my first SW tank a heads up needed on some things plz
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my first SW tank a heads up needed on some things plz

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my first SW tank a heads up needed on some things plz
Old 03-31-2012, 09:22 AM   #1
 
my first SW tank a heads up needed on some things plz

Hi all

I would start by introducing myself my name is Matty i have kept all kinds of fish except SW

I am a very adept freshwater keeper and breed these for a hobby
and have also kept pond fish for many years too.

i will be soon to start my first SW tank but need to learn somethings first


I have a 3FT (120 liter approx)tank ready for this.

1. now so i have been told you double the filter size that you would use in a FW tank, so i am presuming that a 600liter and hour will suffice?

I have looked into the 3 main types of filtering used in SW, and opted for an internal sump type.
That i intend on making out of perspex or acrylic.

So i plan on making 3 compartments for this one for skimming, one with all of the filter media in and another for my pump.

and in regards to this i need some added info/pointers

2. what type of filter media can be used.
for example when i kept pond fish to save on cost's we used to use a combination of 1/2 inch lengths of hose pipe and 1/2 inch lengths of 1/4 inch coiled tubing

so would this type of media be acceptable for SW?
and i also plan to use some small 1/2 inch or so cube's of filter type sponge along with the filer it's self.

3. gravel and substrate.

in my FW tank for example i use aquatic peat to bring the ph down for my neon's
the PH in the area would stay at nearly 8 otherwise!!!!!

SO i ask what methods can be used in SW to control this in the same kind of manor without chemicals!! ?

And is normal gravel like i use in FW ok?

4. i have a meter to measure the salt level.

But what Type of Salts Can Be Used?
And which is the best and cheapest to buy in bulk?

5. Foods now i have no clue what fish i will keep in the end but i do plan on starting with some clown fish i will then buy fish to suite them and a community style tank.

what is the difference in cost (roughly)?
and what types of main food can be given

6. mysis shrimp i have been told are a good food treat

how easy are these to breed in comparison to brine shrimp?

7. how do i know what protein skimmer to buy for my 120 liter?

8. As i want to initially stay away from Coral are there many plant's for SW

9. also any other tips a novice SW keeper may need to know ?

thanks in advance for any reply
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:46 AM   #2
 
kitten_penang's Avatar
 
i can only help you with a few.

for filters sumps are best.u can also use eheims filters or any other brand of canister filters.

for media crushed corals and bio balls are most commonly found in them.

gravel is ok but sand looks nicer but they are harder to be kept clean.

most use kent or seachem but other sea salts not fw salts from the local lfs will also do.

most foods come in containers like normal fw fish foods.you can get all sorts of foods.most pellet food will sufice for clown fishes.

always use damsels at the start the tank cycle.the seems to be more hardy compared to the rest.

not sure bout mysis but brine should be fine

ask the person at the lfs he can help you get a protein skimmer that suits the size of your tank.( just like hob they come in different sizes )
keep in mind some are phosphate removers they are different from protein skimmers but some look the same.

corals are the plants of the oceans so no there's no other plants you can put in but live rocks are a must for most sw tanks.

as for advice make sure you use RO water before adding the sea salt to make the mixture it's easier to get the correct water parameters.make sure the salts in the mixture is fully dissolved before adding to the tank.the salt is caustic if undiluted properly they can cause chemical burns if they come into contact with the fish.most of the time i let the pump run overnight when making a new batch of mixture.

always add ro water when you top up and only add mixture water when you do water changes as water evaporates salts don't.

hope this helps you out a bit
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:05 AM   #3
 
