New to the hobbie, any advise will help - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-03-2009, 02:53 AM Thread Starter
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New to the hobbie, any advise will help

Hello all, I'm new to the hobbie. I have researched and read a lot but you could never have enough info and that is why I will take any advise. Here is what I have so far. 30 gal tank (24"L X 16"W X 17"H), CPR BAK-PAK 2R w/ protien skimmer, Hydor Koralia circ pump #2, Hydor THEO heater 200W, Coralife Lunar Aqualight Deluxe 24", 45 LBS live sand, 50 LBS of lve rock. I just set it up today and I understand that it has to cycle for about 6 to 8 weeks. I'm planning on this being a reef tank. Any advise on equipment that I should add or remove would be helpfull. Also any advise on what to expect or what I should do in the meantime while the tank is cycling would also be helpfull. I want to thank everyone in advance for your help.
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-04-2009, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by saltydoggunny View Post
I just set it up today and I understand that it has to cycle for about 6 to 8 weeks. I'm planning on this being a reef tank.
There is a misunderstanding in this statement. Given that you plan to do a reef, I hope you already have live rock. If you do, then the live rock itself will determine how long the "cycle" takes. If the live rock is cured, then the aquarium will complete an ammonia and nitrite cycle in a few short days or possibly a week. If the rock is uncured, then you should wait for it to cure at the LFS or cure it at home in a separate container prior to adding it to the aquarium. In this case, after adding the cured live rock to your aquarium, it will still only take a week or so for the tank to cycle.

Your statement above suggests that a bacteria colony needs to develop somewhere to reduce ammonia and nitrite to zero. This is a freshwater principle that is often applied incorrectly to a marine system. Again, the live rock will house all the necessary bacteria to prevent ammonia and nitrite readings.

On this subject, a picture of your setup would prove very helpful. Moving on...

The equipment and overall setup sound acceptable. Do realize, your skimmer is a low budget model that will be pushing its limits on a reef aquarium of 38 gallons. The square neck and top/down input of the water flow make this model rather outdated. I have one myself and have found it to be one of the least effective skimmers I have ever owned. I actually moved it to my quarantine tank because it was useless anywhere else. Given this, I would suggest that you only keep soft corals, and avoid the more demanding species. Truthfully, you could have done a lot better on the skimmer choice for a similar price. This part is disappointing.
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-04-2009, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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Added some pics

The date on the pics are wrong, I took them today.
What would be a good skimmer to purchase for my size tank?


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post #4 of 6 Old 06-04-2009, 07:38 PM
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I did misread the original post, so i want to clarify that this is a 30 gallon aquarium we are discussing. I originally thought it was a 38. In any case, I still have horrible opinions of the CPR design and would change skimmers.

The more money you spend on a skimmer the better performance you will generally see. The best question to ask is how much cash you are willing to part with. The SeaClone models are the lowest quality effective hang on models and are under $100. If you can spend $150 to $180 then Coralife makes a decent hang on skimmer. Either of these would be acceptable for a 30 gallon, and if moved into a sump could handle a 55 gallon tank in the future.

I have personally used the SeaClone skimmers on several 29 gallon hang on applications and I can't complain for the cost. Another user here, Austin, used a Coralife with success on his 75 gallon reef, but eventually upgraded for a more effective skimmer. Either way, I think you will be far improved from the CPR.
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-04-2009, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you PASFUR. I will spend the extra money and probably go with the Coralife. Eventually I want to upgrade. Just to clarify,we are talking about the protien skimmer? I also want to purchase a UV Sterilizer. I was thinking about the Coralife 3X Turbo Twist 9W. Is this a good one or should I research other ones?
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-05-2009, 05:56 AM
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If you buy the Coralife Skimmer, be sure to get the needle wheel design. I am an even bigger fan of the Berlin X2 Skimmer, which is not much more expensive. You can find both at a great price on this web site: Protein Skimmers. The Berlin can easily upgrade to a 75 to 125 gallon reef, when used in a sump. I gave it serious consideration for my 180, but decided on the ASM G3.

For a UV STerilizer, I am not an expert on the different products available. The TurboTwist is a nice looking design, and should allow for nice exposure time. I would personally purchase this model.
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