Tropical Fish Keeping banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
First of all thanks for taking the time to read this. Here is my story, I've always been facinated by aquariums. I've been thinking of buying one for the past year or so, but always held back b/c of the cost and also b/c first I wanted to get a bigger house. Last weekend I bought what a thought was about a 30 to 40 gallon aquarium at a yard sale. The lady gave it to me for $15 dollars, so I thought it was a win, win situation. After going to pet stores and measuring my tank I found out that I'm the new owner of a 125 gallon tank. Now, I'm getting worried b/c I read about how delicate fish are; however, I'm a man, so I want the best thing, which I believe is a saltwater aquarium. Unfortunatly I don't know very much about starting an aquarium so I desperatly need your help. Very first mistake I made was to get the aquarium home and use soap to wash it. The lady that had it before me had Rabbits in it, so it's stunk, plus I didn't know that I was not to use soap. Can I still use the tank and if so, how can I make sure that it doesn't have any harmfull chemical? Also when I do a leak test do I have to fill the tank all the way up, and what can I do with 125 gallons of water afterwards? I would hate to waste all that water. Guys, you're going to have to take me by the hand like a baby and help me be succesfull at this. :oops:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,591 Posts
Since you wash it out with soap you want to make sure that there isn't any soap left. I have never ran into this situation before but I would clean it out every chance I got with just a wet rag and a hose. Maybe someone else has dealt with this before. Now to see if it has leaks. Check to see if any of the sealent around the edges doesn't have any crack's in it, none of it is missing, that the glass isn't chipped in any way, or that there isn't any cracks in the glass(like stress fractures) You can fill it up 1/2 way and that should be good enough. I would say that the water that you use to check for durability you could use to start the saltwater tank, but that wouldn't be a good Idea. After all this is complete you need to decide which way you want to go Fish only saltwater or a reef tank. Everything is the same for the equipment side, But its the lighting and the chemicals you need for the reef setup. Well welcome to the site and we will do our best to help you though this process. :D
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,591 Posts
joeshmoe said:
you can use the tank still but you have to really clean good $15 thats a great price
I wasn't sure because I never clean any tanks with cleaner even if the won't use them, because you never know when you will again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,440 Posts
i did once when i didn t no anything about fish. i just had to wash it fealy well to get it out. need to use some warm water and just keep on flushing the tank out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Reef Tank?

What exacly is a reef tank? Is that the same thing as live rock?

Thanks alot, you guys have been very helpful so far.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,591 Posts
Live rock can be used in both a reef take looks like mine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,677 Posts
Hi Javier,

Reef tanks typically mean that invertebrates such as coral, sea horses, etc. will be living in the tank with or without fish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I might try coral in mine, but definetly not sea horses. I've read that they are very difficult to keep, and for a begginer like me I would think is definetly a recipe for disaster. I will clean the tank over the next few days, do the leak test, and if it passes all that I will ask you about the next step. I know this will take a long time if I want to do it right, so I'll let you know what the results are, and ask you more questions when I'm ready. Once again thanks for all of your help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,645 Posts
Great score. My first impression is that the rabbits have chewed away all of the sealants. Before even filling it with water let us know if the silicone on the inside corners is all still completely intact. You would hate to find it sprung a leak in 2 or 3 months. Depending upon what type of soap you used I wouldn't worry to much about it. Dish soaps are easy to rinse away and will only add phosphates to the tank. Bad but not bad enough to hold you back. Now if you used brake cleaner or engine solvents you are on your own.

