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Old 02-05-2004, 07:58 PM   #1
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Confused in seattle

Hi!
I've been looking at reef tanks, and it seems like in the good ones theres a little bit of everything: white prickly coral, big purple and reddish rocks, and different kinds of anemones, some which may actually be soft coral?!

So! Can anyone clear some things up for me?

I understand that live rock houses bacteria and stuff and aids in filtering waste products. Does live coral do the same thing? I mean, say you didn't want any live rock, just coral. Would that work?

Also, the guys at the lfs tell me that in order to furnish a 55 gal reef tank with live coral it can run up to around $1500 - 2000. In this case, would it be cool to have mostly live rock and just a couple pieces of coral for some color? Cuz $1500 just for coral is rather pricey!

any knowledge anyone can spare would be great!
-beer
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Old 02-05-2004, 08:42 PM   #2
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Also, the guys at the lfs tell me that in order to furnish a 55 gal reef tank with live coral it can run up to around $1500 - 2000. In this case, would it be cool to have mostly live rock and just a couple pieces of coral for some color? Cuz $1500 just for coral is rather pricey!
I've got close to the higher figure in my 20g, LOL.

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I understand that live rock houses bacteria and stuff and aids in filtering waste products. Does live coral do the same thing? I mean, say you didn't want any live rock, just coral. Would that work?
Coral without LR is possible, but you will find it difficult to maintain your waterquality without LR. One of the most import aspects of a reef tank (or coral tank) will be the lighting, this is often the single most expensive part of your set up.
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Old 02-05-2004, 09:07 PM   #3
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Thank you for the fast reply reefrunner, ..that answered my question perfectly.
Okay one more question then I wont ask anything else for an entire week, I swear!! LOL

Now, what I am wondering though, is how you begin such a tank.

I realize you must need a certain amount of LR to sustain good water conditions.
But.. do you want to put in all the cured LR that you plan to have in your tank for the rest of its existance, or can you arrange a few pieces to start with, then add more as time goes on ( Is there minimum amount of LR you need to have good water?) And can you keep introducing new coral over time, as well?
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Old 02-05-2004, 09:23 PM   #4
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Okay one more question then I wont ask anything else for an entire week, I swear!! LOL
LOL, let's not get carried away, that's what we're here for

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I realize you must need a certain amount of LR to sustain good water conditions.
But.. do you want to put in all the cured LR that you plan to have in your tank for the rest of its existance, or can you arrange a few pieces to start with, then add more as time goes on ( Is there minimum amount of LR you need to have good water?) And can you keep introducing new coral over time, as well?
Minimum for biological filtration (nitrification and denitrification) is recommended between 1-2 lbs per gallon. Going for looks, I like about 1.5 lbs per gallon. You would need no other external biological filtration with that much LR, you can add it a bit at a time, but your water quality won't get to where you want it to be until you reach your target and remove the external biofiltration. The rock would need to be cured if adding to a set up with any life in it, like fish or corals, or it would need to be cured in a seperate container. Check out our articles section and read the article on the berlin method and the curing lr article.
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Old 02-06-2004, 11:30 AM   #5
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ReefRunner,

I have to disagree w/ you on one minor point. While a functioning DSB and 1.5lbs of LR pg is definately the preferred way to go, a functioning DSB w/ the proper infauna and maintinance crew should be more than adequate to maintain a tank.

That being said, a reef w/o LR is kind of like a house w/o the walls. Where are you going to hang the pictures and the curtains!

Squishy 8)
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Old 02-06-2004, 12:46 PM   #6
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Okay, I'm qouting from the Berlin Method article here -

"If converting another type of filtration system simply remove the biomedia from the filter, if you have a large system using a trickle filter with a large bio load, you will want to remove the media over the course of a few weeks, a little at a time."

This means basically, that if you were adding enough cured LR, you could remove the biowheel from your filter whether it be a wet/dry or a hang on back?

I think I'm getting biofiltration and standard filtration confused. They are different, right?
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Old 02-06-2004, 12:48 PM   #7
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Bio is live...Live rock, Live sand...Caulerpa..that type thing.

Standard/Mechanical is things like HoB filters, Skimmers...Bio balls are sometimes thrown into this mix.

That help?

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Old 02-06-2004, 01:24 PM   #8
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Yea, I get it now.

It just kinda threw me off when I read you can remove biomedia from the filter.

In my head, I was picturing some kind of wet/dry filter with a biofiltration device inside that you could remove if you didnt need it, or something
Hehe.

Thanks squishy and reefrunner
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Old 02-06-2004, 03:03 PM   #9
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Bio media is kind of in the middle. It is a place for bacteria to grow. Bio balls are usually removed because they trap nitrates. Bio wheels are usually useless
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Old 02-06-2004, 09:52 PM   #10
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bioballs ina wet/dry provide biofiltration, but so does LR. Either is simply surface area for the bacteria to grow to provide denitrification.

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I have to disagree w/ you on one minor point. While a functioning DSB and 1.5lbs of LR pg is definately the preferred way to go, a functioning DSB w/ the proper infauna and maintinance crew should be more than adequate to maintain a tank.
I don't have a problem with that and I agree, but I don't recommend DSBs anymore as the preferred method of filtration, I can and will help people with the info to set one up, but IMO, they are not the best choice anymore.
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