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Old 01-25-2006, 02:03 PM   #1
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Starting up a 55gal

Hey guys. First off i want to say thanks! I've been reading and researching on the forums for about 6 months, and the information here has been so very helpful.

Anyways to get to the point. I am moving in late april and i want to go ahead and start getting the things together for my tank that i will be setting up at my new home. Right now the plan (and my budget) is for FOWLR, but in the future i'd like to be able to upgrade/transition into the reef area. Currently I have a 55 gallon tank that as well a Rena xp3 that were both given to me. I am getting ready to make an order for the following:

~Protein skimmer--coralife super skimmer (anyone have experience with these?)

~Heater--visatherm stealth (200watt)

~Refractometer

~Powerheads--Maxi-jet (what would be a recomended waterflow and quantity? I was thinking the model 600's that move 160 gph x 3.. i could have an extra for mixing salt/ replacing another if something breaks(not keeping the 3rd in the tank)...)

~Sand--Oldcastle from HomeDepot (the says that it may contain small amounts of silica, is this the right stuff? I'll try to get back there and do the vinager test tonight)

I have a much larger list of things that i have yet to collect, lights, salt, test kits, Thermometer, LR...exc. I have the full list somewhere i just cant find it right now. I think that I am gonna make a small order this first time with some of the things above and collect the rest as it gets closer to april. I am going to begin building the stand within the next few weeks, as soon as my sched. allows me to have a few free days. The lights will come eventually, I just want to make sure that I have the money to buy something decent like Aquastarlight T-5 HO so that it doesnt break after a week. My biggest concern is that there isnt any real decent LFS here in Greenville, we have petsmart which the employees all seem to be idiots, and Petsplus that is so overpriced that i think they charge to look around. Anyways, input, suggestions, thoughts or ideas are always welcome. TIA
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Old 01-26-2006, 10:45 AM   #2
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From what I can see here...you should reconsider the substrate. Sand have silicates. In fact, sand is made of silicates and if this is going to become a reef whether you keep corals or not, this substrate will contribute to excessive algae growth, making any type of intense lighting for coral a PITA because the light will add to the algae with the silicates in the sand. For any system with live rock I always recommend salt water aquarium substrate like aragonite topped off with live sand instead of any kind of play sand from the nearest hardware store. I know it's a lot cheaper, but will cause you headaches later.
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Old 01-26-2006, 02:13 PM   #3
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sand does not cause elevated silicates in your water, otherwise the glass walls of your aquarium would leach silicates.
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Old 01-26-2006, 02:56 PM   #4
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I disagree here. If you do the vinegar test, you're not getting silica sand.

Also, I'd go MJ900's rather than 600's.

I don't know that skimmer, but I haven't heard it recommended. The Remora gets a lot of nods.
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Old 01-26-2006, 03:19 PM   #5
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thx on the powerhead advice.

Also the Oldcastle is the argonite based sand, the same thing that you buy at the petstore but in a different package and alot cheaper. The particles are round instead of sharp like silica and argonite will indeed help buffer the tank.
Check this link out there is a long discussion about it there
http://aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=22188
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Old 01-26-2006, 05:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottm
sand does not cause elevated silicates in your water, otherwise the glass walls of your aquarium would leach silicates.
The walls of glass aquariums do leach silicates, mostly when new, but lessens over time. Even new water from a water change can increase silicates for a little while. So there's enough already contributing to algae growth. Play sand in a reef tank would reap havok with algae.
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Old 01-26-2006, 07:28 PM   #7
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Is HD stocking Southdown/Oldcastle now? I thought they mostly did that during the spring/summer?.
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Old 01-26-2006, 08:39 PM   #8
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My 55 has a DSB and a remora aqua-c. Its about 2 1/2 yrs old now. I have not had any serious problems. I have the current 260 watt PCs. I prefer them to coralife because the actinics are 420 and 460 and the moon lights are white which looks very realistic at night. It looks very healthy, my yellow mushroom leather is about a foot tall and 13 inches wide. It is getting too big for my tank, 55's are very narrow!
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Old 01-27-2006, 06:25 PM   #9
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the HD here in greenville actually still has a pallet left from last year, but i assume that they will be stocking for spring soon.
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