Can someone help with set up - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 9 Old 05-23-2007, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Can someone help with set up

Im about to get a 46 or 54 gal all glass Bow front tank. Thats all i have and was wondering if i could get help with what filters,lights, heaters, and pumps ill need to start my saltwater tank. Im very new and all help would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 9 Old 05-23-2007, 04:59 PM
What do you plan on tring to keep? This is the first step as some things need more then others.
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post #3 of 9 Old 05-23-2007, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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what are just the standard basics to get before i pick my fish.
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post #4 of 9 Old 05-23-2007, 10:01 PM
Joe take a minute to read some of the stickies about salt water. What you will find here is that this is a well informed group of people that understand the delicate differences between the numerous ways to set up a tank for success. With that being said, these same members are also aware that a successful tank is one that is well thought out in advance. It can be as simple as just a tank, filter and some fish or extremely complicated and computer run (such as is the case with my 400g). Take a minute to experience what it means to be a marine enthusiast and figure out what best suits your needs, wants and expectations. If it is simply the want for colorful fish in a tank with bare minimum responsibilities that answer can be found but only when you ask that question. I sincerely hope you understand my explanation about why people are not flocking to tell you everything you need. It's not that they don't have the answer, it's that they are holding back their answers so as not to start an arguing match as to "what system works better than yours". A fish only guy might see the answer one way and a reefer might be willing to argue his tanks finer points until the thread is locked.
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post #5 of 9 Old 05-24-2007, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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ok ive read the stickies and realize my mistake with my first post, but i still have many qustions as to what brand and what size of each piece of equitment i need. So im going to ask my questions the best i can to get the best results. Also, remeber i want to keep good quality but stay very affordable.

*Now saying i get a 46 or 54 gallon All glass Bow front tank. Im Also going to keep a mixture of fish,LR,and coral.

Overflow- What size and brand?

Protein skimmer-

Sump- is this needed and can i get the in-sump pump?

Wet/Dry Filter-

Return Pump-

Powerheads/Submersible Pump-

* Maybe i dont need all this maybe i do? Just please let me know what i need so i dont waste extra money on the first time aroun.Thanks
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post #6 of 9 Old 05-24-2007, 04:22 PM
So you want the beginnings of a reef, are you going to want soft corals, LPS or SPS dominate tank?

You forgot lighting.

Overflow, forget it. If you don't have the tank buy a reef ready. It is $150 more than the cost of a plain tank but that's about what you'd spend on an overflow box and accessories.

Protein skimmer. If you want to do it right the first time buy a Deltec. I understand they are very expensive so a good alternative is Euroreef. ER is exclusively what I run. One of mine would retail at $7,500 (5' tall with 4 Eheim modded pumps.), I also have what is now the RS80 and an RC135. The RC line is expensive but worth it. Next up would be ASM. Check Ebay as the prices are right. Be careful about the pricing. The ASM G1 might be $200 but the G3 might only be $265. If you have the room the G3 would be a better value. I've seen an Octopus ASM clone that was of decent quality. The owner said it was very nice, I believe him. Basically ASM and Octopus are ER clones made with less quality materials. Octopus also has a recirculating skimmer. If you type in ASM in a search engine an old shop that called themselves ASMonline now exclusively sells the Octopus line.

Sump. I really like my Trigger Fish System Berlin sump/fuge combo. It retails for about $450.

However you can make an efficient set up from an old tank such as a 30 or 40g. Esumps also sold as Eshoppes, is another decent choice.
Do you need one? If you want to hide all your equipment they are nice, plus they add a few more gallons to your total water volume. The falling water naturally respirates, exhaling toxic gases and inhaling oxygen. The falling water mixing with O2 also cools the water up to 3 or more degrees.

Return pumps, nothing beats an Eheim for in sump. Hands down the finest, quietest, coolest running and most efficient. Mag drives hold nothing on Eheim. For a 40-50g I'd look into a 1260 possibly 1262.

Circulation, I'd get Tunze Turbelle Streams like the 6060 or a surging model like the 6100, better yet is the Tunze Wavebox. But you could save several hundred dollars with Hydor Korallia stream pumps. Stream pumps are the way to go.

Lighting. The stock lighting will never do. Plenty of T5 bulbs, As many as will fit your tank with Tek2 reflectors from Sunlight Supply or possibly 2 smaller halides of about 70-175w each of about 12-14K and 2 T12 VHO super actinics from URI for growth and color. The T5's would be great if you keep softies and some LPS. You'd want the halides if you get into SPS corals.

Of course these are only suggestions and you can put together a tank hundreds of different ways. What I mentioned are the hobby staples for reliability, ease of use, quiet operation, low heat, low maintenance, no headache products. You could even do it all one better by buying a good controller like an Aqua JR. controller or ReefKeeper II. These are the suggestions based upon what I use, have used, or know being used. There are other products of lesser and better quality, lesser quality products tend to cause irritation and the possible disappointment in the hobby.
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post #7 of 9 Old 05-26-2007, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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Lighting is there any way i can get my lighting for under 80? When i ordered my tank i decided not to by the hood that came with it but to build my own canopy top. Should i buy the hood and just replce the bulbs or try to creat my own with the top... thanks
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post #8 of 9 Old 05-26-2007, 11:53 AM
I think your best bet would be to buy 2 T5 bulbs and reflectors at this point. Probably run you right about $80. Then as money permits and the tank grows, you could continue adding more bulbs and reflectors right next to the old ones.

From what I've read, and I've made this recommendation to you before, you don't have all the cash to jump in and set up a $5,000 reef. Not many of us do. So start out small, just fish, buy some rock as you can, add better lighting, build your filtration, and then make it a reef tank. Could take a year but the results will be much better than if you try to build a reef on the cheap.
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post #9 of 9 Old 05-26-2007, 08:56 PM
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I love to play devils advocate to CRM's posts, but this time I'm going to have to stand by his comments.

Buy the reef ready now, you'll thank us later.

T5s are your best bet, especially if you want to keep more than Softies.

I cant stand by the Eheim pump comment. I had one that I was not happy with. I ended up swapping my eheim out for a $50 Wal-mart pond pump. It ended up being a quieter operating pump, and a better match for my set-up. depending on the life of the pond pump, I may end up going to a smaller rated Eheim in the future, but for the cost, the walmart pump works fine for now.

I'd like to make another suggestion. Talk to some of your local LFS, and search the internet. See if you can get in touch with a local reef or marine aquarists club. It will help you accomplish alot more for alot less $$$. I found a local club, from which ive been able to purchase fully cured premium LR for as little as $2/lb, corals for a fraction of the cost, lots of donations, and it's a huge benefit to have people local to help out with DIY projects, tank moves and many other things.

Take pride in what you do, for it is a reflection of who you are.

The Haunting Grounds - SKAustin's Reef Diary - Part 2 (the 75g upgrade)
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