Dry Rock, there are a few hitchhickers on Live Rock that people want to stay away from, so they opt for using Dry Rock, or Dead Rock. Macro Rock is a good place to start looking for that. Either way oyu go you will need a minimum of 1lb per gallon.
Replacement filter media like filter floss and activated carbon (if you get a filter)
Multiple Powerheads (2 or 3) 10x your water volume for just a Fish Only With Live Rock, and at least 20x your water volume for a Reef Tank. So lets say your going reef, and you have a 100g tank, you would need flow in that tank at minimum of 2000gph, or 2 1000gph powerheads.
Protein Skimmer, rated at 2 times your water volume
Saltwater Test Kits.
Reef Test Kit. Tets for Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, PH, Phosphates, Calcium, ALK and Magnesium.
Saltwater fish food. Mysis Shrimp, Squid, Cyclopease, Algae Sheets, Romaine . Flake food is not really a good food to feed your marine fish
.Aquarium vacuum. This one is iffy. Most don't use one, if you have enough flow in the tank you won’t need one
Rubber kitchen gloves
Fish net
Two, clean, never used before, 5-gallon buckets
Aquarium thermometer, digital being the best.
Brush with plastic bristles (old tooth brush) - needed for cleaning the live rock if you don't get Fully Cured Live Rock
.Power Strip, possibly GFCI outlets by the tank.
Optional but definitely recommend getting a Reverse Osmosis or RO/Deionization filter for the make-up water, and a barrel for storing the water.
Possibly a Quarantine Tank for your new fish. They sit in here for a few weeks to kill off parasites and bacteria, to keep it from getting in your main tank
Heater rated for your size tank.
Saltwater Mix.
Marine SaltSaltwater Hydrometer or even better a Refractometer, which is more accurateAquarium filter (not absolutely necessary if running with adequate amounts of live rock, but nice to have if you need to use a mechanical filter or activated carbon, etc.)
Aquarium substrate such as live sand or crushed cora. Some go bare Bottom, others choose the 2-3" bottom, others, more advanced will try the Deep Sand Bed, which is over 6" deep.
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:55 AM   #4
 
thanks for your reply

however i feel you just copied and pasted them leaving more confused than ever

could you all post answers with there respective question numbering next to them

inside my internal sump that i make is where i will house my filter which will be a canister type

also i am in the UK so only work in liters and i dont know if i would be better using US or normal gallon if i converted the info for you as most just think that a gallon is a gallon

my tank size convert is as follows

120 liter OR 32 US Gallons OR 26.5 UK Gallons

oh and PS i will not be buying my protein skimmer from a pet store so they can rob me blind i will be using ebay

Last edited by madyotto; 03-31-2012 at 12:11 PM..
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Old 03-31-2012, 12:51 PM   #5
 
best thing you can do is a buy a book called salt water guide for dummies, plain english little jargon....
for live rock 1 kg for ever 10 liters of water.
sump is the best way to go.
uv sterlizer's are good.
red sea skimmer are simply to use and very effective.
power heads are a must.

and also work out what type of tank you want, reef tank fish only tank etc
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Old 03-31-2012, 01:50 PM   #6
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by madyotto View Post

1. now so i have been told you double the filter size that you would use in a FW tank, so i am presuming that a 600liter and hour will suffice?
No. You need 1.5-2lbs of Live Rock per Gallon of water. A filter in a Salt Water Tank is not needed. They usually only become Nitrate traps.

I have looked into the 3 main types of filtering used in SW, and opted for an internal sump type.
That i intend on making out of perspex or acrylic.
Good choice: I might recommend looking at this site for a Sump reference:
Melevsreef.com | Acrylic Sumps & Refugiums

So i plan on making 3 compartments for this one for skimming, one with all of the filter media in and another for my pump.
What about your Skimmer? Rated at twice your volume of water.

and in regards to this i need some added info/pointers

2. what type of filter media can be used.
for example when i kept pond fish to save on cost's we used to use a combination of 1/2 inch lengths of hose pipe and 1/2 inch lengths of 1/4 inch coiled tubing
None. You can run carbon once in awhile to polish up your water however, or run GFO ( Granular Feric Oxide) What you do need is to move 10x your water volume for a Fish Only tank, and 20x your volume + for a Reef tank. Using powerheads, which are more efficient, or a external pump, your choice.

so would this type of media be acceptable for SW?
and i also plan to use some small 1/2 inch or so cube's of filter type sponge along with the filer it's self.

