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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-05-2012, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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Hello,

I just procured the cursed FREE aquarium from a neighbor. It's an 85 gallon acrylic unit, with a built in bio filter. Judging from the manufacturers tag, the tank was built in 1989, but looks in good shape. It has two holes in the bottom of the tank for jets, and a black wall that separates the filter from the main tank. The guy I got if from has had it for several years, but "couldn't figure out how to set it up" so he stuck it in his driveway and posted the ever-attractive FREE sign on it. It came with a lovely (my wife disagrees) base cabinet and hood cover unit and buckets of media (plastic bio balls?), 50# or so of crushed coral, lots of pump parts, and so on. I'm guessing it's past life was a salt system. I have yet to complete the full inventory of my find, but I'm committed to making it work. I know, based on the age of the system, and advances in technology, I'll be spending a bunch of money to do that.

I've had many, many aquariums in my life (in the 80's), and most recently had a 55 gallon aquarium (18 years ago) but sold it off when we began our family. The idea of a curious toddler pulling 500 pounds+ of aquarium onto himself gave my wife and me nightmares. My past experience is limited to under-gravel filters with powerheads and basic sytems, so the built-in bio filtration system is completely foreign, and admittedly, a tad intimidating.

I'm not set on a direction yet, so I'd love to hear some thought on freshwaterautolinker.com autolinking image versus saltwaterautolinker.com autolinking image systems. I live in So Cal, so there are ample shops and resources for supplies and inhabitants. Is there an OC/So Cal section of this site where I can enlist the help of an expert to help me assess what I've got? I'd love to talk to an expert in person, so any recommendations for reputable, knowledgeable, and personable folks are appreciated.

What are the "Watch Outs" for my new venture? I've done some preliminary research on filtration, but can't find anything that looks like my tank. I'm starting to wonder if I may be better off NOT using the built in, and going for the external systems that proliferate the web.

Thanks for the opportunity to post and thanks in advance for your wisdom, tutelage, and patience. I'm sure this will be fun for some of you to guide me, and others to ridicule me for my stupidity (like my wife).

Joe

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Last edited by JoeGoFish; 02-05-2012 at 04:06 PM.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-05-2012, 07:04 PM
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Gotta be saltwaterautolinker.com autolinking image:
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What Your Coral Needs | Successful Reef Keeping
Aquarium Lighting; Reef, Planted Light Information. PAR, Bulb, Watt, Kelvin, Nanometers, MH, LED.
Melevsreef.com | Acrylic Sumps & Refugiums
Live Rock - About Live Rock - Cycling, Buying, Grades, Curing, aquascaping live rock

You do not need a filter on saltwaterautolinker.com autolinking image tanks. Live Rock and a Skimmer rated at 2 times your water volume is the basics of what you need. The sump, under the tank, which is what you will use the internal overflow for, to keep cheato and other macro algae, to scub the water even more clean. Fire away with any questions you might have.


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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-05-2012, 07:27 PM
 
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nice find and welcome

90 gallon, 1 Iridescent shark, 2 Pleco, 3 Goldfish, 5 Cory cats, 2 Nerite snails
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-05-2012, 11:08 PM
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Re: Back for more aquatic fun!

welcome!

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 08:05 AM
 
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hello and welcome

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 08:46 AM
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I would say good luck but your lucky enough to have snaged that! but welcome to the forums and awesome find!

When you pay that cash or swipe that card you are making a bond with that animal that you will treat it with love and respect, and its needs will be met, first and foremost (unless you have kids...) I don't care if you have to eat ramen noodles or nothing at all to feed your cat dog fish rat whatever. That's the bond you made! Life is precious!
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Back for more aquatic fun!

Thanks all! After staying up 'til 3 this morning reviewing the links and surfing all over hell and back, I can see that I have a lot to learn. Just getting the tank up and running will be interesting.

I noticed that only one person chimed in with an opinion on Salt versus freshautolinker.com autolinking image. Am I too assume that freshautolinker.com autolinking image water systems are less cool with the kids these days? From the plethora of information I've taken in over the last 24 hours, it seems that Salt tanks are much more complex, with more variables to go wrong. For example, I'm not sure that my wife will be down with a barrel of saltwater, and another of RO fresh water sitting anywhere in the house or garage.

I know that there are probably a dozen or more ways to skin this cat, so I'd really love to hear some other opinions. I'd like to start slow, then build, invest, and grow the system.

One question I have is this: Why is there a distinction between a "Reef tank" and a "Fish-only tank"? I assumed that fish and reef worked together. Am I wrong, or is this more of a style thing?

Thanks for any thoughts, opinions, and advice.

Fish are friends.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Back for more aquatic fun!

Oh, and being a gadget guy who loves bells and whistles, I really like the who sump idea, with bonus volume of water, food nursery, frags, and the stabilization feature it provides. What size sump should I consider for an 85 gallon set up?

Thanks again.

Fish are friends.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 01:12 PM
 
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Re: Back for more aquatic fun!

