New to the hobby and I have a ton of questions!

Madison Area Reef Society - Club and reef discussion

Moderator: BraenDead

New to the hobby and I have a ton of questions!

Postby MercBenz on Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:18 pm

Hello.

I'm fairly new the hobby and newly registered to the forum.

I've been creeping around the forums and researching since June of this year.

I purchased a 65 gallon tank with a sump, 85lbs of live rock (currently in a Rubbermaid container with a heater and power head) and 75 lbs of what used to be live sand.

I'm getting to the point of setting up my tank and I have some questions.

I've researched a bunch and have found conflicting information on reusing the sand. After purchasing LED's I'm trying to keep costs down (yeah right!). I don't plan on adding livestock for at least a month or so after the tank is up and running, I plan to use that time to learn the ropes a bit. If I rinse it well and am patient, should this be a problem?

Also, how long can live rock be out of water before it's no longer live? Should I even bother and just let it dry out and seed it later?

Thanks in advance.

-Marty
MercBenz
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:50 pm

Re: New to the hobby and I have a ton of questions!

Postby ice fish on Fri Dec 19, 2014 5:25 pm

live sand is live because of the bacteria inside it that breaks down waste. if its live sand already then dump it in there and dont worry about it. as long as its damp and has moisture it will stay live. once its dried it then the bacteria will die.
ice fish
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:28 pm
Location: madison wisconsin

Re: New to the hobby and I have a ton of questions!

Postby MercBenz on Fri Dec 19, 2014 5:36 pm

Thanks, that makes sense.

I have a sump/refugume (sp?) which is a little different than most set ups I've seen. The protein skimmer is housed in the center section. Is there any reason I can't put an inch of sand in that section as well?

Also, the first overflow flows into a filter of sorts then a compartment that house small spikey balls the size of golf balls. What purpose does that serve and can I eliminate it if I decide to?

Thanks again, I was beginning to wonder if anyone was active in here! :lol:
MercBenz
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:50 pm

Re: New to the hobby and I have a ton of questions!

Postby drdavis on Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:37 pm

Marty it is good to hear that you are getting started. Can you post some pictures of your sump? Don't put sand under the skimmer or you will have multiple disasters. The skimmer chamber needs to have water flow and it would stir up any sand. A refugium chamber should have less flow because you want the waste from the fish to feed the things in the refugium, usually macro algae and small crustaceans called Copepods.

What do you know about the aquarium that the live rock came from? If nothing I would dry it out and do what ice fish is telling you. If you know the previous owner and the rock was pest free you may be alright but many times there are mysterious issues that crop up.
drdavis
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:02 am

Re: New to the hobby and I have a ton of questions!

Postby MercBenz on Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:15 pm

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/538/x7lv5d.jpg

Seriously, technology can be a pain in the arse at times!!!
MercBenz
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:50 pm

Re: New to the hobby and I have a ton of questions!

Postby MercBenz on Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:32 pm

Image
MercBenz
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:50 pm

Re: New to the hobby and I have a ton of questions!

Postby drdavis on Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:33 pm

Can you take out the bio balls and move the skimmer to the left? It looks like there is a door above that section. If so you can put macro algae like chaetomorpha or calluerpa. With a 6400k lightbulb above it to grow the macro.

http://blog.aquanerd.com/2009/06/chaeto ... pa_17.html

Looking at your setup though it looks good. First things first what type of substrate do you want in the bottom of the display? What kind of animals do you want( fish, coral? ).

You can get the tank up and running and then deal with the refugium question later. I normally start new tanks by getting the substrate and rocks in the tank and then getting water circulating.

Get your water to 74-78 degrees at 1.026 salinity and throw a table shrimp in there and let it rot away to get the bacteria cycle started. If someone local to you can give you a little sand it will help get the cycle going you only need a small amount of sand from an active aquarium.

As the shrimp disappears you can start testing your water. You should start to see it cycle through high nitrites, high ammonia then high nitrates. Once everything falls back to zero go ahead and add your first fish. If you want corals you need to really think about what animals other than the coral will go into the tank. I would suggest hooking up with someone who has coral locally that is "successful" growing coral for further advise.


