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Old 04-13-2010, 11:44 AM   #11
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well, I honestly don't understand exactly what the refugium is, or what a sump is for that matter. Is it possible to build a refugium/sump? I will indeed google that! Thank you! I really appreciate everyone's help!
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:47 AM   #12
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It's very possible. All you really need is a plan, an old tank, some glass from the hardware store, aquarium-safe silicone, an overflow, a return pump, and various plumbing bits. It's really just a big filter. Read through the sump section on Melev's Reef. He explains how a sump works in detail and also shows many excellent designs for a variety of tanks.
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:14 PM   #13
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Any suggestions on types of plants or a good resource to learn about the different plants? I was thinking anachris because I was told that it feeds on the same stuff as algae so it keeps the algae down. I always just bought stuff that I thought looked cool and in my last set up all my plants just died. So the next time I do this I will set it up correctly.
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Old 04-13-2010, 07:21 PM   #14
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What does a protein skimmer do? Is there a need for one in my FW set up that I plan on building? From what I have read they never talk about having any sort of charcoal filter. Don't I need one for my FW set-up? I figured I could add it into my 75g sump/refugium.
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:02 AM   #15
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No need for a protein skimmer in FW. They don't work well because FW is less dense than SW, or something like that.

There's also no need to use carbon or charcoal regularly. I only use it when I'm trying to remove medicine, etc. from the water. Carbon only lasts a short time.
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:16 AM   #16
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I always used tap water for my fish tank too. I tested it once and it was pretty much right in the safe zone for the 5-in-1 test strips that I had. I always heard that you are supposed to use purified water but I figured that since the tap water was coming from a well across the street it couldn't be TOO bad. Will the bacteria that you need grow even with purified water? I really want to set up a tank correctly so that it will be more hassle free once it gets going.
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:54 AM   #17
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I use tap water in all my tanks. I just add some dechlorinator to the tank before adding the tap water. The dechlorinator neutralizes chlorine, chloramine, and heavy metals in the water, making it safe for fish.

Just so you know, those strips aren't very accurate. Get a liquid test kit. I recommend API's Freshwater Master. It's definitely worth the price.
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Old 04-14-2010, 03:44 PM   #18
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Ok, well maybe I will do that. I just got the test strips to try them. I was always way too cheap and I never had a problem with my fish dying so I didn't worry about it. I think when I get back from Iraq I will certainly get a good test kit though. Thanks again BigJim!
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Old 04-14-2010, 03:46 PM   #19
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I am working on a "Low Maintenance" set-up right now but it's gonna be a while before I know if it works or not... full reef set-up. Time-frame 6months-2years before I have a solid answer to if it works(6months would be if it doesn't work I'll have the answer.)
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Old 04-14-2010, 04:47 PM   #20
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That is what I REALLY want to do, I was thinking that maybe with a 120g tank and a 75g refugium it might work. What set-up are you trying? I still have 8 more months left on my deployment so if it works I would REALLY like to know so that I can have a reef tank! I love FW but SW just has the best fish, and sea anemones, which are awesome!
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