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Old 02-04-2005, 01:30 PM   #1
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Temperature and Fitration question for new set-up

I’m about to set-up a saltwater aquarium and had a few questions. I had a saltwater set-up about 5 years ago and I had just the basics – it was a fish only aquarium.

This time around, I’d like to have a fish set-up with some live rock. I have a 55 gallon ready to go. My questions are…

1. The only place to house this aquarium is in the basement. It is a finished basement with heat so its not freezing, but it is still a lot colder than the rest of the house. Will my heater be enough to keep the water temperature at a satisfactory level? I’d say the room could sometimes get to 50 degrees on really cold nights.

2. Filtration. Last time around I used a basic hang on the back filter and it worked fine. This time around, I’m going to need a protein skimmer if I plan on adding reef elements to the tank – so, what is the best filtration for this tank? Should I go with a wet/dry with a protein skimmer? I have an old under gravel filter – but, for some reason I think I remember reading NOT to use that with live rock.

That should do it. I’m looking forward to setting this up. The set-up is always more fun than the maintenance.

Thanks.

Skinny Pete
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Old 02-04-2005, 03:11 PM   #2
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Hey Pete...Welcome to AquariumAdvice.com!!
It is a good safety practice to use two smaller heaters instead of one larger one. For a 55gal, you can try two 150watt heaters. This way, if one fails, you will have a back up running in the tank.

As for the filtration...You can just use a LS bed, lots of LR and a good skimmer for your filtration needs. You can also use a HOB filter of some type. It will add water movement to your tank and give you a place to run carbon. Good luck in the set-up...Lando
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Old 02-04-2005, 03:11 PM   #3
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1. What watts is your heater

2. A nice hang on the back skimmer will work, but honestly all you really need is live rock hob or powerheads for flow and water changes.
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Old 02-04-2005, 03:16 PM   #4
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Heater: if it gets cold, just put a couple 150W heaters, or even a couple 100W... big thing is not to have one HUGE heater in case it goes nuts and freezes on the high setting, frying your tank. If one goes bad, the other won't cause damage. Check on the tank ratings for the specific heaters you're interested in, and let us know.

Skimmer: in sump or hang on back? Two roads to go down, let us know.

UGF: not needed. Can build up gunk that will raise nitrates. That and if it needs to be cleaned, you have to break down the ENTIRE tank to get to it. Invest the money in a better skimmer, IMO.

Wet/dry's are nice, but you might want to consider ditching the bioballs... same with UGF, can be a nitrate factory if it's not properly maintained. Most people here will replace it with LR rubble instead.

HTH

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Old 02-04-2005, 05:00 PM   #5
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Thanks all. In one day I've gone from setting up my old 55 gallon in the basement to purchasing a used 80 gallon for my home office. Convinced my wife to part with a bookshelf to free up space. So the temperature won't be a problem.

Thanks again for your help. Very impressed by this forum. Very helpful. You guys will probably see me around.

- Skinny
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Old 02-04-2005, 07:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
You guys will probably see me around
Hope so!
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Old 02-05-2005, 03:28 PM   #7
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Quick follow-up. As I said, I have the opportunity to buy an 80 gallon tank. Found out the dimensions are 48x18x21. I looked online and found that is actually a 75 gallon tank. I wanted to double check here. Are those dimensions for a 75?

All are used and they are asking $400 for tank, hood, light, oak stand, and wet/dry filter. Maybe I'm being greedy but that seems slightly steep for a used 75 gallon set-up. Opinions?

I hope asking a price opinion isn't out of line.

Thanks again all

- Petious Skinnious
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Old 02-05-2005, 03:38 PM   #8
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What type of lighting is it? Lighting alone can top $400. As you said above you are looking for FOWLR. That setup will be OK with NO flourescent setup.
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Old 02-05-2005, 03:53 PM   #9
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You know, I'm not sure of the lighting - I don't think its anything outstanding. It is coming from a FO tank (<-- my first use of forum lingo). All discussion with seller has been through emails and getting more details has been a bit of a struggle. I'm off to see it in person on Tuesday.

I just don't want to pull the trigger and see a similar used set-up for less so I just wanted to see if you guys thought this was a reasonable price.
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Old 02-05-2005, 04:40 PM   #10
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Did you check arround at any of the LFS for pricing? I picked up my 75 for $299. That included Tank, Stand, Hood and standard flourescent light. Just a though.
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