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Old 06-06-2009, 11:11 PM   #1
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New and Confused - Lots of Questions

First off just wanted to say that I'm definitely new to SW and most of what I have learned has been from people who want to sell me things... i.e. LFS. I have decided I want to do a FOWLR tank. Second, this is going to be a pretty long post and I apologize in advance for that.

I recently got a 55 gal tall tank for free from a family friend. It came with no hood and just a glass folding top. I went to the LFS and they gave me two over the back Aqueon power filter 30's. The box says each will do 200 gal/hr. I guess my first question is if I am supposed to be using the filter cartrages that came with these filters or, if i read correctly in someone's post, if I should just use them for water movement.

Second question. I have CC and the "live sand" that the LFS said I needed. If I got two bags of the "live sand" stuff and about 3/4 of a bag of CC, rinsed the CC, mixed them together and put them in about a week ago. Is this an okay thing to do. Seems like not too many people go the CC route and opt for DSB. (I think is what it's called)

Next questions. Is my next step to add the LR and some raw shrimp to the tank and let it cycle? Do I need power heads and a protein skimmer right now? When I do get the protein skimmer is there a place that I can put it so that it isn't making the tank look ugly? Possibly somewhere I can put the filters and/or the heater too?

Also, I don't know what kind of lighting I will need. Again, just want to do some fish and LR.

Sorry for the length and thank you all in advance.
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Old 06-07-2009, 12:19 AM   #2
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Quote:
going to be a pretty long post and I apologize in advance for that.
don't worry about this at all. Trust me i have put out much longer when I first started.

Quote:
The box says each will do 200 gal/hr. I guess my first question is if I am supposed to be using the filter cartrages that came with these filters
Take the sponges and the ceramic rings or bioballs (which ever it uses) out of them. Many people will put small pieces of rubble in them to act as a place for the bacteria to grow. It is a good place to run activated carbon though. I would leave that in.

Quote:
Seems like not too many people go the CC route and opt for DSB. (I think is what it's called)
Most people don't use crushed coral because it can trap detirus and left over food that will just break down and contribute to bad water quality. Since you have already put it in there you can't do to much now. It will eventually work it's way to the top and i would remove it over time while you are cleaning the tank.

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Next questions. Is my next step to add the LR and some raw shrimp to the tank and let it cycle? Do I need power heads and a protein skimmer right now? When I do get the protein skimmer is there a place that I can put it so that it isn't making the tank look ugly? Possibly somewhere I can put the filters and/or the heater too?
The best place for skimmers and heaters and all the other equipment is a sump. That is basically another tank underneath the main display. In order to have one of these you would need to get overflow boxes or drill the tank to plumb that into the system. Should you decide to do this you would be able to return the aqueon's if you have not used them yet. If you decide not to then yes your next step is to put some live rock in and start cycling. They make hang on back skimmers but there isn't a great way to hide them and they are quite unsightly in my opinion.

For lighting a basic two bulb T-5 fixture would do the job or if you want to go cheap the standard black florescent fixtures that sit on top of the tank would work but they don't look nearly as nice.
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