Beginner Questions / Checking
I am in the process of doing research on setting up a 29G formally freshwater tank into a saltwater.
I have 40lb's of dry Marco reef rock and will be getting live rock in the near future. The tank is not setup yet.
I have a 50gpd RO/DI unit in the mail and will be using that once it arrives to fill the tank.
I have 2 Koralia powerheads, one at 425gph, the other at 750gph. Lighting is a QUAD T5HO with 2x10K and 2 actinic and 2 night blue leds.
I have a VISI Jet Protein skimmer, given to me for free and will be using that until I can get a Coralife 65G needle wheel (better than nothing for now)
I am looking at a shallow bed, about 1".
Stock initially will be 2 clownfish (for my kids), 1 royal gamma plus a CUC.
In the future once the tank has matured, I will be getting into corals and I know the lights are capable of keeping them.
So, is this sand bed a decent size? I read 1" or between 4-6" as being ideal.
How much quality live rock should I buy to help seed the dry rock.
I believe that about 16 pounds of live sand should achieve a 1" sand bed, so will be ordering a 20lb bag.
I have a 180g freshwater tank and know about the cycle process and will not be adding anything until that completes and then wait 1-2 weeks after that. (adding the CUC before the fish)
Are the powerheads that I have too powerful for the fish I intend on keeping, I know in the future they will probably be needed once I get into corals etc.
Sump, I am going to setup later, right now the tank (20G is being used as a fry tank for my freshwater, may buy another one for the sump). Once I set the sump up, how much sand/live rock should I put in the refugium section? (looking at keeping pods and chaeto) in there.
Sorry for the long post but I want to make sure I am heading in the right direction before doing this....research, research and research :-)
the sand bed depth is fine. some people like deep sand bed others shallow and still some others have none. once you have live rock filtering water you can use the sand for looks. as far as live rock seeding, you could actually use dead rocks and seed the fishtank with fish very slowly and eventually the dead rock will become live. so patients is actually the determining factor in how much live rock to seed the tank with. if you want to lessen the wait time use lots of live rock if time is no issue you can start with all dead rock. the powerheads are not too powerful except that you may blow sand around the tank depending on your layout. its best to have good water movement so particles stay in suspension so the filter can catch the paricles before they become stagnant on the aquarium floor. as far as the sump i would only put live rock in there along with cheato.
everything sounds good.
i personally would put a level 4-6 inch sand bed in the refugium and chaeto. maybe 1 or 2 peices of rock ( i sometimes rotate from sump to display ) but no more then that. the refugium is a slow flowing area and alot of rock here can act just like bio balls do, collect debris allowing them to break down. you can def. put rock here, but it might be wise to also put a powerhead so things dont settle and get trapped in the rock.
the more live rock the faster your tank will cycle. 5 lbs will do ya, but wont cycle your tank as fast as 20lbs would. which is fine, patience is key. you can have a cycled tank in about 2 months, but it takes time for a mature system.
glad your doing your reading, this should turn out to be a great tank.
Thank you for the replies.
Am in no hurry to cycle the tank, it took 15 weeks to cycle my freshwater 180G properly (cycle stalled)
Actually am in no hurry to get the tank going at all. Patience is a virtue as they say!
Once the tank is cycling do I need to keep up with anything other than checking parameters and performing slight water changes? I know the water changes will prevent the live rock from getting ammonia burn and being killed off.
The RO/DI unit should be here within a few days and then I can get about filling the tank once I have the sand and live rock.
The dry rock is in the tank at the moment, just waiting to fill it so I can get the aquascape going and then add the live rock. Plenty of holes / caves / overhang made so far, all sat on the glass bottom, no sand yet.
I ordered another powerhead for the 55G garbage pale which will serve as my water pale. The salt mix, I will do right in the tank before putting the live rock in so I can get the SG where it needs to be. I do not have a refractometer just yet but will be getting one in the future. (I do have a hydrometer though- kind of important :-)
It has been 15 years since I last had a saltwater tank, a lot has changed since then so hence being a noobie and asking all the questions.
I can see that it has got a whole lot easier.
Thank you to everyone for the replies. I will keep doing the research and will post again once the tank is actually starting up.
Just a quick question. I have everything ready for the tank except the live rock which I might pick up this weekend.
I have the live sand, 20lb's which may not be enough but I can easily get more if needed.
Now the question is, do I make the rock structure on the bare bottom glass before adding the live sand? Dry rock has all be washed and is in sat in the tank at the moment, no aquascape done so can easily be removed if I need to add the live sand first.
RO/DI water will be started tomorrow as the filter has been breaking in so to speak for the past week. I have a separate pale to mix the salt in with a heater and powerhead to keep it circulating.
Its better to have the rock on the bottom of the tank, keeps them from shifting around that way. So, et em up, then you can put in the sand. Or put the sand in, then wiggle the rock into place to the bottom. Or, use egg crate from Lowes, set that on the bottom of the tank, drop in your sand, then put you rock on top of that.
Thank you for the reply. I have egg crate in my 2 big cichlid tanks and hate the stuff! I would take it out if there wasnt over 300lb's of rock in both tanks!.
Will stick with the putting the rocks on the bare bottom. Live rock as I will only be getting a few lb's of it will probably be on the top side of the structure...is that ok? with the 40lb's of dry marco in there.
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