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Old 01-16-2004, 06:00 AM   #1
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100 Gal. setup questions

Hello everyone. I'm in the early planning stages of a 100 gallon FOWLR tank. I haven't had a salt tank in 15 years and the hobby has changed ALOT since back then! I have been reading, reading, reading, not only posts on this board but also 'The New Marine Aquarium' by Paletta and 'The Conscientious Marine Aquarist' is on order at a local bookstore. Even after all of my reading I have several questions which I hope you all can help me with.

1) I plan on cycling the tank with live rock. I was going to order 110 pounds of base rock and 30 pounds of live rock and also use a DSB. Should I put all of the rock and sand in the tank to start off with or should I add it gradually? Also, the tank will be in our living room, I have read some posts that say there is a smell when cycling with LR. Is this true and if so is it a very strong odor and how long will it last? I'm not sure if the wife is going to go for a smelly living room for very long.

2) I was going to get my LR from liverocks.com. They have Florida Keys rock and Gulf rock. Is there any benefits of one rock over the other? Should I get a mix of both?

3) Along with the LR and DSB I am planning on using a skimmer and 3 Maxi Jet 900 Power heads. As far as the skimmer is concerned I can go one of two ways. A LFS has a used 20 gallon sump with an ETSS skimmer and a Iwaki MD40 pump(There are 2 diff. MD40 pumps, one is rated at 750 GPH and one at 1200, I'm not sure which one it is.) total cost is $250. The second option is a AquaC Remora Pro with the MagDrive 3(if I get this skimmer should I also get the surface prefilter?). Which would be the better of the 2 options? Does the sump provide any filtration benefits? I like the idea of being able to have the skimmer and heater out of sight under the tank, and I have heard the water changes are easier with a sump, but other than that are there any other benefits? Some people have said I should go with a 30 gal sump. Why would a 30 be better than a 20?

I know this is a long post and alot of questions. But this is the best forum I have found (you guys really seem to know your stuff) and I want to plan this as well as I can. Thanx for any help and advice you can give.
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Old 01-16-2004, 09:39 AM   #2
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I too just got back in after 15 years and agree a lot seems to have changed. I cycled a 65 gallon in my living room with LR and live sand and never detected any smell. One think that has happened to me, after 3 months I had an ICH outbreak. I really wish I had used the QT tank as suggested in many of these posts before adding my fish.
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Old 01-16-2004, 10:14 AM   #3
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Quote:
Should I put all of the rock and sand in the tank to start off with or should I add it gradually? Also, the tank will be in our living room, I have read some posts that say there is a smell when cycling with LR. Is this true and if so is it a very strong odor and how long will it last?
Put it all in at once. YOu can use the live rock to cycle your tank. The amount the rock will smell and how long will depend on the level of dieoff the rock experences. If you get rock from a quality source then there should be little or no smell unless your up close to the tank and it should last a short period.

Quote:
I was going to get my LR from liverocks.com. They have Florida Keys rock and Gulf rock. Is there any benefits of one rock over the other?
I think if you look thru the liverocks.com forum you will find the info on that. One of the two I belive is supposed to be more 'decorated' but I cant recall which one.

Quote:
A LFS has a used 20 gallon sump with an ETSS skimmer and a Iwaki MD40 pump(There are 2 diff. MD40 pumps, one is rated at 750 GPH and one at 1200, I'm not sure which one it is.) total cost is $250.
IMO that would be the better of the two options. The sump will give you added benifits of being able to put your heaters in there to 'hide' them. The sump will utlize either a preinstalled overflow on yoru tank or you will need a hang on overflow. This will skim the surface of the water like a surface skimmer attachment on the remora but what you also gain is that the water level in the main tank will never change with a sump. So unlike with the remora's surface skimmer as water evaporates if your not relegious with adding top off water the water can get bleow the surface skimmer intake fins. There are no direct filtration benfitis of a sump other than it adds to your total water volume of the tank. And the fact the tanks water level never falls. Water changes are made easier cause you can take water out of the sump and add water back to the sump vs having to dig into the main tank all the time.
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Old 01-16-2004, 10:35 AM   #4
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Thanx FF. I was also wondering about the Power heads, will the 3 900's be enough or should I drop the extra $6 and get the 1200's?

Are the ETSS skimmers as good as the AquaC's? Alot of people seem to really like the AquaC's but I haven't heard much about ETSS at all.

Lastly, if the Iwaki pump that comes with the used setup is the one that is rated at 750 GPH is it going to be sufficient for my tank.
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Old 01-16-2004, 11:52 AM   #5
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This is from an email from liverocks.com:
Quote:
Key rock is the Porche for looks and maintenance. Gulf rock is the Chevy. Our lease sites in the keys are at 24 degrees latitude and the water parameters there are very stable. This means the tank you keep it in needs to be very stable. Good lighting, minimum temperature changes and very careful salinity maintenance are a must to keep this rock as beautiful as the day you get it. This is our most colorful rock and I have never seen anything in this hobby that even comes close.
Gulf rock has only two colors of coraline algae common to it so it is mostly a light pink with areas of darker red on it. This is one tough live rock, low light and large swings in temperature and salinity do not have a detrimental affect on this product. The gulf itself is a very volatile body of water with an incredible range of water quality parameters. The life forms from the gulf are very adaptable and plentiful. This rock is easy to keep and tends to have more life on it and in it. All of our coral rock comes from the Gulf and is very easy to keep and propagate.
HTH
Jim
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Old 01-16-2004, 11:57 AM   #6
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I supposed it depends if the pump is to be used to power the skimmer or if its to return the water back to the tank. If the 750GPH pump is for the skimmer then you would have to really reference ETSS on if thats the proper size for the skimmer. If its the 750GPH pump to return water to your main tank then IMO its a bit undersized and additional powerheads in the main tank would be wanted.

If the pump is a 1200GPH pump and its a return pump then you might be happy with the flow it creates and you wont need/want any additional powerheads. But ofcourse then you will need to find a pump for the skimmer.
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Old 01-17-2004, 12:11 AM   #7
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Hi folks,

Just thought I'd add another consderation regarding your pump/skimmer issues. The Iwaki MD40's are excellent pumps and a much better option than the Using several powerheads and Mag drive pumps. I say this because the Iwaki pumps are thermo-isolated, i.e., there is very little heat transfer to the water. Heat transfer can definitely become a problem when you consider all the items that add heat to a tank. Before you know it a tank can be running at 80 degrees, the heater never on and the room temp. at 70. (Unless of course you're planning a $500 chiller).

Also the Iwaki is a very quite pump so for living room app - good choice. The Mag drive pumps can be mad loud.

The MD40 with 750 GPH is a pressure rated pump and the one with the 1200 GPH rating is for circulation only. I.e. one gives up volume for head pressure. Not sure but perhaps the LFS is selling both these pumps - i.e., the 750 for the ETSS skimmer (sounds about right - but as FF said - check with the mfg) and the 1200 for the return from the sump (perfect since it's a circulation pump only).

Tom
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Old 01-17-2004, 08:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
I was also wondering about the Power heads, will the 3 900's be enough or should I drop the extra $6 and get the 1200's?
Yea, get the 1200's IMO the more flow the better. I have 3 MJ1200's in my 105G and they do a great job. I am also using a 20 gallon sump and it works great. If you need the best info available on sumps use this link.
http://www.melevsreef.com/what_sump.html
Also, if you going to have an overflow dump into a 20 gallon tank make sure and read the info on that site about building in a bubble trap. I highly recommend it. I know your going for FOWLR, but if you ever want some coral this way you don't have to worry about ridding yourself of the excess bubbles later on.

Good Luck
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