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Old 11-25-2003, 03:06 PM   #1
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new 46 gallon need help

ok this is my first salt water tank... i currently have 55 gall discus so i am pretty use to water changes and careful water paramaters. i have heard so many different opinions on filtration so i decided to come to you!!

ok ... like i said i have a 46 bow front that i got from wal-mart!! what do you recomend for filtration? i am planning to use Live Rock and hopefully once my tank is established get coral and stuff... some i have said go with hang on back filter with bio wheels (emperor series maybe a 400 or a pair of 280's) other say no get an undergravel with a skimmer and some powerheads?

how about lights? from what i have read i know i will have to change out the bulb since it is only 30 w, do i have to buy a whole new light fixture as well? or can i just buy a better bulb?

thanx
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Old 11-25-2003, 04:08 PM   #2
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ok,
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what do you recomend for filtration? i am planning to use Live Rock
This is a great idea. LR and a 4 to 6" sand bed will be your primary filter... I would use 50 to 65 lbs of LR...

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Some have said go with hang on back filter with bio wheels (emperor series maybe a 400 or a pair of 280's) other say no get an undergravel with a skimmer and some powerheads?
I would say no to the Emporer filters, as the LR will provide the filtration. Just add a few powerheads (maxijet 900's) and let the flow begin....

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how about lights? from what i have read i know i will have to change out the bulb since it is only 30 w, do i have to buy a whole new light fixture as well? or can i just buy a better bulb?
For corals and inverts especially photosynthetic ones... The zooxanthillae (sp?) that live in the tissue, needs strong lighting... You can't just change bulbs... This requires the addition of in someways quite expensive lighting.. VHO, PC, and MH lighting is required for most coral bearing tanks...
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Old 11-25-2003, 04:31 PM   #3
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First off, I would say nix the undergravel!!!

Any of the other options are good, you could use the Emporer's as a supplement for the LR and LS.

As far as the lights, it is according to what you consider "expensive." For most corals in a tank that size, you could trash the old light strip, get a CustomSealife or Caralife PC fixture, and be close to $200 bucks. If you can't come off that dough, save up for a while and buy something like that. Of course there are better options, but these lights are very cost effective, and do the job.

Other than that, I think you are on your way.

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Old 11-25-2003, 04:39 PM   #4
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Get a big HOB filter and run it empty for water movement. What it will give you is a place to run activated carbon if the need ever arises. It will allow you to just drop it in and not wory about. Other than that it will be a mini sump and current provider. As was mentioned the LR and LS will take care of the rest.
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Old 11-25-2003, 04:49 PM   #5
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ok so if i went with the LR and the sand bed. and use a pair of 280's emperors and i wouldnt have to get power heads or skimmers right?
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Old 11-25-2003, 04:57 PM   #6
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there is nothing that can take the place of the skimmer, it would still be recommended you get one. and if you actually do what tkos said you wouldn't need a pair a filters, just go with a powerhead or two, they'd be cheaper than buying a couple of hob filters.
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Old 11-25-2003, 05:06 PM   #7
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and if you actually do what tkos said you wouldn't need a pair a filters, just go with a powerhead or two, they'd be cheaper than buying a couple of hob filters
I also agree. one small HOB for maybe the addition of some GAC, but nothing else, and I would definately get powerheads... the HOB filters will not provide the 100% water flow ou will want to acheive...A skimmer is not a must have, but it will be a good addition as the tank matures... You can achieve the same thing as a skimmer with frequent and volumous enough water changes... PAIN!! skimming is the less cumbersome of the two...JMO
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Old 11-25-2003, 05:13 PM   #8
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ok so if i leave the HOB out ... and get the power heads can i add fish (pair of clowns) or do i have to wait 2-3 months ? like i said i do intend on getting the LR and will be using sand bed which i will get a little LS from LF to seed the bed...
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Old 11-25-2003, 05:26 PM   #9
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another thing in a 46 bow tank what power heads do you recommend? and the sand bed 4-6"'s is what i have read is this right? about how many pounds of sand is that in a 46 gal aprox? ... once again thanx !! the pet store here had given me all crazy info... she said undergravel is the way to go and that its all she uses in her store and that she had not had to tear it down to clean under the plate for 15 yrs..... 8O
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Old 11-25-2003, 05:54 PM   #10
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again, the lr and dsb will take care of the filtration, so you will not need and under gravel filter, it will just be extra expenses you dont need. you will have to cycle your tank still no matter what you do so you should wait until that is done before adding any fish to the tank, the clowns would probably not make it. if you are adding lr to your tank you can use that to cycle it. instead of curing it just put it in your tank and it will cause the appropriat amonia spikes to get the cycle started. then after about 4-6 weeks it should be done and you can begin adding fish. as far as power heads, i just bought a 2 power heads on ebay that both are 380 gph and they would do just fine for that tank and it cost me a total of $35. hth
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