Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Help with new saltwater setup (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-saltwater-aquariums/help-new-saltwater-setup-32069/)

NC Frank 11-11-2009 10:52 AM

Help with new saltwater setup
 
Since a nano cube seems like too much work for a SW beginner I decided to go with a 46 gallon bow for my introductory SW tank. I got the tank, stand, hood and a compact 2 bulb 36" T5 light kit delivered for $150.00 from somebody in our local reef club. I purchased a RHS-10ATC refractometer as I wasn't too happy with the deep 6 salinity meter.

I would like to do a hang on protein skimmer and hang on filter. Any recommendations? I want to avoid drilling this tank if at all possible.

I also would like a recommendation for a good heater for this size tank.

Any recommendations on which power heads to buy and how many I need?

How much live rock/sand will I need once I acquire all of the other equipment I need.

Is an API marine master test kit good enough? What other test kits should I get?

Is a 12G nano (once I get the light fixed) a decent quarantine/hospital tank?

Once I get all the equipment and start the cycling process I will start asking questions about stocking lists.

Thanks all.

mollies 11-11-2009 12:24 PM

Live rock 1.5 lbs to 2 lbs a gallon. Should be around 65 to 80 Lbs.
Live sand a one inch bed would be ideal. Or no less then 4 inchs. Not any where in betwen.
The rest i will leave to Pasfur. He will be better off to help you then i could.

Pasfur 11-11-2009 01:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mollies (Post 272200)
The rest i will leave to Pasfur. He will be better off to help you then i could.

There are a great number of people on this forum that can offer experienced advice, but I will be happy to give you my views.

I would use a 4''-5'' sand bed of reef grade aragonite sand, along with 60-75 pounds of rock. The rock can be a mix of dry rock and live rock. On my 180 I used about 80% dry rock from Marco Rocks The finest aquarium rock available, base rock, live rock, reef rock, marco rock, reef tank saltwater fish, live corals, Marco rocks, Fiji live rock, Tonga Live rock and 20% cured live rock.

For a skimmer, you really do get what you pay for. Hang on models leave something to be desired, especially if you plan to make this a reef. If you do go hang on, then i would buy an oversized model for your tank size. Here are a couple of options:
Super Skimmer with Needle Wheel - Up to 65 Gallon | Venturi Models | Protein Skimmers | Aquarium - ThatPetPlace.com
Super Skimmer with Needle Wheel - Up to 65 Gallon | Venturi Models | Protein Skimmers | Aquarium - ThatPetPlace.com
Berlin X2 Venturi Skimmer | Venturi Models | Protein Skimmers | Aquarium - ThatPetPlace.com

This unit would probably be my personal choice, because it has a surface skimmer and media chamber:
Coral Vue Octopus Hang-on-the-Back Skimmer with filter system 90g

A 12 gallon would make an adequate quarantine tank for you, given that your fish purchases will be smaller in size.

As for test kits, you will need pH, alkalinity, calcium, and Nitrate for the long term testing needs. You will also want to purchase supplements. I use Kent Marine Super Buffer DKH and Kent Marine Liquid Calcium.

mollies 11-11-2009 01:49 PM

[quote=Pasfur;272230]There are a great number of people on this forum that can offer experienced advice, but I will be happy to give you my views.

There are but you have helped so many. Includeing me. And are realy good at what you do. We all thank you.

wake49 11-11-2009 02:15 PM

I really like that Octopus HOB skimmer. That surface skimming feature is key when not using a reef-ready tank.

I believe that the API Master Test Kit is Ca, Alk, Nitrate and pH. These four tests will be the cornerstones of your chemistry. I check Alk and Calcium at least once a week, and Nitrate and pH monthly (unless something is wrong, which I would test daily until the problem was resolved).

I personaaly use API for Nitrates. I use API and some other brand (can't remember the name) for pH. I use Salifert for Calcium and Alkalinity as I wasn't happy with API or Red Sea's versions of these two tests.

NC Frank 11-11-2009 03:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wake49 (Post 272254)
I really like that Octopus HOB skimmer. That surface skimming feature is key when not using a reef-ready tank.

I believe that the API Master Test Kit is Ca, Alk, Nitrate and pH. These four tests will be the cornerstones of your chemistry. I check Alk and Calcium at least once a week, and Nitrate and pH monthly (unless something is wrong, which I would test daily until the problem was resolved).

I personaaly use API for Nitrates. I use API and some other brand (can't remember the name) for pH. I use Salifert for Calcium and Alkalinity as I wasn't happy with API or Red Sea's versions of these two tests.

The Octopus skimmer says it has a filter compartment... I would still need a seperate filter (thinking of a Rena XP3), correct?

Pasfur 11-11-2009 03:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NC Frank (Post 272278)
The Octopus skimmer says it has a filter compartment... I would still need a seperate filter (thinking of a Rena XP3), correct?


No no no. You do not want any other filter, other than the protein skimmer and live rock. The term "filter compartment" is just a bad name. It is actually a nice place to put chemical media such as activated carbon or phosphate resign.

NC Frank 11-11-2009 03:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pasfur (Post 272281)
No no no. You do not want any other filter, other than the protein skimmer and live rock. The term "filter compartment" is just a bad name. It is actually a nice place to put chemical media such as activated carbon or phosphate resign.

So what should I place in the "filter compartment"

I will defer to the experts here as I want to do this right the first time. The reviews that I have read on the model that you guys have suggested have been good.

I have a bunch of small activated carbon bags for the nano... so in theory I could just place one of those on the tank?

That leaves me with a heater and with powerheads. I have a single power head (koralia 2) which I just bought new online. Do I need more than one of these?

wake49 11-11-2009 04:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NC Frank (Post 272299)
That leaves me with a heater and with powerheads. I have a single power head (koralia 2) which I just bought new online. Do I need more than one of these?

For the heater I would use a 350 watt stealth heater. I had good luck with this in my 46 bow.

I used a Koralia three and a Koralia two in my 46, and I don't think that was enough flow. I would've used two three's or three two's if I had to do it again.

Quote:

Originally Posted by NC Frank (Post 272299)
So what should I place in the "filter compartment"

You are about to answer your own question:

Quote:

Originally Posted by NC Frank (Post 272299)
I have a bunch of small activated carbon bags for the nano... so in theory I could just place one of those on the tank?

Make sure they are clean and not too old. Activated Carbon is something that you should replace every once in a while...

NC Frank 11-11-2009 04:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wake49 (Post 272324)
For the heater I would use a 350 watt stealth heater. I had good luck with this in my 46 bow.

I used a Koralia three and a Koralia two in my 46, and I don't think that was enough flow. I would've used two three's or three two's if I had to do it again.



You are about to answer your own question:



Make sure they are clean and not too old. Activated Carbon is something that you should replace every once in a while...

I bought them all within the last week (planned on changing them every 3 weeks).

Going to order some more koralia 2s then. I guess having 3 of the 2's would allow me to have a ton of flexibility with tank placement. Going to order the heater now too.


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