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Old 10-16-2003, 08:20 PM   #1
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Newbie questions

Ok I am ready finally to go and get my first real SW tank. I won a emporer 400 in a drawing at a pet store and so now I really want to get a tank started. I had a 20 gallon 7 years ago but only for 6 months due to a relationship prob. Anyway, I was thinking of getting 55 gallon acrylic. I plan on having a FO or FOWLR tank. I was wondering a couple of things. My last tank the LFS said cc was better than sand to help control ph. Is this true? Question 2. With the bio-wheels in the emporer do you really need a proten skimmer. Don't they do sort of the same thing? I was also planning on getting a power head for the corner to get more water movement. What would be a good size that's not hurricane force flow? And lastly Does anyone know of a reputable LFS in the Orange County CA area. It seems the ones I have seen lately the fish just don't look to healthy and the tanks are all dirty. The one I started with a while back was very clean, the fish were all fat and happy and they always held all of thier fish for a week before they would sell them.

Thanks in advance for all your help.


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Old 10-16-2003, 08:24 PM   #2
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i think the crushed coral will help keep your ph high, and no a bio-wheel wont due any thing near what a skimmer will do.

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Old 10-16-2003, 08:39 PM   #3
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I use crushed coral and have good results, but man I bought a nice used 55 for my first SW and it is so dang skinny you cant fit the stuff you want on top, get a 70 or 75 with some depth for the larger lighting and stuff you will be using, that is my 2 cents worth. A skimmer is nice to run once in a while to skim off the oily, smelly goo. With my 55 and dual Flourescent triton/Blue Moon actininc and also a HOB like you will be using, I can barely get my hand inthe front to move rocks around with this skinny 55 gallon. ANyway good luck!! And have fun! I was freshwater for years and years and I really enjoy SW now, too.
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Old 10-16-2003, 08:42 PM   #4
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Oh also for powerheads I use 3 powerheads, some people say about 2 powerheads will do for a 55, but mine are moderate size about 250 gph or so, and the 3 of them move the water around just right so my little stationary live rock feeder critters enjoy a nice flow of food. Just whatever is a good deal and doesnt blow your socks off for a powerhead. Penguin makes a nice PH. I tried substituting 2 of the PH's with one big Rio 750gph and it was making a real whirlwind so out it went.
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Old 10-19-2003, 12:46 AM   #5
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I have an emperor 280 on my 29 GAL. I suggest you do some reading up on what the functions of a protein skimmer actually involve. Within 48 hours of adding my skimmer, I noticed an obvious "crispness" to my water, and ALOT of stinky sludge in the collection cup
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Old 10-20-2003, 02:44 PM   #6
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Starting off with at least 1lb of live rock per gal. and a protein skimmer are gonna increase your chances of success dramatically. Those are two items I would not skimp on. Get a copy of "The conscientious Marine Aquarist" by Robert M. Fenner. I swear I use the book everyday. It will answer pretty much every darn question you could have about getting started. HTH

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