many saltwater questions


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Quinn_Lamb98

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i have some questions and mant of them go in seperate catagories so i am just going to post in this part of the section-
here are my questions
1. i have a 30 gallon bowfrnt that is not being used, but i also have a 50 gallon that is being used for my freshwater community. what would everyone on here recomend doing- down grading my 50 gallon fresh to the 30 gallon (lowering stocking numbers of course), or just setting up the 30 gallon as the saltwater. i want to do the switch and use the 50 gallon as the saltwater.
2. can a refugium be used as an algae scrubber but also work the same as a refugium (place for copepods)? i plan on using an appropriate skimmer so that the algae scrubber/refugium will not turn the water yellow.
3. most if not all the bio-filtration is done via live rock and current from power heads, correct?
4. most power filters are used just for carbon and to remove debris in a quick manor, but should not be used as a mechanical filter as they can become huge nitrate traps, correct?
5. sumps are used as built in refugiums and to add more water for a more stable environment. they can also have lots of live rock for even more bio filtration. here is my question- is it just for those 2 things and to hide equipment?
6. i have 3 hob filters on the back of the 50 and i do not mind having the equipment being seen. my dad says that there is no chance of using a sump in this setup. could i utilize one of these hobs for a refugium/algae scrubber and the other 2 as carbon/short period mechanical filters?

i plan on instead of building the tank around the fish i want to setup the tank properly and use fish that can be kept in a reef tank safely and are not aggressive because i plan on converting to a reef when i have done the research, research, and more research, and if i want to do 4 times research again.

this tank will not be getting setup for some time i am just getting as much research in as i can, so there is know hige rush. i have read ryanr's stickies in the beginner section.

EDIT: I plan on making this a reef tank after several moths of it being setup, so it would be nice that any answers also be answered as if it will be a reef but is currently going to be a FOWLR
 

Mike

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1. i have a 30 gallon bowfrnt that is not being used, but i also have a 50 gallon that is being used for my freshwater community. what would everyone on here recomend doing- down grading my 50 gallon fresh to the 30 gallon (lowering stocking numbers of course), or just setting up the 30 gallon as the saltwater. i want to do the switch and use the 50 gallon as the saltwater.
I would use the 50 for the saltwater tank - you will get hooked on saltwater and will want the bigger tank.


2. can a refugium be used as an algae scrubber but also work the same as a refugium (place for copepods)? i plan on using an appropriate skimmer so that the algae scrubber/refugium will not turn the water yellow.
You could put chaetomorpha macro algae in the fuge and it will help filter the water and be a great place for pods to grow.

3. most if not all the bio-filtration is done via live rock and current from power heads, correct?
The cycle is handled by the live rock completely, the power heads keep stuff suspended and off the bottom so it can be caught in the skimmer or if you have a mechanical filter, caught in it. I don't use mechanical filter. If I need to run carbon, phosban or similar I have two little fishies reactors

4. most power filters are used just for carbon and to remove debris in a quick manor, but should not be used as a mechanical filter as they can become huge nitrate traps, correct?
That is how I feel about them. If you change out the media on a regular basis you won't have trate problems, but most people don't change them on a regular basis.


5. sumps are used as built in refugiums and to add more water for a more stable environment. they can also have lots of live rock for even more bio filtration. here is my question- is it just for those 2 things and to hide equipment?
Yep, sumps are used to increase the total water volume and to hide ugly equipment like skimmers, heaters, etc.


6. i have 3 HOB filters on the back of the 50 and i do not mind having the equipment being seen. my dad says that there is no chance of using a sump in this setup. could i utilize one of these hobs for a refugium/algae scrubber and the other 2 as carbon/short period mechanical filters?
I've done something like that in the past - see this: https://www.fishlore.com/refugium-setup.htm

i plan on instead of building the tank around the fish i want to setup the tank properly and use fish that can be kept in a reef tank safely and are not aggressive because i plan on converting to a reef when i have done the research, research, and more research, and if i want to do 4 times research again.
Good idea on researching as much as possible first... only costs you your time instead of your hard earned money.


this tank will not be getting setup for some time i am just getting as much research in as i can, so there is know hige rush. i have read ryanr's stickies in the beginner section.
Ryan's stickies will definitely get you going on the right path. Good info in them.

EDIT: I plan on making this a reef tank after several moths of it being setup, so it would be nice that any answers also be answered as if it will be a reef but is currently going to be a FOWLR
I set up my 55 gallon as a fowlr first and then converted it to a full blown reef later. I didn't have a lot of disposable cash available and had to buy the lights, skimmer upgrade, and corals a little at a time. Get the best skimmer you can and T5 lights (metal halides can introduce over-heating issues) if you want to keep corals, unless you can afford LED's.
 

