View Full Version : New SW tank setup

03-13-2009, 08:38 PM
I noticed most people are documenting the setup of their tanks so i decided to do the same. =D

As on right now i have two 55 gallon hang over filters running.
One power head rated for a 50 gallon tank. 270gph
I only have florescent lights at the moment because i am not planning to keep coral until my tank is matured and i have some experience. They are two 18" 15 watt lights. I have one Actinic blue bulb in and planning to get one for the other light soon.
I have added the substrate, Silica sand
I have had Salt water and all this set up for about a week now.
My next step is to get some live rock! =D

Sorry if i have horrible pictures. All i have is a camera phone

Ill post pictures the next chance i get.
I well take all criticism and advise! Thanks

03-13-2009, 10:08 PM
Here is the picture of my tank. Sorry about the quality http://i119.photobucket.com/albums/o137/sktadood13/0313091801.jpg

03-14-2009, 05:37 AM
I'd do away with the filters. Their just going to cause nitrate problems down the road and get a skimmer rated for twice the tank size and 1-1.5 lbs of live rock per gallon (or a combo of base and live, the more live the better) along with a combination of powerheads that will get you a 20-30x turn over. I would go with at least 2 korilia 2's, but you may need more once you find out where your dead spots are. This will be your filtration

You also should do away with the silica sand, as it may cause some major algae problems down the road. I would get a fine aragonite sand

03-14-2009, 07:25 AM
I know it's tough, but labnjab's advice is solid. Your equipment will work in the mean time, but you are going to want to get more flow from powerheads, and ditch the filters.

You could use one of the filters to hold media like carbon or phosban and a sponge, but you will want to completely clean the sponge out every couple of days.

03-14-2009, 11:04 AM
ok thanks guys. ill probably take the filters off once i begin to add live rock and once i get another power head. I had people tell me that silica sand is very good for salt water and for fresh water as well.

03-14-2009, 01:11 PM
The silica sand will be fine. I've had it in my reef for over a year with no problems, I know rageybug also uses a silica sand and has no had problems with it. Another piece of advice, stop the air being pumped in the tank with that powerhead, you don't need it. Labs advice on the Koralia 2 powerheads is a very good idea. They will push more water around but will provide a much better kind of flow for your tank.

03-27-2009, 01:58 AM
Hey, I have not updated this in a little while but i added a 3.3lbs live rock into my tank about 5 days ago. The rock already had coralline algae growing of it so thats why i chose it. I also added a 7lbs rock/coral? Not Sure what it is. I got it from a guy selling live rock on craig's list but it doesn't look like normal live rock. Ill get a picture of it and see if someone can tell me what it is.

I also added 2 damsels and a purple something. Haha for got the name. Its the same species as the half purple have yellow fish that switch colors right in the middle. The species name starts with a p.
I also added a peppermint shrimp.

03-27-2009, 02:04 AM
Looking good. But you need to slow down. I highly doubt the tank has cycled.

Also, you may want to get at least 3 more damsels or return one so you don't have aggression isses.

The fish that you forget the name is either a Royal Gramma or a Bicolor Pseudochromis

03-27-2009, 02:08 AM
Yes, definitely slow down. Your tank probably didn't cycle completely. And you made a mistake in adding damsels to your tank first. SW fish need to be added least aggressive first. Damsels usually need to be added to most tanks last depending on the planned stocking.

03-27-2009, 02:15 AM
You need to slow down and research. You are moving way to fast with this tank and you don't have anywhere near enough live rock in your tank. If you by some chance added a Strawberry Basslet (aka Purple dottyback) Pseudochromis porphyreus then all I can say is have fun. You are about to pay the price for not doing research before buying fish. You added one of the nastiest dottybacks to your tank you could possibly add. That fish is beautiful for sure, but has the worst temperament of any of the basslets. It is territorial and will dominate the tank. You also added a pair of damsels that will be very aggressive as well. You tank is nowhere near mature enough to have 1 fish let alone 3. If you want a successful marine tank then I'd suggest you take those 3 fish back to the store and do this tank right.

