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Old 11-14-2002, 02:01 AM   #1
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Lots of newbie questions (HELP!)

I am relatively new to the saltwater world.. I have only kept two
previous tanks, one a 30 gallon with one medium volitans lionfish and a UG
filter.. it was successful (until a college roomate drunkenly tipped
his ashtray into the tank!!!)That was several years ago. Now I am
purchasing a 55 gallon tank and have decided to go with wet/dry
filtration and more fish. (now rethinking that.. but don't really know the specifics of other options) I am completely in love with volitans
lionfish.. and yes I know, eventually i will have to go to a larger
tank. I want to keep a fish only tank.. with 2 small lions,and one rectangular or niger trigger. Yes.. I know I will have to move up as they grow. I was originally considering a pair of Harlequin shrimp segregated from the carnivores by a glass wall.. growing feeder stars in the sump tank.. but I am afraid of overloading the tank.. adn of all the work associated with keeping these shrimp. Before my lion tank I
had a hippo tang, a mandarin fish, and an arrow crab.. the arrow crab
lasted the longest.. but the tang got ich.. and then the mandarin
starved to death (dealer told me it could eat brine shrimp.. I guess
the little bugger was just too slow to catch them :-( I learned my
lesson on feeding..
On filtration.. I am confused by many online resources
as they seem to be more concerned with selling than answering
questions.. but here are my thoughts .. I want to keep it as
economical as possible. I've considered building my own wet/dry
system, also using one of the back of the tank wet/dry systems sold
by Millenium (the Millenium 3k for instance) but I don't know much
about this option. Can they be used by themselves as the only form of
filtration for a fish only tank like the one I describe? Or are they
meant as supplemental filtration? I've also heard that a protein
skimmer is very important when keeping lions as they produce large
amounts of waste.. is this also true??

Any advice you can give would certainly go a long way toward calming my nerves!

Frank
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Old 11-14-2002, 04:48 PM   #2
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From the little I know, go slow. Are you going to be using any LR (live rock) or use a DSB (deep sand bed) in your setup?

Books:
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=17

Filtration:
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=9

Some help for lighting:
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=12

Sump:
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=20

Reef Central is another good site from what I've seen to help gather information.
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Old 11-14-2002, 05:38 PM   #3
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filter

You could use a hang on back filter for a tank like this. I think the maintenance will be pretty tiring though. IMO, you'd be better off to go with live rock and a DSB for primary filtration. Then add a good skimmer. You don't have to have a full blown reef tank with corals and all kinds of inverts. You will need some good lights to keep the coraline algae on the LR growing. You will also need to use RO (reverse osmosis) water with the correct buffering agents added to it. Any other type of water is pretty much unsuitable due to the undesirable substances in it. The more your tank environment mimics nature, the less trouble you will have with it.
Logan J
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Old 11-14-2002, 06:09 PM   #4
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What about the use of a plenum in the sump of the wet/dry? I am afraid of screwing up DSB.. plus.. I am considering replacing one of the lions with a dragon wrasse.. won't a burrowing fish disrupt a DSB?
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Old 11-14-2002, 06:11 PM   #5
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Oh yeah.. and the Millenium 3k hang on filter.. is this *preferable* to a wet/dry trickle filter.. or about the same.. or just better for the $$?
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Old 11-15-2002, 07:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
I've considered building my own wet/dry
system,
If you are capable, this is a good option. You can process alot more waste through an external wet/dry than a HOB filter.


Quote:
also using one of the back of the tank wet/dry systems sold
by Millenium (the Millenium 3k for instance) but I don't know much
about this option. Can they be used by themselves as the only form of
filtration for a fish only tank like the one I describe? Or are they
meant as supplemental filtration?
Due to the fact that you want lionfish, I would not go with a hob filter. They have their place in S/W but I don't feel they give enough room for error to be used exclusively on a predator tank.

Quote:
I've also heard that a protein
skimmer is very important when keeping lions as they produce large
amounts of waste.. is this also true??
Protien skimmers are not a necessity, but I won't have a tank without one. In a predator tank, they will greatly reduce your bioload, therefore increasing the efficiency of your biological filter. If I were setting up this tank, I would probably use a DSB, with LR filtration as well as a wet dry and a skimmer.


Quote:
What about the use of a plenum in the sump of the wet/dry? I am afraid of screwing up DSB.. plus..
I believe the flow through a sump will be too great for a plenum. Plenums are becoming less and less popular as the benifits as well as the lesser danger of a DSB is discovered by more and more hobbiests. You could set up a DSB or a plenum, in a seperate refugium, provided the flow was slow enough.

Quote:
I am considering replacing one of the lions with a dragon wrasse.. won't a burrowing fish disrupt a DSB?
A dragon wrasse would not be compatable with an in tank DSB, not because of the tendency to bury themselves at night, but because they would hunt and deplete the DSB of it's infauna. This would also apply to a plenum. How ever, this brings us back to the refugium idea
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