Quinn_Lamb98

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thanks Mike.

i have some more questions-
1. i know many people use ro/di units for there water changes/top ups but why other than do reduce chemicals in the water?
2. how much live rock should i use for a 50 gallon that has dimensions- 48LX12WX21H?
3. i know many people use live sand but what are the purposes? could i just use pfs or is crushed coral/live sand necessary/mandatory for a marine setup?
3.another clarifying question on sumps- they are not necessary at all they are just fore stable water chemistry/hiding equipment/more LR for more bio-filtration, nothing more/nothing less? i know that obviously you can make mods to the sump for even more purposes but i am just thinking of the main purposes.

This is what i plan on doing (depending on answers on here).
1. selling a whole bunch of my freshwater stuff (fish, tanks, gravel, fake plants, etc.)
2. moving my freshwater fish that i don't sell/want to keep into the 30g (after it is setup).
3. selling even more stuff that is just sitting around in my room
4. buying the appropriate sand (again depending on some answers) and LR
5. buying salt i need for mixing into the water (marine salt not aquarium salt, i know i know)
6. start cycling the tank via raw shrimp. even if the tank cycles after a month i will only start to add livestock (fish) after i have all the funds that i will need.

as i go i will be buying a skimmer and probably 3 power heads and making mods to a hob filter for a make shift algae scrubber/refugium. at first i will just be using my HOB filters for water movement.

how does this sound? i do no mind any tweaks anyone might have as this is all just what i have put together in the past 3 days.
 

JessiNoel21

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1. i know many people use RO/di units for there water changes/top ups but why other than do reduce chemicals in the water? Cuz it also removes heavy metals that are in the water and it is pure water which is healthy for your SW stock.

2. how much live rock should i use for a 50 gallon that has dimensions- 48LX12WX21H? I would do 20 lbs Fully cured LR and 35 lbs dry base rock.

3. i know many people use live sand but what are the purposes? could i just use pfs or is crushed coral/live sand necessary/mandatory for a marine setup? LS keeps the cycle more stable and has micro oranisms that help the tank cycle right,PFS is a NO NO seeing it has silica in it which phosphatesates and those are bad in a SW tank.

3.another clarifying question on sumps- they are not necessary at all they are just fore stable water chemistry/hiding equipment/more LR for more bio-filtration, nothing more/nothing less? i know that obviously you can make mods to the sump for even more purposes but i am just thinking of the main purposes. Yes I added two more chambers to mine to have my heater and fuge in my sump.

This is what i plan on doing (depending on answers on here).
1. selling a whole bunch of my freshwater stuff (fish, tanks, gravel, fake plants, etc.)
2. moving my freshwater fish that i don't sell/want to keep into the 30g (after it is setup).
3. selling even more stuff that is just sitting around in my room
4. buying the appropriate sand (again depending on some answers) and LR
5. buying salt i need for mixing into the water (marine salt not aquarium salt, i know i know)
6. start cycling the tank via raw shrimp. even if the tank cycles after a month i will only start to add livestock (fish) after i have all the funds that i will need. That sounds like a great plan and remember do not rush I would introduce a new live stock to the tank every three weeks and watch your parms closely.

as i go i will be buying a skimmer and probably 3 power heads and making mods to a hob filter for a make shift algae scrubber/refugium. at first i will just be using my HOB filters for water movement.
how does this sound? i do no mind any tweaks anyone might have as this is all just what i have put together in the past 3 days. That sound good just keep them empty to have water movement or put some LR rubble in them to help filter the tank.
 

Mike

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It is good to use RO/DI for the water so that you don't introduce anything but pure water into the tank. Tap water can contain nitrates, phosphates, flouride, and a whole host of other undesirable items into your tank which could lead to nuisance algae issues.

I'd get about 1 pound per gallon of the good quality very porous live rock. Cycled or pre-cured live rock from your local shop will handle the cycle for you. No need to use the raw shrimp or other additives... assuming you get enough live rock. Set up the tank, put in the live rock and monitor the cycle. Depending on the shape the rock is in when you buy it will determine how long the cycle takes. I've set up tanks with rock that was fully cured and there was no wait time at all for the cycle.

I've had sand beds in the past but currently I run a bare bottom to try and keep my nutrient load as low as possible. Shallow sand beds are primarily for looks whereas deep sand beds (3 to 4 inches plus deep) are for functional reasons. Some fish species need deep sand beds. DSB's can also perform a role in the cycle, harbor lots of beneficial organisms, etc. It's a big topic and you should research the sand bed and figure out what you like and want to have.

Check your local craigslist or similar and even your local reef store for equipment. They may have used or old equipment like skimmers that you can get for really good prices. There are several HOB skimmers out there (reef octopus skimmers for example), research them thoroughly since they will likely be the most expensive and one of the most important pieces for your setup.

Also, sumps are not necessary for a saltwater setup... they are just extremely nice to have.

Mike
 
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