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  #1  
Old 02-26-2005, 01:24 PM
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Default New aquarium (new vids added 11/26)

Alright guys, I'm back in tha hobby. Got a nice 40 gallon and stand, bought of my friend cuz he upped to a 55 gallon. But its brand new, less than a year old.

I was going to go fresh, and put a few baby Largemouth Bass in it, cuz I can get them readily at one of my fave spots. Little babies, hittin Mini Pro Buzzbaits like they weigh 3 or 4 pounds Anyway, I decided against it, cuz even if I got 2, they would triple in size in about 12 months, and the tank isnt really big enough to accomodate predators like that.

So now I am back to the marine idea. I will be doing a similar tank to what my friend has, but I want to do the sand bottom instead of the crushed coral. To me the sand looks more natural, and to be honest I dont really want do a marine tank if I cant do sand. I have heard over the years that you need more filtration when using sand, but after researching I have come to learn that it would be ok to just use a bio-wheel filter and live rock. I will also probably throw in a baby starfish. I will ofcourse also have a protein skimmer.

I will have live rock, it will be 24 pounds of Tongan Branch Rock, and then about 10-13 pounds of a more bulky type of live rock, type yet to be determined. I will also be adding a few false corals to add some color to the live rock. I will not be doing live coral, cuz it is expensive and more a pain to take care of. The tank for me is more about the fish and not the reef.

The fish I have definitely decided on so far are...

Volitan Lionfish:
http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/p...cfm?pCatId=279
If they dont have a small Volitan in stock when I shop, I will have to get a Dwarf Lion...
http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/p...cfm?pCatId=230

Neon Blue Gobie:
http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/p...cfm?pCatId=194

Flame Angelfish:
http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/p...cfm?pCatId=444

and probably Yellowtail Damsel and a Clownfish if I can get ones that wont fit in the Lionfish's mouth

Gonna cost me about 325/350 to get this thing up, running, and cured. Then I gotta get fish. $$$



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Old 02-26-2005, 05:18 PM
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Nice setup JB. 8)

Live rock works great for biological filtration. You can also get live sand and or aragonite (crushed coral) The layer is called a plenum. It will also serve as biological filtration. About 3/4 of an inch to 1 inch is ideal.
The rule of thumb for salt is 2 inches of fish per 10 gallons of water. In fresh its 1 inch per gallon.

Ps The lionfish are brittle and poisoness. 8) Good luck and have fun
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Old 02-26-2005, 06:08 PM
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Thanks for the help. I have years of fresh and brackish aquarium experience, but never really had the time, money or space to really do what I wanted, and that was a marine tank. Since I stumbled on a good deal, and since my friend is into tanks now, seems I have been bitten by the bug again lol.

I know for sure I want to do live sand. I just want to avoid having to get 15 different filters. I already know a bio-wheel works exceptionally well with live rock in the tank I bought, because my friend used it and only lost one fish in almost a year. And thats because it came sick from the pet shop lol. He uses crushed coral on tha bottom though. I like the look of tha sand bettah.

I think I will probably end up getting the Dwarf Lion, cuz tha Volitan's get bigger and I dont want it to gobble up any fish. I'll start out with 3 or 4 small tellowfin damsel's and work my way up.



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Old 02-26-2005, 06:32 PM
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Yea the biowheels work fine. They are actually better than the eheims under tank pumps. The key for me is changing 10 % of the water once a month and not overloading the tank with a large biomass. I buy the 5 gallon packets of ocean sea salt. They come 10 in a box.
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Old 03-04-2005, 03:25 PM
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Ok, I ordered 400 bux worth of kukkah for my new tank last night. Blew 400 smackers right across tha wallboards

Along with the Penguin 200 filter, stealth heater, and all the other essentials, I got 25 pounds of Tonga Branch live rock to start out with, along with a set of low light coral which includes Assorted Mushroom, Yellow Polyp, Green Mushroom, Christmas Tree Soft Coral, and an enemone. I will add about another 10 to 13 pounds of a more round live rock at a later date. I also got 30 pounds of aragamax substrate, and will be getting a 20 pound bag of Arag-Alive live sand to put over/mix with that.

Jim, about how thick should I make my sand bed when starting to build the tank? I will probably have the all stuff by the end of next week. I hear an inch or 2 thick, then some other people say a bit more sand. I just want to make sure I start this thing the right way, I am not going to rush the cycling. Since I have live rock AND the live coral, can I put both in after I get the sand down and the water in the tank? Is that how I begin the cycling, or does the water have to be cycled before I can add the coral? I hope not, cuz that stuff will die if I gotta wait lol. All the stuff is coming at about the same time.



