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Old 03-07-2003, 05:06 PM   #1
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Newbie Needs Advice on FOwLR

I'm new as well and in the research phase of the process. My Goal is to have a FO tank. From what I gather, LR is a good thing to use...what about cured corals? I'd like to have both. Also... I was planning on getting an Amiracle SL-250 for a 90gal tank... And now, I see that Rio Pumps get a bad name... What's a good replacement? Lastly, what about protein skimmers? I had two LFS's tell me they are not neccesary. Also... I guess I should be looking into LS as well... I was goign to use crushed coral.


This is what I planned to get:

90 Gal R/R Tank
Amiracle SL-250
Rio 3100 (900gph)
Aqua Ultraviolet 25W
About 60-70# of LR (From Where is the best?)


Your help is much appreciated

Mark
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Old 03-07-2003, 05:16 PM   #2
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I recommend a 20L for a sump. Spend the money saved on your wet/dry (approx $200) for another 30-40# LR and a Mag-9 pump (for your return). You're correct on the Rio's. Cheap components cause them to fail prematurely. I would never use a Rio for my main pump. You could even use a Quiet One or a Little Giant external pump and drill the side of the 20L to accomodate a bulkhead. You're from NJ so you should be able to find Southdown Tropical Playsand in a local Home Depot. Use that for your sand. It will be live sand in a matter of weeks.

Don't know what you mean by "cured corals".

I suggest the followng order of activities. Put the LR in. Put the sand in. Put the new saltwater in. Let it cycle. Gently blow off the LR with a turkey baster when necessary. After your tank is cycled and up and running for a few weeks, the sand will settle down and quit clouding.
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Old 03-07-2003, 05:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
And now, I see that Rio Pumps get a bad name... What's a good replacement?
If you are speaking of powerheads, I believe maxi jet is the best pump made.
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Lastly, what about protein skimmers? I had two LFS's tell me they are not neccesary
Some people use them some people dont. I personally use them because it reduces how often I have to do water changes. The cons of using them is that they can kill some benificial organisms. However this really does not effect FO tanks. I would run a skimmer on the tank if you were planning to stock it full. But if you are going to have a very light bioload, it is unnessary.
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Old 03-08-2003, 12:39 AM   #4
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Crushed coral does not allow for the production of beneficial bacteria as well as aragonite, southdown playsand (also aragonite sand and available at some Home Depot stores) or live sand. Coral skelatons ( I assume that is what you meant by "cured Corals") are fine for decoration but Live rock is much more pourous and allows for better filtration. Shoot for at least 1# per gallon of water, the more the better. I use aquaclear and maxijet water pumps as both are very reliable. If you are going to have a moderate ot heavy bioload, you will benefit from a protein skimmer, a good quality inexpensive skimmer is red sea prism brand, I have had good luck with mine. Good luck.
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Old 03-10-2003, 01:15 PM   #5
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Thanks for the comments so far.... Of course... I have more questions. With LR...if the fish get sick and I have to medicate, doesn't that kill the LR?

What about the Amiracle Hurricane vortex proteim skimmer?
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Old 03-10-2003, 07:35 PM   #6
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If the fish get sick you should never put medication into the main tank. instead elect to medicate the fish in a hospital tank. Many medications are copperbased and copper is highly toxic to many inverts.

For info on how to setup a hospital or quarinteen tank check out our articles linked off the front page.
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Old 03-10-2003, 11:00 PM   #7
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just pray it doesnt happen, catching the little buggers amongst 100 plus pounds of liverock is NOT easy.
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Old 03-11-2003, 10:37 AM   #8
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So... what if all the fish get sick? You put them in quarantine tank(s)... But what about the rocks? How do you deal with an outbreak and not kill the rocks?
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Old 03-11-2003, 11:18 AM   #9
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Sorry..but I have more questions.

As far as sumps go, do they manufacture pre-drilled sumps?

Which is best maintenance-wise - Quiet One or Iwaki?

How didfficult is it to do water changes with sand? Any Tips?

How do you handle the task of daily top-offs? Are you mxing everytime...using dechlorinated tap water or what?
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Old 03-11-2003, 11:50 AM   #10
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As far as sumps go, do they manufacture pre-drilled sumps?
Yes but it will be cheaper to DIY.

Quote:
Which is best maintenance-wise - Quiet One or Iwaki?
They are both low maintenance pumps. Never owned an Iwaki. You have to put a drop of oil on teh motor bearings every once in a while.

Quote:
How didfficult is it to do water changes with sand? Any Tips?
Easy. Stick a hose in the water and siphon out the bad. Use a powerhead to pump in the good. With a sump, put the good water in the sump and let your recirc pump put it back in the tank for you.

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How do you handle the task of daily top-offs? Are you mxing everytime...using dechlorinated tap water or what?
Only top off with dechlorinated tap water (if that's all you have) or RO/DI water (better). To automate it you will need a float switch in the sump, a dosing pump, and a reservoir of water. Many people use limewater (kalkwasser, Calcium hydroxide and water) to top off. This adds calcium and helps maintain alkalinity at the same time as replacing evaporated water.
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