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Old 04-06-2004, 01:34 PM   #1
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New Guy with a ton of Questions

Ok.. Here I go. First off I am new to the board, but I have been looking around and it looks great!

I have read all about saltwater tanks and have been surfing the internet nonstop for the past month prior to buying my tank. I finally bought one last Friday. I bought a 55 gal with two emperor 400 filters and a 200 watt heater. I am using Caribbean play sand as the substrate. I am going to get Fiji LR on Wednesday then I will wait about 6-8 weeks before I put any fish in my tank. I read that adding fish food to the tank will starting the cycling process, which I think it did. My Ammonia levels are .05

Here is my question(s). I have been reading a lot of contradicting information about which filter to use and what substrate to use. Are the filters that I have ok and is the Caribbean playsand OK ?

Also my filters are filling up with sand dust. Should I empty them during the Cycle or just leave them alone until after the cycle process completes.


TIA.
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Old 04-06-2004, 01:45 PM   #2
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I would take the filter pads out of the emperors, remove the biowheels and use them solely for flow and GAC. The biowheels will compete with the LR for biofiltration and the floss pads may trap food and if not changed frequently can actually create nitrate and phosphate problems. While the tank is cycling use the filters for flow only unless you get a stink then run some carbon. 2 things I don't see on your list above are a skimmer and powerheads. A skimmer will remove wastes and DOC 's and that can help control nitrates, phosphates and skimmers can aid in ridding the system of excess CO2 and help maintain proper pH. You will also want some powerheads, at least 2 of around 250-275 gph to get the water flowing thru and around the LR. When you are using LR for biofiltration good flow is the key to success. HTH
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Old 04-06-2004, 01:54 PM   #3
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Cool Thanks for the info. Will the power heads kick up the sand on the bottom? I am also looking for a HOB skimmer for my tank. Do they make one?
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Old 04-06-2004, 02:00 PM   #4
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The power heads will keep the dust suspended for a while, but once the bacteria start to grow on it, it will settle. Make sure to keep the temp around 82...this is a big factor in how quickly the bacteria spread.

Also..the sand...is it argonite? If not, its a silica sand and will cause hair algae.

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Old 04-06-2004, 02:14 PM   #5
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Thanks. I am not sure if it is argonite or not. I thew away the bags. They were in a blue and red bag I am not sure if anyone know who make that. Is there anyway to tell. I know that they sand is very fine almost list powder in some spots.
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Old 04-06-2004, 02:17 PM   #6
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Scoop a small amount out. Strain it and put it in a cup of vinager. If it fizzes..its argonite. If it doesnt..its not.
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Old 04-06-2004, 10:23 PM   #7
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You could also return 1 of the emporer 400 as 2 is kind of overkill with lr on the way. 1 400 will filter that tank till your lr is there; I have a 45g and 1 emp. 400 really moves some water, I know it will handle a 55 nicely. You could use that $ towards skimmer or lr or something else. If you cant return you could sell on ebay. FWIW, I don't use my emporer now that I have 55lb lr, I only use it here and there for GAC filtration (their a little bulky and expensive for just moving water). The thing is, they can be nitrate factories, and there's little biological need for them if there's enough lr. Enjoy..
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Old 04-07-2004, 12:05 AM   #8
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I have a 55 gallon and use my 1 emperor 400 with carbon in it and nothing else to polish the water. 90 pounds or lr and 55 pounds of ls with a Aqua C Remora coming soon !
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Old 04-07-2004, 12:32 PM   #9
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now I am bummed out. Some of these LFS people are clowns. One tells me one thing then another one tells me something different. I'm am glad there is the Internet to set me straight too bad I already spent more money then I had too.

So I can just get rid of those filters? Would I need to get powerheards? and to you know of a good HOB skimmer. Also will I need better light then then standard flouresent lights?

TIA
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Old 04-07-2004, 01:38 PM   #10
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Nothing wrong with the 400. It's really one of the best, however you don't need 2 of them for a 55 (maybe for a 125). Yes you probally will need powerheads, and no one here likes them but me but I like the Skilter. it's noisey but it works for me, the biggest flaw I can find is the stupid little adjustment thing and I just snatched it off and used one of the "air vents" that came with my powerheads. HTH
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