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Old 01-04-2004, 01:20 AM   #1
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Some basic help

I finally took up Many peoples advice and started reading "The Conscientious Marine Aquarists" I have gotten through the basic part of the book, and now am reading about what fish go with what fish and what knot. But i have many questions still about lighting and the skimmer I am going to get.

First off I should tell about the kind of setup I am shooting for. It is a 55, and I want to setup A full blown reef tank, with a few fish, maby a giant clam, maby a starfish and many hermit crabs and such. I want many soft corals, and some hard. For fish I am thinking of a clown fish or two a few damsels and maby a few smaller angels ( This fish setup is still in the idea phase, and i still need to do much tweaking)

I am thinking about the Via-Aqua multi skimmer (its up to 80 gallons), and it has a UV sterilizer in it. Any comments on that,? Any recomendations on a better skimmer? ( I was shoting for this one because since I work at an lfs I can get all this wholesale, and their was a deal going on for it so i could get it for 35$)

Lighting is whear it gets trickey for me. I was recomennded to get the AquaGlo 48in 60W light, (And its only 80$ wholesale) but I think I want to upgrade this to something a little better because i want to make my reef tank thrive and dont want to skimp out.

As for filtration I have a EHEIM 2028, and an AC300 for extra circulation. ( I also have a wet dry trickle filter from back in the 80's when they were all the rage, but am contemplating using it.)
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Old 01-04-2004, 01:28 AM   #2
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Skip the Via Aqua Skimmer it is a piece of garbage. For a 55 gallon reef i would recomend and Aqua-C remora or Remora Pro. If you want a Giant clam than 60 watts of light is not going to cut it very well. You will need metal Halides at the minimum. You do not need a canister filter on a properly set up reef tnak so save that money and put it towards a good skiimer and lights.

If it were me i would run an Aqua C remora pro with a Mag 12 and a SCWD on a closed loop system with 2 good powerheads. THe 55's are kind of narrow so you do not need a ton of flow to get the water moving well.

As far as lighting goes it can get tricky and overwhelming at the very least. Stay away from standard lighting and you will be OK. Power compacts are a good light source but will limit what animals you can keep. Metal Halide is the Ultimate reef lighting but is exspensive and can run hot! But if you want a clam than you pretty much need it! You could use your trickle filter as a sump to hold your equioment just take out the bio balls. I hope i helped a little.
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Old 01-04-2004, 08:30 AM   #3
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Quote:
For fish I am thinking of a clown fish or two a few damsels and maby a few smaller angels ( This fish setup is still in the idea phase, and i still need to do much tweaking)
Chop the wish list down to only 1 dwarf angel and you will be ok. Well maybe. Damesls are real meanies and if your going to have them add them last. You seem very ambitious with your invert list so the lighting is going to need to be bright and intense. As darin pointed out the easiest way to acheve this would be with MH lighting. For a 55 I would suggest a pair of 175W MH 10K bulbs and a 110W VHO actinic. The 60W normal output florecent bulb will be good if you had planned on a fish only setup where you only need the light to see the fish.

Since your wanting a full reef setup your going to be investing alot of money in the tank for rock and corals so dont skimp on the equipment. A few bucks here and there might save you a couple hundred but when you look at the big picture your probably gonna end up spending a couple thousand eaisly on the setup over the next 6 months or so.
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Old 01-04-2004, 10:28 AM   #4
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Great info. so far. As the others have mentioned, if you are looking at clams or stony corals, you're going to need very intense lighting, namely MH.

Quote:
For fish I am thinking of a clown fish or two a few damsels and maby a few smaller angels
I'd keep tweaking the fish list -- it'll be a while until you buy fish anyway. As fisfhreek said, multiple dwarf angels are not usually compatible. Personally, I'd recommend against any anygels - they're all known to be coral-nippers, with very few exceptions.

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As for filtration I have a EHEIM 2028, and an AC300 for extra circulation. ( I also have a wet dry trickle filter from back in the 80's when they were all the rage, but am contemplating using it.)
I would suggest NO mechanical filtration, except the best skimmer you can afford. I know nothing about specific brands of skimmers (we use a DIY), but Darin certainly knows what he is talking about. If you use the mechanical "filtration" for circulation only, and skip the media, you should be okay.
Not to be repetitive, but your "filtration" should consist of a skimmer, and about 75-100 lbs of live rock.

Quote:
Since your wanting a full reef setup your going to be investing alot of money in the tank for rock and corals so dont skimp on the equipment. A few bucks here and there might save you a couple hundred but when you look at the big picture your probably gonna end up spending a couple thousand eaisly on the setup over the next 6 months or so.
Agreed 100%, and this is NOT an exaggeration.

Another good book to take a look at is "Natural Reef Aquariums" by J. Tullock.

Good luck!!
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Old 01-04-2004, 11:21 AM   #5
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Agreed 100%, and this is NOT an exaggeration
Its very true, I have just finished the equipment setup and LR/substrate stocking on my new 105G and im sitting at around $32.00 per gallon. The only livestock that is included in this figure is whatever hitched a ride from fiji on my LR. Also figure my electricity bill is going to spike by about 35-45 dollars a month from the equipment. Be warned! Reefs are not for the frugal or people with high maintenance wives, it could kill you.
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Old 01-04-2004, 11:25 AM   #6
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or people with high maintenance wives
Not quite sure where that would leave me, LOL.
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Old 01-04-2004, 11:34 AM   #7
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Not quite sure where that would leave me, LOL.
Judging by your nickname your likely the holy grail for any guy who wants a reef and a wife LoL

(added to post)

Correction, I checked out your gallery. You ARE the holy grail LoL great pics, awesome built in!
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-30G LTAnemonarium with mated porcelain crabs, 10 sexy shrimp, and 2 pink skunks all tied into the other 135G in my system.
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