I bought a 29 gallon marine aquarium starter kit, now what?!?!
I have always wanted a salt water fish tank. Today I finally took the plunge and bought one. I also bought 20 lbs of bio-active live aragonite reef sand and 20 lbs of coral sand.
My plan is... well, I don't really have a plan that is why I am in need of advice! I am going to set up the system and wait to put in some live rock.
start with Pasfer's article on salt water filtration in the member submitted articles section.... after that come back and get clarity on any questions.. he is very thorough and that article answers most of your intro questions.... i am fairly new my self and Pasfer, Wake49, and a few others had been indispensable to the health of my tank
BWF is right, read this article: Saltwater Filtration 101, How it Differs from Freshwater.
You will be going in this order:
1) set up tank. Add water, sand and salt. Your specific gravity should be 1.025 and you should have about 4-6" of depth for your sandbed. This will provide you with proper denitrification. Add any Dry or Live Rock you have at this time. You will probably need about 30-40 lbs of rock. If you haven't bought rock yet, try Marco Rocks. A lot of hobbyists here have used them with continued success.
2) The cycle will be almost nonexistant with the live sand. You will test for Nitrites, Ammonia and Nitrates. Trites and Ammonia will start to decline, and you will see a diatom bloom. This will look like a rust colored algae that will cover your rocks and sand. You should start testing for Alkalinity and Calcium at this point, and your Alk should read 8-12 dKH and your Calcium should read 400-450 ppm.
3) You will see the presence of microfauna on the glass and sand, like copepods and amphipods. The copepods look like little white ticks on the glass, you will have to look real hard to see them, and the amphipods look like little shrimp (they are primarily out at night).
At this point (this might take a month), you will be ready to Quarantine your first fish. After a good 3 week quarantine, add the fish to the display. You will start to see pruple algae growing on the rocks and glass. This is a sign of tank stability.
Hope this helps! Do you have any plans for stocking?
BWF and Wake, thanks for your help.
I read Pasfer's article on Filtration. My setup did not come with a skimmer. It came with a Eclipse3 filtration system. BIO-Wheel. From what I got from Pasfer's article this isn't going to work and that I need to protein skimmer. One problem. The way my tank is setup I don't think im going to be able to put a simmer on it. What to do?
I have 20 lbs of live sand and 20 lbs of natural coral sand (which is pretty much peebles). Which one of these do I put down first or do I mix them? Or what would you suggest? I'm going for the 4-6 inches. My tank is 29 gallons. I want to have enough sand before I put it together. How much sand do you think I will need?
Thanks a lot for your help!
Oh and as of now I have no idea what is going inside of the tank besides sand and rock. My wife wants a Nemo.
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