3. gravel and substrate.
No. Don't use gravel. You should be looking at Crushed Coral, Live Sand or Araginite.

in my FW tank for example i use aquatic peat to bring the ph down for my neon's
the PH in the area would stay at nearly 8 otherwise!!!!!
PH of 8 is fine.

SO i ask what methods can be used in SW to control this in the same kind of manor without chemicals!! ?
Using Crushed Coral, it buffers the PH for you. Many other things. The additives your going to dose your tank to keep normal levels, will also help your PH.
Aquarium Chemistry; Calcium, KH, GH, pH, Electrolytes, Magnesium, Mineral Ions, Cations

And is normal gravel like i use in FW ok?
No

4. i have a meter to measure the salt level.
Refractometer is best to use, or a digital slinity meter.

But what Type of Salts Can Be Used?
And which is the best and cheapest to buy in bulk?
Instant Ocean, in 200g box.
eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices

5. Foods now i have no clue what fish i will keep in the end but i do plan on starting with some clown fish i will then buy fish to suite them and a community style tank.
All depends on the fish you plan on keeping. Stay away from flake food, it snot good for your fish. Frozen foods such as, Mysis Shrimp, Squid chunks, Cyclopese are good things to feed. Nori Sheets (algae sheets)

what is the difference in cost (roughly)?
and what types of main food can be given
Answered in last question.

6. mysis shrimp i have been told are a good food treat
Not treat, a normal feeding food.

how easy are these to breed in comparison to brine shrimp?
Not easy. Can be done though.

7. how do i know what protein skimmer to buy for my 120 liter?
Rated for twice your water volume.
Volume conversion calculators for imperial and metric units

8. As i want to initially stay away from Coral are there many plant's for SW
Yes, there are quite a few to chose from.
Marine Plants: Saltwater Plants, Aquarium Marine Algae and Turtle Grass

9. also any other tips a novice SW keeper may need to know ?
The things I posted above. Which is a copy and paste out of an Excel file I made. Makes it easier and shorter for me to answer a broader spectrum salt water question

thanks in advance for any reply
Replies in RED
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:28 PM   #7
 
best thing you can do is a buy a book called salt water guide for dummies, plain english little jargon....
i would normally agree but i have dyspraxia and although i can read quite well i have epic problems in taking in the info if i just read hence why i appreciate you all helping me so much

for live rock 1 kg for ever 10 liters of water.
so would i be right in thinking that live rock's help with keeping the water chemistry right in a similar way plants do in FW as they keep Nitrate levels down

sump is the best way to go. i agree but funds force me to use an internal sump

and also work out what type of tank you want, reef tank fish only tank etc

after looking at the reef tank wiki i will opt for a none reef tank
but daft as it may sound can i have sea horses in a none reef tank ?




1. now so i have been told you double the filter size that you would use in a FW tank, so i am presuming that a 600liter and hour will suffice?
No. You need 1.5-2lbs of Live Rock per Gallon of water. A filter in a Salt Water Tank is not needed. They usually only become Nitrate traps.
so you mean that there is no point is using a sponge filter just a pump to pull the water through my internal sump ?



I have looked into the 3 main types of filtering used in SW, and opted for an internal sump type.
That i intend on making out of perspex or acrylic.
Good choice: I might recommend looking at this site for a Sump reference:
Melevsreef.com | Acrylic Sumps & Refugiums

thanks very much i will look right now


So i plan on making 3 compartments for this one for skimming, one with all of the filter media in and another for my pump.
What about your Skimmer? Rated at twice your volume of water.
ok thanks again

and in regards to this i need some added info/pointers

2. what type of filter media can be used.
for example when i kept pond fish to save on cost's we used to use a combination of 1/2 inch lengths of hose pipe and 1/2 inch lengths of 1/4 inch coiled tubing
None. You can run carbon once in awhile to polish up your water however, or run GFO ( Granular Feric Oxide) What you do need is to move 10x your water volume for a Fish Only tank, and 20x your volume + for a Reef tank. Using powerheads, which are more efficient, or a external pump, your choice.
i think you misunderstood by media i mean the filter content like the plastic style balls you see in most sumps



and i also plan to use some small 1/2 inch or so cube's of filter type sponge along with the filer it's self.
so again don't use these ?


