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Old 05-23-2004, 01:55 PM   #1
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Need help!

Ok a few questions can I use live sand with an undertow/undergravel filter with 2 powerheads. Also can i just go diving in the atlantic and collect my own live sand? Can I mix live sand with more colorful sands
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Old 05-23-2004, 02:08 PM   #2
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no, you dont want to use a UG filter at all. They aren't really used in SW tanks. What kind of tank do you want? FO, FOWLR, or reef?

You can collect your own sand but you will want to go out as far into the ocean as you can because the sand on the beach is polluted.
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Old 05-23-2004, 02:16 PM   #3
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I want a fish only tank maybe a couple live rocks and live sand. I really just need to know what to buy I went to the pet store today and they said an UG filter was the way to go please help? Also seventy feet down off key largo should not be that polluted should it can i get the sand from there?
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Old 05-23-2004, 03:05 PM   #4
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im no expert but that sounds like a fine place to get the sand. With live sand you dont need a UG filter. Just make the sand bed about 4" deep and it will be a very efficient filter. Add about 1-2lbs/gallon of live rock and thats really all the filtration you need. A protein skimmer would be a great addition though. What size tank do you have?
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Old 05-23-2004, 03:26 PM   #5
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I have a 55 gallon tank so let me get this straight i will have to add about 4" of live sand that is about 115 lbs if i am not mistaken and a few live rocks, that will act as my filter? Then i will need circulation right? how is this achieved? By powerheads i am assuming can i also put bubble wands and stuff like that eventually i want 2 starfish 2 clown fish a tang some shrimp and a couple other nice looking fish
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Old 05-23-2004, 06:57 PM   #6
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Many will tell you not to use UGF but in my opinion it's just as good as a plenum or DSB filter.
BUT, in my case I prefer to use a pre-filtered, reverse flow undergravel filter.
I connected a Hagen 802 with a quick filter attachment to filter the water before the power head directed the flow through CPVC elbowed downward to the "uplift tube of the undergravel filter. This method sends clean water under the gravel and forces it's way upward into the main part of the tank.
Main advantage is it keeps the detritus in the upper layers and doesn't suck it down deep. I occasionally did a vacuuming of the substrate but fairly shallow and only 1/4 of the tank at a time.
This system went on for four years until I broke it down to try a plenum system. The plenum in my opinion was not any better.
My personal preference is the Berlin method which is just heavy protein skimming and lots of quality live rock. Most of my tanks are this way and are bare bottomed.
You don't want to use bubble wands as that will really cause "salt creep".
Power heads set to disturb the water surface will cause better interaction between the water and the air than any bubble wand can do. Properly placed, they will move the surface water and also the water thoughout the tank.
A 55g tank will not hold too many fish without overloading the biofilter. Also, fish like tangs, need a lot of room and are very territorial to boot.
If you put a tang in, it will have to be the last fish in and be prepared to trade it in for a smaller one as it grows larger.
Two clownfish will be ok if they are a pair. If not, it's best to go with one or three or more.
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Old 05-24-2004, 04:11 AM   #7
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go at least 1.5 to 2 pounds of lr to each gallon- approximately 80 to 110 pounds for a 55. With a dsb that should take care of filtering.

Start with the clown pair and a cleaner shrimp (after cycling of course). After your lr and ls mature you should be ready to add a couple of fish at a time. Give each time to settle and monitor levels. Be careful not to overfeed and you should be able to have a nice looking tank. Avoid choc chip stars like the plague, do research for the others.

Determine for yourself what your bioload can handle. Take your time and things will sustain themself. If you keep on top of checking levels and water changes you will be able to add more later.
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