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Old 03-12-2005, 04:17 PM   #1
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in midst of research, but i've got ?'s

Ok... I'm reading the books and every website I can find... but maybe y'all can point me in the right direction...

This is what i have now:
unused 30g tall
hang on back filter
96watt pc lighting

I'd like to do a fish or two with easy corals... should I replace the 30tall with a 20 or 25 for better light penetration? The 30tall with this stand is hard for me to manage... am I better off keeping the 30, and biting the bullet for metal halide? Could I wait a few months before I do that?

I figure I need about 45lbs live rock, not sure how much sand? Southdown is not available, what brand of sand to use?

Do I need 2 powerheads for movement? or 3? do I keep the hang on back then? I don't know if I could put a sump together....

I want to get a skimmer for it, is that something i'll need right away?

mostly i just need help thinking through this project... i dont want to jump in too fast!

That'll do pig, that'll do
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Old 03-12-2005, 04:36 PM   #2
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You are at the lower end for the lighting. You will probably want the skimmer soon but it's not really neccessary right at first. If you have 45# of rock and a skimmer you might not even need the hob filter but you will till you get the skimmer. 2 power heads should be enough for a 30g. With your lighting you should be able to get any mushroom and/or polyps. They don't require much light. They also both come in different sizes, colors, and textures so you could have a really nice tank with them. There also more corals that require low or no lighting. Sun polyp coral needs no light at all but must be fed. In my opinion if I were you I would start with what you have now then when and as you come into some extra money you could upgrade lighting if you see the need. Too many people jump in both feet first and end up with more than they really need. You have plenty to start with. Don't forget a good test set and plan for a small quarantine tank for new arrivals. If you decide to get another tank then save the 30 for the qt. We used aragonite sand from the lfs for part of our sand bed with cc for the other part.

Good luck! Kat
90 malawia cichlid
55 planted tropical community
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Old 03-12-2005, 05:28 PM   #3
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AS far as light penetration, remember that your live rock will allow you to create areas of varying depth so that you will be able to position some corals up higher into the stronger light. Shallower tnaks with more surface area are better for gas exchange, but increasing the volume of water adds to the stability of the system.
30 gal standard 55 lbs LR, 60 lb live sand, 10 gal sump/refugium. Urchin skimmer, mag7 pump, 3 x 96W PC combination 10,000K/actinic bulb, 2 blue LED moonlights
SG 1.024, temp 79.5, pH 8.4

Livestock I added:

1 skunk cleaner. 12 hermits: red, scarlet, blue. 15 or so assorted snails. Discosomas, Ricordia, Rhodactis mushroom corals, chaetomorpha (sump), 1 feather duster, Montipora digitata, Montipora capricornis, Montipora hispids. assorted zoos, Xenia, Kenya tree coral, green Sinularia, green star polyps, branching hammer coral, bubble coral, Devil's hand leather. Yellow chromis, purple firefish.

Hitchhikers: the usual suspects :crabs, bristles, urchin, mantis shrimp (now in exile in mantis tank)

List of possible/likely newcomers:

Feather duster. PJ cardinal, Bangghai cardinal, Firefish goby, Clownfish, Neon goby, Yellow watchman goby, Orchid dottyback. Various corals.
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Old 03-12-2005, 09:25 PM   #4
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i was wondering if there was not enough surface are with this tank... it seems as though i should shoot for the same bio load as i would for a regular 20gal, but then I'll have a little extra water to keep things stable.

well, i think i'll start with the lights i have... 1st thing to buy (after powerheads) will be the skimmer. corals are months upon months away, so it seems i should perfect water quality, then go for light quality. Metal halides seem to be the way to go, but i guess i've got a good chunk of time to figure that one out.
That'll do pig, that'll do
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