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Old 07-15-2003, 08:58 PM   #1
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Pre-newbie.. First Post

Hi all let me intro myself here. As the subject reveals I am just starting out. I am quite happy I stumbled on to this discussion board, I see already how helpful and courteous everyone seems to be and it certainly makes for a great board. The other discussion board that I used to frequent is a board dedicated to sport motorcycles and let me tell you things can get ugly when some bad elements do not contribute anything posisitve.

Anyhow just purchased a 55 gal corner tank with overflow (which is all we can fit in our tiny house). I also purchased,on line, a wet dry filter system with protein skimmer (Aquaclear Aquatics Pro75).

Next Purchases :

Pump, Rio 2100 for my pump
Lighting , Coralife dual compact 65 watt complete system.
Reef, Fiji live rock min 50 pounds ( considering buying it online)
Substrate. Coarse crushed coral ( `3-5 mmgrain size)
Water. Plan to by the pretreated water from my LFS.

Please give me any advice , constuctive criticism etc that I need to know in order to get my tank started. I read that the coral may have a high ammonia content .

Thanks in advance
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Old 07-15-2003, 09:15 PM   #2
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First off, *Welcome*!! Glad you found us. And welcome to the exciting hobby of marine aquaria.

I'm going to be totally honest, & hope you're not offended. Please understand though, that what I am offering is simply my opinion, and there is no one "right" way to do this. One thing to keep in mind is that you probably want to let ppl know what you intend on ultimately keeping. Fish-only (with live rock & some inverts), softies, mushrooms, and polyps, or stony corals, clams and anemones ... all have quite different husbandry requirements.

That said, on to my opinion(s) ...

Quote:
also purchased,on line, a wet dry filter system with protein skimmer (Aquaclear Aquatics Pro75).
Not sure about this particular model/brand, but I can tell you that most ppl do not use a wet/dry system with a reef. They are fine for FO tanks, but are infamous for maintaining elevated nitrate levels, and for that reason, don't usually work well with reef tanks.

Quote:
Pump, Rio 2100 for my pump
If you haven't already purchased it, don't. They have a nasty reputation for not restarting when the power goes out.

Quote:
Coralife dual compact 65 watt complete system.
Again, depending what you want to keep, this may or may not be enough light. I'd tend to say for a reef, it's somewhat on the low side. You want to think (as a very loose/general rule of thumb) around 4 watts per gallon as a minimum.

Quote:
Fiji live rock min 50 pounds ( considering buying it online)
There are several excellent online LR vendors. Consider bumping the amount up to 75lbs.

Quote:
Substrate. Coarse crushed coral ( `3-5 mmgrain size)
Don't get CC - you'll regret it. It is very effective at harboring nitrates. Look into a DSB (deep/live sand bed) at least 4" deep.

Quote:
I read that the coral may have a high ammonia content .
Crushed coral doesn't contain ammonia, but doesn't perform denitrification (converting nitrate to harmless nitrogen gas) like a DSB will.

Good luck, and ask all the questions you have!
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Old 07-15-2003, 09:34 PM   #3
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Thanks for the adivice . What type of filtration and pump brand would you recommend then?
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Old 07-15-2003, 09:39 PM   #4
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Pumps will depend on what you want to turn over, what your head height is, etc. Good brands are Mag Drive pumps (by Danner) and Little Giant. I'm sure there are others.

As far as filtration goes, about 1.5lbs per gallon of live rock, a deep sand bed, and the best protein skimmer you can afford should be all the filtration you need. Most reefers don't use any mechanical filtration (except for a protein skimmer). Many of us also use a refugium for nutrient export.

HTH,
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Old 07-15-2003, 09:43 PM   #5
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I second everything Teri said and if I may, I will add that the wet/dry, can still be used as a sump to contain the skimmer and heater...The LR, provided you go with Teri's suggestion, will be adequate filtration for the whole tank. Just be sure to place powerheads around so that the flow will go all around the rock, so as to not let detritus settle... Definately no CC.. These days it has proven to be more hassle than it is worth and it will also look more natural with the sand...

Oh, yeah WELCOME to our humble home on the Internet..
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Old 07-15-2003, 09:51 PM   #6
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You guys are great. Thanks for the immediate responses. I think I really need to rethink what I am doing and dig futher in to this site for some good basic and not so basic info. Basically I need to get more educated on this instead of relying on the advice from my LFS who I now distrust.

I did already bye the sump/wet dry filter. Are you suggesting that i remove the filter and bio balls from this unit?
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Old 07-15-2003, 10:20 PM   #7
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Are you suggesting that i remove the filter and bio balls from this unit?
Unfortunately, yep. But, like timbo2 said, it'll make a great sump. If it's partitioned, you might be able to use one section as an in-sump refugium. It's also a place to put GAC, if you want to run it periodically.

There is a LOT of excellent information on reef aquaria on the internet. It's sometimes hard to sort the good info. from the bad, but this is a great place to be - you've got other hobbyists on your side who aren't trying to sell you something. There are many good LFS's out there, but they are still profit-driven.

Take a peek at the "Basics" page on my site if you get a chance, that page has some good links for info. on LR, LS, lighting, etc. Here's that page: http://home.comcast.net/~76fxe/basics.htm

Good luck!
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Old 07-16-2003, 02:11 AM   #8
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I can only add one thing to what has already been said. Check out Champion Lighting ( www.championlighting.com ) for Blueline pumps. These are being marketed by a former engineer for Iwaki. They are reasonably priced and very quiet. I just bought one and found it to be much quieter than the Little Giant that runs beside it. Little Giants are good pumps too though. I would go with an external pump if it's in the budget...it will add less heat to the water. For an inexpensive pump, the MagDrive can't be beat. Reeflady and Timbo have given excellent advice and I second everything they said.
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Old 07-16-2003, 03:18 AM   #9
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Thankyou

Thanks again for all the help and advice and above all patience. I have refined my strategy, for now, on setting up our system based on the advice and the extra research that I am doing. I will update you as we make progress.
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Old 07-16-2003, 09:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReefLady
Quote:
Are you suggesting that i remove the filter and bio balls from this unit?
Unfortunately, yep. But, like timbo2 said, it'll make a great sump. If it's partitioned, you might be able to use one section as an in-sump refugium. It's also a place to put GAC, if you want to run it periodically.

There is a LOT of excellent information on reef aquaria on the internet. It's sometimes hard to sort the good info. from the bad, but this is a great place to be - you've got other hobbyists on your side who aren't trying to sell you something. There are many good LFS's out there, but they are still profit-driven.

Take a peek at the "Basics" page on my site if you get a chance, that page has some good links for info. on LR, LS, lighting, etc. Here's that page: http://home.comcast.net/~76fxe/basics.htm

Good luck!
I'm a bit confused. I've been to web pages saying that the bio balls are the work of the devil and should be removed, and then I've been to sites that say they are a gift from heaven and should NOT be removed under any circumstances.

What is your basis for your stance on bio balls? Why remove them? I ask this because I have about 125 of them in my filter and the manufacturer swears that they HAVE to stay in there for the filter to process Nitrates properly. (I also have about 45lbs of LR in a 40 gal tank)

I would really love some opinions or just some pros/cons of these contriversal 'bio-balls'.

Thanks,
Todd
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