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Old 10-14-2003, 12:08 AM   #1
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ok guys a few questions, I am really new to the salt water tank idea, and i am about to start one once i know what i can and cant do.

First off, i have a 55 gal tank at the moment, i also have an emperor 400 filter, a protien skimmer, and a canister filter. Which should i use for the tank? could i use all three to get maxiumum filtration and flow?

Live sand, wouldnt sand be sucked up by these filters? should i go with crushed coral?

what type of lighting would be most cost effective but still very benificial for my tank?

thank you
k
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Old 10-14-2003, 03:15 AM   #2
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the live sand IS the filter and the only other filtration youd need comes from inverts and maybe a skimmer. canister filters im not a big fan of, or fluvals. Once the sand settles it wont be sucked up its rather stable. You could use all 3 but really you dont need to unless you wana do it during the cycle but ultimately the tank is self supporting with limited filtration and water changes. Lighting is a whole book in itself. I would suggest PC 's or VHO to start off with then move to metal halides later unless you can afford it in the beginning. You want around 10 watts per gallon and id recommend custom sea life hoods and bulbs. Look for 50/50 Actinic/Full spectrum. marineandreef.com is a good site to shop on.
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Old 10-14-2003, 10:03 AM   #3
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What do you intend to do with your tank?

Lighting is the most expensive part of your tank or at least it can be so you should buy the proper lighting for what you want to do up front vs having to buy 2 or even three different lighting setups.

To add to what biotoxin said most of us use Live sand at a depth of 3-4" and 1-1 1/2lbs of live rock per gal of tank capacity as the basis of our biological filtration. Add to this a good protein skimmer and your really set as far as filtration. You can use all those other filtration devices as a way of just moving water around the tank.
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Old 10-14-2003, 09:09 PM   #4
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Thank you guys both very much, I wanted to use those filters more to move the water then actually filter the water, mainly because i already have all those filters and it would be cheaper to use those instead of buying powerheads or wave makers.

With the lighting, I understand that it is the most expensive but my question was more targeted around the natural light, would the natural light be a help, i mean most of the bulbs out there at there to mimic natural light and if it is getting tons of it,would less bulb lighting be all right, the tank is in a windowed sun room which is full lenght windows on 3 out of 4 walls. so it gets tons of sun.

obtw the tank is now 75 gal, just got a new one today. working at a petstore has perks lol
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Old 10-14-2003, 10:08 PM   #5
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What do you intend to keep in the tank?
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Old 10-15-2003, 12:32 AM   #6
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Not totally sure yet, it all depends on what i can afford and what i have now. If i can get away using one 20k bulb plus natural sunlight for lighting. a magnum 350 deluxe canister filter and seaclone100 protein skimmer for current. LS and LR. I wouldnt mind trying some corals or something. it all depends on what i can get away with.

When it comes to freshwater, i am a pro but this salt water is a whole new ball game to me.

In the beginning i was going to make my tank a "bay tank" using NSW and fish and stuff i found while diving and snorkeling. But i dont know any more
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Old 10-15-2003, 09:49 AM   #7
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Sunlight is ok but does have a few negitives. First real negitive is the potental to increase the temperature in the tank from direct exposure. The second is that in the reef there is much more water between the corals and rocks and the sun than there is in an aquarium setup. The sun is mostly composed of yellow and red specitrum. These wavelenghts are the first to get difused in water so the deeper you go in the water the less yellow and red penitrate. The items we keep in our tanks are geared more toward the blue end of the specitrum and thus accenting the sunlight with actinic bulbs will probably help that alot but you might suffer from excessive algae growth on the glass and rocks.

True actinic bulbs dont have a kelvin rating so im wondering if your talking about a Metal Halide 20K bulb or bulbs.
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Old 10-16-2003, 12:20 AM   #8
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well ive seen 50/50 bulbs, and also once that say 10k or 20k, this is all getting pretty confusing. btw my windows are tinted if red and yellow are normally the first to get filtered out, do you think the tint may take those out first?
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Old 10-30-2003, 05:50 PM   #9
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I wouldn't reccomend using NSW... it may be contaminated.. due to boats and sewage runoff... then you'd have more ammonia and stuff to fight against that the ocean would be able to handle because of the many many organizism in it.. but you would never be albe to duplicate in your aquarium....

as for lighting.. it all depends if you want to keep corals or not.. or if you want a really nice show tank... metal halides.. Power Compacts... etc would come into play there...

If you'er going Fish only then pretty much any light will do.. as for beneficial i'd say you'd need half and half.. depends on how many and what type of light you're using.. but half atinic.. and half daylight
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Old 10-30-2003, 07:57 PM   #10
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Wow, I will be waiting until I win the lottery to do my first sw :]
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