So, I'm scared and think im ready, Double check me.

Discussion in 'New to Reefing' started by Sinluien, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. Sinluien

    Sinluien

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    Okay so here's the deal. Now that I'm all grown up, gold fish and guppied out. I realize now that i'm ready to have fish again. It all started because my son loves nemo, which he calls MOMI and DOEE. I have done extensive research and i truly think im ready, however i am going to wait until tax season to make sure i dont screw this up and run out of money. So, my plan is to get my tank rolling and my rocks ready by then, so, soon. Heres my pile of questions. Mind you i have already surfed your forums extensively.

    55 gallon tank with 65 lbs of high dollar fiji rock pre-cured and supposedly to me within a couple days of removal, and yes i will cure it myself. The basics inverts, cleaner clam, few of each crab, SHRIMPS! god i love the shrimps. I'm more interested in the rocks and shrimp than anything. Yes, i plan on some polyps and reef stuff eventually but not to start. The fish in the plan are a clown, a blue tang (the small one) obviously have to have the pink anemone, and i want the pokey brown urchin with the eyeball. All of which are not too expensive. Diadema Urchin (Diadema sp.)

    From my research these should go well together. Not worried about the fish for a while though. I'm scared about making this right. I've seen salt-water tanks fail alot, a couple from ich and others that the owners couldn't control the water chemical balance. I plan on buying pre cycled gauranteed water for 80 cents a gal from a place 20 minutes south of me called sea dwellers, which their website blows, however they are well respected by several doctors around here, which i have done work for. (i do construction) Of course i would buy more salt mix and whatnot for insurance.

    To sump or not to sump? I see that being an added expense and something else i need to learn. I know that the added water would add to the stability, but i want to learn it all first. I was thinking just a HOB filter, the big RENA one which i have heard awesome reviews. I will also be buying the matching heater for it. I figure even though i want to keep simple, don't go cheap. Obviously i will run one of those rediculously overpriced in tank protein skimmers, not a HOB or sump design. 2 adjustable and 2 oscillating power heads on a home made wavemaker. The wife wants sand which i have no idea how to clean, just pray the inverts will handle it? I think i have the oxygenation thing figured out with some Hydor Arios.

    Please don't shoot me down, i could use the advice and help though. I'm mainly worried about disease and controlling the water, which apparently some people cant get the hang of. I also dont quite understand the lighting thing. I guess the anemone needs full spectrum UV. So do i run a regular light and a UV? alternate them? I've read and read on the lighting but am still lost as to the understanding of it. Like i said we are all very excited and i really really want to do this, however i also don't want to have a very expensive failure and just say screw this im not spending that much money again.

    Thanks ahead of time,
    Paul, Angela, & Jack
     
    Sinluien, Nov 19, 2009
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  2. Sinluien

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    We don't people down here ;) unless you shoot first!

    I have a 42 w/ sump, and a 10g w/o sump...I prefer having a sump. Makes water changes easier since I pour my water into the sump and causes less sand-stirring. Plus I have my fuge down there, and I have a ton of pods just gathering there. It didn't cost me that much more, since I used a 20 gallon used tank and added the baffles (dividers) myself. Plus my skimmer is in the sump.

    If you're going to go reef, then of course you need the heavy guns in lighting (t5's or metal hallide) I don't have a reef tank yet, so others can recommend brands to you.
     
    wontonflip, Nov 19, 2009
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  3. Sinluien

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    Welcome aboard Sin.
    Like Wonton said,we wont shoot you down around here,but we will try to nudge in the right direction:D
    So here goes the nudgin.
    Forget about the HOB filters and set yourself up a sump.The sump will be a whole cheaper and easier to maintain.Plus it'll allow you to keep the skimmer and heater out of the main tank.
    It's also going to be a while before your tanks ready to support an anemone.They need estabilished tanks that have been stable for 9 months to a year.Anemones just cant handle the parameter swings that new tanks go through,and trust me,the last thing you want to deal with is a dead anemone.They tend to take the entire with em when they die.
    For lights,look into a good 48 inch 6 bulb T-5 fixture.The Current Nova Extreme Pros would work perfect and you wont have to worry about weather or not you got enough light for any corals you like.
    For powerheads.Just get yourself a couple of the Koralia #3s and a couple of the #2s.That should be plenty of flow.Save your money on those oscillating powerheads.Once coralline starts growing on em,they'll be stuck blowing in only one direction.Save your money on these to Hydor Arios. Just make sure that you have a good ripple going on the water surface and you'll be getting plenty of gas exchange.
    And your wife's right,go with an aragonite sand substrate.It looks natural and the right clean up crew will keep it clean for you.Plus sand will save you a lot of cleaning.Stay away from the crushed coral.It'll just trap waste and lead to water quality problems.
    Just remember that nothing good happens fast with this hobby.So just take your time with it and enjoy it.When you got a question or comment,post it.All we ask in return for advice is pics:D
     
    yote, Nov 19, 2009
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  4. Sinluien