03-27-2009, 02:21 AM
Pseudochromis that is the name of the fish but its all purple..i had the tank sit for about 2 weeks and the damsels seem very peaceful in the tank but ill take every ones word for it and return them... Can i at least keep the shrimp ?:confused:

03-27-2009, 02:22 AM
Oh yeah, ILMGB is right about the fish. I read it too fast and missed the words "same species." You'll be able to keep the shrimp, but it might now survive the cycle. Invertebrates are the most sensitive and should usually be added last, excluding the CUC.

03-27-2009, 02:46 AM
Pseudochromis is simply the genus.

03-27-2009, 03:42 AM
What are the ammonia/nitrite/nitrate levels thus far?

04-17-2009, 09:42 PM
ok sorry i haven't been around in a while but i returned the purple fish and for some reason the lfs wouldn't take the damsels back so i put them back in my tank. they are doing perfectly fine now healthy as can be! the occasional bickering but that's about it. i have about a total of 13lbs of live rock in my tank now. I dont have a test kit to check my levels at the moment.

ive come up with some fish i would like to keep in my tank i was wondering if everyone could put their input in and tell me if they are all compatable and which order i should add them to the tank.

Some sort of clown
Blue tang
Yellow tang
Some firefish
some purple firefish
Mandarin fish
Snowflake eel

And if anyone can recommend good fish for keeping please feel free to list them... THANKS!

04-17-2009, 10:50 PM
Some sort of clown --> yes
Blue tang --> no (huge)
Yellow tang --> no (huge)
Some firefish --> yes
some purple firefish --> yes
Mandarin fish --> no (tank not established, it will starve)
Snowflake eel --> no (eels eat everything)

And if anyone can recommend good fish for keeping please feel free to list them... THANKS!

After reading this entire thread... you are heading for disaster. You are clearly way over your head on this tank. My advise on good fish for you to keep... none. Get a "fish tank" screen saver and save you and some fish a world of trouble.

04-17-2009, 10:52 PM
o and by the way i know my tank is still not ready to house any of those fish ii was just listing what i wanted once my tank is prepared

04-17-2009, 11:36 PM
Some sort of clown eventually, OK
Blue tang NO!!!
Yellow tang Pushing it
Some? firefish ?
some purple firefish ????
Mandarin fish If you have 60 lbs of rock that has matured for 6 months
Snowflake eel why???

I don't mean to be harsh, but you need to do more research and/or try harder to follow some of the advice on this forum...or people will give up on trying to help you.

Your setup right now is not good. You need around 60 lbs. of live rock, not 13. You need to get that rock in your tank and let it cure properly before you stock ANYTHING. When you do stock your tank, you should come up with a stocking plan and then add the fish slowly. Just adding something on a whim will lead to disaster. Once you have all of your rock in, you might not be able to get an undesirable fish out, so you have to stock as if everything in your tank will be a permanent resident.

Please do more research!!!!

05-09-2009, 11:54 PM
ok so I've added about 13 more lbs of rock which gives me a total of 26lbs. and i know i need more. I'm working on it. I have not bought any other living creatures and i am not going to until you guys think its time too. I only have one damsel now..The other had an unfortunate tragedy with the power head. I have taken precautions to make sure that doesn't happen again. I am receiving my protein skimmer Monday. I've been looking at lighting and i was wanting some advise and if this is a good option. I'm a bit tight on money so i am looking for a cost efficient way to solve my lighting issue. Here is what i have found:
Please Tell me if this is good enough (http://www.marinedepot.com/ps_viewitem.aspx?idproduct=CU01136&child=CU01125&utm_source=mdcseshopzilla&utm_medium=cse&utm_term=CU01125&utm_content=36inchCurrentUSANovaExtreme2x39wattT5H O10K460nm&utm_campaign=mdcse&site=www.shopzilla.com)

05-10-2009, 01:28 AM
Just a little note here...you should have put the live rock in before adding sand this will prevent any collapes when fish burrow etc. At least that is what I learned during my research which I am still doing...

05-10-2009, 01:57 AM
O, well I'll go and push the rock to the bottom of the sand now. Thanks!

