View Full Version : Hamilton, Ontario...New to this site

09-12-2012, 03:59 PM
Hey guys and gals. I'm a 35 year old family man that keeps fish tanks as a hobby. I've pretty much mastered freshwater to the point where most of my tanks only require a sponge filter rinse out every 2 weeks and a very small water change every 3-4 months when my nitrates creep up to 25-30ppm. I over plant, over filter and over stock. But I always stay on top of things.

I`m in the middle of renovating my front and back yard and will be re doing my basement this winter. Part of the plan is to incorporate my large Cichlid talk and my new project tank into the walls.

The project tank was sold to me by a retailer out of the back for a very good price. I have a company in West Hamilton that I`m able to use to bring in the odd product at wholesale costs for my own house. I ended up with a 5 foot tank with really thick glass that I measured out to 125 gallons. However when I picked it up, they told me it was a 120 high. I just took internal measurements and did the math. I came up with 125.8 gallons, but I`m not gonna argue over 5 gallons.

My plan is to spend money where I need to spend money and keep it in my bank account where I don`t need to. Money isn`t an issue, but I didn`t aquire money by spending it in a wreckless manner.

I`m going to have all of this stuff mastered in time, I tend to get into things pretty heavily. I`m a 100% or 0% personality. Which has served me well in life.

Here`s my rough plan, any thoughts would be appreciated...I will follow with some questions.

- I want to black out the back of the tank, as I`m going to pile live rock up the back of the tank. I`m going to pretty much go 80-85% of both the height and width of the tank with 1 or 2 caves. I also intend to use live sand.

Q - Where is the best place to buy wholesale live rock and live sand in the Hamilton area? I do business in Toronto twice a week, so I could pick it up there. Estimated need will be Spring 2013

- I'm planning on using a 55 or 75 gallon tank under the tank in a cabinet that I will build out of square tube steel and maybe MDF, maybe some other kind of wood. I plan on using a PVC overflow in each of the back corners with a split return in the middle of the tank driven by a submersable pump. I will use plexiglass to create baffles and filtration in the used 55/75 tank. I plan on using a sock into a sponge filter. I may try to incorporate some kind of a screened in box so I can add calcium, or just buying an injector. Still up in the air on buying a protein skimmer or making one. The heater will be down in the bottom tank, or sump as I guess you guys call it.

Q - What is really required to have happy thriving corals? Most of the things people do under the tank seem a bit excessive and un needed?

- Up top I plan to run 2 fairly large powerheads, not leaning towards any brand yet. I'm not sure if I should get 2 really big ones with one being on each side and alternate them thru the day, or run 2 medium sized ones all the time.

Q - Do these fancy wave maker powerheads with a zillion different settings have a big impact on the appearance of your corals?

- LED Lights appeal to me. Set them up on a timer and forget about them. But if I can score a cheaper set up second hand that will still do the job, I might bite on it.

- I plan on installing a RO/DI system for my drinking water in my house anyways as part of the basement renovation. So setting up a big holding tank for saltwater is as easy as asking my guy to bring 2 holding tanks instead of 1.

My plans are to have a buttload of assorted corals and the "creatures" I place in the tank will all be there to service the reef. The wife does want a couple of "Nemo's" of course and I'm ok with that. I think a couple of Nemo's and a couple Dories will do for fish.

Every salt tank that I see that makes me say "DAMN" has a wide variety of corals in a wide variety of colours.

I think I have the basics covered.

No need to get into specifics at this point like K rating on light bulbs and types of corals etc... at this point. Let`s be honest, I will modify the plan 52 times in the next 6 months anyways :p

I want healthy good looking corals, that`s most important to me. I would imagine that has a lot to do with water conditions and circulation. As a freshwater master who has multiple nitrate neutral tanks, I will have to learn the "in's and out's" of mastering saltwater.

1 - I plan on setting up the tank, plumbing in the overflows and return and setting up the bottom tank first. Running it for a bit, working on the filtration and design of the bottom a bit befor I even add rock and sand.

2 - Then I will add live rock to make up my structure while I start to add in powerheads and lights. I plan on letting it run for a good month, doing a big water change and then adding the sand in. From that point I really want it to run for a good 3 months with just sand and rock before I start to add anything.

3 - As painful as it will be, I want to slowly add corals to the tank. If it takes me 2 years to have a tank full of corals and fish, I'm ok with that. I'm not planning on moving, I own the house so I'm not getting kicked out and I have nothing but time on my hands. Hobbies are cheaper than affairs...

That's my plan as of today.

I only have the tank, it's really good quality and very thick glass. As a powerlifter, it took me and another beast to lift this tank and bring it into my basement. If it was under 250 pounds, I'd be shocked.

My basement is 80% gutted, as I work on the front/back yards while the weather is good. What I don't get done outside, I can finish in the spring. Once if gets cold out, my attention shifts into the basement.

Royal Aquariums
09-17-2012, 09:03 PM
Weclome to the site :biggrin:, You will find loads of information that will help you on this forum.