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Old 06-28-2004, 07:30 PM   #1
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Just starting...need a little advice.

I currently have two freshwater tanks a 55 gal and a 30 gal. I want to convert to a marine tank. My plan is to set up the 30 gal as a FOWLR. I want to see if I'm able to keep up with maintenance and everything else that comes along with a marine system. Then if I am successful I will convert the 55 into a reef system.

To get the 30 started I want to use 35 lbs of live rock, and enough live sand to get the benefits of a DSB (20 lbs?)

What I need to know is:
1. What skimmer should I purchase that will fit on a 30 gal but still be effective on a 55 Gal

2. What power heads would you recommend (I have an emperor 400 that can be used for the time being and then I can upgrade later when I switch to the 55)

3. What should I test my tap water for to see if a RO/DI unit would be necessary.

4. Will the standard lighting that comes with the tank (2wpg) be enough to get some color on the live rock or should this be upgraded as well. (I plan to get MH lighting on the 55 so I'm not looking to pay a lot for the 30)
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Old 06-28-2004, 07:51 PM   #2
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1 all skimmers are rated for tank size, just make sure it will handle the upgrade. I have an aqua-c and love it. also heard good things about a cpr
2 I like the maxi jet a general rule is 10x tanks size for gph
3 I have a tds meter that i picked up on Ebay
4 The standard light is ok for fo, I have normal flourescence 10,000 k on a 30 and have corraline growth
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Old 06-28-2004, 09:09 PM   #3
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Personally I'd advise you to start with the 55 gal. It will be a lot more manageable than the 30 gal.
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Old 06-28-2004, 09:33 PM   #4
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I agree with atari, the bigger the better for your first SW tank. Plus it would be cheaper with having to buy LR for 1 tank and not 2. Personally i dont think i could go through setting up another SW tank . Well HTH.
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Old 06-28-2004, 10:05 PM   #5
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The 55 is housing a Midas cichlid. I've had him around for a year so I don't really want to get rid of him just yet.

I don't plan to keep both tanks running, I would transfer what I have in the 30 to the 55 and then add some base rock and more sand. The 30 would then become a quarantine tank. Is this extremely difficult? I figured it wouldn't be much different than if I had to move which I know some people have been able to handle. I had only planned on getting a damsel or a clown just to make sure I truly want to make a commitment for a reef tank. Am I over simplifying this?
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Old 06-28-2004, 11:50 PM   #6
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well it could work but if you are going to move the stuff from the 30 to the 55 dont go reef until you get everything in your 55. It will already be enough trouble o move crabs, snails,shrimp, etc. Having to move corals would probably just complicate things. This is what i think would be best but i am still a newb so im think you will get some better advice than mine. Also i understand your dilemma, gotta love those cichlids i actually just lost a julidochromis marlieri a few days ago that i had had for 3 years. .But i wish you good luck, tell me how it turns out!
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