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Old 01-24-2003, 09:48 PM   #1
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Movin' on Over!

Howdy everybuddy!

Was posting in the Freshwater/Brackish section, but today I have decided to go ahead and give Marine a try, so I'll start posting in this section.

I'm just restarting after a long vacation from aquariums, and haven't bought any equipment or anything yet. Just in the planning stages of it all, and have slowly figured out that its going to be a Saltwater tank so here I am.

FishFreek mentioned that many of you dont like Wet/Dry filters and sumps in your Marine tanks, and was just wondering what you do prefer, and what the dislike is with Wet/Dry (besides them being amazingly expensive for such a simple thing).

I'm leaning towards Triggerfish, puffers...things of that nature. I seem to like all the really aggressive fish for some reason.

Here's where I'm at so far:

Type of fish to be kept: Larger more aggressive species
Glass Tank: 72 gallon bowfront, OR a 58 gallon (36x18x24), or 89 gallon (36x24x24)(custom size) My decision will be based on price and what I can afford. Not sure about corner overflows, if you guys talk me out of a Wet/Dry sump system.
Lighting: twin bulb fixture...1 Full Spectrum bulb, 1 Blue Actinic bulb


I plan to have cured live rock in the tank, and dry coral sand. I'll have a protein skimmer that I planned to put down in the sump. I'll decide on how many powerheads after I decide on a tank size/shape.

I planned to have a sump Wet/Dry below to supplement all of that, and have it fed through a corner overflow unit.

Its a start, but I'm still reading and researching. Hehe. So much to learn before I attempt this and risk some poor fishes' lives.
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Old 01-26-2003, 08:54 PM   #2
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Greetings.

The dislike with Wet/Dry filters is that on a tank with live rock it will create a lot of nitrates and other undesirables. If you are going to have fish only it will be ok to use, but since you are going to have live rock you don't need one because the bilogical filtration will be done by the sand bed and the live rock.

I think that if you are going to have large fishes in your tank you should get the largest possible tank you can afford and good lighting maybe a combination of power compacts and MHs.
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Old 01-26-2003, 09:01 PM   #3
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Hmm...so its preferred to have all the protein skimmers and heater and stuff hanging off the backs of your tanks instead of under it in the sump?

Getting a tank without overflows is definitely much more affordable, for sure. If I were going with a community tank with lots of invertabrates, and choral, would that more justify an overflow, and wet/dry, or does the live rock even handle the loads for that kind of tank as well?
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Old 01-26-2003, 09:06 PM   #4
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Wet/Dry's are really for the Fresh-water world, IMHO. While they can (and are) used in the marine tanks, they far excell in the fresh water systems.

Rather than running a wet/dry, invest in a very nice refugium!
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Old 01-26-2003, 09:10 PM   #5
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More desireable to go with a 75 gallon tank without overflows, than a 58 gallow with overflows? Because the cost would be about the same, after you figure all the cost of the sump and water pumps, and much more expensive tank for its size.

I definitely dont wanna limit my options at this point, though, so I hope that getting a tank without overflows wouldn't limit the things I can have in it. Was looking at the tanks at my LFS today, and really liking some of the tanks with shrimp, and featherduster worms, and starfish in them.
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Old 01-26-2003, 09:38 PM   #6
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I think there is some confusion here about the sump and/or wet/dry issue. They are not the same. A sump can certainly be set up as a wet/dry, but it does not have to be. I agree that a wet/dry is not necessary IF you have enough LR to handle the ammonia/nitrite. The fish you are talking about keeping will produce a lot of waste so you should probably be on the heavy side with the LR. A sump, however, is a very desirable thing to have. Necessary? No. Here are the reasons I like the sump. It adds water capacity to the system. Although this does not add to the # of fish you can keep, it does give a little more buffer in that undesirable substances will be more dilute in the larger amount of water. It makes a great place to keep equipment...heaters, skimmer, circulation pump, carbon and/or resin, ect... Why have it down there and use an overflow? Well, I'm sure you have seen the film that develops on top of the water. This is known as DOC's (dissolved organic compounds). It is nasty, ugly, and blocks light. The overflow skims the top of the water and pulls this gunk to the skimmer where it can be removed. I can tell you from experience that internal (built in) overflows are the greatest thing since sliced bread. I believe they are well worth the money. The external, while fairly reliable, have a potential for disaster if the siphon ever breaks. If you go with a sump used in this manner, you can always add a hang on refugium to the back of the tank later should you decide you want one. One other advantage to the sump is that the water level will always remain the same in the main tank...you just add water to the sump when needed. It's also a great place to dose additives. JMHO, as always.
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Old 01-26-2003, 10:05 PM   #7
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AAHhh... I see. So the only undesireable here is the use of wet/dry filtration.

The tanks I am looking at and have been most impressed with are Oceanic brand. About the largest Reef Ready tank I can afford from them is the 58 gallon with cabinet, canopy, sump, pumps, etc. Basically, all I would need to do is leave out the bio-media to remove the "wet/dry" filtration from the system?

