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Old 08-29-2015, 11:55 PM   #1
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Live rock question... Lighting too?

Hi everyone. I am getting ready to start a 130 gallon FOWLR tank with a few anemones and feather dusters. I ve kept fresh water fish for 20+ years but I've finally decided to take the saltwater plunge my first visit question is about live rock; I have ordered 180 pounds of live black Hawaiian sand. How many pounds of live rock will I need, also, what is the difference between live rock and dry live rock? Other than price, what else is the difference? Next is lighting; I ordered an ice cap ballast and a 72" day light bulb and a 72" 50/50 bulb with the intention of FOWLR. Now I am thinking I might want to add some low light corals ONE DAY, but not now. I am considering adding an additional 4-48" T-5 HO bulbs to my hood in addition to my two T-12VHOs. What color bulbs should I choose for my T-5s for maximum growth and viewing and what type of corals will this allow me to keep? Thanks in advance for your advice.
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Old 08-30-2015, 12:24 AM   #2
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Dry rock is just rock that's been dried out and no longer is colonized by bb, other than price the only real difference is live rock has the possibility of hitch hikers (good and bad). Now as to your lighting question anemones require intense lighting and a mature tank (generally around 1 year) so you need to take that into consideration. A 2 bulb unit isn't going to cut it on a tank this size, I'd recommend at least a 6 bulb t5ho unit (8 would be better) or even better yet a quality led unit which will save you money in the long run as replacing bulbs gets old and expensive and needs to be done 2-3 times a year.


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Old 08-30-2015, 12:39 AM   #3
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Dry rock is just rock that's been dried out and no longer is colonized by bb, other than price the only real difference is live rock has the possibility of hitch hikers (good and bad). Now as to your lighting question anemones require intense lighting and a mature tank (generally around 1 year) so you need to take that into consideration. A 2 bulb unit isn't going to cut it on a tank this size, I'd recommend at least a 6 bulb t5ho unit (8 would be better) or even better yet a quality led unit which will save you money in the long run as replacing bulbs gets old and expensive and needs to be done 2-3 times a year.


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How many pounds of wet live rock and dry would you recommend for a tank of this size? I'll hold off on the anemone for a while as you say. I've heard horror stories of anemones taking the entire tank with them when they die. Tomorrow I'll see how many T5s I can fit in the hood. Unfortunately I have already dedicated to flourescent, but I have already started planning my next tank which will be LED. Also, what color bulbs should I use?
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Old 08-30-2015, 12:46 AM   #4
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Generally you want 1-1.5 lbs/gal for rock. How you want to divide that between live or dry is up to you as it will all become "live" during the cycling process


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Old 08-30-2015, 12:52 AM   #5
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Generally you want 1-1.5 lbs/gal for rock. How you want to divide that between live or dry is up to you as it will all become "live" during the cycling process


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thanks. That sheds some light on rock. What about bulb color?
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Old 08-30-2015, 01:06 AM   #6
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Bulb color is really a personal preference, it all depends on how you like to view things. I myself prefer a bluer look to my tanks in the 20k range, others like a whiter look more in the 10-12k range. For a fowlr though it really doesn't matter which lights you go with, not until you start getting into photosynthetic animals like corals and anemones.


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Old 08-30-2015, 02:52 AM   #7
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Minimum amount of Live Rock would be 130lbs for your tank.
Dry Rock is manufactured rock, it does not come with unwanted hitch hikers. Live Rock is dead Coral Skeletons, with tons of bacteria and tons of life in it already. If you get Fully Cured Live Rock, you can put life into your tank in 3 days.
If your going with a FOWLR, you can put any light up you want, the fish don't care.
T5 Bulbs would be Blue, Actinic, Blue + and 10k. Your 2 VHO should be just Super Actinics.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_rock
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Old 08-30-2015, 03:32 AM   #8
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Minimum amount of Live Rock would be 130lbs for your tank.
Dry Rock is manufactured rock, it does not come with unwanted hitch hikers. Live Rock is dead Coral Skeletons, with tons of bacteria and tons of life in it already. If you get Fully Cured Live Rock, you can put life into your tank in 3 days.
If your going with a FOWLR, you can put any light up you want, the fish don't care.
T5 Bulbs would be Blue, Actinic, Blue + and 10k. Your 2 VHO should be just Super Actinics.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_rock
not necesserily 3 days....
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Old 08-30-2015, 01:38 PM   #9
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Yes, literally 3 DAYS. No need to believe me, test the water after 3 days, then come back here and confirm Im right..........Rock must be FULLY CURED. Then it doesn't need to be cured, and contains all the needed bacteria for your tank, if you have enough of it.
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Old 08-30-2015, 09:25 PM   #10
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For a fowlr though it really doesn't matter which lights you go with, not until you start getting into photosynthetic animals like corals and anemones.


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Exactly. I want to leave my options open for adding some low light corals. What color would they need?
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