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Old 11-26-2008, 12:15 PM   #1
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New 50g saltwater Setup

I am starting a 50g tank and had some questions. I had bought a 2x96w 50/50 power compact light setup and I was wondering if i will be able to grow hard corals with this lighting? Another question i had is concerning filtration. The store keeps trying to sell me a canister filter but i have been told to stay away from them. I was thinking about getting a Penguin 350 with bio wheels and a Skilter. Would this be sufficient or should i go ahead with the canister filter? I plan to put in a refuge in the next couple of months but money is tight and cant afford all the supplies at this moment. Also what is the recomended LB's of Liverock for a 50g?
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Old 11-26-2008, 12:28 PM   #2
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Usually 1.5 - 2 lbs per gallon of LR but it varies because some LR is light while some is dense. You lighting will not be enough for SPS corals. It lacks the WPG and intensity to keep SPS corals going. All you really need is LR and a skimmer. Also a PH to push the water around. I had a skilter for many years it was OK. Not the greatest but it did good in my light bio load tank.
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Old 11-26-2008, 12:36 PM   #3
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What are the WPG required for Hard Corals?
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Old 11-26-2008, 12:38 PM   #4
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I agree that the lighting is not enough for sps. However, I think you could get away with certain lps up towards the top of the tank.
Don't get a canister filter, try to get a true sump with a protein skimmer as Mel said. Especially if you are thinking about getting into coral... no canister! If money is tight skip the refugium, you don't have to have one. Or get a big sump and you can have a skimmer, fuge and return pump all in there together. Also as Mel said 1.5 pounds per gallon is a general rule of thumb. In my opinion start off with 50lbs - 75lbs of live rock. If you get 50lbs you will be fine, just add more rock slowly. Although 2lbs per gallon is better for filtration, I don't like how it starts to look sometimes. Sometimes it tends to look just like a wall.
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Old 11-26-2008, 12:41 PM   #5
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What are the WPG required for Hard Corals?

When it comes to the sps, wpg is important but PAR is also very important and the PC you have does not have the PAR for sps. The par is the penetration of light into the water. T5HO or Halides is the best bet for getting both wpg and par. The 3.84 watts per gallon you have may be enough if you had halides or T5HO. With the power compacts just stick with soft coral, zoas, and you can try some LPS (which is a hard coral) But no sps.
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Old 11-26-2008, 12:42 PM   #6
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What are the WPG required for Hard Corals?
The WPG rule is so vague. The way lighting has improved over the years you really have consider Par and intensity also. Just a rough guess I would say you need 6 or more for SPS corals but as RYshark said you could do LPS and some soft corals for sure with that set up. If you are going to do high light SPS corals I would consider T5`s and Metal Hallides. JMO
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Old 11-26-2008, 12:44 PM   #7
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Great minds think alike ryshark. LOL
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Old 11-26-2008, 01:51 PM   #8
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I wouldnt get the canister, as Mel and ryshark said, go with the skimmer, the LR and live sand (if possible). I would also agree with the lighting.. If your tight on money I suggest just beginning to cycle your tank first, and then start worrying about the lighting.
Good Luck!!!
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Old 11-26-2008, 02:06 PM   #9
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Going as natural as possible is the best method of filtering a SW tank.

As the others have said 1.5-2lbs of LR per gallon or 75-100lbs of rock for your tank. All of that rock does not have to be "Live" to start with, you can get base rock (much cheaper) and seed the tank with a few pieces of LR. The LR will constitute the bulk of your filtration through the beneficial bacteria that will grow on the surfaces.

What I do for filtering my system is lots of LR, a large refugium and a large skimmer. Your refugium does not have to be anything special. You can use a plastic tote from walmart or you can spend the money and buy a nice acrylic one. I use a 20g tall tank as my fuge.

To keep SPS corals in a 50g tank you will probably need to go with 6-8x54w T5HO or a combination of MH and T5, VHO or PC to get enough light to support them.

When you get things started you will need excellent flow in your tank to keep SPS corals as well. You will want strong and random flow.
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Old 11-26-2008, 03:23 PM   #10
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Great minds think alike ryshark. LOL
Yep! I must have pushed Enter just a few seconds before you did.
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