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Old 07-01-2007, 05:11 PM   #1
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PH, heater, skimmer capacities for 65-gal FOWLR tank

I'm getting ready to transition from our 36-gal FOWLR tank to our new 65-gal tank. Planning to get new PH's, heater, skimmer & filter. Appreciate pointers to info on quality models of capacities appropriate for this tank size.

E.g. found a table relating Fuval cannister filters to tank size (we have a Fluval 204; need a 304 unless someone suggests another line that might be better; only problem with Fluvals is priming after cleaning).

Our PH's are rated 127 gph, probably not enough for a 65-gal tank. (Plan to use two)

Going to get a new skimmer too; thinking about one that combines bioculture - what about this one? Cyclone BAK-PAK2 Bio-Filter protein skimmer

Obviously we're going to be buying a lot more LR.

I've been googling every free moment, but hoping from feedback from more experienced aquarists.

TIA

Bob Peitzke
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Old 07-01-2007, 06:39 PM   #2
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Congrats on the upgrade. I am not a big fan of canisters for a SW application so I cannot really recommend one. They do okay for added flow and a place to run mechanical and chemical filtration but require frequent cleanings and do require priming. I would not run any "biological media" in them.

For powerheads, look at the maxi-jet 1200. It is a good and reliable model. Three should be okay.

The skimmer you mentioned is a good one and should be just fine.

I agree about adding additional LR...1.5-2lbs/gal should be a goal to shoot for.
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Old 07-01-2007, 07:11 PM   #3
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Oh yeah, we're all excited about this new tank. It's 36" wide, thus fits our space, but is taller and somewhat deeper, thus almost double the volume. And its lovely oak stand & cover match our furniture. Best of all it was a good price at the LFS.

So you think we should just run 3 PH's and a good skimmer, with plenty of LR, but no cannister filter? That sounds good to me, as cleaning our Fluval has been a PITA.

In our current tank we have two of these smaller PH's, pulling from tubes going down to plastic under-gravel grids. Do you think this is a good system of which I could just put in three, with the higher gph PH's you recommended? I read something about an under-gravel filtering system that requires holes drilled in lower rear of acrylic tank. We could do that, as the new tank is acrylic, but I'm not eager to drill holes in it if I can get adequate filtering with components that hang off the back.

I'm trying to make sure I have all my ducks in a row before I get started on the transition. I have a tub large enough to hold CC, LR & fish during transition, a sheet of plexiglas to cover & support PH & heater, and am getting extra heaters & PH's for it plus new tank. Absent contrary advice, I plan to transition portions of our CC & LR to the new tank, blending the SW & keeping temp & salinity matched in all three, while keeping the rest & fish in the tub; monitor NH3/NO2/PH in the new tank; move the fish & rest of the CC & LR when stable, then just add more SW quickly, & more LR gradually as we find nice pieces. - this as opposed to cycling the tank from scratch. Open to suggestions ...

Thanks

Bob Peitzke
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Old 07-01-2007, 07:24 PM   #4
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So you think we should just run 3 PH's and a good skimmer, with plenty of LR, but no cannister filter? That sounds good to me, as cleaning our Fluval has been a PITA
That is a gerat plan in my book!
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In our current tank we have two of these smaller PH's, pulling from tubes going down to plastic under-gravel grids. Do you think this is a good system of which I could just put in three, with the higher gph PH's you recommended? I read something about an under-gravel filtering system that requires holes drilled in lower rear of acrylic tank. We could do that, as the new tank is acrylic, but I'm not eager to drill holes in it if I can get adequate filtering with components that hang off the back.
100% DITCH the UGF. They are very "old school" and not a good choice for a SW tank.

What are you using for a substrate in the new tank? I STRONGLY recommend using LS instead of CC. If you have CC in your current tank, get some sand for the new one. Put some of the CC in a meda bag or even the leg of an old pair of panty hose so that you can use it to seed the new substrate and simply remove it once the new tank has cycled.
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Old 07-01-2007, 07:40 PM   #5
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Ahh, back to the question of CC vs LS. We have ~ 3" of CC in our 36-gal tank, which has been stable for 3+ yrs. I was thinking of changing over to argonite LS for the new tank, seeding it as you suggested. But we were advised that sand would not be good without some critters to stir it, and we fear our fat, 6" speckled green puffer would eat any such critters. What do you think? I'd rather go to sand, but don't want to invite problems. Our CC we just stir by hand every couple of weeks, the areas we can reach without moving the LR.

So what do you advise then instead of a UGF system?
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Old 07-01-2007, 10:27 PM   #6
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I would still go with the sand. You do not really need sifters if you stick with a 2-3in sand bed. You will be just fine.
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So what do you advise then instead of a UGF system?
Nothing, just add your substrate to the bottom of the tank. You can up your LR to 1.5-2lbs/gal for all the biofiltration you will need.
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Old 07-01-2007, 10:43 PM   #7
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So for the PH's, no intake tube down to under-sand grid? Just let them suck water from general tank water?

I'm going to start shopping for aragonite sand.

Thanks.

) Bob
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Old 07-02-2007, 11:01 AM   #8
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So for the PH's, no intake tube down to under-sand grid? Just let them suck water from general tank water?
Correct. The maxi-jets (and may other brands) come with a strainer cover for the intake to keep things from getting sucked in. The are simply there to circulate and direct tank water.
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Old 07-02-2007, 11:53 AM   #9
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Persxonally, I like my cannister filters. I have a Fluvial 304 on my 55G and the beast of a filter, the FX5 . These allow me to run purigen and phosban, to help keep my water parameters in check (for some reason, I have issues with my well water). I also like the Finnex 200w DIGITAL Titanium Heater w/controller . I had my tank drain below the heater and they still work. PHs, I love the Hydor Koralia Water Circulation Pump . They have gentle, broad flow. I have seen snails crwal accross them and not get sucked in. You can also cleane them without removing them from the tank, I use a new toothbrush. The other advice is also great. You can save some money buy getting either lace rock or base rock, in the place of new LR. I want to say I had CC and didn't like it and ended up replacing it with sand. There are a few posts about this if you do a search, you can read up on what other's did.
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Old 07-02-2007, 03:26 PM   #10
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I`m a LR and skimmer person myself. Never have used a filter or canister on my 125 gallon tank. Been doing it for almost 10 yrs now.
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