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Old 03-19-2004, 11:43 AM   #1
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Equipment Recommendation Request

After a 10 year absence from marine fish keeping, I am researching equipment to use in the set-up of a 72 gallon, reef-ready, Oceanic bowfront tank and would welcome any recommendations or advice. The tank will be FO and I do not ever anticipate migrating to a reef tank. Expected bio-load is moderate, perhaps a couple of clowns, royal gramma, yellow tang and puffer. Aquascaping will be a combination of dead natural coral and synthetic coral. A sump is a likely FUTURE addition. Biological filtration via LR is also a possible FUTURE addition due to cost (I believe I understand the benefits of cycling using uncured LR, but again, it's a cost constraint). My questions:
1. Assuming the use of no LR, can anyone provide recommendations for suitable filtration equipment, water movement equipment and substrate? My preference is to locate the filtration in the cabinet.
2. Is there a "middle ground" approach where I could use, say 30 pounds of LR and let this turn the dead coral into LR over time? I can be extremely patient while the process plays out.
3. Any thoughts on the need for a skimmer and if so, brand/model recommendations?
4. Is mechanical filtration required for water clarity and if so, how to approach?
5. I have access to several large pieces of dead Florida coral that have been used as garden decoration for about 40 years. The pieces may have been painted about 25 years ago and exposed to the elements since. Would these be suitable for use after a thorough cleaning?

Thanks in advance for any response. My experience and research seem to have provided me with a better knowledge base than any LFS (they all seem to recommend what they sell, imagine that!) thus, advice from members of this forum will be most appreciated. Regards to all.
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Old 03-19-2004, 10:54 PM   #2
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Re: Equipment Recommendation Request

Quote:
Originally Posted by OneBowl
1. Assuming the use of no LR, can anyone provide recommendations for suitable filtration equipment, water movement equipment and substrate? My preference is to locate the filtration in the cabinet.
In this case, I would go with a sump style wet/dry filter. For substrate, I would go with a coarse aragonite rather than CC. It will help with keeping the alk levels up and pH stable.

Quote:
2. Is there a "middle ground" approach where I could use, say 30 pounds of LR and let this turn the dead coral into LR over time? I can be extremely patient while the process plays out.
Yes, you can do this. I have started a couple of tanks using part LR and base rock for the rest. The base rock will become LR in time. Beware that you will need better lighting for this though. VHO, T-5, or PC would work well.

Quote:
3. Any thoughts on the need for a skimmer and if so, brand/model recommendations?
IMO, you need a skimmer. Opinions will vary on this though. If anyone is willing to drink a weeks worth of skimate from the collection cup, I will agree that they don't need a skimmer . For an HOB skimmer, I would suggest a Remora Pro with a Mag 3 pump. For an external skimmer, I would go with an Aqua C EV 120 or 180. For an in sump model, I would suggest either the Aqua C EV or an ASM/Euroreef...probably the G-3 in an ASM.

Quote:
4. Is mechanical filtration required for water clarity and if so, how to approach?
Not really. You can use a filter pad or bag as long as you keep it changed regularly. A combination of a good skimmer and the occasional use of GAC should keep the water clear.

Quote:
5. I have access to several large pieces of dead Florida coral that have been used as garden decoration for about 40 years. The pieces may have been painted about 25 years ago and exposed to the elements since. Would these be suitable for use after a thorough cleaning?
I wouldn't chance it if they have ever been painted. Coral is porous and could have absorbed harmful elements from the paint that even a thorough cleaning would not remove. JMHO.

Quote:
Thanks in advance for any response. My experience and research seem to have provided me with a better knowledge base than any LFS (they all seem to recommend what they sell, imagine that!) thus, advice from members of this forum will be most appreciated. Regards to all.
You're quite welcome. Often, the LFS will not give the best advice. Not to say you shouldn't listen to them, but I would verify anything they told me.
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Old 03-22-2004, 10:18 AM   #3
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Logan J,

Thanks so much for the recommendations; I appreciate it. I will keep them in mind during my shopping. Wish me luck with the tank.

Regards.
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