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Old 12-07-2005, 12:08 AM   #1
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New 110gal tank - need some advice

i am new to the hobby and wanted to get some good advice. i have been doing lots and lots of reading to learn as much as i can. it seems that the FOWLR is fairly popular and thats what i want to try to setup.

anyway, here is what i already have:
110gal tank w/ overflow
40gal sump
euro reef cs6-2+
mag drive 18
heater
lighting - 2 65w 10,000k and 2 65w atinic 03 blue

i want to build my own sump with the 40gal feeder tank. a section of rock rubble then skimmer then return pump and then maybe a refugium.
will i need any other filtration?
is the refugium a good idea?
is the mag drive 18 too powerful (it has to overcome 5' of elevation)

as for live sand and rock - 3" of live sand and 100 to 150lbs of live rock about right?

with the live rock, will i be limited in the types of fish that are acceptable?

i want to make my own salt water as well. and brand of salt you guys recommend?

any addatives that i should have? which brands make a good product?

as far as test kits, what must i test for? which brands make a good product?

am i on the right track. any other words of advice? i like to do things right the first time if possible.

btw, what exaclty is the difference between FOWLR and Reef Tank?

thanks in advance
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Old 12-07-2005, 12:20 AM   #2
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The suggested sump configuration is: Skimmer/LR rubble (if at all) -> Fuge -> Return.

Check out this site for some ideas: http://www.melevsreef.com/allmysumps.html

The Mag18 should be ok, assuming your overflow can handle it.

You don't nessecerily need live sand to start (and don't buy "live sand in a bag" - its not very live). Your sand can be seeded from your LR. Your LR amount looks just fine.

With LR by its self, you won't be limited in fish. But, if you keep inverts (hermits, crabs, snails - recommended to help keep your system clean and running smoothly btw), you may need to avoid triggers and some puffers, and other invertabrate eating fish.

Instant Ocean is a popular salt. Easily found, although has a somewhat low calcium reading (not a major concern unless you do lots of corals).

You generaly never need additives in a FOWLR system. Weekly or twice monthly water changes are the best way to keep the system balanced.


Test kits
When you're cycling your tank, you want at minimum:

Ammonia (needs to be salt water capable), Nitrite, Nitrate, pH (high range, 7.8->8.6 or that area). You also need a salinity meter. If you can afford it, a refractometer is a good buy, much more accurate than the swing arm hydrometers. MarineDepot has one on sale for about $50.

When running a tank, you should have:

pH, Nitrate, Alkalinity

If you're keeping corals, add:

Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphate

I recommend Salifert, very accurate and easy to use. The Aquarium Phram variety are also decent, and get a good bang for the buck. The Red Sea ones tend to be very inconsistent in my expierience.

You're on the right track! I'd see if you can add a couple of powerheads (Maxijet 1200, or even Seio's) to keep the flow up in the main tank.

A reef tank is a FOWLR with corals generaly. You need to watch more water parameters, and provide tons of light. 8)
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Old 12-07-2005, 12:57 AM   #3
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so you wouldnt recommend using rock rubble in the sump?

so with a FOWLR, my current lighting setup is adequate?

as for filtration, LR and protein skimmer with to the trick?

so i take it a FOWLR tank will be more balanced in terms of water quality than a FO tank?
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Old 12-07-2005, 02:17 AM   #4
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If you add some powerheads to the tank, you should be fine. Its not needed. I don't do it personaly, someone else may be able to chime in though.

Yes, lighting is good. You'll be able to keep mushrooms as well.

Yup on the filtration.

FOWLR tends to run somewhat lower nitrates. Without any stony corals, calcium and alk don't get depleted over time (you will get some as coraline algae uses both, hence the watch changes).
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flame angel, mated pair of false perc, 6-line, firefish

20gH electric yellow cichlid
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Old 12-07-2005, 11:35 PM   #5
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Looks like your starting out big which is good. Be patient and you`ll have a nice tank
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Old 12-07-2005, 11:42 PM   #6
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have any info or good reading on a refugium? i need some more specifics. lighting the refugium or leaving it dark, etc.

also, someone gave me this advice, "If you want messy triggers and puffers, a 3" sand bed is too much. You either want a shallow <1" or >4" sand bed." is this true? and if so, for what reason.
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Old 12-08-2005, 12:33 PM   #7
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Not sure why they would say that about the sand bed?? I have had both in my fowlr and have a 4"+ SB and it had no effects on the tank. A fuge needs lighting to get the macro algae/caluerpa to grow. Most run the lighting 24/7. I have a PC light on my fuge and others use a lights of america light from HD and others use a shop light with a bulb also bought from HD. I can't remember which bulb?? Do a search on the site, not too long ago there was a post on this..
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Old 12-08-2005, 05:27 PM   #8
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Is this the 110 High tank? 30" tall? If so, I have the same tank and I would highly recommend going overboard with the water flow. The tank is much deeper, but with the same water surface as a 75 gallon. I have 5 MaxiJet 1200s, four of them on a wavemaker, and I really don't have enough water movement. I have to continuously blow stuff off my rocks near the bottom. Try to get some water movement deep in the tank without disturbing the sand and get one or two powerheads to break the surface.

The Mag18 is pretty powerful so, even toned down with a ball valve, you'll get some good water movement with that. Make sure it isn't too powerful for your overflow though.
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Old 12-08-2005, 09:25 PM   #9
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yeah that the tank.

i was actually thinking of converting the return line in the overflow to a drain line. that would give me 2 drains. i could then route the return behind the tank up and over the top. i was also think of plumbing 4 nozzles around the perimeter of tank to create some good movement. if this is still not enough, then i guess i'll go with a couple powerheads.

hows that sound?
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Old 12-09-2005, 12:09 AM   #10
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I am looking at doing the same thing with the tank returns. Making them drains and plumbing a return system over the back. I want to get rid of the really ugly PH's and thought a 1" PVC pipe with some nozzles would do the trick. I also think this will cut down on the heat in the tank by removing the 5 Maxi-jet 1200's and moving the Mag 18 external to the sump. In the long run I will ditch the mag and get a iwaki since they are better for external use. I have also thought about down tubes that could have a nozzle at the bottom to circulate the lower portion of the tank. Post some pics when you get the returns built, I will be greatly intersted.
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