Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Little-Fizz 10-28-2008 11:59 AM

100-125 gallon tank
Hey, I'm going to be buying a tank off a friend of mine soon. I'm not sure of the exact dimensions yet but its at least a 100, but I'm thinking maybe 125 gallon now.

I'm just trying to figure out costs and such if I was to do a SW setup. the tank comes with a canister filter, that may or may not work. I believe its the Fluval FX5. It comes with lights, that I'm probably going to have to replace anyways so I need advice on light fixtures that would be ideal for a tank with anemones, maybe some live rocks and coral? I know thats going to be crazy expensive, so my next question is how much is a protein skimmer? What kind of skimmer will I need? Should I be looking into a DIY sump or something? Is there any other kinds of equipment that would be of interest to me? This will be my first really big tank and my first salt water one. I'm open to any suggestions of fish or corals... Whatever thats salt water. Also if anyone knows a good site/ book or something that could help me when it comes to things like corals and anemones? Thanks!! Lol and if anyone thinks that this is probably too big of a project for a newb then please say so.

Kellsindell 10-29-2008 10:40 PM

First, i think the bigger the tank for a newb the better. i am not saying you personally, but newbs like to be a bit lax and don't do all things as they should, meaning waterchanges, top off, parameter checks ect. in small tanks like a 30g- things change really fast and can kill somthing in the tank just as fast (ie SG, if you don't top off but once a week SG goes up sky high and it can kill corals anemones). now that that's said...

Congrats, i can't wait to get my big tank, have to talk the Mrs. into it first. anywho, ditch the canister filter and yes a skimmer is the best. the more you spend on a skimmer the better it works (you get what you paid for) brands are many i'd say look at and read reviews or ask us online, we are more than happy to help. Skimmer should go into sump which is best(cheeper) if you DYI. Also look into a refugium which works well with corals and many types of fish (see Reefkeeping 101 Sumps! by Marc Levenson -

Lighting is very important. If you want an anemone or hard corals like SPS, then i'd say get Metal Haylides (MH) or T5. the rule of thumb is you want 7-8watts per gallon. so you have 100g you need 700-800watts too keep everything alive and kicking. I think getting the retrofit is the cheapest way of doing it otherwise you'll be spending more than you want to. t5 has become more and more popular because it's cheaper than MH and changing up lighting is easier than if you were to use MH because of reasons that will be explained in later threads if you're interested (or you can PM me).

Flow is the other big factor you need at least 10-20 times your tank size so you have 100g then you'll need 1000-2000gph (gallons per hour) worth of flow if not you'll find many dead spots in your tank and stuff you don't want will grow. the more random you can get your flow the better your coral will grow and enjoy it. and if you think this is too big of a project for you mail it to me and i'll find something to do with it :lol:.

One last thing. Live Rock (LR) is good filtration and when you are cycling use only one piece of uncured (otherwise your tank will give off a horrible smell) and you want sand NOT crushed coral or big subrtrates at the bottom of the tank. For LR you generally want about 2lbs per gallon, but many go less or more (to each his own).

Please ask away with anything you may want to know.

Little-Fizz 10-30-2008 05:32 AM

Wow thanks so much for all the information. I have another thread kicking in the fw section about this tank because I was going to do oscars or something then someone recommend saltwater. But in that thread I was told my lights would cost me something like 700 bucks. I haven't even started my job yet (I start today :-) ) and I really can't see me saving up that kinda money for the near future. So I'm not 100 percent sure if I'm going to go through with it. But if I'm not using the big tank then I was thinking of setting up maybe a 55 gallon for a little reef tank, maybe a 30 gallon sump on it. But I was told that a 55 might not be deep enough and give me troubles for getting anything like live rocks and corals set up. I'm just reading up on all the equipment I need, I really want this to be a sw tank its probably just going to cost to much.

So I don't want the canister filter? I thought they were good for sw too?

Pasfur 10-30-2008 06:00 AM

My reef is a 37 gallon, with a simple hang on skimmer and no sump. Retail cost all inclusive is about $800 to $1000.

It sounds like the 125 gallon salt is going to be significantly out of your budget. A salt setup of this size will cost you in the $5000 range. Most of this cost is up front.

Little-Fizz 10-30-2008 06:44 AM

Yeah thats what I figured. It's ok though because I've just add a conversation with my mom and shes on some sort of fish tank power trip. She actually just told me that I have to take down my fish tanks so she can paint the house and I'm only allowed to set two back up... So I don't know what will be of the two ten gallons I have (in my room ????) I'm still buying this 100 gallon though I just won't set it up and then she can complain about and ugly empty (huge) fish tank laying around.

Pasfur, I knew the 100 gallon would be way out of my budget... Not that I have a spending limit because I don't have to pay bills or rent, it would just take a long time to save up enough money... And I'm horrible at saving money. So thats why I'm thinking maybe something in the 55 gallon range would be better for me, still expensive but not to small and a good size tank for my first sw. What about a ten gallon sump? If I have to take down two of my ten gallons (Ones only a hospital/ grow out tank) Then I could use one for the sump... And the other one I don't care what my mom says it being set up again, no way am I having homeless fish.

Thanks again for the information. I'm going to do do lots of research on sumps and just the whole sw thing. Hopefully by the time I move out I'll be ready to take on (and afford) a saltwater tank.

Kellsindell 10-31-2008 03:55 PM

if you are wanting to start a SW tank then i'd recammend joining a local group there are many everywhere and most will be dedicated to SW and it's great to have close friends that you can talk to when you're in a pinch. (someone in my club is building a 700g and is using many people from our club that has over 500 members he's using friends of course.) if you don't know where one is then will direct you to all registered clubs in the area. it's free to use and look at and they want SW aquariest to get involved together.

Kellsindell 10-31-2008 03:57 PM

BTW i bought my 175w MH lights from a club member and spent only $100 for the light, moguel socket, and for the ballist which all should have cost me close to 300 each. i love my club, oh and they will sell corals for cheap too (frags are great). if i didn't have them then i'd use a T5 fixture.

ledrel 11-15-2008 11:53 PM

i run a canister filter rena xp-2 and a bak pak 2-r skimmer on my 50 reef, the fx-5 is a great filter, ran one on my old tank and recently sold it. i will move alot of water and filter a lot organics out of the water. with that fx-5 i can consume a lot a carbon etc. my load out when i was running it was 3 bags of carbon or bio zorb and a bag a nitrate stuff

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