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kippston
12-04-2012, 09:45 PM
I've had several fresh water tanks through the years. But it seems that all the best looking fish are salt. What are the big things I need to research and know about getting into a salt tank? I know you need a big tank, thats checked off. What about filters... can you use a home made sump filter?

megaphoenix
12-04-2012, 11:46 PM
Well as far as sumps are concerned, you can use one on a SW but a moving bed filter is out unless you are just going with a FOWLER tank. A good wet/dry should work well on one or a refugium which may be better but basically the same as a sump only a different setup and you have to have a light on a refugium, where as a sump should not be exposed to light.

CrazyEyes
12-05-2012, 12:07 AM
What do you mean by moving bed filter? Like K1 etc? I'd do sump with section 1 for the skimmer, section 2 for fuge i.e liverock and algae like chaeto and then 3rd for your return pump. Stagger yours lights, when the DT light is on keep the fuge light off and then when the DT light is off have the fuge light on. I think as far as research goes, try to findout not only what things are but also why and how they happen i.e cycling the tank. Just start slow, I talk to alot of people who are honestly intimidated by saltwater tanks. It's really not too bad if you take things slow and learn as much as possible and ask and ask as questions as possible. One of my favorites things about going to the LFS other than rummaging through the $5 frag bin is asking things like, what's that coral right there. Speaking of which, are you planning on just keeping it as a fish only tank or do you have the intentions of keeping corals too? Also, what size is the tank?

megaphoenix
12-05-2012, 12:10 AM
Yes moving bed as in K1. It is a very bad filter for a SW and what you described is basically a refugium, so I agree with you that would be best for a SW. Just trying to give the guy some options and making sure he understood a Moving bed filter would not work.

iyadnadi
12-05-2012, 03:27 AM
What do you mean by moving bed filter? Like K1 etc? I'd do sump with section 1 for the skimmer, section 2 for fuge i.e liverock and algae like chaeto and then 3rd for your return pump. Stagger yours lights, when the DT light is on keep the fuge light off and then when the DT light is off have the fuge light on. I think as far as research goes, try to findout not only what things are but also why and how they happen i.e cycling the tank. Just start slow, I talk to alot of people who are honestly intimidated by saltwater tanks. It's really not too bad if you take things slow and learn as much as possible and ask and ask as questions as possible. One of my favorites things about going to the LFS other than rummaging through the $5 frag bin is asking things like, what's that coral right there. Speaking of which, are you planning on just keeping it as a fish only tank or do you have the intentions of keeping corals too? Also, what size is the tank?

you are absolutely right

fiesta90150
12-05-2012, 07:48 AM
Agree wth everything above. I would add one thing as for the equipment. Start by making a list of the things you really need, to get the tank running. These things add up to alot of money. what i mean is "dosing pumps" are not a needed peice of equipment for you to get your tank up and running, so it won't be in the start off list. Those are just things you can buy afterwards.

Research them and look into reviews to know if it really works great or not.

kippston
12-05-2012, 10:00 AM
Tank size is 125. Not going to do corals right away. Id like to try to get everything else situated before.

I'm defiantly one of those people intimidated by a saltwater tank.

Fiesta said below that I need to come up with a list of what I'll need but I dont know where to start.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZJBm89MuzU&list=UUM9oZkV3tGJuUUhgZaiGZkQ&index=26&feature=plcp Thats the sump I was referring to.

fiesta90150
12-05-2012, 11:04 AM
okay i just went through my list of things i'm buying for my SW tank: "absolutely needed" & "Not absolutely needed"

* salt
* Rock (live, dead, dry)* Tank

* Lighting: if you, in the futur, want to go with corals you will have to either upgrade lighting or buy from the start the appropriate lighting depending on what corals and your tank dimensions

* Skimmer: i think for a 125gallon you should have one since its not a small tank. Or you can do weekly water changes, Crazyeyes can help you out on that subject ;)

* RODI Water: you need to have a constant supply of RODI water, either from the fish store (which means you have to go get it) or you buy a RODI unit and you don't have to leave the house. + if there is a disaster, lets say in the middle of the night, well you can't go to the FS.

* Heater: i think its best to go with two heaters, 125 gallons=470 liters. (1Watt per liter = 470Watts).So i would go with at least two 200W heaters or even two 300W. This way if one stops working you have at least one that will turn on and keep the water warm enough to give you time to go get a new one. If you have the heaters in the tank, put them on opposit sides
* Refractometer to check your salinity. They are better than a simple hydrometer (apparently)* Test kits i'll be probably going hanna checker (anyone use these?)* Sump since you mentionned it lol

*ATO top off system: When water evaporates the salt stays in the tank and the salinity rises which is not good for the tank. So you can either install an ATO system or refill by hand

*Power heads: you need 20 too 30 times flow of your tank volume.
*Pumps: you will need a pump in your sump too pump back the water to your tank.

