Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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rodneyri 11-16-2008 12:21 AM

Setting up new aquarium
Hi guys, new here...setting up a new marine tank - ive had them before but on much smaller scale and not a reef.

so im wanting to keep fish and corals.

what im getting - 48x24x24 tank, from what ive read the sump/refugium seems the way to go. got some questions if you can help...

1. first time filling up the tank, can i mix reef salt and tap water as long as there is nothing in the tank?
2. how do i setup a sump filter with a new tank?
3. does refugium / sump need lighting (it will be in the cabinet) ?
4. is a UV worthwhile for the filter?
5. i want the over flow in the centre at the back of the tank, is this ok?
6. where do i position powerheads?

thanks guys, im sure there will be more q's to follow.

wake49 11-16-2008 09:52 PM

I wouldn't reccomend tap water because of the high levels of phosphates and chlorines and other nasty products. Usually your LFS has RO/DI they will sell for a decent price. I buy RO water from Wal-Mart (mainly because I cannot afford to either drive to the LFS every day, or invest in a RO/DI filter), and this works just fine for me.

onefish2fish 11-16-2008 11:42 PM

Kellsindell 11-17-2008 01:03 AM

I don't see a question about lighting, but you will be keeping corals so just incase you have questions

pescao 11-17-2008 08:33 AM

If you keep fish and coral then you will have a reef tank.
Use tap water "only" to see if there is a leak. Then remove it and try using ro or even better ro/di water only.
The sump is container of water that goes beneath the tank, you will need either a overflow box or drill the tank to get water from the tank to the sump, and a pump to return the water to the tank.
The sump needs lighting to grow plants (the plants are your filter)
The length of the overflow is what matters, Not the position. You will see reef-ready tanks with overflows on the sides or the back.
Put your powerheads where you want, but make sure that you dont have dead spots, and variable flow is better than constant flow

rodneyri 11-18-2008 04:21 AM

cheers guys, ive read all those links with some great info in there. i plan on using salt water from the aquarium for water changes down the track (live in an apartment so dont have the space to mix my own).

for this depth tank and stocking soft corals can i get away with fluros and blue lighting?
what light is suited to the sump and is it on permanently or cycled on and off?

ill be using a 15G tank for the sump and want to make it as quiet as possible, do i run the skimmer during the first cycling of the tank?

onefish2fish 11-18-2008 06:48 AM

i would keep the skimmer off while cycling the tank.

when you do turn the skimmer on, keep in mind it will take about a week or so to "break in" or build up a "slime" to skim more efficiently

Kellsindell 11-18-2008 10:27 AM

also, you'll want to wait at least 6mo before you turn on the skimmer to make sure the tank is mature enough to use it.

wake49 11-18-2008 08:26 PM


Why wait until the tank is "mature" enough to use a skimmer? And why 6 months? Doesn't excess food particulate and fish detritus build up on an almost immediate baby?

Kellsindell 11-18-2008 10:49 PM

Yes, but if you don't wait then you'll starve the bacteria and it will cause a brown algae to grow (trust me i've done it before). Let the tank be more established so that there's readily more food for the bacteria and then you can use the skimmer. 6mo is a safe #, but you can do it in 3mo if you have more then 2 fish like i did when that happend to me.

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