new reefer starting Saturday

aleisure

New member
I'm going to buy a established 55gal reef tank Saturday... its supposed to have live rock, coral ,skimmer ,MH , canister filter, two pajama fish and a clown fish...I'm very excited to say the least...but the tank does not look to be in good health at all ...I've only seen one picture and it looks like some sort of green algae has taken over...I'm not a 100% on what the health is but I'm getting it for 280$ and I believe I'm getting a great deal for just the equipment alone ...but I Dont actually know...could anyone let me know their opinion and maybe from the bad picture I have that I'll post what potentialy could lay in store for me...any insight would be greatly appreciated... and I'm sure once I get this tank you will see me quite often.well I'm on my phone and can't seem to post a picture
 

greech

New member
Depending on the age and qualityof the equipment it may be a good deal. If the equipment is lower quality (example skimmer is a seaclone) then I would suggest leaving it be. An algae infested tank means the tank (particularly the rock) is saturated with nutrients. The rock can be rehabilitated but that may cost you more than you are paying in frequent water changes and frequent media change outs. It most likely will not be a quick or easy chore either. Not something a new reefer probably wants to deal with.

It may be the equipment is top notch which may be worth the cost alone. Keep in mind that MH bulbs can cost $80+ and need to be replaced pretty much annually.

Not trying to be a downer. Just trying to give you a realistic perspective.
 
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Crna

New member
Details about the equipment and the tank would be a big help. That is a good price, depending on the equipment and status of the tank, but you might be buying someone else's problem. Those with more experience will chime in, but I purchased a pre-owned tank that had less than ideal filtration and ended up having to deal with getting it straight. Wasn't horrible, but as a newbie it was frustrating. I am very happy with the tank now though! Asking questions before you buy is without a doubt a good start!
 

Crna

New member
That would be the member with more experience giving you a good answer while I was typing! :0)
 

oscarinw

New member
First things first, make sure the move goes well. Once the life settles back in your home, think about tackling the algae problem. It will be doable, just be patient. One day at a time. When you move it be prepared with 4-20 gallon vats. Put all the life and half of the rock in one of them first and put it in your car last. When you get home, take that out first, put it somewhere out of the way, throw a powerhead and a heater in it. Only then, start setting up the tank.
With a hose and the vats ready, start by filling about 30% of the first vat with clear water. That should be your first move. Then, start moving the rock. Before pulling them out of the original tank, give them a strong shake/twist so that most of the sand and detritus settles to the bottom. All this should be done with turned off pumps and powerheads. This will help everything settle at the bottom.
First, all the rocks with corals and others until you have a full first vat. You'll come back to this first vat later. Then move all the rest of the rock to the 2nd vat. Still shake them well before pulling them. Once all the rock is out, syphon the top layer of the sand. At this time you will also be throwing away about 20% of the water. You can do it in gallon jugs so you can keep track of how many you throw out. Get rid of 10 gallons and try to clean as much of the surface of the sand as you can. you will lose some sand in the process. Don't worry.
The rest of the water in the tank goes on the 2nd vat until full or you have moved all the water.
Only now you deal with the sand.
With a piece of thick flexible plastic sheet (dust pans work well for this) scoop all the sand and put it in the 3rd vat. You don't need to move absolutely all the sand but shouldn't move the tank with more than 1/2 inch of sand either. Once all the sand has been moved, take 3-4 gallons of water from vat #1 and 2 and put them on top of the sand.
In the car and off to your home. Don't forget to pay :)

Once home, first (reminder) is to get movement and heat in the 1st vat where the fish and corals are.

Then set the stand, level it, place the sump (it might need to fit through the top of the stand) and last the glass. Plumb it and start the opposite process. First goes the sand. After the sand is in, cover it with a trash bag and then pour the water on top of the plastic bag. After moving vat #3 into the tank, check for leaks, then bucket the water from vat #2 to the tank. Keep pouring on top of the plastic bag to avoid unnecessary stir-up of the sand. Once all the water is out from #2, remove the plastic and start aquascaping with the rock from #2.
Here's where #4 comes in. By Saturday, you will have have vat #4 at home with freshly made saltwater. So that's your homework for tomorrow. Go to the LFS, buy your RO water, your salt mix and a small heater. Prepare 20 gallons at home to be ready for your arrival.
Once this is done, put the heater that came with the tank, back in it and fire it up. Wait a couple of hours to let everything settle a bit and then move the last of the rock and the fish.
Have your ammonia and nitrite tests ready to test your water once you are done with the move and then again every morning for the next 3 days. Have some bio-spira or any 'starter' nitrifying product your LFS sells at hand. Also some seachem PRIME wouldn't hurt.
That's, as you can see a lot to think of by Saturday so let's get on that first and then we'll tackle the algae problem.
Keep taking pictures and asking questions.
Good luck with things.
 

fltekdiver

New member
Petco runs their dollar a gallon sale pretty often, making the tank new $55 bucks

So you have to say, is their $230 worth of used equipment

I found allot of tanks on CL having sumps to small, using bio balls, which I'm not a fan of, older equipment, etc.

Then you find a gem, like my friend just sold his 90 gallon for $200 , which had everything up and running including fish. Sump was a custom acrylic sump, had a $300 skimmer on it, canopy etc, beautiful set up

I'm on my 6th tank in 12 months.

