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Old 01-25-2006, 06:02 PM   #1
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Another "Starting Out" Post...

I've been lurking on here for a short bit and have picked up a couple books about setting up a SW tank... I'm looking at FOWLR at least to start with, since this is my first tank of any kind. I’m still very green, but am anxious to get started ASAP.

I have a 46 Gal Bowfront that I purchased used and have done a "good" cleaning with Bleach/Water and Vinegar....made sure no leaks, etc and it came from a friend of a friend who knows more about tanks than I, and said there was no sickness or whatnot. I have no other equipment other than the Glass top and Single Light (which I know I'll need to upgrade also at some point).

I just stopped over at one of my LFS and asked what kinds of basic things I needed to get started. I know that I’m not going to be able to start with a Sump, at least at first. They were showing me an Eheim Ecco 2234 Canister Filter. It sounds like from reading here on AA Forum that If I get a good amount of Cured Live Rock (1.5-2 lbs per Gallon? 60-90 lbs sounds like a LOT…), and a good Protein Skimmer, then the Canister filter is mostly unnecessary. Is this a true statement in a FOWLR setup?

The LFS didn’t really have a recommendation for a Skimmer, they had only one, but not sure what kind/size, etc (I didn’t have long to check things out at lunch today). It seems that a lot of people here are recommending Aqua C Remora Pro skimmer, but then there multiple choices for the Pump Type (Rio 800, MJ1200, Rio 1400, Mag 3)…What is the diff in the Pump type, and which should I look at? (Mag 3 seems most expensive, so I’m assuming “best” of those choices…) The LFS also said that I should wait on getting a Powerhead until I know what kind of fish I’m going to end up with in the tank. I’m still a lot confused about this too…Is the “Pump” that is sold with the Skimmer the same as a “Powerhead” or are we talking 2 different things?

They didn’t have any cured Live Rock, so I’m going to have to find another LFS that can help me with that I guess…They talked a little about the different types of sand substrate, but not into much detail.

As far as Water, I don’t have a RO/DI system at home… So I guess I need to figure out how I’m going to get good water to start the tank with. My kids’ Nanny has some experience in the “water” business, so I’m hoping she can help me out with this…

Then I know there other things like the Heater, Test Equipment, etc, etc, that I will also need.

Am I missing anything major on the basics at least to get started?

Any words of wisdom or enlightenment you can provide on anything here would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
SuperWade2
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Old 01-25-2006, 10:15 PM   #2
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Re: Another "Starting Out" Post...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperWade2
I have no other equipment other than the Glass top and Single Light (which I know I'll need to upgrade also at some point).
Not until you take on light dependent species. In the meantime you might want to get a 50/50 bulb. It just looks better...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperWade2
It sounds like from reading here on AA Forum that If I get a good amount of Cured Live Rock (1.5-2 lbs per Gallon? 60-90 lbs sounds like a LOT…), and a good Protein Skimmer, then the Canister filter is mostly unnecessary. Is this a true statement in a FOWLR setup?
You could get some base rock and some LR. The LR will eventually seed the other stuff. With this set up the LR will be your main biological filtration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperWade2
Is the “Pump” that is sold with the Skimmer the same as a “Powerhead” or are we talking 2 different things?
2 different things. That pump "feeds" the skimmer. You still need to circulate the water in the tank (return pump, powerheads, etc.)...


Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperWade2
Am I missing anything major on the basics at least to get started?
Substrate.

Sounds like you're going about things the right way. I'm pretty new at this myself so I'm sure there are many others here that will assist you.

Good luck...
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Old 01-25-2006, 10:19 PM   #3
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I will answer a few

The aqua remora and Bak pak skimmers are bouth good skimmers. I have both of them but I prefer the remora a bit more. If you get a bak pak get the one without the bio filter floss. It is a waste if your planning on getting Live rock.

I think your lfs is talking about selecting a powerhead for water flow not for the skimmer. Most skimmers include a pump.

the cansiter filter will need to be cleaned regulary it would be nice for polishing the water but yes you may find it unnessiary, just make sure you do not overstock your tank.

In the long run you will wish you had drilled your tank so you can use a sump without an overflow. I think most places will do it fairly cheep somthing like 20$
just my 2 cents.

almost forgot Welcome to the hobby 8)
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Old 01-25-2006, 11:57 PM   #4
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Ok thanks for the replys so far...

So for the basics, I need ;

1) Skimmer / Pump (Still don't know the Difference between the Pump Types w/Skimmer) - AquaC Remora Pro w/ Mag3?
2) Base Rock/ Live Rock How much of Each should I need?
3) Substrate Just the Sand/Gravel/Crushed Coral, etc at the bottom of the tank, right? How much?
4) Heater ~150 Watts or so for my 46 Gallon?
5) Powerhead What are my Choices here?
6) Lighting - TBD
7) RO/DI Water

Optional?
#) Canister Filter Possibly unneeded, but is the Eheim Ecco 2234 Canister Filter a good choice?

Thanks Again for everyone's input...

SW2
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Old 01-26-2006, 10:12 AM   #5
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Superwade2,

1) The AquaC Remora comes with the pump.
2) As far as lr ans base rock goes get what you can afford. 60 - 90 lbs total would be great. If you are wealthy the get all lr. If you are on a budget I would get about 50 lbs of base and seed that with 20 or so of lr.
3) I would get aragonite sand. Again you could get all live sand or mostly dry sand and seed it with some live sand. I would get enough dry sand to make a 3 inch layer and then add a 20 lbs bag of live sand to seed the rest.
4) 150 watt heater should be enough.
5) Powerheads are up to you. Most seem to go with mag's. You want enough flow to turn over the tank at least 10 times for a fowlr. For a 46 you will need to pump at least 460 gph. I would suggest two heads that add up to 500 or more gph.
6) For a fowlr go with standard flourescents for now with a 50/50 bulb.
7) RO/DI water is a must for a sw tank. You can find good deals on ebay for ro units.

