Saltwater newbie setting up 55 gallon FOWLR.

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corycat32

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I have gotten experienced with freshwater and have been looking into to saltwater. I have done tons of research and have spent at least an hour, sometimes up to six hours a day on saltwater.So I just got my tank. I have hooked the powerhead and protein skimmer on the tank but they are not plugged in. My question is do I need a hang on filter? I have 60 lbs. of live rock waiting at the LFS. I have saltwater prepared in a 55 gallon bucket ready to siphon into the tank. should I put my sand in before or after the water? my plan was to put the water in, then the live rock, then the sand.what should I do? I'm picking up the LR tommorow. I am about to hook up the heater and thermometer. I do not have a sump or refugium. I plan to add some nutrafin cycle starter once I put in the the LR,sand,water, and plug in the equipment. so my questions are:
Do I need a hang on filter or will my LR and prtein skimmer be enough?
What order do I put in the LR, sand and water?
How ling do I have to wait to add fish? I plan to put in a domino damsel and a three striped damsel in two or three days. Thank You!
 

kloseo

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I would put the sand in , get a pie plate and set it on top of the sand in the tank then slowly pour the water in on the plate, this helps cut down cloudyness, it will still cloud up but should be ok by tommorrow, make sure the ph and salinity are ok, check daily as it may take a while to stabalize ph, get the temp to around 78 then can add the live rock. you really want all these in place as to not loose any living critters that's on the live rock.
you can hook up the filter it will help with the cloudyness, and go either way on the skimmer, hook it up now or later
then just be patient till it cycle,
one piece of advice is to make sure you have plenty of tank turnover each hour for hangons filters around 8x to 10x per hour, it will help with water parimeter stability
best of luck
 

kloseo

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it is recommended to wait at least 6 weeks to add fish to saltwater tanks, this is very different from freshwater tanks, however some people cycle with fish although it is not good for the fish ( damsel fish are the fish of choice fo r those that do) if you do go this route which is not recommended you will still need to wait till the cycle completes before adding additonal fish
 
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corycat32

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thank you. I just put the sand in. I'm going to do the water right now. then I'm hooking up everything.
 

kloseo

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best of luck
 

ATP

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I agree with kloseo with the exception of the filter. The filters are design to trap solids. Food, dead organisms, and other things are trapped with the filter and will produce nitrates. (nitrate factory)

6 weeks is also just a basic term. Just wait until your nitrite, ammonia is zero, you should have pretty high nitrates. Get it down by water changes and with the help of your skimmer and you should be able to keep clownfish, damsels, and other hardy fish.
 
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corycat32

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thanks. I have got it all running and got my live rock formation setup. I have all kinds of little passages and caves and overhangs in it. now I'm going to just wait. I would post pics but imy camera is broke and the camera on my phone is not even worth trying.
 

kloseo

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so glad all is going well ...keep us posted, as ATP stated the 6 weeks is a general statement, the tanknutrafin cycle starter will probable speed the process up. If you haven't purchased a test kit, I would purchase one, stay away from the strip test as they are not very accurate the apI test kit is very reliable. You will know how your cycle is proceeding by doing weekly test. Ammonia will be the first to spike up, then will lower as nitrites spike. the nitrites will lower as the nitrates spike and lower. You can then do a water change of around 20%. keep testing and adjusting the ph until it stabalizes and keep a close eye on the live rock, you might be surprised at some of the critters you brought home. but most important have fun
 

Stang Man

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You should have put LR in first then sand then water last ohh well a day late and a dollor short!!! Welcome to the salt world !!!!!!!!!
 
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corycat32

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Thanks! I'll be sure to keep you posted. I did pick up a test kit today.
 

Stang Man

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Yep test kits are a must!!!! What test 's did you buy?
 
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