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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well Next week I will be starting my first reef tank-It's going to be a 40 gal breeder to start with-i will be able to upgrade to a 125 gal down the road when i feel I'm ready for that jump-I have absolutely nothing right now,But the tank-

I have been told that I will need a protien skimmer from the get go-Then I was told to fill tank with normal tap water-Add salt mixture to right amount-Get some live sand and some live rock-Let it sit for a week-At this point should there be powerheads already in the tank or no?After this is done I have been told I can start to add everything that I would like after that-If this isn't all true-Please tell me what needs to be changed-If it is correct what do I need to do after this point-I do have efficient lighting so I dont believe i will have a problem with that!!! Let me know please-
 

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Congrats on moving to SW Reef tank!

A skimmer is a good choice from the get go. It will not remove a ton since there really will not be a huge bio-load. However, it will help the tank since the LR will finish curing. Tap water is fine, but if you have access to a RO/DI unit that would be best. The Tap water will add nutrients to the tank (PO4, etc...) for algae to grow on.

No need to buy live sand. That would be a waist of money IMO. I would buy the play sand from Home Depot. That will save you tons in set up cost. A general rule of thumb would be to add 1 to 2 pounds of LR per gallon of water. If I were you, I would add at least half if not more of that amount in Base Rock (BR). Add the BR on the bottom and build the structure up from there. Then, add LR on top of that. The LR will quickly populate the BR in a few months. That trick will save you TONS.

PH's should be on at that point to circulate water, salt mix, etc....

I would let the tank run for at least two weeks, if not more say 3-4 weeks. From this point, you should test the water parameters to see how they measure up. If the tank is cycled (as you know, 0=NH4, 0=NO2, <40ppm=NO3) you can SLOWLY start adding items. In SW the slower you go, the better the outcome is.

Lighting: You much decide what you want to keep, then choice a lighting to match their needs. Most people buy coral, then try to figure out what lighting system they need. Depending on the corals you keep (SPS, LPS, Soft), that decision will dictate the lighting that you will need to have. Do not go by a watt per gallon method. That is used to get a general idea of how much lighting is needed. The important part of lighting is the intensity, e.g. Lux. The "K" value is for aesthetics and really does nothing for the coral. However, the lower value of "K" (e.g. 5500, 6500) have more Lux than higher "K" values (e.g. 10000 and 20000). The higher the Kelvin (K) the bluer the light gets, but the bulb will also lose intensity.

At the start of your Reef tank, light really is not a factor since you should not have any coral in the tank.

Remember, nothing good happens in a Reef tank. Only bad things happen fast. Time and patience is a key when dealing with SW.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Congrats on moving to SW Reef tank!

A skimmer is a good choice from the get go. It will not remove a ton since there really will not be a huge bio-load. However, it will help the tank since the LR will finish curing. Tap water is fine, but if you have access to a RO/DI unit that would be best. The Tap water will add nutrients to the tank (PO4, etc...) for algae to grow on.

No need to buy live sand. That would be a waist of money IMO. I would buy the play sand from Home Depot. That will save you tons in set up cost. A general rule of thumb would be to add 1 to 2 pounds of LR per gallon of water. If I were you, I would add at least half if not more of that amount in Base Rock (BR). Add the BR on the bottom and build the structure up from there. Then, add LR on top of that. The LR will quickly populate the BR in a few months. That trick will save you TONS.

PH's should be on at that point to circulate water, salt mix, etc....

I would let the tank run for at least two weeks, if not more say 3-4 weeks. From this point, you should test the water parameters to see how they measure up. If the tank is cycled (as you know, 0=NH4, 0=NO2, <40ppm=NO3) you can SLOWLY start adding items. In SW the slower you go, the better the outcome is.

Lighting: You much decide what you want to keep, then choice a lighting to match their needs. Most people buy coral, then try to figure out what lighting system they need. Depending on the corals you keep (SPS, LPS, Soft), that decision will dictate the lighting that you will need to have. Do not go by a watt per gallon method. That is used to get a general idea of how much lighting is needed. The important part of lighting is the intensity, e.g. Lux. The "K" value is for aesthetics and really does nothing for the coral. However, the lower value of "K" (e.g. 5500, 6500) have more Lux than higher "K" values (e.g. 10000 and 20000). The higher the Kelvin (K) the bluer the light gets, but the bulb will also lose intensity.

