I am a newbie planning my first tank. I stopped in my local pet store http://www.preusspets.com
- a store with which I have been very impressed. They place beautiful tanks all over town, in the theatre, post office, and stores. They seem to have an extensive selection of coral, fish, and equipment. Their reputation in the local community is excellent.
I ordered a 46 gallon bow-front tank and stand, made by all glass aquariums http://www.all-glass.com
($350) and plan to get the following additions -
a 36 inch Formosa DX lamp ($250)
2 MaxiJet 1200 Powerheads ($70 total)
A skimmer, 20 long sump, return pump, spillbox, and plumbing ($540)
Premixed saltwater ($50)
Live Rock ($300 plus/minus $100)
Test Kit ($10)
This gives me a total setup for about $1,700 plus fish and coral.
In trying to plan this tank I've read a book and a lot of web postings and there are a number of places where the LFS
and the stuff I've read disagree. I'm looking for some consensus or guidance as to why something applies or does not apply to my situation.
1. Active charcoal - the book says use it and replace trace ions. One person at the pet store says use it in moderation and not worry about the trace ions, another says it'll lose effectiveness quickly and removes too much good stuff so stay away.
2. What else do I add to the setup - and at what cost? I'm already adding a UPS for the heater and a battery backed up airstone (for power outages), a thermometer, a turkey baster and razor blades - all at minimal cost.
The book strongly recommends a quarantine tank (pet store says that'd add about $100) and while they encourage me to do that they say they do a pretty good job of preparing the fish and they think I would get more safety by adding a UV
sterilizer ($150) to the system. They showed me a white spot I would have never spotted on a fish in one of the fish in their main tank and said that it was almost impossible to get rid of the ich that caused those spots in a tank with corals, but that having a UV
sterilizer on the system allowed the fish to keep it in check. Sounds to me like I'll need to add one or both of these or I'll be sunk.
3. How much water do I change and how often - LFS
said 25% of tank size monthly, book says 5-10% every 2 weeks.
Any comments/suggestions would be appreciated.