef!

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    Tank has been running for 7 months, crystal clear, excellent water quality. I have Tufa rock thats been in the tank for about a month and a half, and I would like to use this rock to begin my reef aquarium. However Im not sure how to go about getting corals and reef-necessary stuff into the tank to get the reef tank started....any advice?
     
    Shmibly, Feb 14, 2012
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    Smitty

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    Now that you have good water conditions, you'll need good lighting to sustain them...t-5's, metal halides, or leds.
     
    Smitty, Feb 14, 2012
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  3. Shmibly

    little_fish Moderator

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    You might also need to increase the flow in your tank, i would aim for the tank to be turned over around 30x per hour
     
    little_fish, Feb 14, 2012
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  4. Shmibly

    Samhain Satin, Lace, and Sequins

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    Completely OT, but your panther grouper is going to get FRICKIN' HUGE, waaaaaay too big for your current tank. You may want to rehome it now, rather than after it eats all your other fish.....
     
    Samhain, Feb 14, 2012
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  5. Shmibly

    little_fish Moderator

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    +100 Samhain

    Good catch samhain
     
    little_fish, Feb 14, 2012
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  6. Shmibly

    Shmibly Trying to reef!

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    Ill just give you guys the equipment I have just to know what else I may need...So i need T5 halides...Ill do my research. I have an Eheim 2217, an Aquaclear70, a Turbotwist 6x UV sterilizer, and powerhead fit for a 25 gallon tank, plus the flow from the spray bar. So I assume I will need a sump after that. Can I run my Eheim with the sump? Or bad news? I just found out the about how the Eheim is fresh only....but I really would hate to get rid of it since I can visibly see its doing at least something...
    As for the Grouper, he's got time in the tank, he's far from being able to swallow fish..plus I really like the way he flaps in the water :D
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
    Shmibly, Feb 14, 2012
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  7. Shmibly

    little_fish Moderator

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    I would pull the two filters and the UV, they really arent helpful for a reef tank.

    Really all you need to keep a successful reef is water movement, enough live rock, regular water changes and good lights.
     
    little_fish, Feb 14, 2012
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  8. Shmibly

    Northstar24 The Tang Herder

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    You don't need a sump for a reef. But you will need to look into a protein skimmer, and lighting that is capable of supporting corals (T5, LED, or Metal Halide)

    The canister filter can be used for running carbon or other chemical media, but should not be relied upon as a main source of filtration for saltwater, that will be your live rock and a protein skimmer

    I would also look into an additional powerhead, you want 20x-40x turnover in water movement in your tank an hour - so a single powerhead rated for a 25 gallon tank will not be sufficient

    With that said, I think you're okay with the tufa rock as live rock, but I will let others chime in on that.

    And I will also second the comment that your tank is way, way too small for a panther grouper
     
    Northstar24, Feb 14, 2012
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  9. Shmibly

    Shmibly Trying to reef!

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    Oh man this is gonna be tough lol. There is no possible way to get away with fluorescent lights I'm guessing? I don't exactly have alot of funding. If I get a skimmer that hangs on the back of the tank, can the eheim stay? I can't exactly use a sump due to the stand I have, and even though the eheim washes smaller particles back into the tank, it does have a function and I think the smaller bits that I guess would cloud the water get taken out by the carbon filter I have.
     
    Shmibly, Feb 16, 2012
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  10. Shmibly

    Samhain Satin, Lace, and Sequins

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    You can certainly do without a sump. HOB skimmers can do a great job. But unfortunately the lights are a real sticking point. Corals simply have higher lighting requirements than common fluorescents can provide.

    As to the grouper, and fish in general, they need to be kept in the tank size they will need as adults, even as juveniles. Confining them to a smaller tank is needlessly cruel; they need that space to avoid stress that will shorten their lives and make them prone to disease.
     
    Samhain, Feb 16, 2012
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  11. Shmibly

    Shmibly Trying to reef!

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    Alright thanks. Ill look into the t5 lighting....as for the panther grouper, he's not all that big yet (about 8 cm), and he's only 1 of 4 fish in the tank. He has no signs of stress and eats fine, he's thriving so far and he's the only fish in the tank with a personality. I at least want to keep him for a little bit...
     
    Shmibly, Feb 16, 2012
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  12. Shmibly

    little_fish Moderator

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    The problem with fish (and birds and other prey animals) is that they dont show stress until the REALLY stressed and are about to get really sick. Just find him a better home now. These guys so fast, he will out grow your tank before you realize it, and he will more than likely take a few fish lunches with him first.
     
    little_fish, Feb 16, 2012
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  13. Shmibly

    Shmibly Trying to reef!

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    Alrighty wimpy shrimpy Ill bring him back to the store when I can. I just wanna keep this thread about stuff I need for a reef tank for now ^.^
     
    Shmibly, Feb 16, 2012
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  14. Shmibly

    little_fish Moderator

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    Well, you could think of it as needing to remove a fish that will eat all your other fish that you want in your reef :)
     
    little_fish, Feb 16, 2012
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  15. Shmibly

    Shmibly Trying to reef!

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    Lol I suppose so! Ill certainly be back for your advice (Which so far has been top notch) when I negotiate lighting/skimmer with the rents.
     
    Shmibly, Feb 16, 2012
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  16. Shmibly

    Shmibly Trying to reef!

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    What do you guys think of refugium sections in a sump? Necessary or unnecessary?
     
    Shmibly, Feb 17, 2012
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  17. Shmibly

    Samhain Satin, Lace, and Sequins

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    Not necessary, but very beneficial if you're looking to grow pods. It also provides a great place to grow macro, which can help keep down phosphates and nitrates, plus provide an occasional snack for your vegetarian fish. I wanted to have one, but it just didn't work out with my current sump set up.
     
    Samhain, Feb 17, 2012
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  18. Shmibly

    Shmibly Trying to reef!

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    so say I add a deep sand bed to the refugium section to my would-be sump, how do I start to grow pods? And where do I get macro algae?
     
    Shmibly, Feb 17, 2012
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  19. Shmibly

    little_fish Moderator

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    Macro algae can be found at most LFS or online. You probably already have pods in your tank, but you can buy some either online of the LFS to jump start them living in the fuge
     
    little_fish, Feb 17, 2012
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  20. Shmibly

    Shmibly Trying to reef!

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    Ok so I have a basic sump/refugium setup that I think I will try. It will be made of a 10 gallon tank with three chambers separated by plexi-glass 1st chamber: drainage pump which will feed the skimmer in the second chamber. there will be a bubble trap which will fill the second chamber. second chamber: a skimmer, 5-8 inches bagged marine sand and some macro algae, perhaps some that chaetomorpha stuff? Then there will be another bubble trap which will fill the third chamber. Third chamber: return pump and and the heater.

    I have a few questions though...
    What skimmer would you guys recommend?
    What pumps would you guys recommend?
    Is Plexi-glass ok to use?
    Is bagged sand ok to use?
    What happens if the power goes out? Wont my tank just drain onto the floor?
    Also what lights do I use in a sump? fluorescent?
     
    Shmibly, Feb 18, 2012
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