New to saltwater/reefs.

Discussion in 'The Reef Tank' started by Alque01, May 25, 2006.

  1. Alque01 Cleaner Shrimp

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    Location:
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    I posted this in reefcentral.com.

    Thanks to tjhallock for sending me this link.

    Hello all, I am a newbie just shedding my freshwater wings.

    I lost my 55 gallon freshwater cichlid set up after like 5yrs, had mucho plant life, and mutt cichlid babies all over the place. Lost the tank because of 1. Tank was almost 15-20yrs old...#2 Despite my best efforts I don’t think it was perfectly level, and it had a stress seam blowout. I lost all my fish, and flooded my and my neighbor’s apartment. That was 2 years ago, and now I am getting a 90-gallon set up for early father’s day present.


    It has been my dream to set up a reef/fish tank. I got a little discouraged when I learned that some fish couldn’t exist in a reef tank, and some of the extra lighting requirements. But viewing some of the TOTM (tank of the months) I believe there is a way.

    1. What kinda fish can I keep with a reef system?
    Some books I read have only a few reef compatible fish. Others have fish that are not available in my LFS. My wife really wants and likes the fish, I like the invertebrate life and the small fish.

    2. What is the best marine fish store in Baton Rouge and surrounding area?
    I have shopped at Marks Marine and a a shop in Metarie. I Mark's was really nice.

    3. How much and from where can I get a good lighting system for a reef tank?
    I am really worried about the lighting set up of my tank. The set up i am getting is used and it doesnt have VHO or Metal Halide. I would like to retro fit but am worried about the expense and the heat. Can anyone give me a heads up in this area.

    4. Where is the best place to get LR and LS. It has been suggested that I get well over 50lbs or LR for my 90gallon tank. Things I have read suggest even more LR. Anyone have any LR or LS cheap.

    5. Anyone had success with on-line purchases? THe LR and LS seem cheaper there but not sure if I will be happy with the out come.
    I have read that adding some LV sand to and existing substrate can transfer life to that substrate.

    Any help will be appreciated. I will take PM also, or e-mails. Starting my setup this weekend.
     
  2. Howdy and welcome.
    <- tjhallock ;)
     
  3. rivrat

    rivrat Black Perc

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    Location:
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    Hello and Welcome,
    For live rock I would buy local so you can pick the pieces you want and like Steve said you might find a fellow reefer selling some.
    Try http://www.hellolights.com for a lighting system you like they seem to have the best prices and they have never done me wrong.
    But be sure to take your time and read alot and ask plenty of questions so you can have the reef you want in the begining and end.

    Steve
     
  4. phatstanley02

    phatstanley02 Ko-Ko Worm

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  5. Hello, and Welcome! ;) :D
     
  6. Coyle

    Coyle Ko-Ko Worm

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    it looks like everyone else has given you a good starting point...i think the best site on the net for getting a grasp on all the ins and outs of all the aspects reefkeeping is http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/index.htm

    they have everything and anything you need to know, and its run by respected experts...i recommend taking a look.
     
  7. bmb527 Marine Betta

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    Location:
    Seattle WA, but I miss Louisiana!!
    As for Live Rock, unless you can get some from a fellow reefer, I would look at buying online. The stores here usually have rock that looks fair at best. Most I have seen in person is infested with Aptasia, which is an undesireable anemone. I would reccommend either reefermadness.com or phishybusiness.com for rock. If you go for some of the lighter rock such as Bali Ultra you will need less rock in your tank. HTH
    Bill
     
  8. Alque01 Cleaner Shrimp

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    Location:
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    Thanks for the heads up guys. dont worry...I am taking it really slowly.
    I know these things take time from my freshwater days.

    I still plan to start setting up LS and LR this weekend to start cycling the tank.

    My tank is 48.5"x 18.5"x 25".

    I worry more about the heat output from MH than anything, but I have been made aware that any reefer worth his salt wont claim coral without them.

    Anyone with some nice LR, and LS for sell please contact me PM, I was thinking about getting dead sand and LS.
     
  9. phatstanley02

    phatstanley02 Ko-Ko Worm

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    Location:
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    My tank is similar size of yours and I am running 2x 250 MH and 4x 110 VHO's with no chiller, and just 2 fans in the canopy. The heat wont be an issue if the room is fairly cool and you have very good ventilation.

    As for live rock, I have bought online and at the LFS and online is by FAR cheaper and easier to get quality rock. Most of the places around NO havent had much nice rock lately. The best I have seen is at aquatic specialties and its expensive. I have bought some rock on Ebay for about 3 bucks a pound shipped and it was decent rock. I have also bought rock from reefermadness for about 3.50 a lb and it is very nice rock and i would highly reccomend them.
     
  10. equipment

    it cant be said enough, check the forums here and on reefcentral for used equipment. I picked up my CPR bakpak skimmer for like $45 and it was in mint condition. If your going to add liverock and livesand as well as water this weekend, i think you should also get an idea of how much FLOW you want in your tank. Then decide how many Powerheads and what size to add. Whether you should put a closed loop in, and several other options regarding the water movement.
    Curt
     
  11. CaneinBatonRouge

    CaneinBatonRouge Kole Tang LARC Supporter

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    Location:
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    Hello and welcome, look at the ASM brand of skimmers, fairly inexpensive and people seem to like them. You can also look at T-5's(HO) for your lighting, do a search and look at some of the tanks out there using them. Lastly, go check out Something Fishy on Mammoth Dr. Talk to Adrian or Colin and toss around some ideas. Good luck and take it slow.
     
