New Salt Water Tank For New Member

Discussion in 'Saltwater Beginners' started by Outgreygeous, Jul 1, 2019.

  1. Outgreygeous

    OutgreygeousNew MemberMember

    Hey everyone, I am new here. I am a freshwater person and I have a few tanks going for them. A bit of back ground I have 2 5 gallon tanks with my Berta males (separate tanks) I have a 10 gallon with 4 fancy guppies, and I have a 75 gallon with 2 angel fish, 2 rams, some juhli Cory (I think about 8) and a mystery snail.

    I am looking to dip into the salt water world and I just bought a 50 gallon tank. It is used and was previously used as fresh water that held WAY TO MANY GUPPIES. I rehomed most and I put 4 of the fancy guppies in my community tank and they are doing well.

    So I am looking to start a salt water and what I have researched I’m going to completely re do the tank. I already bought the live sand, I still need to research the live rock aspect, I bought a new filter suitable as well as live ocean mix, I know I need a hydrometer... looking for suggestions to build the perfect set up.

    I am actually looking to do a filtration system to a sumped tank so I can have a minimal design in the main. What size would I need to run the filter and heater and live rock through?
  2. Tony_097

    Tony_097Valued MemberMember

    Forget almost everything you know about FW as the salty side needs more precautions. First of all the water that is added to the tank requires rodi water also is recommended refractometer as they are more reliable than a hydrometer. Saltwater is not hard but it also isn’t cheap either don’t take short cuts as a beginner and do research. Think about what you want as well a Fowlr or a reef.I see you have the sand and the rock already (try 60lbs). a Eheim heater is a good choice that is readily available.

    Here is a list of items that you either need or recommend trough out the hobby

    Refractometer: needed as salinity is important

    Rodi unit: very important if you don’t want a saltwater algae culture

    Protein skimmer: pretty important piece of filtration as it removes organics like fish waste from the water

    I have a 40 breeder which in SW is still considered nano so hopefully other members which larger tanks could chime in as I cannot honestly give you reliable advice on how to plumb your tank.
  3. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Hi, welcome to Fishlore.
    Sumps in SW vary depending on your cabinet, and what it allows physically.
    For me, I'd look at about a 20G sump, but you need to consider the size of the skimmer, return pump etc to ensure they'll all fit. Also, the physical size of the heater, as an example Eheim Jager heaters are very long for the wattage compared to other brands, so consider that when designing your sump.

    Have you read the SW Beginner's stickies? Lots of answers in there.

    Skimmer, if using, you need to make sure it'll not only fit in the cabinet, but that you have enough room to lift and remove the collection cup.

    What are your desires for the tank? Full Reef (fish, coral, inverts), Reef minus inverts (so corals and fish), Fish Only (w/ Live rock). If you're going reef of either sort, a skimmer would be very advantageous for nutrient reduction.
  4. stella1979

    stella1979ModeratorModerator Member

    Just want to reiterate what's been said...

    • There is a LOT of information available to you in the Saltwater Beginner's stickies.;)
    • One of the first steps should be deciding how you'll provide saltwater to the tank. Mixing marine salt with tap water is not advised due to the preponderance of algae issues, not to mention other things that may be in a tap water source which will kill marine life. Such as, low-level copper which may be fine for us, fw tanks, pets, and plants, but copper will definitely kill marine inverts. So, decide if you'll install a RODI unit and use that water with marine salt, or if you will buy RODI + marine salt and still mix your own, or just buy saltwater to use for water changes AND pure/distilled/RODI for topping off.
    • Refractometers are cheap online and much more precise than using Hygrometers for measuring salinity.
    Lastly, if you really want a minimal scape, your sump will need to be large indeed... assuming you need to hold the return pump, a skimmer if you'll use one, as well as the rock that would otherwise be in the tank. The rock holds the cycle... but so can media. If you'll be using little rock in the tank, I'd suggest more rock in the sump AND some quality biomedia with a very high surface area. MarinePure media comes to mind.;) For precisely how much rock you'd need if you also added media, well, you'll need more precise advice than this nano keeper can give, but I have a story on a minimalist saltwater tank...

    It was a 5g quarantine tank which held nothing but PVC for hides, a heater, and an Aquaclear 30 HOB with Seachem Matrix biomedia inside. For months, this tank wouldn't cycle and we finally accepted that, despite quality media in the oversized HOB, there just wasn't enough surface area for beneficial bacteria to colonize, making it impossible for the tank to have the strong cycle we desired. So, despite wanting the tank very, very bare (due to the possibility of medicating the tank), we put a thin layer of sand at the bottom and upgraded to MarinePure biomedia, which we absolutely packed into the HOB. Finally, the minimalist tank cycled.;) Eventually upgraded the qt to a 10g where the same sand and MarinePure packed HOB maintain a strong cycle.:)
  5. Jesterrace

    JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

    The first thing I recommend doing is learning the differences between saltwater and freshwater. As Tony pointed out above precious little from freshwater transfers to the salty side and there are many differences between the two. I suggest taking a look at this vid as it highlights a number of the differences:

  6. OP

    OutgreygeousNew MemberMember

    Right now I am just purchasing some of the items I KNOW I need. Have not started to put anything together. I am still researching away for the best setup, the best way to cycle the tank, what rock to use etc etc

    Not looking to do an overly stocked tank at this time I am still researching what I would like to add to the tank as well, I know I will put a pair of clownfish but other than that I am not sure.

    Thanks for the advice and still open to more advice and suggestions. Any good information on setting up the sumped tank out there? Lots of different variations I have found so looking for good advice on someone who has had experience with it.

    I am planning to but most of my rock in the sumped tank but plan on putting a few for design on the main tank.
  7. Tony_097

    Tony_097Valued MemberMember

    Check out the brs 52 weeks series on YouTube it will give you info on most topics on a reef tank.
  8. Jesterrace

    JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

    Here is how mine is setup:

  9. stella1979

    stella1979ModeratorModerator Member

    +1 on the 52 Weeks of Reefing playlist by BRStv on YouTube. I cannot say enough how much it helped in bringing our own setup to life. :)
  10. Wild Bill

    Wild BillWell Known MemberMember

    General rule of any S-W tank is the bigger the better. You can figure about 1.5 lbs live rock per gallon of water ( I personally figure the sump as part of the total water volume). Under my 75, I have a 30 gal sump with s refugium.

    Water comes in the sump and flows over small rubble, goes into a sock filter. From there, it splits into the refugium and the skimmer. I purposely chose to switch my skimmer chamber with my fuge chamber so I can grow Chaeto (a macroalgae) to help out with feeding my fish and corals. If you need more info, please holler.