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Old 12-12-2003, 08:17 AM   #1
KLN
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new tank questions

Things have changed in this hobby since the last time I studied saltwater tanks, and a few things are not clear.

What is an acceptable level of nitrates in a FOWLR tank? What is achievable?

Is it essential to have 4" of sand? Will 1-2" function as a filter bed? Can you add new sand on top without screwing up the sand bed already in the tank?

How much does PH vary? What time of day should it be checked, and what should it be?

I have taken my bio-wheels off. That is the correct thing to do, yes? (It now provides a lot more water movement in the tank.)

I just bought another 55 gal tank. Should I link the two 55s together? How is that done?

I want a yellow striped maroon clown next. Should I get two or will one be OK by itself?

Thanks very much for your help!

KLN
55 saltwater; HOT Magnum canister filter; Whisper 2 filter; 40 lbs live sand; 10 pounds porous rocks and ornamental coral; 15 pounds live rock so far; flourescent light with one full spectrum and one 50-50 blue and white 40 watt bulb; two cleaner shrimp; 5 turbo snails; one Domino damsel; one yellow tail blue damsel; one Fridman's pseudochromis.
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Old 12-12-2003, 02:42 PM   #2
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Quote:
What is an acceptable level of nitrates in a FOWLR tank? What is achievable?
I believe nitrates become toxic to most fish at 40 so definitely stay away from that number. As far as whats achievable, 0 with the right set up (plenty of LR, good DSB and good maintenance habbits).

Quote:
Is it essential to have 4" of sand? Will 1-2" function as a filter bed? Can you add new sand on top without screwing up the sand bed already in the tank?
If your intention for the sand bed is to provide another level of denitrification then you will want a minimum of 4 inches, many go as deep as 6-8 inches. if your substrate is just "for show" then 1-2" is fine. You can add additional sand to your sand bed without causing problems as long as you do it gradually over time. Add an inch every week or so until you have the depth you want. NOTE: if you're adding sand over CC, the sand will eventualy just settle to the bottom and leave the CC at the top again.

Quote:
How much does PH vary? What time of day should it be checked, and what should it be?
most suggest the middle of your light period. If you system has a fuge, you can alternte the lighting periods on the tank and fuge to keep the PH more constant.

Quote:
I just bought another 55 gal tank. Should I link the two 55s together? How is that done?
It depends on what you are trying to accomplish... can't answer this yet


Quote:
I want a yellow striped maroon clown next. Should I get two or will one be OK by itself?
with the three other fish in your tank I think 2 would fit OK
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Old 12-12-2003, 03:27 PM   #3
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Add more live rock. 1 lb per gallon is a minimum to get a healthy tank.
Yes, taking all media out of your filters is a good thing. This will reduce nitrates in your tank. Use the filters for water movement and I would also add a powerhead or 2 to get good current going.

Adding new sand on top will probably kill the bacteria already there, but the alternative to to remove everything. So if you want it deeper then I would go with the above suggestion of adding some more slowly. The bacteria lives in the top 2 inches so this should give it time to spread without killing it all off.

If the tank is cycled then it is fine to add another fish, just remember to add clowns last as they get really territorial. Also some more inverts would be healpful in keeping the tank clean. Hermits and snails are great.

If you get more LR then try for cured. If it is then just put it in the tank and away you go. If it is uncured you will have to cure it in a bucket so that you don't have an ammonia spike that will kill your fish.
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Old 12-13-2003, 10:26 AM   #4
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Thanks for the help.

What brand and flow rate powerhead(s) do you recommend?
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Old 12-13-2003, 11:12 AM   #5
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A healthy tank water turn over rate to strive for is 6-10 times per hour.

Aqua Clear, Maxi-Jet, Penguin are all pretty good brand names. Try to avoid cheap ones because you get what you pay for with these guys. Plus saltwater can be rough on equipment and cheaper powerheads might not be suited for that environment.
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