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Discussion Starter #1
What up everyone,

ok as the title says, Been thinking about doing a saltwater tank. I have never done a saltwater tank before. But my friends have Reef tanks. I have 3 tanks I have 55g, a 40g breeder, and a 10g Hospital tank. My 40 is not in use and I am thinking of making it a saltwater Fowlr tank. But I kind of want to make it a reef tank eventually. I have been doing a lot of research on Saltwater tanks. I have a canister filter from when the tank was a planted tank. Can i use that filter for Saltwater? i understand that the Live rock will be my bio media, from what i am reading. I don't want to do a sump at moment, as its just much over my head to get into. And I like to use what i already have if i can.

At the moment I can't afford Lighting for the tank. about all i can afford is t8 shop lights. I understand that they aren't worth a nickel for reef tanks. but I have read on a few sites that Certian soft corals do grow fine under the T8 lighting. But it is a limited number of soft corals. So i was thinking of Having just a few low light soft corals in the tank, until i can upgrade the lighting. But i can also get 48" T8 Bulbs ranging from 10000k-20000k range. If i swapped out my 55g and converted it to saltwater would those bulbs be good for A medium to high light reef tank?

I guess what i am trying to say and Rant a little. What did everyone use before T5HO and Led lights came out. I mean everybody is always pushing for the Newest product and the fade of the day. and granite I understand that they work great and are the best. But i can't afford $200 fixtures at the moment. Thats why i want to work slow on this tank. The Lights and corals will be the last thing i do. But I would like to have a few soft corals and just want to know your opinions.

So just to refresh the questions.
1. Can i use my canister filter for Saltwater use.

2. Will 48" T8 bulbs with 10,000 - 20,000 kelvin work for a 55g reef or 40g breeder reef? and if so How many do you recommend?

3. My Rant question. What did People Use before T5HO bulbs and LED's for Reef tanks? It seem like it was the dark ages Before they came out.

4.And can i grow a few soft corals Under 4 T8 bulbs until I can upgrade. and if so should i use my 55g tank or my 40 gallon breeder? I have no problem swapping the residents out of my 55g. (tho they might have a problem with it. ;-))

Thanks,
Josh
 

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Canister filters will work out fine for a fish only tank but once you start to get into inverts the nitrates created will be a hindrance.

The 55 may be too deep to get any real growth of corals but higher up they will be fine under a 10,000 Kelvin mixed with a actinic or 20,000 Kelvin T-8.I have a real nice 33 that is lit by 2 T-8s and it looks pretty good for being mushrooms and zoanthids.

Before the new wave of lighting most people used the VHO T-* bulbs or Very High Output as each bulb pushed out 90+watts. There was also Halides being used for some time but usually on larger systems.

I think if you had 4 bulbs over your 40 it would work out well until an upgrade,provided they are of proper spectrums.They would be able to grow various soft corals and some LPS as the depth of the 40 is not too deep after substrate is taken into account.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
OK so if i do the High Spectrum bulbs and run 4 of them over my tank, I should be fine to have a few types of soft corals. I mean i don't want to fill the tank full of corals, not until the upgrade. but I would like to have a few if i can. Also just put the fixtures on top of the tank. i can run 3 fixtures of total of 6 bulbs over the 40, Will more bulbs matter?

Also, How much sand Should i use, and What is the Best brand?
 

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6 would be better but 4 would be fine.Substrate size is dependent on preference of your aesthetics and the life forms you plan on keeping.Most brands are good to use but some require more rinsing than the next.I must say I try and steer people away from the sugar sands or other fine grades as they can be problematic with high flow situations. If you have or plan on getting sand sifting creatures then by all means use sand.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yea i am still researching what i want.. so i know that saltwater sand is diff then freshwater as i got playsand in my 55 planted tank. And i know i can't use it for Saltwater.. at least that is what i have read..
 

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Don't neglect the Nitrogen Cycle, before stocking the tank with a lot of fish.
 
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