3. gravel and substrate.
No. Don't use gravel. You should be looking at Crushed Coral, Live Sand or Araginite.
can i have some pro's and con's of these please
i do like the idea of the sand as it looks quite clean but i bet it doesn't stay this way ?


in my FW tank for example i use aquatic peat to bring the ph down for my neon's
the PH in the area would stay at nearly 8 otherwise!!!!!
PH of 8 is fine.

SO i ask what methods can be used in SW to control this in the same kind of manor without chemicals!! ?
Using Crushed Coral, it buffers the PH for you. Many other things. The additives your going to dose your tank to keep normal levels, will also help your PH.can you explain the additives you speak of and what there job is please
Aquarium Chemistry; Calcium, KH, GH, pH, Electrolytes, Magnesium, Mineral Ions, Cations

again confused.com lol


4. i have a meter to measure the salt level.
Refractometer is best to use, or a digital slinity meter.

But what Type of Salts Can Be Used?
And which is the best and cheapest to buy in bulk?
Instant Ocean, in 200g box.i was thinking a bit larger bluk lol i am guessing 200g would not last long ?


5. Foods now i have no clue what fish i will keep in the end but i do plan on starting with some clown fish i will then buy fish to suite them and a community style tank.
All depends on the fish you plan on keeping. Stay away from flake food, it snot good for your fish. Frozen foods such as, Mysis Shrimp, Squid chunks, Cyclopese are good things to feed. Nori Sheets (algae sheets)

once again thanks so much

6. mysis shrimp i have been told are a good food treat
Not treat, a normal feeding food.
again thanks so much


how easy are these to breed in comparison to brine shrimp?
Not easy. Can be done though.

7. how do i know what protein skimmer to buy for my 120 liter?
Rated for twice your water volume.


8. As i want to initially stay away from Coral are there many plant's for SW
Yes, there are quite a few to chose from.
Marine Plants: Saltwater Plants, Aquarium Marine Algae and Turtle Grass
Brill stuff !!

9. also any other tips a novice SW keeper may need to know ?
The things I posted above. Which is a copy and paste out of an Excel file I made. Makes it easier and shorter for me to answer a broader spectrum salt water question

Last edited by madyotto; 03-31-2012 at 05:35 PM..
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:06 PM   #8
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by madyotto View Post
best thing you can do is a buy a book called salt water guide for dummies, plain english little jargon....
i would normally agree but i have dyspraxia and although i can read quite well i have epic problems in taking in the info if i just read hence why i appreciate you all helping me so much

for live rock 1 kg for ever 10 liters of water.
so would i be right in thinking that live rock's help with keeping the water chemistry right in a similar way plants do in FW as they keep Nitrate levels down
Live Rock grows bacteria and other filter feeding critters that help aid in cleaning the water. A Skimmer helps further this process, in it removes organics before they can get into the water column.

sump is the best way to go. i agree but funds force me to use an internal sump
A Sump is not a must, its a bonus. You do not have to have one.

and also work out what type of tank you want, reef tank fish only tank etc

after looking at the reef tank wiki i will opt for a none reef tank
but daft as it may sound can i have sea horses in a none reef tank ?
Yes. Sea Horses require less water movement than a Fish Only Tank.



1. now so i have been told you double the filter size that you would use in a FW tank, so i am presuming that a 600liter and hour will suffice?
No. You need 1.5-2lbs of Live Rock per Gallon of water. A filter in a Salt Water Tank is not needed. They usually only become Nitrate traps.
so you mean that there is no point is using a sponge filter just a pump to pull the water through my internal sump ?
Right, no point in a sponge filter. It will eventually screw up your water. Using a return pump only for the sump is all thats needed.



