Starting a new tank

Discussion in 'New To The Hobby' started by Jeremy, Jul 14, 2002.

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  1. Jeremy

    Jeremy Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    Location:
    Diamond Creek, VIC,Victoria
    i'm starting a new tank, and i want some info on how to get the most out of natural filters. the tank is a 3 foot by 18 by 18. I also have ten kilos of marble chips, a penguin 175 bio wheel filter, an ip 3 pond pump for circulation, an airstone with pump, a hundred watt heater and a two foot ballast with single tube. the tank is only half full coz i didn't have enough salt to top it up, and the heater isnt powerful enough. i am saving for a two hundred watt and a bag of salt. i recently got a peice of live rock, and it is really cool Any ideas on what to get next would be a great help. i also want to have most of the water filtered naturally.
     
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  3. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Marble chips? oh_no

    What are those?

    Do you have any sand in the tank?

    Sounds like you need quite a bit still, is this going to be a reef tank? If so, you will need better lighting as well....
     
  4. Jeremy

    Jeremy Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    Location:
    Diamond Creek, VIC,Victoria
    Marble chips are the substrate that i am using. it buffers the ph like sand, but is about three times as cheap. i admit that it doesn't look as good as sand, but it still works. I know that i need more lighting, i was thinking of getting a twin balast to hold 2 full spectrum flourecents, and then put an actinic in my 2 foot balast. at the local reef shop, all they have lighting their tanks are one actinic and one full spectrum. i also have some feather caulerpa in the tank, so that should stop the algae growing
     
  5. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    hey shrimp_man,

    if you are going to keep corals, I would get at least 5 watts/gallon of light on that tank. Look around on the Internet and you can find some good deals on flourescent lighting or power compact setups. If you have the scratch, halides are great. You can get some ideas on my links page.

    No matter how natural you go, you are going to need good lighting.

    You should get a protein skimmer too.
     
  6. JPfish

    JPfish Astrea Snail

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    Since we're both starting out a tank, I'll add some of my q's here too!

    I'm ready to add sand to my 55 gal setup 1 bag of CaribSea Live Sand and 1 bag of Carib reg argonite. I mixed my water allready for two days with a powerhead and my Emperor 400 & Remora skimmer, I've got a SG of 1.022 , is that to low? I read somewhere that my SG should be as close to 1.026 as possible. I actually brought it down to 1.022 by siphoning out some water and adding fresh RO/DI!

    Should i rinse the Carib live sand before adding, should I turn the filter & skimmer off until all the sand settles since I'm adding it to a full tank?
     
  7. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    no prob jp! ;D

    I wouldn't rinse that live sand unless it is really obvious that you need too. You could test out the reg. sand to see if it needs it by putting some in a bucket with reg. ro water and stirring it up. If it is really cloudy, I would repeat by dumping the water carefully and adding more and stirring again. Keep repeating till it is fairly clear. Many people do not rinse sand, but I think it helps if it is the dry stuff.

    Definitely turn off your skimmer, filters and pumps before adding the sand.

    Your salinity is fine. I kept mine around there for years. But if you dig up the reason to keep it higher, post it here! I would like to see it.

    matt
     
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  9. cstrader

    cstrader Plankton

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    I've a 26 Bowfront running a penquin125 biowheel, a 10gal overflow for Lg partical removal and counter current, 15-lbs(if that) of Marshall Island live rock, corals, 2 small hermits and a chalk bass set up as a natural patch reef. Lighting are dual CP's, Coralife 10K & Actinic 55W. The wheel was used for initial setup and I removed after the first water change. My corals, polyps and bio-critters, along with various calerpa are thriving, growing on a weekly basis. I've room to 'grow' and have things grow without over-running each other. Tank's been setup about 2 months.
    The keys I decieded on are: 1-Don't take the cheap way out; 2-What is my tank's pourpose; 3-Read and get alot of input.
    What I've found out so far with my 'natural' tank:
    Quality of live rock matters a great deal. Marshall Island rock cost more but it is less dense and lighter than other rock and came with alot of needed 'critters' for bio-functions.
    Lighting has a great deal to do with growth, CP's are the way to go both for the tank and conserving electricity. I built mine for a cost of about $65 and a little time. Bulbs will last aprox 12-14 months according to mfg's and related articles.
    BE PATIANT!! Reefs in the wild don't grow over night, neither should a reef tank. The end goal is to have it naturally evolve without alot of help from us humans. We just need to coax it along. And this is a never ending learning process, read alot and use some forethought, information is only as good as it's author. Hope this might help.
     
  10. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Wow!

    A lot of great advice there cstrader - esp. about the rock and being patient.

    I hope to see you around...

    :thumbsup:
     
  11. Jeremy

    Jeremy Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    Location:
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    I asked around, and one of my dads freinds has a girlfriend who used to keep fish only tanks.  He said she had a protien skimmer (air stone driven).  She also had a twin 2 foot ballast with full spectrum tubes, a power head and a heater.  he said he would ask her if she needed it.  I want to get MH so i can keep some stonies, but  don't know how much watts i need.  I was thinking that i would put actinics in the 2 foot ballast, and have about a 10000K bulb in the MH fixture.  Would this be sufficient lighting?  how many watts should the MH be?  I want the tank to eventually look a bit like that japanese tank pic that youve got posted.  Pretty cool huh!  i am going to add a sump, so i want to know how many gallons the pump should do.  would a ten gallon sump be sufficient?  by the way, i read on some sight that the two main colours of light that corals use are red and blue.  is this true?  if it is, if i used the lighting combo of the MH and actinics, could i add some red lights?  if i did, could i use them for nightime viewing as fish dont see in the red spectrum?  finnaly,  at night time i hear cracking noises in my tank.  I'm worried that it might be a mantis shrimp, but i haven't seen any shrimps about.  are there any other invertibrates that might make this sound?  If someone could answer these questions, it would be most appreciated.  Thanx :thumbsup2:  
     
  12. Jeremy

    Jeremy Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    Location:
    Diamond Creek, VIC,Victoria
    By the way, here in Australia, there doesn't seem to be as much reef stuff as in America. The only reef stores i have seen are 2, and they are not the biggest. The only kind of fluro tubes and ballast are NO, there are no VHO or Power Compact that i have seen. We don't seem to have live sand, or all those crazy brands of protien skimmers. And the different brands of MH are very limited. To cap it off, every thing is twice as expensive her because the Australian dollar is only worth 52.something American cents. I wonder about the online stores, because the prices are cheap, but that might be because it is American dollars. And i'm only 14, so saving up for all the stuff is a hell of a job.