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Old 02-10-2006, 11:48 PM   #1
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If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!

OK, a lame and old title, but I thought it fit what I am doing here!

I am about ready to set up in the next few weeks. I am trying to do as decent of a setup job as I can within my budget.

Here's what I have:
---46 gallon bow front aquarium with included hood...whatever ordinary fluorescent light comes with it. Eventually, I plan to replace this with a light that corals and polyps will thrive under, but for the next 6 or so months I plan to do FOWLR, so I believe this light is fine for now.

Here's what I intend to get:
---65 total pounds of live rock (35 pounds of foundation rock and 30 pounds of Select Lalo Rock)
http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/p...fm?pCatId=2391
http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/p...cfm?pCatId=876

---50 to 60 pounds of live sand....either 60 pounds of live sand or 30 pounds of sand and 20 pounds of live sand. This should give me about a 2-inch sandbed.

---Visi-Jet protein skimmer
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...&N=2004+113771
I know this might not be everyone's first choice, but many of the other skimmers are very expensive, and have ratings of in between 100 to 200 gallons, a little overkill for my 46. I hope this one will work acceptably.

---Powerhead(s)
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...&N=2004+113040
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...&N=2004+113040
I am undecided between the AquaClear powerheads and the Penguin powerheads. They both look pretty good, any opinions? Also, would it be best to get 1 powerhead that turns over about 250 gph, or 2 powerheads that together do the same job? I've heard that with 2 you can aim them at each other and create a chaotic flow that is most recommended. What do you think?

---Penguin 350 Filter
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...C&N=2004+22769
I have had excellent results with my Penguin 330 for my freshwater, and so would like to stick with this brand.

---Visi-Therm 200W Stealth Heater
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...&N=2004+113767
This is about the right wattage, and seems to be very highly recommended.


So that's my opening plan in a nutshell! I of course will go through the curing process before I add any fish, but how does my plan look so far? Any help or opinions to share?

Thanks!
Paul
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38 Gallon (Freshwater): 1 Green Swordtail, 3 Yo-Yo Loaches, 1 Clown Pleco, 1 Blue Gourami, 4 Otocinclus, 7 Cherry Barbs.

46 Gallon (Saltwater): 60 pounds Lalo Live Rock, 60 pounds aragonite sand, 1 Coral Beauty Angelfish, 1 Peppermint Shrimp, 1 Mushroom Coral, 1 Emerald Crab, various snails and hermit crabs.

10 Gallon (Saltwater quarantine):
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Old 02-11-2006, 12:00 AM   #2
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Save your money on the "live sand" Just get regular aragnite sand. Get 2 heaters for redundancy. With 100 lbs of LR in a 46 gal tank I would save my money and not buy the penguin filter.
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Old 02-11-2006, 12:04 AM   #3
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Oh, but I only plan 65 pounds of live rock? Oh wait! I see, I wasn't very clear on that...I meant 35 pounds of foundation rock and 30 pounds of Select Lalo rock, 65 pounds total, not 100. What about mechanical filtration? I don't need the Penguin? I know the live rock will do all my biological filtration, but what about particles and other "floaties"?

Good tip on the sand...I guess eventually the sand will become live anyway? The regular aragonite sand is much less expensive.

Paul
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38 Gallon (Freshwater): 1 Green Swordtail, 3 Yo-Yo Loaches, 1 Clown Pleco, 1 Blue Gourami, 4 Otocinclus, 7 Cherry Barbs.

46 Gallon (Saltwater): 60 pounds Lalo Live Rock, 60 pounds aragonite sand, 1 Coral Beauty Angelfish, 1 Peppermint Shrimp, 1 Mushroom Coral, 1 Emerald Crab, various snails and hermit crabs.

10 Gallon (Saltwater quarantine):
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Old 02-11-2006, 12:06 AM   #4
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You're talking 65 lbs of rock total right? It kinda reads 130 lbs of rock for a 46G. I am setting up the same tank with 60 lbs of live rock and maybe 20 of base rock.
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Old 02-11-2006, 12:08 AM   #5
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you got your clarification in before i submitted mine. LOL.
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Old 02-11-2006, 01:01 AM   #6
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Hey... I'm setting up a very similar 46 Gal Bow Front as my first tank.... so I can tell you what I've done so far and/or am planning, but by no means are these recommendations... I owe most everything I know so far to this forum, a couple books and a couple trips to different LFS.

