View Full Version : First SW Tank!!! HELP

08/18/2006, 02:06 AM
Well I'm going out in the morning to purchase a tank and the basics to get started in nano reefing.

This is my first post but i have been lurking for well over a year. Thanx to all who come befor us and share their wealth of knowledge. People like you make great strides in advancing this hobby to the next level.

While having dreams of a HUGE tank, I've come to relize reality only allows for Something nano.

Tank size is yet to determined. I'm thinking along the lines of 20g-30g.
Tank will have no filtration other than the DSB, rock, and inhabitants.

Stocking list hasn't really been considered yet, all I know is awsome coral. Everything else is still up in the air. But I'm sure I'll end up with Nemo.

Flow will be provided with 2 power heads and a HOB penguin filter holding LR (allready have,from old FW 75g) how should i clean this prior to putting it to use in SW? Its really dirty. Maybe i won't uses it after all. hmmm experts

Lighting will be a 150 MH(already own)... bit worried about heat isuses but thats why god made the fan. does anyone think this is to much.

I havn't even checked out the "local" pet stores. notthing close with anything good. I need to find Salt, Sand, LR, and Water.

Can you buy cured LR to help avoid a cycle?
When buying water I've seen Ro/Di, but someone was typing about buying SW. What should i be expecting to find? Isn't the water sold @ WallyWorld Ro???

What are the required test kits for this project of mine?

My goal is to have the tank start cycling within 24 hr of this post.

There has to be stuff I'm missing just trying to avoid any costly mistakes as this tank is being set up on a budget. Gonna sell my tenor sax to help fund stocking costs.

This is gonna be a slow process but i want to get started NOW. I have an itch, and I'm gonna scratch it.

I just cant wait to have my own little piece of the ocean in my house.

This is my first run at Salt Water Reefing, I'm hoping to document this journey, with complete cost break downs and see how much it really cost to enjoy such a great hobby. I just think SW scares to many people off with the high cost said to come with it.

I don't plan on spending to much tomorrow, we shall see though.

Lemme know what you think
Good, Bad, or Ugly.

I need to know what common mistakes can be avoided.
Pleae help.


Edited because I can't spell.. I KNOW there is more but i really fon't care, and I'm tired, Spent all night reading thru every nano thread.

08/18/2006, 06:26 AM
I was surprised you said no filtration. I thought about doing that, but then i decided just to build a small fuge out of acrylic and i think it makes a world of difference at keeping my tank healthy. then again maybe you dont need it? 150W on a 20-30 gallon tank i dont think is soo much, it depends what your keeping, i only have 60 W PC on my ten gallon, but i'm lookin into a 70 or 150 W metal halide, so no i wouldn't think its too much. I got all of my live rock and sand from the LFS, it saves shipping costs, and for the most part live rock and sand is live rock and sand, it wont be "healthier" for the most part if you get it elsewhere. I tried to do the avoid the cycle by taking some rock, some sand, and some water from my dad's 92 gallon reef, yeah it really didn't work, i still had to wait, and thats the worst part. Sounds good tho, keep us posted how its workin out.

08/18/2006, 10:51 AM
You can sure as heck buy cured LR! The best is to already pick up some used LR from www.craisgslist.com with some coraline growth not to mention it'll be 50% cheaper! However you cannot avoid a "cycle" with cured LR ... you're simply avoiding the curing process of the LR itself and not the cycling of your tank. However buying LR from someone's tank will help speed up, if not lower your cycle peaks, because of the bene-bacteria inside of the porous LR that will soon populate according to the balance of waste in your tank.

No filtration will be a headache ... you'll have to keep a very minimal amount of fish/bio-load and also do water change's quite frequently. Consider some sort of filtration ... my best advice is a Skimmer! It will help take out most of the crap before it ever hits your DSB and all the crap, literally... also pee, from your water. This will make your water extra clear and all fish/corals happy :) Not to mention yourself because WC's can become really mundane :|
I am not sure as to what the rating/specs on the HOB penguin filter is. You can most likely use it, however do your best cleaning it. Soak it for 24hours in some water to get the junk loose.

1st. You have to pick a tank ... Acrylic vs. Glass! I would definitely go with acrylic because of weight, drill-ability, and viewing clarity! You have to be a bit more careful not to scratch it when scraping algae etc... but it's well worth it. Tru-Vu's are IMO the best, unless you're making a custom acrylic nano :p

2nd Lighting ... Done! 150 Watt MH will be fine for 20-30 gal.

3rd Filtration ... Skimmer is a must! If you don't plan on building a sump or refugium where you can relocate/hide the skimmer get a CPR bak-pak on craigslist for under $100. You will see the light once you see the crap the skimmer pulls out. You will smell the "light" as well :lol2: when emptying the cup. DSB is good make sure it's 3.5-4 inches. Lots of LR ... this is the best natural and irreplicable filtration! Fill that tank up with as much as you can, you're already saving by buying from CL.

Using these 3 components you will be able to determine what you can keep! Good Luck and FishSpeed!

08/18/2006, 11:08 AM
Oh and write your questions 1-3 at a time ... it's crazy to read such a long thing of questions and remember to answer each ;)