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Thinking about purchasing this... opinions?

This is a discussion on Thinking about purchasing this... opinions? within the Beginner Saltwater Aquariums forums, part of the Saltwater Fish and Coral Reef Tanks category; --> Originally Posted by MiamiLeos the 46 gallon is 36" long, the 75 is 48" long, believe it or not that makes a big difference ...

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Thinking about purchasing this... opinions?
Old 08-19-2012, 09:31 PM   #31
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiamiLeos View Post
the 46 gallon is 36" long, the 75 is 48" long, believe it or not that makes a big difference to me lol
its not really a difference your gonna see but hey you will be happy and so will your fish.
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Old 08-20-2012, 07:50 AM   #32
 
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Ok, so with 46 you will want:

1) 4"+ deep sand bed, or 1/2" deep sand bed. Since you have a Watchman on the list, I would go 4"+. No less than 4", because that can trap detritus and have an adverse effect on your calcium and alkalinity.

2) I would personally buy about 100 lbs of Dry Rock. You can order it online or go to your LFS and pick it up. Dry Rock is usually harvested from dead reefs and does not have the biological impact that "Live" Rock has. Once you add the Dry Rock to your tank, go to your LFS and ask for five lbs of Live Rock rubble. Try to get him to give you rubble that is jumping with copepods and amphipods.

With Dry Rock, it is not as much about the weight of the rock, but more the appearance: Does it look like 1/2 - 2/3 of the tank volume is taken up with rock? That is about where you want to be. I keep extra in case I need to remove a rock of aptasia or want to start a frag tank.

3) Two powerheads. I prefer Hydor Koralias. I would use two, probably the Evolution 750 and the Evolution 1050. I used to use a 2 & and a 3 (that is the older equivalents of the Evolution series. These Evolution are a little more powerful and able to be hooked up to a wavemaker) in my 46 bow, and felt the flow was perfect.

4) A protein skimmer. I was never good as choosing these. I bought my fair share of skimmers and never felt that they ran well. I used the Prizm by Red Sea, the Sea Clone (I think it is by Marineland), the Coralife SuperSkimmer (Needle Wheel model), and another no name model I bought off a buddy. Never happy. I would probably see if you can get a Super Skimmer (get the 125 gallon model) cheap and modify it as Reefing Madness suggested. If you don't go the sump route, you will use this as a HOB (hang on back) skimmer. That might push a lot of unsightly bubbles in the tank. It will take a lot of adjusting to rectify this.

5) For a new system, I would use a Quarantine tank. This is like a 15 gallon tank that you will store any new purchases until you know they are disease free. Do this bare bottom, no rock. I usually put a few pieces of 3" PVC for the fish to hide in. Use a HOB filter like a whisper and leave them in there for a week or two, depending on if you use hyposalinity treatments to assure they're disease free.

6) Lights. I almost want to say that I hate this subject. There is no good way to determine what light you will need until you fully stock your tank. This will depend on levels of the corals (both difficulty and actual placement in the tank) and the amount of Live Rock you have. In a lightly stocked tank, too much light can be detrimental and create algae, in a heavily stocked tank not enough light will stunt the coral's growth and cause them to be unhealthy. I used a Metal Halide fixture that had two T5HO for actinics and lunar lights on my 46 at one time, and I also used a 6 bulb T5HO (3 Daylights, 3 Actinics) for a length of time. I liked the power consumption of the T5HO's but I hate buying 6 bulbs once a year. 46 Bows are tall, so you need a lot of light penetration. I would say LED, but I don't know how well they operate. I have no real experience with them.

7) Test kits. Once you establish your tank, pH, Nitrite and Ammonia should stay steady. There should be no real reason to test them, maybe once a month or every other month unless something goes drastically wrong. Otherwise, the important tests are Calcium and Alkalinity. Make sure these are in the range of 400-460 ppm on Calcium and dKH 8-12 on Alkalinity. This will be acheived through dosing. I also test Nitrates on a regular basis to make sure that my system is not producing too much Nitrate. With a deep sand bed and an ample amount of Live Rock, my Nitrates should be converted to Nitrogen gas and leave the system naturally. This Nitrate check will help me ensure that.

