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Old 01-20-2005, 03:21 PM   #1
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Help with new setup

With my tax return $ I'm going to buy either a 55 or 70 gal. setup for my basement. It will be a peaceful tank w/ probably 75lbs of LR and 2-3" of sand I know all the basics for the fish, cycling, feeding etc. but I don't know too much about all the other stuff like powerheads skimmers filters and all that junk. I was having a conversation with a buddy of mine who swears up and down on his undergravel filter with 4-6" of cc on top. Now everywhere else I read about this stuff says the exact opposite. I've read that undergravel filters aren't sufficiant for sw setups, and cc is high maint. What am I supposed to believe?
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Old 01-20-2005, 03:37 PM   #2
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You will get varied replies even here.

You would use the powerheads to maintain the flow in the tank usually 10x the tank capacity in an hour or up to 20x for a reef setup.

Skimmers are not a necessity but will help keep excess nitrients down by removing them, many do not use them.

The filters again depend on your tank setup. If you are already planning on LR you can upgrade the amount to 1.5-2 lbs per gal and no other filtration will be required other than a skimmer is recommended. Mechanical filters if not cleaned regularly will cause nitrate problems like UGF & CC.

As for the UGF and CC substrate you can use them but both require much more maint. than a DSB. The UGF will need to be cleaned out every 6-12 months to remove the buildup below. The CC will also have a buildup of detritus and unless vacuumed regularly will cause problems with high nitrates. The DSB will help remove nitrates if setup with 4-6 inches of depth.

HTH. I am sure others will give much more and better info than I can.
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Old 01-20-2005, 04:56 PM   #3
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What a good way to spend some extra money. (we have not had a tax return in years, guess it is time for a kid ) IMO, a DSB would be a much better choice then an UGF and CC. A skimmer is also highly recommended. The first thing you should purchase is a good book. I like "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" by Robert Fenner. It is full of great info on getting started. I would also suggest a 75gal over a 55gal. Get as big of tank as you can to start out, it will make things easier an lessen the desire to "upgrade" so quickly.
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Old 01-20-2005, 05:16 PM   #4
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I have The Conscientious Marine Aquarist, great book.
Here's a pm this guy just sent me.

Shopping list
1. Standard combo tank setup - (try to order/upgrade to 60 or 60+ gal high) 55gal tank, stand, hood, lights.
2. Aquaclear 5000 backfilter. (can also buy a small biobead bag in this filter along with your standard charcoal bag if you think you need it, you will not)
3. Undergravel plastic (55 gal size (12in by 4ft - will come in one box w/2 plates)
4. 1 powerhead (larger the better (biggest they have) - any big one can adjust flow down)
5. Several bags crushed coral (enough for at least 4-5 inches on tank bottom)
6. Two medium sized heaters (not one big one).
7. 1 large bag of salt and salinity tester and thermometer.
THAT'S IT

You do not need
Air pump / aerator
Bio Balls, seperate tank, or extra pumps.
Protein skimmer
any canister filtration system
NO chemicals
NO other tester kits (just salinity/salt)
(the only thing I ever use is water 'conditoner' that removes chlorine/amonnia from tap water if I have to make a 'quick' water change, It is always better to mix your salt water and let it sit 2 days before adding tapwater to a live tank. You will not need, as you should set up your tank, wait 2 days, then add fish. Remember, anytime you add ANY chemicals, your f'ing up your (naturally good)buffer.


I really want to believe this guy cause it would be a lot cheaper, but it just seems too easy lol!
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Old 01-20-2005, 05:53 PM   #5
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Wow, not sure were to start that info. 8O Tank size, like I said, get the largest tank you can right of the bat. Try to avoid "high" models as they have less surface area for gas exchange and are harder to get light to penetrate all the way to the bottom (inportant if you ever want to hadd corals). UGF are old technology. Not many people use them in SW anymore. CC will work fine as a substrate but it does require regular maintanance in order to keep nitrates down, LS is a better choice. Decide what filtration system you are going to use. The Berlin method (lots of LR and DSB with aggressive skimming) is about the best natual biological filtration. You really shoudl get a test kit for Ph, SG, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate. They are considered essential. If you can get away from using tap water, that is best. try to buy RO/DI water, although it is easier to use conditioned tap water to start and RO/DI water for changes an top-offs. It is important to keep in mind that everyone has their own way doing things, and there are several ways that may be correct. Based on my experience, and the experience of many other on this site, the above info has worked well for a lot of poeple. good luck...Lando
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Old 01-20-2005, 05:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Shopping list
1. Standard combo tank setup - (try to order/upgrade to 60 or 60+ gal high) 55gal tank, stand, hood, lights.
2. Aquaclear 5000 backfilter. (can also buy a small biobead bag in this filter along with your standard charcoal bag if you think you need it, you will not)
3. Undergravel plastic (55 gal size (12in by 4ft - will come in one box w/2 plates)
4. 1 powerhead (larger the better (biggest they have) - any big one can adjust flow down)
5. Several bags crushed coral (enough for at least 4-5 inches on tank bottom)
6. Two medium sized heaters (not one big one).
7. 1 large bag of salt and salinity tester and thermometer.
THAT'S IT
Quote:
You do not need
Protein skimmer
...
NO other tester kits (just salinity/salt)
Who the heck sent you that? 8O Seriously, that information may have worked 20 years ago, but very few people would tell you to attempt that now. CC, power filters, and UGFs all collect waste like crazy, this would lead to very high nitrates and poor water quality with all of that waste always in the water stream. Going with protein skimmers and a lot of live rock helps break down the waster or remove it from the tank entirely, which leads to a much healthier environment for fish and particularly inverts + corals.
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Old 01-20-2005, 06:05 PM   #7
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"Who the heck sent you that? Seriously, that information may have worked 20 years ago, but very few people would tell you to attempt that now."
Kinda what I was thinking...
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