New to Salt Water (Again)

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Cottonwood, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Lets move to Basketball..

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    602
    Likes Received:
    46
    Location:
    Cottonwood/Sedona, AZ USA
    Hey everyone, I was on here a few months ago when I got a new 120 gal tall type tank that was set up as a reef tank. I had to move it 2 hrs, and was a little overwhelmed with everything, plus we were moving into a new place in a couple months so I just set it up as freshwater at my parents house and have a couple large mouth bass in it. ANYWAY...(get on with the story already)...I just got a new (new to me anyway) 125 gal tank and we're in our new house with a spot all picked out for it. It had 2 large Oscars but I think I would like to set it for salt water. Its about 6'1" long...about " or so 18" wide and about 23" tall maybe....I know the length is right (I had to check the wall its going on) but the other measurements are aprox guesses. ANYWAY...haha...Any advice on how I should set it up...I was thinking maybe reef one half with the other half more "open"....Also what would be some good substrate for the bottom and how many lbs will I need? I would like to keep the price down on getting it set up so my wife doesn't get TOO upset. I have some dry rock already and have found some people on craigslist getting rid of living rock (I'll make sure to test for copper before I take any from them). I thought I might mix some of this stuff Nature's Ocean Bio-Activ Live Aragonite Reef Substrate at PETCO With some cheaper white sand maybe. Thanks in advance!:bowdown:
     
    Cottonwood, Aug 10, 2010
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. Cottonwood

    BL1 ............. Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Messages:
    7,933
    Likes Received:
    1,370
    Location:
    TN, USA
    Welcome back cottonwood. The rock setup is really on you, I couldn't decide for my tank so, I set up a few options, took pics, and had members vote for me. For the substrate, I would shoot for 1 lb. per gallon. And I wouldn't worry about mixing that live sand. Just buy the dry sand if it's cheaper, the Live rock will seed the sand after a while. Can't wait to see pics of the build!
     
    BL1, Aug 10, 2010
    #2
    Cottonwood likes this.
    1. Advertisements

  3. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Lets move to Basketball..

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    602
    Likes Received:
    46
    Location:
    Cottonwood/Sedona, AZ USA
    Ok, so we dont have LFS that sells salt water stuff. Closest place would probably be 1hr away, if there isn't one in Flagstaff then it would be 2hrs away in Phoenix. So any good online places that any of you like to use, that I wont get charged a ton for shipping to get sand and rock and stuff from?
     
    Cottonwood, Aug 10, 2010
    #3
  4. Cottonwood

    Bifferwine I am a girl

    Joined:
    May 13, 2006
    Messages:
    46,915
    Likes Received:
    5,888
    Location:
    Lynnwood, WA and missing Tucson, AZ
    I used to live in Flag. If I recall correctly, there weren't any SW stores there.

    The best place to order sand and rock from is Drs. Foster and Smith (.com). They charge a flat rate ($7 or $8) for shipping no matter how much you order. So you order 400 lbs of sand and rock? It's $7 to ship it.

    Ordering from them ends up being cheaper than buying it locally in a store.
     
    Bifferwine, Aug 10, 2010
    #4
  5. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Lets move to Basketball..

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    602
    Likes Received:
    46
    Location:
    Cottonwood/Sedona, AZ USA
    Awesome, thank you!
     
    Cottonwood, Aug 10, 2010
    #5
  6. Cottonwood

    BL1 ............. Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Messages:
    7,933
    Likes Received:
    1,370
    Location:
    TN, USA
    I would also check out marcorocks for dry rock and sand. I bought my stuff from them and got free 2 day shipping too
     
    BL1, Aug 10, 2010
    #6
  7. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Lets move to Basketball..

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    602
    Likes Received:
    46
    Location:
    Cottonwood/Sedona, AZ USA
    So I found some crushed coral that is $.75 a lb, and some white sand that is the same price....I kinda like the crushed coral, but I also like the sand....What woud you go for? Sand or the crushed coral...a mix?
     
    Cottonwood, Aug 10, 2010
    #7
  8. Cottonwood

    BL1 ............. Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Messages:
    7,933
    Likes Received:
    1,370
    Location:
    TN, USA
    I would go with the sand, after time crushed coral will end up trapping food and detrius which can/will lead to nitrate spikes in your tank.
     
    BL1, Aug 10, 2010
    #8
  9. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Lets move to Basketball..

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    602
    Likes Received:
    46
    Location:
    Cottonwood/Sedona, AZ USA
    Cool, thanks again!
     
    Cottonwood, Aug 10, 2010
    #9
  10. Cottonwood

    Bifferwine I am a girl

    Joined:
    May 13, 2006
    Messages:
    46,915
    Likes Received:
    5,888
    Location:
    Lynnwood, WA and missing Tucson, AZ
    Yeah crushed coral tends to lead to problems down the road with water quality. Plus, you can't keep animals that live in the substrate if you use crushed coral -- the pieces are too big and sharp.
     
    Bifferwine, Aug 10, 2010
    #10
  11. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Lets move to Basketball..

