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darklcd

nursing eel
Joined
Nov 30, 2004
Messages
547
Location
Thunder Bay
hello everyone

well I am new to ths site and I am just tryin to get used to it and get my tank back. I have a 55 gal tank and I am looking to see the ebst way to set it up for what I want. I want to start a reef tank but I have a hanging filter with bioballs I am sure most people know what I am talkin about. But I herd that doing a reef tank with bioballs is a bad idea and I don't have too much that I can spare in the $$$ department. I want to get this going and I can get the stuff I just ned to know what I need to start for testers and stuff cuse right now all I have is a salt tester. if anyone can help it would be great I just need a good list to get started on I know it will take a long time before I can really get goin but I just need a little bit of a jump start to know what I need to get it started

thanks
 

fishgills

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 11, 2004
Messages
83
Location
florida USA
You'll need a calcium and alk test kit, ph, nitrate, nitrite, phosphate, i think that covers it to get you started, good luck.
 

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
Welcome to Reef Frontiers! Hope you are enjoying the site :)

To get your tank off the ground and cycling - you should purchase the basic test kits: ammonia, nitrite, nitrate. These will allow you to follow along the nitrogen cycle, and know when the tank is ready for its first inhabitants. Live rock will be great biological filtration - do you know how many pounds you want in the tank? More the better, but I also understand the cost of set-up. What livestock are you hoping to keep (i.e. what fish and corals)? You may be able to get away with the bioballs for awhile. Once you get the tank cycling, then you can start to accumulate other test kits - Calcium, Alkalinity, pH (might be a good one to have right off, too). Are you planning on using RO/DI water (reverse osmosis/deionized)?
 

darklcd

nursing eel
Joined
Nov 30, 2004
Messages
547
Location
Thunder Bay
hey thanks for the info I alao wanted to know a lil about coral and what not I am not too sure how to get that started as well as live rock. I had some but I am not sure about stakcing it and what not how would it work?
 

darklcd

nursing eel
Joined
Nov 30, 2004
Messages
547
Location
Thunder Bay
well I got the test all right as for the hard ware I need I am still not sure what to get. its my first time workin with a reef style tank and I am still a little rusty on stuff so if either of you can help me out it would be great. as for starters all I am going to start with is just a normal tank with a hand ful of damsels and go from there let me know if anything else would be good too.
 

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
Here are a couple of links to hopefully get you started. The first one is on aquascaping. I spent a great deal of time on my aquascaping to figure out how I wanted my tank to look. I went into the member's gallery and looked at tank pictures to figure out what I liked and didn't like. I also tried to keep in mind the kind of inhabitants I wanted to keep. Again, by looking through pictures I said to myself "I like these corals, I don't like these, I definately want that", and planned my tank according to the needs. IMO, there should be a little bit of live rock in the tank with the damsels (fish after your cycle) because it will provide a little filtration and also provide hiding places and structure for the fish.

Let's Talk About ~Aquascaping~

Here is a link to the library section on corals. I hope some of the articles contained in there are helpful. A good book in my mind on corals is "Aquarium Corals" by Eric Borneman. A lot of pictures with information to go along with the different types.

Reef Frontiers - Coral Research

I also wanted to ask if you have all of the other equipment like a heater, or powerheads? Depending on your location, a heater may be necessary, and for flow in the tank, you may need a couple of powerheads. The lighting will be dependant on what corals you want to keep, but if you are going to start off with fish and take your time for corals, then you won't need upgraded lighting yet. Do you have plans on adding a skimmer later?

Hope this helps!
 

plack

Sea Otter
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
1,431
Location
Bothell ,WA
Welcome
Hi I have a 55 gallon on fathers day my wife got me a magnum 350 pro with the bio wheels salt 4 different test kits and some live sand for my old tank(17 years ago I had a fish only tank) and no lid only a hand made canopy that fish did jump out of on the back.

Your better off for being on this website people will help and stir you right but beware it maybe more expensive than you think for the equipment for instance 55-78 ponds of live rock is considered the required amount for your size tank(try getting some from someone breaking down there tank you will have to wait but check often and be patient it would be worth it in my opinion) 220 watts of lighting would be considered ok for soft coral and some others but possably to little for some types of coral.Getting a sump requires a pump and a protien skimmer which could be a cpr bak pack (cheaper no the best but ok for the $) or a better investment would be a euro-reef (expensize but seems to be worth it) and then simple things like power heads for water movement, this will add up to hundreds of dollars before getting any coral but you can do some things before getting it all but here is an anology if you ever got into computers and wanted to play a game on an old computer you found that replacing 1 thing wasent enoghp to get it the way you wanted so you often had to replace many things and so it is with this hobby if you dont get sufficent lighting enoughp live rock and a protien skimmer you could have problems. If you want certain types of coral as with fish some are more sensitive than others.

A really good book is " THE NEW MARINE AQUARIUM step by step settup and stocking guide by michael s paletta I also rewcomend trying to find someone with a tank in your area
post a thread like"anyone live near thunder bay" and talk to someone face to face from the club (P.S.A.S) that lives near you or better yet Join the P.S.A.S and talk to a number of people I think it's worth it as I could'nt possably sucessfully answer all your concerns at once sorry if this is long winded but you sound like me 5-6 months ago :)
 

plack

Sea Otter
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
1,431
Location
Bothell ,WA
Quick I wanted to tell you there is also a way to make your own live rock much cheaper I have not done it but others have sucessfully same with a protien skimmer some here make there own check out the Do It Yourself portion of the forums and some polyps and mushrooms look cool are hardy and require little light hope this seems more positive didn't want to come off like the dooms day police good luck ask questions of others go to various fish stores just DONT jump into spending money till you have a better idea of what you want and where to get it and it's costs and needs etc :)
 

darklcd

nursing eel
Joined
Nov 30, 2004
Messages
547
Location
Thunder Bay
well that helps me out a lot thinks everyone. plack I will have to keep that live rock idea in mind it sounds like it could be fun. and nah2o I always have a heater I live in ontario canada so l always do. as for the protine skimmer I want to get one and a good filter and or pump. I haev that one with the bioballs but I happened to get a lil extra cash so I am thinking that I might get a protin skimmer and a few other things that I didn't plan on before so I think i will be ok. as for lighting I am still unsure I herd that there are a few lights taht I can't use cuse of my house insurance and what not so if anyone knows anything let me know.......thanks
 

darklcd

nursing eel
Joined
Nov 30, 2004
Messages
547
Location
Thunder Bay
the only other thing I am not sure of is NaH2O is using either reverse osmosis/deionized I haven't herd of them lol and I am wondering what they are I know it might be a stupid question but wel you get the idea thanks
 

wrightme43

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2004
Messages
4,355
Location
bowling green ky
not stupid at all
Reverse Osimois Deionized water is called RODI on here
it is water that has been passed through a membrane that only allows water molecules through, ( not exactly but it filters out about 98% or the junk in water) the DI portion gets the rest. Then you have pure water to add salt to so you arent adding junk to your tank. HTH STEVE
 
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