Care Guide #1 Live Rock, Water, Sand, Heaters, Filters

Discussion in 'Saltwater Beginners' started by Reef13G YT, Jul 31, 2017.

  1. Reef13G YTValued MemberMember

    Ok so here is some important information.

    First of all with your tank put in the sand. Then put a bowl on the sand. Fill the tank with water. Then put in the heater, then install the filter.
    After that put in live rock.

    How to do it.

    1. Finding the perfect tank

    Think about the prices and responsibility it takes for a larger tank, and the cash you'll spend.

    2. Perfect Heater and Filter
    you need to find the right one for your tank size, or find a package

    3. Live Rock

    Here is something you should use. Make sure your fish have enough real-estate and cover and shade. Or things can get messy. Also Live Rock Per Gallon.

    That's all
    #2 Inverts
    #3 Fish
    #4 Corals

  2. NartWell Known MemberMember

    Disagreed. Please correct your guide.

    Putting sand before rock is not the best idea at all. Especially in a larger system where the rock pieces can easily weigh over 25lbs a piece.
    You need to have the rock on a solid foundation making sure it is stable and doesn't topple over when you continue to stack/rockscape the tank. So in this instance you either want it on a egg-crate or put the live rock on the glass directly and use 2-part epoxy as needed to prevent the live rock from slipping.
    If you put sand first and rock second, the rock is now on a unstable foundation. As the sand moves away, so will your rock-scape, which could turn into a huge mess if the rocks topples over and hits the glass.

    Filter is not at all needed in a saltwater system. Biological filtration can be achieved with just a power-head and live/dry rocks.

    Live rocks per gallon is false. It depends how porous the live/dry rock is will determine how much you need. For instance, if you have a 20 gallon tank, fitting in 20lbs of Pukani rocks will be far different than fitting in 20lbs of Tonga rocks. Pukani rocks are very porous and light, thus trying to fit in 20lbs of Pukani will nearly fill your entire tank with rocks leaving almost no room for any tank inhabitants. On the other hand, Tonga rocks are very dense and heavy, you might have a good ratio with 1lbs per 1 gallon with Tonga.

    Not that I am an expert, but I want to help to provide the best and most accurate information as possible to spread in the hobby. I also encourage you to thoroughly research and review your guides before you post them. We want to help provide new comers with the best information as possible.


    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
  3. Tragic13Valued MemberMember

    To a point he is kinda right about the 1lb per gallon that is the best rule of thumb for a beginner and should help them get an idea of the type of rock structures they need. I try to mix natural rock with shelf rock to get the most space that I can from the bottom but still have plenty of live rock, I have about 120lbs of live rock in my 75g. The other is Live Sand can be added before live rock if you so choose, you can always push the rock into the sand bed lightly to give the rock pressure against the sand, it is what I prefer myself so that rock isn't against glass, I have a fear of cracking. My foundation "natural" rocks are so heavy that the sand under is compressed and when you stack live rock, you stack on the pivot points so that they don't crumble down. All in all for a starter guide it's decent information.

    EDIT: Almost forgot the filtration issue.... Although it is not necessarily needed, no one wants to do 1-2 water changes a week. I would 9/10 times recommend a sump with a protein skimmer. Nano tanks can survive with a HOB and be fine, but when you are getting bigger it's always better to have to extra space down below. You might be fine the first year getting away with a routine once a week or every other week WC but the 2nd and 3rd years are the real challenge. So although it isn't "needed" to the average joe it is. Recommend a sock filter on the end of your drain pipe, a good protein skimmer rated over your tank size, a nice size sump for extra filtration, refuge, etc... and a good return pump. With a sump as well, it allows you to hide your thermostat and heater, comes in handy when your tank has 2+ powerheads. :D

    Last edited: Aug 2, 2017
  4. NartWell Known MemberMember

    No, it's not a decent guide at all and no disrespect to you @Tragic13 , but, adding a "filtration" or HOB filter has no effect on doing more or less water changes. Water changes are not only there to remove excess nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates. Water changes helps to replenish minerals that the fish/corals have exhausted. Currently in the hobby you can utilize the Triton test to test for 35 trace elements within your water column and replenish as needed, although that's an entirely different topic in itself.

    @Reef13G YT
    Apology accepted.

    I saw your youtube video, asides from the inaccurate information given. You appear to be very energetic and excited for the reef keeping hobby.
    I recommend you re-asses your video content in editing it with correct information. Do you know Joey Mullen (King of DIY)? If so, I attended one of his seminars in person and the #1 thing he said was... "This hobby is doomed." We asked why. He said, "if you look out on the web, people are continually posting the wrong information, be it youtube, forums, etc... and you have new comers just starting the hobby and using these advices"
    If you are looking to do youtube videos and starting your own channel, why not do video updates on your tank and sharing your experiences with us to follow? That way you can learn from the more experienced reefers and others can learn from you as well. When you get the hang of reef keeping and start to know the in's and out's, you can start putting up some great advices/recommendations yourself. This is just my 2 cents. Obviously it's a free country and you can do what you like.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
  5. Reef13G YTValued MemberMember

    Yeah I have. I stayed up all night for his Facebook live stream on his update on his fish.
    Thanks for accepting my apology.
    I know have gotten more knowledge. I shouldn't have posted it and deleted all of my guides [I believe]
  6. Tragic13Valued MemberMember

    But that's what calcium reactors can help avoid or even dosing pumps? Protein Skimmers also remove proteins, oils, and other dissolved organic compounds from the water that contribute to the build up of Nitrates.