LR - I'm undecided on exactly how much to get... I have ZERO so far, but was thinking 30-40 or so lbs of Cured Live Rock from the LFS and maybe 40 or so lbs of Base Rock, again from LFS... I might get base online, but not 100% sure yet.

Sand - Today I picked up 40 lbs of Substrate, 20 lbs of Live (dry) sand (which people say isn't really "live") and 20 lbs of sand. I havn't dumped it out yet, so don't really know if this will be 1" or 1.5" or what, but I will know more this weekend. I might need to go with another 20 lbs or so...

Protien Skimmer - AquaC Remora Pro with Mag 3... Yah I know it's probably overkill for my 46 Gal, but I'd rather have too much than not enough... And I might eventually upgrade to a larger tank and be able to use the same Skimmer.

Powerheads - I picked up 2 Maxi-Jet 1200 PH at someone elses recommendation... don't know how they will do, but will before too long I guess... at $16.99 and DrsFosterSmith, I figured they would do the job.

Biofilter - I plan to use a Emporer 280 that I got with my used tank.... people on here seem to say that LR will be enough, but most people at the LFS that I've talked to seem to say that I will want to use this too...I have it, so I'll give it a try.

Heater - I picked up a Visi-Therm 150W Stealth Heater , but may buy a 200 as a backup in case something happens...

Lights - I had a single fluroscent fixture that came with my used tank... I've ordered a 36" Coralife Lunar Aqualight - 1x Actinic and 1x 10,000K, 2x 3/4W Blue LEDs - I'm not sure that it's the end all be all light, but I think it will get me by for a while, and I got a pretty good deal I think.

I'll be interested in following your progress to see how you do...

Good Luck

Sw2
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Old 02-11-2006, 01:54 AM   #7
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I am setting up my 46G as follows:

I opted to not go with PH's in the main tank (don't like the way they look with power cords and such). Instead, i'm building a closed loop circuit with PVC pipe to provide my movement in the tank. it's going to be driven by a mag 9 and have three returns back into the tank that will be moveable for later adjustments for areas that need more or less flow. I also am using a 10G sump/refugium beneath the tank. I have my remora skimmer and heater, probes etc located within the sump. A Quiet-one 3000 is my return pump to main tank with 2 returns.

I luckily have my tank right above a crawl space, so i plumbed my RO unit from the laundry room, down to the crawl space and back up into the sump with a float valve for auto top-offs.

I have 60 lbs of vanuatu LR on order and I'll see how it looks to tell if i need more rock. It's supposed to be very porous so it may look more like 70 lbs or so, we'll see. this weekend will be rushed cause i got get everything finished in time for the LR delivery....and to tell ya the truth i'm feeling the pressure....i don't wanna have nowhere to put it! argh!!

Ryan
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Old 02-11-2006, 02:26 AM   #8
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That's pretty great we are all setting up at the same time!

Thanks for all the help! It looks like my plan is pretty good for right now...but I still have a few questions:

1) I still am curious about how to handle the powerheads...is 1 good enough? Or should I get 2 and aim them at each other? I have never used powerheads before and am not familiar with the best way to create the necessary current. I love ryguy's idea, but I am no plumber, and living in an apartment, I can't afford a "plumbing incident." hehe!

2) Duplicate heaters? Is this really necessary? Two 150 watters good instead of the one 200 watt I had planned?

3) Water! I want to use RO water if I can, but I'm not sure how to go about this. Again, I live in an apartment, hooking up a RO unit to my water supply is not really an option for me. I noticed at the grocery store they have a unit there for about 33 cents a gallon, which is not too unreasonable. Is this acceptable to use? Can I use TREATED tap water for the curing process due to the large amount of water changes necessary in such a short time, do a 75% water change when it is finished and replace it with RO water, then add fish?

Thanks!
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38 Gallon (Freshwater): 1 Green Swordtail, 3 Yo-Yo Loaches, 1 Clown Pleco, 1 Blue Gourami, 4 Otocinclus, 7 Cherry Barbs.

46 Gallon (Saltwater): 60 pounds Lalo Live Rock, 60 pounds aragonite sand, 1 Coral Beauty Angelfish, 1 Peppermint Shrimp, 1 Mushroom Coral, 1 Emerald Crab, various snails and hermit crabs.

