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Complete newb 30 gallon reef

This is a discussion on Complete newb 30 gallon reef within the Beginner Saltwater Aquariums forums, part of the Saltwater Fish and Coral Reef Tanks category; --> Here is the LFS I go to, to get my saltwater supplies, http://www.aquacorals.com This test kit that I purchased she stocks, and uses herself. ...

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Complete newb 30 gallon reef
Old 02-01-2010, 07:43 AM   #21
 
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Here is the LFS I go to, to get my saltwater supplies, http://www.aquacorals.com This test kit that I purchased she stocks, and uses herself. I mean I think the kit is alright for the most part but the Alkalinity test is definately not all its cracked up to be. BTW, should I add that success buffer? Does 35 drops sound ok for my 29g less sand and rock? It says to use 20 drops per 15 gallons. I havent stopped reading since I started this aquarium, literally, Ive been at the pc for 6-8 hours a day studying all I can.

I love it when you turn me on to a new article to read! Today I am going to look into making a DIY sump/refugium with a 10 gallon aquarium. I know, I would love bigger as well but I only have the width for a 10 in the bottom of my stand, but I could increase volume with a nice tall tank/container. I will keep my eye out for something that will fit but hold more volume.

I just tested my ammonia again and no spike yet. Bummer. Also, while I have your attention Pasfur, lets talk about a CUC for my tank. Where should I start? Astrea snails I assume, 1 per gallon? Besides that I dont know exactly what I should get.

Cheers.
-Mike
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:44 AM   #22
 
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Originally Posted by n1zjd View Post
Oh BTW, there was a 'buffer' that came with the test kit, should I add some as per directions? This stuff is called success buff and says to use 20 drops per 15 gallons. Should I go ahead and add some 35 drops to aquarium thats 29G High (less sand and rock)?
I never use the buffer that comes with the Red Sea kit. I am very picky about my buffer, and I want to know exactly how my system is going to respond. I am comfortable with the Kent Marine Super Buffer DKH product, and I stick with it.

If you want to try out the Success Buff go ahead. Give it 24 hours after a dose and then retest alkalinity, calcium, and pH. I personally recommend that someone who has no prior experience would probably be best using the BIonic product, which is a balanced 2 part additive. It is what Wake49 uses, and seems to have the dominant market share today.
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:49 AM   #23
 
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Fair enough. I will wait until I am able to get a better product then. My LFS isnt open until Wednesday. She does have the BIonic product. And I dont have any way to test calcium right now but I will pick up a test kit on Wednesday, or whenever I make it to the store. Thanks Pasfur. Should I put a bag of carbon in the HOB filter to assist with clearing up the water?
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:59 AM   #24
 
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KH Aquarium Alkalinity Carbonate Hardness Test Tetra - eBay (item 230355881201 end time Feb-05-10 03:15:07 PST)

That test kit in the link tests Alkalinity in Freshwater, brackish, and Saltwater. My API test kit says freshwater on it so I assume it wont work in my saltwater tank? Its results are far better than the Red Sea kit, more accurate scale that is. Im looking at some test kits online right now and will probably order one before the day is done. The problem with my LFS is that she only carries a specific line of stuff that she uses, and the Alk test leaves alot to be desired. Also a recommendation on a good Calcium test kit would be appreciated.
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:39 AM   #25
 
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API
Saltwater Liquid Master Test Kit | Master Test Kits | Test Kits & Refills | Aquarium - ThatPetPlace.com
Saltwater Liquid Master Test Kit | Master Test Kits | Test Kits & Refills | Aquarium - ThatPetPlace.com

Nitrate doubles up in these kits, but you will need it anyhow. Phosphate is the only one that isn't used constantly, but there will be times when you want it, so it doesn't hurt to have it on the shelf. For $55 total cost, ordering both of these kits is a great value.

The Red Sea Alkalinity/pH combination is a nice value:
Alkalinity Pro Test Lab | Alkalinity Test Kits & Refills | Test Kits & Refills | Aquarium - ThatPetPlace.com
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Old 02-01-2010, 12:26 PM   #26
 
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Okay, Ive already got the Red Sea Marine Lab test kit, Im just not satisfied with the Alkalinity test. I will pick up an API Alk test kit and a Calcium test kit, as well as either BIonic or Kent Marine Super Buffer DKH. Thanks again. -Mike
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Old 02-01-2010, 02:07 PM   #27
 
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wake49 - I had originally though the tank was a 30g, Ive since found out that its a 29G Tall. Its 30 x 12 x 18. Would a 250W MH be too much for my tank? Im not really concerned with the heat as much as I am being over 8W per gallon. If its an acceptable lamp then I will make a DIY hood with great cooling. Thanks for the info on some beginner choices. If the lamp isnt too much for the aquarium its what I would prefer to do personally. Cheers.
The watts per gallon "rule" is not so much a rule as it is a good starting point. I will use two tanks for demonstration (realize these are extremes, mainly to prove a point): A 150 extra high (48x24x30) and a 33 long (48x13x12). If we used a 492 watt metal halide fixture over both we would have 3.28 watts per gallon over the 150g and 14.91 watts per gallon over the 33g. That is a huge spectrum. At 3.28 watts per gallon, I would say that the light is more sufficient for the 150 gallon tank, as two 150w metal halide bulbs and two 96w PCs. In the 33 long, corals would be bleached from overexposure to light.