    Brian_G overly obsessed

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    i think shrimps are awesome too:)

    one thing i noticed is that you were planning on doing was saltwater from the store 20 min away at 80 cents a gal. well consider this...you are going to want to do water changes at least once every 2 weeks and from what i was told was about 25% water change. so every 2 weeks in a 55 would equal $11 in saltwater every 2 weeks. i dont know about you but to me thats a hunk of change. and because it is 20 miles away i hope that wont discourage you from doing water changes because they are needed on a regular basis.

    i love my sump. im not a fan of looking at a tank and seeing all the equipment. i just like hiding is all in the stand in the sump. not to add that it adds that much more water to the system and makes it a bit easier to maintain better water quality.

    you dont clean your sand really.. when doing water changes i use my siphon to run over the top half inch or so but thats it. my nassarius snails roan the sand 24/7 and they help keep it clean.

    this site has so many people willing to help. and welcome:)
     
    Brian_G, Nov 19, 2009
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  5. Sinluien

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    I love my pep shrimp...sometimes, he'll swim up to the surface of the tank and eat off my finger.

    Aragonite is definitely a good choice. I only put enough sand to cover the bottom of my tank. My preference. Some people prefer a deep sand bed. My 10g has a dsb...I don't like it.
     
    wontonflip, Nov 19, 2009
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  6. Sinluien

    matthew1048 Wurd to ya motha

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    Sup pal? Glad to have ya aboard.

    I agree with Yote. He's got you completely covered on your questions.

    One thing I want to touch on is your inclusion of the Blue Tang in a 55 gallon. I don't like the idea. The minimum tank requirement for a Blue is 70 gallons. Saltwater Aquarium Fish for Marine Aquariums: Blue Tang
     
    matthew1048, Nov 19, 2009
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  7. Sinluien

    Sinluien

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    Blue Hippo Tang - Tiny (Paracanthurus hepatus)
    The little bitty ones. Frankly i'm not a fish guy, however the clownfish and anemone relationship sounds more like what i would be interested in. I knew it would be a while for the anemone, as they seem VERY picky about the environment. Now that you mention it, dying stingy cells and decaying on my live rock does sound like a very bad idea. That urchin is THE definition of cool in my book.

    I planned on buying a lot of the water just to have for cleanout etc... I am in the area often, but it seems it would take my paranoia away. I would double check it for a week or so before i added my rock just to be sure. I would also be curing my rock seperate as the ammonia level is rediculous. It seems it would be like 2 months to get the water and rock to settle down if i did the in tank idea. Not to mention it seems like it would be "shaky" water, not as stable of a water condition.

    I guess i dont see how a sump would be less expensive. Im curious if anyone has any links or pics to help me out here. making the baffles and whatnot. I also don't know the living "stuff" im supposed to put in there. I also wonder would a HOB filter be alright for now and add a sump later to take the overwhelming feeling away. I'm leaning towards glass and need to figure out the hose + pipiing everything, making an overflow which i assume i would need for a glass tank unless i wanted ugly pipe in my tank which would defeat the look good end of things. I have an old 12 gallon acrylic tank i could dedicate to this, however i feel that may be too small. Also i assume i'm going to use a canister style filter before/after the sump tank? OR am i essentially making a wet dry filter of my own? Are these run by a pump or do i need to buy one? What about UV sterilization?
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2009
    Sinluien, Nov 19, 2009
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  8. Sinluien

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    We used this as a reference to put our baffles in:

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxnugJGiT3o[/ame]

    My sump is like this:

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LShjPYPvh_c[/ame]
     
    wontonflip, Nov 19, 2009
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  9. Sinluien

    Sinluien

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    Oh my wow... that seems.... overwhelming. So without buying another aquarium, a rubber maid tote plexiglass that i have and a buncha silicon? I mean pvc is my game but regulating all of this? why and where do i put each thing. This has been my fear...
     
    Sinluien, Nov 19, 2009
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  10. Sinluien

    dcantucson

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    You'll get over that fear soon. It is there with everyone in the beginning. Just go slow and easy and you'll be fine. Plan everything out and be patient and you'll be up and running in no time and more importantly successfully!

    Welcome to our forum. Glad you're here.
     
    dcantucson, Nov 19, 2009
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  11. Sinluien

    ltljokersbetterhalf ltljokers #1

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    welcome to the forum. and PATIENCE is the key to having success in the hobby:D
     
    ltljokersbetterhalf, Nov 19, 2009
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  12. Sinluien

    Sinluien

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    Just out of curiousity, could i use a canister filter and have the sump as a place for my skimmer, heater, powerhead, and use as a refuge and whatever else is needed? I think i like that idea. Use a filter as an intake and a pump as a return? Clean balanced MORE water seems to be the idea here right? If it's trying to save me money by not needing a filter, 100 bucks for an insurance policy seems like a heck of a deal. Why not dive in head first with having the cleanest tank... ever. I also refuse to by an overflow for such a retarded price. I mean seriously? I could buy an automatic "sump pump" and create a shelf in my sump for once it hits that level and a PVC U tube for from the tank. But my thinking here is by using a pump/filter for intake instead of gravity should greatly reduce the overflow issue. BTW i've had a power failure once for 5 minutes in the last 6 years.

