New to SW, I Want a Reef Tank!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by istrahd, Jun 29, 2013.

  1. istrahd

    Greenman

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    if you're running a sump you wont have to worry about it. Water gets oxygen by agitation so if you don't have a sump you can take a power head and aim it towards the surface of the water. As long as there is movement there will be transfer of oxygen.
     
    Greenman, Jul 2, 2013
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  2. istrahd

    istrahd

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    My RODI filtration should be here by July 5th.

    I am going to go pick up my Dry Rock, Live Sand, a bucket of sea salt, test kit & basic chemicals tomorrow so I can start filling my tank as soon as my RODI system starts producing water.

    I know my Live Rock is supposed to sit directly on the glass. I was just wondering about the process of actually putting the water in. How much water should be in the tank before I add the Live Rock & Dry Rock?

    Should I have the Display Tank full of water, minus expansion room for the Live Rock? Should it have just enough water to cover the Live Rock? Should I mix all 125g at once or partially fill it with extra salty water then add extra RODI to bring the SG of the SW to its' "Normal Levels"? If I do a partial fill with salty water, will it hurt the Live Rock to be in the extra salty water until it is topped off with pure RODI water?

    I am planning on using mostly Dry Rock and say 20% Live Rock & Live Sand to start cycling the tank and seed the dry rock. I just need to know about adding the water. I don't want the high salinity to kill the Live Rock and what few things may still be actually living in the bagged "Live Sand" (I've read that Live Sand is pretty much dead by the time you get the bags from the LFS home).

    This is my 1st SW tank and I want to start it off correctly. Would anyone care to tell me step by step how to add the rock, sand & water in the correct order?

    Thanks in advance!
     
    istrahd, Jul 2, 2013
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  3. istrahd

    emmett0122

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    to start i wouldnt get the live rock untill you get the tank filled. imo i would aquascape your tank and if your ro/di output will reach your tank just put it in and let it fill mix your salt as it fills once it is about an inch or 2 from the top add your sand and then top it off
     
    emmett0122, Jul 2, 2013
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  4. istrahd

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

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    If you put live rock into fresh ro water it's going to kill the live bacteria. The water needs to be mixed before the LR is added. Also if you try to mix salt in your tank any clumps of salt that don't dissolve fully will cause salt burns to anything it touches.

    Always add your rock before sand, you want the LR to be resting against the glass otherwise any sand that shifts could cause a rock slide.
     
    BL1, Jul 3, 2013
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  5. istrahd

    emmett0122

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    i ment do the aquascaping with the dry rock and as long as there is no sand in the tank he can watch for any clumps of salt and take care of them before he adds the sand once the he has the salinity right and everything is up ad running then add the sand and live rock imo 125 gals of water is alot to mix 5 gals at a time to to fill it
     
    emmett0122, Jul 3, 2013
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  6. istrahd

    istrahd

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    Okay. From the replies here in this thread and other posts, this is what I have in mind for the first fill of my tank.

    I think I have a clue to what I am doing, now... I could be wrong, though!

    STOP ME IF I AM WRONG, PLEASE! I want to do it right from the start!


    1. Start a thread in the Tank Build Section of the Forums. Adding pics of my setup & how I go about it so experienced reefers can point out mistakes or make suggestions and possibly help some other noob in the future.
    2. Let RODI fill the tank to 90%.
    3. Place the Powerhead/Current/Wave Maker in the tank
    4. Add Salt Crystals
    5. Let the pump stir the water & salt for 24-48 hours
    6. Test the salinity. If correct or SLIGHTLY over, continue below
      1. Add Dry Rock & Live Rock
      2. Add Sand
      3. Start Filter/Skimmer/Chiller/Sump/Lights/etc.
      4. Top off Water from RODI achieving/maintaining the correct Salinity
      5. Add a Raw Shrimp
      6. Test water daily, logging the various parameters
      7. Wait impatiently for Cycling to complete
      8. Stare at an empty tank daydreaming of what it will look like in a few months to a year...
      9. Pester everyone here for suggestions & recommendations on 1st fish to add
      10. Try NOT to kill said fish
      11. Continue daily testing/logging of water
      12. Wait impatiently for time to add 2nd fish.
      13. Whine & complain that I can't add corals yet.
      14. Continue reading & asking questions about coral care and how much longer until I can finally add my 1st corals...
      15. Finally nervously purchase my 1st corals and get my reef started!
      16. Return here to thank everyone yet again for all of their help & advice!
    If this isn't the way to go, stop me now!... I will be starting this process as soon as my RODI unit arrives and it starts filling my tank & sump.

