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Old 03-01-2005, 11:57 PM   #1
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How is this for a new setup

I am looking to get a saltwater aquarium (fish only) and have been quoted the setup below. One supplier quoted with live rock & Bioballs..while the other told me I could only do one of the other (otherwise my nitrates would be constantly high). Which is correct??

120 Gallon Tank
Wet/Dry 125S w/ Bioballs
Skimmer 150 Motor
Magdrive 9.5 950GPH
CS Aragonite
WB Heater Titan 300
CL Turbo Twist UV 18 Watt
AS Powerhead
Overflow Accessory Kit
plus tubing, therm, stand, canopy, etc.

** the other company quoted 50lbs of live rock (which according to what I read is too little.) Can I have both bioballs and 50lb live? Does it serve any purpose?

Any advise is appreciated.


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Old 03-02-2005, 12:10 AM   #2
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I would go with 2 smaller heaters than one big one. For a 120, I would have at least 2 PH's to move the water around. I have a Mag 9.5 on my 60 gallon... for a 120 I'm not sure if it'll be too small. How many returns are you thinking of having? Not sure of a need for a UV sterilizer if you're going with Fish Only. 50 pounds of LR is way too little if you want to rely on it for 100% of your bio filtration. 200 pounds is more like it... and 240 is nicer... if you can afford it. You can have bioballs if you want, but most here would stay away from it now adays since they can gather crud that can raise your nitrates. Why not use LR rubble instead in your sump and use a DSB to help? Just a suggestion.

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Old 03-02-2005, 12:19 AM   #3
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I would opt for the lr and skip the bio balls as their notorious for high no3. You could start out with 50 pounds of lr with no problem as i did with my 150 but you will want o add more as time goes on, You will certainly need more than a mag 9 pump. I would bump up to a mag 18 or you will need to add 3 or 4 ph's to keep the flow good. A good rule of thumb is to turn the tank's water at least 10-15 times per hour and a mag 9 by the time you add the necassary hose to it as far as head pressure goes will likely be in the 500 gallon range. I'm struggling with this right now as my mag 18 just isnt enough for my 150. You will want to have some sort of a sand bed and I would opt for a dsb in the 5 inch range, this will aid in the bio carrying load of the entire tank. With a dsb and lr you will have a healthy tank in time. I would also opt for two smaller heaters instead of one larger one so if you have one fail you have a back up and if one goes crazy and sticks on it wont boil your tank over. The uv is unnessary as far as I'm concerned but some swear by them.
Just keep asking questions and I cant stress this enough as eager as you may be take your time, research everything out and do it right the first time or you will spend a fortune redoing it in 6 months.
Sounds like you have a plan set so go for it and good luck.
150 rr Oceanic, 300 pound lr,250 pounds ls, lps's, polyp's,soft corals, sps's,
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Old 03-02-2005, 12:52 AM   #4
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This is where I am not clear... One supplier has no live rock.. wants me to use the bioballs and run copper once I am ready for fish. The other supplier has 50lbs live plus the bioballs (no copper). Which one is better long term or do I go no bioballs at all? Both of them did quote with bioballs in the sump and both are reputable "higher end" tropical fish stores.. meanwhile most things I read do not recommend bioballs.

As far as 2 heaters - no problem that is an easy fix..actually one guy suggested 2 X 200watt

I will look into either a mag 18 or 3 to 4 powerheads - does the skimmer (150motor) plus the powerhead 600 plus the Mag9.5 equate to additional flow?? sorry if this does not make sense!

He is including a sand bed(i believe CS Argonite 40 - quantity 2) ... but I am sure it is not live as he wants to add the copper.
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Old 03-02-2005, 01:20 AM   #5
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Don't run copper!!!!!!!

Eventually you may want to house inverts/corals -- the copper will stay in your tank/sand/rock -- and will ultimately harm/kill them.
180 gal Acrylic, 250 lbs Fiji/Tonga mix, 3x175 watt MH & 2X96 watt PC, 1/5hp Arctica chiller, EV-180 skimmer
Brown Tang, mated pair Clowns, 4 Fire Gobies, 13 Chromis, Orangespotted Sleeper Goby

Some corals and inverts yet to be identified!
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Old 03-02-2005, 02:41 AM   #6
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The setup is going along the right lines but could use fine tuning. Great size starter tank. Maybe replace the wet/dry with a sump/refugium. That will allow a place for macroalgae and pod growth as well as a location for other equipment(skimmer, heater). As for powerheads the minimum turnover for a fowlr is 10x hr so add several PH to give a more random current or even put in a closed loop with a SCWD. The aragonite sand is great but to aid in nitrate export you need a bed of at least 4 inches. As stated above you would be better off with two smaller heaters rather than a single larger one as this will help if one fails. Since this is a new setup you should think about a drilled tank and avoid the overflow. You will be happier with that in the long run. This is a lot to absorb and the best thing to do now is find a great book and read up. Good luck
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Old 03-03-2005, 11:53 PM   #7
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Got rid on Bioballs...and UV and got 120lbs Tonga and Figi LR
Got a 2nd Heater
Upgraded to a Mag 1200
Was told we could always add Powerheads later but since I am not starting with any corals I should be ok.

Anything I am missing or forgetting?
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Old 03-04-2005, 10:11 AM   #8
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First off...Welcome to AquariumAdivce.com!!!
Wet/Dry 125S w/ Bioballs
remove the bioballs and go with LR rubble in their place. It is a much better filter media then he bioballs.
Magdrive 9.5 950GPH
I would try a Mag 12
WB Heater Titan 300
Agree with two heaters. a couple 200-250watts should b good.
CL Turbo Twist UV 18 Watt
Not rally needed in the begining, spend the money on LR
AS Powerhead
That size tank will need three or four Powerheads. I like the Maxi-jet 1200.
wants me to use the bioballs and run copper once I am ready for fish
NOOOOO! Never run copper in the main tank. A very bad thing.
Pick up a copy of "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" by Robert Fenner. A great book!
I would get as much LR as you can to start with. Check out www.liverocks.com for some of the best around!
Some people are like slinkies...they serve no real purpose yet can still bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs!:p
Have a great day! Brian
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Old 03-04-2005, 10:43 AM   #9
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Run as fast as you can from the LFS that says No LR and use balls and run copper. This guy is so Old School that its nto funny.

Sounds like your on the right track now... LR is the best filtration you can get.
I would go with a sump and skip the W/D. Sump is great place for skimmer, heater and return pumps.
Good choice on getting more LR.
What are you using for a substraight? Sand?

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7/03-55 FOWLR 60lb LR, 50 lb SD sand 2x40 NO strip light, Reef Devil/sump, Fuge

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