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Old 08-25-2003, 01:31 PM   #1
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Just back from the LFS, have more questions than when I left

Hello all,

Again, I come looking to you for objective advice...

This weekend I visited my LFS, and was surprised to find out that they sell a lot of the stuff that we talk about in here. I think the prices are quite reasonable too.

Anyhow, here are a few of my questions:

The LFS had 3 types of LR: Tonga Rock $15/lb, Cuban LR $10/lb, Base Rock $5/lb. The "Base Rock" was not dry rock, it was definitely LR. Or at least it was kept in an aquarium with stuff on it. I don't know one from the other. Does anybody have any recommendations?

Anybody have any thoughts about a skilter protein skimmer? I think they said it filters (bio and mechanically) and protein skims. The impression that I have is, if your tank's bio load isn't approaching the limit, you don't need a filter or a skimmer. Is this correct? And again, is the skilter a good bet?

Anybody have any thoughts about excessive water flow? Is it possible to have too much gph flow through your Powerheads?

I'd like to hear thoughts about this idea. The "tank" requires 3-5 watts of lighting per gallon. So, for a 50 gallon tank, that calculates to 250 watts max. Why can't we simply take household lightbulbs and use them for lighting? That's only 3 100 watt bulbs. I know we can't I just don't know why? I guess what I want to know is what from the lighting the fish benefit from. Do they need the UV or something?

Furthermore, if a protein skimmer functions by particles attaching themselves to bubbles of air and then the air moving them to the surface where they can be collected, then why won't this work? Buy a length of abs tube, cut it to the correct length. Buy an air pump, and plumb it so that a large portion of the bubbles come out in one location in the tank. Then position the one ended tube above it so that the bubbles go up the tube. Would this not work? I would think it would save a beginner about $100 or so.

Can't wait to hear your thoughts.
Thanks,
Phil
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Old 08-25-2003, 03:00 PM   #2
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you have some great questions, too bad i don't know any of the answers, but i would like to hear them.
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Old 08-25-2003, 03:01 PM   #3
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Re: Just back from the LFS, have more questions than when I

Quote:
The LFS had 3 types of LR... I don't know one from the other. Does anybody have any recommendations?
are the prices you quote in canadian? if so, then they're [edit]not[/edit] too bad. If they're in US, then that's a little pricey. Consider an online dealer. The two LR types they cary are simply from different parts of the globe (different reefs) some like the looks of one over the other, they can also have slightly different fauna inside them. The base rock is probably just what you suspect, normal rock left in the tank with LR to give it bacteria/algae/fauna.


Quote:
The impression that I have is, if your tank's bio load isn't approaching the limit, you don't need a filter or a skimmer. Is this correct?
some will say yes, others will say no. I've found it to be a matter of opinion and personal experience. You individual tank will be the one to really tell you if you need a skimmer. and likely not until after it's been established for some time. other's won't even set one up with out one. *shrug*


Quote:
Is it possible to have too much gph flow through your Powerheads?
Yes. Especialy with certain life forms. For example, sea horses can't tolerate much water flow at all. Plan ahead what type of life you want in your tank and see what type of water flow THEY require. On average, a typical reef tank will want in the neighborhood of 10x tank size in GPH.


Quote:
Why can't we simply take household lightbulbs and use them for lighting?
If you have FO tank, you can do exactly that. With FO tanks, the lighting is 100% asthetic appeal. Use what looks good. Note that most household lighting is high in the yellow end of the spectrum. If you have a reef tank, there are photosynthetic animals that need as close to natural light as possible in order to convert the light energy into the nutrients it needs, just like plants do. To accomplish this both the intensity and color spectrum need to fall within a certain range. This is why we need special lights for reef tanks.

Quote:
Furthermore, if a protein skimmer functions by particles attaching themselves to bubbles of air and then the air moving them to the surface where they can be collected, then why won't this work? Buy a length of abs tube, cut it to the correct length. Buy an air pump, and plumb it so that a large portion of the bubbles come out in one location in the tank. Then position the one ended tube above it so that the bubbles go up the tube. Would this not work? I would think it would save a beginner about $100 or so.
I've actualy had this same theory myself but have not yet had to opportunity to test it. My concerns on the theory are that the bubbles need to interact with more water than it will come into contact with inside the tubing. If you've got a few extra bucks give it a whirl.. not that the bubbles will need to be in contact with the water for a decent legth of time, i'd say a few second, so you'll need a decent length of tubing. Also, most skimmers require a "break in" period I belive for bacterias/protiens to build up on the walls of the chamber... not sure of the exact reason for the breakin period.

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Can't wait to hear your thoughts.
wait no more
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Old 08-25-2003, 03:11 PM   #4
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In response to your skilter question, if all you want is a FOWLR, then the skilter makes a heck of a power filter, and can be modified to be a semi-functional skimmer. I have one on my 55 gallon, and it filters extremely well. I am not using the skimming features yet, but plan to soon. So far all I have is a blenny and a few chromis, so my bioload is pretty load. HTH
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