05-14-2009, 01:02 AM
I'm not sure what lighting i need but this is what i,m looking at and was wondering if this is strong enough for some anemones and maybe some corals.
If they are can you please list what corals and anemones i may be able to house? Thanks! Thanks for saving me head aches in the future guys. It seems like I'm not listening but trust me i am.

Note: I have two 18inch light fixtures now and would prefer to keep the 18inch size but if i can't i can remove the median in the canopy and get a longer light.

05-14-2009, 01:19 AM
if you want to keep an anemone you're going to need a lot more light than that. In this hobby you can't skimp on anything mainly on lighting and skimmer, if you don't have the money either wait until you do or quit because a lot of animals are going to suffer, if you subject them to an unsuitable environment. Please research, research, research as some of the other people here have told you before.

anyway, i recommend eBay if you want to find some cheaper lighting options that aren't too bad. look for metal halide or T5 lighting if you want to keep corals that need strong lighting.

05-14-2009, 01:29 AM
OK thanks I'm glad i asked before i bought. Is there any T5 or Metal Halide that's is 18inch and strong enough?

05-14-2009, 01:34 AM
I agree with Miltonic, you do not want to skimp on the lights. In a reef tank, they are pretty much the most important investment you will make. A four bulb T5 fixture will be good for medium light corals. You might need a 6 bulb fixture to achieve what is considered "high" lighting. Either way, you want to get a fixture that individual reflectors for each T5 bulb.

The depth of your tank will also be a factor. If you have a high rock pile, you might be able to eventually keep an anemone near the top of the tank with a 4 bulb T5 fixture. I hope that made sense!

The 20" nova extreme pro's (6 bulb) are strong. Two of them would cost a lot though. You also get a very limited bulb choice with the 18"ers.

05-14-2009, 02:14 AM
EKE! looks like I'm going to have to save up a lot more money haha. Well thanks for the help. My brother still hasn't had the chance to stop by with the protein skimmer. GRR. Hopefully he can get that to me soon. I'm planning in picking up more LR Sunday if plans got accordingly. *fingers crossed*
But here is a Pic of my Tank right now.
I feel bad for that Damsel because i should of researched before i bought. Well I'm not getting anymore fish tell my tank is set and you guys think it's at the right stage
Thanks for all the help everyone!

Comments,Advise, and criticism are all welcome!

05-14-2009, 02:24 AM
If money is going to be an issue, you might want to consider stocking different kinds of corals. You could always buy a less powerful (more economical) fixture and stock your tank with zoas/mushrooms/softies. You can get corals that have the anemone look, but are much easier to keep than actual anemones.

BTW, that is a nice looking rock pile! Great start!

05-14-2009, 02:28 AM
Hmm That doesn't sound too bad. I didn't want to keep anything to difficult. Now can you give me some names of the "anemone looking corals"? And is the light i posted earlier strong enough? If it isn't can someone look up a good light or explain the whole "10k" and "watts p/ Gallon" thing to me? That is why i've been having such a hard time finding the correct lights.
Thanks lots!

05-14-2009, 03:38 AM
The real challenge with your particular tank is the depth, which I believe is 20"? If you had two of the lights you listed, you would probably only be able to keep zoas and mushrooms. I think your best bet would be to get a 48" 4 bulb T5 system with individual reflectors. Then you could keep medium light corals at the top of your rock pile, and low light corals in the rest of your tank.

I heard pretty good things about these lights (http://buildyouraquarium.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=21_28&products_id=67) but they are pretty new.

One great thing about T5 multi-bulb fixtures, is that they allow you to pick different bulbs in order to attain the exact color you want for your lighting. The "default" choice is 50% 10,000k bulbs and 50% actinic bulbs, but there are literally thousands of different combos that you can use in order to get the exact look that you want.

05-14-2009, 03:38 AM
WPG is soon going to be a thing of the past. It will soon be lumens per gallon(LPG).

