Starting My First Saltwater Tank and I have a few Questions.
Hey All! I am new to the forum, have been doing some research for the past couple of days and looking at what i need to buy. I currently purchased a 55 gallon tank and want to make a saltwater tank. I currently have nothing other than the tank and stand and some old powerheads and hang on filter that the PO gave me with the tank. My plan is to start with RO water from my local store and add instant ocean to that, and let it run with the powerheads in the tank for about 3 days. I then will add my live rock, probably starting with 50 lbs or so, and then add my live sand.
My questions are:
1: how much sand do i need in lbs?
2: Does my water need to be stable in PH or nitrates prior to adding rock or sand? I dont believe so, but i dont want to risk screwing this up from fear of asking a stupid question.
3: I have an old hood light that came with the tank, it has a 37" fluorescent 40W light bulb. Can i just replace the bulb, or do i need to purchase an entirely new light. If i can get by with just the bulb for now, and buy a light later, that would work best as i am soon going to be paying out alot on my skimmer, sump, overflow and other essentials.
4: If there is anything i am missing, please let me know!
5: I am getting a Pro clear aquatics aquarium sump, measures approx 19L x 10W x 16H from someone off Craigslist here in my town on friday. Will this be sufficient to run my tank without any other filtration system, or do i need a canister filter or over the tank filter?
Lastly i want to say thanks to anyone who responds and thanks for every ones knowledge that i have spent the last days reading!:yourock:
My method of filtration is 1-1/2 lbs of live rock per gallon, a deep sand bed (4-6" of oolite sand) and a protein skimmer. The deep sand bed and live rock provide anaerobic bacteria that turns nitrates into nitrogen gas (which leaves the system naturally).
You can add the live rock and sand to the tank, no matter the pH (although the pH should be fine based on the salt mix and lack of nitrifiers present in the tank) and they will cycle the tank almost immediately.
I would replace the bulb for now and save up for a light later. If you do plan on doing corals, you will need to upgrade the light sooner than later.
Start a thread that can be a journal, and take things slow. We will help you along the way.
What type of bulb should i go with to replace my current one. I will want to do some coral, but it will likely not be for at least 6-8 weeks at the soonest. Ive done some looking at lights online and its hard to find a replacement bulb for my lid that isn't just the basic fluorescent light. Also im looking at getting the octopus pinwheel skimmer NWB110. Is this decent and able to keep up with me tank? My research so far show it to be good. Thanks!
What kind of light is it? What is written on the bulb?
Also do i need two lights? one for day and one for night?
If you only have one bulb for now, use a 50/50 bulb. That is 50% 10,000k and 50% 460nn actinic.
So it measures out at 1 inch, therefore im thinking that means it is a t8. There is no other writing on it than "Philips softtone fluorescent f40/sf 40 watt. And down from the writing a bit it has a 5A on it. Im thinking i may just break down and buy a new LED light for the tank. how does Fluval Eco Bright LED Aquarium Strip Light at PETCO or Marineland LED Single Bright Aquarium Lighting System - LED Light Aquarium and Aquarium LED Light Fixtures from petco.com look for a replacement?
While LEDs are nice energy-wise, you have to spend real money to get a quality fixture. These two that you have posted would be good for a fish only tank, but I am not confident about coral growth under them. I have never used either, I have a Green Element LED that I bought off ebay that I am not happy with, and it is more powerful than either of these at 10 x 3w bulbs. I am in the process of shopping and changing over to a 4-bulb T5 fixture. That has always been my favorite kind of lighting...
I would use this: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...00&pcatid=4500 until you get a new fixture.
Ok, ive been doing some looking. I think im going to just break down and buy me a new light. However its just kind of cringe worthy to see the 350+ price tags on these things. Do i need a 4 bulb, or would a two bulb t5HO be sufficient. I want to get some anemone and things similar down the road. Ive been looking at three lights.
Coralife Dual Fixture High Output T5 Aquarium Light Fixture at PETCO
Also i am guessing since my tank is 48" long, i will need the 48" light. If i am wrong here, please correct me. Thanks again for all your help. I purchased my salt mix, hydrometer, skimmer, overflow, thermometer, heater, and test kits yesterday, so im getting there slowly but surely.
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