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New to Saltwater

This is a discussion on New to Saltwater within the Beginner Saltwater Aquariums forums, part of the Saltwater Fish and Coral Reef Tanks category; --> My friend offered me his neglected 20 gallon saltwater tank setup this weekend for $100 and I just couldn't pass it up. It's just ...

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Old 04-09-2012, 11:10 AM   #1
 
New to Saltwater

My friend offered me his neglected 20 gallon saltwater tank setup this weekend for $100 and I just couldn't pass it up. It's just been sitting and looks pretty rough, but I'm getting tons of stuff and don't mind the clean up.

Included:
~40lbs live rock
2inch sand bed
2 koralia nano 425's
4xT5 light fixture with 10k and actinic bulbs. (brand unknown at this time)
heater

I have some questions regarding clean up. Is there anything I should look out for with the live rock or sand since it's been sitting with no maintenance for a while? My plan currently is to remove the live rock and sand from the tank and seperate it into two 5 gallon buckets of saltwater. Is this ok? Should I take a toothbrush to the liverock?

Then give the tank a good scrub down to remove algae and whatnot. Any pointers on cleaning the tank?

Then I'll replace sand and hardscape the live rock. Should I fill the tank up before I hardscape with the liverock? Is it going to ruin it if I have it out of water for an hour or two?

I'm going to be taking this process slow and gathering the rest of my needed equipment over the next couple months. Am I missing anythning obvious here? Any feedback/advice is appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:46 AM   #2
 
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You should probably get a sump pump for the tank.
And leaving the live rock out of water probably isn't too good for it.
I also wouldn't scrub the live rock too vigorously.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:14 PM   #3
 
What would I need a sump pump for?

Thanks for the other tips, I'll make sure and have some water in the tank before I mess around with the scape. Thanks
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:16 PM   #4
 
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The sump pump is like a skimmer, and it helps keep the tank clean. Kinda like a filter
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:26 PM   #5
 
Oh, I'll be using a modifed AC70 as a refugium with chaeto. I think that should suffice for filtration with the two koralia nano 425's. I'm planning on weekly water changes of atleast 5 gallons as well.
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:17 PM   #6
 
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Sounds good, I think you should be fine with that.
Good luck!
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Old 04-09-2012, 06:33 PM   #7
 
Any other opinions, suggestions?
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Old 04-09-2012, 07:32 PM   #8
 
You can scrub the rock off using a dish scrubber or something of that type, tooth brush is a bit small. No need to use SW as its just been sitting out and its dead anyways.
Rinse out the sand before puttin in the tank. Rinse out the tnak with vineagar and water, rinse well after you give it a lil scrubbing.
Fill tank half way with salt water that has been mixed up at least 24hrs prior. Put sand in. Then you can Aquascape, making sure you push the rock to the bottom of the tank, before setting another piece on top of it.
All the other things you have listed will work for ya. On thing to keep in mind though, that tank will go through a normal 4-6 weeks cycle, as the bacteria is no longer alive on any of the things you have.
You;ll still need tesing equipment.
Ammonia
Nitrites
Nitrates
Refractometer to measure SG (Specific Gravity)
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:07 PM   #9
 
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Well when I got my saltwater tank I got a few yellow tail damsels. They're easy to take care of and fairly inexpensive, so they are good for a new tank. If they live for awhile and don't die then you can start getting other fish.
A mistake I made was getting a hawkfish because the people at my lfs recommended one of them. That is NOT a good idea. If you don't have any other fish then go ahead and get one but they are very aggressive. It actually ended up killing a few of my fish, so we eventually sent it back.
One more thing you might want to get is a salinity testing device. It's just a simple tool that lets you know how salty the water is.
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:16 PM   #10
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneIchthyology View Post
Well when I got my saltwater tank I got a few yellow tail damsels. They're easy to take care of and fairly inexpensive, so they are good for a new tank. If they live for awhile and don't die then you can start getting other fish.
A mistake I made was getting a hawkfish because the people at my lfs recommended one of them. That is NOT a good idea. If you don't have any other fish then go ahead and get one but they are very aggressive. It actually ended up killing a few of my fish, so we eventually sent it back.
One more thing you might want to get is a salinity testing device. It's just a simple tool that lets you know how salty the water is.
Refractometer: As I stated above.
A Damsel in my opinion is a horrible first fish, as they will get to know the tank first, and make it their own, bullying all other fish you put in there afterwards. Then good luck getting that thing outta there when you've had enough of him.
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