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Old 02-13-2006, 06:20 PM   #1
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Please review and comment on my 55 gal fowlr setup

Yeah, I'm new at this.

Had a 10 gallon freshwater setup for a month now, wanted a 55 fowlr to start with, but the wife said no, lets start small.

Last week she came to me and asked about a bigger tank.

So I'm doing research and going from store to store and looking online and still don't know exactly what I am looking for/at.

I'm looking at a 55 gallon tank which is the biggest tank we have room for.

After hitting several stores, I've settled on one to do my shopping from. I would buy online if I knew more about what I was doing and since I don't I'm relying on my lfs to help me along.

With their help and yours, I'm hoping I don't screw this up too much.

I'm looking at:

55 Gal aquarium
Fluval 304 Canister Filter
Vecton UV Sterilizer
Heater, Submersible
NO Lighting
Air Pump & Stone
Power Head (1)
Various Fittings
Substrate
Live Rock (25-30 lbs)

Any more thoughts suggestions or ideas?

Thanks,
elzool
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Old 02-13-2006, 06:36 PM   #2
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Is this FOWLR to start, converting to reef later, or is it going to stay FOWLR?

You may consider a reef ready 55 gallon, so you have the option of adding a sump easily. A sump can make some maintenance easier, is a nice place to tuck a small refugium and is astheticly pleasing in that it maintains the display at a constant water level and hides your filtration/heating below the stand.

There is debate about the usefulness of UV sterilizers. I wouldn't get it if you want to go reef someday, you'll need some of those microscopic critter to survive and be food for corals. Good for fish only.

Canister filter is good for fish only. If you're going to go reef, a protien skimmer and some extra power heads would serve you better.

Submersable heater good.

NO Lighting. Again, great for fish only, you may consider upgrading this later if you go reef.

If you're going for a pump and air stone, you only need the emergency backup kind. If the output of your canister ripples the surface of the water, that should be sufficient areation for a moderately stocked tank.

Power Head, really not necessary with the canister filter, good if you're going with the skimmer instead.

What kind of substrate? I would recomend live sand.

Live Rock is best at 1 lb/gallon, although if you're sticking with the canister filtration, you don't need quite that much.

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Old 02-14-2006, 05:51 PM   #3
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There is debate about the usefulness of UV sterilizers.
Yes, I would spring for an excellent skimmer with the extra money.
The canister filter (Fluval) works great at polishing the water. However, keep in mind that you will need to use due diligence when it comes to maintenance. These things get dirty quick, and will build up a lot of waste that can end up back in the water. It is a great start though on a smaller budget.

I would personally go with 2-3 MJ900's for better turnover. The ideal target is 10x typically.
I would agree as well that sand is best for most applications in SW.
LR - 1 lb per gal is good, but if you can get 2 lb for a more natural filtration you could go reef without having to add anymore. You can do 50% base and 50% LR if you want to start. It will eventually all become live.

IMO - If you can spring for it, I would get pc lighting. Prices have come down a bit, and it is more pleasant to the eye and beneficial to your LR.

Just my 2 cents.

Mike
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Old 02-14-2006, 06:00 PM   #4
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For now and as far as I can tell, it'll be FOWLR for quite some time.
I figured with the airstone, just a small one for overkill sake.

Same with the power head. I'd rather wire it up with everything in place to start than get elbow deep the week after because I forgot something.

I was going to go sand with some live rock. Not nearly a pound/gallon, but maybe half that.


Should I put everything that is below in the stand in a rubbermaid bucket in case of drippage?

Wife saw a 90Gal tank.. if I went with that(yes) what would I need to change? I realize the filter would need to be bigger.... anything else?
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Old 02-14-2006, 06:14 PM   #5
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For your LR go to WWW.HIROCKS.COM and get 30 pounds base dry rock for 30 bucks and it will become live in no time ... that added with say, 25 pounds LR you are talking about, you will have 55lbs LR in no time at all, not to mention a fuller looking tank
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Old 02-14-2006, 06:17 PM   #6
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Planning = success in this hobby.

Slight difference in cost between the 55g and 90g, but worth it.

More sand
More salt
More rock
Bigger skimmer
MJ1200's 2-4
2 150w heaters for redundancy
I wouldn't personally use an airstone in a SW tank, but that's just my opinion

In a 90g, I would go with a sump if possible. I used to have a 90g and had to use 2 Fluval 404's to keep it clean. If you can, go with a sump. This way, you can hide most equipment. Before you get your skimmer, try and determine if you want the in-sump, or hang on. HTH

Mike
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Old 02-14-2006, 06:39 PM   #7
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In checking prices, I think I'll stick with my plans for a 55.
Just can't pull off a 90 plus extra equipment off right now.

I believe I will go with part base rock base and 25# LR and let it grow.

The lighting... well, if I had the funds up front I'd go with pc lighting, but for right now no will have to do. Maybe pc at the end of the year.
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Old 02-14-2006, 06:42 PM   #8
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Hey Mike, just curious, but any shops in central Phoenix you might recommend?

I'm out in the west valley and have found one lfs that I'm really happy with, one that scares me and another that is too far away but still pretty nice.

Being new at this, any advice is welcome.
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I have an Oceanic 75g RR tank, MegaFlow sump, ASM G2 Skimmer, stand, canopy, and 60lbs of base rock.

Someday I'll add fishies.
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Old 02-14-2006, 06:57 PM   #9
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He elzool,

I typically buy all my equipment online, but Aquarium Arts is one of the better places I go to for livestock. You can also check out the Ocean Floor in Phoenix as well. Prices seem a little high there, but they have a large selection though.

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