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Old 09-16-2006, 10:51 PM   #1
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What the hell?! So many mixed opinions...

I currently have a 6 ft 132g tank still have not filled up water yet. I am still confuse about whether to use a skimmer, canister filter or not.

This is going to be a FOWLR tank. It's going to house at least 6 adults size tangs in future that's my plan. I went to a few LFS here around my area some said you don't need skimmer and a canister filter and some said you need a skimmer only don't need canister filter. Some said you need both. I mean what's going on? Who can I really trust??? This project is not going to be cheap once it is up and running and I want to do it right at the first place avoiding all future forseeable problems.

I am thinking of using ONLY limestone rocks instead of liverocks because they are cheap and free of pests. I definitely won't keep invertebrates or corals of any kind JUST FISH. I hate those pests from LR especially mantis and pistol shrimps. I don't like the click click noise in the tank. Can using just limestone rocks cause any problem?

Really need your opinions on this one guys as my LFS is not helping very much. Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-16-2006, 10:56 PM   #2
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The majority of people here use 1.5 lbs-2 of LR per gallon and a skimmer.

As far as the rock. Base rock is a good idea to save money but you should probably put half and half so the other rock becomes live. If you buy cured LR from an LFS you probably wont get a mantis. I got some but now that they are gone the diversity of life is amazing.

You don't want to keep any inverts at all? What about a cleaning crew?
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Old 09-16-2006, 11:02 PM   #3
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Also another reason I don't want to use LR is because tangs most likely need treatments for whitespots and stuffs therefore it is easy to cure them in the main tank without killing any corals, LR or inverts. And I understand that once I use copper medications and stuffs in the tank I won't be able to keep inverts or corals in the tank in future.
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Old 09-16-2006, 11:04 PM   #4
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If you want a fish only tank then get base rock so you get no critters or anything bad. You can use a canister for the fish only set up. That is how most tanks are set up in doctors offices and stuff. If you want a fish only with live rock then get the skimmer instead and use a filter sock on the tank drain tube in the sump. Just my two cents.
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Old 09-16-2006, 11:13 PM   #5
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Hi Mike thanks for the opinions. I did see some cured LR in one of my LFS but they are as good as dead. No lifeforms of anykind on them. If there is no lifeforms then what is the point of getting "Life" rocks? I might as well get limestones and save more than half of the cost. Also cured LR are even more expensive than uncured LR.

Yeah I will also add some cleaning crews for sure but will only restrict to hermit crabs and snails only.

Now my main concern is: To buy a skimmer only? Or a canister filter only? Or I need both? I only want to buy what is necessary not over doing it.
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Old 09-16-2006, 11:16 PM   #6
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The issue with marine tanks is that most everyone has a different opinon...everyone. I say with the skimmer vs. canister, that you get one of the other. Both is overkill IMO, unless you already have one. A skimmer, some powerheads for water flow, and liverock are all you need. If however, you don't want lots of rock (live, dead, whatever kind) then I would go with the canister.

Inverts are cool, but if you don't want any, that's cool. You'll have to do alot more maintenence and such.

Don't forget pics.
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Old 09-17-2006, 11:46 AM   #7
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Devilishturtles and the rest are correct. Lots of folks like skimmers, especially for reef tanks. If you have about 1.5-2LBs of LR per gallon, as stated before, that will be enough and the best filtration you could have. I don't run a skimmer in my FOWLR. I originally bought a canister filter, when I was new, to help out. I still use it for running carbon, when needed and for extra water movement.
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Can using just limestone rocks cause any problem?
I'm not too sure about this. I believe it might cause problems, since some can contion metals, like cooper and such.
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This project is not going to be cheap once it is up and running
I think you will be pleasantly surprised that the upkeep cost will be really inexpensive, compared to the initial set up.
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Old 09-18-2006, 11:02 AM   #8
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Well the cost is not going to be cheap for sure as I will be using metal halide for my fish only tank. 2X150W because I like brighter environment and for the ripple effects.
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Old 09-18-2006, 02:52 PM   #9
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live Rock does not equal life that you can see so to speak. You are buying live rock the reef look and the biological filtration it provides.

