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View Poll Results: What's the most important item to buy first, other than the live rock?
Sump 5 22.73%
Protein Skimmer 15 68.18%
Refugium 2 9.09%
Voters: 22. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-02-2004, 12:37 AM   #1
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getting a big check

Hi guys,

I am fairly new to salt water and have a basic starter tank atm with about 30 lbs of live rock, 1 damsel, and 3 astrea snails. I am getting a rather large check next week and I'm thinking about really getting my tank some upgrades.

My tank is only running an emporer 400, but from what my guy at the LFS tells me, he's known people that have made it work just fine for a 55 gal. So basically that's all there is to the tank. the emp 400, the 55gal tank, 3 bags of live sand, the damsel, and 3 Astrea snails. Some ideas of potential buys i've got from you guys by reading these boards are the following:

1. Sump pump?
2. Protein skimmer
3. more live rock
4. Refugium

Keep in mind I want this tank to be completely biologically filtered. so my emporer is pretty much just for water flow, although I am running a net of AC in the filter to lower my amonia levels. I just added 15 pounds of my 30 about a week ago. So i won't be completely cycled for another week. The Damsel was a bad idea I realize now, but the high levels don't seem to be bothering him.

I also plan to buy the liverock from liverocks.com and plan to get lighting and coral in the near future since I only have white light atm. So will probably have lighting installed before I order the rock since i know the liverocks from this site contain coral on them. Any recommendations on the lighting? The fixture on my tank now has only 2 lights total under it ( 2x 24" bulbs) do i need to get a 4 bulb fixture so i can mix in the blue lighting?

I know these are a lot of questions, TIA for your time.

picture of my tank is here

www.thehumanimalshow.com/images/55wdams.jpg
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Old 01-02-2004, 02:44 AM   #2
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Hey
I am happy to see your buying more rock Anyway I really t ink one of the most if not the most imporant for my tank is my refugium. It has help with alage, mopre water voulme, food, temp hold, and sooooo much more.
Zack
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Old 01-02-2004, 11:56 AM   #3
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The refugium will do more for you than the protein skimmer. The skimmer only takes out DOC. The refugium can take care of the DOC biologically and adds additional water to your system. It also helps feed fish and corals by allowing pods to multiply in safety. With mine, I stopped doing water changes and let all my filtration get taken care of with my refugium. (and live rock, of course) Many will recommend running a protein skimmer along with a refugium.
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Old 01-02-2004, 12:16 PM   #4
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I would suggest building a refugium.. its easy to do.. hehe then again I like all DIY projects...
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Old 01-02-2004, 12:45 PM   #5
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hrmm, looks like it's time for DIY MAN! hehe, need to do some research on refugiums i guess, I think i'll go ahead and get a PS too.

screw the sump hehe.

As far as lighting though, are there bulbs that I can get that will be effective enough for coral? I have 2x 24" bulb fixtures...one on each side of the tank.
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Old 01-02-2004, 12:53 PM   #6
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4x65watt power compacts would do you good on that tank.
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Old 01-02-2004, 01:10 PM   #7
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I think the three of them are too tied together to put them in a particular order. It would all depend on what methods you implement in your tank.

A sump can reduce DOC's by acting as a settling chamber in which you can siphon out a ton of detritus.

An efficient skimmer can remove quite a bit on its own, but having a sump/refugium or not should be known prior to purchase to ensure you get the appropriate type (HOB or inline...the latter is much more efficient in most cases).

The refugium will depend on what macroalgae you culture and how much...some performs better than others at uptaking nutrients. Detritus can also buildup in them which would collect nutrients faster than macroalgae could remove it.

IMO, a complete plan would be the most ideal, having all necessary components from the very beginning of the tank.
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Old 01-02-2004, 01:55 PM   #8
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Of the three of them I would go with a sump. The reason is that unless you do a hang on skimmer you will get a skimmer that sits in your sump. a skimmer like that is useless unless you already have the sump.

You can build a sump and refuge relitivly cheaply.
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Old 01-02-2004, 03:35 PM   #9
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Of the three of them I would go with a sump. The reason is that unless you do a hang on skimmer you will get a skimmer that sits in your sump. a skimmer like that is useless unless you already have the sump.

You can build a sump and refuge relitivly cheaply.
Agreed

My sump I built for about $10.00 total..

James
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Old 01-02-2004, 03:53 PM   #10
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I think in the beginning a skimmer is the best investment because as easy as we make a refugium sound, it can go bad quick fast and in a hurry if something goes sexual. Im doing a diy refugium and im almost done if you wana see pics of it and ill help if you need it. A sump is a good idea and so is a fuge but if youre new to sw then do the skimmer first and read and research about a refugium. Sump would be #2 on the list for necessary parts or just buy the sump and skimmer together.
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