Stuipid beginers question.

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Discuss all topics related to saltwater / reef tanks.

Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:46 pm

Stuipid beginers question.

by montecarloZ38

Hello every one, I am new here. I currently have a 75gal freshwater tank that I am really thinking of converting to saltwater. I have been doing a lot of reading and have a few questions.

My filtration is going to be 100lb of live rock and 60lb of live sand, this should be sufficient right? I am also going to add a protein skimmer for mechanical filtration. From what I understand I do not need a sump or a canister filter, correct?

My main question is: Since I live on a coast of Florida (Tampa Bay area). Can I use local ocean sand and local live rock? VS paying 5$/lb for live rock at LPS. Perhaps I can buy 2 lb from them and add it to the tank with the rock I've collected just to make sure all of the bacteria gets transfered from their rock to my collected rock.
Some one told me to just use an under gravel filter and that should be sufficient enough for the bio load, but from what I read ugf are not that good and must be cleaned at least ones a year. Plus I wont be able to use live rock at all with ugf and I must use crushed coral instead of sand.

Thank you for your time in reading this.

PS: Just thought of something. If I cant "harvest" my own live rock and live sand how would this filtration sound? Under gravel filter + Aqua Clear 110 hang on filter. (I am currently using the hang on filter which is rated for 110gal on the 75gal tank but in freshwater. So with the UGF + The hand on filter should give enough biological filtration for the saltwater? This would be my ultimate deal price wise! can this work?

Posts: 2098
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:24 pm

by Snowboss4492

Montecarlo, Welcome !!!
I will address the issues I can speak to from my expierence for you and I am sure others will contribute - - 1st I and we [the rest of the forum] would like to know what type of salt set up your leaning towards? FO, FOWLR or REEF ? this will enable us to address filtration, lighting and other recomendations for you,

160 lbs of live matierial is very good amount for a 100 gallon tank.

A HOB filter is good, canisters are good as well as sumps too i think its a matter of preferance and asthetics really - -I would filter 2-3 times the tank size at a minimum though which can be more than one filter or even more than one type of filter- -you can't over filter, lol

a skimmer is excellent for cleaning the water of small protiens and suspended debris and waste, and is a needed piece of equipment in all salt systems IMO - -but I wouldn't consider it a filter {in your filtration amount figures} it serves a specific purpose in your tank.

UGF - I personally don't care for them and thats just my opinion, I do how ever like the idea of useing it as a reverse UGF for circulation - -plus sand and UGF's can work but they are hard to set up correctly [ again this is my opinion]

collecting your own rock and sand - - awsome idea - -it's from the ocean like any other LFS supplier - -the difference would be the cleanlyness of it - - there is going to be a lot of garbage, bad organisms, bad bactiria etc etc - -if you are willing to do the work to cure it correctly - -i think it would be awsome to say "yeah that came from right out there" as you point at the ocean - - just use caution with anything you collect - mixing LFS rock and harvested rock is fine - -no benifiets or draw backs as long as you cure each properly.

you need to address water movement as well - - the more the better, powerheads are excellent for this - - "moss won't grow ona roling stone" PH's when used corrctly can keep dead spots down and help to stop algae from growing in unwanted places -PLUS if you are going to rely on live rock for biological filtration you will definately need to move water through and around it for it to do it's job.

this just a start - - go through the forums , read read read and ask as many questions as you can - -there are a lot of really great people here who will take pride in your new system with you - -good luck , Snowboss

P.S. theres no such thing as a stupid question, lol

Posts: 424
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2007 8:59 pm

by dick_headers

Hello there Montecarlo,
UG filtration is great if you have time for maintance. Clean the ugf once a year is certainly not enough. You'll have deadspots under your pad, and it can be the results of high nitrate levels. (algae bloom, sick fishes, later cloudy water) I'd recommend to clen the ugf at least one in a month. I had one in my freswater setup long time ago, and I cleaned em bi weekly.

Actually I wouldn't recommend to much the ugf for saltwater set ups. You are limited when it comes to gravel. Crushed coral is basically the only kind you'll be able to use. How about those 100 lbs of live rocks you'd like to put in? You have to move those rocks every time you clean the ugf. Pain in the ass.

75G is a great size. You'll have enough bio filtration by your bioload(LR and sand). I forgot to mention sandbad is the best solution for gravel, in my opinion. One of the strongest natural buffer, will keep your Ph level on the desired level without any additional chems. I'd like to recommend the wet/dry or sump systems, but I don't really know if you're familiar wuth them.

Have you ever tried canisters? They're great! You could keep your 110G/Hr ( not too much tough)+ add a canister filter. Check out the new Marineland C series, they aren't too bad on eBay. So easy to maintain, it's a bless. When it comes to protein skimmer... Those are the ones I always say "don't go cheap". Save money, and invest for a good one. I tried 3-4 different kinds and I end up with The AquaC Remora editions. No bubbles, no air venturi..Nothing but "pur gunk" in you waste cup. Probably there are some other great skimmers, but the AquaC was the one it stopped me for searching any longer. Back to canisters. You can take out the biomedia( since you have the rocks and sand) and put whatever you want to there. I put small pieces of live rocks from my tank. Almost like a sump..(not really:-)

Live rock. Great idea! Don't even bother to buy any from your LFS. He might sell the same stuff in cured or precured version that you'd pick from the ocean:-) Take those rocks home and cured them before you put them in your tank. I have never dealed with "100 % uncured" LR, that's why I suggest to do that way. If you have cured or precured live rocks you can set them up straight to your tank you want to cycle. If you have questions about curing LR don't bother to ask. Be lucky!

Stuipid beginers question.

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