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Old 03-04-2009, 02:58 PM   #1
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Nicks 55g FOWLR Project

Sorry about the long post, this is the start of my thread for this porject based on other posts, not in the correct section

My new tank, 55 gallon, doesnt have anything in it yet. Like i said earlier, i have the magnum filter and 2 biowheels. Flourescent lights are ontop, but ill prob replace the bulbs setup for corals. Anyone got any experiance with LED light ?? a whole nother topic.... Ok, so keep in mind ill only have (FOWLR) fish only with live rock to start. My main question with this project is the obvious question everyone is always asking at first and despite i have done alot of reading online on this subject, I am still uncertain as to which way to go with... Cycling, of course. Im thinking the best way for me to do this is with just with treated tap water (or maybe get my hands on some RO water to start with) and slowly feed it ammonia for 6 weeks with all the filters running and just use a zyme bacteria inhibitor in the process. Ammonia being from the store with no additives. I see this being the cheapest way to get my cycle going. Im assuming not even to put the live sand or live rock in yet and wait till i have a cycled tank so i dont kill the livestock in both with the ammonia. my local store sells saterwater @ $1 a gallon, but i figured i should just buy the stuff that makes it in dry form.. Or can i just start with treated tap water??

Suggestions so far on my 55gal project?

Ive read that the fine sand is alot harder to maintain with a vacuum type of cleaner. Ive never had to clean a tank out yet, so im unsure about any of that..

I bought the 55gal tank, stand, magnum filter and bi wheels and also came with 1 powerhead. Im going to sell the powerhead and buy 2 50 powerheads and run those with the magnum and biowheels until i get a cycled tank. I need to buy the 2 50w heaters as well so that i can get the temp up to help bacteria growth go faster. I was actaully just thinking i want 3x 50w heaters to aid in backups of 1 were to fail. keeping them at 50w will protect me against over heating due to a stuck on heater as well. I cannot bring back the mechanical filter, but i could always sell it... but. i was thinking of getting a protein skimmer as well. Is it not normal to use both and just use one or the other?? I need suggestions on this and which HOB Skimmer i should look into.

So you guys suggest using the 2-3 shrimp for a 55gal tank cycle method and not the ammonia from the store and keep at 4ppm?

So if i go ahead and get live rock and cycle the tank with it in there, isnt the ammonia going to kill ALL the live parts of the rock bacteria and totally make the live rock $$ pointless? I was thinking to use 50% non-live rock and 50% live rock on top. or even 70% non, 30% live, just to save on $$ starting off. Let me know some more on this, plz.

And also, is it ness to have the water im using to cycle the tank be the salt water that i will be using when i start to put live stuff in? well thats obviously saying that i dont put the live rock in to start.. but thats still up for discussion.. i just want to try to not spend alot of $$ at first until the tank is cycled, because im worried im goign to kill all the live stuff off and be pointles... unless you tell me theres huge advantages to starting with the live rock and you tell me a way to keep it all healthy throughout the cycling =D thanks guys!

The 55gal tank and setup was orig a freshwater setup, but the previous owners did a good job cleaning it all out. the tubes are pretty cleaned up and the filter and rock in the magnum is all new. Do i have to do anythign to these before starting with the saltwater? Is the magnum and biowheels ok for the setup im looking for with FOWLR? and possible move to coral down the road? Should i seel the magnum setup and get just a protien skimmer?? im a little confused on that, i though the skimmer was just for cleaning purposes etc and the filter and biofilter actually cleaned the water with the bacteria that resides on the filters?