  12. ronniem

    ronniem Spiny Star Astraea

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    Location:
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    Welcome to LRC. I would suggest doing a bunch of reading and then making a decision on what you are going to be keeping. Type of fish and type of corals. Others have stated this but it is so important to decided before you start buying things or setting anything up to decide what you want to keep in your tank.
    VHO lighting is a good choice IMO for a reef with mainly softies.
    Another great web site with tons of info is the reef aquarium guide(RAG).

    Read read read and then post your thoughts. That alone could save you alot of time, money and frustration.
    Good luck man
     
  13. Pettee86

    Pettee86 Marine Betta

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    Location:
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    Alque01 - Welcome to LRC. As others have pointed out research as much as you can before you setup. I also have a 90g with your dims. For lighting I have 6 VHO's on two Icecap 660 balast. Able to keep some SPS and LPS along with softies.
    For LFS in Metairie/Kenner check out Rick's on David Dr, Coral Connection in Kenner off Williams and Aquatic Specialites on Williams.
    Good luck and enjoy :D :D Post some pics if you can.
     
  14. Alque01 Cleaner Shrimp

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    Location:
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    Just got the tank in last night.

    Got Red Sea Salt.

    Live Sand From Aquatic Specialties.
    Waiting on some live rock.

    Below are some pics from a dry freshwater run. I wanted to make sure it was level with water in it. I had to put water in the sump chamber up top to get it to level out. I may try a little wedge on the front right just to get it in perfect balance. Please look at the pictures and tell me if the tank is balanced enough.

    [​IMG]
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    [/img]

    I also have another problem. I cant seem to tighten the seals on the intake and outtake enough I am still getting some leaking. Any ideas on fixing this problem.

    Any help appreciated!!!
     
  15. Alque01 Cleaner Shrimp

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    Okay, update!

    Got the plumbing fixed up.

    I added salt to the tank yesterday. My salinity is at 1.021.

    I tried but i couldnt wait to add the live sand. I added it last night around 1AM.

    The water is starting to clear up. I am going to add another 40 pounds of dead sand. I will carefully mix it into the LS.

    I really was unhapy mith my sump set up. I bought the system used at a really good price. So I have no instructions and limited knowledge. I finally set it up after hours of tinkering....It is kinda louder than I thought. The splash from the return is what I hear most.

    But after scouring the internet, I realive that not only is my protein skimmer a bad one, CPR. But is is underrated for my system. I googled it and found out it was rated for only a 60 gallon.

    Another thing that has me worried. I think I underated the importance of refugiums, and calcium reactors, and other water conditioning devices. If there is a top 3 must haves for a starting Reefer, what would they be, in order of importance.

    I will begin testing the tank tonight for the nitrogen cycle.


    ***Please forgive in misspells, I have been up all night watching a tank of sand
     
  16. $$$$$

    No one has pointed out you will most likely end up insane & poor. :D
     
  17. Pettee86

    Pettee86 Marine Betta

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    Re: $$$$$

    I may be poor due to the hobby but at least my tank keeps me tranquil :D :D
     
  18. Welcome to the addiction and take my word for it, it's an addiction.

    My best advice for you is get the best equipment you can afford in the beginning mainly protein skimmer (it'll save you heart ache in the end), READ ALL YOU CAN & BE PATIENT! I've purchased alot of things online and haven't had problems (fish, coral, LR, etc.) I had success with saltwaterfish.com.

    Check this link out for info http://www.reefs.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=33928 They helped me out alot to understand everything.

    Read compatibility of fish and how big of tank they can handle....and listen to that advice....from experience.

    I have (4) 110 VHO's for my inverts & corals and they are fine. You must change bulbs every 7-8 mo. They don't have the same output after a while. Mine cost 33.00 ea at Lafayette LFS (Tropical Fish Bowl). If you want to get MH, there is retrofit kits available on ebay.

    I could go on and on........so good luck on your adventure.
     
  19. Alque01 Cleaner Shrimp

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    Location:
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    Thanks for all the info again.

    I ordered a Octopus NW-110 Needle-Wheel
    Protein Skimmer.

    I am now trying to figure out what to do about lighting.

    Right now its running on PC I think 2 @ 55w. Not sure if I got that right.
    But these bulbs suck, and they still get a little warm. Well anyway, I am looking at the Tek T-5s or the Nova Extreme T-5. I know that the Teks comes with reflectors for each bulb so they produce more light, but the the Nova extreme comes with cooling fan, mounting legs, bulbs, and led moon lights. I was looking at the 4 bulb set up. I figure that would produce enough for my tank which is 24 tall, esp since the T-5s with reflectors are supposed to put out so much more light.

    Let me know what you think?
     
  20. The best investment I ever made when getting into reefkeeping was the Delbeek and Sprung books The Reef Aquarium Vol. 1,2 and 3. Expensive but much cheaper than some mistakes. Shop around for price. Volume 3 has a lot of info on construction, design and methods. All excellent books. Wish I had read them before purchasing my nano, I would have gone with at least a 90 gal. to start.
     

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