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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey All! I am new to the forum, have been doing some research for the past couple of days and looking at what i need to buy. I currently purchased a 55 gallon tank and want to make a saltwater tank. I currently have nothing other than the tank and stand and some old powerheads and hang on filter that the PO gave me with the tank. My plan is to start with RO water from my local store and add instant ocean to that, and let it run with the powerheads in the tank for about 3 days. I then will add my live rock, probably starting with 50 lbs or so, and then add my live sand.
My questions are:
1: how much sand do i need in lbs?
2: Does my water need to be stable in PH or nitrates prior to adding rock or sand? I dont believe so, but i dont want to risk screwing this up from fear of asking a stupid question.
3: I have an old hood light that came with the tank, it has a 37" fluorescent 40W light bulb. Can i just replace the bulb, or do i need to purchase an entirely new light. If i can get by with just the bulb for now, and buy a light later, that would work best as i am soon going to be paying out alot on my skimmer, sump, overflow and other essentials.
4: If there is anything i am missing, please let me know!
5: I am getting a Pro clear aquatics aquarium sump, measures approx 19L x 10W x 16H from someone off Craigslist here in my town on friday. Will this be sufficient to run my tank without any other filtration system, or do i need a canister filter or over the tank filter?
Lastly i want to say thanks to anyone who responds and thanks for every ones knowledge that i have spent the last days reading!:yourock:
 

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Hey All! I am new to the forum, have been doing some research for the past couple of days and looking at what i need to buy. I currently purchased a 55 gallon tank and want to make a saltwater tank. I currently have nothing other than the tank and stand and some old powerheads and hang on filter that the PO gave me with the tank. My plan is to start with RO water from my local store and add instant ocean to that, and let it run with the powerheads in the tank for about 3 days. I then will add my live rock, probably starting with 50 lbs or so, and then add my live sand.
My questions are:
1: how much sand do i need in lbs?
2: Does my water need to be stable in PH or nitrates prior to adding rock or sand? I dont believe so, but i dont want to risk screwing this up from fear of asking a stupid question.
3: I have an old hood light that came with the tank, it has a 37" fluorescent 40W light bulb. Can i just replace the bulb, or do i need to purchase an entirely new light. If i can get by with just the bulb for now, and buy a light later, that would work best as i am soon going to be paying out alot on my skimmer, sump, overflow and other essentials.
4: If there is anything i am missing, please let me know!
5: I am getting a Pro clear aquatics aquarium sump, measures approx 19L x 10W x 16H from someone off Craigslist here in my town on friday. Will this be sufficient to run my tank without any other filtration system, or do i need a canister filter or over the tank filter?
Lastly i want to say thanks to anyone who responds and thanks for every ones knowledge that i have spent the last days reading!:yourock:
Hang on back, canister, wet/dry and internal filters all use filter pads to trap detritus. This accumulation of detritus results in elevated nitrate and phosphate levels. Elevated nitrates have a direct effect on alkalinity, which controls a waters ability to maintain its pH.

My method of filtration is 1-1/2 lbs of live rock per gallon, a deep sand bed (4-6" of oolite sand) and a protein skimmer. The deep sand bed and live rock provide anaerobic bacteria that turns nitrates into nitrogen gas (which leaves the system naturally).

You can add the live rock and sand to the tank, no matter the pH (although the pH should be fine based on the salt mix and lack of nitrifiers present in the tank) and they will cycle the tank almost immediately.

I would replace the bulb for now and save up for a light later. If you do plan on doing corals, you will need to upgrade the light sooner than later.

Start a thread that can be a journal, and take things slow. We will help you along the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
What type of bulb should i go with to replace my current one. I will want to do some coral, but it will likely not be for at least 6-8 weeks at the soonest. Ive done some looking at lights online and its hard to find a replacement bulb for my lid that isn't just the basic fluorescent light. Also im looking at getting the octopus pinwheel skimmer NWB110. Is this decent and able to keep up with me tank? My research so far show it to be good. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

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If i remember correctly it just said fluorescent light 40W. Im at work right now and wont be home until this evening. I can look closer then. However, this is a bulb i was looking at. Not sure if its compatible with my hood thou. Aquarium Lighting: AquaSun 10000°K T-5 HO Fluorescent Tubes
Also do i need two lights? one for day and one for night?
Is it a T5? A lot of times these "Stock" aquarium fixtures are T8's. You can measure the bulb's diameter in 8th's to tell you the size: T5 = 5/8", T8 = 8/8" or 1", T12 = 12/8" or 1-1/2".

If you only have one bulb for now, use a 50/50 bulb. That is 50% 10,000k and 50% 460nn actinic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Is it a T5? A lot of times these "Stock" aquarium fixtures are T8's. You can measure the bulb's diameter in 8th's to tell you the size: T5 = 5/8", T8 = 8/8" or 1", T12 = 12/8" or 1-1/2".

If you only have one bulb for now, use a 50/50 bulb. That is 50% 10,000k and 50% 460nn actinic.
Ill check for more writing and the size when i get home this evening and post back with my results! Thanks for your help so far!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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While LEDs are nice energy-wise, you have to spend real money to get a quality fixture. These two that you have posted would be good for a fish only tank, but I am not confident about coral growth under them. I have never used either, I have a Green Element LED that I bought off ebay that I am not happy with, and it is more powerful than either of these at 10 x 3w bulbs. I am in the process of shopping and changing over to a 4-bulb T5 fixture. That has always been my favorite kind of lighting...

I would use this: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+3733+8066+4500&pcatid=4500 until you get a new fixture.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Ok, ive been doing some looking. I think im going to just break down and buy me a new light. However its just kind of cringe worthy to see the 350+ price tags on these things. Do i need a 4 bulb, or would a two bulb t5HO be sufficient. I want to get some anemone and things similar down the road. Ive been looking at three lights.

Coralife Dual Fixture High Output T5 Aquarium Light Fixture at PETCO
http://www.marineandreef.com/AquaticLife_48_T5_HO_4_Lamp_Fixture_Lunar_Light_p/ral01037.htm

Also i am guessing since my tank is 48" long, i will need the 48" light. If i am wrong here, please correct me. Thanks again for all your help. I purchased my salt mix, hydrometer, skimmer, overflow, thermometer, heater, and test kits yesterday, so im getting there slowly but surely.
 

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Ok, ive been doing some looking. I think im going to just break down and buy me a new light. However its just kind of cringe worthy to see the 350+ price tags on these things. Do i need a 4 bulb, or would a two bulb t5HO be sufficient. I want to get some anemone and things similar down the road. Ive been looking at three lights.

Coralife Dual Fixture High Output T5 Aquarium Light Fixture at PETCO
Amazon.com: Coralife 08607 Lunar Aqualight High Output T5 Quad Lamp Fixture, 48-Inch: Pet Supplies
http://www.marineandreef.com/AquaticLife_48_T5_HO_4_Lamp_Fixture_Lunar_Light_p/ral01037.htm

Also i am guessing since my tank is 48" long, i will need the 48" light. If i am wrong here, please correct me. Thanks again for all your help. I purchased my salt mix, hydrometer, skimmer, overflow, thermometer, heater, and test kits yesterday, so im getting there slowly but surely.
You can get away with a dual lamp. It will limit you to keeping easier, lower light corals, such as mushrooms, softies and a few LPS. The quad lamp will greatly increase the diversity of coral you can keep in a 55.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well i went ahead an ordered AquaticLife 4 Bulb T5 HO & LED Light Fixture - 48 in..
I figured im going to need one anyways and i like the timer and lunar lights and stuff on that one. Im getting my sump tomorrow and will plump it up probably this weekend. I also purchased my sand today so i have everything i need either purchased on in the mail on its way to me besides my live rock at this point. I plan to get everything plumbed up with the sump and mix all my water and salt and have it ready to go and then im going to place my rock and then sand in the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Im getting excited and anxious to get this tank up and running. I have spent more time in the last few days researching aquarium stuff at work than doing actual work. :lol: Im trying my hardest to not try to do anything to quickly, since i know that these tanks require the utmost patience. Ill try to get some photos and stuff of my progress as im setting it all up, and i will keep you posted!
 

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So, im trying to add some pictures. Can i do this from my computer or do i have to have them on a filehost?
You can do it from your computer.

If posting in the "Quick Post" area, click "Go Advanced" underneath it, and in that screen scroll down to "Manage Attachments" where you can add pictures.

If posting in "New Post" style, just scroll down and click the "Manage Attachments" button.

:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ok, i think i got the pictures figured out.

This firs tone is right after i got the tank home and in place. Wasnt a whole lot of options in my small apartment, so i decided right next to my recliner would be a decent place so i can keep an eye on things.:-D


This picture is after i filled it up with water to make sure it would hold water and everything. Plus i just wanted to see how it looked full. Ive since gotten rid of the HOB filter, under-gravel filters, and the bubble stones.


I got all of my water mixing up in a big tote i got. Its going to stay in here for a frew days until i can get my overflow and protein skimmer in the mail so i can plumb up my sump and everything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I got my sump today also. Im not sure if this is going to work like i want. the baffle in the middle which i was hoping would work as a bubble trap has a height of 4 inches off the bottom, and its just the one. I think when this thing was purchased new it was full of bio balls, and i dont want to put those in there. I was able to aquire a 10 gallon tank from my boss the other day, but dont currently have any way to create baffles for it, so i may just have to run with no bubble traps in the sump and then make some baffles later for my 10 gallon and switch over to it as my sump.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well darn, maybe i did the pictures wrong on the first post there, since they are not showing up now. Ill add them back today and do it like i did the one of the sump.
 
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