Some people use fish to get their cycle started but you do not need to put fish through this process. Normally doing this you will wind up with undesirable fish like damsels that later on will taunt other fish that you add.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
drdavis
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:02 am

Re: New to the hobby and I have a ton of questions!

Postby MercBenz on Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:41 am

The shelf the bio balls are in has a ceiling half way over that is fixed. Skimmer won't fit there.

What does a sump like the one I have go for used?

I'm going to get a 30 gallon long and build a proper refugium. :(

I won't meet my goal of having water circulating in it by the end of the month, but as they say. The only thing that happens fast in a reef tank is a tank crash.
MercBenz
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:50 pm

Re: New to the hobby and I have a ton of questions!

Postby MercBenz on Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:42 am

Also, I don't know much about the tank. I asked a lot of questions and from the sounds of it he was getting out of the hobby due to money/kids/time.
MercBenz
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:50 pm

Re: New to the hobby and I have a ton of questions!

Postby ice fish on Sun Dec 21, 2014 9:01 pm

instead of buying a new refugium you could just tear down the ceiling and switch the skimmer over. it would be a lot more cost effective and easier then to create a whole new sump just for a refug.
ice fish
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:28 pm
Location: madison wisconsin

Re: New to the hobby and I have a ton of questions!

Postby ice fish on Sun Dec 21, 2014 9:03 pm

also, if your going to build your own. do a 40 gal. breeder. more room for a refugium. the bigger the better or its not really worth having. plus thats an extra 20+ gal. of water for your system (being that you wont have it filled all the way.)
ice fish
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:28 pm
Location: madison wisconsin

Re: New to the hobby and I have a ton of questions!

Postby Mpiv on Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:03 am

Ill share my experience. My initial setup had a very similar sump (remove the bio balls). My skimmer barely fit and I could not run a refugium.
The skimmer I had had the ability to be run externally so that is what I did. I built a waterfall algae scrubber in place of the refugium (second chamber). After Mopping up a few messes from the skimmer overflowing I decided to pull it from the system to see how the scrubber would work as the sole filtration. That was 3 years ago.
Scrubbers are simple and inexpensive ($20-30) to build yourself. I wish I started running one when I originally set up my tank.

I concur with other comments that a larger sump would be nice for the extra water volume, and space to make maintenance easier. The 40 breeder would be ideal provided it fits where you want it.
Mpiv
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:55 pm

Re: New to the hobby and I have a ton of questions!

Postby MercBenz on Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:01 pm

Thanks for the advice guys.

I'm going to get rid of my current sump and get a 30 gallon breeder to build a sump/refugium out of.

Unfortunately I have 35 inches end to end and the 40 gallon breeder is 36 inches.

I'm interested in learning more about a scrubber. I haven't read much about them, what do they do?
MercBenz
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:50 pm

Re: New to the hobby and I have a ton of questions!

Postby MercBenz on Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:05 pm

Wait... So you have a water scrubber instead of a protein skimmer?

I'd like to hear more about your set up. Do you have a thread or any pics?
MercBenz
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:50 pm

New to the hobby and I have a ton of questions!

Postby drdavis on Tue Dec 23, 2014 6:31 am

He is referring to an algae scrubber. Your idea of a refugium is a good start. You really need to pick a direction and go that way or you will spend lots of money and never get water in the tank. It looked like you have a skimmer already so why not start with that and a refugium is used to grow algae in a location where it is alright for algae to grow. Here is a picture of my refugium, it is a 55 gallon tank.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1419337397.191958.jpg
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1419337397.191958.jpg (296.46 KiB) Viewed 956 times


You can use any size you want but go to a local glass shop to get your glass for the baffles, normal hardware store glass is too thin. Or use some rigid acrylic for the baffles. Here is a video on how to construct one.

http://youtu.be/CxnugJGiT3o
drdavis
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:02 am

Next

Return to MARS General

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest