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Old 07-20-2012, 01:42 AM   #1
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Back in the salt...75g FOWLR

Hey Everyone,

I've been lurking and learning all over again. Great site here with plenty of knowledge and even more ingenuity. I had a previous go with salt many years ago when I had a 11g reef in my office. long story longer...it ended up getting neglected and went bye bye

Fast forward to about 3.5 weeks ago when I finally decided to put some water in the 75g tank that had been sitting empty for nearly 6 years. We moved it downstairs and went to work. This was all given to me for free by a family member that has been into saltwater aquariums since he was in grade school.

This will be a FOWLR tank for now. I might want to convert to a full reef with corals down the road....I will be adding probably 30-40lbs more live rock over the next month or two.


The only things I have bought so far is a new heater rated for 200g, a Koralia evolution 1400 (will buy another), salt, 60lbs of CaribSea live sand, 20 lbs of base rock and 30 lbs of live rock, marine test kit.

I filled it with water and let it run for 2 days with filters on, added salt to get my salinity to .023, waited 2 days and added live sand, base and live rock...I then waited 2 weeks and then added 2 blue damsels as my water parameters were good.

current water parameters are AM-0, N02 -0, N03-15ppm. Salinity .023, PH 8.0... I did a 10g water change 2 days ago and N03 is still at 15ppm

My current filtration setup is 6+ years old. I'd like to get rid of the 2 hand on the back bio wheel filters if possible but I'm not sure that the sump I have would handle the load of the tank.

1. Can I get rid of these filters? These are my only form of chemical filtration. What are some newer options that would do the same thing but not with all the noise? These things are loud as can be and i also like the look of a clean tank back without a bunch of stuff hanging off the back.

2. I'm not really sure if this under cabinet system should be called a wet/dry or a sump??? It has a built in skimmer but it looks to be very dated based on the looks of all the new ones. Also from what I'v been reading, the best skimmers are the separate units? I've also noticed from reading that alot of people think bio balls are a thing of the past. Like everything, things are constantly changing.

3. I'm hoping that someone can make some suggestions on my system. Any noticeable changes I should make? I want it to be as maintenance free as possible, quiet and reliable. I don't mind spending some money to do it right.

4. I want to upgrade the lighting soon but I'm not sure if T5's are the way to go as I might want to start housing some corals down the road...10-12 months. I really like the looks of the LED but it seems like they aren't quite there yet when it comes to aquarium lighting.

I look forward to you guys and gals edumacaten me
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Old 07-20-2012, 10:28 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TroutBum23 View Post
1. Can I get rid of these filters? These are my only form of chemical filtration. What are some newer options that would do the same thing but not with all the noise? These things are loud as can be and i also like the look of a clean tank back without a bunch of stuff hanging off the back.

2. I'm not really sure if this under cabinet system should be called a wet/dry or a sump??? It has a built in skimmer but it looks to be very dated based on the looks of all the new ones. Also from what I'v been reading, the best skimmers are the separate units? I've also noticed from reading that alot of people think bio balls are a thing of the past. Like everything, things are constantly changing.

3. I'm hoping that someone can make some suggestions on my system. Any noticeable changes I should make? I want it to be as maintenance free as possible, quiet and reliable. I don't mind spending some money to do it right.

4. I want to upgrade the lighting soon but I'm not sure if T5's are the way to go as I might want to start housing some corals down the road...10-12 months. I really like the looks of the LED but it seems like they aren't quite there yet when it comes to aquarium lighting.

I look forward to you guys and gals edumacaten me
1)Yes you can especially with FOWLR chemical filtration isn't really needed. If you want to add something for chemical filtration go look into reactors.

2) It looks like a sump but kinda hard to tell. Wet/dry has water trickling on/over the media. Sumps are just secondary bodies of water used to house equipment/media. I would give the skimmer a shot before tossing it. See how it skims for you before deciding to drop 200+ on a new one. Yes bio-balls are a thing of the past now. I'd get rid of them and just focus on getting good rock with good flow in the DT.

3) I'd drop the HOBs. Still keep one in case you do need to run a chemical filter for a bit but no need to be on 24/7 and they tend to become "nitrate factories" unless you are really good at maintaining them. You may want to change the background to a black one as I find it makes the fish pop quite a bit better then one with a picture.

4) t5ho tends to be the most economical up front but LED's have made a lot of strides recently and end up being cheaper in the long run. With LEDS you wont need to buy new bulbs every year, use a fraction of the electricity, and produce a lot less heat.
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Old 07-20-2012, 02:36 PM   #3
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i had a few more questions below in red


Quote:
Originally Posted by shady3210 View Post
1)Yes you can especially with FOWLR chemical filtration isn't really needed. If you want to add something for chemical filtration go look into reactors.

2) It looks like a sump but kinda hard to tell. Wet/dry has water trickling on/over the media. Sumps are just secondary bodies of water used to house equipment/media. I would give the skimmer a shot before tossing it. See how it skims for you before deciding to drop 200+ on a new one. Yes bio-balls are a thing of the past now. I'd get rid of them and just focus on getting good rock with good flow in the DT.
the water flows from the tank thru a u shaped piece of tubing, down into the left side of the under tank unit....then it fills up the left side and over flows the ledge, letting the water trickle over the bio balls, then moves thru a large sponge that catches debris and into the collecting area where it is then pumped back into the tank.

3) I'd drop the HOBs. Still keep one in case you do need to run a chemical filter for a bit but no need to be on 24/7 and they tend to become "nitrate factories" unless you are really good at maintaining them. You may want to change the background to a black one as I find it makes the fish pop quite a bit better then one with a picture.
I though about changing the background...problem is I only have 8" from the back of the tank to the wall...How do they become nitrate factories? i thought that was the though on the bio balls???

4) t5ho tends to be the most economical up front but LED's have made a lot of strides recently and end up being cheaper in the long run. With LEDS you wont need to buy new bulbs every year, use a fraction of the electricity, and produce a lot less heat.
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Old 07-20-2012, 07:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TroutBum23
i had a few more questions below in red
HOB filters become nitrate factories the same way as bio balls. If you don't clean the filter enough the bacteria will break down the proteins into nitrates in the filter. With a skimmer in your sump you shouldn't need to worry about proteins so you'll only need a job skimmer for chem filtration if you find it's needed as you get established.
Your sump looks like it can be converted into a refugium easily enough. Loose the balls and filter and replace with rocks ( eventually live). I would also loose the top and add a light ask you can put plants like cheato in there to consume the nitrates. A deep sand bed (DSB) is also an option in the fuge but I would research it first. It can be added later if you decide to go that way. You may need to add a baffle between the fuge and return section but I can tell in that photo
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Old 07-21-2012, 12:06 PM   #5
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I was told yesterday by the LFS that i have a wet/dry style filter and that I need to remove the built in skimmer, remove the bio balls and then add a new submersible skimmer in the area where the bio balls are.

Do you guys and gals see any problems with this?
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Old 07-21-2012, 03:40 PM   #6
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Did they (LFS) tell you should buy that new skimmer from them also lol lose the bio balls and run the old skimmer if it's a fail then would i spend the cash
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