Planning a new tank

Discussion in 'New to Reefing' started by NGuay, May 30, 2005.

  1. NGuay

    NGuay

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    I am new to saltwater aquariums and fairly new to aquariums in general. I just set up a 29 gallon coffee table tank I was given from my neighbor and I've caught the bug. I have been doing some research and will of course be doing some more. I planned on following Drs Foster & Smith's five easy steps to setting up an aquarium which can be found here:
    http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?acatid=427&aid=419

    I am compiling a list of the equipment I will need. I want to set up the tank to require as little maintenance as possible. I'm planning on a 90 gallon reef tank and this is the list of equipment I have been able to compile.

    1) Wet/Dry filter - Proclear Aquatics Pro Series Wet/Dry Filtration w/Prefilter
    or Marineland Tidepool II for 80-120 Gal Tank w/ S.O.S. Prefilter?
    --both include a protein skimmer(the prefilter)
    --does anybody do protein skimmer only? w/ live rock

    2) Quiet One Pump (3000) - Will do 600 GPH at 4 feet

    3) 9 watt Turbo-Twist UV Sterilizer 100-200 gph up to 125 gallons or
    18 watt Turbo-Twist UV Sterilizer 200-300 gph up to 250 gallons?
    --I was thinking the higher watt for more flow?
    --Are UV sterilizers a good idea? Do they kill the good bacteria?

    4) Submergable Visi-Therm Deluxe Heater (300 watt) 55 to 100 gallons
    Should I get two?? Maybe two 200 watt for each side of tank?

    5) Lighting system - Haven't decided yet, need the tank first.

    6) Hydometer, thermometer, and test kit.

    6) Sea Salts

    7) DFS Select Lalo Live Rock 30 lbs
    Plus DFS Select Fiji Premium Live Rock 45 lbs

    8.) Southdown Tropical Play Sand (aragonite) from Home Depot for substrate or possibly Crushed coral

    9) Then comes the cleanup crew, followed by corals, and then some fish!

    Any suggestions or comments are greatly appreciated. I want to ensure proper flow and filtration.

    Thanks,
    Nathan
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2005
    NGuay, May 30, 2005
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  2. NGuay

    jhnrb

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    you will definitely need a protien skimmer. the prefilter ? did you mean the overflow box i.e. sos. the over flow is not a skimmer. anyway you will need a skimmer in the sump or as part of your filter system. looks like you are doing your homework. good luck and welcome to the forum.
     
    jhnrb, May 30, 2005
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  3. NGuay

    Chris

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    The protein skimmer will be one of your most important parts of the tank. I recommend buying a good hang on skimmer if you have no sump. This is the area you do not want to skimp on.

    Higher wattage won't hurt, it will do a faster job of killing. UV sterilizers in my book are good for killing ich and algae blooms. I run my 24/7. Fishman here on the forums cleared his algae bloom in a few days with his turbo twist.

    Two is good incase one fails bad if one gets stuck on.

    Brighter is better, Metal Halid is the way to go but your going to be $700+ out of pocket. There are several other lighting systems like power compacts by coralife in the $200 range that will work like a champ for anything but stony corals and clams will have to be as close as possible to the top of the water.

    I use cheap test strips for day to day on the cycling then switch to some more accurate kits on your weekly or monthly testing.

    This is up to you, I prefer the Florida live rock because of the amount of bio diversity that comes with the rock and if your in the states it does not need to be cured as much because it wont have been out of the water for as long.

    Dunno on this one, I use all live sand mixed with aquarium specific rocks and crushed coral from the fish store ONLY because i am afraid of intruding foreign materials in my tank. You need to mix some live sand in no matter what to get your tank cycled.

    Its all fun at this point.

    Hope some of this helps, feel free to ask more questions as you go. Oh, and welcome to the forum.
     
