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Old 03-12-2009, 01:01 PM   #1
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55 gallon tank setup

Hello everyone, as you can see I am new here and I am liking the advice everyone has been giving. I started off with a 15 gallon freshwater tank, and little to know at the time of me starting it of course like many others; I did not know about the cycling process. Of course the LFS didnt tell me anything about this, and just added on to my buying list. I am changing this 15 gallon tank into a quarantine tank, unless anyone advices against it and turning it into a sump. Which is simply another area I have questions for.

At the LFS they have a $190 kit, with a $20 mail in rebate for a 55 gallon tank, hood/lights, filter, heater, and just the basics. I do not plan on using this filter as a primary filter in my 55 gallon tank, but I figured it couldn't do any harm using it in general could it? I have been looking around, and for a 55 gallon tank by it self is usually $105, plus a 48" or 2 24" hoods will come out to around $80 not including lights. So Honestly I figured it couldnt be to bad of a deal, simply because of the tank hood and heater which comes with it. If I am wrong on this, please let me know. I plan on using live sand, from what everyone is saying; it helps more for a buffer and also looks much nicer. My main concern is cleaning it, how would i go about this? I have a gravel vacuum however I don't believe this would be the correct way. But I may just not know. I do not plan on having any live rock at the moment, and probably won't for a while. If I do I will have to do some upgrading to my lights.

The filters I have been primarily looking at are fluval and marine land but am open to suggestions.



Marineland Magnum 350 Dual Purpose Canister Filter
Marineland Magnum 350 Pro System
(I am questioning the Marinelands, not because of the name however because of the biowheels. This is the first I have really seen them being used for a canister filter.)

Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filter 1000

There are some other solutions but I have found a lot around the same price to only be doing around 180 gph, and im looking for atleast 220GPH.

I havent looked to much on skimmers, I have seen a few at the lfs but other than knowing they are expensive I don't know much about them besides the fact its a good idea to have one.

I am basing my fish around a trigger, I was told if they are around the same size and young when you get them; they typically will grow in size with each other and won't have to many problems. However I don't know how correct this is.

Could some one also fill me in on the sump, and how to go about setting one up?
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Old 03-12-2009, 01:30 PM   #2
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I wont be able to help much on how good the tank is but I can give you my opinion on some of your other questions. As far as lights go, with a fish only or even a fowlr "fish only with live rock", you dont need really high wattage lights. Your big lights come to play when you start to introduce corals in your system. For filtration, if your setting up your tank from scratch I would suggest to start out with a sump/refugium. I didnt do this and Im really wishing I had. Ive been told that with a 1lb -1.5lb of live rock per gallon of water and a good skimmer, that will be all the filtration you would need. "in a established aquarium". As far as your fish selection, that all depends on what type of community you want in your tank as well as if your going to want any corals in the future. Triggers are an awsome fish but they are aggressive. You would have to keep other aggressive fish in your tank so no one gets picked on or killed.
Right now I have a 100 gallon fowlr tank and ive got about 65lbs of live rock with two hob style filters and my fish and tank are doing good. Eventually I want a reef set up but I need at least another 50-60lbs of rock and a sump/refugium setup befor I can. Good luck with whatever you do.
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Old 03-12-2009, 01:40 PM   #3
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I wouldn't mind setting up a sump/refugium, I just need to know what exactly it is/ what I need and what the purpose of it is.
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Old 03-12-2009, 01:51 PM   #4
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Well Ill give what little I know. Basically in short, water will flow from you 55 gallon via an overflow or predirlled holes down to your sump. That will be where you can put your heaters skimmers or whatever else you don want hanging in your display. From there the water will go over or under baffles in the same tank "your sump tank" into another compartment, this could be your refugium that has a mud bed or sand bed with maybe some macro algae, from there the water goes into another compartment that has a pump that pushes the water back to your 55 gallon. Really its just a natural filtration method but seems to work better. The refugium houses bacteria and different living creatures that purify the water and cant be eaten by your fish due to being in an isolated enviroment. Get on the search engine on this website and type in sump and refugium and you will get a wealth of knowledge. Im sure someone here will be along shortly with a lot more knowledge than I have.
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Old 03-12-2009, 01:54 PM   #5
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Ahh ok, I will have to do some more research. I am kinda caught by surprise that the water isnt pumped out of the tank, unless im just taking this the wrong way.
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Old 03-12-2009, 01:58 PM   #6
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Is not really PUMPED out of your 55 gallon but it overflows out of your tank into the sump. Let me look for a website by a guy who builds them, I think his name is melv. He does a great job explaining everything on his website.
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Old 03-12-2009, 02:04 PM   #7
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Melevsreef.com | Acrylic Sumps & Refugiums
Try that.
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Old 03-12-2009, 02:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin1989 View Post
Ahh ok, I will have to do some more research. I am kinda caught by surprise that the water isnt pumped out of the tank, unless im just taking this the wrong way.
Gravty takes the water out of the tank to the Sump... then it's Pumped back to the tank from the sump.

Just read the entire thread.. First off..Welcome to AA

now.. Your on the right track!! However, I'd hate to see you buy stuff you really don't need. As mentioned above, the best filtration for a SW tank is LiveRock and a skimmer (Check out "my Tanks" under my name. You really do not need a canaster filter (although they can be used to introduce media to the tank (carbon, Purigen, etc). I'd much rather see you buy LiveRock from the onset. LiveRock does not need powerful lighting. A standard Hood light is fine.

The deal above sounds pretty good.. But if you plan on getting Corals eventually (we all do ) then it may be better to buy a good light from the onset.

Last thing I'll say for now is.. You in a good spot as you are still aquiring equipment. So you shoudl DEF research the heck out of so you get what you'll want in the end with no regrets. Example : If you want to include a sump in your design (which I think is the best way to go), you should look into Pre-Drilled tanks. All this means is that there are holes drilled in the glass already for the Sumps plumbing. If you go with a non-drilled tank (as I have) then you must drill it yourself or use a HOB Overflow box. There is nothing wrong with Oveflow boxes, but pre-drilled is nicer and safer IMO.
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Old 03-12-2009, 04:20 PM   #9
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A sump does sound nice, however is starting to look pricey. Which I could even be wrong about this; but I would have no idea where to begin on building one. I understand the concept of how a sump works, and could even make my 15 gallon tank into a sump like said before. However, currently I think I may stick with not using a sump. I might move into this later on, but currently I'm not to sure on it. They don't have cheap solutions to these things being pre-built :P. I will go to the LFS and take a peak around. Being told that LR is also a good source of the filtration; means I am almost positive I will buy LR now. Don't know how much is good though; I wouldn't want it to over crowded with LR.
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:43 PM   #10
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If you dont start out with a sump, just make sure you leave enough room under your stand for one the size you will need. I didnt do this and its killing me. I would for sure get LR. It really adds to the overall picture of the tank. I would probably start out with 30lbs or so. Make sure you start a thread when you get to setting that bad boy up. Its fun watching new progress.
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