Possible Start-up...advice Needed!

Dfbacca

So, I currently have a 55 gallon Freshwater african cichlid setup, and a friend from work is offering me a free 55 gallon tank w/ stand since they haven't used it in years...so I thought, "Why not try a Saltwater tank?" I've always wanted to give it a go, but usually the increased start-up cost and increased maintenance work has kept me from it...I've done quite a bit of research for Freshwater set-ups and that research had me dabble into Saltwater some, but I am looking for great, general advice into starting a Saltwater tank. Everything from preparing the tank to equipment and beyond. Any and all advice is welcomed! Thanks in advance!!

P.S. It would most likely be a FOWLR tank to begin, with the possibility of changing to non-predator reef tank in the future, (if possible).
 

aaron0g

General advise; research everything before buying and try to buy the better first time to save having to replace later, pacience is key to sucsess and whatever you think it's going to cost you probably forgot something and it will be more. Even after all that it's worth it, fish have so much personality then the fresh water fish.
If possible on a tank that size a sump is worthwhile if you want to hide all the equipment such as protein skimmer, filter socks /media and heaters, also makes general maintenance easier. I would start with live rock and sand and let it cycle before adding stock just like fresh (rock is the bilogical filtration) did you get any equipment with the tank?
Good luck and post lots of pics
 

Dfbacca

I haven't picked the tank up yet so I'm unsure of any equipment that it might come with...I know it was used as a saltwater tank, so hopefully they do have some equipment with it...I was planning on going with a sump, but what size sump for a 55 gallon tank? 29g? Or larger? Also, after posting this, I read that 3 part guide on the homepage for saltwater beginners...Very interesting and helpful read, and answered quite a few questions I had. Although there will be many more, I'm sure lol
 

aaron0g

The bigger the sump the more you can fit in (refugium ect) however it is also an increase in how much salt and rodI water you will need, look at the space you have and allow some room around the sump for other extras such as resivoir for auto top up its all personal preference. I run a small sump on my 23g reef tank it hides heater, skimmer, filter sock, extra rock, return pump and a hydra 30 filter. Works great at making dispatched tank look neat (until you add something like a pistol shrimp and the tank turns to chaos).
 

Nart

The rule of thumb for your refugium sump to work effectively would be at least 50% of your display tank. Obviously, larger would be better as you can house your extra equipment in it and have a larger space to grow macro algae.
 

Dfbacca

I did a bit of research for a sump when setting up my cichlid tank (opted for external canister w/ 2 HOB filters) but it seems similar for Saltwater tanks as well...Except for the skimmer and live rock/sand in a refugium...
 

Nart

Dfbacca which, is the biggest difference. Not only for storing equipment, but when you have a refugium going, the biggest thing is growing macro nutrients to help export excess nutrients to help lower Nitrates and Phosphates, which in turn helps you keep harder to keep corals that do not tolerate excess nutrients.
 

maxefforts

I did a bit of research for a sump when setting up my cichlid tank (opted for external canister w/ 2 HOB filters) but it seems similar for Saltwater tanks as well...Except for the skimmer and live rock/sand in a refugium...
Always been a big fan of a good canister and two good hobs, or in my case 3 AC 110s and a FX6, I have a sponge filter in there too. Way over filtration, yes. That's just how I roll. I like having the sponge on a battery backup just in case.
 

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