Newbie, Need pointers

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Newbie, Need pointers

Postby PimpMyPc on Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:12 pm

Hi everyone.
New in the saltwater game, with not a whole lot of experience but I've done my homework and know what's going on for the most part lol. My SAAB has decided it no longer wants to explode so I decided to pick up this as another hobby besides fixing cars. That and I've always wanted to have a fish tank setup since I was little and my parents had one. Aiming for a reef tank ideally, nothing too crazy.

With that said, here's what I have so far:

40 gallon breeder tank, with about 1.5" of coral sand and about 50w of florescent lighting (one daylight, one plant)

Fluval Aquaclear 50 power filter that I cut the foam/mesh filter in half to make a little extra room for a Seachem Purigen organic waste filter, the ceramic bio pellet filter and then the carbon on top.

Aqueon 700 circulation pump

Aqueon 150w heater

The tank gravel, I had purchased 2 16lb bags of live coral sand/gravel from petco, but then my roommate bought a 90 gallon tank that was a saltwater about 2 days before he bought it (I was going to use a 29 gallon tank we had) and had a good amount of coral gravel in it. So I got his 40 gallon tank/light/stand setup. I returned one bag of gravel since I opened the other already because it was leaking and put that in, with about half of a kitty litter bucket worth of gravel I salvaged from the 90 gallon tank. That gravel was filthy though, I tried cleaning it up best I could and put it in, but it was still nasty. This was monday night, and I've been using the gravel vac to suck all the junk out and its about 90% clean.

Right now the salinity is at 1.020, water temp is 80F, PH is 8.0, Ammonia is at 2.0PPM (yikes), Nitrite is 0, Nitrate is between 5-10 PPM, Calcium is at 320PPM. I need to get a test kit for KH yet. On my todo list is a decent protein skimmer since I'm not sure how effective the purigen will be, live rock and more patience.
http://imageshack.us/a/img703/9467/g1gr.jpg <large image warning>
http://imageshack.us/a/img62/1465/b8be.jpg <large image warning>
From what I can tell, the tank is off to a good start otherwise, the bacteria are doing their job considering nitrites are 0 and nitrates are on the rise. I am looking for a source of live rock, coral and whatnot. Being in the southwest corner of wisconsin doesn't give me a good selection. (I'm in platteville)

Any pointers would be appreciated. Fish are a bit different than cars lol.
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Re: Newbie, Need pointers

Postby MM on Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:07 am

you will be on the curve for sure, take things slow and don't buy any expensive animals yet. I would drop the plant light and do two daylight bulbs instead, or two daylights and two actinic type lights along for a total of four lights. two daylights and two blue (actinic bulbs)

but some good live rock used from the buy sell forum but make sure it came from the ocean, not one of the fabricated live rocks.

let us know how it is coming along.
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Newbie, Need pointers

Postby drdavis on Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:12 am

Before buying lighting you should decide what you want to keep in the tank. If you just want to keep saltwater fish you are off to a great start and you can manage a small amount of animals without a protein skimmer through regular water changes. As you add animals a hang on the back skimmer would be a good addition.

For corals your salinity is low and should be around (1.024-1.026). You should read this (http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-05/rhf/). Also for corals you will need to buy lighting that can support the animals. And there is quite a bit more to learn about overall water chemistry.

My suggestion would be that if you want to have corals in your tank start slow with soft corals first. If possible find someone locally that you can visit and talk to about setup and problems you encounter. Getting information on forums is fine but you are going to get a lot of opinions here and it is tough sorting through what is posted.

40 gallon tanks are awesome and you will be able to do everything you see in larger tanks but if you do not start with what you are trying to achieve in mind you will spend more than what you spent on that Saab. Best of luck.


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Re: Newbie, Need pointers

Postby MM on Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:28 am

Be prepared to change those bulbs every 6 to 9 months to keep corals healthy
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Re: Newbie, Need pointers

Postby PimpMyPc on Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:55 pm

Update: Tank is settled in, got 40lbs of live rock, 10 gallon sump with a coralife skimmer, the aquaclear hob full of carbon, 150w heater and filter floss. Redid the light fixture so now it has 3 daylight bulbs, the plant bulb, actinic bulb and a 50/50 bulb. I also found my old 35w HID bulbs from the Taurus so now I have 2 8000k HID bulbs in addition to the 150w of fluorescent lighting. http://imageshack.com/a/img22/8310/ro7n.jpg
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Re: Newbie, Need pointers

Postby MM on Sun Dec 08, 2013 6:00 pm

very good, now all you need is a few cheap frags from the frag swap and you will be off to a great start. I hear there will be a guy there with some awesome ricordia that would look awesome in that tank. Frags are cheap and you can see how they do. - mark
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Re: Newbie, Need pointers

Postby Jeromi on Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:27 pm

nice marketing there MM:) Ive bougt most of my frags from MM at the swaps and always got a good product and price.
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Re: Newbie, Need pointers

Postby PimpMyPc on Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:14 pm

So... is there a pre-swap sale? lol.
That brownish plate coral seems to be quite happy, its spreading pretty quickly. And the sps stuck to that one rock is making one heck of a comeback, the guy I got thw rock from wasn't sure if it would make it.
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Re: Newbie, Need pointers

Postby Longinus on Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:23 pm

PimpMyPc wrote:So... is there a pre-swap sale? lol.


Haha, that reminds me of that beer meet up at capital one summer a few years back, Im pretty sure that turned into an impromptu sale quickly, I feel like I remember coming away with way more coral than planned :P
-.-- -.-- --..
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