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jqian
10-06-2010, 01:27 PM
I have asked enough questions in the newbie section and finally got started putting everything together last night.

I have following stuff for now:
30 gal tank
eheim 2213 canister filter (I know, I know, filter is the nitrate factory. This is interim solution for now until I can afford a skimmer)
T5 dual bulb (10k and 420/420)
water heater
AquaClear 750 (considering to turn it into a refugium)
a water heater
a bag of sea salt
a bag of 40 lbs live sand
....other maintenance stuff

something coming:
20 lbs aquacultured rocks
20 lbs live rocks
....

last night, I dumped whole bag of live sand into the tank, and added seasalt to pump the gravity to 1.018-1.02, and turned heater temperature to 77F.
I kept filter running for the whole night. This morning I still see the water heavily cloudy. did I do anything wrong?

As for refugium, any suggestions on what I should put in there? Do I need a lamp specifically for the refugium only?

thanks, all. I will keep updating on how it goes.

SunSchein89
10-06-2010, 05:06 PM
You'll probably need a small lamp of some sort in there if you want a true refugium. Luckily, it's not very deep or has much of a surface area, so the light shouldn't cost you too much. Can probably get away with one of those screw-in CFLs. Someone else with some experience can tell you exactly what to get, but I know they make the small 50/50 CFL bulbs, which I'm guessing are for this purpose :shrug:.

jqian
10-06-2010, 05:31 PM
You'll probably need a small lamp of some sort in there if you want a true refugium. Luckily, it's not very deep or has much of a surface area, so the light shouldn't cost you too much. Can probably get away with one of those screw-in CFLs. Someone else with some experience can tell you exactly what to get, but I know they make the small 50/50 CFL bulbs, which I'm guessing are for this purpose :shrug:.
I used to have lamp for for lizard and turtle. I probably can reuse it, I just need to figure out where it is, either in garage or basement.
What about the cloudy water? it's more than 10 hours since I dumped the live sand into the tank and the water is still cloudy. Normal?

SunSchein89
10-07-2010, 01:31 AM
Yeah, sounds pretty normal to me. You can get cloudy water for long times like that just from gravel. I'm sure it would be longer for sand.

Sasquatch
10-07-2010, 12:08 PM
Cloudy water is normal after you had sand, especially soft sands like marine sand.

For the refugium, adding some chaeto in there with a small lamp will be fine. Reptile lamps work well if you have one lying around.

As for the rest, looks decent for a start. If you're worried about nitrate production from the Eheim, just run it empty and use it for circulation.

Make sure the rocks are well place on the tank glass when you add them. You don't want something digging under your rockwork and have everything collapse in your tank.

jqian
10-07-2010, 01:11 PM
some updates:
water is getting clearer, not crystal clear yet, but at least I can see it through.
Last night I got 20+ lbs Fiji live rock and 10+ lbs dead rock. I spent quite a bit time to lay them out nicely because the water was too cloudy. This morning when I got up and didn't like the layout immediately, I will redo it again tonight.
as for water quality. the gravity is 1.024-1.026

one thing I would like to mention is that 3 hours after laying out the rock, I did a ammonia test. The result was 2ppm. Normal? How come these live rocks dispose ammonia so quickly? I guess it's a good thing because the cycling procedure has started.

as far as eheim canister filter, I have talked to lots of sales/hobbyist guys in lfs, they all think that it will be fine. One guy told me he has 90 gallon FOWLR at home with canister filter only without protein skimmer.

sheamurai
10-07-2010, 11:48 PM
With 30+ lbs of rock, you don't need the canister at all, but if your set on using it and clean it out regularly (like weekly) then there's no harm in it. I ran one on mine with only a sponge in it just to provide flow along the sand. Didn't bother with a skimmer either, until I upgraded to my 50gal. I currently run an HOB filter as well alongside my skimmer, with carbon, purigen, phophate remover and a bit of floss, which I clean out weekly.

jqian
10-08-2010, 01:49 AM
updates:
got home and found water was crystal clear.
but I don't like the layout of the rocks. So I rearranged them. Then water is cloudy again.
because my tank is relatively small, it's only about 30" long. I found there is no space to accommodate both AquaClear 750 and a Skimmer at back. So here comes the dilemma: which one to use?
I know I will get some coral sooner or later. So please advise refugium or skimmer? unless there is a nice quality skimmer completely inside the water without occupying any space?
I will upload some pictures tomorrow when I get home and the water is clear again.

sheamurai
10-08-2010, 03:18 AM
Not sure why you beleive you have no space for both?
I have a 30" tank and am running an Aquaclear 70 and a skimmer on it. I'm not sure but surely your 750 isn't THAT large?

In any case, a skimmer has more value, I think, than an HOB refugium...

Sasquatch
10-08-2010, 12:17 PM
If you've already got a canister, go with a skimmer. A refugium is handy, but not as important as a skimmer.

jqian
10-08-2010, 01:11 PM
ok then, seems I need to invest a good skimmer. I am looking at Coralife Super Skimmer 65. Any comments on that?
The reason that I said I don't have enough space is that the tank is against a wall. It has about 5-6" space in between. The super skimmer requires 8" space, at least that's what user manual says.

sheamurai
10-08-2010, 01:24 PM
ah. I have a Deltec MCE300 on mine, good skimmer and evidently more compact, lol.
If you search for skimmer here on AC, you'll find a couple threads that may help you choose.
Also check out craigslist or equivalent in your area for used skimmers - sometimes you can find a good one for half price. Your local reef club may have somthing too.

jqian
10-08-2010, 01:50 PM
yak, MCE300 is out of question for me since I don't have endless money to spend on this hobby. It took a week or so to convince my wife to allow me to convert SW to FW.
anything else?

Spardas
10-08-2010, 08:04 PM
Check ebay, craigs and your local reef club forums and see if anyone is selling used skimmers if price is of concern. You may just find a good quality skimmer for cheap.

sheamurai
10-09-2010, 03:55 AM
After wasting 120 bucks on a skimmer that was absolute crap, I decided it is "cheaper" to get something dependable and reputable right off the bat.
If you think buying one good peice of equipment requires "endless money" then you may want to rethink getting into saltwater. It is not a cheap hobby.

Tigerbarb
10-09-2010, 04:36 AM
Yeah, just make sure you go with a reputable brand and you should be okay.

jqian
10-09-2010, 01:10 PM
ok, it's too late for me quit this hobby since I have already spent a fortune on that. Put aside skimmer debate for now, since I don't need it immediately.

some updates on day 3:
The tank is finally clear.
ammonia: 1
nitrite: 0
ph: 8.7 (too high?)
gravity: 1.023 (too high?)

Tigerbarb
10-09-2010, 07:46 PM
Your pH is a bit high, IMO, but your specific gravity is perfect.

jqian
10-10-2010, 03:59 AM
Your pH is a bit high, IMO, but your specific gravity is perfect.
how can lower the PH then? do I have to use those chemical stuff to neutralize PH value? I am always skeptical to the chemical stuff.
What else can I do?