Now about using a 250w MH lamp. I would personally try to find a HQI setup, like the Aqualight Pro HQI/PC with a 150 watt MH bulb and a pair of 65w PC's for actinics. I think that this would be the best fixture for keeping any kind of coral without potential for bleaching.

Last edited by wake49; 02-01-2010 at 02:11 PM..
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Old 02-01-2010, 09:46 PM   #28
 
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Sure thing, heres a link to my thread http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/s...on-reef-36293/ Try not to laugh to hard, Ive been keeping freshwater aquariums for years but since joining this site and seeing the SW setups I just had to try it! I dont even know for sure what I 'think' is alive actually is, lol.

Im looking forward to watching the progress with your Tuastraea sp, good luck! Cheers
-Mike
LOL, no worries. I have been in saltwater for almost 8years now and there's still a lot i don't know. I'm sure Pasfur can say the same.

As for your lighting. Depending on the corals you put into there the light might be fine or may be too much. Another example to further build on what Wake was saying

A Elkhorn montipora, a SPS coral, requires low lighting in comparison to a Montipora Capricornus. Both have similar names and both are SPS, but one requires high lights while the other requires Low. MH are great and I love them. Your corals can get used to the lighting if you know what you are doing and acclimate the corals to the new lights. (Because you will have a lot of lighting over your tank, you will have to do this every time). Some of the prefered ways to acclimate to lighting is by either:

1 - Using multiple screens and setting them on top of the tank. Use 6 or so to diffuse the light and every 3rd day take one screen off. Do this until you have run out of screens.

2 - Change your lighting cycle. If you have a 10hr MH cycle then decrease it down to 2-3hrs a day. Then, like the screens but in the reverse, add an hour every 3rd day. It takes a while and you won't be able to see them for a lot of the day, but it's worth keeping your corals alive.

I have done both of these methods with no losses to my livestock. I'm currently upgrading to 2x250w MH over my 55g + 2x40w Actinics and i will be doing the 2nd. I'm not worried at all. (I currently have 2x175w MH and 2x40w Actinics).

Do your research on your coral husbandry before you purchase them.
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:05 PM   #29
 
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Thanks for the reply wake49. I guess with the information I have right now Im going to decide on a T5HO unit. My reasons for this are 1) Im a beginner so will only be trying beginner corals for now 2) I can buy a unit that will fit my 30" tank. I think I said it before in this thread somewhere that this tank is merely a starter tank for me to see how I will fare in saltwater. If it turns out to be a success than an upgrade in the future will definately happen, probably a 90G aquarium due to room. My reason for asking about the 250 was simply cost and diversity to be able to keep a wider variety of corals.

Im a DIY kind of guy and would have bought a ballast kit and bulb and made my own lamp for under a $100. So to keep things simple I will go with a T5HO unit. Would I be able to get my feet wet into the world of softies with something like this, Aquarium Lighting for Freshwater and Reef Systems: Nova Extreme Compact SLR T-5 Fixtures (30" 2 x 24W) or will this not be enough? If not then I will go with something like this, http://www.perfectpetshop.com/index...._detail&p=8162. Keep in mind I dont plan on this being a permanent setup so if I can save a little money now and still gain experience its going to help me out in the future with an upgrade.

Also, those arent necessarily the actual lamps being considered but an example of possible wattages. Cheers

Edit: Im really liking the looks of this for a starter lamp.... http://globalaquaria.com/currentusas...att30inch.aspx

Last edited by n1zjd; 02-01-2010 at 10:17 PM..
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:33 PM   #30
 
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Okay, Ive already got the Red Sea Marine Lab test kit, Im just not satisfied with the Alkalinity test. I will pick up an API Alk test kit and a Calcium test kit, as well as either BIonic or Kent Marine Super Buffer DKH. Thanks again. -Mike
Keep in mind, Mike, that the Kent Marine Super Buffer is the equivalent of 1/2 of the BIonic. If you use Kent Marine, you also have to purchase the Kent Marine Calcium Chloride.

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LOL, no worries. I have been in saltwater for almost 8years now and there's still a lot i don't know. I'm sure Pasfur can say the same.
No doubt Kells. There is a reason I always defer to you, OF2F, and Wake on lighting issues.
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