    Anyone ever use an air stone protein skimmer? im not going to, but a friend wants to add one to his tank. He was like WTF WALMART doesn't sell that cool thing! I about died laughing.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2009
    Sinluien, Nov 19, 2009
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  13. Sinluien

    dcantucson

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    You CAN use a canister filter but you must clean it at least once a week to keep nitrates down.
     
    dcantucson, Nov 19, 2009
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  14. Sinluien

    ltljokersbetterhalf ltljokers #1

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    canister filters are bad words on the forum cuz they just filter out the bad stuff and still sends it back to your tank so BAD BAD words:mrgreen: and they just breed bad stuff that gets put in your tank:grumble:
     
    ltljokersbetterhalf, Nov 19, 2009
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  15. Sinluien

    ltljokersbetterhalf ltljokers #1

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    why dont you just use a hang on the back type filter system with a sump thats how our 210 is set up
     
    ltljokersbetterhalf, Nov 19, 2009
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  16. Sinluien

    Sinluien

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    I would clean it often... and wouldnt the sump system take care of what it missed? Hell, i would enjoy cleaning it twice a week. I assume its bad because its a closed environment? I'm also big on RENA products Eheim just seems like they have the name. I mean i know they perform well but. i dont mind spending money but i have this concept called power to wallet ratio. Ill spend the money if its worth it. I was looking at the smartfilter by rena. It got awesome reviews.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2009
    Sinluien, Nov 19, 2009
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  17. Sinluien

    andysgirl8800 Blenny Badlands

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    Sin-
    Looks like everyone has you covered pretty well. I am still fairly new myself and started up a 125 about 6 months ago. I did eventually decide on doing a sump/refugium that I designed and built myselft from raw panels of glass. Would have been easier if I started with an existing aquarium, then added in the baffles, but my tank stand was just a hair too narrow. If I can build one, ANYONE can! I'm grateful that I went with the sump because ALL of my supplement equipment is housed there, water changes and top off's are immensely easier, and I have a healthy population of pods and macro algae in the sump. Fear not! Eventually it will all start to make sense. This forum is full of helpful and knowledgable people that will make sure you get started off right.
     
    andysgirl8800, Nov 19, 2009
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  18. Sinluien

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    I was also overwhelmed w/ diy'ing a sump...but once we got our groove w/ plumbing, it's all easier now. My 125 is using rubbermaid tubs for the sump. I ran pvc's for the plumbing (I used double 45degree elbow bends instead of single 90degree bends to lessen head loss, but some people here use reinforced tubing (the kind that doesn't pinch when turning corners). I would've preferred that to PVC, but the design of my tank stand wouldn't allow for all the sharp bends needed.

    The trick to adding the baffles to the tank was cutting the acrylic (Lowes has better prices for these than home depot, imho)...but once we got ours cut, if you follow the order that the guy used to put the baffles in, it wasn't hard at all. Just make sure that once the silicone is dry that you do a trial run in your bathtub/backyard to check for leaks between the baffles. We did that, found one small leak at the bottom, fixed it, and the 2nd trial run was a success. That was 10 months or so ago, and the sump is still doing great.

    Like dcan said, once you get started, you'll be addicted :)
     
    wontonflip, Nov 19, 2009
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  19. Sinluien

    Blindloser1080

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    Welcome! I figured i'd throw my .02 in here from a newbie's standpoint on the sump.

    I had a Rena Filstar XP3 originally on my saltwater aquariums in the past. Then with realizing how much it was costing me in replacing carbon, ceramic rings, cleaning, etc. it just wasn't worth it in the long run.

    I actually did a 10G sump for my 45G. I honestly was scared not knowing what I was doing, setting up, everything! I used the 1st video that was on here. It was actually quite easy! Plumbing was a cinch, and so far I am happy with my sump. Of course the overflow as a teeny bit tricky, but Lifereef was great help with getting it started.

    I would highly recommend going with the sump, it definately makes more sense because everything is kept in the sump rather in the display tank.
     
    Blindloser1080, Nov 19, 2009
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  20. Sinluien

    Sinluien

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    So, I think ive got it figured out. I thought i had an old small tank but i found out it was a 29 gallon. I'm thinking this will be a nice sump tank. However now i need your help, the wife thinks a 55 gallon tank is too big, which i agree they are stupid long and should be wider. However, small tank = bad... So help me convince her not to go smaller. I don't want this to become a "family" idea which became an addiction for me to be thrown out the window. Can anyone send me links to better 55 gallon tanks? Preferably not extremely expensive.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2009
    Sinluien, Nov 20, 2009
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