Buying a 75g today!!! Need some help
I currently have 2 ten gallon freshwater tanks, and I want to make the jump to salt water. I have decided the other day to make the jump to a 75g tank and, today I am going to pick up my tank/stand/sand/maybe live rocks? I have been reading a lot on stuff I need/asking a friends dad... These are the remaining questions I have.
- I have read about sumps and one was suggested to me - I have decided NOT to run with one for the time being. Will I be able to drill holes in my tank at a later point to add in the plumping necessary to have one?
- My friends dad at one point was heavy into tanks and had a couple 30-50,000$$ tanks, he suggested that I get 75 pounds of live stone, and then add in coral. Do I have to get exactly 75 pounds or can I get a little less (it seems very expensive at 3$/lb)
- How much of a difference is an external filter going to make? I've found this oneCoreCat=firstinresult_AquariumFilters one at PetCo for 195$ that does 360 GPH (which says it is okay for tanks up to 100 gallons) However, this doesn't equate to my tank being cycled through 5 times in an hour. Would it still be okay? Does anyone have any other suggestions for a external filter or filters at all? (I've read that they are better???) Do I need any special holes drilled for an external filter?
I also found this external filter for 170$ at 383 GPH.
I also found this one... Which I'm not even sure if it would work for my needs.
- What else do I need? I already have a (liquid) ammonia test kit. I was told PH, salinity test kits were also needed.
- Can I buy live rocks without the tank being cycled?
- Will adding the products they sell in petsmart, that claim to speed up the cycling time (pure bacteria) help? I didn't use them on my 10g, I just let them do the normal cycling process.
Just an edit: those filters are freaking expensive. Are there any cheaper/as good alternatives?
Sorry to post twice but, I just read on another research that live rock replaces the need for a external canister filter and that I just need a "skimmer" and "powerheads"
is this correct?
Seems to be correct from further research. How many powerheads would one need on average for a 75g tank?
Is live sand good to add too?
Hoping to get some replies to this before I go, but if anything I will be getting just the tank/stand until I get some more replies. Maybe the live rock if I can get that too.
Also: I haven't even picked out what fish I would like in my tank yet, does it adding live plants effect any fish in a negative way?
I still think you should look at a 90 instead - the extra height is very useful when it comes to making your live rock formations.
There aren't live plants in saltwater - you have coral and anemones instead.
Specifically what other equipment do you have?
Refractometer, RO/DI unit?
Do NOT skimp on the skimmer, you need one rated at two times your tank volume. For that size tank if you are not using a sump, you may have a problem finding a hang on the back one rated for that size tank, most of the bigger ones require a sump.
The benefits of a sump are well worth the effort in setting one up, not only does it increase your total water volume but it allows you to hide a lot of equipment. You will absolutely NOT be able to drill the tank once you set it up. Drilling creates glass particles which are extremely hazardous to anything in the tank. It is also has to be done with a downward pressure, which if drilling the back of the tank, requires it to be sideways so you can drill straight down, DO NOT even attempt t drill the tank from the side, it will likely crack it.
In fact you dont even need to drill the tank, you can just use an overflow box, that can be added any time once the tank is setup.
You will also need a liquid saltwater test kit.
Live rock, you could get away with using a few lb's and the rest being dead rock. The dead rock will become live over time.
#1-Dry Rock, there are a few hitchhikers on Live Rock that people want to stay away from, so they opt for using Dry Rock, or Dead Rock. Macro Rock is a good place to start looking for that. Either way you go you will need a minimum of 1lb per gallon.
#2-Replacement filter media like filter floss and activated carbon (if you get a filter) Which is really not necessary.
#3-Multiple Power heads (2 or 3) 10x your water volume for just a Fish Only With Live Rock, and at least 20x your water volume for a Reef Tank. So lets say your going reef, and you have a 100g tank, you would need flow in that tank at minimum of 2000gph, or 2 1000gph power heads.
#4-Protein Skimmer, rated at 2 times your water volume
#5-Saltwater Test Kits. Reef Test Kit. Test for Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, PH, Phosphates, Calcium, ALK and Magnesium.
#6-Saltwater fish food. Mysis Shrimp, Squid, Cyclopease, Algae Sheets, Romaine . Flake food is not really a good food to feed your marine fish.
#7-Aquarium vacuum. This one is iffy. Most don't use one, if you have enough flow in the tank you won’t need one
#8-Rubber kitchen gloves
#10-Two, clean, never used before, 5-gallon buckets
#11-Aquarium thermometer, digital being the best.
#12-Brush with plastic bristles (old tooth brush) - needed for cleaning the live rock if you don't get Fully Cured Live Rock.
#13-Power Strip, possibly GFCI outlets by the tank.
#14-Optional but definitely recommend getting a Reverse Osmosis or RO/Deionization filter for the make-up water, and a barrel for storing the water
.#15-Possibly a Quarantine Tank for your new fish. They sit in here for a few weeks to kill off parasites and bacteria, to keep it from getting in your main tank
#16-Heater rated for your size tank.
#17-Saltwater Mix. Marine Salt. Instant Ocean is the cheap Salt that beginners and Advanced use alike.
#18-Saltwater Hydrometer or even better a Refractometer, which is more accurate. There is also a Digital Meter that is way advanced if you have the cash.
#19-Aquarium filter (not absolutely necessary if running with adequate amounts of live rock, but nice to have if you need to use a mechanical filter or activated carbon, or GFO and such)
#20-Aquarium substrate such as live sand or crushed coral. Some go bare Bottom, others choose the 2-3" bottom, others, more advanced will try the Deep Sand Bed, which is over 6" deep.
For your tank you will need a minimum of 750gph powerheads, or 2 split up at 400-500gph each.
Skimmer rated at twice your water volume.
HOB- Reef Octopus Hang-on-the-Back 2000 OCT-BH2000 - English
SWC XTREME HANG ON TANK SWC Xtreme HOT [SWC Xtreme HOT] - $399.99 : SWC - Salt Water Connection, Protein Skimmers, Calcium Reactors, Filters & Lights
MarcoRocks Aquarium Products
Saltwater Aquarium Fiji Dry Live Rock / Eco Rox | Bulk Reef Supply - English
You don't really need to buy any Live Rock if you don't want to.
saltwater plants are called macro algae but be careful choosing them as some can turn asexual.
Well, went to go buy the tank and stand today. The tank was sold out at petsmart. I asked about any other saltwater fish stores in the area while I was there, they mentioned a small LFS to go to.
They told me the final cost of everything (live rock, salts, test kits, insta ocean, filter, protein skimmer, sump, tank, other misc stuff) would end up costing about 1600$.
I found this a couple hundred dollars more expensive then what I was told by a friends dad who owns a few very large and expensive (30-50$k) tanks. I told them I was told a much lower number and they said "what works for one person might not work for another, and if you want to do it right and not have all your fish die in 6 months you're going to have to spend a little bit of money)
Were they just trying to push me to buy stuff? I just ended up leaving without buying anything at all. I had been planning to spend anywhere from 1-1200 dollars on the total set up. They said lights alone for the tank would run me 300$. The same tank that they had predrilled and an overflow installed in was 250$. I could buy the same tank at petsmart for 200 without the overflow, but with the 2 lights and top bar.
What's up with the 300$ lights?
Also thanks for all the replies, I realized I need a little more research to find out what I'm really getting into.
I bought most of my stuff off EBay and Craigslist. No reason to buy everything new. I only spent $100 on 2-250w metal halides fixtures. $300 for lights IMO is nuts.
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