Starting a 33 Gallon Saltwater Tank - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-24-2008, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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I am just starting up my saltwater tank a week ago (33 gallon) and so far all I have in it is live rock (fiji). Do I need a protein skimmer right away? As well what size power head do I need?
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post #2 of 9 Old 09-25-2008, 07:24 AM
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What livestock are you intending to keep?

The setup of a saltwater tank should be planned very carefully from the very early stages. It is possible to make a mistake in week 1 that causes the aquarium to crash in year 2!

Fill us in on the details of your vision and we can help.
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post #3 of 9 Old 09-25-2008, 08:18 AM Thread Starter
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Right now I am thinking of staying with the basics unitil I learn more about salt water aquariums. I have read soo much on them I am starting to get confused.
I would like to start with:
hermit crabs, some Chromis, Blennies and maybe some shrimp (?)
I know I need alot more live rock but my budget is kinda tight an with tha in mind I will likely add things in very slowly- maybe every other week. I like the idea of just having a Reef tank.
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post #4 of 9 Old 09-28-2008, 07:16 AM
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From the beginning, you should have 3-4'' of aragonite sand, a protein skimmer, and 12 - 15 pounds of live rock. You will then add live rock gradually until you have created the display you are looking for.

I am wondering what current filtration you are using? The protein skimmer is the only filter you should use on a marine aquarium. Absolutely no biological filtration of any type should be use.... and my instinct tells me you are probably not on the right track with this part.
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post #5 of 9 Old 09-28-2008, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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The filtration system I have going right now is
Sea Clone (2nd hand) the power head is 1200.
"Aquaclear 300" with only the foam piece in it nothing else
2 power heads
I have aprox 13.5 lbs of Fiji live rock and planning on adding more every other week till I get to about 30lbs.
and crushed coral.
What else could I be missing?
I have only added two hermit crabs at this time.
I don't plan on adding any fish till the end of the month (which is about 4 weeks)
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post #6 of 9 Old 09-29-2008, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walkytalky
The filtration system I have going right now is
Sea Clone (2nd hand) the power head is 1200.
"Aquaclear 300" with only the foam piece in it nothing else
2 power heads
I have aprox 13.5 lbs of Fiji live rock and planning on adding more every other week till I get to about 30lbs.
and crushed coral.
What else could I be missing?
I have only added two hermit crabs at this time.
I don't plan on adding any fish till the end of the month (which is about 4 weeks)
Actually, this isn't a bad setup at all. I would personally remove the sponge filter and instead use activated carbon. Also, the term crushed coral is very vague. Is it aragonite? Or crushed "oyster shell" coral? Or is its actual crushed coral?, which looks like aquarium gravel, but it is white and chalky.

Removing the sponge is important, because the sponge is biologically active and results in Nitrate buildup. By using only live rock, aragonite sand, and a protein skimmer, you can remove waste directly without the buildup of harmful Nitrates.
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post #7 of 9 Old 09-29-2008, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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yes it is the actual crushed coral.It looks like someone took a hammer and smashd alot of white shells up into pieces.
I am on my way to remove the sponge and put in the carbon. I just thought it would take out any unwanted debris from the tank . oops.
How long does the carbon affect the nitrates
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post #8 of 9 Old 09-30-2008, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walkytalky
yes it is the actual crushed coral.It looks like someone took a hammer and smashd alot of white shells up into pieces.
I am on my way to remove the sponge and put in the carbon. I just thought it would take out any unwanted debris from the tank . oops.
How long does the carbon affect the nitrates
The type of crushed coral you are describing is fine. There are some old school bags of crushed coral, more commonly used for freshwater African Cichlid tanks, that are not ideal for saltwater. But you are good.

Carbon does not directly affect nitrates. It removes organic acids which will eventually become Nitrates. Carbon should be changed every 2 weeks, or monthly at absolute minimum.
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post #9 of 9 Old 09-30-2008, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your help
As you can tell I am no chemist by any means. lol

When is the best time to check the water? Morning or night? I have read that leaving the light on for a long period of time will adjust the water. (?)

I have checked at both times and I am getting a slightly(its not going thru the roof) different reading on the Nitrates and ammonia.
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