    I have been convinced that I need a sump. I am looking for a 20-30g tank that will fit under my Display Tank stand to use as a Sump/Fuge. I am looking at different plans trying to decide which design & plumbing will work for me.
     
    istrahd, Jul 3, 2013
    #26
  7. istrahd

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

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    I would only fill to about 75% or so, your rock and sand will displace more water then you think, after that you can fill as needed. It's much easier to add more water then having to remove it at the same time your trying to put the rock and sand in.

    When you're adding the salt do it slowly, those 1/2 cup per gallon are only rough measurements. So go light on the salt at first and once it dissolves you can add more salt as needed to reach your target salinity.
     
    BL1, Jul 3, 2013
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  8. istrahd

    istrahd

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    Thank you guys. I am looking forward to getting this monstrosity filled and cycling. It kills me to see it sitting there bone dry...

    I am not known for being patient, lol. I try and usually fail miserably but considering the costs involved and the ease of killing all the critters in the tank, I will be taking my time with each step.

    Everyone has been great about helping out with suggestions and I do appreciate your input.

    Better to ask a stupid question (or 30) now than try to figure out why everything is floating in the tank.

    Keep tossing any suggestions/recommendations for the new tank my wat.

    Any suggestions on Test Kits & the Basic Chemicals I should have on hand to control the water parameters during cycling and when I should I get a CUC?
     
    istrahd, Jul 3, 2013
    #28
  9. istrahd

    ErinCahir Sausage Wrangler

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    You can get a CUC when your tank is through cycling.

    Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate are what you're going to need to test to monitor the cycle. API has a saltwater master test kit that most of us start with. It has the three mentioned above plus pH.
     
    ErinCahir, Jul 3, 2013
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  10. istrahd

    istrahd

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    Just got home from my LFS.

    I picked up half of my Dry Rock (Bought him out, he is expecting more on Tuesday) I also had him order me a HOB Sump Overflow. He didn't have one in stock for my tank size, only for smaller tanks.

    I did pick up 120 lbs CaribSea of dry sand and I got another power head. I now have a shiny new Hydor 1500gph and the 1200gph that I got with the tank. This should give me a decent circulation in the tank.

    I also picked up my Bucket O' Salt. Instant Ocean, if anyone is interested. I bought the bucket that is supposed to make up to 160 gallons. I got a test kit for my water, a couple of aquarium thermometers, etc.

    Now, I just need the rest of my dry rock and my RODI filtration system and I can FINALLY start my tank Cycling.

    I found a local SW Aquarium Club that meets once a month. I also found a local Coral Fragger who sells most of his frags for $5-10 each. The LFS sells them from $20+. Sadly I am still a long way from getting my first Frags... /Sigh... I want to see my tank full of corals...

    I am going to run a 10g sump & a 10g fuge. I couldn't find a decently priced 20g tank, so I will run two 10's.

    I have decided on using my 55g tank as an isolation/QT tank. Ar least that is the plan for the moment. I will probably change my mind again because of the price of sand, rock, extra sump, etc.

    It sounds like a great idea to my head but my wallet is screaming NO!!!! It probably will be what I do but it will be a month or so down the road before I even start to think about getting all the gear & rock, sand, etc. for it.

    Too bad tomorrow is a holiday. according to UPS shipping info, my RODI is sitting in Memphis, TN atm. I could have it tomorrow morning if they are delivering tomorrow but I am not counting on it. I should have it Friday, though. YAY!!!
     
    istrahd, Jul 3, 2013
    #30
  11. istrahd

    emmett0122

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    when you run a qt tank there is no need for sand and if you put a sump on it just put some rock in your sump imo anyhow that way you dont have places for things to hide
     
    emmett0122, Jul 3, 2013
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  12. istrahd

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

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    As far as the sump goes, if you wait a bit Petco is frequently running $1 per gallon sales for their tanks up to 55g, cheapest way to get tanks up to that size.

    For your QT sand and rock isn't necessary since treatment methods will kill any of the bacteria on the rocks/sand anyway. You also don't need to run a sump on your QT either.
     
