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Old 12-28-2008, 11:48 PM   #1
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Hello everyone, my wife wants to get me a saltwater aquarium for my 30th bday. I have been reading saltwater aquariums for dummies (like I said I'm a newb ) I am thinking that for my humble start I would like to start a FOWLR tank. I am looking at buying a corner 54g tank with a bowed front. My biggest question I guess is what it the best equipment to start with? After my research I think that the combinaton of the live rock, and a canister filter may be my best option. Also a protein skimmer seems to be a must. I was wondering if a airstone or two may also be appropriate. Also looking at a submersible heater. One other question I have is about the gravel. Should I use a crushed coral base then top with sand or just use one or the other. Sorry such a long post but I have so many questions. Any help or suggestions on what to use to get started would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!!
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:20 AM   #2
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Welcome to the wonderful world of SW. It's awesome that your wife supports you on this, that can be trouble for some folks.

Keep reading and learning and researching. You cannot spend too much time doing this before you get started.

54g tank is a pretty good place to start. Bigger is better for learning on, as the more water volume you have the more forgiving your tank can be to the typical mistakes everyone makes.

Sufficient live rock and a skimmer is all you need to be successful as far as your bio filtration are concerned, but there's a million and 1 ways to implement this. Airstones are not necessary.

Look into a Sump for your tank as well. This gives you more water volume, and a place to allow your skimmer and heaters and other equipment to work without being seen, to hide the eyesores from the tank. The canister filter isn't necessary either if you go with a sump system.

Stay away from crushed coral. As it has benefits in the beginning, in the long run it can turn out to be a nightmare. Rather use a finer grade aragamax type sand for your substrate.

Keep the questions coming! That's what we're here for.
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:28 AM   #3
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I agree with leave the CC alone. Use only sand as the CC will work it`s way to the top eventually. As stated above LR and a skimmer is the way to go. Welcome aboard. Also for good reading read our articles section. It`s better than the SW for dummies book.
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Old 12-29-2008, 02:09 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice! I was online last night and found out more information about the sump system. I am definately leaning this way along with LR. I am glad that you advised against the crushed coral, I really like the look of sand. Thanks again and I will keep the questions coming!
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Old 12-29-2008, 02:19 PM   #5
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Welcome to the site and the addiction! The above advice is great. I started with CC and quickly found I didn't like it.
For LR, you want to shoot for 1.5-2Lbs/gallon for better biofiltration.
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Old 12-29-2008, 04:49 PM   #6
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I was wondering if starting with a 50/50 mix of base rock and LR would be ok? Or should I start with all LR to cycle the aquarium faster?
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Old 12-29-2008, 05:00 PM   #7
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That is fine, a lot of people mix live and base rock to lessen the impact to their wallets.
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Old 12-29-2008, 05:24 PM   #8
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Anyone have any suggestions as to where to purchase both base rock and live rock online? Unfortunately the internet is going to be my main way to purchase fish/rock as the only pet store nearby is PETCO. Their selection and knowledge is pretty poor and there are no specialty shops nearby.
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Old 12-29-2008, 05:29 PM   #9
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There's tons of resources for live rock, just google it. Personnaly I got mine from underwateraquatics.com.

Marcorocks is a popular place for base rock as well.
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Old 12-29-2008, 06:08 PM   #10
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You could even use 75% base to about 25%. I got my base rock from marcorocks.com. The service was great at the time, but I hear folks are having trouble getting their orders from him.
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