Anyways, if you don't mind waiting a week or so FishNeedIt (http://fishneedit.com/t5ho-ligh.html) is coming out with their new line of t5 fixtures. The prices are great, and I have had no problems with mine since I got it for Christmas of 08'.

05-14-2009, 07:54 PM
ok well tanks for the help! i looked at both options and the first one suggested seems reasonable and i can come up with the money for that over time. The second option i looked at and it caught my attention. I'm not sure if i'm looking at the wrong thing or not but this price seems too good to be true.

Is IT?

BTW yes my depth is 20in

05-14-2009, 08:13 PM
The fishneedit lights are popular right now. I just don't know what kind of reflectors they use????? And I didn't see it in the description.

05-14-2009, 08:19 PM
Yeah I'm not too sure about those either. I have only come across one other tank with one of their lights on them. And I was unable to get any feedback from the owner. Everyone wants to save money but my advice would be not to go too cheap.

05-14-2009, 08:25 PM
Well i think my discussion is made and im going to go with coach's suggestion... That's not too high.

Now with that light can Some please take the time and list out which corals i would be able to get. And would that be considered low or medium light? thanks.

05-14-2009, 08:25 PM
Ha! And I love the cool operation comment. There is nothing cool about a MH fixture. My T5's aren't even THAT cool. I wonder why they still advertise items in that way.

05-14-2009, 08:29 PM
Well i think my discussion is made and im going to go with coach's suggestion... That's not too high.

Now with that light can Some please take the time and list out which corals i would be able to get. And would that be considered low or medium light? thanks.

Arguably, this is a job best left to you. After all, if we were to take the time to list every coral that you could possibly keep, it would take the research apsect out of it for you. What I will say is, if you have a good enough light your selection for corals is pretty broad. Sit down and see what you like and then go back through and check out their lighting requirements from there. GLHF

05-14-2009, 08:35 PM
Ok well i guess you have a point there haha. But can you answer if that light would be considered low or medium lighting? And i'm going to take a guess and say that this light isn't strong enough even for the simplest anemone huh?

05-14-2009, 10:38 PM
The reflectors on the FishNeedIt light seems fine to me. I know there are quite a few that are better. I have nothing bad to say about their lights from my experience. So, if you want to save money, they're the way to go.

05-15-2009, 02:09 AM
so would 10k or 6500k bulbs be better?

05-15-2009, 02:20 AM
If you're just going to go with the stock bulbs for a while I'd keep the 10k's along with the actinics. T5 lights offer a really wide variety of options when it comes to bulbs.

05-15-2009, 02:22 AM
10,000k, all the way. The 6500k will give your reef a yellow look that you probably will not like. I good majority of T5 people go with 11, 12, even 14,000k bulbs in order to get more blue. The more blue in your lighting, the more "pop" you get from your corals.

But, like Oldhead mentioned, just go with the stock 10,000k bulbs for now. (2) 10,000k's and (2) actinics

05-15-2009, 03:20 AM
okie dokie! I wasn't sure if 6500k bulbs were stronger or not. With that lighting choice would that be considered low light? or medium light? so i can figure out what i can get and what i can't.

05-15-2009, 04:25 AM
Totally depends on the depth in the tank. Right up by the surface would be medium/high. The middle of your tank would be medium. Sand would be low, maybe low/medium light. Of course this is not an exact science by any means, just a rough guideline.

05-15-2009, 07:49 PM
Ok thanks! Anyway. Looks like no plans have changed on getting rock Sunday ill keep my fingers crossed

05-18-2009, 03:19 AM
OK! i got 65lbs of fully cured rock today! =D im glad!

Well here is the before and after:
Sorry, Water is still cloudy.

All opinions and suggestion are more then welcome, There encouraged.

05-18-2009, 03:25 AM
your aquascape looks great! lots of room for corals and the two mounds have that reef look.

05-18-2009, 03:42 AM
Out of curiosity, do you have that rock piled against your glass?

05-18-2009, 03:51 AM
Kinda... just for support.... like the base rock is leaning on the glass and the rest is piled on top of that.

05-18-2009, 12:14 PM
Looking good! I like the aquascaping too. Just be sure that all is stable in there.