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Old 03-04-2005, 04:26 PM
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Yea John!!

Go slow Corals are very sensitive. Most people dont start out with corals but most people aint like us.

The ideal cycle is 90 days. But most take 30 for the cycle to begin. What it is in a nutshell is nitrifying bacteria or more precisely an organic biological filter. It takes 3 to 4 weeks to establish ibiological filtration from detritus. (fish sh*t and uneaten food) You are starting out with that with the live rock and live sand. That will save you from bio overload. An ideal plenum (sand and substrate) is an inch to an inch and 1/2. More than that can cause anaerobic pockets of poisonous bacteria. Thats why sometimes its a good idea to add sand sifter starfish to the plenum. some add snails and crabs. (Careful with the corals) Fish and other animals will eat them.

Dont overfeed the tank yet. and add only coral freindly fish like tangs. Im glad they are low light corals because the coral lights are asstronomically expensive. They should be hardier. Too. It will look awsomely beautiful. Just go slow with bio overload. and test the water for ammonia and nitrates for the first few weeks. Watee will evaporate out pure so when adding water from evaporation just use regular tap water. No salt.If you let it sit in a bucket for 24 hours you dont have to use the chlorine eliminator crap. When doing monthly 10 % water changes use mix. Dont do any water changesd for first 2 to 3 months. So as to establish the biological filter along with the mechanical and chemical filters if your using carbon. Carbons not necessary.

Have fun
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Old 03-04-2005, 04:52 PM
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To answer the question a bit better the answewr is yes you can add the corals right away, but you shouldnt.

Try to let the sand and aragonite mix with the salt water with the filters going for as long as possible before you add the animals. It needs to settle. If you have tap water remove the chlorine with a chlorine removal product or let it sit for 24 hours and it will dissipate out.

Make sure you have a hydrometer to measure the mix. it should be ideally at 1.021 to 1.023. Its just a plastic thing that costs 5 bucks.

If the animals are being sent via mail they will need to adjust in the tank. Leave them float in the bags in the water for a few hours to equalize the temperatures. If they are fish turn the lights out to minimize stress. Go slow.

The water in a new tank will be cloudy for the first few days but it will settle. If you can, set the tank up at least a few days without the animals.

You can do what they call seeding the tank to establish a biological filter without the animals in it. Add little bits of food daily so it can decay (very little). This will establish the beneficial bacteria cycle.

I forgot to mention that there is a product called boost that will help to cycle the tank more rapidly.
just monitor for ammonia and nitrates. Nitrites are products of nitrate breakdown and they along with ammonium (a product of ammonia breakdown) can only be taken out by water changes. These two by products of bacterial breakdown are much less toxic to the fish than ammonia and nitrates. Their waste.
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Old 03-04-2005, 09:26 PM
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Awesome bud. Thanks for the help and suggestions. I thought of something to do about my coral that is coming......I am going to put it in my friends 55 gallon until I can bring them home to mine. HIs tank is well established, and unbelievably healthy, so I am not worried about them. I'd rather do that than chance it by introducing them to my new setup right off the bat. I will put the live sand down, and put the live rock in, and let the cycling begin. I think the live rock and corals will be here before the filter, heater, etc etc., so puttin them in my friends tank is the best option I think.

He also has "Bactra-Vital", which is the same thing as the "Boost" that you mentioned, so I will droppin some of that in to help it along :) Glad you mentioned that, because I totally forgot about it. I looked in my friends fridge, and it was in there.

I got a Deep Six hydrometer comin with the rest of the stuff, as well as a Marine Master Test Kit. I got just about everything from the same site....drsfostersmith.com. They had the absolute best prices on everything...I got my filter for 24 bux. The same one is 35/40 dollars everywhere else. I also got the live rock from their sister site, liveaquaria.com. 72# box. I got the heardy low-light/low-maintainance coral from petsolutions.com. So it was nice to be able to get just about everything from the same site.

I think I decided against the Lionfish. I will get a larger tank in the future to put him in, but I'd rather have 4 or 5 cool fish, than have 1 Lion and then have to worry about him kickin tha crap out of any other fish I might get. I may get this thing in place of a Lion....

http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/p...cfm?pCatId=551

Once the tank has been operational for a few weeks with the filter, live rock and live sand, I will test to make sure everything is ok, then grab my coral from my friends tank and take it home! I may also take 5 to 10 gallons of my friends water to add it to my first filling of the tank to help boost the cycle. My friend has done an exceptional job of keeping his tank and fish healthy.



