Newbie needs help.


Junior Poster
Oct 1, 2005
I need some advice on setting up an tank I just got. My sister gave me old her 90 gallon tank for Christmas and there is a lot to do to set it up. First of all the thing needs a good cleaning, it was used with salt water and it has buildups all over. Does anyone know a easy way to clean all the salt deposits off the glass and plastic?

I plan on going no co2 with this tank as I am thinking it is not as costly as co2, big factor for me. So what is a good amount of light? The old lights are way to small, 30W total, so I am thinking of upgrading to 2 55w pc for a total of 110W, is this about right? By the way, after measuring the inside of the tank I calculated it is actually 79 gallons empty.

Now for what confuses me the most, the substrate. I have read and read about substrates and just seem to get more confused. Seems like a lot of different ways and I would prefer to avoid the trial and error method. So what is a good substrate for a beginner to use that will not break the bank and does anyone know of a source in the Tacoma/Seattle WA area for it so I don't have to ship it?

Any advice or info would be greatly appreciated. So far I only have limited experiance with a 10 gallon so my learning curve is quite steep.


Guru Class Expert
Jan 23, 2005
Re: Newbie needs help.

Ken,welcome to the weed factory. cleaning your tank after salt use can be time consuming,but be patient. set tank somewhere that you can easely use hose to rinse out tank,make sure tank is on good surface and level.fill with water and add at least 2 qts of vinegar. let stand a couple of day's,then use non scratching sponge to work on salt residue.make sure tank is full up to top,as that is where all scum is at.use of plastic scraper also helps.may have to repeat this procedure a few times to get nice and clean.go to LESCO.COM for your substrate needs,SOILMASTER SELECT, they have three different colors,cheap.install your zip code and they will let you know of the dealer in your shipping charges.4" deep substrate will let you plant easier.strive for at least 2wpg,remembering that 90 gal is 4" taller than the popular 75 gal.if you follow tom's non co2 program you should not go wrong.Greg Watson will have all your fertilizing needs.pick on easy plants to grow at first until you get confortable with your setup.the subcribers to this website have a lot of good advice to contribute,heed.regards,cornhusker :) :)