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Old 12-27-2011, 07:26 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Newbie
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 5
Newbie Questions

Starting my first saltwater aquarium and I have a few questions.
I'm on tight budget and would like to start off with a minimum setup and buy as I advance, since my wife is not as excited about this as I am. Not starting off with corals but would like to eventually advance to that in the future.

What I have:
- 72 gal bow front aquarium without overflow system
- 2 powerheads (1250 gph each)
- 75 pounds dry reef saver rock from bulkreefsupply.com
- Heater
- RO/DI system

Rock & Substrate
I am planning on adding 7-8 lbs. of live rock. As far as sand goes can I buy dried sand and mix it with live sand? I realize it will slow down the cycle, but would allow me to cut costs? What would be a good ratio of live to dead sand?

I've been doing a lot of research and have found that you can use your live rock and sand as the only filtration system once everything turns live. The more I read into this I am starting to think I need a mechanical filter. I was planning on buying a hang off the back refugium further down the road. Would I be be better off getting something like an AquaClear 110 now or would that not do much for my size aquarium?

Protein Skimmer
Protein skimmer I heard is not necessary if your willing to do 10% water changes once a week, but I plan on getting one in the future. Is this correct?

I plan on buying T5 lighting after my tank is done cycling.

Thanks so much for all of your help! All advise is greatly appreciated.
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