Setting up a salt water marine tank - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 26 Old 03-18-2009, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Sounds good, I will take the read this weekend. To much work on my head right now :p

Yah, the fish will be decided on later, as I said. I just want to set it up with coral, that's my main wish. Once I have the tank stabalized, I will add the coral and then think about adding fish later down the road. Appreciate your time!
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post #12 of 26 Old 03-18-2009, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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I would prefer to not use a sump, rather just use a power head, protein skimmer and the eheim I have. As well I will use the 4 inch sand bed and will look out for mainly airy live rock. Will I be alright with out the sump and is the eheim necessary?
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post #13 of 26 Old 03-18-2009, 06:03 PM
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No sump is needed. I have a 40G reef and this is my filtration:

-Tunze 9002 Nano Skimmer
-2 Koralia 1 Powerheads (Soon to be 3 K1's)
-60lbs or so of LR
-Water changes

A DSB is very beneficial. I don't have one, because I have a SSB (shallow-sand bed) purely for looks.

Also, did you use tap water to fill this tank up?
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post #14 of 26 Old 03-18-2009, 06:11 PM
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eheim isn't necessary, in fact depending on what you put in it, it's not recommended. Sump's aren't NECESSARY, but they have a couple of nice benefits: (1) increasing overall water volume, thus increasing the stability of the tank, and (2) providing a nice, out-of-sight location to put your equipment (skimmer, maybe other stuff if you add it).

Really, as long as you have a good 1.5 to 2 lbs of live rock per gallon, 4"-5" of sand, a good skimmer, and good water flow, then long-term you should be alright.

Do not use crushed coral for the substrate, use aragonite sand.

Also, don't underestimate good water flow... you mentioned "a powerhead", as in singular, whereas you'd be much better off getting multiple powerheads. Multiple lower-flow powerheads are much better than a single powerful one, if they add up to the same gph. You can point them towards each other to get randomized/chaotic turbulance, which is good, and you've got a better chance of eliminating dead spots (areas of little to no flow) in the tank if you've got multiple power heads positioned around the tank. I'd suggest at least one on each side. As long as you don't have a sandstorm from your substrate being blown around, you probably won't have too much flow. For a reef, 30X turnover rate (meaning 30 times your tank's volume in gallons per hour) or more would be good. Water flow helps keep many corals healthy, clean, and fed, and it also serves to help your liverock filter the water as it flows around and through the rocks. Dead spots contribute to poor water quality by allowing waste to settle out of the water column (and not removed by the skimmer) and also promotes undesirable algae/bacteria growth.

"To an optimist, the glass is half-full;
to a pessimist, the glass is half-empty;
to an engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

Last edited by conger; 03-18-2009 at 06:13 PM.
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post #15 of 26 Old 03-18-2009, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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Alright, first visit to the marine shop, new place which seems very knowledgable. They deal strictly with marine fish.

So heres what I purchased.

1) Shatterproof 150 watt marineland visi-therm heater
2) H2Ocean reef salt
3) Hydor Koralia 2
4) Deep Six Hydrometer

For now, im using the powerhead to mix the salt. I have added about four medium cups of salt. I am sure I will need more but I will see tomorrow where I stand. The heaters are set at 77 and I have two. I figure if I have two they were activate less frequently and one on each side will keep the water at a steady temp. Could be wrong?

So this weekend I will purchase the live rock and sand. The gentlemen said with my set up, he suggests a shallow sand bed, maybe an inch and lots of live rock. Is this correct?

I will be purchasing a protein skimmer as well, down the road. Probably in about a month when I begin thinking about introducing coral/fish and life. I also bought a complete test kit.

Any other suggestions?

Thanks guys.
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post #16 of 26 Old 03-18-2009, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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PS, not tap water. I used this filtrated water within my kitchen. I am not sure exactly what the system is called but due to my house having a water softner installed, we installed a filtration system beneath the kitchen sink which consists of four filters and a propane tank sized storage tank. What would this be? RO?

Thanks.
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post #17 of 26 Old 03-18-2009, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartman View Post
Alright, first visit to the marine shop, new place which seems very knowledgable. They deal strictly with marine fish.

So heres what I purchased.

1) Shatterproof 150 watt marineland visi-therm heater
2) H2Ocean reef salt
3) Hydor Koralia 2
4) Deep Six Hydrometer

For now, im using the powerhead to mix the salt. I have added about four medium cups of salt. I am sure I will need more but I will see tomorrow where I stand. The heaters are set at 77 and I have two. I figure if I have two they were activate less frequently and one on each side will keep the water at a steady temp. Could be wrong?

So this weekend I will purchase the live rock and sand. The gentlemen said with my set up, he suggests a shallow sand bed, maybe an inch and lots of live rock. Is this correct?

I will be purchasing a protein skimmer as well, down the road. Probably in about a month when I begin thinking about introducing coral/fish and life. I also bought a complete test kit.

Any other suggestions?

Thanks guys.

on the heaters, you are correct. Additionally, should one fail, the less-powerful heater will take longer to cook the tank, giving you more of a chance to notice the water is heating up and remove it before it causes a catastrophe

As for sandbed, be sure that you indeed do use lots of liverock. Also, to go shallow, try to keep the sand at less than an inch. Since it won't contribute to denitrification, you don't want to provide much room for the sand to catch waste. The main benefits of a deep sand bed (someone correct me if i'm wrong!), are (1) nitrate reduction/elimination, and (2) provides a safe haven for copepods and such to multiply, providing a nice built-in food supply for the tank. Since you are planning to go reef, keeping nitrates to a minimum is very important. Without the deep sand bed, you will be relying on the liverock and skimmer to do this, and beyond that water changes. I'd guess that in general (there are always exceptions), a reef tank without a deep sand bed will require more frequent water changes to keep the water quality pristine.

"To an optimist, the glass is half-full;
to a pessimist, the glass is half-empty;
to an engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"
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post #18 of 26 Old 03-18-2009, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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I don't mind doing to maintenance, I am expecting this, but if a deeper sand bed will help reduce water changes, I would prefer to go with that. He suggested either a 6" bed or a 1/4" bed, one or the other.
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post #19 of 26 Old 03-18-2009, 07:05 PM
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I'd agree with that. 6" may be a little extreme, though i won't deny that it would work. I've always heard that targetting between 4" and 5" is the ideal depth.

Also keep in mind, if you decide to go with a DSB (deep sand bed), that it will take the sandbed a while (several months) to grow the proper population of bacteria to provide nitrate removal. So it won't be an immediate benefit, but a long-term one. For the first while after you set your tank up, you'll still want to stay on top of your water parameters and change or supplement as necessary.

One other note to remember about DSB, I'm pretty sure you should avoid ever stirring it up, especially once it gets "established." It's OK to have sand-sifting creatures, like conchs, nassarius snails, sand-sifting starfish, etc. But you don't want to manually stir it up or disturb it with your hand, or with a gravel vacuum when doing water changes. Just leave the sandbed be, otherwise it might release toxic stuff from the depths into the water that are dangerous to the tank inhabitants.

"To an optimist, the glass is half-full;
to a pessimist, the glass is half-empty;
to an engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"
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post #20 of 26 Old 03-18-2009, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tip.

So what do you guys think I should go with for my particular set up, DSB or thin sand bed?
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