Well theres alot of really good Saltwater Keepers here so they may get angry with me over this but this is just my opinion. Saltwater are very beautiful tanks, but that comes at the cost of alot of time and energy keeping everything just right. I would start off with freshwaterautolinker.com autolinking image and a few fish to see how it goes, then build up from there. you can always start another later when you have more knowledge, done right with lots of live plants and maybe some LED lighting you can end up with a Very pretty freshwaterautolinker.com autolinking image tank. good luck with whatever you choose.

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 01:16 PM
 
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Re: Back for more aquatic fun!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeGoFish View Post
Oh, and being a gadget guy who loves bells and whistles, I really like the who sump idea, with bonus volume of water, food nursery, frags, and the stabilization feature it provides. What size sump should I consider for an 85 gallon set up?

Thanks again.
Ignore my previous post I guess

If you like bells and whistles then you may just be the perfect saltwaterautolinker.com autolinking image guy.

"Reefingmadness" will be a great help to you, follow his posts or shoot him a PM

90 gallon, 1 Iridescent shark, 2 Pleco, 3 Goldfish, 5 Cory cats, 2 Nerite snails
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Back for more aquatic fun!

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Originally Posted by hanky View Post
Ignore my previous post I guess

If you like bells and whistles then you may just be the perfect saltwaterautolinker.com autolinking image guy.

"Reefingmadness" will be a great help to you, follow his posts or shoot him a PM
Hanky, you might as well know, that while I'm a bells and whistles guy, I'm also know for eyeballs bigger than my stomach, and for biting off more than I can chew. For example, I'm currently on the board of not one, but two non-profit youth angling organizations, the board of the local YMCA, and I volunteer nearly every weekend at a Boy Scout camp. There are fish there, of course.

The tank is currently sitting on a dolly in my garage, which required me to relocate another project for the Boy Scouts.

I'll be lucky to have this up and running, in any capacity, before Christmas.

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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 05:37 PM
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Re: Back for more aquatic fun!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeGoFish View Post
Oh, and being a gadget guy who loves bells and whistles, I really like the who sump idea, with bonus volume of water, food nursery, frags, and the stabilization feature it provides. What size sump should I consider for an 85 gallon set up?

Thanks again.
30-40g sump should do ya nicely.

My 240g Reef Tank Pics
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 09:56 PM
 
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Re: Back for more aquatic fun!

i have both saltwaterautolinker.com autolinking image an freshwaterautolinker.com autolinking image . the Saltwater is not really all that much harder too keep tho i try too keep things that are easyer to care for ! i also have turtles lol an no life as you can lol

if you loan some one money an never see them Again it was money well spent !!!!!
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 10:52 AM
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Re: Back for more aquatic fun!

the holes in the bottom of the tank are for sumps/refugiums/filter below the tank in the cabinent. Called "reef ready" and generally makes the tank more expensive because they have to be cut before the glass is tempered.

On thing you can do is just plug them up.

Otherwise you can setup the filtration in the cabinent below the tank. But be sure to study up on sump setups. It is possible when not adjusted properly for sumps to cause floods.

my .02

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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 11:20 AM
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Welcome to the site!
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Welcome to the forum.

Help those in our hobby to exceed beyond their expectations.
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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Back for more aquatic fun!

My local shops have given me conflicting information, which is ironically consistent with this forum.

A little background first - My tank is 85G with the built in weirs across the back to allow for mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration, all in the same acrylic box.

The first guy tells me, like ReefingMadness, that I'll need a skimmer, live rock, and a pump.

The next shop tells me that live rock, sand, a bottle of bacteria and a pump will do just fine.

Neither recommended a sump, as they said my built in filtration would be adequate if I fill it with live rock.

What other opinions are out there? And what should I be paying for live rock and base rock?

Thanks for all the welcome and good vibes.

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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 09:47 AM
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Re: Back for more aquatic fun!

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Originally Posted by JoeGoFish View Post
My local shops have given me conflicting information, which is ironically consistent with this forum.

A little background first - My tank is 85G with the built in weirs across the back to allow for mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration, all in the same acrylic box.

The first guy tells me, like ReefingMadness, that I'll need a skimmer, live rock, and a pump.

The next shop tells me that live rock, sand, a bottle of bacteria and a pump will do just fine.

Neither recommended a sump, as they said my built in filtration would be adequate if I fill it with live rock.

What other opinions are out there? And what should I be paying for live rock and base rock?

Thanks for all the welcome and good vibes.
The "other" option is to use algae you usually wind up fighting as a filter to stabilize and maintain the tank.

What you do is put macro algae like chaeto or caulerpa prolifera in the filter box instead live rock, filter material or whatever. Then let the algae maintain the system.

You can even use the common hair type or turf algae as well. (it's called an algae turf scrubber)

By doing that skimmers, live rock, base rock, live sand, sand and so on are a secondary consideration.


my .02
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 07:48 AM
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Re: Back for more aquatic fun!

if the tank is drill in the bottom you have 2 options..plug the holes. or run a sump..if your not going to plug the hole then reefing madness is correct..you will need a sump..IMO most people at lfs's dont know crap..they are there for one reason..to sell you stuff..most of the time stuff you dont need..there are a few out there that are good and know what they are talking about, but they are few and far between..as for the skimmer..if your going saltwaterautolinker.com autolinking image..i would'nt even try to run a tank that big without one.. I hope this helps you..

Rick

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