Saltwater setup advice needed.
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Saltwater setup advice needed.

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Saltwater setup advice needed.
Old 09-16-2009, 09:49 PM   #1
 
Saltwater setup advice needed.

Dear Pasfur,
I read all your posts last night from when you guided a new 29 Gallon user through the proper set up. Today I returned my Penguin Bio Filter and looked everywhere for a Protein Skimmer instead. So far all I found was the Protein Skimmer add-on to the Oceanic Bio Cube 14 or 29 Gallon.

Since I do want to get started soon and I have to drive 1 hour rount trip, I purchased two of them in case one was not enough. I have no idea if that was overkill or stupid. I want to do it right this time with what is at hand in our tiny little town. May I ask you for your feedback, please?? I am totally going on your leading as I have never run my tanks w/out a bio filter (Penguins). I had 2 in the past and always loved the whole experience, but then again I never had live coral, only little polyps and invertebraes in addition to my tangs and clowns and mandarin goby's. Those always did pretty well. Had ich maybe once or twice but noticed my heat was too high and I did not wait to quarantine fish in advance. Live and learn. Want to learn more.

So far I have a 29 Gallon tank with one 65 atinic blue light and one 65 w daylight bulb in an elevated compact fixture (no glass underneath that, just the plastic cover over the bulbs...it gets amazingly hot) and the extra two little blue moon lights when I want to use them. I have a heater, a powerhead (Penguin 550...145 Gallons Per Hour on water flow) and these two Protein Skimmers.

Any advice?? Thanks a million!
Kerstin
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Old 09-16-2009, 09:56 PM   #2
 
I forgot to add that I have a bag (unopened so far) of 20 lbs. bio active live sand, I have filled the tank with approx. 27 gallons of tap water (no chlorine) that I added the proper amount of salt to (near 1.024) and used "Prime" with to reduce chemicals in the water. I also purchased API's Tap Water Conditioner (Removes: chlorine, breaks the chloramine bond, removes copper, lead and zinc). The water has been sitting in the tank w/out any water flow or heat or anything for 24 hours now. Temp approx. 77 degrees with both lights on all day. k
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Old 09-16-2009, 09:58 PM   #3
 
uh oh, getting older...:(
I forgot that I also have approx. 20 lbs. of previously used coral sitting outside on my patio ...it is totally white and was in storage for about 4 years...in high heat. Figured I could use this to recreate live rock one day... k

Perhaps anyone else online has some feedback??
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Old 09-16-2009, 10:14 PM   #4
 
I have not added the tap water conditioner yet. I just read one your recent posts, where you mentioned being glad you went fish only that particular time ...this way you were able to have many more fish. I saw the tank and that looks really pretty, like lost of fun. I guess if I have live coral it cuts down on the amount of fish i can have, right? Like live coral counts as a live individual, pretty much like a fish, right? I forgot the rule of thumb for inches of fish to amount of gallons in the tank (w/out coral).
Question: Do I need to go back to using a power filter (bio wheel and those mesh bags w/carbon in them) if I were to go fish only? (meaning: live rocks...eventually, polyps, invertebraes..live sand and hard coral and my fish).

You are probably still on vacation and may not see this thread for a while .... hmmm :\
I am brand new to this forum, actually any forum.

I tried posting last night but could not find it (though the 'post counter' did count them). Anyhow, sorry for any duplication.
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Old 09-18-2009, 05:56 AM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerstin View Post
Dear Pasfur,
I read all your posts last night from when you guided a new 29 Gallon user through the proper set up. Today I returned my Penguin Bio Filter and looked everywhere for a Protein Skimmer instead. So far all I found was the Protein Skimmer add-on to the Oceanic Bio Cube 14 or 29 Gallon.

Since I do want to get started soon and I have to drive 1 hour rount trip, I purchased two of them in case one was not enough. I have no idea if that was overkill or stupid.
Kerstin,

I'm glad that you are asking a lot of questions and want to do this right. The key will be to take everything in slowly and don't make any quick decisions.

