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Old 09-19-2009, 01:31 PM   #1
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42g - FO or FOWLR?

Hi all,
I'm relatively new to the marine game. I have done lots of research online, at marine fish stores and using books. I have a well established 10g FO percula clown tank. But I have a few questions specific to my new project.

I just bought a 42g AquaOne AquaStye AR-850 Tank (above tank open filtration bed, wet + dry trickle system with spraybar, carbon, cotton, sintered glass and power head)
Filter Flow Rate: 528g/hr
Light Wattage: 2 x 30in 25W 1 x 23.5in 20W

I have an inch of aragonite coral sand at the bottom.

Six months down the track when I can afford a protein skimmer and better lighting, I want corals and anemones. But for now I think I'll go FO with fake coral, that is, unless LR (or even dead rock) can survive without a protein skimmer and extra lighting.

Questions:

1 - Will the current filter & light be able to cope with live or even dead rock?
2 - In the interim, is it worth going for fake coral if the filter & light can't cope with live/dead rock?
3 - What is the difference between cycling FO vs FOWLR (any links?) I have successfully cycled fish only marine and tropical tanks before.
4 - Should I add more sand if I go LR?
5 - What are the best starter reef fish?
6 - Are these suitable for a fish only tank which will be converted to coral?


Thanks in advance for your input and help.

I will post progress photos if I am able.
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Old 09-19-2009, 01:48 PM   #2
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1. Lighting is not important in the cycle process. I am not familiar with that specific filter, but you should be good. The spray bar may sauce quite a bit of salt creep.
2. Fake corals are a personal preference, I don't see a lot of folks using them. I like to use 75% base rock to 25% LR to cut on costs.
3. No difference, simply add 1 unseasoned, raw jumbo shrimp per 30 gallons for a humane, fishless cycle.
4. That doesn't matter....FO really means fish only, no sand or rock or at least a bare minimum.
5. Check liveaquaria.com and other sites and put together a list of what you would like to add (otherwise, the answer to this is almost limitless).
6. Same as 5....
Here are some articles:
http://aquariumadvice.com/articles/
Here is how to cycle your tank:
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...ank/Page1.html
I would suggest getting the saltmaster test kit from API...it's a decent starter kit.
I think you will need more light if you want to keep corals down the road....
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Old 09-19-2009, 01:58 PM   #3
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As far as lighting if you do a (Fish only) or a (Fish only with Live rock) any lighting will work. Only need lighting to see the fish. If you go reef you`ll need a major lighting upgrade. IMO LR is good for your tank because it provides the surface area that your nitrifying bacteria needs. Excellent biological filtration.
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Old 09-20-2009, 01:32 AM   #4
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Thanks for the reply's guys! Always much appreciated.

I just brought home 11 pounds of live rock - got it extra extra cheap as I know the guy at the LFS ($10 AUD a kilogram OR $3.8 USD for a pound!)

Will get some pics up tomorrow.

I'm loving it!
The LR could almost be used by itself in a display tank!!

While the cycling process starts, I will do some research as to what I want in it!
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Old 09-20-2009, 01:52 AM   #5
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Just thot i'd tag along to see how it goes.
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Old 09-20-2009, 05:36 AM   #6
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And here are some pics!



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Old 09-20-2009, 12:14 PM   #7
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More updates:

Just bought over the net:

1x 280L Venturi Driven Protein Skimmer SA-2011
1x WH-2000 Weipro Internal/External Water Pump


Getting there faster than I thought.

List of fish I am thinking of:

2 Yellowtail Damsel
2 Firefish
1 Kaudern's Cardinal
1 Royal Gramma Basslet

Once anemones established:
2 cinnamon clown
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Old 09-20-2009, 12:33 PM   #8
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More live rock, but it still looks good. Clowns may or may not host a nem. Not sure on the damsels, but damsels tend to be aggressive (clowns are damsels too!). Anemones need a stable tank that has been set up for about 8-12 months. Other than that, seems OK to me, but I'm still pretty new to SW.
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Old 09-21-2009, 04:04 AM   #9
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Heading off to my aquarium to get some more LR now.
Should have about 25 pounds after this visit.

Will get some more photos up shortly.
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Old 09-21-2009, 05:23 AM   #10
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Lookin good and will look better with more rocks. Good luck!!
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