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frothyspoon 07-24-2010 07:14 PM

SW fish for a beginner
Hi, I'm considering to convert my 90 gallon fresh water to a salt FOWLR tank. I've been doing lots of research and I really want to have a great tank with some happy fish. Could anyone just let me know what are good, hardy, easier fish for a sw beginner? Also i want to know what are some good beginning inverts that will keep everything a little cleaner?

thanks so much,

onefish2fish 07-24-2010 11:01 PM

before we start to consider fish can we talk more about your setup? so far its a 90 tank, what about filtration? rock? sand depth? powerheads? and so on...

frothyspoon 07-25-2010 08:34 AM

Well to start out, the tank is four feet long. For filtration I'm thinking about a 20 gallon sump with a Rio 2100 as a return pump. What is good media to use in a sump? I have regular florescent lights, a jager water heater and what kind of powerheads would you suggest using?

frothyspoon 07-25-2010 08:35 AM

and for sand depth, is it better to make it 1 inch or 4? And for rock I would use about 60 pounds of fiji live rock

trukgirl 07-25-2010 09:22 AM

I would definitely say a protein skimmer is a MUST!

The general rule for live rock is 1 lb per gallon.

As far as powerheads, personally I like my Hydor Koralia powerhead.... (750 gph)
but my 2 cheapo Petco ones do a fine job in my refugium and 10g tank as well (160gph).

You need to look at the GPH to determine what one or ones to use in your tank. I think minimum turn-over is 10x per gallon, which means you would want at least 900gph (1100gph if you have 20g in sump) moving in your aquarium. I have about 80 total gallons w/my sump, and with a 3 ft lift loss on my return pump, I have 1250 gph not including the powerhead in my fuge. (going by that rule I need a minimum of 800 gph)

onefish2fish 07-25-2010 09:35 AM

im glad we are talking about this topic.

your sump is going to want to be media free. saltwater filtration is different then freshwater. in fresh the idea is to trap debris/food/poop ( in a filter, floss, bioballs... ) until it can break down into nitrates.. in saltwater you want good flow (powerheads) and a good skimmer. the constant water movement with little to no dead spots keeps what normally would be breaking down in suspension in the water until the skimmer can remove it. this means NO filter floss, bio balls, canister filters, hang on filters, even filter socks that dont get changed frequently cause this problem.
since your using the 20 gallon as a sump im going to assume your building the baffles? i personally would have a skimmer section, a refugium section ( with chaeto algae and a clip on shop light with a daylight flouro bulb ) and a return pump section. the return pump area should have a bubble trap before it, and this is also where you will notice evaporation.

i personally would do a 4 - 5 inch even sand bed in the tank. this can be tricky too. sand to small in grain size will compact but things to large ( like crushed coral ) allow debris to fall in between the nooks and crannies causing issues like mentioned before with freshwater filtration. i wouldnt stress to hard over your sand being to small though, usually they're all good. ( sand directly off a beach would do this, plus bring polution and toxins into your tank, and more importantly may be illegal to do so )
i think your also going to have to go with more rock. im going to say atleast 80-90 lbs. which can vary depending how pourus the rock actually is. the more the better, but not so tightly packed ( esp not in a sump or refugium, it acts just like a pack of bioballs ) to allow good flow throughout. speaking of flow, i personally like hydor K powerheads. 2x #3 or #4 hydors on either side of the tank and you should be good. i like jager heaters too.

how will you be getting the water from the display to the sump? hang on overflow box? drilling? reef-ready tank?
it may be a good idea to look in your area for a local reefing club.

frothyspoon 07-25-2010 10:28 AM

thanks for all the advice :) its helping out a lot
I would get the water to the sump by a hang on overflow

onefish2fish 07-25-2010 02:58 PM

since you asked again about fish, lets start with will this be a reef? eventually a reef? or a fish only?

what fish do you like? post a list and we can help you choose what will be best to add and when to do so.

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