100 gallon Salt Water Aquarium newbie with questions
Hello everyone im new to the forums and this is my first post..
I am 28 I have been in the reptile keeping for years, I have had exotic birds, but here in the past few years my main intrest has turned to poison dart frogs, bout a month ago I set up a 55 gallon freshwater aquarium with great sucess and it has really lifted my spirits and been a great adventure...
I said I wasnt going to do a saltwater aquarium for various reasons including cost..setup etc.e.tc...
but I cant stand it anymore I have to have one....
I had someone give me a standard 100 gallon Glass fish tank... It needed some work done to it.... I fixed the leaks and it holds water fine now, but im going to have to replace the plastic trim around the top and bottom I could just leave it off but I feel I may need the added support that the frame gives once full of water..
I honestly dont have a lot of funds to work with and I have to save up for things a lot of time and get it a piece at a time..
I know there are a lot of things that I will need to purchase... but is there anything I can do without, or maybe wait to get later once I save up for it?...
My plans for the tank is to start off with some live sand, and live rock... get the tank cycle started.. and for a while just concentrate on adding reefs, coral...etc.etc... and once I get the tank establised and running solid for a while start adding fish..
I guess my main question is I want a good setup... I dont have to have top of the line but I dont want junk either...
am I going to have to drill my tank?... or is there a easy way around that...
what pump, what kind of filter works best?...
If I purchased like 100 lbs of (arogite) tropical play sand then went and got like 20 lbs of live sand would it eventually all become live sand?...
I am sorry if my questions are overwhelming... but im just trying to get a good handle on everything and how and what should be done in what order...
the most expensive purchases are prob. going to be your lights and skimmer. one of the cheapest things, the tank. LOL
The best filter for a saltwater tank is the skimmer, but you'll want to read online reviews as some are def. better then others. Live rock and good water flow will provide good natural filtering as well. Adding corals while you wait for your tank to be ready for fish sounds like a bad idea. The corals are very sensitive and i suggest waiting for a stable mature tank. I undertand its exciting but the more patience you have the more it will pay off, trust me. As for the best brand pumps thats a personal preference. Ofcourse some brands will be better then others. I personally like hydors for powerheads and mags for return pumps from sumps. You can use a play sand but be sure it is silicate free as well as pure or it will cause way more problems then what cutting the corner short will be worth. Quality live rock will "seed" the live sand over time.
A good idea is to search your area for a local reefing club. These are great places to meet people with the same interest as well as trade equipment. another good idea is to purchase a refractometer from the start instead of a hydrometer. Seems like everyone makes this mistake, as refractos and far more accurate then hydroms. Ebay sells them pretty cheap.
IMO drilling the tank is the easy way around it. the overflow boxes work but i never liked them. The best advice i can offer is to take your time and read everything saltwater related.
Welcome to the forum.
my appologies I must have not been clear on what I meant.. im saying what I would like to do is work on one step at a time.. im in no hurry to do this project all in a day or a month even in fact I was thinking asside from live rock and sand I wouldnt even add anything else to the tank until the water levels were perfect and every bit of equipment I needed was purchased and installed i guess im just trying to figure out what order and how should I do everything ive been doing reading on the net for 2 days solid but im still lost cause of so many options
Im going about this just about the same way as you. Im less than a week into my build and purchasing things as I go. I would have to say one of the benefits of doing it this way and not being in a rush is that if you ask the right questions here on the forum people will be glad to walk you through your build. Keep in mind that this is going to be an expensive investment, and while you CAN cut a few corners, its obviously better to try and minimize doing so for your best chance of success.
Personally I would want to buy true aragonite sand and live sand. Your sand bed and your live rock are very important as this will be your main filter system in the tank. Personally I woud buy 75lbs on dry Key Largo rock from Marco Rocks http://www.marcorocks.com and seed this with 25lbs of live rock from you LFS, or even better yet from a fellow reefers tank. This would be a good start 75 Pounds Key Largo Rock, <br>160 Pounds Bahamas Aragonite Sand<BR>pay $35 shipping only - KL75-160 160lbs of sand and 75lbs of Key Largo rock for $269. That might sound expensive but its really a great deal! Ive got over $200 worth of sand and rock in my 29G tank purchased locally, and I still need another $88 worth of live rock!
Heres my newbie build it you want to follow along,
Hey guys thanks for all your help im going to be hitting up lowes, home depot, and a few other places this sunday to see if any of them carries any argonite play sand... looking for either southdown or tropical play sand.... I will be doing a vinegar test to confirm if its argonite or not... as supposidly vin fizzes the sand but not the silica sand..... I have read numerous reports that sometimes they have it sometimes they dont.. so I may try a few pool supply places as well... and if I dont have any luck there I may just go ahead and get that package combo you guys sent me the link to cause that isnt a bad price from what ive seen..
No its not a bad deal at all! Ive got $232 in live rock for my 29gallon tank, thats only 29lbs worth, not to mention the sand! Theres no way I could afford to buy all live rock for a 100 gallon like that, $800 worth of rock would be crazy! Looking forward to watching your build. Good luck!
BTW, before considering your brand of salt mix I would ask the fellow members, Im battling issues badly right now with what I started with for salt. Just trying to save you some headache.
thanks for looking out for me on that one.. I was pondering this same question a few minutes ago browsing online and realized there were a few diff companies out there... that sell salt mix...
I have some good news and some bad news... to report
i was measuring my tank trying to get a idea of the canopy im going to build for it as im a diy'er if possible and was going to hit up lumber supply sunday to get what I needed to start building it.. when something dawned on me..
the measurments in my head I took off the tank didnt add up so I went online to find a tank gallon calculator... and my measurments ended up being 48 long 18 wide 20 tall... I actually have is a 75 gallon tank.. I would never try to front or make something its not so from now on this is going to be a 75 gallon tank build lol...
the person I got it from said it was a 100 gallon.. im kinda disappointed but at the same time happy because this means less sand and live rock, and water, and salt... which will help out a lot on the wallet...
Haha I hear ya man. When I started my thread I thought it was a 30G tank but found out later it was a 29. I need to request a title change myself. As far as salt mix, the stuff I started with was crazy expensive, like $26 for a 30 gallon mixture. I just bought a 200G box of Instant Ocean for $51.98 online at Saltwater Aquarium Salt: Aquarium Systems Instant Ocean & Reef Crystals Synthetic Sea Salt That includes shipping! And Pasfur recommended it to me so it must be good!
thats not too bad for a 200lb bag now when im adding salt... what is the amount used per gallon?
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