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Old 03-04-2005, 10:06 PM
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Thats great Jon. If he keeps corals then you know its a healthy tank. When a saltwater tank "crashes" everything dies. I wouldnt want to do that to the animals. Plus it can kill the pocketbook.
I have a foot long snowflake eel that takes up a huge biomass in my tank. Hard to get rid of. Absolutely fish will take him only if Im bying their fish to replace him. :cry: He can get as big as three feet.

The green mandarin is a beautiful fish. If I remember correctly he likes the bottom and doesnt really swim. He will hide a lot too. I think he kind of acts like the blennys and the gobies. Very docile and peaceful.

Best of luck my friend :D
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Old 03-05-2005, 01:06 AM
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Thanks bud :)

I stopped by a place in Salem NH tonight, Seaworld. This place was incredible. LARGEST onsite selection of marine fish I have ever seen. Their mark-up was off tha wall though, a 20 pound bag of Arag-Alive was 40 bux! Thats 10 dollars more than any place closer to me lol. Ridiculous. I was going to pick me up tha bag there, but after seeing that I was like no way. But they have such a huge selection of fish. They had a HUUUUUGE tank set up with a GIANT Volitan Lionfish in it, a big maroon clown, a large Clown Trigger, and probably 6 or 7 other large fish. What a setup, I almost crapped when I saw that Lionfish.



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Old 03-06-2005, 04:54 PM
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This is basically the type of thing I am looking to do...



Here is my latest updated list of fish I ultimately would like to have...

Neon Blue Goby (First fish)
Clownfish (might go with the black/white one to be original)
Six Line Wrasse (kind of looks like a Striper :D )
Blue Sapphire Damsel
Flame Angelfish

What'ya think? Is this a conceivable community? I hope so! Cuz I'm gittin tired of switchin N swappin fish out tha list hahaha



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Old 03-06-2005, 05:39 PM
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JB Thats an awesome reef tank. They take mucho care. Very delicate to mistakes.

The selection is a good one because they are all coral friendly and docile. The only thing about damsels is that once you put them in the tank they can be a bitch to catch and take out. The velvet neon is bigger and slower. The gobies are cool they will hang on the bottom as will the wrasse. Yellow tangs and flame angels wont kill the coral or the pocketbook. 8)
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Old 03-06-2005, 06:06 PM
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What would it take to throw some small Largemouths (like I mean small) in a tank and not have them die...????

Tank? Filter? Gravel? Food? Plants?...just lookin to see if its worth a try...
...any info would be cool...

It seems like you two should be workin in like a friggen' aquarium...that tank you posted a pic of, Jonny...looks like a a fish tank that either: should be on Cribs (like P Diddy would have) or a James Bond villan would have... :D
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Old 03-06-2005, 07:15 PM
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I have done alot of reading on keeping Bass, and one guy said that he had 2 baby Bucketmouths for a few years. They grew about 3 times their original size if I remember correctly. At that point, he brought them to a lake and let them go.

I comtemplated doing it myself, but it would be mean to do it with a tank of less than 90 gallons. I could easily catch some baby Largemouths from one of my secret ponds, and take them home, but I really dont have the space for a 90+ gallon tank, so I aint gonna try it till I have the space. Also, I have done alot of freshwater tanks over the years, and now its time to finally try a marine tank. Marine tanks, overall, offer a wider range of awesome colors.

It is a VERY expensive hobby, especially marine tanks. The upstart cost for mine, including tank, stand, live rock, live sand, and all the other necessities, is over $700. And thats not even including fish and invertebrates lol.

This is almost exactly what my tank will look like when it starts out...


Then as I buy and add more artificial coral, it will look more like the first pic I posted. Only the first batch of coral I put in will be real.

I decided on those 5 fish, and thats that! LMAO. If I have to rework that list one more time, I'm scrapping it and just getting a pet Lionfish lol.

P.S. Now THIS is a CRAZY reef tank lol....


Thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars right there.



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Old 03-08-2005, 02:41 AM
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Its almost time.....almost FISH TANK TIME. WOOOOHOOOHOOOOOO

Hey Jim, I will be headin out to all the LFS's and trying to find some fine Arag-Alive sand to mix with my Aragamax. Also needa git some stuff to treat my water (chlorine, etc.) before I add to my tank. Anything particular you recommend? I thought I had some stuff left over, but I guess I dont. Gotta git some salt too. I need to get some salt too.



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