I have looked into the 3 main types of filtering used in SW, and opted for an internal sump type.
That i intend on making out of perspex or acrylic.
Good choice: I might recommend looking at this site for a Sump reference:
Melevsreef.com | Acrylic Sumps & Refugiums
thanks very much i will look right now


So i plan on making 3 compartments for this one for skimming, one with all of the filter media in and another for my pump.
What about your Skimmer? Rated at twice your volume of water.
ok thanks again

and in regards to this i need some added info/pointers

2. what type of filter media can be used.
for example when i kept pond fish to save on cost's we used to use a combination of 1/2 inch lengths of hose pipe and 1/2 inch lengths of 1/4 inch coiled tubing
None. You can run carbon once in awhile to polish up your water however, or run GFO ( Granular Feric Oxide) What you do need is to move 10x your water volume for a Fish Only tank, and 20x your volume + for a Reef tank. Using powerheads, which are more efficient, or a external pump, your choice.
i think you misunderstood by media i mean the filter content like the plastic style balls you see in most sumps
No sir, I did not misunderstand. You need no material for your tank. Your Live Rock is your bio media. Carbon to polish your water. GFO to remove Phosphates, that is all you need. Those plastic bio balls will cause you a Nitrate issue in the future, trust me.



and i also plan to use some small 1/2 inch or so cube's of filter type sponge along with the filer it's self.
so again don't use these ?
Correct

3. gravel and substrate.
No. Don't use gravel. You should be looking at Crushed Coral, Live Sand or Araginite.
can i have some pro's and con's of these please
i do like the idea of the sand as it looks quite clean but i bet it doesn't stay this way ?
I like Crushed Coral, as it does help buffer ph in your system. Live Sand comes with a diverse bio load already in it. The others would just be of choice as they work the same.


SO i ask what methods can be used in SW to control this in the same kind of manor without chemicals!! ?
Using Crushed Coral, it buffers the PH for you. Many other things. The additives your going to dose your tank to keep normal levels, will also help your PH.can you explain the additives you speak of and what there job is please
Aquarium Chemistry; Calcium, KH, GH, pH, Electrolytes, Magnesium, Mineral Ions, Cations

again confused.com lol
Live Rock, Live Sand, and using the Instant Ocean, only using those materials, you should not have an issue with PH. I have never messed with my PH using those items.

But what Type of Salts Can Be Used?
And which is the best and cheapest to buy in bulk?
Instant Ocean, in 200g box.i was thinking a bit larger bluk lol i am guessing 200g would not last long ?
200 is the biggest I know of. And 200g lasting would all depend on how much you do water changes. I have a 240 gallon Mixed Reef tank, I change my water every 3-4 months. I only keep a bucket on hand, and I change 55 gallons at a time.


5. Foods now i have no clue what fish i will keep in the end but i do plan on starting with some clown fish i will then buy fish to suite them and a community style tank.
All depends on the fish you plan on keeping. Stay away from flake food, it snot good for your fish. Frozen foods such as, Mysis Shrimp, Squid chunks, Cyclopese are good things to feed. Nori Sheets (algae sheets)

once again thanks so much

6. mysis shrimp i have been told are a good food treat
Not treat, a normal feeding food.
again thanks so much

8. As i want to initially stay away from Coral are there many plant's for SW
Yes, there are quite a few to chose from.
Marine Plants: Saltwater Plants, Aquarium Marine Algae and Turtle Grass
Brill stuff !!

Last edited by Reefing Madness; 03-31-2012 at 08:10 PM..
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:06 AM   #9
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefing Madness View Post
THANKS ALL I AM OF GREAT UNDERSTANDING NOW

i have changed my mind again now and decided to opt for a home made sump and over flow box

in my sump after a lil research and your help

i will use live sand algee grass of some kind saw some in a pic


so would you say that my math is about right in regards to pump size ?

i have 150 liter tank X10 = 1500 liter an hours flow

elevated clime of approx 4FT meaning ii would need approx 2500 liter an hour (+) pump ?

Thank you all so much for your patients

can some one post pics of crushed corel and sand plz i see lots on google but it all looks new and i want an idea of its look after been running some time thanks
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:36 AM   #10
 
kitten_penang's Avatar
 
omg after reading i'm seeing double red too many quesstion too litttle time have fun and good luck with the tank
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