Your lime rock will get algae on it over time and will look similar to LR unless you bleach it. If you added enough base rock and some LR to seed it, I don't see a need for a canister filter. Skimmer is great but not necessary in some cases. In my FO system I had for 7 years, I never used one. In my reef system, I do. I try to get the best possible water filtration since I have some delicate inverts and corals. Might not be necessary for just fish.

There are many ways to do this hobby. Sometimes you have to just pick one and see how it goes. There will never be one right way.
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Old 09-18-2006, 02:57 PM   #10
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it is easy to cure them in the main tank without killing any corals, LR or inverts
I'd consider a smaller QT/hospital tank for medications - and introducing new fish. That way you won't compromise your main and never be able to keep cleanup crews or other inverts.
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Old 09-20-2006, 03:48 AM   #11
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it is easy to cure them in the main tank without killing any corals, LR or inverts

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I'd consider a smaller QT/hospital tank for medications - and introducing new fish. That way you won't compromise your main and never be able to keep cleanup crews or other inverts.
In addition to that some medications will kill off beneficial nitrifying bacteria and will allow ammonia to accumulate. You could end up having to cycle the tank again. That would require frequent large water changes and monitoring to say the least w/ a stocked tank. Best to use a QT tank.
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Old 09-20-2006, 05:11 AM   #12
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Ok so much being said one final decision: I am going to use ONLY limestone rocks, no liverocks of any kind. Just mainly limestone rocks. If they grow life in the process that’s fine, if they turning to become liverocks in future that’s fine as long as I don’t get critters/pests like mantis shrimps or pistol shrimps or crabs etc etc that you would expect from liverocks.

One question though, will these rocks creates any problem to water parameters? Also will there be any problem during cycling with these non-liverocks? I will put a few dead shrimps to kick starts the cycle since no liverocks is used and no die-off.

I will be using canister filters after the tank finish cycling and will see how things going first if it need be I will then add a skimmer. How does that sounds?
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Old 09-20-2006, 10:54 AM   #13
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I don't know much about limestone, butsome articles I've seen says it's not good for SW fish.

Here's one discsussion...

http://www1.diynet.com/diy/lp_fish/a...270641,00.html

Besides there are plenty of options for liverock without mantis shrimp. And what's wrong with pistols? They're neat and totally reef/fish safe.
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Old 09-20-2006, 01:00 PM   #14
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OK here is my $.02. Going with base rock only to start is fine all rock becomes LR over time (nitrifying bacteria grows). I am thinking limestone is not the best choice as it is a soft stone and will likely leach out lime and other minerals into the tank that can cause problems with your parameters. The fact that I have never seen limestone for sale as base rock is one indicator. There are plenty of other stone choices out there that are proven base rock and do not cost 1/4 that of established LR. Do an online search or check you LFS for ideas.

As for filtration I would go with both a skimmer and canisters (plural with that large a tank). Start with the canisters and add a good skimmer 3-4 months down the road. The reason I say this is you are talking about keeping some large fish (6 tangs) which will produce a fair amount of waste and the skimmer will help remove some of this and keep you nitrates and algea down.

If you are doing a true FO what are you doing for substrate? my recommendation would be bare bottom to allow you better acess to cleaning up waste product. Other wise use a substrate, but give some serious consideration to a cleanup crew such as basic hermit and snails(as many as 1/2gallons) They add a whole new aspect to SW aquariums. Also with tangs cleaner shrimp are very cool. Nothing neater than watching a tang pull up to a cleaning station to get unwanted parasites removed.

Great point was brought up about a QT tank for new fish and using to hospitalize sick fish. Medicating the main tank is never a good idea. Ich can be horrible with tangs depending on the type you decide on. If you QT them first you minimize the risk of introducing disease into your main.

