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Old 06-02-2003, 08:30 PM   #1
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new to the site and to saltwater!!

Hi i recently found this site and i found that the forum and all the articles are very useful!!! I am also new to the saltwater community and i had a couple of questions. I have a 55 gallon tank which i am in the process of turning into a saltwater tank. I already have 40 LBS of aragonite and 25 LBS of live sand. I plan on buying the live rock next. My main concern was my filtration. I have a fluval 404. People have told me that it is good enough "for now." I do plan on getting a wet/dry a couple months from now. But i thought since i have the 404 i might as well use it now to cycle the tank. So what kind of media shoud i have in the fluval? Right now there is carbon and those little white cylinder shaped things. Can anyone tell me if i should get different media for the fluval. All info is appreciated. And thank you in advance!!!
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Old 06-02-2003, 09:43 PM   #2
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Sounds like you are on the right path with the sand. How much live rock do you plan to add. If you add 1 1/2 to 2 lbs per gallon that will be all the filtration you need. you can then take all the filter media out of the fluval and just use it for circulation and/or carbon when needed. Filter media is unnessasary with the right amount of biological filtration. If filter media works correctly, it traps waste and just filters your water through the waste, thus causing your nitrates to rise.
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Old 06-02-2003, 11:35 PM   #3
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You also might want to look into setting up a DSB (deep sand bed). This, if properly done, will control nitrate concentrations in your tank. It needs to be at least 4" deep. I would stay away from the wet/dry as it will, as Micheal said, produce nitrates. What kind of lighting are you going to use?
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Old 06-02-2003, 11:51 PM   #4
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I have heard that if i had lots of live rock that i would not need a filter. But comming from freshwater my brain just wont accept a fish tank without a filter. its to weird??? And about the deep sand bed yeah i will probably invest my money in more live rock and more sand instead of another filter. As for the lighting i dont know much about saltwater lighting yet but i think i am going to go with power compacts?? There are probably many kinds but i dunno much yet help me!!! Thanks for the responses!
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Old 06-03-2003, 12:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
I have heard that if i had lots of live rock that i would not need a filter. But comming from freshwater my brain just wont accept a fish tank without a filter. its to weird???
This is very common coming from a freshwater background. But the bottom line is , fw and sw are very different. You will have to change the way you do a lot of things. Would you rather you have a stable heathy saltwater tank, or a saltwater tank with a nitrate problem because you insisted on having a filter with media in it. Now with that said, you can have media if you dont mind cleaning it at least once a week. The key is, you dont want any waste trapped in the media.
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Old 06-03-2003, 10:17 AM   #6
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tfarol, you dont have to teach you brain to accept a fish tank without a filter. Think of it this way you are replacing you old mechanical filter with a new biological filter. So you can consider it an upgrade. The LR, a and a DSB will be pretty much all that you will need for filtration except for a skimmer and that is debatable, i know a few people with successful reef setups with no skimmers at all. Good luck.
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Old 06-03-2003, 12:44 PM   #7
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Okay but whats the deal with wet/dry filters? Lots of people have told me to get rid of the fluval and go with a wet/dry? Should i do that? Or should i just stick to the LR and DSB? Also when people tell me that my tank has to cyble for several weeks. Doesnt a filter need to be on for the tank to cycle? Or does cycling mean just having the LR and DSB in the water for several weeks. Sorry for being such a newbie! All this info is really helpful! Thanks!!
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Old 06-03-2003, 05:22 PM   #8
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While the wet/dry may be more efficient at converting ammonia/nitrite to nitrate than the Fluval is, it's still unnecessary. Your LR and LS ARE the filter. They are a natural substitute for the filters we all got used to having on FW tanks. With the DSB and, to a degree, the LR, you will get nitrate removal as well. This is important in SW tanks as many of the inverts we like to keep are sensitive to elevated levels of nitrate. The length of the cycle depends on the quality of the LR. If it's cured LR from LFS tanks (expensive!), the cycle will probably be relatively short. If it's rock ordered from an online vendor and shipped to you, the cycle will be lengthened by the die off on the rock. As far as a skimmer goes, I think it's really necessary when you're starting in SW. It will help a lot with water quality. I'm not saying a tank can't be run skimmerless, but I think it's best left to those with lots of experience. Once you see what the skimmer pulls out of your tank, you'll probably want to keep it going
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Old 06-04-2003, 09:29 PM   #9
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OKay Okay im convinced!!! Im going to try this method! I take it that everyone that is giving me this info is using this method? The only reason i am so paranoid is beaause all the nice saltwater tanks i see like in restaurants or in store have wet/dry's? I'll go ahead and start planning and i will keep eberyone updated.. Thanks for all the info!
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Old 06-05-2003, 12:38 AM   #10
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Welcome to AA tfarol! :P
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