New to saltwater, questions about setup.

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by Zpilot21, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. Zpilot21

    Zpilot21 Larval Mass Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2010
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have successfully kept exotic freshwater fish for years now, and they all brought me much much joy. However I recently moved, and thought I would not have room for my aquarium. So I had to adopt out my fish at the time and store away the tank. Well I am all settled in now, and it turns out I have space for the tank, so now I am wanting back into the aquatics game. This time however, I am wanting to go into saltwater. With my years of exotic freshwater fishkeeping experience; and now roughly a week of reading forums and articles on the subjects of saltwater, reef tanks, and cuttlefish care, I feel fairly confident its time to do this.

    I currently have a 50 gal tank with a eheim professional II canister filter and a UV sterilizer(which I heard somewhere is useless for a saltwater tank).

    What I would LIKE to do, is set up a somewhat small soft coral reef tank. Once it is established, order a few Sepia bandensis eggs, and attempt to hatch them.

    With all that said, my plans are to get the tank at least set up and starting its cycle within the month. I am thinking of adding a sump to the setup to increase water volume. If at all possible, id like to put the heater, skimmer, some live rock and live sand(which I will be cultivating myself) in the sump. As a side note, I will be building my own sump, as the stand for the tank is screwy and only allows 8 inches of space for width. So in other words, I dont exactly at the time know how many gallons my sump will hold. However, if I am clever enough and if its possible to build a two level sump (part of the sump above the other part of the sump) i can manage to make part of it roughly 10 inches wide, rather then 8.

    Anyway, the point of the whole topic is to ask two main questions and get some input on my situation.

    Question 1: If I have the skimmer, heater, live sand and live rock in my sump, do I still need the eheim filter; or am I allowed to bypass that all together?

    Question 2: Other then the testing/maintenance stuff, lights, powerhead, and skimmer, am I overlooking any other equipment I need?

    Oh, and I suppose what should I be looking for in a powerhead and skimmer with my setup?

    As well as if anyone has any recommendations as to what I should try to add to the setup or avoid with the setup, please feel free to speak your mind.

    Thanks in advance, Zeep.

    And if any of this made no sense at all, I apologize. I am exhausted and need sleep, which im about to try to get right now. Any questions, comments, or concerns, please voice them and I'll respond as soon as I can.
     
  2. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Messages:
    2,832
    Likes Received:
    96
    Location:
    South Florida
    Yes you can lose the canister filter, but you will want at least a filter sock or better yet a filter pad that the tank water flows through before the sump, this will catch detritus waste. I also have a little mesh bag full of carbon that I just let free float in my sump.

    Sounds good. Dont forget a Hydrometer to test salinity. And a RO/DI water filter for making saltwater a topping off is recommended, and depending on the water in your area may be necessary.

    OH yeah :welcome: to TONMO
     
  3. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,076
    Likes Received:
    1,123
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    This type of configuration is often used to set up a small refugium for growing macro algae to help with nutrient export. Placed above the main tank (vs the sump) it is also used for growing out food like cope/amphi pods and naturally feeding the tank (overflowing to the sump won't get the pods back to the main tank so it would not be the purpose of a sumped fuge). You would have to add lighting if you wanted to do this. You will want a separate, small pump to pump water from the lower sump to the upper one if you want to house anything somewhat delicate but otherwise, you can send your return water directly to the higher sump, add a bulkhead and pipe to the front of the higher tank and let it spill into the lower one. Here again, drilling is desired and possibly essential to avoid a water disaster. Acrylic might be your easiest choice of materials for the upper sump. ALSO, keep in mind with your design that you have to have room for the skimmer to attach either inside or outside the primary sump. Skimmer height requirements are often under estimated and cause major headaches.

    If you overflow the main tank into the sump and do all your filtering there (by far the best choice) then you can either use the canister to draw and return from the sump or simply add a filter sock and carbon where the overflow pipe enters the sump (much easier to maintain than a canister). BEFORE YOU START SETTING UP check out the cost or your bravery and have the tank drilled rather than using a siphon overflow box. You will thank me for the recommendation if you follow it :grin: We just drilled our first glass tank (we have drilled may acrylics and paid to have another glass tank drilled - I will NEVER go back to a siphon overflow) and it worked out well but Neal has a small drill press so that helped a lot to keep the pressure even.

    One word of caution about your freshwater tank. All marine inverts are intollerant of even small amounts of copper. Anticdotal evidents and studies on silicone suggest that any glass tank (specifically any tank with silicone) where copper was used as a medication has a high chance of being lethal to cephalopods and is potentially lethal for all inverts.
     
  4. Zpilot21

    Zpilot21 Larval Mass Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2010
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you for bringing up the RO/DI filter, as I had a question about that as well. I know a little about normal tap water filters, such as brita and pur. However I know nearly nothing when it comes to RO/DI filters. Is there anything specific I should keep my eye out for when it comes to purchasing one? Or is it pretty much the same as the other filters, the more stages the better?





    Glad you brought that to my attention. As far as I know I have not used any copper in my tank in the past. However, I suppose there is always the possibility it may have snuck in somehow. Will simply filling the tank with some water and then testing for copper give results? Or if its in the silicone, do I need to somehow test that instead? Im assuming if my silicone had copper in it, id have to probably replace it? Or is there an easier way to treat it in that case?
     
  5. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,076
    Likes Received:
    1,123
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    The more preRO filters you have, the longer the RO filter is likely to function before needing to be replaced. The DI filter in the end stage might be something you want to look at for ease of replacing the dionizing sand as the tube type I have is a royal pain. Some of the newer configurations use a canister looking filter for this stage and it might be easier to seal.

    Prior discussions indicate that there is not currently available a test for the minute amount of copper that would be poisonous to a ceph. Here are a couple of the discussions I located but doing an advance search on Copper in the title will yeild more:

    http://www.tonmo.com/community/index.php?threads/9775/&highlight=copper
     

Share This Page