    Chris, May 30, 2005
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  4. NGuay

    fishman

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    Chris is right I cleared a awful algae bloom I had been fighting for 6 weeks with a Turbo Twist 3x9 in a 75 gal.The higher watts will help ,but the flow rate is imporant to, on my 3x9 253gph kills bacteria,121gph kills algae and 55 gph kills parasites and yes it will kill good bacteria so DO NOT run a uv sterilizer until your cycle is complete or it will p-r-o-l-o-n-g your cycle. It sounds like you have all your bases covered . Tank should work very well for you. If you run into trouble come to the forum .You will see that it will be a great help even for the little problems . Patiance is the best advise I can give .Good luck
     
    fishman, May 31, 2005
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  5. NGuay

    minireefer

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    Everything has been suggested is great info not much I can add.I have 29 gallon setup as well and my Prism skimmer has been great.Look on ebay for decent price on power compact setup.got mine for $100 including shipping(1 10k 65watt and 1 65watt atinic,2 moon lights,and dual fans.The coffee tank table might be hard to retro the lighting.You cycle your tank with live rock and fresh dead shrimp from you supermarket.Keep the lights out and it will reduce the algae buildup.Try mixing some live sand in to kick start the bio.Welcome to the forum and enjoy your fun hobby
     
    minireefer, May 31, 2005
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  6. NGuay

    NGuay

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    Thanks everybody for all your suggestions. I've been learning a lot, very quickly. It's a little intimidating at first and everybody just keeps telling me how much work it is, but the more I learn the more it just seems fun. The plan doesn't call for fish for almost 3 months, so how exciting that moment must be!

    The marineland filter features a 15 gallon sump. Is that big enough for a skimmer such as the prism? I'd like to keep one heater in the sump if possible too. The pump I can hook up inline if need be to save room.

    Chris, what is a good online store for florida live rock? Any good online retailers for live sand? The more I've learned a dsb seems pretty important. Also, what kind of ratio do you use between live sand and crushed coral? How deep did you go?

    The lighting has been the hardest part to swallow. 500 dollars or more for mh is painful.

    Minireefer, the coffee table tank I'm keeping freshwater. I am going to pick up a 90 gallon for the reef tank. It seems to be big enough to be stable(I'm new) and good looking, yet isn't so big where it becomes too expensive and requires extra filters and what not.
    I would love to go huge, but I'll have to save that for when me and the other half are both working. Medical school is expensive, but I figure when she's done I can retire at 28 to take care of the fish :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2005
    NGuay, Jun 1, 2005
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  7. NGuay

    Chris

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    You could throw in a cheap damsel or two to help cycle the tank and you would have something to watch.

    Not sure, I use a local fish store for mine. Try a google search for Florida live rock, look at the pictures of what comes on the rocks, lots of interesting stuff compared to other live rock.

    You do not need it, but you will want it within a few years. There is plenty of stuff to play with till then.

    Atleast she isn't scared of hermit crabs crawling out of the tank :lol: like some others girlfriends on here.
     
    Chris, Jun 1, 2005
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  8. NGuay

    Chris

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    Chris, Jun 1, 2005
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  9. NGuay

    minireefer

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    For a 90 gallon the prism wont work because of the size.Have look at Euro-Reef protein skimmers.They are not cheap but worth the weight in gold
     
    minireefer, Jun 1, 2005
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  10. NGuay

    Chris

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    I agree on the Euro-Reef, im apart of the club. It is a champ compared to any other skimmer I have seen. You can usually find them on E-Bay used for 1/2 the price.
     
    Chris, Jun 1, 2005
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  11. NGuay

    NGuay

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    So I keep seeing things about the ro/di units for filtering your water. Is there anyone who doesn't use this?
     