Finally, you mentioned 6 tangs. Even if you are planning no other fish for a 132g tank this is a lot of tangs. I am a number one fan of tangs and have kept no less than 8 different species of them at one time or another, but never more than 3 at a time. I am now down to a single purple tang in a 90g. They can be very territorial with other similar tangs which will cause stress and possible disease. Suggest you limit your selection to 3 different species (shape) and think about a few other fish. Unless you are thinking about a school of YT which could work.

My first setup was very similar to what you are talking about only with a 75g (wish I had a 132g). It has since transformed into the 90g reef I have now. Take your time and be patient. Most of all keep your options open (don't medicate the main) you will be suprised how addictive this hobby can be.

OK, maybe that was a $1.02 worth.

HTH,
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Old 09-24-2006, 01:47 AM   #15
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I saw something you wrote that kind of stood out to me about your wanting to medicate the tank with tangs.

Here is my 2 cents ok?

If you are going to put snails and hermits in there to clean up, copper will sure kill them dead quick. You are better off with a UV sterilizer and/or cleaner shrimp to control that, as well as quarantine tank.

If I were you, I would check out the synthetic LR they sell dry at some LFS. I don't know for sure what exactly it was made of, but I checked it when I got it years ago as base rock and it was totally reef safe, it was some sort of limestone looking stuff and is now 'real' live rock due to the real stuff I put on top of it.

I would get some good base rock - maybe limestone, maybe not, I don't know enough about it, and seed the stuff with the 'good' live rock on top. If you want tangs, you will WANT the critters and alge from real live rock. I don't care if you are going to feed the tangs sheets of algae, these guys LOVE to pick on the LR anyway, you should try to provide a home for them as close to nature as possible, and if you can afford this monster tank you can afford a few pounds of good cured LR.

If you don't want ANY critters on your live rock, mix a bucket of SUPER SALTY water, something like off the scale salty and dunk the chunk of LR in that bucket. any shrimps in there will QUICKLY bail out, and skitter accross the kitchen floor looking for good saltwater. I have done this for years and trust me, it works. This won't kill off any of the algae on the rock. That stuff will grow back with time, and feed the tangs.

If I were you, I would go with a sump, two return pumps, one killer powerful protien skimmer (it will take care of the fish poop from big fish too) and tons of LR for main filtration on this tank. If it were me, anyway. That way, if you should ever change your mind on fish load or adding corals in the future, you could. You really can't 'over filter' your water all that easily, but it sure is easy to under filter it.

Good luck, and have fun!
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Old 09-24-2006, 09:54 AM   #16
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When I started this back August of 2005 I did all the reading,bought this then that because it was better than the first one I bought last week.
Now that Im a year wiser and if I were to start all over again this is what I would buy.

1.Largest tank you can afford. ( changes happen more slowly)
2. Best skimmer you can afford
3.good lighting
( you say you dont want a reef, but you can change your mind)
4. a sump, biggest that will fit in the stand
5. As much Live rock as you can 1 to 2 lbs per gallon (or dead rock and get one piece of live to seed this would be an inexpensive alternative)I would not use limestone.
6. 2 inch sand base (I use aragonite) This is just a personal preference.
7. patients
And thats it...

I have spent more money than I had to in the beginning and now that I have a small clue, thats how I would start my next tank and this is how my current setup is running with the exception of a filtersock in the sump.

hth... good luck ... :D

here is how my tank is doing with just a skimmer.
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Old 09-24-2006, 10:39 AM   #17
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Thanks for all the kind opinions guys. Really appreciate it. I will surely go slow. My tank has been delivered to my place 1 month ago it is STILL empty. Showing how much patience I have got here lol.
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Old 09-24-2006, 12:30 PM   #18
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No limestones. They do leach stuff into the water. I beleive they use limestones in Cichlid tanks where the PH needs to be really high and no other sensitive creatures are in the tank.
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