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Old 01-07-2004, 11:21 AM   #1
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Help Me Grow into a reef

Hello all, I'm a newbie of sorts and I was wondering if you"pros" could give me a little advice. I have a 46 gallon bow front, right now it's FOWLR, with a few hermits, snails, and emerald crabs. I'd like to grow into a mini - reef, nothing too serious, maybe some mushrooms, feather dusters, and anomies. My question is how to go about this. I need to figure out what equipment I need and budget it out over the next year.
Right now I have a wet/dry filter a red-sea prizim skimmer, approx 35 lbs of LR, a purple tang, 2 clowns, 1 royal grama, and a coral beauty. Any suggestions? Anything at all would be really appreciated....

PS - here's some pictures of my tank... http://members.aol.com/ptchfork/Tankmain.html

Thanks!! :P
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Old 01-07-2004, 12:18 PM   #2
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What is your lighting setup? With a 46 gallon your setup wouldn't really be considered a "mini-reef" you could have full blown reef tank. If you have low lighting then you may need to upgrade. Otherwise, you could add some more LR, test kits for calcium and alkalinity, some Ca and alk supplements and you would be good to go. Does the tank have good flow, a couple of powerheads? Anemones are difficult to keep and usually short lived in captivity. The only other thing to note is the coral beauty may nip at corals...something to consider if you are very attached to it.
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Old 01-07-2004, 01:25 PM   #3
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Right now, the light set up I have is the one I bought the tank with. (Sorry, I should have learned more going into it, but it was a wedding gift from my beloved, and I just got swept into it all) Anyway they're two florescent bulbs, I guess 30 wts. I've read about the PC lights, and I didn't know if I needed all this for the tank I was imagining.

The water flow is just water returning from the pump. Should I get a power head? I wasn't sure if this would hurt the fish (being a FWOLR tank and no corals.)

(Thanks for responding!)
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Old 01-07-2004, 01:40 PM   #4
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You should definitely get a powerhead or even 2, most fish love the current and it helps circulate water through the LR aiding in biofiltration. I recommend maxi-jets, they come with a screen that covers the intake to keep fishies from being sucked into the abyss.
Unless you think you might want to keep some light demanding hard corals down the road them PC lights would be fine. MH lights would be better, it really depends on how much you're willing to spend. With a couple of MH lamps you could keep just about anything your heart desired. With PC lights, I would shoot for between 5-6 watts per gallon, you can achieve this with a variety of length and/or wattages of lamps, this would depend on your canopy and space available.
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Old 01-07-2004, 04:23 PM   #5
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Again, thanks so much for the help! Can you clarify something though? How does the powerhead function without an underground filter? Does it just sit in the water (Attaches to the wall of the tank) I guess there's some sort of intake on the powerhead itslef? Also, you mention water flowing through the LR, should the powerhead be behing the rock?

Thanks again, I hope I'm not trying your patience.
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Old 01-07-2004, 05:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Does it just sit in the water (Attaches to the wall of the tank)
Exactly, most powerheads come with a hanger or suction cups to attach to the glass or top of the tank and can be used to drive a UGF or just pump water.

Quote:
Also, you mention water flowing through the LR, should the powerhead be behing the rock?
The idea behind the powerheads is twofold, one is to produce ocean like currents in your tank that will bring food and nutrients to inverts and corals, secondly the currents keep the water from becoming stagnant, improve gas exchange at the surface and bring the water into contact with the bacteria growing on LR that aid in bio-filtration. You can put multiple powerheads in different places to accomplish this. Many put one in each back corner directed towards each other so that the currents collide in the center of the tank. You could also put one further down in the tank behind the rock or wherever more current is need. Part of the fun is creating your own imitation of the ocean and recreating the environment from which your critters came.
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Old 01-07-2004, 05:26 PM   #7
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A power head not attatched to an underground filter just acts as a pump that circulates water in your tank. Yes, they just attatch to the side of your tank. You can position them where ever you want them. Most people have one on each side of the tank pointing towards eachother. This creates some nice turbulance where the streams meet. As was mentioned earlier, this will help stir up the waste on the rocks and substrate into the water column and into a skimmer or filter. There is as you mentioned an intake to the powerhead itsself. As far as putting one behind the rocks, you can if you want. You could have two or three of them in your tank and place one of them behind the rocks. HTH
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Old 01-07-2004, 05:27 PM   #8
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Darn, guess I was a little too slow on that response!
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Old 01-08-2004, 11:50 AM   #9
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Thanks guys I'll be buying powerheads this weekend and soon after that I'll hopefully be able to get PC lights. Thanks once again for your advice.
8)
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Old 01-08-2004, 11:32 PM   #10
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this is just me but coralife makes a surge protector / timer that has a great function for my powerheards where they turn on and off every 15 minutes. PC are very good lights but my tank is pretty bright with some nice VHO lights and my tang swims up next to the powerhead then rides it down its fun to watch with VHO's you may not be able to keep as many kinds of coral but if money is a problem then vho's will be ok but not suffecient for some corals. have fun

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