Setting up a 100L/26gal

Sabi
  • #1
Hi.

'Fraid even though i'm reading setting up a sw tank articles, I still have to ask questions.

Ok as the heading says the tanks to be something around a 100L and a FOWLER setup.

I went to a big fish store today and asked them to price the equipment needed. I got the equipment list from Fishlore's article. But somethings they left out such as saltwater mix. Then what they put on was T5 lighting. On the little I read on t5 lighting I get the idea its for bigger setups, am I right? Or is it needed.
They also listed...
Undergravel filter
2 x R1000 powerhead
aquaclear.

I intend using a power filter so is the aquaclear still needed? I 've no intention in using a undergravel. And are the powerheads right?

Sorry if the question are stupid, I am just starting to understand what's going on!
 
sgould
  • #2
T5 lighting : If you are going FOWLR, you do not need T5s. This does not have to do with the size of the setup, but with what you are planning to keep in it. If you were planning a reef setup T5s would be a good suggestion, as many corals have strong lighting needs. For fish only, T5s are overkill. Expensive overkill at that.

Undergravel filter : You do not need an undergravel filter.

Powerheads : Yes, you need them. You want 20x your tank's volume in water flow. They keep water circulating through the live rock, which provides the biological filtering for the tank. Good water circulation also discourages nuisance algae/cyano growth.

Power filter : Aquaclear is a power filter, so I do not fully understand your question. In a Saltwater setup, protein skimming is going to be more important than traditional mechanical filtering. If you are prioritizing equipment, I would look into a protein skimmer before any power filter.

There are no stupid questions!
 
Sabi
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Nice to know!

Power filter : Aquaclear is a power filter, so I do not fully understand your question. In a Saltwater setup, protein skimming is going to be more important than traditional mechanical filtering. If you are prioritizing equipment, I would look into a protein skimmer before any power filter.
I have been checking out the protein skimmers, so far I havn't found the correct one. Either they are 'the waste of money ones' or too big for my size tank.
And yeah I don't understand the listing either, that's why I asked here. They listed ug filter as well as the aquaclear. So they are both filters, and a power filter is what we want, right.
 
Sabi
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
T5 lighting : If you are going FOWLR, you do not need T5s. This does not have to do with the size of the setup, but with what you are planning to keep in it. If you were planning a reef setup T5s would be a good suggestion, as many corals have strong lighting needs. For fish only, T5s are overkill. Expensive overkill at that.
Ah thanks. R650 is what they priced the t5 and it was the most expensive thing on the list! Ok, so would normal fluorescent lighting be fine?
 
sgould
  • #5
For FOWLR, yes. Though I would suggest using a reef bulb (basically a 50/50 daylight/actinic) to bring out the colors better.
 
Sabi
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Thanks sgould!

Make the tank a 30gal.
Would crushed coral be fine for substarte?

I'm just double checking as I go along...
 
sgould
  • #7
I prefer aragonite live sand myself, but lots of folks use crushed coral.
 
Sabi
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
OK.

What test kits are really necessary? I have nitrAte, NitrIte, pH, Ammonia and getting a hydrometer for salinity. Others like for carbonate hardness etc will I really need?
 
Gozer_1
  • #9
The test kits you mention will be fine to start out. Keeping a close eye on the others is more for the benifit of reef inhabitants but still won't hurt. I would for sure get a phosphate test kit. Calcium and alkalinity are the next 2 important ones. That should be all the test kit you need for now. If you decide later to go with more than FOWLR then you'll need some others.

Congrats on making the marine tank jump.

It's good to ask questions.
 
Sabi
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Thanks Gozer. Some of the equipments ordered and i'm waiting for it to come! I'm 80% exited and 20% weary... I was reading about some apitaisia (not sure if I got the name right) thing, that eats anemones and have crashed some ppls tanks, that scared me!
 