10 Gallon (Saltwater quarantine):
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Old 02-11-2006, 03:03 AM   #9
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As far as power heads go, just try a pointing them at each other from either side of the tank. maybe point them at the front glass a bit too. BTW, plumbing with the PVC is easy, it just requires some forethought before heading to the hardware store about what you wanna do. Buy some 3/4" or 1" PVC, $5 for 20' or so, cheap, then buy the necessary fittings for your idea and have fun building. It's one part of the hobby, so far, that I really enjoy.....the designing/customization. You can do it.

The reason for two heaters, is that they are prone to break or just stop working. If you lose one you got a backup and not a catastrophe. I will probably only have one if the heat from my pumps is alot, but we'll see.

As far as water goes... your best bet is of course RO from the start. There is always algae growth in the beginning.... Tap water is high in phosphates and silicates. These are just what algaes like to grow. RO units, pull this type o' stuff out so you your water is relatively phosphate free. As far as hooking one of these li'l beauties up, all it takes is piercing the copper pipe that leads up to any sink. The kit will come with this fitting, all you gotta do is place it around the pipe and turn the screw...and voila, it's pierced and fitted....done. super easy.

The price of buying water is still cheep, but it's the lugging that will wear you out and become a hassle. I used to have a lizard, but it was the trips to the pet store for crickets that was my achilles heal, I eventually sold the lizard cause I hated making the trip.....I was pretty young at the time, but still. Water needs to added daily for evaporation, not just water changes, so it's something to consider. My goal with this hobby is to automate and simplify as much as I can, cause I know myself... I don't want to strapped with a ton of daily maintenance....but to each his own. what works for me may not work for you.

If you do go with treated tap water to start, I believe KENT makes a "phosphate sponge" that is supposed to reduce your phosphates and silicates....you may want to try that.

Cheers,
Ryan

P.S. Don't take anything i say for gospel though, my knowledge is completely theoretical (tons of reading everything i can get my grubby mitts on), not practical applications.
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Old 02-11-2006, 10:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkremer
That's pretty great we are all setting up at the same time!

Thanks for all the help! It looks like my plan is pretty good for right now...but I still have a few questions:

1) I still am curious about how to handle the powerheads...is 1 good enough? Or should I get 2 and aim them at each other? I have never used powerheads before and am not familiar with the best way to create the necessary current. I love ryguy's idea, but I am no plumber, and living in an apartment, I can't afford a "plumbing incident." hehe!

2) Duplicate heaters? Is this really necessary? Two 150 watters good instead of the one 200 watt I had planned?

3) Water! I want to use RO water if I can, but I'm not sure how to go about this. Again, I live in an apartment, hooking up a RO unit to my water supply is not really an option for me. I noticed at the grocery store they have a unit there for about 33 cents a gallon, which is not too unreasonable. Is this acceptable to use? Can I use TREATED tap water for the curing process due to the large amount of water changes necessary in such a short time, do a 75% water change when it is finished and replace it with RO water, then add fish?

'Thanks!
I'm not sure about the PH's really ether... right now in my DRY tank, i've postioned one on the Left Side Wall, about 6" from the bottom of the thank with the port pointed right and slightly forward and slightly upwards. The other PH is on the Right Rear wall, a little closer to the top of the tank pointing Left and a little forwards... I figure as soon as I get water in there, I can move them wherever they need to go to give me a good flow... then when I pile the LR and stuff in there, I expect to have to adjust again.

If your LFS has a good selection, and you can get over there in the event of a Heater failure then, your probably good with just one. For $15-$17 or whatever, I personally would rather have another at the ready, although, I'm only going to use 1 in the tank at a time, or at least that's what I'm planning.

I actually just had a Water Softner and RO/DI system installed in my condo. Getting the tank was a good excuse for me to justify getting this setup that I had been thinking about for quite a while.

For Water, you could pick up a couple 5 Gal Bottles to get your RO water for Water Changes. Are there any "Water Stores" in your area? For your initial fill, You might be able to talk to them about buying the RO water from them and Borrowing a few Bottles that you would return when you where done. If you told them you'd be back to buy water periodically, and maybe bought a couple Bottles too, they might be willing to work with you on something. Even thought I have a RO/DI System, I am still starting with 25 or so gallons of stuff from the water store in bottles that I'm borrowing from my Kid's Nanny. I will then use my RO/DI system to finish the fill.

SW2
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