    All in all I do not see how it is not a decent guide.... Every saltwater enthusiast should start with a FOWLR tank... Tank size is your most important issue because it tells you what you can and can not have, next decide on if you will use a sump or not, 2nd decide if you want to do 1-2 water changes a week or use a protein skimmer. Get yourself a decent heater... add some sand/liverock/saltwater in whatever order you want because honestly it doesn't really matter and most of the time you will aquascape again at some point, get your perimeters right, let your sand and rock flourish, get some good coralline build up, throw some inverts, let them munch away for a bit, throw some fish in.... No it is not an in-depth guide... but if someone is passionate they should research numerous forums/blogs/videos etc.. to find the answers they seek and cross reference. I am just trying to be positive towards the OP so that he knows that his opinion is encouraged and that I hope he can research and fill in the gaps he has... but for basics.. WELL DONE :)
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
  7. NartWell Known MemberMember

    What? Just because you install a calcium reactor does not mean you don't have to dose to replenish anything else.
    Yes protein skimmers are used to help remove dissolved organics to help combat excess nutrients, but this still does not address helping to replenish major and minor trace elements back into the tank.

    You still need to do water changes to replenish trace minerals.
    In a nano reef tank, trace minerals are also consumed very quickly, because naturally you have a small body of water. This is especially true if you have LPS and SPS corals.
    Trace minerals are re-introduced back into the tank by a fresh batch of saltwater. Your salt mix is what contains these trace minerals.

    What trace minerals/elements? It's not just calcium.. you have other major elements like magnesium, strontium, carbonate, and minor trace elements like, iodine, iron, etc...

    So to put it, just because you installed a HOB filter throw some chemi-pure and install a Protein skimmer, even with a GFO reactor... It does not stretch out the water changes required for a nano reef tank. Yes, you may have 0 Nitrates and 0 Phosphates, which may work in a FOWLR set-up, but in a reef tank with lots of corals, in order to keep them thriving and growing it requires major and minor trace elements. Let's say you toss in a calcium reactor, you still need to dose/replenish magnesium, strontium, etc... I mean, unless you are using Triton tests and sending off your results and identifying which trace elements are low... you would still either have to perform water changes or dose the necessary lacking trace elements, but an Ultra Low Nutrient System is another topic.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
  8. grantm91Fishlore VIPMember

    Water changes are actually easier than all the testing and dosing if you ask me, if you seen my thread you will see my way of reefing which is the way of successful beginners, not looking for ways to save on water changes when you don't really know fully whats going on by purchasing skimmers and random reactors
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2017
  9. Tragic13Valued MemberMember

    I agree with always doing water changes that isn't the issue :p. I am saying that with a skimmer, you can get by with doing your WC once a week or even every other week and be ok! What you are assuming I am saying and I think I understand is that you never have to do a water change with a protein skimmer and that is not what I am saying at all or even about a nano reef because I have never done one :p. What I am saying is that with a large system, you will not use your trace minerals as quickly due to using a dosing system or a calcium reactor because it does help boost your calcium, magnesium, etc. you just get the media for it and presto. Downside they are expensive, bulky, and can look like a train wreck. What I am getting at is that filtration in the long run saves you on your WC entirely, not because of your minerals and elements but because of the organics it collects. There are many hobbyists that can go a month without a WC due to using a skimmer and a reactor/dosing unit. In all honesty it really comes down to your tank and the way you run it. But for the OP, I will say for a basic guide for someone who doesn't have the slightest idea about a saltwater setup, the guide isn't a bad one. Because once someone starts rambling about calcium, magnesium, kalk etc... they either become too stressed and confused or just lose interest.. It's like an other hobby, find a good starting point and go from there. Do research and figure out what best fits YOU. :)

    With a larger system you always want to try to keep from doing a ton of water changes, it gets expensive very quickly.. You use a lot of salt for a water change so you want to stretch them as best as you can while keeping your system running... Like I mentioned before idk about a nano tank because I have never had one and If this guide is for a nano tank then I'm not sure, but all I'm saying is the guy is trying... and from what he has said it isn't terrible, not great but for someone who has no idea what they need its a basic start. Some other stuff I have read has been terrible and removed but the guy is trying and it's worth reading. But I swear by the protein skimmer gods haha, they save me a ton of money!
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2017
  10. grantm91Fishlore VIPMember

    Yeah @Tragic13 thats true about a larger tank, my point was aimed mainly at smaller tanks and at people who aren't ready for reactors and dosing, or aimed at someone who would be reading a "guide" if thats what you would call this thing...
  11. Tragic13Valued MemberMember

    I understand both yourself and NART's frustrations. You both have amazing advice and I enjoy reading them all lmao.
  12. NartWell Known MemberMember

    Someone reads my stuff??
  13. Reef13G YTValued MemberMember

    yes we read all your stuff

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