At the start of your Reef tank, light really is not a factor since you should not have any coral in the tank.

Remember, nothing good happens in a Reef tank. Only bad things happen fast. Time and patience is a key when dealing with SW.
Damn man-you tryin to give me a brain hemeridge or what-LOL-Well I guess the first step then would be to find what exactly is the difference between Br-and Lr-Would it benefit me more to use live sand over play sand-I dont know why but I feel more comfortable with useing live-Money really isn't a concern of mine-i will spend what ever is needed to get the job done-Other than that I pretty much understand most of the info you have provided-I just need to polish up on a couple things but that wont be difficult-Greatly appreciate the info Coldfire-
 

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Coldfire is right on point...i would really reconsider using tap water, you are going to have one hell of an algea breakout that could be controled a bit by use RO/DI water, buying your own RO/DI filter will save you time and money over the life of the unit. And I would cycle a reef tank for as long as you can stand it, the longer the better.

Do a lot of research, sw is not something that you can just read about one day and think you know everything there is, People check these threads everyday, if you have questions about anything just ask.
 

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You'll definately need LR and LS. For sps corals and clams, get metal halide. A sump/refugium for your size tank is definately a must, thus eliminating the need of skimmer. Add RO/DI water and let it cycle through. After cycling, add corals, cleaning crew and eventually livestock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Coldfire is right on point...i would really reconsider using tap water, you are going to have one hell of an algea breakout that could be controled a bit by use RO/DI water, buying your own RO/DI filter will save you time and money over the life of the unit. And I would cycle a reef tank for as long as you can stand it, the longer the better.

Do a lot of research, sw is not something that you can just read about one day and think you know everything there is, People check these threads everyday, if you have questions about anything just ask.
Thanks Jasert-I have been doing some research-But mostly with me everything is trial and error-With my fish keeping knowledge I dont believe this will be too difficult for me-I just need to understand a few more things-Oh yeah I'm not shy when it come to asking ?'s no matter how stupid i believe they are-I will look into one of these ro/di units-Hopefully in the next couple weeks-I can get more indepth with this-I just wanted to see if what i have been told is some what right-Other than this ro/di unit-What other ways is best to keep down the growth of the algea sir? Thanks for the help everyone!!!!
 

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With good flow and params, you might not have algae. If you do, get a lawnmower blenny, types of hermit crabs, crabs and snails will take care of that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
With good flow and params, you might not have algae. If you do, get a lawnmower blenny, types of hermit crabs, crabs and snails will take care of that.
I plan on mostly having stuff like this-I only want a wolf eel or a snowflake I believe and that will be it for preds-The rest of the stock will be corals and claening crew with a few misc "pretty fish" for my mother to enjoy!!!!

I also plan on useing alot of live sand and packing as much lr that I possibly can-
 

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Ive got a snowflake eel. bout 9-10" pretty standard skinny little guy to buy at the fish store. and clean up crew is his favorite snacks. youll be able to keep snails but as for them shrimp, dont waste your money, he will love them lol. as for your lights, im no expert but that lighting should be great, only thing Id do different is instead of all standard lighting Id use at least one actinic 03 blue light. REALLY makes a difference in my tanks. kinda yellowish without it, but youd never know unless you had one to compare next to each other so its up to you. I (much like what you will have), am only doing softie's so far its just zoa's and xenia but Ill be adding some shrooms to the mix tomorrow and throughout the building of my system. I have a skimmer and an emperor 400 running on a 55 and have been told by an old lady that has been running her store for years that I dont need a sump but it is beneficial if I wanted one. others will tell you differently but her tanks are run sumpless as the store and look beautiful. Im just starting to but from what Ive gathered alot of people take things very seriously in the salt world, I like you am going with trial and error to see what for sure does and does not work for me but have also asked question upon question to as many different sources as I can. ALSO buy a coralife deep six hydrometer. seriously one of the best thngs ive bought so far. I had a red sea hydrometer and every store so far recomended this deepsix and finally got one early today and low and behold it proved my cheapo red sea hydrometer to be off by a couple thousanths. lucky for me I had kept the salt low i thought when in fact is was just right according to my new hydrometer. The reviews on it are much better than my other one.
as for salt, Ive been told by everyone to go with oceanic or instant ocean. every store in my area has been telling me to use those so far. whatever you do good luck and lets see some pics when its up!
 
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