Not exactly planted 55 gallon - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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Not exactly planted 55 gallon

Might get flamed here for posting this but I thought I'd share. This is my first forray into the salty side. I have both a 10 gallon and a 75 gallon planted tanks, and just got a steal on a 55 gallon mature saltwater tank, fully stocked.

55 gallon marineland standard
eshopps overflow, sump, and in sump skimmer
separate refugium
a few powerheads
about 75 pounds of liverock
about 75 pounds of live sand
aquaticlife 3xt5ho light, with 2 actinics and 1 10000k, moonlights
Clarkii clown
Pajama cardinal
neon damsel
a bunch of invertebrates
a brain coral
some zooas
a tiny mushroom frag

took me 9 hours to break it down, move it home, and set it back up. More info to follow. here are some pics. I'll begin with the set up. You have stand placement once it was cleaned, empty sump under the tank, and all the livestock containers waiting to be put back into the tank. enjoy!
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Here you've got the tank half full once it was cleaned and put in place
and a couple shots of the sump/skimmer and refugium. The plumbing isnt exactly the way I would like it, but to change it i need a new return pump probably. I have an extra overflow box, but the refugium drain isnt large enough to accomodate. I'm gonna have to think about it for a while. It works for now though.

The flow is in this order: overflow from main tank,
to filter sock in sump,
to in sump skimmer,
there is a ac 50 pump in the sump that pumps the water into the refugium,
drilled overflow in the refugium goes back into the sump filter sock
return pump post baffles
back into single return to main display.
main display also has an ac50 powerhead and a koralia 750 powerhead for circulation. Bringing it to about 1100 gph roughly.

I'm still very new to this but as of day two, specific gravity is at 1.025, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, ph 8.2. phosphate and nitrate tests to come. The owner said that the skimmer and chaeto have been working so well, he has just done top offs with a single 15 gallon water change every month. With the fairly deep sand bed, and massive amount of chaeto he said the phosphates and nitrates have been for the most part undetectable. We'll see if I can keep that up.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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Some more pics!
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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one more
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 09:51 PM
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I'm always interested in salt water aquariums so I appreciate it
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 09:54 PM
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I would give someone my Planted FW for a fully stocked SW setup. HANDS DOWN

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 10:00 PM
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Salt water tanks intimidate me at the moment. I just hear how sensitive and demanding they are.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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Total cost of the setup...$200. No lie. Included extra salt, buckets, a whole array of dosing supplies and a double supply of testing kits for just about everything under the sun. It's honestly more than I even know what to do with. I know a bit about salt keeping, as I've researched it for a while, but the offer on this tank came up out of nowhere so I had to jump on it. I don't really know how to dose and stuff, and feeding the corals will be a a learning process, but they're pretty hardy and easy varieties. The fish are trained to eat pellets so that's good.

I figure as long as I can keep everything working, the skimmer running and the refugium running, I should be alright while I research further. it's a mature and cycled system so right now it's kind of on auto pilot, as it has been for the past year. It's very clean and designed to be very low maintenance. The owner has been doing one 20% water change a month for the past year for crying out loud. I've gotta get a RO/DI unit now, and probably think about setting up a quarantine tank at some point.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 10:08 PM
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Those button polyps are beautiful. I did reef tanks from the mid 90s until about 5 years ago and I think those are some of the coolest I've seen. I've heard there are some great ones on the market now.

But at my LFS they said...
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 10:17 PM
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You gat a great deal. When I got interested in planted FW tanks I was intimidated and I had 10+ years experience with reef tanks. You'll be fine.

But at my LFS they said...
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-12-2012, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Phosphate test 0-0.25 ish, nitrate 0ppm. The bad news...not but two days after I have the tank set up, it has to be moved. After hearing numerous family complaints about how the light is too bright, and the tank is too loud, it's gotta be moved out of the living room an into the office. What a pain. At least I know how to do it though and it shouldn't take too long. Now that I have the plumbing down and what not I should be able to knock it out in half the time. I tried explaining to the family that to grow corals you need actinic lights and a specific photoperiod. They insist that we can just turn the light on when I'm the only one here an when it's family time the lights go off. That just won't work, so, off to the office it goes with my other tanks that have been banished from the front of the house ha ha.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
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In my haste I hadn't really looked closely at the light. I saw only one 10000k bulb and actinics. I assume it was a 3 bulb fixture. It's actually 4 bulbs and the owner was running 3 actinics and one 10000k. I swapped that first bulb so now I have white, blue, white, blue. Photoperiod is programmed to be actinics only from 8-9 am, then the whites come on and I run all 4 bulbs till 7 pm, then back to just actinics till 8 pm, then only moonlights From 8-midnight. Darkness from midnight to 8 am. I run the refugium light from 8 pm to 8 am opposite the display lights. It is just a single 15watt cfl, which I will probably soon ditch and get a two socket incandescent plastic hood and put two 15 watt bulbs in it.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 03:11 AM
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I would shorten the photo period with the white in half since you added about 200 PAR by replacing the actinic bulb. Add an hour per week until you get back to the original schedule. This will help prevent shocking the corals and possibly bleaching and killing them.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 03:19 AM Thread Starter
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Noted. Will do.
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 04:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokaah View Post
Salt water tanks intimidate me at the moment. I just hear how sensitive and demanding they are.
Nah, I would go as far as to say it is on par or lower in demand than a planted tank if you stick with soft corals.

Back when I was 12-13 I had a nano cube with a few soft corals and a few polyps and a crap ton of fish and inverts. Now if I could run it being 12-13 doing maybe 1 WC a month or so then anyone can do it lmao.

Nice steal OP, I would have jumped on it just like you did lol. Reef tanks are really fun.

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