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New tank set up help
OK, so I have been talking with my husband about getting a salt water tank and on a whim he went out and bought me a tank with the advise of the local pet shop workers. It is a 75 gallon tank, we have put live sand in it, a heater, a circulation pump and we have mix our own salt. My main question is do we have to have a sump, we want to do coral. Right now we have a aquatop CF500 UV canister filter, it has a UV sterilization feature to it to control the algea growth. Will this set up work for a reef tank?
i'll let the experts chime in here but this reminds me of when i first got into the hobby 30+ years ago. i had been bullying (nicely, of course) my then-hubby about getting a saltwater tank. so that year for christmas, he got me one. a 125 gallon. totally surprised me with it. i said WOW! i wanted a tank but i didn't want the whole freaking ocean!! i studied and read and read and read for 6 months before i even dared to jump in. i mean, jump into the hobby, not jump into the tank although it was almost big enough to swim in!
saddest part of getting divorced was having to tear that tank down and give it away. :lol:
How much Live Sand do you have in the tank? What kind of sand is it? I would suggest a 4-6" sand bed that consists mostly of Oolite sand (which is described as sugar size granules). This type of sandbed works wonders for denitrification; anaerobic bacteria in the anoxic (low oxygen) levels of the sand bed naturally convert Nitrates into Nitrogen Gas, which leaves the system naturally.
Do you have a Live Rock? I would suggest 1-1/2 to 2 lbs per gallon, so around 125 lbs would be good. This also aids in denitrification, but not ass efficiently as the sand. That same anaerobic bacteria lives deep in the rock and helps in the denitrification process.
Do you have a Protein Skimmer? This removes the Dissolved Organic Compounds before they break down into Nitrates, easing the requirements of the Sand Bed and Live Rock. Don't confuse this with the canister filter. I would in fact, either ditch the canister altogether or run it just for the UV Sterilizer. Canister filters are Nitrate factories and you are trying to minimize Nitrates in a marine tank, not increase them...
Sumps are not required. Is this tank drilled?
I look forward to your progress, and keep the questions coming!
ps - Don't forget pictures! :-D
As of right now I do not have a protein skimmer. We only have a 1 inch sand base on it and I plan to add more sand. We also have 4lbs of live rock in the tank and we also plan to add more. We did add some fish and a some button polyps, and I have been checking the water parameters twice daily to ensure that I don't loose anything.
Do not add anymore sand. Your fine where your at.
Do not add anymore sand to your tank. Your fine where your at.
Read that article he li ked really well. Then read very carefully when you hit the words Hydrogen Sulphide Gas.
OK, that makes sense. I had read somewhere that you either needed one inch or 4-6 inches of sand. I had wondered why these two measurement choices but the article explained that. Here I thought that freshwater had so many different ideas on how to run a tank. :-D Guess that what makes it fun.
I think the largest problem of saying "no" to a Deep Sand Bed now is that later down the road this is one of those things that is hard to change. Skimmers, pumps, lights and other hardware can be changed simply by swapping out the equipment. Rock can easily be added as long as it is cured or dry. I have added sumps to existing systems, changed sumps out on existing systems and even replumbed existing systems without any real disruption to the Display tank.
When you want to add more sand, however, it is a major project. First you want to take out some rock so the sand doesn't get all stuck up in the rocks on the higher areas, or bury the lower areas too much. You might like how you aquascaped the tank and breaking down that rockwork to add more sand might not result in the same rockwork you previously had. Also, adding sand after the fact results in sand storms and a cloudy tank for at least a few days, not to mention the film that covers the rocks afterwards.
I am not saying that you will fail if you don't put a Deep Sand Bed in. You won't. There are many successful hobbyists that do not use Deep Sand Beds. I personally have had continued success in my tanks and no problems as a result of Deep Sand Beds. To me, personally, it is a no-brainer. Why wouldn't I want to use a method that reduces Nitrates to near zero, reducing my need for regular water changes?
Onto what are perceived as the problems of a Deep Sand Bed. There is a school of thought that Hydrogen Sulfide Gas accumulates to toxic levels in the deepest parts of the sandbed and can nuke your tank if these pockets are disturbed.
This is what the expert Ron Shimek states about the problems of Hydrogen Sulfide Gas:
I've decided to leave the sand bed where it is at. I eventually want to add a sand sifting goby to the tank and from what I have read they can dig down to where the gas is trapped causing it to be released. That and my fiji blue devil fish likes to dig in the sand too, he's made some major trenches in the sand.
I added some more rock and started to build it vertically, it's fun seeing all the hitch hikers on the rock, so far I've found some feather duster worms, some snails/slugs, and I think a brittle starfish. I can't wait to finish the rock up and add some more fish, but I have to be patient.
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