* Stand

megaphoenix
12-05-2012, 11:25 AM
Skimmer: i think for a 125gallon you should have one since its not a small tank. Or you can do weekly water changes, Crazyeyes can help you out on that subject
From what I have heard and again, I must stress that I am no expert, anything 40 gallons and over needs a skimmer.

Heater: i think its best to go with two heaters, 125 gallons=470 liters. (1Watt per liter = 470Watts).So i would go with at least two 200W heaters or even two 300W.
I agree with using two heaters, but if you plan on a sump or refugium, place the heaters in there to make more space in the tank.

*ATO top off system: When water evaporates the salt stays in the tank and the salinity rises which is not good for the tank.
I highly recommend that when you first fill your tank to the depth you wish, Take a permanant marker and and leave a mark where you wish to maintain the water height so that it is easier to maintain proper salinity.

Great response, Fiesta. I am not making any corrections but just making some other recommedations based on the excellent advise you provided. :thumbsup1: :thumbsup:

fiesta90150
12-05-2012, 12:41 PM
Great response, Fiesta. I am not making any corrections but just making some other recommedations based on the excellent advise you provided. :thumbsup1: :thumbsup:


No worries mega i didn't see it that way ;), yep th heaters in the sump is the best. Oh and personnaly i think that any SW tank should have a skimmer but i'm not an expert, not yet hahalol

CrazyEyes
12-05-2012, 12:58 PM
I think the skimmer determines alot not only size but what your going to keep as fish. If your planning on keep a bunch of herbivores I wouldn't myself run a skimmer even in a big tank. It's just sure the fish poop and stuff but if I was going to run a fish only tank with fish that were carnivores I'd run a skimmer just because of how high the nutrients are. Now regarding the heater, this is going to determine the temperature that the room usually stays. So for example, if your room is at 76-77 you only need to heat the water 1-3 degrees so there is no need for a big heater. I would also do two smaller heaters instead of 1 big heat and I'll tell you why. If you have a bigger heater and it is capable of raising the temp 10 degrees and if that heater gets stuck on and you don't notice it your going to kill everything in that tank. Run 2 smaller heaters and if one gets stuck on, it's not going to skyrocket the temp in the tank. Heater failures are the number one cause of tank crashes, that's what I've read. There are controllers that used a probe to monitor water temp and if it gets too hot it will shut the power off to the heater but, those cost money that some people may not want to spend. So, run two smaller heaters and don't fry your tank WHEN the heater fails.

kippston
12-05-2012, 08:58 PM
I'm going to go ahead and apologize up front if these questions are real dumb

So when water evaps, salt stays, so no salt in replacement water got it......

Whats RODI water?

Ands what the Skimmer do?

loving the comments and feedback, very helpful!

fiesta90150
12-05-2012, 09:12 PM
I'm going to go ahead and apologize up front if these questions are real dumb
So when water evaps, salt stays, so no salt in replacement water got it......
Whats RODI water?
Ands what the Skimmer do?
loving the comments and feedback, very helpful!

There are no dumb questions =). I was asking the same ones a couple of months ago and still have some lol

* Yes when the water level goes down with evaporation the salt stays and there for you have to use RODI water to get the salinity back to the correct level, since the water drops you have the same amount of salt but less water so salinity goes up.

* When you do a water change you are also taking out salt with the water, so before you add water back you have to mix up water and salt to the correct salinity level (same as in your tank) and then you can add it too the tank. ( don't add the new salt water to the tank directly, let it sit in a drum with a heater (to match the temp in the tank) and a power head to create water flow, for 24 hours. you should always use RODI water even for filling up for evaporation and WC's

* RODI: Reverse osmosis de-ionized water. Basically its really really clean water lol. The water coming out of your faucet has all sorts of things in it, running it through an RODI unit will give you a 0 or low TDS water. TDS: total dissolved solids: basically the less the TDS is the less junk is in the water. you can buy this at your LFS but i think its easier too get a RODI unit and set it up under the sink than going to the LFS and carrying barrels of water.

* The skimmer well, have you been to the ocean on a really windy day? and you see this foam on the top of the water and on the beach? Well a skimmer does the same. It filtrates your water by mixing the tank water with tiny air bubbles. The bubbles will attach them selves to the junk in the water rise to the top and dump into a collection cup. The end result is a foam called skimmate or foamate (found that out today lol). watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXuEebGU9zA there is 8 parts to it so watch them all there is alot of good information on those videos. It will explain everything you need to know about skimmers.

MoreGPH
12-05-2012, 10:35 PM
I have been hesitant to give it a try, I think I would just do a nano tank with a lil piece of live rock and a nice shrimp, do a lot of water tests, just to get a feel for it with something I probably wouldn't kill lol

You are clearly in good hands in terms of advice and resources though. You should post pics you set up if you do go ahead with it.

kippston
12-06-2012, 08:18 PM
I'll defiantly post some pic when I get things set up.

Whats a good protein skimmer? works well and is not costly?

