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Old 01-13-2014, 08:37 PM   #1
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4 months into first tank FOWLR

I purchased a tank and headed down to my local LFS for advice. I have not even had a beta fish. As a student, I am on a tight budget. I purchased a 55gal off craigslist with a heater and Marinelife Penguin 350. He recommended I buy another Marinelife Penguin 350 for increased filtration and more importantly increased water flow. I also purchased 40lb of Fiji pink LS and some dry rock. For lighting I have 4 24" 10k T5 bulbs. I cycled my tank and started with some damsels, on his recommendation. About a month ago I added a Maroon Clown and 2 white spotted crabs. Then this weekend I added a medium yellow angelfish and 30lb of LR, but only have 1 crab left. Turns out they weren't that great of friends.

I am wondering which direction I should do. I plan on adding more LR soon and was thinking about getting the Coralife T5 Quad Lamp for increased lighting. I have been reading a lot about skimmers and not sure if I need one if I keep up on my water changes.

We are obviously not done adding fish but didn't want to go overboard too quick since this is our first tank.

Thoughts? Advice? Criticism?

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Old 01-13-2014, 08:42 PM   #2
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Ya you should look into a skimmer on a tank that size. Hob filters don't really remove sw fish waste like a skimmer will. Just my 2 cents
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Old 01-13-2014, 08:47 PM   #3
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Skimmers are great to have.... although there are quite a lot of people who successfully have aquariums without them.

I personally try to get the maximum of a filtration as I can fit.... but it does come down to the budget you have and your personal preference.

You don't HAVE to get a skimmer... as long as your filtration/li ve rock is half decent and parameters are all ok and you don't go nuts on the stock and do regular WC then its not really needed....

As you said, your on a tight budget..... you could go without and add stock/live rock... and when you save up a bit then just buy a skimmer when you think its needed
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Old 01-13-2014, 08:47 PM   #4
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Skimmer for sure
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Old 01-13-2014, 08:51 PM   #5
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Lighting types for a FOWLR is more personal preference than actually needed. Fish just really need day time lighting and lights off at night. I personally would be looking into LR... then stock.... then later a skimmer once ive saved up for it... then if you think the filtration is great... then start looking into lights.
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Old 01-13-2014, 08:57 PM   #6
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Lighting types for a FOWLR is more personal preference than actually needed. Fish just really need day time lighting and lights off at night. I personally would be looking into LR... then stock.... then later a skimmer once ive saved up for it... then if you think the filtration is great... then start looking into lights.
why wiould you put the bioload BEFORE the filtration?
get the skimmer first, get it dialed in nicely, then move onto fully- stocking the tank
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:26 PM   #7
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Thank you everybody! Guess I will definitely get some more LR soon.

The skimmer I was looking at was the Tunze Comline DOC Protein Skimmer 9004. Looks like it covers the tank size, that work?

Also with livestock, if I get rid of the damsels and just have the maroon clown and yellow angel, how many for fish do you think I could stock it with? I know this depends on the type of fish etc but maybe a ball bark? Also is there a time span I should follow when adding fish? I'm still to new and unexperienced to feel confident adding $200 fish at once. I was thinking a week a part?
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:37 PM   #8
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Wow thank you everybody for the posts. I'll def jump on some more LR.

As far as skimmers go which brand? I was thinking either a Tunze or Red Sea...

If I get rid of the damsels and just have the maroon clown and yellow angel, how many more you think I can add. I know this depends of species and such but some guidelines I can follow?

Thank you again!
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:51 PM   #9
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why wiould you put the bioload BEFORE the filtration?
get the skimmer first, get it dialed in nicely, then move onto fully- stocking the tank
I personally would have gone skimmer first too... but considering theres barely a fish in there.... might as well set up the LR and get them all in place for homes and biofiltration rather than adding LR after and scare the crap out of the stock . Then add about 2-3 fish slowly... check the parameters regularly to make sure the current filtration can handle that bioload and then save up and look into a skimmer... then look into other fish.
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:55 PM   #10
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no real guideline.... just depends on your filtration setup and what bioload it can handle and how regular of WC you do. I would personally get rid of the damsel.... keep the other 2.... then get LR.... then the skimmer... then other stock
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