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Old 05-31-2003, 06:58 PM   #1
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newbie in the house !

hello all, I have been reading up on all the posts on this forum. You are all very knowledgeable. My question, I just got a 50 gallon tank, with wet dry filter system, I am looking into purchasing a protein skimmer as well. I read in theses posts that when you have Live Rock, A wet dry will not be needed(meaning the bio balls)? not sure but would like to know. Also I have coral substrate that I am planning to use, good bad? If I use some live rock will I be able to still use the wet dry filter? also what's the rule on how many fish for this size?

thank you all for your responses!
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Old 05-31-2003, 07:20 PM   #2
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umm... i'm not an expert, but i'm going to offer some of my opinions.. there are lots of experts here.. i don't like to use crushed coral because i think that you have to clean it too often because things get stuck down there.. if you have a protein skimmer, don't turn it on until your tank is done cycling.. it slows down the production of bacteria.. you don't have to use a mechanical filtration if you learn how to use the berlin method which uses live rock, i think deep sand base, and a protein skimmer... i think you need about 2lbs of live rock per gallon to do that.. not sure.. but yeah
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Old 05-31-2003, 07:57 PM   #3
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You could convert the wet dry to a sump, or a refugium. I do not have a refugium, so I cannot expand on that. I have caribsea argonite sand and am very happy with it so far. I prefer it to crushed coral, it looks nicer and is easier for the creatures to stir up.
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Old 05-31-2003, 09:08 PM   #4
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CC is ok IMO if you are going to do FO. IF you are planning to have a reef one day, I would suggest not using it and go with a deep sand bed. about 4 to 6 inches.

I use my wet dry as just a sump. no bio balls. I also am using anywhere from 80 to 100lbs of LR in a 55. I do not use any type of filtration other than the LR. I do not recommend using the bio balls if you are going to do a reef and I do recommend them for FO. They will create too much nitrate for a reef to flourish. for 50 Gal tank minus the substrate and rocks, you may end up with 30 gal of water left. The rule is usually 1 inch per 5 gal. so you should be able to have 6 inches of fish comfortably. You may be able to have more depending on the ability of the tank to process the bio-load.

More to come
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Old 06-01-2003, 12:54 AM   #5
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thank you all for the responses, I read all the responses on the boards and I like the idea of LR set up, another question, do i need to take out the filter foam that is placed in the wet/dry as well?

also how many power heads do i need to start. another thing, if I do put live rock in the tank, do I also need to put live sand as well?

thank you again
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Old 06-01-2003, 12:58 AM   #6
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i think that is where the nitrate load comes from.. food and waste get stuck there and break down into nitrate... if you want to go filterless, timbo2 did say
Quote:
IF you are planning to have a reef one day, I would suggest not using it and go with a deep sand bed. about 4 to 6 inches.
you can use that depth to go filterless
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Old 06-01-2003, 11:28 AM   #7
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Yes I did say that. I was refering to the Crushed Coral...You can add live sand to seed the other sand. Probably 2 to 5 lbs will seed a 50 gal nicely. Get sand from an existing tank and not out of a commercial packaged product such as Arag-Alive. It is hype IMO. I do not use anything other than water flow. The wet/dry is just there for now, tho house the skimmer and return pump. It also provides an increase in the amount of water to the system. You can use the sponge in the wet/dry however, you will need to clean it out daily and that becomes cumbersome after some time...I use the sponge only for a catch for the output of the skimmer, for a bubble catcher. Other than that, it is free flowing water all the way through. The key to keeping the detritus and stuff from collecting is have at least 2 to 4 PH's in the tank to keep water moving in all areas. I have yet to acheive this, but still working on a new design to make it effortless. Another thing is, to have as many cleanup critters as possible..The Astrea and Mexican Turbo snails eat algae good. Astreas cannot right themselves when they tip over, but Mexican Turbo's can. Hermits are good also, but to many can create a war in the tank and some are very destructive.. Red Legged Hermits are recommended because they are good algae and detritus eaters and are somewhat docile. Blue Legged Hermits are somewhat pirates and will sometimes take pride in hunting down a good snack and munching a snail (Astrea) to get a shell out of the deal...They are also good cleaners.

The key IMO to a good reef is:

1.5 to 2 lbs LR per Gal
4 to 6 inches of Aragonite Sand (sugar size)
Good water flow
Good cleanup crew
Good Skimmer to use when needed ( I don't use mine all of the time. My choice)
Lighting at about 8 Watts per Tank Gal size. e.g. 55 gal = 440 watts light preferably MH
A lot of reading, talking, listening, experimenting.
PATIENCE!!!

Happy reefing/ fish keeping!
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