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Old 01-02-2013, 04:05 PM   #1
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Hiya! Well I'm off- I have a 55 tank and some lights from CL, my favorite lfs is closing and alas, they had all the coral I used to day dream about. Since I can't rush things, no crying, I will settle for some huge chunks of live rock out of their display tanks and start cycling the beast, hopefully another lfs will meet the demand for central-coast coral-keepers by the time my tank matures.

So the lights were a DIY job by a pretty handy guy to fit his tank: two bulbs on separate ballasts(has two switches) one is a Coralife 20,000K F30-T12-BP and the other is a PowerGlo 89.46cm 30W, both 36" long.

My questions are:
1) are these lights capable of keeping any types of coral(soft or whatever!) or do I need to plan a FOWLR only?

2) can and should I run a hang on back skimmer? Which one is a nice deal online? I like the "sea clone 100" for $90 so far

3) I am thinking of a hang on back refugium with an aquaclear filter or two running on either side of the tank or one in fuge, one in the tank. I want to avoid a canister filter but the top of the tank is enclosed except for a tiny gap and two holes, so maybe I'm S. Outta Luck. I'm a visual person and out of sight means I will never remember to clean a canister. My other tanks are spotless because I use internal filters despite how ugly and bulky they are.

The space for a HOB aquaclear is only 1 3/4" wide by 16 1/2" long, and it is set in 3/4" from the rear tank wall. I'm going to buy one locally today and see if it can happen. Otherwise the HOB refugium I was going to order from Drs. Foster & Smith measures 4 1/2" deep, 25" long and 12" tall. $185.. Comes with a power head and baffle system. I will add light of some kind.

Any obvious problems with the setup I have planned? My stock will be very minimal and I tend to under stock my tanks in general. Maybe some chomis to start. Eventually I might like to add a blenny or pair of fire fish. I love the idea of a single lionfish but I want to let my husband choose the main inhabitants so we shall see what appeals to him. He likes the above fish we have agreed would work out. Puffers always are massively appealing but I think I want to do a fresh tank of pea puffers and ADF frogs one day rather than any salt water puffers who seem intolerant of tank mates.

4) should I buy the CaribSea A.R.K. Refugium kit? $60 for 40lbs arag-alive sand, 10lbs calcium carbonate rubble, 5lbs mineral mud, some Aquabiotic bacteria booster(eh usually toss these) and the ever useful large bucket. I bet the sand would be enough for the tank floor too! Is is any better/worse than Aragamax sand? I like the whitish sand best, maybe just pool sand will do?
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:08 PM   #2
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Well anywho, im buying some Tonga live rock from my other lfs and it's 7.50 a lb.

Woohoo
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:38 PM   #3
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And still to myself: I'm getting a canister filter: marine land C 360
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:30 PM   #4
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I would skip the canister filter and use that money for a good skimmer. I have 90lbs of sand and 90lbs of rock. I went with 70lbs of base rock from reefcleaners.org and 20lbs of live rock to seed the base rock. I don't think that your lights will support coral. I would also skip the HOB filters sand, rock and a skimmer will do. Have you thought about adding a sump? It will keep all of the ugly equipment out of your tank. Good luck
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjamontan View Post
I would skip the canister filter and use that money for a good skimmer. I have 90lbs of sand and 90lbs of rock. I went with 70lbs of base rock from reefcleaners.org and 20lbs of live rock to seed the base rock. I don't think that your lights will support coral. I would also skip the HOB filters sand, rock and a skimmer will do. Have you thought about adding a sump? It will keep all of the ugly equipment out of your tank. Good luck
The sump sounded kinda smelly and this tank is behind the couch.

I was also going to order a hob skimmer, why do you think skimmer is better than a filter? I could return my filter but the skimmer price at my lfs seems high. $180?

I saw one for $90 I liked online. Can I run both or is a canister just a mistake?
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:09 PM   #6
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By the way I decided on the canister because the tank is designed with a very limited amount of open space so the canister could be under the tank and only tubes in and out of the tank through two drilled holes 1-1/4"
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:16 PM   #7
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With a canister the debris in it will potentially become a nitrate factory. A filter will not remove protein from the water like a skimmer does. A skimmer is the best way to remove protein from the water as well as fish poop. Don't buy a skimmer that is the cheepest one you can find save a little more for a good one and it will not cost you in the future. The sump should not smell at all as it is the same water that is in your display tank. Whet it does for you is add water volume a place to have you skimmer, ATO switch heater and other things that you may end up wanting like a reactor.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:47 PM   #8
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Okay well good advice! I thought about a sump for a while and the stand is quite restrictive as it has a shelf. The refugium seemed like fun to maintain. The skimmer I see for sale that I can get tonight to start my cycle is an ehopps PSK-75H for $185
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:49 PM   #9
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I believe that is a good skimmer you might want to look at the reef octopus hang on back skimmer people say that they are great.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:54 PM   #10
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Go to registerandsmith.com they have the skimmer you are talking about for $149 and the next size up for $159. I would get the one for $159 it is a good skimmer rated up to 100 gallons.
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