As agreed with melosu, i would say that live rock would be one form of filtration, since you are going to be using it. That would be biological filtration. Everyone seems to reccomend a skimmer for tanks 40G and over, and i would suggest that as well. So definitely get a skimmer. And don't skimp on the skimmer either since that plays a big role on how clean your water is. And clean water is always a plus.
One thing to take into consideration is the livestock you will be getting. You say you are starting a FOWLR
, but then are changing over to a reef? Well if this is the case, you are going to want to watch out for the things you buy. Don't buy a fish now for your FOWLR
, that will eat all of your corals when you DO start adding corals. It's not fair to you, that fish, and the corals lol.
And about the sump. If you are going to be getting a sump, but later down the road, you will want to figure out ahead of time what type of skimmer you would want. I had the same point of view as you now, "i'll just setup a sump in a month or two, because i don't really need it right now." Well now, i really can't get a sump, since i went ahead and bought a HOB
skimmer. The HOB
skimmer only sits in about 3 inches of water of my tank.. so just imagine how difficult it would be to fit it in the sump, considering you can't have a water level that is overflowing out of your sump.. lol. To fix that problem, you would need to extend the PVC
of the intake on the skimmer.. and that would decrease the skimmers efficiency since the pump would have to work harder to push the water up that extra bit of PVC
. Unless you get a new pump for the skimmer.. it wouldn't work as well as it should. Now i am stuck with the fact that i am going to have to buy a HOB
refugium, since it's the only alternative i can have, since im definitely not buying another skimmer.
See, there's alot of planning to do in saltwater, and things you definitely want to think about before you go ahead and do them. Thinking of all the possibilities will be a better experience for you, and will save you money down the road. I figured that out the hard way.
Another thing is, that people usually slack on the RO
water part of SW
, and some don't even use RO
water. Those are the people that you see with headaches from constantly batteling with bad algae and diatoms. You really don't want to be in that situation, because over time, you will just get disgusted of the tank, and having to clean it up so freaking much. It's just so worth it to use RO
water or get an RO
unit that can provide you with an unlimited amount of RO
Since you plan to have a reef, i would suggest looking for lights now. lol. Lights will be the most expensive part of your SW
journey. Whether you want metal halides which are expensive as heck, or T5 High Outputs which are less money, but still great for coral. I have a Current USA fixture right now that had 6 bulbs, each 54watts. With that i can house just about every type of coral, and clams. So just think of that.. And that costed me around 340$. So yeah, lighting is a pain in the butt. I'm not too sure on the dimensions of your tank, but my depth is 21". So i have that fixture over 21" of water, and i can house all those things i talked about. I would also suggest not to slack in the lighting department because you can wind up not liking the pick of corals you can have, with some junky light, and will wind up spending more money, getting rid of that junky fixture, and then buying a whole new one that is better. So i say buy the good one now, and save money.
Hope this helped. I tried. :p