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$400 on Tank Setup

This is a discussion on $400 on Tank Setup within the Beginner Saltwater Aquariums forums, part of the Saltwater Fish and Coral Reef Tanks category; --> Originally Posted by Pasfur Thank you for keeping this civil. The clarification is very helpful. For your $400 I would suggest buying live rock ...

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Old 04-01-2009, 08:17 PM   #11
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pasfur View Post
Thank you for keeping this civil. The clarification is very helpful.

For your $400 I would suggest buying live rock and a protein skimmer. I would check out Marco Rocks The finest aquarium rock available, base rock, live rock, reef rock, marco rock, reef tank saltwater fish, live corals, Marco rocks, Fiji live rock, Tonga Live rock and pick up 50 pounds of fiji dry rock. You could get the Berlin Red Sea X2 Venturi protein skimmer, a hang on, for about $200 at Aquarium Supplies, Pet Supplies and Pond Supplies by That Fish Place - That Pet Place. This will leave you $75 or so to buy the test kits I mentioned. This would be an excellent start to your project.


Thank You soo much! This is what I needed!

I have a question, what is the differences between the rocks? live rock and dry rock? also what watt of a heater is best adequate for this size of a tank I have a 255Watt. Also I have Powerfull marineland 400 double bio-wheel outside power filter that pumps 400 gallons per hour. Will that work?

Please let me know!
Thanx
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:34 PM   #12
 
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honestly i would wait, make a list of what you need and save up while your researching.

you mention filters. there are no filters needed on a saltwater tank. a skimmer yes, a filter no. carbon and phosban reactors are also a good thing. a 55 gallon tank has a shallow width, which makes it difficult to aquascape. IMO your better off using a 40 breeder or 75 gallon because they are both wide. your going to want to use RO/DI water and i suggest getting a RO unit to make your own because in the long run you save money. i cant recommend pumps until i know what you wish to use them for ( mixing saltwater/ a return from the sump/ feeding your skimmer .. theres to many options there ) as for powerheads i suggest hydors or if you can afford them, tunzes.

to show you how research is in-valuable i have had my tank up for awhile and i transfered it over to another one and pretty much lost everything. research is KEY in this hobby, along with questions - so feel free to ask, just please take your time.
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Old 04-01-2009, 10:35 PM   #13
 
hey onefish2fish thank you for your time and concern! Why I am using a 55 gallon opposed to a 75 because I got a great deal and it will be much cheaper correct me if im wrong than working with a 75 gallon instead!
you mentioned it will be difficult to aquascape. Im not sure what that means if u can explain that to me! thank you!
I am not sure either what pump(s) to use since I had a question about if I have a skimmer do i still need to use a Sump if not than that solves the issue of Sump correct?
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Old 04-01-2009, 11:03 PM   #14
 
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aquascaping as in arranging your rocks inside the tank to your liking. your right, the larger the tank the more expensive it gets.

if i was in your shoes i would use the 55 as a DIY sump and a 40 breeder as the display. the wide 40 will be easy to arrange your rocks, not as expensive to fill as a 75. having a 55 sump will increase your water volume of the tank alot. the more water volume = the more stable.
sumps just arnt for skimmers, but great for putting other equipment like heaters and carbon/phosban reactors, macro algaes in a refugium section and they provide the extra water volume. if you get an in sump (or even an out of sump) skimmer your going to need a sump. a hang on the back skimmer you wont need a sump but IMO theres no hang on skimmer effective enough for a 55 regardless what they say its rated for. then again i like to over skim but i think thats important. read online reviews on skimmers as some are golden and others garbage.

dont get me wrong, if you want to use the 55 you absolutely still can, i just find it easier using a wider tank. i think a 55 with a 20 long as a sump would make a good first tank.

your not going to want ANY filter. this is one of the things that is greatly different from saltwater and freshwater aquaria. no canisters, HOBs, bio wheels, bio balls, or anything of the like. these (and even the improper sand depth ) will all trap debris and detritus causing major excess nutrient issues down the road.

start reading about alk,ca, and mag in reef tanks. these are extremely important and all work hand and hand. read what levels are required, how to dose and so forth. this cannot be skipped.
it would also be a good idea to look into local reefing clubs in your area. these are great to meet people, learn and pick up used equipment.
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Old 04-01-2009, 11:52 PM   #15
 
Hey thank you again for your clarification to all this. You are of great help!
I honestly am going to stick with the 55 gallon since I got a real great deal on it! and I do have a 20 gallon long not being used. I also have a 10 gallon and 29 gallon but those have my fresh waters in them! That being said the 20 gallon I will use as my sump!


Please correct me if I am wrong. This is what I was planning to do in this order.

1. buy about 80 lbs of sand
2.buy bucket of salt for 200gal worth
3. Pick up about 10 lbs of nice purple live rock or should i get 50?
4.Purchase a Chemical kit for testing
That should cost me close to 200-300 dollars

Now should i also buy things for my 20g sump? if so what should i get, and should i set them up at the same time?