On the subject of the protein skimmer, you have purchased one of the worst models available on the market. One of the primary elements of a good skimmer is water to bubble contact time. These Oceanic Bio Cube skimmers are tiny in size, and simply do not have a large enough contact area to be efficient. Additionally, they utilize a wooden air diffuser and air pump, which causes increased maintenance. If possible, you need to return these skimmers.

In this hobby you will often not find what you want at the LFS. In these cases you can turn to the internet for your purchase. I would suggest you purchase this skimmer:
Super Skimmer with Needle Wheel - Up to 65 Gallon | Venturi Models | Protein Skimmers | Aquarium - ThatPetPlace.com

Mark
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Old 09-18-2009, 06:00 AM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerstin View Post
I forgot to add that I have a bag (unopened so far) of 20 lbs. bio active live sand, I have filled the tank with approx. 27 gallons of tap water (no chlorine) that I added the proper amount of salt to (near 1.024) and used "Prime" with to reduce chemicals in the water. I also purchased API's Tap Water Conditioner (Removes: chlorine, breaks the chloramine bond, removes copper, lead and zinc). The water has been sitting in the tank w/out any water flow or heat or anything for 24 hours now. Temp approx. 77 degrees with both lights on all day. k
You need to make a decision on the sand bed. I suggest you use a sand bed that is between 4'' and 6'' in depth, to achieve the most efficient denitrification possible. You will probably need another 20 lb bag of sand to reach this depth.

De nitrification is the process of bacteria converting Nitrate into Nitrogen Gas, which leaves the system naturally. With the proper sand depth, you can achieve zero Nitrate in a marine aquarium.

If a 4'' depth of sand is not an option, then you need to keep the sand bed under 1''. Sand bed depths between 1'' and 4'' can become problematic. This can be a long discussion, so I will leave the details to your research, and simply say that detritus accumulation becomes an issue, causing rising phosphates.

On another subject, I suggest that you add a power head to your existing aquarium to get the water circulating and the salt well dissolved.
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Old 09-18-2009, 06:02 AM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerstin View Post
uh oh, getting older...:(
I forgot that I also have approx. 20 lbs. of previously used coral sitting outside on my patio ...it is totally white and was in storage for about 4 years...in high heat. Figured I could use this to recreate live rock one day... k
Perhaps anyone else online has some feedback??
If you want to use decorative coral for a FOWLR aquarium, that is not a problem. However, do not sacrifice the amount of actual live rock that you use. I would suggest using 30-45 pounds of rock, depending on the density of the rock and your aquascapping preferences.

You should consider ording a 25 pound shipment of dry rock from Marco Rocks The finest aquarium rock available, base rock, live rock, reef rock, marco rock, reef tank saltwater fish, live corals, Marco rocks, Fiji live rock, Tonga Live rock. Add this to about 10 pounds of live rock and you would be good.
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Old 09-18-2009, 06:06 AM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerstin View Post
I guess if I have live coral it cuts down on the amount of fish i can have, right? Like live coral counts as a live individual, pretty much like a fish, right? I forgot the rule of thumb for inches of fish to amount of gallons in the tank (w/out coral).
Question: Do I need to go back to using a power filter (bio wheel and those mesh bags w/carbon in them) if I were to go fish only? (meaning: live rocks...eventually, polyps, invertebraes..live sand and hard coral and my fish).
Regardless of the type of livestock you wish to keep, the basics of marine aquarium filtration are a sand bed, live rock, and a good protein skimmer. You will never use freshwater type filtration again.

It is true that FOWLR aquariums are capable of supporting a larger bioload in fish. This hinges greatly on the skill of the fishkeeper, so don't get carried away, especially in such a small tank. Honestly, with the types of fish you should be considering for a 29 gallon tank, I do not think the fish load would change much for a FOWLR tank as compared to a reef system.

By the way, the "rule of thumb" for inches of fish.... ignore it. This is an old freshwater concept that has no application at all in the marine hobby. The limits of your aquarium will be determined by fish selection and territorial behaviors.
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