05-18-2009, 07:44 PM
O yea. I made sure its stable. Not even one rock is wobbly thumbs2:

Thanks for the comments =D

05-18-2009, 07:47 PM
Very nice scaping job!

05-18-2009, 09:07 PM
Ok i took another pic now that the water is cleared up. I moved a few rocks around to my liking and now i think this well be the permanent setup or i may find something that needs to be moved. who knows lol.

Thanks on all the comments!


tim k
05-18-2009, 09:46 PM
Looks great:22:


05-20-2009, 01:31 AM
Question: Should i leave the skimmer running 24/7? or can i run it for several hours every couple days?

05-20-2009, 01:35 AM
I keep mine running 24/7 and see no problems so that's what I recommend.

05-20-2009, 01:42 AM
Eke well i have a problem...my brother gave me his old skimmer and there isn't enough room between the tank and the wall. Thats why i was curious if it would hurt at all if i put it on for like 7 hrs every two or three days?

05-20-2009, 04:51 PM
For a skimmer to do any good and to be of any benefit it really has to be run 24/7. It actually said so in the directions of mine. It would be pointless to run it only a few hours every few days. I've noticed with mine it pulls out more gunk on some days then others.

I would say your going to have to partially drain the tank and slide it away from the wall a little, either that or put it on one of the sides. I had to move our 75 gallon goldfish tank a few inches from the wall when I added an AC110 and when I drained half I was able to slide it a few inches no problem. Just be sure you have someone helping to keep the tank from tipping over

05-20-2009, 04:56 PM
Labnjab is right, you really HAVE to run it all the time for it to do it's job.

05-20-2009, 05:01 PM
and I personally wouldn't do a saltwater tank without one

05-20-2009, 07:48 PM
ok well thanks for the advise. I guess i have to wait till i get more cash in order to buy another bag of salt mix.

05-20-2009, 08:26 PM
Cut a hole in the wall..... Just kidding, lol. You could always drain the tank down and move it out though.

05-21-2009, 12:16 AM
Ok i got the skimmer in place now. Hmm. What else do i need before i can start stocking my tank.

05-21-2009, 02:07 AM
Ok i got the skimmer in place now. Hmm. What else do i need before i can start stocking my tank.

How did you end up getting into place?

05-21-2009, 02:44 AM
i was able to lift one end of my tank like half a cm off the ground and made just enough room for the skimmer to fit...i was really surprised that i could lift it at all.
That was a dangerous move but luckily nothing bad happen.

05-21-2009, 02:58 AM
Well glad to hear that you were able to get it into place. How is the cycling going? What are the water parameters looking like so far?

05-21-2009, 03:04 AM
ok well i guess that means my next purchase is a test kit.... well i still have the one damsel and peppermint shrimp looking in great condition. By my guess my parameters are fine but i well get a test kit before i get more Fish/Critters?

05-21-2009, 02:42 PM
Lol, yeah, definitly go out and get a test kit before you add any more livestock.

07-31-2009, 06:17 AM
haha hard to stop reading this thread. learn something new on every one. how much do you think you have spent thus far?

09-16-2009, 03:16 AM
its been a while since i updated this thread soo hear it goes. I had financial problems so it prevented me from furthering my reef =[ i know it sucks.

well the skimmer i had was way to small for my tank and it crapped out on me. =[ problems problems problems

Good thing i listened to the good ole folks here at AC and didn't jump into stocking my tank with exotic fish. Right now my tank still has the damsel and 2 blue-legged hermits and a turbo snail and they are doing fine. A skimmer is my priority at the moment now that i have a steady income.

And for the above poster i spent about 300$ on tank so far. You will probably want to added a couple hundred for the skimmer.

I am about to post a pic in the next 5 min because we know AC loves pics!!

09-16-2009, 03:37 AM
Here are the pics!!! (sorry about quality all i have is a camera phone)

Full tank Shot:

Left side of tank:

Right side of tank(with damsel):

09-29-2009, 07:36 AM
Nice looking tank, hope it all works out well! BTW, did "join" your rocks together at all?