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    602
    Likes Received:
    46
    Location:
    Cottonwood/Sedona, AZ USA
    So I've been showing my wife pictures and we've been reading a lot of stuff on the forums, and she is worried I'm going to spend way too much money and that this will be too hard, she says it all sounds so complicated. I'm not too worried as I have you guys to answer my dumb questions! haha!

    So I'm wondering how long can I get by with the regular florescent lights that came with it? Also I have a skimmer that came with the tank, and a couple power heads as well as hang on the tank type filters (from my old fresh water tanks) and a canister filter (though it leaks around the top so I'd rather not use it if I dont have have to) Can I get by with the skimmer and and stuff I have for a while? I'm going to take the build slowly to spread out cost, but realistically will I need to upgrade soon? Maybe Bifferwine, you should just take a vacation up here to Sedona and come help me out!! I'm a concierge at a hotel and can hook you up with a good room rate! haha!
     
    Cottonwood, Aug 10, 2010
    #11
  12. Cottonwood

    Wes888

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    Messages:
    1,263
    Likes Received:
    99
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    you'll be spending way too much. It's hard to resist! :D

    As long as you don't keep any coral, you don't need good light. Forget the canister. Get the skimmer working right and with a couple of live rocks and power heads, you are good to go.

    For the live rocks, just get a few from any place (or the cheapest package from LiveAquaria). And get the rest as dry rock from macros or other places. Cheapest way to go.
     
    Wes888, Aug 10, 2010
    #12
    Cottonwood likes this.
  13. Cottonwood

    Bifferwine I am a girl

    Joined:
    May 13, 2006
    Messages:
    46,915
    Likes Received:
    5,888
    Location:
    Lynnwood, WA and missing Tucson, AZ
    You can use those regular lights as long as you don't get corals, anemones or clams. Those lights will be fine to keep non-photosynthetic animals like fish and your clean up crew.

    You would be best off to just use the skimmer. Skip the hang on back filters and canister filters altogether. Those don't work very well for saltwater. Just get the live rock and protein skimmer and you will be all set!

    If you are serious about the offer to visit and help you set it up, I'd love to! :lol:
     
    Bifferwine, Aug 10, 2010
    #13
  14. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Lets move to Basketball..

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    602
    Likes Received:
    46
    Location:
    Cottonwood/Sedona, AZ USA
    double posted!
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2010
    Cottonwood, Aug 10, 2010
    #14
  15. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Lets move to Basketball..

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    602
    Likes Received:
    46
    Location:
    Cottonwood/Sedona, AZ USA
    And while I'm shamelessly asking for help, that goes for anyone else as well!
     
    Cottonwood, Aug 10, 2010
    #15
  16. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Lets move to Basketball..

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    602
    Likes Received:
    46
    Location:
    Cottonwood/Sedona, AZ USA
    Sure, I'll be ordering stuff since there isn't anywhere close to get it from, and maybe we can work something out that would work for you. I would never turn down some help to get it going right.

    I'd really like to get some coral so I'll have to look around for lights, but at least I know I can get started without her killing me right away!
     
    Cottonwood, Aug 10, 2010
    #16
  17. Cottonwood

    Bifferwine I am a girl

    Joined:
    May 13, 2006
    Messages:
    46,915
    Likes Received:
    5,888
    Location:
    Lynnwood, WA and missing Tucson, AZ
    Well, you first need to devise a budget. Look around at what different things cost on different websites. How long is your tank? 6 feet?
     
    Bifferwine, Aug 10, 2010
    #17
  18. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Lets move to Basketball..

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    602
    Likes Received:
    46
    Location:
    Cottonwood/Sedona, AZ USA
    Yeah its a 6' long tank

    Just found this on a website I came across for CUC numbers. Is this accurate?
    100 GALLON TANK X 1.5 = 150 JANITORS
    50 MIXED HERMITS 100 MIXED SNAILS
    They will sell you all this for $150 plus shipping.
     
    Cottonwood, Aug 10, 2010
    #18
  19. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Lets move to Basketball..

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    602
    Likes Received:
    46
    Location:
    Cottonwood/Sedona, AZ USA
    I've found this for sand and rock
    Sand

    Or this for sand and rock (I emailed to see how much shipping will cost)
    Save Our Reefs $.45 per lb dry sand.

    I also emailed a local guy selling his reef tank to see if I can get some live rock/sand from him.
     
    Cottonwood, Aug 10, 2010
    #19
  20. Cottonwood

    Bifferwine I am a girl

    Joined:
    May 13, 2006
    Messages:
    46,915
    Likes Received:
    5,888
    Location:
    Lynnwood, WA and missing Tucson, AZ
    Skip the large CUC for now... Each tank will be different. In my 90, I have maybe 4 snails and 2 crabs.

    You will want to add CUC slowly. If you add too many at once, they'll starve to death. Then you'll have wasted your money. Add a few at a time, til you hit the right number.

    Also, my fiance and I could take a trip up to visit you sometime. When you get the proper lights, I'd be happy to bring you some starter corals from my tank.
     
    Bifferwine, Aug 10, 2010
    #20
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.