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Old 07-17-2003, 06:38 AM   #1
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yet another newbie question....

I hope you guys can help me with this, it may be a lot of silly questions I have. Firstly my (soon-to-be-delivered) tank will be 75G and have 80lbs of LR but no LS. It will have flourescent lighting until I save enough $ to upgrade

There will be a sump underneath with Biobals, Tunze protein skimmer, SFILIGIO Flite chiller, Ozonier. (I've only had previous experience with freshwater fish, so this will be my first real marine tank.)

Assuming the above equipment list is adequate, my only question has to do with keeping maintenance EASY.

1) Since the top of the tank will be open, I expect that there will be lots of evaporation, and I also expect to have to dose kalkewasser (and other additives I guess?) every now and again. Is there a simple, reliable way that I can combine and automate both these activities? At a reasonable cost? I'm not so keen on the KENT system which I believe needs to hang above the aquarium (no room), some of the others I've seen are very $. There was a product called NURCE on the web, but its no longer produced. Is there an easy and effective way to do this?

2) Regarding the top off water itself, I know its not recommended to use tap water, so is the alternative to install a RO system (like culligan)? Is there anything different between the RO systems for human vs. aquarium use?

Thanks alot for any help!

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Old 07-17-2003, 08:58 AM   #2
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What do you intend to keep in the tank? If you are going to have fish and soft corals, I doubt you'll need to dose kalk. If you're going to add SPS corals later, then you might need it then. The sump would be the place to dose it and a drip type doser would be the cheapest and most reliable way to do that.
As to the equipment, I would ditch the bioballs and the chiller to start with. You may need a chiller, but I think it's unlikely. Most of us are not using one. Get another 40lbs of LR and that will handle the biological filtration. If not LS, what kind of substrate are you planning? Most folks are using a DSB to control nitrates. Either way, I would use sand instead of CC.
The RO unit doesn't have to hang above the tank. A typical installation would be in your basement/closet/utility room. Use a large plastic trash can for a holding tank. Install the float kit in the trash can to control water level. Dip/siphon/pump water out when you need it. I use the Kent units and they work well. There are other manufacturers that make quality units as well.
The best way to keep maintenance easy is to set the tank up right to start with and keep the bio load low.
What kind of return pump are you going to use? Are you going to put in PH's and a wavemaker? If you can tell us your goals for this tank, we can make suggestions that may save you $ and headaches later.

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Old 07-17-2003, 11:26 PM   #3
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thanks loganj.

to start with, it will be fish and corals. I won't rule out SPS, so hence the kalk option. I hadn't thought about dosing in the sump!! in that case I just need to make sure there's enough room for it under the tank where the sump is.

Actually we need the chiller in Hongkong, the temp outside today is >30C! I should also explain that the aquarium will be in my apartment so no basement. For pumps I will have Hydor 20L and 40L (2 each). No wavemaker is planned, but can I add one later easily?

The gents who I spoke to recommended to use no substate at all, but I would like a more natural look instead of the LR sitting directly on the aquarium bottom. In this case it would just be about 2", so no DSB. Do you think this would do more harm than good?
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Old 07-17-2003, 11:33 PM   #4
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Just wanted to coment on your english, its amazing. Are you originally from China or the US. I really cannot tell the difference.

I would also go with a DSB, it will really be helpful
If you don't love what you do, you'd better find something else to love. Otherwise, you don't have a reason for living.
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Old 07-19-2003, 05:08 AM   #5
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thanks d9hp, actually I'm a transplanted Canadian in HK, so neither China nor US!

There's lots of great shops out here but absolutely none of them go with DSB?! I have seen some with what looks like CC (large grains, looks like ... um, pieces of broken coral ) and there are dark spots, etc. so definitely not the look I want. I wonder if I can combine the sump and DSB? Has anyone tried this before?
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Old 07-20-2003, 04:47 AM   #6
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I think the best plan to go with for substrate is the "Jaubert NNR/Plenum". Jaubert actually used real sea water but for us it will work with synthetic. His plan basically is a DSB of LS (6" deep or so) in the sump with a plenum or air space in the 6" of LS (like two pieces of eggcrate separated with 4 small pieces of pvc, wraped in screen to keep any sand out, effectivley creating a plenum or air space in the sand.) Then only about an inch of LS in the main tank. With LR it effectivley creates a "Natural Nitrate Reduction" or NNR. It works!!!!

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