Setting up my 1st saltwater tank!

loungefrog11

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Hi guys,

I am in the middle of setting up my first saltwater tank. Been doing tons of reading to learn as much as I can. Just wanted to show where I'm at and see what yall think. I used a RODI water system and then mix 5 gallons of the water with salt overnight at a time. So took a couple days to get here. But I have 50 lbs of Aqua Natural Oolitic Aragonite sand, 40 lbs of Caribsea Life Rock, and now just letting the water and filter do its thing. I plan on letting it just sit and run for about 3-4 weeks, then start with 2 clownfish and maybe couple frags or something to start with. That's assuming my water is cycled by then.

I do have a question though. As you can see in the pics I have a 4 inch stone for the tank, unsure how much bubbles is good and are big or small bubbles better. This one has tons of small bubbles. Not sure if there should be more, less, bigger, etc. Thanks!

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LordofCinder

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its important to provide oxygen to the tank, but airstone is not really the preferred way because the air bubbles will pop when they get to the surface, which will splash and slowly build up salt creep everywhere. Its messy. Oxiginating is usually done by surface agitation and/or a protein skimmer.

You're not doing it wrong, but from experience, there are better ways.
 
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adittam

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Looks like a good start.

As others have mentioned, a sump is a more common approach for filtration than a canister filter, but it’s definitely not impossible to use a canister filter. It’s important to keep to a strict cleaning schedule once your start to get waste though, or the canister filter will let nutrients get to high. You’re definitely going to want a wave maker (powerhead) or two in the tank, aimed at and angle toward the surface a little, to provide flow and oxygenation. How are you planning to cycle the tank? With bottled bacteria, ghost feeding, a frozen shrimp, or another method? Once you get the wave maker(s) in the tank, you can start the cycling process.

 
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loungefrog11

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Looks like a good start.

As others have mentioned, a sump is a more common approach for filtration than a canister filter, but it’s definitely not impossible to use a canister filter. It’s important to keep to a strict cleaning schedule once your start to get waste though, or the canister filter will let nutrients get to high. You’re definitely going to want a wave maker (powerhead) or two in the tank, aimed at and angle toward the surface a little, to provide flow and oxygenation. How are you planning to cycle the tank? With bottled bacteria, ghost feeding, a frozen shrimp, or another method? Once you get the wave maker(s) in the tank, you can start the cycling process.

Thank you guys for all the info. I have removed the airstone and put a wave maker pointing near the surface and it is breaking the surface constantly, along with the return from the canister filter. From what I've heard I need to add 1 more wave maker, so I'll do that also. My salinity was 33.4, so I think I'm getting pretty close on that...I think.

Like I mentioned in my first post, I used 50 lbs of the Aqua Natural Oolite Aragonite sand, and 40 lbs of the CaribeSea Life Rock, I thought between the 2 I would have all the bacteria I needed for the tank to cycle. Is this not true?
 
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From what I've heard I need to add 1 more wave maker, so I'll do that also.
What flow (gph) is the current wavemaker running at and how large is the tank in gallons?
Like I mentioned in my first post, I used 50 lbs of the Aqua Natural Oolite Aragonite sand, and 40 lbs of the CaribeSea Life Rock, I thought between the 2 I would have all the bacteria I needed for the tank to cycle. Is this not true?
Both of these products are sold dry, so they do not contain established bacterial populations like "live" substrates, which are sold wet (ex. live mud, sand, and rock). Cycling can be done without bacterial additives, but the addition of these and/or live substrates (which can introduce greater biodiversity) and pre-seeded media can speed up/eliminate the need for a cycle (though it is still important to keep checking water parameters). Remember to provide the bacteria with a food source (ex. whole frozen shrimp, ammonia dosing, etc.) and turn off the lights during the cycle.
 
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loungefrog11

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My wave maker flow is 1320, tank is 55 gallon.

Thanks for clearing that up for me. I'll get some bacteria tomorrow. Any specific brand the best? Also, how many shrimp do I put in there and for how long, just until the cycle is done? Thank you
 

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Thanks for clearing that up for me. I'll get some bacteria tomorrow. Any specific brand the best? Also, how many shrimp do I put in there and for how long, just until the cycle is done? Thank you
No problem! My cycle (in a 40-gallon breeder) took about 2 weeks with 1 shrimp (which should probably be fine in your tank) and a bottle of BIO-Spira. The link listed above recommends keeping the shrimp in the tank for 72 hours.
 

Yates273

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Your gonna need decent test kits as your cycling to monitor your levels. Right now you want ammonia nitrite and nitrate kits. If you haven’t read up on the nitrogen cycle do that. That is the first important step in getting your tank ready. As far as shrimp yes that will work but a more controlled way of cycling is with ammonia. You can by from hardware store or BRS has Dr Tims. On the bottle it tells you how to proceed. I did all of my tanks with ammonia and never had any issues with the cycle. After all the decaying shrimp will be your ammonia source but may take longer to break down. It’s up to you either way will work just giving you options. Good luck and welcome to the dark side.

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loungefrog11

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Your gonna need decent test kits as your cycling to monitor your levels. Right now you want ammonia nitrite and nitrate kits. If you haven’t read up on the nitrogen cycle do that. That is the first important step in getting your tank ready. As far as shrimp yes that will work but a more controlled way of cycling is with ammonia. You can by from hardware store or BRS has Dr Tims. On the bottle it tells you how to proceed. I did all of my tanks with ammonia and never had any issues with the cycle. After all the decaying shrimp will be your ammonia source but may take longer to break down. It’s up to you either way will work just giving you options. Good luck and welcome to the dark side.

C22F0B3D-B251-4C61-848D-E9E1FB5D0E37.png
The dark side is right! I started from scratch and dove in. Been reading tons everyday. I have gotten a good test kit ready to go too, trying to make sure i do this right. This site has been great. Very helpful. I think I might try the Dr. Tims though.
 

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