New tank setup help!
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New tank setup help!

This is a discussion on New tank setup help! within the Beginner Saltwater Aquariums forums, part of the Saltwater Fish and Coral Reef Tanks category; --> Hello there all! I am FrightyDog! (little soething about me!) I am a resident of southern California and fan of animals all around! I ...

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Old 04-16-2013, 05:58 PM   #1
 
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New tank setup help!

Hello there all! I am FrightyDog! (little soething about me!)
I am a resident of southern California and fan of animals all around! I have kept everything but rodents (so far). I am just rekindling the flame for saltwater fish! I am open to many ideas because i am quite new to this...onto my questions!
---Details
I am going to be starting a 65 gallon saltwater tank! It still has not been setup but I am getting it Thursday. I would love to know great colorful fish to be added to it! Whether I want a reef or not doesn't matter because for the start I will only have Live rock. I want to know what devices to use to help it be clean and help check water parameters. It is an overflow also. I would like to know the best type of fish for me to have! Including inverts or plants if you think would be good. I had a 25 gallon (still do) before upgrading. Many fish perished in here. I had bad experiences from being inexperienced. I killed a lionfish and sea cucumber along with other non poisonous fish! So I would like to maintain these nice guys . Also for any SoCal residents I want to know the best fish stores down here. They are all pretty much similar but I have yet to find the golden snitch!
---Summary
-What devices are needed to help maintain a healthy tank and fish?
-What inhabitants should I add to the tank?
Thank you for your time!
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:21 PM   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrightyDog View Post
Hello there all! I am FrightyDog! (little soething about me!)
I am a resident of southern California and fan of animals all around! I have kept everything but rodents (so far). I am just rekindling the flame for saltwater fish! I am open to many ideas because i am quite new to this...onto my questions!
Welcome to the Tropical Fish Keeping Forum. Thanks for bringing your questions here, we will be glad to help you however we can.

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Originally Posted by FrightyDog View Post
-What devices are needed to help maintain a healthy tank and fish?
To maintain a healthy tank, all that you need is about 1-1/2 lbs per gallon of Live Rock, a 4-6" deep sand bed and a quality protein skimmer. Are you utilizing a sump, or will all your equipment (heater and skimmer) be in the display tank? I have used the Coralife Super Skimmer, Red Sea Berlin Turbo X2 and the Marineland Seaclone skimmers all with limited success. I know that members here suggest the Hydor Slim-Skim and the AquaC Remora for a tank your size.

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Originally Posted by FrightyDog View Post
-What inhabitants should I add to the tank?
This will depend on if you are going reef or not. There are reef safe fish and fish that are not reef safe. If we have a better idea of what you are doing, we can definitely suggest the best fish for you.
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:38 PM   #3
 
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To answer your questions we will have a sump, protein skimmer, and heater(<not sure if we need one we have one). Also for now we are probably going reef-free.
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:09 PM   #4
 
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To answer your questions we will have a sump, protein skimmer, and heater(<not sure if we need one we have one). Also for now we are probably going reef-free.
Reef-Free:
Only one of these Dwarf Angels:
Flame Angel or
Coral Beauty or
Lemonpeel Angel

Maybe one of these tangs:
Yellow Eye Kole Tang or
Bristletooth Tang

A couple of:
Clownfish

One of these:
Six-Line Wrasse

And lastly some type of:
Goby

This is how I would stock a 65 gallon tank. I would get it up and running first and let it run for about two months before adding any fish. And that 25 gallon you have would work great as a Quarantine tank that you can keep the fish in isolation before adding them to the display tank. This will stop outside contaminants from entering your system.
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:58 PM   #5
 
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Our friend owns a fish store and he is going to come in and set up the tank and come weekly to maintain it. He said we would just have to wait a week...Is that true? He is a professional all his fish are healthy
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:27 AM   #6
 
If he's starting your tank with actual Live rock (truly cured LR) then yes, you will be able to add fish and inverts within a week, if not sooner. I started my tank this way and never went through a cycle at all. You can encounter problems going this route however such as unwanted hitchhikers, not to mention the cost of going this way.

