New but not New?

kevinbullis6

New member
Ok, specs

tank: 55 gallon "all glass" tank (not pre-drilled)
lighting: 1x 24" florescent strip light
filtration: BRAND NEW Emperor 400 biowheel filter
Heating: 1x 300 watt Jebo Heater
Temp: 80 degrees
amm. : 0 ppm
nitrite: 0 ppm
nitrate: 0 ppm
sand: 30 lbs. agramax sand
base rock: none yet but getting 100 lbs.
live rock: none yet getting 10 lbs to seed base rock
inhabitants: 1x 3 line damsel, 1x blue damsel, 1x Snow flake Eel

Now! I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to turn this tank into a reef mainly consisting of SPS corals and clams.

Where should I go from here?


The tank has been only setup for 3 days and I was an idiot at adding the eel and damsels after a day of having it setup i'm not sure if they will live through the cycle or not but if they don't oh well I can start new on livestock.

here we go with the questions.

a little sidenote......i'm only 15 and may be getting a part tiem job which pays a little over $10 an hour but will only work 2 days a week for only a couple hours. Other than that I just do chores for $10 a week.

now the really questions.

What type of lighting should I get for the SPS I want to keep?

What about filtration what should I do...(I am not going to drill the tank..to afraid it will crack)?

The list of fish I want are as follows

1x SFE
1x Dwarf Fuzzy lion
1x Lemon Peel angelfish
2x Damsels

will this work?

Should I get a calcium reactor and a Phos reactor?

Should I get a hang on fuge?

What should I get for all SPS and clams that I want in the tank..........give me a run down on where I should go from here.




Thank you all very much,

-Kevin
 

six.line

New member
Where should I go from here?

You should begin reading. Read up about how to install sumps, refugiums, water movement (flow), lights, and skimming.

The first thing you'll want to do is get an overflow box (built, bought, whatever) and put a sump under there.

Then get the rock.

Then while it's cycling, look into upgrading the lights. If you want to have SPS you'll want T5 or Metal halide. There's quite a bit of speculation as to what's 'better,' and there are pros and cons on both sides. Frankly I think you'll be fine either way.

Then start looking into your options for flow. For a non drilled tank, I'd personally get two strong powerheads (maxijet mods come to mind) and aim them directly at each other. You can drop mega bucks on controllers and wave timers and such, but if you're on a budget (which it looks like you are) I'd just do it this way. Having the water smack into itself creates turbulent and unpredictable wave patterns.

Then by that time you'll have had 6 or so months under your belt with some soft corals. You can start looking at skimmers, calc reactors, and other things you need to keep SPS. Go slow. You're young, and you probably have the feeling that you can do this. Most teenagers feel invincible. You may be, but your corals won't be. :D

Good luck, keep reading.

Oh, and

[welcome]
 

bigevill1

Big and Evil
first thing I would do is ask the LFS if they will take back the eel till your tank is cycled. tell them you dont want your money back, just for them to hold it till your tank is ready in a few weeks.
 

sunfish11

Premium Member
i'm not sure if they will live through the cycle or not but if they don't oh well I can start new on livestock.

Come on...I know your only 15 but that's no excuse to care that little about your critters. They came all the way from the ocean to be with you. Why don't you take them back to the store till your cycle is over.

Looking at your fish list it will be difficult to keep up the water parameters necessary for most SPS corals. You would need fewer and smaller fish and those don't seem to be they type you really want to keep.

Clams and SPS are going to need Metal Hallides or a lot of T-5 lighting.

Chuck the bio-wheel.

Lemon Peel angle is likely to pick at your clams, although some wont. It's a crap shoot really.

You have been given some great advice above.

Welome to the site!


Lisa
 

rustybucket145

New member
Take back the bio-wheel, it's useless in a reef. Take back the snowflake before he dies in your tank, and he WILL die. If you must keep something, keep the damsels.

Purchase the book 'The Conscience Marine Aquariast' by Bob Fenner. It's a great book that will save you alot of time, money and dead livestock.

Read the book, then start re-thinking your setup. Knowledge is key in saltwater keeping. You must know the animals you're keeping and you must know what they need to survive.


Oh, and at $40/week it will take you years even to just get the equipment, rocks, lights to do a successful SPS tank.

My suggestion is to get the book, READ IT, and re-assess your situation and your goals with this tank.

Oh, and welcome to Reef Central, there are tons of people here that will help you out along the way!
 

kevinbullis6

New member
Thank you all for replying to my situation.....the most trouble for me is going to be the lighting and how much MH cost. I will move the eel back to my 5.5 untill the tank fully cycles and then I will reintroduce him in. I really need a skimmer too.

here is how I think I will go about it

1.) Save money and get a good sump/fuge with overflow.
2.) Buy good protein skimmer (how do you guys feel about turboflotor or coralife super skimmers?)
3.) get my 100 lbs. of BR and 20 or so lbs. of LR
4.) Find the lighting I want and save up for it
5.) start with lots of zoos and softies and work my way up.

does this should like a good plan?

also how many watts for my 55 would I need for SPS in the long run?