Good Luck,
Brian
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Old 01-26-2006, 12:55 PM   #6
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Just wanted to jump in as well and welcome you to AA

I would only use aragonite sand and avoid cc/gravel. You will need about 100 lbs for 3”
For a heater I would go with a Won Bros Pro-Heat 150w
For base rock I would get it from www.hirocks.com
For powerheads a couple of Maxi-Jet 1200s, Penguin 1140s, or Seio Super Pumps which are all good choices for a 46 gal.
You will need either a floating hydrometer even better a Refractometer to measure sg/alk.
For ro/di filter ebay has prices $100 or less.
Filter-Direct-store (most buy from here)
The-Aqua-Safe-Pure-Water-Shop
ROfilterDepot

I would use a canister filter if you are not going to use a sump. I have a sump and a canister filter. I mostly just use it for tank circulation and so I can drop in GAC, PhosGuard, Chemi-Pure, or Purigen

If you do go with a canister filter IMO the Eheim Ecco 2234 would be a waste of money considering it only does 145 gph. I have used the HOT Magnum 250 which does 250 gph for over 8 years (same one) without having to replace any parts and personally feel it’s one of the best. It also comes with a micron filter which polishes the water quickly if needed.

6 months ago I bought the Magnum 350 which only costs about $10 more and love it even more. Unlike the HOT 250 it doesn’t hang on the back and can be kept below the stand. It also does 350 gph.

With any canister you have to be diligent about keeping it clean (every other week) or else it could build up excess waste on the filter material and raise your no3. I’ve never experienced a no3 reading above 5 ppm and clean it every 2-3 weeks. For the last 6 months my no3 has been <2.5 ppm or undetectable. I should also mention I do 10-20% weekly or every other week depending on my schedule.
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Old 01-26-2006, 03:11 PM   #7
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I generally agree with the opinions here. Here are my humble ones:

get the remora with a MJ1200. $165 or so.
don't get a canister. waste of money right now.
Get a RODI from ebay as mentioned.
Get a new LFS. this one sounds like they don't know SW well.
Heater - get two 150 watt Ebo Jagers. in case one breaks your tank won't cool.
LR - hirocks base, plus as much as you can afford that's "real"
refractometer $45 drsfostersmith.com. hydrometers suck
2 MJ1200's or 3 MJ900s for flow. I use 900's because they use less power.
Use the standard lighting (or NO with SW bulb) for now. You need 6 mo of practice before you add corals.
yes, the ecco is nice, but spend the money on LR instead.
you'll need test kits. Salifert or seachem.
Shop around online so you know what you're looking for, even if you do decide to buy from an LFS.
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Old 01-30-2006, 12:34 AM   #8
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Thanks again for everyone's comments and suggestions...

I've talked to another LFS and decided to do the on-line route for at least some of my equipment. I need to go back and talk to the LSF when I'm ready to get my Live Rock and Substrate, but I might end up getting that on-line too depending on cost/quality, etc.

I've ordered the following stuff and am anxiously waiting so I can start my tank;

AquaC Remora Pro with Mag3 Pump
(2) Maxi-Jet 1200 Powerhead (295 gph)
150 watt Visi-Therm Stealth Heater
Oceanvisions - Crystal Black Background (didn't want to paint)
Portable Refractometer from drsfostersmith.com
Coralife 50/50 30W 36" lamp to go into the cheapy Fluorescent Fixture that came with my used tank (I know this will get upgraded down the road).
Seachem Basic Marine Test Kit
Misc. Electronic Stuff (Surge Strip, Timer, etc, and have installed GFCI Plug @ Wall)
Misc Cleaning Stuff/Nets/Scraper, etc

I'm also looking at getting a 25 Gal/day RO/DI system that I hope to get installed before the end of the week when I hope my stuff starts showing up.

I know there is more that I will need and the LR and Substrate will be a big expense, but hopefully this is a good chunk of the equipment I need to get started...

Anything big that I'm missing (except for LR and LS)?

TIA
SW2
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Old 01-31-2006, 12:42 AM   #9
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You're very much on the right track.

A few tips.

Put some foam between the tank and stand to help level it out. Measure your tank for level and shim it up if it's not right.

do a test-fill of the tank with tap water, to make sure it doesn't leak for a day or so, then drain/dry it. it could have shifted when you moved it.

get a dedicated "fish towel" and some new 5gal buckets (at least 3) and one 2.5 and one smaller one. With lids.

You might want to think about another PH and heater for mixing up water. with your size tank (like mine) 5g waterchanges should be all you need to handle at a a time.

Think about where you will put the tank. I like to leave some room to the nearest wall. Also think about whether you will want a sump in your stand, and if so, get one in there now before you fill the tank.

good luck
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Old 01-31-2006, 12:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaiden
Put some foam between the tank and stand to help level it out. Measure your tank for level and shim it up if it's not right.
What kind of foam are we talking about, and where might I find something that will work? I'm assuming it has to be fairly thin with a little cushioning... I am imagining the Foam Liner that you might use inside the drawers of a Tool Chest (sold at Sears and such), or something along those lines... am I going in the right direction?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaiden
You might want to think about another PH and heater for mixing up water. with your size tank (like mine) 5g waterchanges should be all you need to handle at a a time.
Where would I put this extra power head and heater... I havn't quite throught through the water change process yet...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaiden
good luck
Thanks for the good tips!

SW2
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