New tank advice on skimmer and equipment
So my dad talked me into starting a saltwater tank but luckily he's financing the whole project. Apparently it's "his" tank that I take care of :( anyways I've been reading around as well as going into various fish stores in my area. Luckily there is a small pet store that focuses solely on marine and coral that's right down the road from me. Just a bit overpriced due to it being local I'm sure and I have no problem supporting. Anyways..
Were looking at getting a 30-40 gallon tank. For this I have a 200 watt stealth pro heater. Aside from that I've looked at few skimmers and web fewer filters being that I've read they're not required? I was thinking of running a filter anyway with live rock rubble instead of any media. Does anyone have any experience with prism hob skimmers? I was just reccomended this today in a fish store a town over from me. Also just curious about the amount of live or dry rock and sand to put in as well as any advice on cycling would be appreciated. I've done some research. Just really looking for experienced replies and input now. Thanks in advance guys and gals.
EDIT: sorry but also lights!! Were hoping to also keep some nice looking basic coral. My dads sole request for this tank is he wants clown fish in it. At least two -_- anyways. Thanks again.
I just typed a long response and closed the browser by accident.... SOOOO I'll let someone else do this :)
Edit: Better yet, read someone else's build threads, or user submitted articles. If you don't know how much live rock you need, or sand, or if you're asking "cycle" questions, you definetely have some reading to do (no "cycle" in marine tanks).
It sounds like you have the basic idea down correctly. You want a protein skimmer, live/dry rock, and aragonite sand. You do not want to use any other type of filtration system on the tank. Hang on mechanical and biological filtration will only contribute to nitrate and phosphate buildup.
I have used the Prism personally. It is junk, to put it in simple terms. If it is available for FREE, you still do not want it. The same can be said for the Skilter, which is commonly offered at the LFS for small tanks.
In your situation, you want to buy the best quality skimmer that you can afford. The success of your system is tied directly to the quality of the skimmer, so do not skimp in this area. Lets assume you are going with a 38 gallon tank. Here are some skimmer suggestions of appropriate size:
My first choice for you would be the AquaC Remora. AquaC Remora Hang-On Protein Skimmer
If the cost exceeds your budget, then the Coralife SuperSkimmer will get the job done if necessary.
Coralife 65 Skimmer Coralife Super Skimmer 65
Realize, buying the more efficient skimmer will cost you more up front, but will save you money over the long run. The more efficient skimmer will reduce the money you spend on buffers and additives, reduce the amount of water changes, and contribute to an overall more stable environment.
For rock and sand I would suggest you order from 40 Pound box Key Largo Rock, <br>40 Pounds Bahamas Aragonite Sand<BR>pay shipping on rock only - KL40-40. You can get a 40 pound dry rock & 40 pound sand order for $109. Throw in about 10 pounds of live rock from the LFS and you are set.
Pasfur thank you so much for the simple and effective response. I love it, literally. I'll most definitely be getting the remora then even if I got something slightly smaller than that if that would still be ok. And the mistype "web" I meant even fewer, sorry. The dry rock and sand package won't be a problem and yeah I could go to the lfs that's right in town for live rock. They also have plenty of basic easy to maintain Coral and saltwater fish and inverts. What would you reccomend for a basic cleanup crew after the cycling was done if I wanted to maintain some coral in there o.o I've gone into the lfs and asked these things but I'd still like some more opinions if possible.
First, let me comment more on the sand. I am not sure 40 pounds is going to be enough for a 38 gallon tank, but would probably be about right in a 29 gallon. You want the sand bed to be 4'' in depth, not to exceed 6''. The key is to reach a full 4'' depth. Levels of sand below 4'' are not as effective at providing dentrification, and can actually accumulate detritus areas that cause negative impact on phosphates and alkalinity.
If you order 40 pounds from MaroRocks and it is not deep enough, then just add some more "reef grade" aragonite purchased from the LFS.
For clean up crew I believe less is more. So many people over stock the CUC only to see the animals slowly starve. I use about 1 hermit per 10 gallons and 1 snail per 15 gallons.
Ok thank you very much. Would you reccomend any sort of shrimp or no? Also what am I looking at lighting wise?
I'm not really a lighting guy. OF2F or Wake can guide you better on this. I personally use compact florescents on my 54 reef.
Most shrimp are easy to keep, so go for it.
Well if I were to go that path what size or setup etc would you reccomend I do?
Also pasfur for the remora skimmer, what pump should i get with it? the rio 800 or the maxi-jet 1200. Apparently my dad has settled on a 35 gallon bowfront. Another thing, what brand test kits do you use? I personally have liked the api liquid test kits a lot for freshwater and have read good things about the saltwater and reef ones. but i noticed i don't think either have alkalinity tests? And another thing I'm curious about is powerheads, those are something else i've looked up a bit and heard good things about the koralias.
My dad now stumbled across a 46 gallon bowfront with stand and coralife 36'' aqualight for 225. He sent him an email asking some stuff so that tank now may also be a possiblity. Sorry about the run around on tank size, 8 months ago getting him to even listen to me about my freshwater tank was like pulling teeth. now i'm trying my best to keep his saltwater project under control.
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