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Thinking about switching to salt...

Discussion in 'General Marine / Newbie' started by RNeiswander, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. RNeiswander

    RNeiswander Bunned

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    I have a 60 gallon tank that is currently planted, that I will be switching to salt in the not too distant future. It currently has a Rena xp4 on it. From what I've read, canisters aren't really ideal but is it a deal breaker? I don't have room for a sump with this stand.
    The tank is 48x13x24 so basically a taller 55 gallon. I have 3x54w Catalina light on the tank.
    I don't know much about corals and light requirements, and all of the different kinds yet, but what is doable with this light?
    Also I believe that ro/di is basically a requirement and not an option correct? And what would be a good hob skimmer to use? I may be trading a friend of mine two of my old canisters for one of his ac110s, so I'm thinking I can use that as a refugium.

    I have a lot of questions and a lot more research to do. This may not happen for a while since I'm looking at buying a house, so it would happen after I get that taken care of. Any help would be great, thanks
     
  2. RNeiswander

    RNeiswander Bunned

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    Also as far as the light fixture goes, I currently have 2 6500k bulbs and a 10000k bulb. I figure I can keep the 10000k and add a actinic bulb and a 14000k. Does that sound ok?
     
  3. Khemul

    Khemul Sea Bunny

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    You can use the canister. Just might need to do more maintenance to keep it cleaned then you would with FW.

    The light should work fine. Mushrooms, many Soft Corals, Zoanthids, and some LPS should be fine. There are probably a lot of other possibilities, but some of it will depend on your rockwork. Higher rockwork allows you to place higher requirement corals up top for better lighting.

    RO/DI water is definitely a good idea. RO water works if it is all that is available also. Tap water can work if you are desperate and only plan to keep fish, but isn't worth the trouble. I've tried it, it makes keeping anything but fish (ie: no corals and no inverts) very difficult.

    Can't say much on skimmers. I don't use them.
    A ac110 is probably about the best HOB filter for converting into a refugium. Lots of space. Google should give you plenty of advice of modding them, then it is just a matter of throwing in Chaeto and putting a light on it.
     
  4. greech

    greech AC Moderators

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    I looked but couldn't find much on the Catalina. Looks like it is used for a lot of planted tanks. Is this a high output T5 and are the reflectors individual to each bulb?. If so, you can possibly do some softies and maybe some low light LPS. The problem you have is a fairly deep tank with not a lot of light. I would try a couple of cheap mushrooms up higher and I would swap out the bulbs for to ATI Blue+ and an Aquablue Special. The fixture you have now is fine for a FOWLR but the 6500 + 10k is going to make for a yellow tank and may promote algae growth quite a bit. If you can buy another fixture put the money towards it rather than the bulbs.

    The AC110 may help but probably not a whole lot due to its size versus the tank but if you are willing to buy a skimmer you can use the 110 or your canister to just run carbon and GFO to polish. With the skimmer, I don't really think that its worth it to have the 110 as a fuge. I don't think it will provide a whole lot of benefit and it's one more thing to deal with. THis would be a great HOB skimmer but Reef Octopus, eshopps and Warner Marine make nice HOB skimmers and can be a little cheaper. There are also in-tank skimmers like the Tunze 9002 you could look into.

    Edit: Forgot to put the link to the skimmer :)

    http://www.marinedepot.com/Deltec_E...otein_Skimmers-Deltec-DD1511-FIPSHONW-vi.html
     
    #4 greech, Oct 14, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2011
  5. RNeiswander

    RNeiswander Bunned

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    That would be the correct light, its is t5ho and yes there are individual reflectors. I have no problem with this being a fowlr tank for now lol, Not ready to dive into a reef tank yet. I think ill change out the two bulbs, I have a koralia nano, i think ill get one more larger powerhead. with the 110 and the xp4 i think i should have decent flow. I plan on stocking the tank fairly lightly. I was planning on one or two clown fish, X number of firefish, and a goby or two. SHrimps and cuc etc. Does this sound do-able? Anything i should add or take out of that list?

    That skimmer looks good although somewhat pricey, will be looking into those much more lol. Thanks greech
     
  6. Niko2021

    Niko2021 AC Members

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    It depends on the kind of salt water tank you're doing. A reef doesn't need as great of filtration as a fish only tank, but it needs a great deal of lighting, 3-5 watts per gallon. With a reef tank, you could stick with the canister filter, but a wet dry sump is the ideal way to go for both set ups. Plus in sump protein skimmers IMO work the best, plus they're highly configurable with your own pump. With a fish only tank you'd need the same set up, with ideally but not required UV sterilizer, as well as a skimmer with a higher flow rate, the lighting doesn't need to be all that great. Honestly, canister filters are more of a pain :) you can make a sump out of a cheapo 20 gallon glass tank if you'd want. Just let the water drain into a filter pad, which is on a bio ball partition, with a gap at the bottom for water to flow to the other side for the return pump/skimmer.
    Your lighting is adequate for novice corals. But salt water is addicting, and you're going to end up getting the best of everything eventually :) start out with your canister filter and lights, but later on, you'd add a sump, metal halides, etc.
     
    #6 Niko2021, Oct 15, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011
  7. the wizard

    the wizard Is it really Niko's fault?

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    You tube has some very good videos on making sumps. Take advantage of the next $1 per gallon sale at Petco for the tank.
     
  8. Khemul

    Khemul Sea Bunny

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    :confused:
    Even the most hardy corals are less tolerant of water conditions then most fish. And that's not even considering the corals that require very high water circulation or very clean water. Generally you put a lot more into the filtration system for reef tanks, especially if you get into automatic systems and reactors.
     
  9. vera222

    vera222 AC Members

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    [​IMG] Originally Posted by Niko2021 [​IMG]
    It depends on the kind of salt water tank you're doing. A reef doesn't need as great of filtration as a fish only tank,.

    i agree, Khemul! Corals are generally not tolerant of even low levels of nitrates, and most fish can handle higher nitrates with no real harm. Where did you ever hear corals don't need good filtration, Niko?? A canister filter is a horrible idea on a reef tank. It's a nitrate factory, and should be left in freshwater tanks. Corals not only need great water quality and lighting, they also need lots of water flow. For example, my overflow and sump turns over about 600 gallons per hour, and my tank is 55 gal, so this is a little more than 10 times turnover rate. I also have 3 powerheads (in addtion to my return pipe) which each push about 500 gallons per hour. For a reef tank, it's best to have AT LEAST a 10 x turnover rate, sometimes much more depending on what's in the tank. The corals AND fish benefit from it, not to mention the live rock. :)
     
  10. greech

    greech AC Moderators

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    I would shoot for 40X plus turnover regardless of whether it was a reef or a FOWLR. It doesn't matter to fish in the ocean if there are corals around. Fish like water movement too, not to mention the health benefits of having good flow.

    HOBs and canisters can be nitrate factories if left unchecked for weeks at a time. If you stay in the habit of cleaning them out and running fresh media they can be beneficial.
     

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