Comments on this set-up.
Hi everyone! Im starting up a SW reef tank sometime soon!
this is what i currently have:
-55 gallon AGA tank
-old power filter for use as fuge
-top with no lights or hood.
-TKs for pH, NH4, NO2 NO3
What i plan on getting soon:
-HOT magnum canister filter for phos-ban and carbon
-CPR Bak-Pak Protein Skimmer (Which unit?)
-RO unit (necessary?)
-GLO T5linear fluerescent fixture(single or double?)
-AGA 250 watt heater
-AGA 50 watt heater for Q-tank
-10 gallon Q-tank
-10 gallon hood
-10 gallon sponge filter.
1x Royal Gramma
1 x Cherub Angelfish
1x Green Clown Goby
2x Cleaner Shrimp
25x Turbo Snails
25x Blue-Legged Hermit Crabs
Comments and tips are very appreciated as well!
1) You need more test kits. Alkalinity and calcium are essential. These 2 levels effect the stability of the entire system. You will also need a buffer and calcium additive, or a 2 part solution.
2) Your choice in protein skimmer is barely adequate. The canister filter will generally cause problems over the long term. I say combine this budget into one high quality protein skimmer. I like the Berlin Red Sea X2 Venturi for your tank size. It is a hang on and will be very effective on a 55.
Berlin X2 Venturi Skimmer | Venturi Models | Protein Skimmers | Aquarium - ThatPetPlace.com
3) If you have no plans for corals, then your lighting is fine.
4) I would advice not to have so many hermit crabs mixed with snails. The hermits will kill the snails and take their shells. You also want a variety of snails, perhaps 5 each of Turbo, Astrea, and Nassarius.
5) How deep of a sand bed and what type? This is critical.
6) Good decision on the Q tank. I would also suggest adding a UV Sterilizer to the display.
Clarification: The CPR can handle a 55, to a degree. It isn't a horrible skimmer. I am actually using a double CPR on my 58. However, given that the canister filter is practically useless, and assuming you have the money in your budget, it would be very advisable to upgrade the skimmer and skip the canister.
so far, everyone else has agreed to my idea, 1 member told me a way to improve the bak-pak for a 55 gallon.
good plans but i to would also skip the canister filter. i personally would get 2 reactors for phos and carbon because carbon needs more flow running throught it and phos a slower rate.
i also agree on having to get ca and alk test kits and dosing suppliments, i also suggest it for mag too as they all work together.
as for RO/DI water, i dont think you will be succesful using NY city water, period.
the debate on water is an entirely new subject but to sum it up, its the main thing your system consists off, without it, you dont have a tank. you want to keep it in the best of quality to avoid alot of issues.
who would be dumb enough to listen to LFS people? the member that told me this had kept fish for over 35 years, and this was on another forum. but than again, this person agreed with the fact about the magnum. i have a low budget, so this person knows what i need, and he agreed with bak-pak and said if i went with it he would tell me a special way to improve it. this member said it was ok to keep corals and anemones under this lighting, but only REALLY low-light species. i think i would like zoanthids and mushrooms.
your not going to be able to keep anemones, as in ploural with that lighting. even with stronger lighting having multiple nems is dangerous because when they get added to a tank they "walk" giving a chance to sting eachother, or crawl into a power head causing a blended soup. when an anemone dies it has very high chances of "nuking" a tank meaning everything inside the tank dies. even one anemone with that light wouldnt work.
i think you could get away with mushrooms and push keeping zooathids but that would be your max. theres also a sun coral which doesnt like light but needs to be fed daily for its health.
everything is going to be your choice, this forum is here to offer opinions, advice and experience. what you choose to do with it is on you.
if you have any questions and wish for my opinion or experience, feel free to ask at anytime.
There are certainly low budget options for marine systems, but you are VERY limited on coral selections. Given the discipline to stay within these limited constraints, you could certainly pull off the original system described.
However, why drop the cost into a project such as this, when you could have so much more long term for a very small upgrade in price?
Very small indeed! i found out that not in a year would i be able to afford everything being mentioned. i discovered that i probably won't be able to do SW at all. i am fine with zoanthids and mushrooms, but i don't think even the cheapest of skimmer would i be able to afford. i decided i will hold a vote for FW tanks of different kinds. my dad will be very soon moving his 125 gallon SW fish-only into a 180, and than hopefully i will be able to upgrade what would be my 55 gallon FW and than make the 55 SW.
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