Without overflows, I can probably afford the 75 gallon with cabinet and canopy, since I wouldn't have to buy a sump, and water pump, etc. This would use a "hang on the back" skimmer and heater, and rely on Live Rock entirely for its biological filtration, I'm assuming.

Do you guys think the 58 gallon is large enough to house the types of fish I was interested in? If the larger predatory fish produce large waste loads, and there's a need for a larger percentage of live rock to support that, the ammount of swimming space and free water area for the fish is getting even smaller! In order to even make the 58 gallon aquarium work space-wise for these large aggressive fish, like triggers, puffers, lionfish, etc., I would need to reduce the ammount of live rock, not increase it. Therefore, I would start to need the wet-dry, or a fluidized bed filter or something to supplement the low ratio of live rock in the tank, right? But I'm not sure what to do about the high nitrate load that was mentioned earlier.

If I were to go with more docile, small schooling fish, invertabrates, and coral, and increase the ammount of live rock to support them, then I wouldn't need the wet/dry filter, but it sounds like I would still want to have an overflow and sump, and that limits me to the 58 gallon aquarium price-wise. The 58 gallon would probably be adequate, however, if I weren't planning on housing large predatory fish that need lots of space to swim and hassle with eachother.

I guess I'm just getting more confused by the day. *sigh*

Choice 1: 58 gallon Oceanic Reef Ready, housing large aggressive fish, like Triggers, Puffers, and Lionfish...with small ammounts of live rock to maximize swimming space, AND wet/dry filtration to supplement the low ammount of live rock WITH protein skimmer in the sump.

Choice 2: 58 gallon Oceanic Reef Ready, housing small schooling community fish, invertabrates, featherduster worms, starfish, and coral...with large ammounts of live rock, and no wet/dry filtration in the sump, but a protein skimmer in the sump instead.

Choice 3: 75 gallon Oceanic with no overflows, large ammounts of live rock, housing large aggressive fish, no wet/dry, and only a protein skimmer over the back for mechanical filtration.

Sorry guys for all the questions. I thought I had everything all figured out in my head from my reading and studying up, and now things I have read are starting to be contradicted, and I'm losing my clear vision of what I am going to do.
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Old 01-26-2003, 11:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Choice 2: 58 gallon Oceanic Reef Ready, housing small schooling community fish, invertabrates, featherduster worms, starfish, and coral...with large ammounts of live rock, and no wet/dry filtration in the sump, but a protein skimmer in the sump instead.
Of the three thats my opinion. BUT its your tank so do what you want to look at and what you feel comfortable with.

Forget bio balls exist. Thats the best thing you can do in saltwater. Just forget they exist. You take the bioballs out of a wet/dry and you get a sump. So if someone says dont go wet/dry basicly they just mean toss the bioballs from the system.

Built in overflows will be easier to deal with over hang on overflows but either will work. All other things being equil pick a tank with the larger surface area. But if you feel uncomfortable with hang on overflows then select a tank with built in overflows.

Dont forget about DIY projects. If your handy with wood you can build your own stand and or canopy and save money to get a larger tank.
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Old 01-27-2003, 12:48 AM   #9
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To add to what Aaron has already said...you can also build your own sump. Although I think the Oceanic tanks are great, I'm not a big fan of their sumps. They may have changed them, but the ones I have worked with have been tall glass sumps with the inflow in the center and the bioball chamber all around it. The bioball chamber was permanently installed. This left no room for a skimmer and, due to the height and top design, access was difficult. A sump doesn't have to be a $400.00 acrylic contraption that looks like it should be on the space shuttle. You mentioned a 75gal tank? That is 48" x 18". You could use a 20 long or maybe even a 30 gal aquarium for a sump. All you need here is a container that will 1) fit inside the stand 2) hold water 3) provide a place for your equipment. Some folks even use rubbermaid tubs. If the tank you use isn't tempered glass on the sides, and I believe most of the smaller ones are not, you can have it drilled for the pump bulkhead. Or, you can use a submersible pump such as a Danner Magdrive. If it was me...and I had the choice between a top of the line drilled tank with overflows or a smaller tank with a factory sump, I'd go with the large tank and DIY the sump. We'll be happy to answer any questions you have if you decide to do this. It's not as hard as it sounds .
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Old 01-27-2003, 01:10 AM   #10
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Wow...thank you guys! That is all very good advice. To be honest, the community tanks, with all the fascinating invertabrates, and weird little sea creatures in it have been slowly winning me over.

I'll start pricing systems with the idea that I'm gonna make a simple sump myself. That definitely takes a lot of cash off the price. I may be able to go with the 75 Gal reef ready if I keep in mind that I'm not gonna be paying big bucks for the factory made sump. If not, the 58 will probably do fine if I dont go with the big aggressive fish scheme. I can just put in lots of live rock since the little schooling fish wont need big expanses of water to thrash around in.

Thanks again guys for the help!
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