Please tell me what and how you would do it if you were in my shoes to start.
Thank You
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Old 04-02-2009, 01:05 AM   #16
 
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if i was in your shoes i would make a list of everything you need which includes but not limited to, pumps, a skimmer, a refractometer, powerheads, test kits, lights, everything. i would then spend at the very LEAST a month doing research. look up things online, take a book out from your library, ask questions, join a reefing club, a month is being very generous on the time frame of research and i encourage more. while i was in the research stage i would be saving my money for the purchases to make down the road. this is the biggest step, patience is a virtue in this hobby, nothing good happens fast.
i would also go the 40 breeder route with the 55 as a sump but thats just me. feel free to ask any questions.
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Old 04-02-2009, 03:58 PM   #17
 
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Hi,

A great site...besides this one ... to read up on everything you want to know is www.wetwebmedia.com

That is where I started. They have a section on saltwater tanks and setting them up. I truely regret not doing better research when I first started. When things went wrong I didn't know why. I learned too late about things like quarantine tanks, etc.

My fiance and I take care of the saltwater tank together. I do all the maintenance, research, buying, feeding, etc. All he does is tell me to be patient. He is probably the most important part of this team.

Good luck!!
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Old 04-02-2009, 04:12 PM   #18
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by princesuhaib View Post
Hey thank you again for your clarification to all this. You are of great help!
I honestly am going to stick with the 55 gallon since I got a real great deal on it! and I do have a 20 gallon long not being used. I also have a 10 gallon and 29 gallon but those have my fresh waters in them! That being said the 20 gallon I will use as my sump!


Please correct me if I am wrong. This is what I was planning to do in this order.

1. buy about 80 lbs of sand
2.buy bucket of salt for 200gal worth
3. Pick up about 10 lbs of nice purple live rock or should i get 50?
4.Purchase a Chemical kit for testing
That should cost me close to 200-300 dollars

Now should i also buy things for my 20g sump? if so what should i get, and should i set them up at the same time?

Please tell me what and how you would do it if you were in my shoes to start.
Thank You

If you are going to go ahead and buy stuff now, I would follow Pasfur's advice a while back. Buy the skimmer, and don't skimp on the price here... as he said, it's the most important piece of equipment. read reviews, take some time reading about different skimmers and bounce ideas off of us here, and make sure you get a solid one. Also go ahead and get some rock, Pasfur suggested dry rock since you won't need to put it into a tank right away.

Live rock is rock that has lots of life on and in it, both microscopic (bacteria, etc..) and macroscopic (coralline algae, sponges, etc...). Live rock MUST be kept wet/under water, so if you buy liverock, you'll need a tank to put in as soon as you get to your house. Buying some good dry rock means you can get it and store is wherever, until you get your tank set up. If you just put some water in the tank and mix salt in without knowing much else about what you're doing, then drop in some expensive liverock, you'll probably end up killing off most of the life on it anyways, thus wasting money. You'll want to get some live rock as well later, to help "seed" the base (dry) rock that you get now. With the left over money, go ahead and pick up some of the test kits Pasfur suggested.

Take the time between now and when you get some more money to keep researching and asking questions. Best of luck! I've been keeping saltwater for over a year, and I'm still very much a newbie. I learn something new almost everytime I log in or spend an evening just reading online about various topics. Bottom line, as everyone has stated in this thread, its impossible to research too much. There's a great saying for the saltwater hobby: "nothing good happens fast with saltwater aquaria". Truer words were probably never spoken.
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Old 04-02-2009, 04:16 PM   #19
 
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one other piece of advice to consider as you plan out your purchases and how you'll run your tank, please know that using tap water is a HUGE no-no for saltwater tanks. Your tank will be overrun with incredibly ugly algae and cyanobacteria outbreaks, and will sap most if not all of the enjoyment out of your hobby just trying to deal with it.

You need to use RO/DI (reverse-osmosis/de-ionization) water. You can either buy it from your local fish store, which can be a pain to constantly lug buckets of water to and from the store, or you can purchase a household RODI unit. I highly recommend that, that way you can make new water anytime you want. You'll be regularly topping off the tank since you lose water to evaporation, and each time you do a water change you'll need a larger supply of RODI water on-hand to mix the new batch of saltwater.

When I first started out, I made the mistake of filling the tank up initially with tap water, and even though from that point forward I did all water changes and top-offs with RODI water, it was still a huge pain in the butt and I learned the hard way.

Since you mentioned having significant freshwater experience, I thought you might not have been aware that using tap water is simply not acceptable for saltwater, whereas it's standard practice in freshwater.
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Old 04-02-2009, 05:31 PM   #20
 
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Originally Posted by conger View Post

You need to use RO/DI (reverse-osmosis/de-ionization) water. You can either buy it from your local fish store, which can be a pain to constantly lug buckets of water to and from the store, or you can purchase a household RODI unit. I highly recommend that, that way you can make new water anytime you want. You'll be regularly topping off the tank since you lose water to evaporation, and each time you do a water change you'll need a larger supply of RODI water on-hand to mix the new batch of saltwater.
I am looking around the Internet for a RO/DI but I am not sure how powerful of one I need. My tank is a 55gal do you have any recommendations?

Thank You
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