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Old 08-18-2004, 02:39 AM   #1
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Need help starting my saltwater FOWLR tank

So I got extremely lucky and found a nice tank at the thrift store. It appears to be a 40 gallon SeaClear System II
( http://www.casco-group.com/system2aqua.html ). This will be my first tank ever with a wet/dry filter system, so I will need help on how to start this thing up. I only have the tank, the hood with lights, and the blue wet/dry balls. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-18-2004, 06:18 AM   #2
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welcome to AA
the first thing i would get is a book.
read thru the articles section
Figure out what you want to keep and design a system around that

Other things you will need
a heater
some ph I would go with maxijets
substrate see if there is southdown in your area
test kits Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH to start
lots of patience

good luck
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Old 08-18-2004, 04:18 PM   #3
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One newbie to another--a couple of great books:

The New Marine Aquarium by Michael Paletta
The Conscientious Marine Aquarist by Robert Fenner

Both of these are great--I especially like the Paletta as he takes you through set up step-by-step. He's got a particular way of doing things, but for me that was almost a relief after all the options I had been looking into.

If you poke around the site, you'll probably notice that most people don't use the bio-balls; they cause nitrate problems in a SW tank, I guess. So I think many turn the compartment into a sump/refuge.

Have fun researching. The people on this site are incredibly helpful!
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Old 08-18-2004, 05:41 PM   #4
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I've been reading up on this, and it appears that pet stores promote the wet/dry filter systems, while others on these sites just drop it. Would you guys think i can use live rock, live sand, and powerheads, as a filtration method? I already have a heater and a test kit from my freshwater setup.
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Old 08-18-2004, 06:04 PM   #5
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<<<Would you guys think i can use live rock, live sand, and powerheads, as a filtration method? I already have a heater and a test kit from my freshwater setup.>>>

From what I understand this is fine, but I think you need like 1.5 lbs of live rock per gallon plus 10x water flow per gallon also. Then you'd also need pretty good light for the live rock.
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Old 08-18-2004, 06:10 PM   #6
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I'd just go with the Fenner book. I bought both from Amazon.com and they both same the same things, but Fenner's book is more complete.

However if you feel you really need step-by-step instructions, Paletta's book is a little more geared towards the total novice. I've been keeping several freshwater tanks, so I already knew a lot of general fish info..I just had to make the jump to the salty side.
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Old 08-18-2004, 06:19 PM   #7
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ya lr would be a good enough source of bio filtration thats wat i use and ive got no problems u can even get a dsb. ur gonna need a good filter too tho. id go with a protein skimmer.
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Old 08-19-2004, 09:29 AM   #8
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LFS promote the wetdry because they are easy money. The bioballs are a nitrate factory. That is their intended purpose in a FW tank. FW is what they were designed for, and they work well in that environment. SW is a different animal.

However, the wetdry isn't a total loss. You can usually convert a wetdry into a refugium/sump without much of a hitch. Just leave the blueballsofdeath out of the sump and sub in some live sand and a nice macro algea. I personally like to have a thin layer of filter floss for some mechanical prefiltration in the trickle chamber, but some would argue even having that.

LS and LR will provide all the chemical filtration you need. A good protein skimmer will take care of most partially disolved solids as well as keep your water in good general condition. Skimmers are basically a 'high tech' mechanical filter.

You mentioned a light hood. Normal output florescents will not cut it in a SW tank. You need at least VHO or PC, and if you want some advanced corals or clams, you need MH.

Some basic advice:

Plan a lot. Then plan some more. When you think you have a handle on it, go back and plan again. Get a good handle on what you want in your tank. Don't use the 'I'll just add the things I like as I go' method. You will run into a lot of problems.

Learn as much as you can about the hobby. Ask around a lot. Only take advice from LFS that you know you can trust. Some are not as honest as they could be. Some are worth their weight in gold for the advice they dish out. You have to decide which is which.

Buy the best equipment you can(t) afford. High quality equipment lasts longer, and provides you with more consistant and better results overall. Skimping always costs more in the long run.

Take things slowly. The only things that happen fast in a SW environment are disasters. It takes patients and planning to adequatly immitate an ocean. The old saying haste makes waste is big time true in this hobby. You will sacrifice hundreds ... yea thousands of dollars worth of livestock to the porcelein god if you rush into things too quickly.

Wish ya the best of luck. Keep us up to date on how you are progressing.
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Old 08-19-2004, 09:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadshow
LS and LR will provide all the chemical filtration you need.
I think you meant biological.. carbon provides chemical filtration.
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