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Old 10-13-2005, 10:11 PM   #1
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Another Newbie w/ ?s :D

Hi Everyone! I'm new to this forum, and I have some ?'s on SA's. I currently have a small FA which I love, and I recently have become interested in, and started researching, SA's. Here's some of the questions I have:

- Approximate cost? (Total/Tank/Filters/Salt/etc.?) (I've been thinking about tank around 55 g.)
- Filtration systems?
- Keeping salinity,pH,temp. constant?
- Protein skimmers? (Is there another method? If so is it more/less affective?)
- Live rocks vs. Sand vs. Something else (Mix?)
- Sizes of filters/skimmers/heaters?
- Lighting?
- Levels tests? Log books?

Those are mostly the areas I can think of now where I was wondering things. Thanks!
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Old 10-13-2005, 10:29 PM   #2
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I would be typing all night with all those questions. Check this out and see if you can narrow it down.
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/showfaq.php?fldAuto=2
Welcome to the site.
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Old 10-14-2005, 08:04 AM   #3
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Thanks for the link.
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Old 10-14-2005, 07:53 PM   #4
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One question that I have is - If I decide not to purchase a protein skimmer, what would I need to buy to do what the skimmer does? Would that stuff be just as good as a skimmer?
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Old 10-14-2005, 07:59 PM   #5
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Also if I decided to purchase a skimmer I would also need a filter too?
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Old 10-14-2005, 08:18 PM   #6
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Do you need live rock or can you use something else?
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Old 10-14-2005, 11:10 PM   #7
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I recommend a skimmer and LR. Nice filter systems will take bad stuff out of your water but you will constantly be changing media etc. I thank most here will agree a skimmer is the way to go. You would not need a filter with a skimmer unless you wanted a wet/dry with a sump to hook you skimmer to. (also recommend). As far as LR goes everyone on here will tell you to buy all the LR you can afford. preferably 1.5 to 1.75 lbs per gallon. Best thing for your tank. I also recommend sand as a substrate. CC catches to much garbage and in time can mess up your water. In short, ideally if I were you I would get a overflow (preferably a tank with one built in) wet/dry sump, skimmer, and as much LR as you can afford right now up to 1.5 -1.75 lbs pr gal
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Old 10-15-2005, 12:07 PM   #8
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Thanks for the help Brenden.
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Old 10-15-2005, 11:42 PM   #9
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I just realised brenden spent ~5k on LR. 8O
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37 gal all glass
50lb LR
3' fine sand bed 1x Orange Stripe Prawn shrimp goby, 1x sixline wrassemated pair of true percula clowns, 1x CBS shrimp, 2x peppermint shrimp, 1x pistol shrimp, 1x tiger tale cuke, ~20+ snails, ~10+ hermits, 1xserpent star.
green Bubble coral, hammer coral (8 heads!) ,various Zoos,green finger leather, green star polpys ,shrooms
175w 10k MH
28w actinic 03
2x maxi jett 1200
Prizm skimmer (modded)
Hagen powerfilter(for running carbon 24/7)
nano arctica chiller
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Old 10-16-2005, 09:13 AM   #10
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Approximate cost?
Typically $15-20 / gallon is a good estimate

- Filtration systems?
Really depends, but most use either canisters, hang-on-tank, fuges, or wet/dry

- Keeping salinity,pH, temp. constant?
Adding fresh water will keep the salanity constant much fluctuations are not to much to be concerned about. pH stays normal through regular water changes and a heater will keep the temp constant.

- Protein skimmers? (Is there another method? If so is it more/less affective?)

Protein skimmers are considered by most to be a necessity. Personally, I think it depends on how much and often you feed. Most new aquarists do overfeed so a skimmer should be on your list. Coralife and Aqua C Remoras are two good ones. Another method to skimming is the use of mangroves. They remove the nitrates and phosphates in the water and also help keep unwanted algae at bay.

- Live rocks vs. Sand vs. Something else (Mix?)
Not really sure the vs. LR is always a great idea. Sand is much better than crushed coral.

- Sizes of filters/skimmers/heaters?

Depends on the tank size, but if you do go with a 55, then a 10 gallon tank would suffice for a sump, fuge, or wet/dry. Typically, your sump size should be 1/5 of the tank size and water turn over should be 10-20 times the tanks volume per hour. If you're thinking a HOT, then I'd suggest two penguin 400 biowheels. a 200-300 watt heater would be big enough.

- Lighting?
Again this depends on what you eventually want your tank to be - Fish Only, Fish Only With Live Rock, or Reef. FO and FOWLR really don't need any special lighting. Standard compact flourescents will do. Reefs are really a much different story and I would suggest waiting on inverts until you get your fet wet. I use two 4 bulb coralifes on my 55 with FO and it's plenty.

- Levels tests? Log books?
Once established, testing is, IMHO, for a FO or FOWLR is a waste of time and money; however you must perform regular water changes. For reef, I'd suggest a nitrate kit and pH kit / alkalinity kit. You could get a calcium kit, but if you add too much calcium, it will just precipitate out - no harm no foul.

Suggest you do a lot of reading and research on this hobby before getting started. It will save you many headaches and lots of money. Good luck!

KG
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