Rock. Im looking toward 1# per gallon, so 55#'s of rock. 20# live rock, 35# Base rock. 1 local store has base rock @ $3 a pound and LR cured @ $6 a pound. No un-cured LR. Going to check another store after work thats local before i go online for it.
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Old 03-04-2009, 03:37 PM   #2
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First I would like to suggest getting the LR and LS or you can use Dry Argamax Sand From Petsmart they sell a 30LB bag for I believe $19.99. :ive Sand isn't really all that Live and it's more expensive. When you begin you would want to put your Sand and LR in with the Cycle. You would do this to create the good bacteria that needs to complete the cycle. Don't worry about killing anything Live becasue once you Live rock is taken out of the Ocean or Tank most of the Bacteria dies off anyways. Second IMO I would not use any Bio Wheels or Magnium Filter. I would suggest going to with a HOB Skimmer and 2 power Heads... I 2 have a 55g and I run right now 2 Koralia a #2 and a #3. When you begin your Cycle One good Jumbo Shrimp would Work out just find but to be in the safe size I IMO I would add 2. As for how many LBs of LR I would suggest about 90LBS should work out good for you.... You can also mix and match with Base Rock there is a guys that sell some good base rock Marco Rocks The finest aquarium rock available, base rock, live rock, reef rock, marco rock, reef tank saltwater fish, live corals, Marco rocks, Fiji live rock, Tonga Live rock
Hope this helps a little...
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Old 03-04-2009, 03:47 PM   #3
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Sounds like a good idea, if no one objects....

So this idea with taking the magnum and bi wheels out... will just the power heads and a skimmer be enough for FOWLR? What about when i decide to go to corals? Ill prob go ahead and buy the coral lights so i dont have to waste money there, down the road, but im worried abotu the filter setup.

Im assuming the magnum setup is typical for freshwater setup and not salt huh?

Also, when im cycling with the live rock, base rock and sand, do i salt up the water as if i were to have fish in it? So dont use any ammonia from bottle and just use 2 shrimp? will that be enough ammonia source for the entire cycle process, or should i be adding more as time goes by and my amonia drops?
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Old 03-04-2009, 03:56 PM   #4
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You can use it most people do. But Your LR will end up being your Biological filtration over time which defeats the purpose of having them in there if you already have Filtration in your System. IMO just let your LR filter out your waste and Let the Skimmer do it's Job. I would also Suggest getting a Good Skimmer The OctoPus Skimmer work great as well as the Bak-Pak 2R+ reef ready. Just with that, when you start adding corals you will be find with 2 power heads and Skimmer. Also your Lighitng should be good enough to house corals right now you can go anywhere between 2 to 6 watts per gallon pretty much if you want but right Now I would say any Lighting Fixture with 260watts or more should work out find.
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Old 03-04-2009, 04:05 PM   #5
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Would something like this be beter? I dont knwo anythign about refuges or sumps..

I dont want to go and sell the magnum and buy a skimmer if im goign to need soemthing else down the road..


CPR AquaFuge Pro, Sump Refugium with Protein Skimmer - eBay (item 390018048656 end time Mar-17-09 16:03:23 PDT)
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Old 03-04-2009, 04:17 PM   #6
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You can but that's if it fit's underneath your tank. With me I have no Sump cause I have not room underneath my tank for it so I don't have a Refugium. But I am in the Market to get one soon. But for now just take it one step at a time concentrate on your cycle first then everything else will fall into place later. It will take you a good 4-6 weeks to cycle at least. Two Jumbo shrimp would be enough to cycle your Tank.
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Old 03-04-2009, 04:20 PM   #7
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So should i just use the magnum system i have now to do the cycle and then change to a skimmer/sump later if i can fit it? I hope when i remove the magnum there will be enough bacteria on the rock to handle the load..

i woudl just reather set i up right the first time and not have to make any changes once i get stable
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Old 03-04-2009, 04:28 PM   #8
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i guess for a HOB i could use...

Bak Pak 2R by CPR, Factory 2nds, New, Save$$ - eBay (item 390029408719 end time Mar-08-09 12:45:57 PDT)

but is that going to be enough down the road when i go coral?
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Old 03-04-2009, 04:37 PM   #9
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I have coral now and a lot of it and it keeps my Tank crystal clear and with weekly water changes I have no issues. But for now you can use the Magnium to cycle or whatever has flow. As long as you keep a good current flow in your system your LR will do it job for you...
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Old 03-04-2009, 04:39 PM   #10
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what do you guys thik of the liveaquaria.com CUC packs? I will have to pick up a Detritus Attack Pack im assuming, once the cycle is complete, before i put fish in, correct? is this all i will need or should i get the algae attack pack at the same time as well? Do this creatures stay in the tank all year around or just when you have outbreaks?

Aquarium Algae Reef Cleaner Packages: Algae Eating Fish and Detritus Feeders for Saltwater Aquariums
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