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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone... I just joined up in hopes for direction and guidance in a possible new project.

Here is a little background:

I started a Marine tank about 7 yrs ago(fish only). I used a 27g bow front tank with a whisper filter and a Fluval filter as well.. Had many fish throughout that time from damsels, clowns, triggers, tangs, shrimps, crabs, puffers and a grouper. The Grouper just died yesterday. He was the last one left. I didnt add any fish while he was alive because he would eat them all.. So, its just been him for about the last 5 yrs... and now that he is gone, I think I would like to start a friendly reef tank.

So, I am looking for reccomendations on how to build, prep etc....

I would like to use the same tank that I have, however it is not reef ready. I read about converting into reef ready, by drilling holes for the piping at the bottom and building the pass for the water to go into a sump.. Is this a good idea? Am I better off with a new tank?? Should I use a sump with a 27g tank? I never used the sump before, but I would like to add one this time. I feel like it will make everything easier.

Where should I start??

Thanks in advance!!
 

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welcome 2 the site! u can use a sump, but its not necessary. 4 reef tanks u may want a protein skimmer. a refugium is something u might like. algae contains certain nutrients that help with the tank but the algae ruins the tanks appearance, so u use a refugium 2 grow algae and other nutrients. here is a link 4 more info on refugiums: Refugium Setup for Saltwater Aquariums if u did'nt have a calcium reactor nows the time 2 get one. u said your tank was a fish-only-suggesting u had no live rock. u now need live rock 4 the reef. about 40-50 pounds would do. when keeping corals and anemones u need strong lighting. acnic blue or T-5's should be good. need 2 know anything else let me know!
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info. I was thinking of building the refugium into the sump as I have seen a few people have done. My last tank Had some live rock, but I want to get new ones as they are old and are probably no longer living.

What is a Calcium reactor? Any ideas on good protien skimmers that would work in my sump? Any Ideas on where to get a sump small enough to work with my system??

I got lots of questions ...lol :fish-in-a-bag:
 

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I would jump up to something like a 50-65 gallon breeder and then get a 29 gallon for your sump/fuge. I would also get it drilled for over flow and return at least, getting it drilled for a closed loop would also be nice because you could eliminate PH's in the tank. I like the Ocotopus skimmers and the ASM's, T-5 lighting would work very well, also use sand NOT crushed coral. The larger tank and sump gives you more water volume and a much more stable tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would jump up to something like a 50-65 gallon breeder and then get a 29 gallon for your sump/fuge. I would also get it drilled for over flow and return at least, getting it drilled for a closed loop would also be nice because you could eliminate PH's in the tank. I like the Ocotopus skimmers and the ASM's, T-5 lighting would work very well, also use sand NOT crushed coral. The larger tank and sump gives you more water volume and a much more stable tank.

I would like to go to a 50-65, but that might kill my budget... I know it takes money to do it, but I would rather a smaller tank done right versus a larger tank done cheap.

What is ASM's?

I was planning on using sand. Should it all be live sand?? Or a mixture?

Thanks Again
 

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ASM is a brand of skimmer and I would use all dry sand then see if you could get like 1 cup of LS from someone or the LFS. I wouldnt rite off a 50 gallon breeder to fast a 4 light T-5 is what I would recomend for your 27 and that could also work for a 50 breeder would just have to watch where you place some corals. The difference in price for a decent skimmer for a 27 then to a 50 wont be all that much. When you get rock get 70% dry rock and 30% LR because the dry rock will become live oh and your LR should be ok to use to seed the dry rock, if you are handy with wood at all you could build a canopy and then add to your lighting down the road. I guess what I am trying to say is price out both ways and see what the difference is you might be surprised. I am not trying to say you cant have a nice setup with your 27 but a 50 breeder will give you much more room for fish and corals and a much more stable tank JMO.
 

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its true-the bigger the better. i don't know whats the problem with crushed coral. my dad runs his 125 gal shark tank with crushed coral, dry sand, riverstone, and rainbow rock as substrate. u say u have a whisper and a fluval-i cannot imagine a tank with out corner filters, especially 4 smaller tanks. a calcium reactor is a tool 4 testing calcium in reef tanks, u may not need 2 worry that much about calcium in fish only tanks but 4 reef tanks u do.
 
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its true-the bigger the better. i don't know whats the problem with crushed coral. my dad runs his 125 gal shark tank with crushed coral, dry sand, riverstone, and rainbow rock as substrate. u say u have a whisper and a fluval-i cannot imagine a tank with out corner filters, especially 4 smaller tanks. a calcium reactor is a tool 4 testing calcium in reef tanks, u may not need 2 worry that much about calcium in fish only tanks but 4 reef tanks u do.
CC will cause nitrate problems plain and simple unless vacumed weekly, mechanical filters also cause trate problems unless cleaned very well weekly to bi-weekly, if you are talking about air driven corner filters they are junk unless you are useing them in a fry tank and even then I wouldnt use them. Calcium Reactors are for keeping calcium levels up NOT for testing your calcium. I seem to remember you losing some fish just recently petlover do you know why you lost them??
 