You seem to have a true zest for learning about the hobby and diving right in. For your first tank I'd suggest starting slowly. I'd suggets easing into a reef by starting out with a peaceful FOWLR tank. (FOWLR, fish only with live rock) Get yourself a nice DSB, deep sand bed, of Carib Sea Aragonite (if available). Buy as much dry as it takes to fill the tank about 4". You can buy a 20lb bag of "wet" to seed the tank with beneficial bacteria. You can also ask around and get a couple of cups of sand from a fellow reefer. Fill the tank with salt water that you have premixed in a brand new trash can that will only be for this purpose. I'd like to say stay away from the wall about 6" if possible. As time progresses I assume you'll be adding an overflow box to accomodate more hardware. After the sand and water have settle out you can begin buying live rock. The stuff isn't cheap so look in craigslist for people breaking tanks down in your area. Do a yahoo search, salt forum, TN Your City Name, and see if any forums come up in your area dedicated to salt tanks. I have 2 sites dedicated to reefs here in Austin. You can usually find people breaking down tanks offering rock for $2.50 a lb. My friend Monica sells it very reasonable at www.oceanhomes.com . If you can afford 40 lbs at start up you'll have a great start. Add a few devices to add currents, for a 125g I'd recommend Seio M800's, maybe a pair or even 3. For your Fowlr I'd maybe think of getting a nice canister filter, I'd recommend an Eheim 2217 from www.thehobbypalace.com usually about $100 and that's a steal. You'll think about scrapping the canister as your reef becomes more complete. Now wait about a month and let the tank mature. Have an LFS test your water, Ammonia being hte most important part of the "cycle". When ammonia levels disappear you have a nice tank begun. Add a couple of nice fish that you like, do understand that you will probably trade them in later as your reef fills in. A wrasse, a couple of clowns, maybe a naso tang. Stay peaceful and small if possible. While learnign the ropes you want your tank to stay as clean as possible, don't pollute it with aggressive fish like lions, eels, triggers, or groupers. If you decide that fish are for you and that you don't want the headache and expense of corals you can later make it an aggressive FOWLR with some really dramatic fish. Stay away from the damsel dither story. Damsels are the terror of the reef community and are better used as food for your lion fish than an inhabitant of your tank. As your tank becomes more reef like and cash becomes available begin thinking about adding an overflow box of about 1,600 GPH capacity, a nice sump ( a 55g long tank would be perfect as you could easily silicone in a divider for a 10-20g refugium built into the sump without having to add another pump), a nice skimmer like euroreef or ASM, and a good return pump such as Eheim 1260 or an external pump like Dart to return the water to the tank. Once your sump and skimmer come online unhook the cannister filter. After securing a good filtration system lights become the single most important factor after clean water for a reef tank. A standard 125g long should have 3x 250W metal halide bulbs and about 300w of supplemetal PC or T5 actinic lighting. 3 250w bulbs are better than one 400w bulb as each light only spreads out about 20". Once your lighting and filter are running it's time to add more rock. Get it up to about 200lbs if possible. You could save money at this point by buying dry "live rock" as it will seed from your existing tank. After your lights, filter, rockwork come online your DSB should be fully matured and it might be time to start thinking about corals.....

Of course with a Fowlr much of that is not necssary. A good canister or maybe even 4 of them. I have 4 on my 125g. Any old flourescent strip lighting will do as your fish don't even really need the light. a good water circulation via power heads or stream makers like those I listed earlier.

To test the tank I'd definitely set it up somewhere and fill it to the top. It must be a perfectly flat and level surface that can hold 2,000 pounds (your tank will weigh approx 1,080bs full of water) or the tank will warp and crack. You'll need to bail it with buckets or use a powerhead and some vinyl tubing to get the water out. What to do with it? water the garden. You don't need to test it with mixed sea water, plain old hose water will work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I filled my up my tank thursday, and so far there are no leaks. Therefore I'm assuming that I'm ready to take the next step. I think I'm going to go with a blue background, so I wanted to know what the cheapest way to go would be. I whent to the closest aquatic store and they're very knowladgable (is that right?), however they're a bit expensive. Also, I don't want to paint my tank, b/c I don't want to be stuck with that color. Any advice?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,591 Posts
I use a back ground on mine, that goes from a lite blue to a dark blue. Is your LFS the only one around. I had that problem when I lived in Sc. They were the only store around so they were able to charge what they wanted. The stuff wasn't that expensive but you get my drift. For my back ground I pain about $1.99 per foot for mine.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,591 Posts
My sump is paint and I like the results, I just don't know what it would look like on a main setup. That would be interesting to see what it would look like.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
If I choose to paint it, would I use spray paint? If so, what kind of spray paint should I buy?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,248 Posts
Javier said:
If I choose to paint it, would I use spray paint? If so, what kind of spray paint should I buy?
There are paints which can be easily removed. I can't remember what type of paint it was but I'm referring to the ones used by shops to design on their window glass when there are events or special holidays.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,591 Posts
When I used spray paint to paint my sump, I noticed that the sealent wasn't taken the paint. The sparay paint would just puddle next to certain parts of the sealent. If you decide to paint it take pics and post them I think that would be cool to see. As I have never seen one painted.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top