4 of them bought off Craigslist

Last year I was new to th hobby. And buying everyone's set up on CL thinking I was getting a good deal, found out it wasn't , sold it. And did this a few times because of my in-experience

Then I bought a new 120 from a LFS, had it up and running for 2 months, now I have a 180 which I bought new , up and running now 2 months

Theirs some great deals on their, but theirs also some really bad deals on their

I bought my 180 brand new. Tank only on sale for $649.99

CL they were asking the same price for used ones

Good luck, pics would defiantly help

Upload your pictures to photobucket, then copy the link here to post them

PS I agree with everything said above, but I personaly wouldn't use the same sand, just my opioun
 

oscarinw

New member
New sand would be ideal but your chances to keep your livestock with new sand would be minimum due to a shock on the biofilter
 

aleisure

New member
pic of tank

pic of tank

Thanks for all the great advice...I'm not sure of the types or quality of the equipment
 

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aleisure

New member
Free well that sounds great indeed...all I know is it has 2 150 MH as to what name brand I have no idea ...I've NVR had a reef tank and my knowledge is limited so is my pocket book that being the reason I've NVR gotten one...I was thinking the $ is there with the equipment but its not like o no a good skimmer from a bad one...I hope I make a good purchase I no the tank is going to be very difficult to get going in the right direction ...unfortunately I have no clue on equipment I hope he bought good stuff and not junk ...he said he had over a grand in it but that's not saying it was a grand well spent ....hmmmm
 

Meanie

New member
I would ditch the canister filter ASAP. You may need it for the start up at your place, but I doubt it. With the rock and the sand, I would guess there is enough bacteria to start off with. It's probably causing part of the algae bloom.
 

greech

New member
Best to use RO/DI. If you don't have a RO/DI unit, check your LFSs to see if they seek it (most do). However, take a look at their tanks while you're there. If there tanks look like the one you are interested in getting, look elsewhere. If you do get that tank, you are going to have a lot of work on your hands to turn it around.

In addition to the likely saturation of nutrients in the rock, there is likely a good amount of detritus that is going to get stirred up. Doing so can cause ammonia spikes which can causes livestock losses during/after the tank move. It would be best to re-home the livestock in a good tank until you can get things straight. if this tank has sand, I would not reuse it. Rinsing it may help but I would buy new sand.

If you choose to transplant the livestock, I would have plenty of freshly mixed salt water on hand as well as freshwater (again, RO/DI). Wouldn't reuse any of the water expect maybe to move/house the livestock while you reset the tank up. You'll probably want to clean the tank as well which will take some time. Don't forget to keep the water that the livestock is being kept in, heated and circulated.

Take the opportunity to scrub, shake and blow out that rock before you place it back in the tank. Do so in the old tank water (not fresh).

I personally would pass on this tank unless the equipment is very nice.
 

aleisure

New member
The advice is solid...could you bye chance give me an idea as to what type of equipment manufacturer names I should be looking for as to make the purchase a smart one and to maybe help my hagleling room ...or would u say pass period? Like I said this is fairly new to me and all the insight is very helpful... I'm in Indiana and reef tanks tend to be high hear and this is the cheapest I've gotten close to one...granted could be a reason and the guy says he is moving and can't take it with him may not be a true statement.... this is a CL deal after all
 

fltekdiver

New member
As others said,I would pass on it

You can't use the sand,the live rock is questionable. The canister throw away,
So you'll end up with water in buckets, fish your not going to be able to keep alive in buckets, till you get the tank up and running

Don't take this the wrong way. But if you don't know what your buying, how the heck are you going to get it all up and running correctly?

The questions you are asking, your getting good advise, but we can't set up your tank over the internet, or help you when your live stock dies, and you'll
Say " I don't know what equipment I have, or why they died"

Do yourself a favor , don't buy anything right now, and do allot more reading !
 

greech

New member
Good pumps and powerheads are tunze, vortechs, eheim and sicce. Mid level powerheads are Koralia and maxijets. Good skimmers are reef octopus, ASM, bubble magus, vertex, tunze, SWC, bubble king (doubt this woukd be on that tank).

Can't help much with halides as I have never had one or looked into them much. I woukd definitely ask how old the bulbs are. 9 months or more and tgey will need to be replaced soon. By the way bulb quality matters too. Radiums, Ushio and XM are pretty common bulb makers.

There are other good manufacturers and even if it hss a good brand name, some manufacturer models are better than others.

I understand the cost in your area but I would rather spend $500 on a healthy established tank. You'll probably spend that anyways by tge time you rehab the rock.

Cant help much with canisters either
Vinegar can clean just about anything so don't get discouraged if the pumps are mucked up.
 

aleisure

New member
Well you make a good and solid point...$plus time just to save what there could be more than 500 really... dang I wanna reef so bad ...I'm going to go look at it I must do that at least...maybe it looks better than the pic haha... I'd hate to back out on the deal but 280 is a lot for a dying tank..he said he has 50 to 70 lbs of rock and around hear its 2/3 $ a lb one of the reason I thought it was a good buy...curious you said you would pass but would you care to throw a # as to what you think its worth is ?
 

fishgate

Active member
From what I see no more then $100. I'd be afraid to offer that for fear he would accept it. The 55 tank is almost worthless. 55s are frequently free. I got an entire 55 setup on freecycle (I gave it away). They are a horrible footprint for a marine tank. Brand new they are $55. With the age of that tank and the fact that it is a 55 makes me think all of the equipment is lesser and no name brands. The light I suspect is old and obsolete. Powerheads new are $25 for what he most likely has (I am guessing coralife). Personally I would pass on the entire thing. For $300 you could get a 40B, build a stand, get new stuff and be farther along then that old tired not well-cared for 55.
 
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