Sabi
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Just thought to update.
I've decided to have sump with a dsb as I believe it is a very good for of filtration and will help with more water quantity for a more stable system.
At first I was going to make a homemade one but then decided to get one made. My Dad said he'd take me this week to get everything sorted out. The skimmer i'm still undecided as to what brand to get. Reeftek and reefoctopus seem to be reefers best choice and they make nano types as well but they cost one hefty lot of $$.
So far i've been reading around and changed my my mind on something else too.
A reef tank is MUCH better.
 
Sabi
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
I prefer aragonite live sand myself, but lots of folks use crushed coral.
With more info and research, that's what i'm going with, straight from the sea.
 
Peterpiper
  • #13
HI Sabi,
Good to see you steping into marine!
With a 100lt reef tank you will need a chiller to control the temp as the t5 lights are warm.
Good luck with your first marine tank!
 
Rbacchiega
  • #14
The current tests I run (all seachem, but you can use whatever brand you want)
Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, Calcium, Alkalinity and pH.

With a good quality reef salt (again, I use Seachem) a lot of the trace minerals etc will be replenished with weekly water changes. Until you start getting some calcium hungry corals, I wouldn't even worry about a lot of the other additives.

Peter, maybe I'm thinking of something else, but aren't t5's just High Output Florescents? I didn't know they raised the temp significantly (****runs to check temps on tanks****)
Hope this helps
 
sgould
  • #15
T-5's aren't that bad...a little heat, but nothing excessive. MH, on the other hand...
 
Sabi
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
As i'm going to go reef in due course would t5 be the right lighting?

Test kits I should have by monday...Calcium, alkalinity and phosphate
 
Rbacchiega
  • #17
You can use t5s for certain corals: polyps and mushrooms would be the best. Once you start getting into some LPS ans SPS or even soft corals, you might want to research some different lighting. Or you could just research which corals will do best under t5 lighting.... the possibilities are endless
 
diver28
  • #18
I just installed some T5's as I too am adding corals into my tank. However, I've come to be very careful and critical about which corals can actually sustain my lighting. And at what depth. Have fun with that.. you'll love em when you turn them on the first time.
 
Sabi
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
You can use t5s for certain corals: polyps and mushrooms would be the best. Once you start getting into some LPS ans SPS or even soft corals, you might want to research some different lighting. Or you could just research which corals will do best under t5 lighting.... the possibilities are endless
You mean better lighting?
I was going to go with 2 x 39watt bulbs, 1 white 1 blue, to start with.
 
Gozer_1
  • #20
2 X 39W will give you 3 Watts per gallon. I'd recommend 4 or 5 for the large majority of Polyps, Mushrooms, Softies and a good lot of LPS corals. It's the SPS corals that really need serious lighting. With my current setup I have around 3 WPG and really want to upgrade. It's just not quite enough.
 
Sabi
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
So long as some corals will be able to grow in that light i'd be happy for now. Later however I will either get more higher wattage t5's or different lights. (And I thought t5's were quite good for most of the corals!) Thanks for your help Gozer & Rbacchiega.
 
GreenMan13
  • #22
T5 are good for most coral given enough wattage of T5s. Starting off with 2x39 watt tubes and planning to go up in wattage later is a fine idea, just make sure that the ballast and fixture can handle higher wattage bulbs.
 
Rbacchiega
  • #23
I currently run 96 watts over a 10 gallon tank and all my corals are doing quite well. I would look at saving up and going with a powercompact unit of somesort...corallife is great.
 
Gozer_1
  • #24
LOL I have Power Compacts and have been considering T5s. Go figure right. T5s have a little better output than Power Compacts. You can grow anything up to the more light needy stuff quite well with T5s. The trick is having the right number of bulbs. Like Greenman said, as long as you plan to upgrade as your light requirements go up, you'll be fine. 3 Ws is AOK for getting a tank started. The primary reason I recommend getting the light you want later, now, is for long term savings. It may cost you more in the long run to settle now and upgrade later. Just something to think about. It's my basic theory on everything I put in or on my reef. One note you might like. Fox Coral would do magnificent at 3 Ws. Low flow/Low light LPS coral. I posted a pic or two of mine in my 75 thread. They are beautiful. Prettiest coral I have anyway. lol.
 
