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Greg's Return to Salt

Discussion in 'General Marine / Newbie' started by GregAW, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. GregAW

    GregAW AC Members

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    Well, it's been 30+ years since I had a salt water aquarium and I know things have greatly changed since then, so here I am, looking for all the good advice I can glean in setting up a new (to me) 55 gal. reef tank. I know I will be doing a lot of reading on this forum and will more than likely get more confused as I go along. So please bear with me when I ask dumb questions.

    I guess you can call this the Diary of Greg's 55. I'll be taking lots of photos from the time I get the equipment home until it's up and running and more.

    I'm not sure what all is coming with this set up but I do know the guy I bought it from had it set up as a marine aquarium but it's been sett stagnate for the last 2 months. I figure the first thing I'll do is do a really good bleach job on the tank just to make sure I kill off anything bad that might do harm to a new build. When I get the inventory I'll post a list here.

    I think this thread will grow over time. I would like to get away from anything hanging over the sides and just run pipe through the glass to whatever I need in the bottom of the stand.

    Thanks Greg
     
  2. journey0820

    journey0820 AC Members

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    Hey Greg...congrats and welcome!
     
  3. GregAW

    GregAW AC Members

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    Thanks, now if I can just pull this off. LOL
     
  4. Ace25

    Ace25 www.centralcoastreefclub. com

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    First bit of advice, I would go with vinegar instead of bleach to clean out the tank when you get it.
     
  5. GregAW

    GregAW AC Members

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    Thanks for that advice. What mix would you suggest? I just want to make sure that I kill anything that would be harmful later on down the road. I guess so I would be starting out as clean as possible.
     
  6. GregAW

    GregAW AC Members

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    For starters, I know there is a bag of Instant Ocean's salt mix, will this do to get things started? Also, what or where can I find a refractometer for a good price online? And which brand is acceptable?
     
  7. Ace25

    Ace25 www.centralcoastreefclub. com

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    Instant Ocean is fine for the initial cycle and for Fish Only tank, but once you start to add corals you will want to change to a more "reef friendly" salt. I use OceanPure Pro salt but many people on here use Reef Crystals. You just have to check the Calcium and Magnesium levels of the saltmix whichever brand you try.

    Refractor, MarineDepot usually has them for around $45. Definately a must have piece of equipment if you ask me.

    As for the cleaning, I use a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water, use a plastic scrubber (like a brillo pad but made of orange/yellow plastic) and it gets a tank clean pretty quickly with a little elbo grease. Rinse very good when done cleaning.. I would just leave a garden hose going in the tank on the lawn for an hour or so to flush it out good when your done scrubbing.
     
  8. GregAW

    GregAW AC Members

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    Thanks Ace25, That MarineDepot seems to have everything. The Reef Crystals they have is by Instant Ocean. The refractor is $49.99 but if it's what's needed. Since you have good luck with the OceanPure brand I guess I'll take the advice of someone who is successful and use the same products. I guess the next thing I'll need is something to cover the bottom with. Niko told me that live sand is a waste of money and that CaribSea Reef Sand is cheaper and works great, but then I find there are a dozen different types to choose from. HELP!

    I found live rock here locally. Cured Sumatra Premium Live Rock, which is porous, lightweight, and comes in excellent shapes. It is also covered in coralline algae $2.50 to $4.00 a pound. Is this a good buy?
     
  9. Ace25

    Ace25 www.centralcoastreefclub. com

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    Ya, those are good prices for cured live rock.

    The only difference between regular "Instant Ocean" salt and Reef Crystals is the company (yes, Instant Ocean makes both salts) adds Calcium and Magnesium to the Reef Crystals salt.

    As for the bottom, that is something everyone has to decide themselves. My only suggestion is if you want just the sand look on the bottom, stay around 1" deep, if you want the sand to "work" for you by removing nitrates, go at least 6" deep (I went this route, but it does take a lot of room to do and isn't for everyone). Stay away from crushed coral or larger sizes of sand. I went with 4 50lb bags of sugar sized aragonite for my sandbed. "Live" sand is a waste of $ IMO. It isn't truely live.. just dead sand with water and bacteria added to it. You can get a bottle of bacteria much cheaper than a bag of live sand and it will do the same thing.

    The color of the sand you want, the look, if you want to mix say a size 0 and a size 2 sand to get a texture, stuff like that is up to each person. I paid $39.99 per 50lb bag of aragonite sand where a 10lb bag of "Live" sand is $29.99 around here.
     
  10. GregAW

    GregAW AC Members

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    Where are you buying your supplies?
     

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