    NGuay, Jun 4, 2005
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  12. NGuay

    jhnrb

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    the main reason for ro/di water is to take out all of the neutrients and metals so you have a very clean water medium to mix with your salt or for makeup. there are some that do not use ro systems, you can use distilled from the grocery store, but, ro/di also filters out silica so, you can try it without ro or di but run a full test 1st and see what your phosphates, nitrates, silica, amonia etc is at the tap and go from there. if you struggle with alga blooms, diatoms, etc, you may want to upgrade to an ro and di system. you can do ro without di. myself i will be using a 5 stage ro and combination di canton and anion for my system. ahead of this system will be a whole house filter from the local hardware store to catch the big stuff. hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2005
    jhnrb, Jun 4, 2005
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  13. NGuay

    Chris

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    I use one beacuse my local water company sends me water with nitrates at 20ppm. The unit removes the nitrates.
     
    Chris, Jun 5, 2005
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  14. NGuay

    Apestyler

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    I'm pretty luck the water we get (which is probably from the highlands) is quite pure, with only trace elements of phosphates and nitrates. Although at some point (when funds allow) I think I will invest to get ultra pure water!
     
    Apestyler, Jun 5, 2005
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  15. NGuay

    NGuay

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    It sounds like I'm gonna go with a 4 stage ro/di unit. I won't even drink the water from the tap, so I probably shouldn't make my fish.

    I've had a change of plans. I just bought a 05 Scion Tc and am giving my old car(which was paid for, doh!) to my gf. I put a bunch of money down and won't have as much to spend on a tank now. Here is what I've come up with:

    Seaclear 46 gallon bowfront acrylic
    4.5 Gallon HOB CPR Aquafuge PS Refugium w/ protein skimmer and 24 watt light
    3 powerheads w/ a natural wave timer
    75 lbs fiji & lalo lr
    40 lbs ls
    36" Coralife Lunar Aqualights Compact Fluorescent Strip Lights
    ------192 watt(2-96 watt) 34" Square Pin 2-3/4-watt
    A heater

    I've decided to keep it simple and try the natural filtration of a refugium. Plus, I may only live here another 2 years, so I don't want to put too much money into live stuff and equipment. I realize thats kind of an oxymoron with marine aquariums. What do you guys think? Will it work?
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2005
    NGuay, Jun 6, 2005
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  16. NGuay

    Chris

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    Looks like a great start, im glad to see that you are adding a refuge, this will help with your water quality.
     
    Chris, Jun 6, 2005
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  17. NGuay

    minireefer

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    It is going to be sweet send us picture when it is setup. enjoy your new rewarding hobby
     
    minireefer, Jun 6, 2005
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  18. NGuay

    jhnrb

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    the latter looks like a very good plan and a great start. pics on your progress and good luck with your project.
     
    jhnrb, Jun 7, 2005
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  19. NGuay

    NGuay

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    Thanks again everyone. It's amazing what you can learn over a few days without sleeping :). I'm feeling confident now and went ahead and ordered a good bunch of the equipment today. All that's left is the ro/di and the aquafuge ps. I'm excited about this more simplistic approach. I'll be sure to post some pics and of course questions when I start getting everything together.
     
    NGuay, Jun 7, 2005
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  20. NGuay

    NGuay

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    So I was in Seattle on business last week and I came home to an email saying my tank had shipped out. I was excited and looked up the tracking number only to find that it had been delivered on Thursday (it's now friday evening) and I'm unable to find this tank anywhere. So I figured they delivered to the wrong place and had to give fedex a call. Well the delivery driver never calls me back, but thankfully the person whos house it was dropped off at was nice enough to stop by today and let me know he had it. Well it turns out he wasn't home at the time so the fedex guy just tossed it into his backyard, thats right tossed it, right over his eight foot fence! He must have really threw it because it was in the middle of the guys yard. It's not just cracked, its got chunks missing from it. So they're replacing it and it will be another couple weeks until I get my tank.

    One thing I did notice is that the slit on the top is only 15 inches and so I'm going to have to go with the 14g Aquafuge Pro sump/refugium/protein skimmer instead. This leads to my question, am I going to want to drill my tank or a use hang on back overflow? I've heard disaster stories about the h.o.b overflows and flooding, but the drilling is also scary. What do you guys recommend?
     
    NGuay, Jun 21, 2005
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