Rbacchiega
  • #25
....which is why I now have one in my 90 gallon
 
Sabi
  • Thread Starter
  • #26
....which is why I now have one in my 90 gallon
Which? The corals or the T5's? lol.

Gozer, yip I get what you saying about buying it now. And you are right, better get all you want one time! What holds me back is i'm not sure I am going to get the more light demanding corals in the future. They require a lot of attention (I think) and i'm not sure I can do that.
What i'm supposed to be getting now is the 2 x bulbs and a ballast that will power both. What I thought i'd do if I wanted more/better lighting was get a higher wattage of bulbs with another ballast and add that to the current ones. Another thing to consider is that 39wat bulbs are just under 90cm in length and my tank is 90cm. Higher wattage ones are longer I think?
Another question relating to this lighting, will I be able to keep any clams?

Well what's better t5 or power compacts? ;D My lfs goes with Power Compacts too.

And to update on my tank so far.... All finalized except the stand, skimmer and lighting.
Thanks guys, for all the info!
 
Gozer_1
  • #27
Well, the light you'll have will give you plenty of options. There are several corals that will do just fine. Mushrooms (I think all of them), Some Zoos and few LPS corals like Bubble Coral and the Fox I mentioned. Sadly, clams require VERY high lighting. At least the pretty ones do If you knew for sure that you planned for higher light stuff later then I'd say go big now, but if you are unsure then just run with what you're getting now. I'm experimenting with high output LEDs. I have the need to upgrade dilemma, so I'm going to ad a few Current USA Power LED units. I have one now but it isn't near enough. Very interesting. Won't really know what I think until I have a couple more modules so they go across the whole tank. As for the T5\PC question, it's my understanding that T5s put out higher quality light. More intense. Power compacts have the advantage of fitting higher wattage bulbs in a smaller place. So T5s require more bulbs but they put off more usable light for the same wattage. Like I said, I'm considering switching out my PCs for T5s. In a lower light situation the quality of the light at this level is going to make a minimal difference. If PC is cheaper then I'd go PC or vice versa. Maybe when you decide to upgrade because you, "just gotta have that coral even though it needs more light". lol It'll happen, just you wait. There are some amazing higher light corals. It's so tempting.
 
Sabi
  • Thread Starter
  • #28
Well, the light you'll have will give you plenty of options. There are several corals that will do just fine. Mushrooms (I think all of them), Some Zoos and few LPS corals like Bubble Coral and the Fox I mentioned. Sadly, clams require VERY high lighting. At least the pretty ones do If you knew for sure that you planned for higher light stuff later then I'd say go big now, but if you are unsure then just run with what you're getting now. I'm experimenting with high output LEDs. I have the need to upgrade dilemma, so I'm going to ad a few Current USA Power LED units. I have one now but it isn't near enough. Very interesting. Won't really know what I think until I have a couple more modules so they go across the whole tank. As for the T5\PC question, it's my understanding that T5s put out higher quality light. More intense. Power compacts have the advantage of fitting higher wattage bulbs in a smaller place. So T5s require more bulbs but they put off more usable light for the same wattage. Like I said, I'm considering switching out my PCs for T5s. In a lower light situation the quality of the light at this level is going to make a minimal difference. If PC is cheaper then I'd go PC or vice versa. Maybe when you decide to upgrade because you, "just gotta have that coral even though it needs more light". lol It'll happen, just you wait. There are some amazing higher light corals. It's so tempting.
LOL, that's what i'm afraid off!
 
Sabi
  • Thread Starter
  • #29
HI again!

ok, I have my system setup for about 2 months now and I still have readings of ammonia nitrite and nitrate. Is something wrong?
The tanks has a filter, skimmer, heater, bio balls, power heads and 9.5 kg live rock in about 50gal water. .. ..
 

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