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Originally Posted by FrightyDog View Post
Our friend owns a fish store and he is going to come in and set up the tank and come weekly to maintain it. He said we would just have to wait a week...Is that true? He is a professional all his fish are healthy
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:49 AM   #7
 
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If he's starting your tank with actual Live rock (truly cured LR) then yes, you will be able to add fish and inverts within a week, if not sooner. I started my tank this way and never went through a cycle at all. You can encounter problems going this route however such as unwanted hitchhikers, not to mention the cost of going this way.
I agree that if he adds cured live rock and sand that his tank will have cycled within a week. Maybe two. But that isn't why I suggest waiting two months to add a fish.

Rome was not built in a day, and I always say, "nothing good happens fast in an aquarium." Especially a Marine tank. My first tank was set up and in two weeks I had added my first fish. It was a Red-Headed Fairy Wrasse. That fish lasted a long time. I also added two clowns, a Polaris Goby, a Six-Line Wrasse and various inverts, such as shrimp and crabs and snails within the first two months. I started adding coral within the first three months and in six months I had a full reef tank going.

I started having problems. Mainly because I never took the time to make sure I understood how to properly test in an aquarium. I tested Nitrates and Nitrites and Ammonia and pH. Nitrates would hover around 5-20 ppm and Nitrites and Ammonia would be zero. pH would swing and I would add buffer to correct it. It would swing again. Livestock started dying. I figured the tank was too small, so I set up a 150.

I let the 150 sit for about two months before I started switching the livestock that survived (the two clowns, a Hippo Tang, a Mandarin and a few pieces of coral). I would move some Live Rock over and let it seed the tank. Before I added any fish I made sure that my pod population was through the roof. I started testing for Alkalinity and Calcium. This was the key. It was a window into my aquarium that let me understand what was going on in my tank. It took me about two months to get the dosing steady before I added fish. After I started adding coral again I had a time that the Alk and Calcium was wacky again and my dosing schedule changed.

Any addition or subtraction from the tank results in swings in Alk and Calcium. Dissolved Organic Solids are neutralized by the buffers (alkalinity) in the water. Calcium is also depleted in a similiar manner, because it is the element that bonds the buffering ions (carbonates and bicarbonates) together.

This is why I say two months. It may take three weeks just to get the Alk and Calcium to the coreect initial levels (400-450ppm Calcium and 8-12 dKH Alkalinity). Then you add a Clean Up Crew. They produce waste and Alk and Calcium start to deplete again. This may take another two weeks to stabilize (and by stabilize, I mean a solid week of test results that are the same). Then you add a fish or two. Again stabilize Alk and Calcium.

Every time you add life, this proccess must be repeated until you get a good feel as to how Alkalinity and Calcium act in your tank.
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:28 AM   #8
 
Quote:
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If he's starting your tank with actual Live rock (truly cured LR) then yes, you will be able to add fish and inverts within a week, if not sooner. I started my tank this way and never went through a cycle at all. You can encounter problems going this route however such as unwanted hitchhikers, not to mention the cost of going this way.
RSully is correct.
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:11 PM   #9
 
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Adding live stock to the tank is not going to alter the Calcium nor the Magnesium nor the ALK. Its not possible. And the salt most use will bring these levels to where they need to be, if not a simple Baking Soda or Calcium dose brings them up almost immediately.
To start, I never mentioned Magnesium. I am most concerned with Alkalinity and the effects of Dissolved Organic Solids on its buffering ability. Alkalinity is a measure of water's ability to not rapidly change pH based on introduction of acids into the water column. Fish Waste, Fish food and dead organisms are all ways that Organic Acids can enter the water column. Alkalinity naturally declines as a result of the nitrogen cycle as outlined in this article by a real saltwater expert, Randy Holmes Farley. Therefore, if it is taking a your protein skimmer a while to break in, and you are foregoing water changes in the first two months, if you add life your alkalinity declines. This is the chemistry behind home aquaria and even other members here on TFK have written articles about it.

Last edited by wake49; 04-29-2013 at 01:10 PM..
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:12 PM   #10
 
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Hi FrightyDog,

Welcome to the forum It looks like you came here for some good solid advice and got a boatload of attitude along with it.

Don't let this deter you from asking any and all questions necessary or sharing your experiences along the way. This forum is full of great, knowledgable, and helpful people. Wake49 is definately one of them.

Good luck getting your feet salty :)
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