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Old 10-14-2010, 01:49 PM   #1
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Reef lighting and water quality questions...

I currently have a 46 gallon bow front FOWLR with 50 lb of live rock and 80 lbs of live sand / Reef octopus BC 2000 hob skimmer. I wasnt really thinking about setting up a reef when i first started but know that i getting more confident i am planning on getting some begginer specimens.

First question, I currently have the regular lighting that came with the tank. Looking in to getting a T5 fixture but not sure if I should get a 2 bulb 50/50 set up or 4 bulb set up. I know i should probably go for the larger unit but I dont want to over do it if i dont have to. Are there any suggestions on brands or models?

Second question, I dont have room for a refugium/ sump so aside from regular PCW's how can i keep pristine water conditons and keep nitrates and phos levels down? thinking of geting a reactor but thought i post here to see if there are other suggestions. I am still a noob and probably wont be jumping into a reef anytime soon but forcasting and planning things out at this point.

Thanks for the help in advance.
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Old 10-14-2010, 03:13 PM   #2
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1) I would get the 4 bulb and make sure it`s a T5HO system. You should be OK with just about anything with that tank and that system.

2) A couple things you can do. One thing is to feed every other day. Been doing that for twelve yrs now and it`s one of the main reasons I dont have algea. The other thing is using RO/DI water to make sure you are not adding the excessive nutrients. Maybe a skimmer also as it will help to remove DOC`s that lead to nitrates and phosphates.
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Old 10-16-2010, 03:11 PM   #3
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I have a 55 gallon reef with no sump, just a small HOB ( 2 gallon ) refuge, but no algae in it currently. I also have a skimmer rated for 55 gallons. Similar setup as you.. I do weekly 10% water changes, and as mentioned before feed every other day, just enough that the fish are eating it and it doesnt hit the bottom of the tank. I also vaccum the sand out in small areas at a tiime every other week. What as also helped me dramatically is having good flow ( I have 3 koralia 3's) and good rock work that allows flow and no dead spots.. its those hidden spots of deitrus that causes major problems quick.

I also agree with what Melosu said - use Ro/Di - that will help with excess nutrients and algae issues. You can also buy a phosphate reactor for pretty cheap, but it isnt needed usually.

With lighting, the more you're able to afford the better. a 4 bulb would be good if you're looking into T5's.
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