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Old 02-03-2003, 02:38 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 4
The questions begin..

Hi. I have been around a couple of my larger LFS. We don't have too many that have a decent range of fish equipment and expertise.

What I have found is a little confusing in the filter area. Bear in mind that I have decided to start this hobby with a 150 gallon tank with some fish and soft corals so I will have only flouros.

For this setup I have had the filtering suggested in this manner from LFS 1. Either a canister filter OR a trickle filter with bio media and sump. This LFS said that you wouldnt really have a sump and a canister filter insted of a trickle filter.

Second LFS only suggested a sump with a trickle filter and bio media. They also said that as an addition I may want to add a canister filter to this and take the opportunity to up a UV light in series with the canister filter flow.

With both stores it was clear that I wanted to hide the protein skimmer in a sump and both agreed though store 1 had this idea that if you had a sump you would have trickle not canister.

A little confusion has come when I surf the net and this site where posters don't seem too keen on the trickle filter with bio media yet my LFS seem to run with this setup?

Also in one LFS I saw the overflow as normal, I.e. a partition in the corner lower than the water level. In the second LFS they did not have the partition but had a PVC pipe going from the bottom of the tank to ner the top just under the water level. It had a pvc cap on it with holes drilled for the water and presumable to stop larger objects from entering. Is this a common alternative? Does it seem to work well?

Another question.. How does this sound for filling the bottom of the tank. This was a suggestion from LFS 2. I ask because it is very expensive.

70KG dead sand - 25kg = $125
100-125kg dead coral $12.40 per kg

5 kg live sand $11.50 kg
20kg live rock $27 kg

Speraking of expensive, I have realised that I will also need a chiller for my 150 gallon tank None of this has put me off but it does all add up. Wish I earned USD, the old new zealand dollar isnt all that good


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Old 02-03-2003, 10:27 AM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Chatsworth, GA
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OK...I'm not saying your LFS is trying to stiff you, but I believe their advice is flawed. You have a 150 and you want soft corals and fish. So...basically a fish only with live rock (FOwLR) that wants to be a reef someday . You don't need the trickle or canister filters. You can use this setup, but you will likely have trouble with nitrates later. You will want a sump. You can house the skimmer and heater in the sump...no bio media. The partition overflow or the pipe with a cap will work just fine...the partition is much more attractive IMO.
As to the substrate, don't go with the crushed coral. Use either sand (aragonite if possible) or something like the Caribsea Seaflor special grade reef sand. You'll want it at least 4" deep and up to 6" deep. If you can get some live sand to add in with it, that's even better. If you have a Home Depot up there, check it for Southdown tropical play sand...you can get it for $6-7 a 50lb bag.
Unless you plan on putting a really serious metal halide lighting system in this thing, I doubt the need for the chiller. If your house is air conditioned and you are going to use VHO or PC lighting, I suspect a fan or two in the canopy will be all you'll need.
My last suggestion is the most important. Use the search option on this site and read up on all the things you have asked about. Then ask more questions before you spend your money. You can sink a lot of cash in stuff you don't need very quickly in this hobby. The UV sterilizer as an example...you don't need it. We will look forward to helping set up your 150 so that it will be successful and hopefully helping you avoid some of the mistakes we have made and learned from.
Logan J
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
Logan J
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