    BL1, Jul 3, 2013
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  13. istrahd

    emmett0122

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    ill have to look for that sale bl1 i would like a bigger sump and a qt tank
     
    emmett0122, Jul 3, 2013
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  14. istrahd

    ErinCahir Sausage Wrangler

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    Petco's $1/gallon sale is actually going on right now.

    Go get them tanks, boys.
     
    ErinCahir, Jul 4, 2013
    #34
  15. istrahd

    istrahd

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    Wal-Mart is a good place to pick up 10-20g tanks, usually. They sell them at about $0.90-1.25 per gallon if you buy just the tank. Unfortunately, neither of the two I visited had the 20g tanks in today.

    Petsmart had some pretty nice 25-65g tanks & stands for less than $80 but I didn't need the temptation to fill another SW tank... I spent enough on my main tank today, around $540 Total.

    LFS Items
    CaribSea Sand ($1/pound $120)
    Dry Rock. 54 pounds ($3.50/pound $189)
    PowerHead, 1,500gph ($70)

    Petsmart Items
    Salt for 160g, ($45)
    SW/Reef Test Kit, ($30)
    Two Thermometers, ($12)
    Putty for Dry Rock ($9)
    Large Magnetic Tank Scraper, ($12 on Sale. This was a great deal, $39 @LFS)
    Other small misc items, (<$15)

    After taxes, I spent around $540 today.

    $540 today for supplies above +
    $231 for a 75gallon per day 5 Stage RO/DI Filtration system w/2 TDS Meters & a complete set of Replacement Filters +
    $190 for Chiller/Heater +
    $103 Filtration Media +
    $150 for 125g Tank & Stand (including filter box, skimmer, T5 Day & Moon Lights, 1,200gph PowerHead and Delivery of Tank/Stand)

    All-In Total Investment = $1,214

    Not TOO bad for a 125gallon SW setup. Although, I will be getting another 50-60 pounds of Dry Rock, 15-20 pounds of Live Rock & an HOB Overflow for my sump on Tuesday.

    I already have a sump pump that I had bought for something else but never used. I may return the Filtration Media that I bought and selling the Filstar XP4, just a thought that was rattling around my head after dropping $540 today...

    Anyone care to share what their Initial setup cost them & what it included? Maybe it will make me feel better about how much I have spent, LOL
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2013
    istrahd, Jul 4, 2013
    #35
  16. istrahd

    emmett0122

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    thats not bad i have over a grand in my 55 gal and i did a diy skimmer and overflow box and the sad thing is im not done yet and that doesnt include any of the live stock in my tank either i miss a 150 gal tank and stand today for 75 bux
     
    emmett0122, Jul 4, 2013
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  17. istrahd

    chichimom79 reef junkie

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    I don't want to know how much I've spent on my tank :p
     
    chichimom79, Jul 4, 2013
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  18. istrahd

    emmett0122

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    chichi i dont think any of us truly want to know how much we have put in to our tanks lol but we do it cuz we love the hobby
     
    emmett0122, Jul 4, 2013
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  19. istrahd

    istrahd

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    I don't blame you guys for not wanting to add it up. Considering what I have put into mine already, I can only imagine how much some of you have invested in your tanks. I saw Chichi's tank build thread (Awesome tnak, btw) I would venture a guess that she has more invested in coral & fish than I do in my tank.

    Looking at complete setups for tanks between 100-150g, I got away with a steal so far. the LFS has a 150g complete setup for $3K, reading other threads & boards, $2K seems about a minimum investment in a 100-150g tank.

    I was wondering if I had gotten a deal, gotten screwed or what have you...

    Happy 4th of July! Its almost time to fire up the grill and throw the Ribeyes & Taters on to grill. Then after dark, I've got a bunch of fireworks to play with. Nothing like playing with explosives to celebrate a holiday!
     
    istrahd, Jul 4, 2013
    #39
  20. istrahd

    istrahd

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    I read your tank build thread, Gorgeous tank, absolutely gorgeous! I love the brain coral! I don't think I want to know how much you have in it all together!! It might send me running, screaming on my way to the LFS to sell everything I already have... LOL.

    I was just wondering how much folks spent on the setup of their tanks, not including livestock...

    I can already tell I am going to end up buying another tank. I was just wondering how much a completely new setup would cost me starting from scratch on some different sized tanks.
     
    istrahd, Jul 4, 2013
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