A beginer restarting my 180 Gallon Saltwater Aquarium..;)

Discussion in 'New Hobbyists' started by midland texas, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. midland texas

    midland texas New Member

    I am new to this Hobby and would like to restart my aquarium. I had this aquarium for apx. 3 years. when I first bought and tried my hand at this, it was a great experience. the aquarium crash 3 different times (fish died or glass seal broke dumping 180 gallons of saltwater on my living room floor) but after I fix the glass and got it up and running again, it just wasn't the same. my time and money lead me to take a break.
    But now I think I am ready to try again. so here is what I have and what I need help with. I haven't decided on what I want to do with the aquarium, to have fish or make a reef, to have aggressive meat eating fish or herbivores. I am completely open and can go either way.
    Now I have apx. 100lbs of live rock and live sand, that has been in the aquariums from the start. always covered with saltwater. but no water circulation or light, just sitting in my living room. I am not sure with its still good or not. that's my first question. I bought a new quiet one 5000 water pump, and starting the wave maker with 2 korlia power heads model 6. I have a 3rd powerhead but it stopped working. I also have an SWC 230 protein skimmer in my 75gallon refugiums. and 2 LED lamps.
    I did a water test last night and the results are as follows:
    ammonia 0-.5
    PH 7.5
    NO 2.5
    NO3 180+
    Gravity 1.025 - 1.026

    I turned on the water heater this morning water temp is APX 73*
    So my first question is: is the rock and sane still usable if its dead what can I do to treat it and start it up again. there is no signs of and algae or slim in the tank just some white spots or dots on the glass in some places.
    how do I kick start the cycleing of the water.
    what would be the first thing I should buy as far as snail crabs or things like that. and when should I?
    Being that its 180 gallons makes it a little more challenging because things are so much. more fish more chemicals more "cleaner creatures"
    I am looking to go slow I am in no hurry to get to the finish line, just want to go slow and be able to add things and be able to keep on top of things before they get out of hand.
    I don't know much about the terminology like FOWLR or LFS things like that so if you keep that in mind I would appreciate any and all advise.
    like I said I am open to anything, reef FOWLR or the like.
    I have a local saltwater aquarium store but they deal mostly in fish and cleaning services for local business who have aquariums

  2. jay0705

    jay0705 Administrator Staff Member

    Hello jack. Lets see where to start. The rock is usuable sure. Idk if i would consider it live rock still tho. Using old sand is generally never good. Once it gets old it gets alot of bad stuff built up. I would get new argonite dry sand. Then use your rock and fill the tank. Get your heater, filter, ect going. Then maybe add 20lbs or so of live rock. If your rock is wet but dead this will seed it. If your rock is more live then dead, it will just help with the cycle.
    Your equipment seems fine.
    Fish wise imo peaceful means the ability to have more fish. I absolutely love lions and panther groupers but i want more then 1 or 2 fish in my tank. I generally go with tangs, rabbit fish, clowns, blennys, angels, wrasse, gobys, ect. Now with big enough fish i do keep a dwarf lion.
    Cuc = clean up crew you want variety. 3-4 types of snails, shrimp, brittle star, ect. Iam not a crab guy usually tho.
    I hope this helped a bit
  3. midland texas

    midland texas New Member

    It sure does any ideas help. so when I start buying CUC should I base it on the tank being 180 gallons or what I can afford? I mean for 180gl I would be a truck load. but I really cant afford that all at once.
    those fish you listed, are they all compatible with each other? and I agree I would prefer a busy tank with lots of visual things, not just 2 fish ...lol....


    PS. what can I do to increase my PH from 7.5 to 8.5?
    should I have my lights on all day, even if there is no life yet? and what can I add to start that growth ?
  4. jay0705

    jay0705 Administrator Staff Member

    Lights on will cause algae. The ph should stabilize with water changes. Its low bc the water has been sitting. Most of those fish are compatible just not always with eachother.
    Cuc you want to build up as your stock increases. Start with a doz or so
  5. midland texas

    midland texas New Member

    OK thanks,

    Now for the refugium I have a 75 gallon divided with glass so it looks like 55gal on one side and 20gal on the other side the glass partition is slanted so it will spill from the smaller side into the larger side. the small side has some sand and a couple pieces of rock. I thought about adding something to the smaller side to grow algae or plants or something along that line...any thoughts. I have a small florescent light I have on to monitor the pump and skimmer for leaks and what not.
  6. jay0705

    jay0705 Administrator Staff Member

    Yea that works. U could grow macro
  7. midland texas

    midland texas New Member

    SO I got some Chaeto, for the refugium, is there any good LED light that you could recommend for growing it?
  8. jay0705

    jay0705 Administrator Staff Member

    Anything rated for coral or plant growth should be fine
  9. beaslbob

    beaslbob Well-Known Member

    B R S did a study a few weeks back and chaeto really took off with blue/red led lights. Some on ebay were only $20 or so.
    But macros also grew in that test with many different kinds of lights including cheapie hardware store pig tail compact fluorescent screw in incandescent replacements. they didn't grow as rapidly but they still grew.
  10. midland texas

    midland texas New Member

    OK sounds good I will check it out, did see some DIY on youtube he used red and blue LED lights.

    I am looking for a heater for a tank this large (180gal) do that make such a thing. the one I had worked well but I cant for the life of me remember what brand or model it was. it had a green plug in with a dial for regulate3ing the temp. my current tank temp is hanging around 74 ish.

    In the smaller part of my refugium where I have my Cheato should the water have a strong current. right now I have diverted my return water to that side and its not really turning all the water, making more of a stream of bubbles up the center.

    and do I need to add any nutrients?

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