8) Dose Calcium and Alkalinity on a regular basis as indicated by your test kits. I did 25% water changes every other week to replace trace elements.

Sorry for the wall of text, let me know if you have any questions.
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:36 AM   #33
 
Volusion Demo Store
Bulk Dry Live Rock - Bulk Reef Supply
macro rock - Google Search
2 New 800GPH Wave Maker Aquarium Water Pump Powerhead 3000L/H Circulation Reef | eBay
Aquarium Water Pumps & Water Movement: Marineland Maxi-Jet PRO
Water Pumps & Wavemakers: Hydor Koralia Nano 240 & 425
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:13 AM   #34
 
You guys are so awesome!!!! Thank you both for your time and expertise! Would this skimmer be acceptable to go in a 10 gallon sump/fuge?

Lee's Counter Current Protein Skimmer at PETCO

And as far as dosing for Calcium and Alkalinity, I assume this means adding a supplement to the tank?
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:15 AM   #35
 
And about the dry and live rock... I live on the coast of south FL. Is there any way I could harvest this myself, rather than paying $2/lb for it?
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:30 AM   #36
 
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And about the dry and live rock... I live on the coast of south FL. Is there any way I could harvest this myself, rather than paying $2/lb for it?
Again, I use dry rock because of the lack of ecological impact. I am pretty sure that the sites Madness supplied do have rock that was harvested from the "dead" reefs. I bought my most recent Dry Rock purchase from Drs Fosters and Smith for 69.99 for 40# and free shipping. I am receiving it tomorrow and let you know how it looks. It is noted as "zero-impact" on living reefs.

I also think that you need a license to collect rock and such from the coast, and getting caught could result in fines/prison...

That picture of my sump I promised:

sump.jpg
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:39 AM   #37
 
fines/prison...


Well then. LOL. I suppose I will just look for some good deals!

Sump looks nice! Did you get the plexi glass and silicone from a hardware store? Is it expensive?
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:53 AM   #38
 
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fines/prison...


Well then. LOL. I suppose I will just look for some good deals!
Bet you never thought that the hobby of fishkeeping would turn you into a hardened criminal...

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Originally Posted by MiamiLeos View Post
Sump looks nice! Did you get the plexi glass and silicone from a hardware store? Is it expensive?
This is a twenty nine gallon that I traded a prefilter for a my LFS. I work at a hardware store, so I had the plexiglass here. For the silicone, you are supposed to use "aquarium safe" silicone. I think that I used GE silicone 1 (I think they denote it as "I"). Do not use "2" or "II", it has an algaecide in it that will be toxic to the tank. If you can get it, use the "aquarium safe" stuff.

You also can't see the inlet chamber that housed the skimmer, it was to the left in the pic. the three pieces of plexi you can see are a bubble trap, which kept the microbubbles that my skimmer produced from entering the tank via the return pump.
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Old 08-20-2012, 12:50 PM   #39
 
I dont want to do anything illegal, but it's just hard for me to understand why I have to pay someone to go harvest rock from the ocean when theres TONS of dead rock everywhereeeeee. Pieces like this and nicer! This one was on my way to pay for my fall semester today. I honestly cant imagine its illegal to take a rock from somewhere. They're doing construction on the highway right now and they're literally digging up bucket loads of dead coral. I'm not joking when I say I live on a dead reef lol.

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Old 08-20-2012, 01:36 PM   #40
 
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Hey, if you can get it for free (and you don't think it's illegal) go for it. Maybe ask the guys digging what they are doing with it. I would be a bit concerned for heavy metals that might have settled into the rock from the soil having an adverse effect on the tank. Personally I would rather pay and know it is safe.

If you do take this, I would soak it in RO/Di water for about six weeks before using, changing the water every week. Test the water at the end of each week and see if anything is dying off in there. I would also pick up a TDS (total dissolved solids) meter and see if anything heavy is seeping out of the rock at the end of each week.
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