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Old 01-07-2008, 05:18 PM   #1
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Newbie Questions

Hey there. Sorry if this is a worthless thread but i need a straight answer to my questions. I have a 55 gal tank. I am going to be making it into a fowler system.

1. I have a fluval 405 filter. I am planning on getting atleast 50 lbs of live rock. I am planning on purchasing the Mini ASM Protein Skimmer. It says it handles up to 80 gals. Will i need the fluvAL 405 if I have all of that live rock with the skimmer also. Why isnt the filter needed if I have a decent skimmer.

2. Is that skimmer good enough or should I get the next one that handles up to 150gals way more expensive also.

3. If I was to put less live rock let say like 30-40 lbs will the filter compensate for the rest of the filtration needed.

4. Can someone please tell me what a sump is in layman terms and also is it necessary what are the advantages.

5. I understand that base rock will become live over time. If i was to get 25lbs of live rock and like 30-40 lbs of base rock any idea how long it will take to become live. Is that even a good idea.

Well please help me I want to order my skimmer as soon as possible so I can get started in a couple of weeks.
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Old 01-07-2008, 05:31 PM   #2
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WELCOME TO AA!!!

Please do not cycle your tank with live animals.

I have a fluvial 304 on my 55, but I don't run a skimmer

1. You should shoot for 1.5-2 Lbs of rock per gallon. You can save costs by mixing base (dead rock) with either cured or uncured rock. ASM is a good name brand for skimmers, since I don't use one, I think you might want that size or double the size, I can't remember, we'll need some one else to chime on in that one.

2. Answered in one above.

3. You will want more rock, that and the substrate is where most of your beneficial bacteria will reside, not so much in the filter (but it will still host some).

4. A sump is another "tank", folks like to use this to place items that clutter up inside a tank, like heaters. It can also be used to place macro algaes for nutrient export. One big advantage is more water volume, which leaves more room for error.

5. That is a great idea, I have 150 LBS of base in my 125 and seeded it with LR. It should take 4-6 weeks to become live (as in hosting the beneficial bacteria), depending on how much cured LR you use or seeded sand (sand or rock from an already established tank).

Don't be afraid to ask questions, we were all new to this at one point and asking the same questions....
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Old 01-07-2008, 05:41 PM   #3
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My thinking on the skimmer is to get one double the actual rating so if it is rated at 80gal I would put it on nothing bigger than a 40g tank... I would suggest getting one that is rated over 100 gallons for a 55. The AquaCRemora with Mag3pump seems to be one of the favorites.

I don't have a canister filter on my 46. The reason is all you need is the surface area on the live rock for biological filtration from the de-nitrifying bacteria on the rocks(I have 80 pounds in my 46). And then 10x-20x tanks volume flow per hour to eliminate dead spots and to stir up debree so that it can be collected by the protein skimmer. Keeping the filter can help add to the flow equation and give you a spot for chemical filtration such as purigen or carbon.

A sump is basically for 2 reasons to hide unsightly equipment underneath the tank and to add volume to your tank which in turn creates more stability and room for error. A lot of people have a refugium section in their sump to house Macroalgae which helps to prevent your basic algae inside your tank and it is also a good spot for live rock rubble to add to the surface area for bacteria growth. http://www.melevsreef.com/allmysumps.html

Hope this helps. Welcome To AA, you came to the right place.

Sorry for repeating some things looks like Roka64 typed faster than I did:p
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Old 01-07-2008, 05:45 PM   #4
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thanks roka I think i will go with the mixture of live rock and base rock so your setup has been good withou a skimmer everyone says i need a skimmer. I want to order some fiji premium white sand off of ebay i want altleast a 4 inch sand bed to cohntrol nitrates and whatnot i will ask my lfs for some ls to seed it with. I think I might need atleast 150lbs of sand I promise not to use any live fish for cycling also lol
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Old 01-07-2008, 06:02 PM   #5
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The ASM Mini-G is not going to be enough it would work on a 29g tank just fine. Just to give you an idea I have a 72g tank and I have an ASM G4X with the recirculation modification. It is rated at 350g. I put it through its paces on my system because I have a fair bio-load. I would look at an ASM G2 at the least for your tank. If you do a mesh modification, and the recirculation modification you will have an excellent skimmer that will handle most anything you put in the tank.

1.5-2lbs per gallon of LR is the best thing for filtration. I don't use any canister type filtration. I use my skimmer, lots and lots of LR and a 20g fuge packed to the gills with Macro algae.
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Old 01-07-2008, 06:10 PM   #6
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Some folks like to skim, others don't. It's a personal preference. When I started my 55, I didn't have room for a skimmer. My 125 doesn't have a skimmer either, because I have a big momma of a filter. The fluvial FX5, and am going to add a sump/fuge, so that takes up all my space. I like the filters because I can run filter media, like phosban and purigen, and carbon if I need that.
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