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Old 03-23-2004, 04:54 PM   #1
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How would *you* set up?

OK, my 72 gallon reef ready tank is on its way, destined to be a fish only system forever with a moderate bio-load. Just when I think I've convinced myself that a wet-dry filter system, Oceanic or Amiracle, is the way to go (via many, many hours of research), I read some article or opinion that partly or completely trashes this approach. This includes comments on wetwebmedia.com. So, let me take this approach: assuming that LR and a DSB are at least a year away, how would *you* set up filtration for this tank? Is a canister filter in the mix? TIA. I'll speculate that your responses will be very, very helpful in assisting novices to navigate some confusing territory, so thanks again.
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Old 03-23-2004, 05:03 PM   #2
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For a strictly FO setup (this assumes as you've said that you won't go reef down the road). The wet-dry would be fine, the only downside being you may have elevated nitrates due to a lack of denitrifying bacteria. The nitrate problem can be controlled with either a refuge, a protein skimmer (I would plan on a skimmer anyways), and regular water changes. If you plan on getting like 75-100lbs of LR then you may want to get a canister filter instead of the wet-dry. Adding LR down the road would be no problem you can always add LR like 5lbs at a time as your budget allows until you have the desired amount. Once you get enough LR you can remove the filter media from the canister and use the return for flow only or running GAC. The LR IMO is a better means of bilogical filtration and can really aid in keeping nitrates under control. Adding a DSB down the road is a do-able but can be messy in a set up tank. You can use dry sand for the initial set up and as you add LR critters will migrate in the sand making live. HTH

Just out of curiousity, what part of PA are you in?
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Old 03-23-2004, 05:27 PM   #3
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Not all that far away from Lancaster. Located in the metropolis of Coopersburg, about 5 miles south of Allentown on the way to Philly.
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Old 03-23-2004, 11:20 PM   #4
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Greetings gentlemen, I am from PA as well...small world.

I agree with jackdp, and would like to add that you might want to look at some aquacultured lr (see http://www.liverocks.com/) mixed with less expensive base rock. I have been adding base rock to my 45g tank (to get me up to 1.5lb/ g), my lfs has it for $1.19 lb. You can get it online at many lr dealers or even www.hirocks.com. You basically just set it under your lr and forget it, then as the weeks and months go by it becomes populated and live. Based on this, you could do 30lb lr, + 60lb base for just over $200! Less than the cost of a wet/dry! You could run an emporer 400 hob as the base rock is populating, then just use it for carbon filtration. I have this on my 45, it is huge and it seems to be twice as fast cycling water as I need. It has 2 containers (like the canisters do) for adding gac or other media. It is a little noisy compared to a canister but half the cost, so the choice is yours. I only run mine a once in a while now.

You will be happy later on if you go with lr, so will your fish! also the cost of fake decorations can get really costly, easily $100-200! When you look at it that way, the decorations and hiding spots + wet/dry it could cost more than lr!

Take care and keep us posted-
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Old 03-24-2004, 09:39 AM   #5
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Thanks!

Thanks for the great advice. I think I'm now a LR convert. The long term economics and other advantages of LR seem hard to refute, so here's the plan: cycle using about 30-60 pounds of base rock, about 40 pounds of LR, possibly 10 pounds of LS on a bed of base sand, run a canister (which I have) until I have adequate biological filtration through the LR/LS. Heater and protein skimmer in a sump. That leaves me with 3 questions and I'd welcome opinions on those. 1) Assuming a 10-15 gallon sump, what to use for powering return flow to the tank? Iwaki? Other recs? 2) I'll still need powerhead(s) for water movement, so I can't get rid of all equipment from the tank, right? How many? 3) What's appropriate lighting for the above set-up with LR? Thanks again. All responses are appreciated. AA members are great.
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Old 03-24-2004, 10:04 AM   #6
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I would stick a 55 gallon fuge under it, but thats just me
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Old 03-24-2004, 10:31 AM   #7
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I would say 2 300-400 gph powerheads should do it.

Probably 200w of pc lighting minimum, maybe three 10000k and one actinic, assuming a 4 bulb (55-65w) fixture - the other reefers can respond here - this will likely be your most affordable route and it is not nessesary for the lr or br to have it, it will only promote coraline algae growth and allow you to get anenomes, and some low light corals. You can add it any time.

Dont know about the fuge, I have not added mine yet, but I will go with as large as will fit under my cabinet (probably a 15g tall).

Sounds like your on the right track with the lr, that is the decision that I made also. (just that i did not know about the base rock option like you do!)
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