Advice for a new set up!

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Hi All!

I'm looking at starting a salt water aquarium and I've been researching and watching videos online. There's so much information which is great but there is also so many different opinions!

I'm looking at getting a fluval evo 52l but my main sticking point is do I get the protein skimmer or not? From what I've seen online it sounds like they are a good thing to have but I've seen so many videos saying that you don't need one. There is even a kit that goes in the evo where you can put Floss and sponges and even grow algee in it. I'm not really sure what the benefit of this is to be honest if a protein skimmer can do a similar job? I'm probably missing a key point here but would appreciate any feedback!

Another area that I'm not too sure in is to use dead or live rock? From my very limited understanding... As it is a new tank, could I use dead rock and let it cycle a month or 2 and that will start turning it to live rock? This way there won't be any unwanted critters in my tank?

I've seen that people have been posting about having a clean up crews, are these snails and hermits etc.? How many of these would I need and what types would you guys recommend , I assume they eat stuff from the bottom of the tank?


I would be looking at just adding a couple of fish at the start after the tank has cycled and eventually start to add a bit of soft coral, I don't think the light in the tank is good enough for hard coral?

Thanks in advance

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Ratvan

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Reply #1

Hello

Welcome to the forum

Skimmers, at least IMO are for SPS set ups and for heavy feeding fish(too small mostly for this tank)

Again IMO live rock is better, especially if you can find someone nearby to give/sell you some then you can load up on dry and quick cycle. I'm going to go out on a limb and say the WORST pests I have got have all come in on coral frags and not from my rock. It's all about biodiversity to keep things in check. Upset that balance and you get big issues.

Yes clean up crews (CuC) are snails and hermits. I add little and often between manual cleans until I dont have to clean anymore. I use a mix of Trocus, Cerith, Nassarius and Astrea Snails and Red Legged and Algae hermits. Also a Tailspot blenny mows throw my GHA (and Ulva 😭) each tank would be different

A lot of selection in soft corals and those lights could do LPS and maybe a couple of "easier" SPS down the line under stock lights. BUT you would need to up the flow a bit

Animal

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Reply #2

Hi and welcome to wonderland,
It's like a mad hatters tea party here ,loads of helpers steel free to ask anything you like (,just don't ask where i was last night  because I don't remember)
No you don't need to have a protein skimmer .
Live rock is probably better when starting up a tank  helps cycle  ,
Yes cuc is as you have said .
Live sand is quicker to put fish into but bloody expensive than normal aquarium sand and gravel .
Live sand you just pour the whole bag in liquid as well no need to rinse it that's why it's called live sand ,
Other sand and gravel will need to be washed to get rid off all the dusty crap in it before you put it in the tank..
Time consuming but save you a lot of pennies.
Before you buy sand and gravel work out what you want to keep roughly this can effect wether you have sand or gravel..
Use ro water if you can , you can buy it already mixed with salt or buy you're own and mix the salt yourself.(I used to mix my own years ago save a bit of money )(buy it ready  mixed now just because it's easier )
There you go quick guide to first setup
Obviously you need a tank and a heater and a filter  lol
Dave
 8D

DUSTYBOY272

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Reply #3

Definitely live rock, I wouldn’t worry too much, aiptasia was the only prob I got and it’s now dealt with.Challenges are part of what makes your knowledge grow. One of the best things IMO is to see what surprises grow from your live rock which will form part of your CuC eating detritus and any unwanted algae. Little brittle stars, copepods, fan worms etc will all add to the diversity.
Look forward to watching it all come together.


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Last Edit: Nov 6, 2019 2:23:45 am by DUSTYBOY272

philfenna

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Reply #4

Thanks for the comments!

I'm not too much in a rush to get things going etc. But on a bit of a budget (to keep the wife happy )

Sound a like it's worth getting live rock, although I dont know anyone in my area there are plenty of shops near by.

With the evo syandard tank with a heater, stock filter, and pump as well as a clean up crew. Is that sufficient to keep a tank going with weekly water changes?

I'm a little worried about evaporation, I don't really have the space for an auto top up system and don't want to be topping up daily to maintain the salinity. I have no idea how to quantify the evaporation but the tank has a lid on it, what are your thoughts?

, I'm lookig at getting a Couple of clown fish and eventually some corals.

Thanks again

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Thanks:


Ratvan

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Reply #5

I wouldnt worry too much about evaporation I top up my 130Litre system with about a 2 litres twice a week. It will be worse this time of year with heating on drying out the air. Ibe taken down my ATO actually as it's not needed.


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