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CC will cause nitrate problems plain and simple unless vacumed weekly, mechanical filters also cause trate problems unless cleaned very well weekly to bi-weekly, if you are talking about air driven corner filters they are junk unless you are useing them in a fry tank and even then I wouldnt use them. Calcium Reactors are for keeping calcium levels up NOT for testing your calcium. I seem to remember you losing some fish just recently petlover do you know why you lost them??
corner filters r not junk. they r biological (not mechanical) filters. corner filters can work very well and need low maintanance, depending on what u put in them. put in some angel hair filter cotton, activated carbon, the tank substrate and u will be fine. put it in the following layers from top 2 bottom: cotton, substrate, carbon, substrate, cotton. the fish we lost were from ich and a mandarin from starvation.
 
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as soon as you put filter floss or what ever you want to call it you have turned it into a mechanical filter and you cannot move enough water thru them to be of much use except for like I said in a fry tank. I want to appologize to the OP for going off track a little bit Sorry.
 

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Hi CommoN81, it sounds like you have the basics of saltwater down, like temp, SG, etc.... For a reef tank, I would suggest some reading, books by E. Borneman, Scott Michaels, A. Calfo are all great places for information.

As for the sump, YES, it is a great idea. A sump will add water volume to your system which will increase stability. It also gives you a place to put your heater, protein skimmer, and grow macro algae.

Personally I use an external overflow by CPR, as my tank is not drilled or reef ready either, but I still manage just fine. So, you can use your existing tank, with the purchase of a quality external overflow box.

I like to use a Deep Sand Bed (DSB) in tank to help with biological filtration, I use a 4-6" sandbed of Seachems Gray Coast, but I think a Calcium Carbonate sand is a better choice. A protein skimmer is MUST for a successful reef tank in my opinion, it helps with a multitude of filtration needs, including but not limited to the removal of dissolved organic waste. Protein skimmers also help to add O2 to the water, and that helps maintain ORP levels.

Calcium and Kalkwasser reactors are not mandatory for a reef tank, but they do REALLY help with stability of Ca and Carbonate levels, which are the brick and mortar for the corals to grow.

There are 2 other MAJOR concerns for a successful reef tank, lighting and FLOW. I think that both are EQUALLY important, if you have one but not the other, you aren't going to be successful. I prefer T5 lighting over MH (metal halide) for my SPS dominant reef, and I really like Vortech pumps, but Tunze is another excellent brand to look at.

Sorry for my LONG post... What do you have in mind for a reef tank, softies, LPS, or SPS?

Oh, and one other thing, TIME AND PATIENCE are REQUIRED, not optional. ;)

Here's to your success! -Mike
 

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petlover516- It appears to me that you are very new to saltwater. I can appreciate you wanting to help, but please do more research before you decide to help others. There are many ways to be successful in this hobby, unfortunately corner filters and crushed coral substrate are technologies that have been replaced by much better options. By your recommending them, it increases the chances of failure, rather the success. I am sure that one day you will also be very successful in the hobby, you have a great passion that is for sure, but you need to do some more reading, and spend some time with your tank figuring out for yourself what works, WHY it works, or why it DIDN'T work. Keep the passion, but listen more, and talk less, for now. ;)
 

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corner filters r not junk. they r biological (not mechanical) filters. corner filters can work very well and need low maintanance, depending on what u put in them. put in some angel hair filter cotton, activated carbon, the tank substrate and u will be fine. put it in the following layers from top 2 bottom: cotton, substrate, carbon, substrate, cotton. the fish we lost were from ich and a mandarin from starvation.
LMAO thats funny. Sorry did not mean to be mean but I chuckled reading that.
 

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thank u poseidon. its just that some people like corner filters and some don't. continue talking about starting a reef tank instead of corner filters. my dad, who really owns the tank, says that he uses them 4 mainly bacteria refuges. i will continue to do research and hopefully set up a reef tank as soon as i am experienced well with fresh water. setting up a reef tank with a royal gramma is what i've dreamed of doing some day. hopefully i can succeed.
 
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and now i feel awful because we have completely gone off track and now i feel mad at this person TRFK. just because i made an inference that calcium reactors test calcium does not mean i know nothing about saltwater. TRFK seems to have a bad case of JABBC. in 2 of his/her posts he said that a petstore tank is better than my dads. he/she should learn how to talk to people. i researched it for a month straight on 2 occasions. and i now a feel gratefully guilty.
 
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i would also like to say that CC is not a nitrate tap and that corner filters usually work awful not because of itself, but because of the aquarist packing the media in to tightly.
 

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when you think of coral, think of it as fish shaped like a rock. they are many different species of coral, all with different needs and should be researched thoroughly, just like fish. i'd say u could have 10 small kinds of corals in a 29gal.
 
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