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Old 04-18-2003, 09:58 PM   #1
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Saltwater Newbie

Have aquariums for a while. Currently have a 55 african tank. But these are the parts I have to start my first sw tank. Would like to start with fish, live rock, and some snail, inverts etc.

30 gal long
Fluval 404
Remora HOB skimmer with MaxiJet 1200 and overflow box
2 penguin 660 powerheads
Whisper 280
some other 75 GPH underwater pump (can't remember brand)
All Glass 2 bulb hood with 1 coral life 50/50 and 1 10000 k atinic bulb

Want to use sand, that's what I have in my african tank, and have some southtown left over from that. Also have about 20 lbs of base rock from the LFS.

2 questions:
1) how would you set up the filters using the above listed equipment list (feel free to add/remove)
What media should be in the fluval? Should I remove the filter sleeves from the 660's and just use them for current? Take out the 280?

2) is the "bio activated" sand worth the cost?

Was told once by a person at a LFS that the bacteria from my african tank would 'mutate' to saltwater, but that sounded kinda 'fishy' to me.

Much thanks. Learned alot reading through this forum, sounds like a nice place. Couple of other forums I was checking out were a bit too, ummm....uptight? I was even told to chuck the whole setup by members of one.
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Old 04-18-2003, 10:29 PM   #2
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1) You don't need either the Fluval or the Whisper. You could run the Whisper empty (no media of any kind) for circulation. It would make a good place to run a carbon bag occasionally. Definitely run the skimmer. Remove the filter sleeves from the Penguins, but keep the screens. This will keep inverts from getting sucked into them...something they excel at .

2) The bagged "live sand"...no, not in my opinion. All you're getting is bacteria which will grow anyway given time. Some good LS from an established reef tank...worth it's weight in gold (well...almost). I've heard the Garf Grunge is pretty good, but I have not tried it.

3) Will the bacteria mutate to SW? I honestly don't know. My guess is probably so.

I'm assuming your lights are 30w 36" NO (normal output) bulbs? You can do a fish only tank with this. You can do a FOwLR (fish only with live rock) tank, but don't expect much in the way of coraline growth and you won't be able to keep any photosynthetic inverts except for mushrooms (maybe). You'll need enough Southdown to get about 4" depth in the tank. I'd use the Penguin 660's until they croak, and replace them with Maxi Jets. The only thing you haven't mentioned is a sump. I think you'd find this to be a worthwhile addition to your tank. You could put the heater and maybe the skimmer down there. It also gives you a little extra water volume. You have the makings of a good tank...don't listen to anyone who tells you to trash it all. See www.championlighting.com , www.hellolights.com , www.ahsupply.com , and www.il-solutions.com for lighting upgrade ideas.
Logan J
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Old 04-18-2003, 10:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Remora HOB skimmer with MaxiJet 1200 and overflow box
Excellent skimmer!!! IMO, the best small hang-on skimmer out there.

Quote:
1) how would you set up the filters using the above listed equipment list (feel free to add/remove)
If I were setting up this tank, I would plan on having about 1.5 lbs per gallon about 45lbs or there abouts, and using the skimmer and a few of the powerheads. The rock will act as the media for your biofiltration and will denitrify as well as nitrify. I would remove the sleeves from the powerheads. you can remove the media from any of the other filters and use them for flow, and a place to put some carbon for polishing every so often.

Quote:
2) is the "bio activated" sand worth the cost?

Not IMO, it is only active with nitrifying bacteria, and I have my doubts about that. True live sand is full of critters and bugs. Use the southdown and seed it with a few lbs of true live sand, you'll be happier and it will be cheaper.

Quote:
Was told once by a person at a LFS that the bacteria from my african tank would 'mutate' to saltwater, but that sounded kinda 'fishy' to me.
I don't know about this, I've been told on many occasions that it is the same bacteria. I don't know if this is true or not, I've always found it "fishy" as well.

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I was even told to chuck the whole setup by members of one.
Blasphemers and heratics, I tell you!! Show me an empty tank, and I'll show you a potential reef!!!!! You'll be glad you didn't listen to such atrocities. My first tank was a 30 and I still remember it fondly.
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Old 04-18-2003, 10:58 PM   #4
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Re:

Was thinking of removing all of the media from the fluval, and just using filter pads for water polishing, and filling the rest of the media pans with crushed coral to help with pH balancing, with a DYI spary bar on the output. Then using the 660 on each side, and the small 75 gph in a back corner blowing across the back of the tank.

What kind of bulbs should I get to help the coraline growth? Can't afford big dollars on new lights/hood. Person at the LFS sold me this to replace my old single bulb setup, and have already had to raise it off the tank a couple of inches because of heat. Now the water temp hovers around 81.

thx for the input
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Old 04-19-2003, 12:06 AM   #5
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FWIW, your plan will work, but to keep the nitrates down, IMO, it is very maintenance intensive. The southdown is aragonite, just like the CC and will buffer the ph just as much as the CC. The CC will trap detritus, as well as the filter pads, that will breakdown to nitrates and increase the bioload on the aquarium.

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What kind of bulbs should I get to help the coraline growth?
If your going to stick with the NO, I would go with 2 10K bulbs.

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Now the water temp hovers around 81.
This is a pretty good temp IMO, average reef temps are 82-84 F, If heat is a problem, I would recommend removing the glass tops. This will increase gas exchange and encourage evaporation (which is how the water cools), as well as allow more light to penetrate to the tank.
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Old 04-19-2003, 12:18 AM   #6
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thanks
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