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Old 09-13-2012, 03:55 PM   #1
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Complete noob couple questions?

I'm thinking of starting a fowlr tank with a 55 gallon tank and I was wondering if I could use a biowheel and a skimmer and be ok with filtration and all that? Also I have some kinda bottom of the line light fixtures and I was wondering of I could get away with just changing the bulbs out for now to a different type till I can afford a better lighting system? Also what else might I need I have kept multiple freshwater aquariums and am ready to take the leap into salt but not ready for coral.
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Old 09-13-2012, 04:49 PM   #2
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I personally would scratch the actual wheel itself, but the filter is fine. Yes, you will want a skimmer- not needed at first, but as you add fish your bioload will increase it will be needed. Lighting isn't too important as long as its FOWLR. If you want a nem, or corals, you will need to upgrade.
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Old 09-13-2012, 04:51 PM   #3
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You will also need powerheads or circulation... Anywhere from 20-50 times the amount of gallons the tank is per hour. If no corals, you should be good with a lower amount, but can't go wrong with more. I have 46 X flow in my 55 gallon FOWLR...
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:59 PM   #4
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The bio wheel itself does 350 gph coil I just add another circulation pump and be ok?
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:04 PM   #5
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Well the point is flow around the tank/rocks/etc, not just the GPH rating. The point is to keep all the detritus/poop/ nasty stuff suspended so the slimmer and filter can take care of it. Dead spots in the tank can be a safe haven for dead waste to sit there and decay. The 55's are long tanks... You should do one on each side pointing towards each other. I have 3 in my tank...
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:09 PM   #6
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Ok that's make sense. How do I go about cycling a fowlr tank does the live rock just take care of it when I throw it in?
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:11 PM   #7
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Nope. You put a frozen shrimp (grocery store kind) in a net and let it decay. When ammonia and nitrite rise and fall to 0 and nitrates go up, do a water change to get nitrates to acceptable levels (<20) and add fish SLOWLY. Like 1 fish every two weeks.
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:39 PM   #8
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I didn't do the shrimp method and everything worked out perfect. There's so many variables, but unfortunately most people on this forum think that you NEED to use the shrimp method. I'm sure I'm gonna get yelled at now by people, but I know there's people who share my thoughts. Good luck with whatever you do.
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:34 PM   #9
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The shrimp method works and is considered the "humane" method. It seems to be the way to go by many on this forum. Fish stores might suggest using damsels, but then you are stuck with mean fish that you will probably want to remove later. That method does work though. Problem is that spiking levels can damage gils, so it's not considered as "humane". There are also bottle bacteria methods. They tend to create quick cycles (days, not weeks) and you can add a fish (or a shrimp) because the levels do not spike as high to cause damage to gils. I used the later (dr Tim's) with fine results, added one fish a couple of days in and it was fine. No sharp spikes. The shrimp method is way less expensive, just takes a few weeks.
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:38 PM   #10
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I didn't use the shrimp method or fish in method... I don't want you thinking I was "inhumane" at all
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