CrazyEyes
12-06-2012, 08:26 PM
For what size tank? You wont need a skimmer right now anyways since you can't add corals yet anyways. Fish can handle the nitrates better than the coral can. Hold off on the skimmer for now. Set it up as fish only tank. Go slow. Wait, get corals then add the skimmer and in the meantime keep up on your water changes.

kippston
12-06-2012, 10:53 PM
Somewhere between 100-125 gal. I'd like to hold off since I've never done this salt thing before and its a lot to thing about.

GoggleEye
12-07-2012, 02:21 AM
Realy glad to see this post. Great information. Considerd SW set up on a 20 gallon. Do not have enough aquatic experience. Realy enjoy reading about SW set ups.

tidus2410
12-07-2012, 03:18 AM
here are some things that i have used to get my system set up that are cost effective, here are some sites i use, i really like bulk reef bc they have good products at decent prices ie my ro/di system "I" found to be the best system for the money, i have also used drs foster and smith for my power heads i got a gread deal on then but they were on sale at the time, and the cheapest one i have used is aqua traders but they are really cheap but u get what you pay for with no instruction with anything and its generally cheaply made but to start they arent bad, my protien skmmer is from them and it does what is say skimms protien nothing more, as far as other set up stuff i would go with all dry rock for now and get a small piece of live rock to seed the tank since you dont plan to have coral for now, and your gonna need testers, lots and lots of them, a basic kit will do for now but you will need to upgrade as you go for more demanding things, and skip the hydrometer and spend the money and get a refractometer you can get them fairly cheap dont waiste the $10 or $15 on a hydrometer ull upgrade anyways within weeks anyways ... if anyone feels they have better info feel free im also up for better suggestions and still learning myself

megaphoenix
12-07-2012, 03:26 AM
Well, this is just my opinion and it should be taken as such. I think the best route is simply to save up and buy the best you can and leave the cheap stuff out of the equation. I simply say this because if the cheap stuff breaks or breaks down, it could end up costing you a lot of money to replace fish and then buying new equipment. My suggestion is to get ideas from some of the other salties and then research them. Look for the best prices for them and get quality equipment from the start. For instance, the skimmer, you may not need up front, so why skimp on one? Save up and get the highest quality you can afford. I only say this because in my experience, sometimes cutting corners ends up cutting your budget.

fiesta90150
12-07-2012, 11:11 AM
Well, this is just my opinion and it should be taken as such. I think the best route is simply to save up and buy the best you can and leave the cheap stuff out of the equation. I simply say this because if the cheap stuff breaks or breaks down, it could end up costing you a lot of money to replace fish and then buying new equipment. My suggestion is to get ideas from some of the other salties and then research them. Look for the best prices for them and get quality equipment from the start. For instance, the skimmer, you may not need up front, so why skimp on one? Save up and get the highest quality you can afford. I only say this because in my experience, sometimes cutting corners ends up cutting your budget.


I have to agree on this one, i was going to say the same thing, i'm getting the equipement for my SW and i'm basically saving and getting to be able to get quality products. You don't have to get the highest priced equipment but do your research and find out what is working great and what isn't. Look at me i bought a Bubble magus skimmer, they aren't the highest quality skimmer like an ATI powercone, do the research and you will find some great equipment.

CrazyEyes
12-07-2012, 12:09 PM
Yep, I have to agree with the last 3 post. You can definitely find greats deal without spending a fortune. Cheap and inexpensive are different. An RO/DI unit is such an amazing thing to have. It will save you so much money not only in water but all the trips to the LFS, I've gone to the LFS to just get water and walked out with coral, equipment, food and almost forgot the water. Also, +1 on the refractometer instead of a hydrometer, hydrometers are great for starting but in the end cause more problems than anything, they get stuck etc. But seriously don't rush it. Also, plan out your aquascape, I sort of rushed my aquascape when I setup my 20g and I regret it everyday, there are a few dead spots. Get decent powerheads, hydor koralie evolutions are amazing if you want a good powerhead without spending a ton of money. And Fiesta, nothing wrong with a bubble Magus man, they're great skimmers. Reef octopus, SWC, Bubble Magnus, ATi. SWC skimmers however are amazing, a good friend of mine has one and it is amazing. Shoot lol I went with a $115 skimmer on my 40B but I've heard great things about them.

fiesta90150
12-07-2012, 08:42 PM
And Fiesta, nothing wrong with a bubble Magus man, they're great skimmers. Reef octopus, SWC, Bubble Magnus, ATi. SWC skimmers however are amazing, a good friend of mine has one and it is amazing. Shoot lol I went with a $115 skimmer on my 40B but I've heard great things about them.

:beer::lol:

oh i just checked out the NAC7 that i bought. I don't know abut BRS prices but they have it at 289.99$, here in france i paid 135€ thats 174$. Which is still a huge price diffrence!! and the US is closer to china than France :lol:

tidus2410
12-08-2012, 05:19 PM
i absolutely agree with what everyones saying, i was just trying to give some options that no one gave me when i started