Thanks for any additional info,

-Kevin
 

kevinbullis6

New member
oh I forgot a step go to the book store and buy 'The Conscience Marine Aquariast' by Bob Fenner, and do alot of research on here.


thanks,
-Kevin
 

taillonjohn

New member
here's an idea (my 2 cents).... just go with fish only (maybe with live rock) for a year.... this will give you much time to research what you need to do, as well give you more time to save..... to get all the equipment for a reef tank is minimum $1000 (unless you get into DIY)..... so your part-time wages won't go far in this hobby. Even fish only is quite expensive (the fish are expensive, salt, hydrometers/refractometers, etc...). I think you will be discouraged if you wanna go into a full reef set-up without the proper funding.
 

Chrsnwk

New member
I'll 2nd what taillonjohn said. Start slow!! keep it FO for a while, then as you add rockwork it will become FOWLR. Think about getting a skimmer, and some better, but not crazy bright lights just yet. get some starter corals that will live under moderate light, Read books, read forums, hang around fish stores, ask questions to people that seem to know what they are talking about, ask more questions to more people, figure out which "experts" are full of themselves/crap and stop listening to them, and make small changes over long times and evolve your humble beginnings into a masterpiece. try to purchase equiptement that's a bit oversized for your setup, as eventually you might want a bigger tank. (most people seem to)

My mantra is... nothing good in a reef tank ever happens fast, but everything bad can happen in a blink of an eye.
 

kevinbullis6

New member
This is what I think I might do.....if I get this new part time job I will be working 2 days a week for a minimum of $10 an hour and if I work 4 hours a week and do chores the minimum amount of money I could have a week is $50 and if I save and just do piece by piece (ex. build sump, then buy LR and BR, ect.). I shouldn't take me for than a couple months to get all my supplies. Plus in the summer which is only a couple months away I will start working 5 days a week for a minimum of 4-5 hours a day. So I think I can pull this sucker off. All I have to do is RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH!!!!! And go step by step. For now it will be a FOWLR but with a little hard work I bet I can pull of an AWSOME reef tank!


I have my mind set to a reef tank and i'm not going to stop untill it's complete.

Thanks all I will start research...........NOW!

-Kevin
 

kevinbullis6

New member
I'm going with what you guys are telling me as you know more than me....BUT a little side note do you think if I save like a maniac I could pull this dream of mine in a year or two? Beacuase my mom said she will take care of the tank while i'm at collage untill I come back on vacations. But I need the tank to be set-up before I leave which is in 3 years.


Thanks for everyones help,
-Kevin
 

taillonjohn

New member
if you have the funding available, and have researched properly, you can definatley do it in one year... good luck to you.. Only... a reef tank is extremely complicated. you will do research, thats good, but if your mom will take care of the tank when you go to college, she will need to be just as knowledgeable as you, or all your hard work will be for nothing. good luck
 

kevinbullis6

New member
Well when I leave I am going to see how knowledgable my mom and dad are and if they arent going to cut it (i hope not), then I will just sell of my corals and keep it FOWLR but my 5.5 gal i'm making into a softie tank should be easy enough for them....I hope.


thanks,
-Kevin
 

Chrsnwk

New member
If you do things right, and get alot of the day to day stuff automated, like water topoff and suplement dosing (IF you decide you need it) it can go a long way to having a caretaker that might not know every little detail of reef care, especially if you were home to visit every month or so just to tweak things a bit and update your maintance checklist.

It would aslo help to hook up with some local reefers you trust that can be emergency contacts mom or dad could call if a "situation" arises.

Good luck!
 

kevinbullis6

New member
Well I think there is a veterinary collage in PA so thats only a state down from me and if there is a major problem I could go in one night with no problem....but I haven't decided on wether I want to be a vet or an Ichtheologist.....:-/ which will play a huge role on where I am going to collage.


thanks,
-Kevin
 

Chrsnwk

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=9289041#post9289041 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by kevinbullis6
I haven't decided on wether I want to be a vet or an Ichtheologist.....:

there's a word I had to look up...... :rollface:

anywho.... best of luck to you in school and reefing. Most of the help and encouragement you need is only a click or 2 away.
 

kevinbullis6

New member
Thanks guys for all the help you have given me in what 2 hurs ahahahaha You guys are the best help I have got in a while.....in other sites they won't even give me help.


Thanks again,
-Kevin
 
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