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Old 07-07-2007, 11:19 AM   #1
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Substrate & Filtering

Hello Everyone,

I have recently decided that after 4 years of a FW tank...that it's time to enter the arena of the SW hobbyist. I have read some of the posting on this site and I feel I found the right place to join and be part of!

I have a 50 gallon tank and I am going to do a FOWLR. So for the past week I have been reading, researching, reading and researching and talked to the LFS.

Here is what I am currently thinking about upon startup (not going to state the obvious like a heater, hydrometers, test kits etc):

Lighting:
Current USA Orbit
36’’ 2x96W
Dual Daylight and Dual Actinic and Lunar Light

Skimmer:
AquaC Remora

Substrate:
I know to stay away from crushed coral.
The LFS wasn’t too high on sand…sugar-sized in particular.
Instead he recommended a slightly bigger size grain…like half the size of an oatmeal flake.
Any suggestions or recommendations are appreciated.

With my current FW setup I have a Fluval 305. I was planning on using that for filtration but read something that made me think that with the LR setup, a protein skimmer, a power head and a cleanup crew (that cracked me up when I read it)…I may not need the Fluval? True? False? Wouldn’t hurt to have it? Could serve as a power head…as it does promote good circulation?

Enough for now, don’t want to make this too long…plus I need to get ready for a picnic we are hosting!

-Bob
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Old 07-07-2007, 02:16 PM   #2
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You could get PFS or play sand like a lot of planted tanks do.

as for the fluval if you use it you'll want to ditch the sponges as they will build up nitrates. With enough liverock and thus a live sand bed you can go filter-less and just use some powerheads and as a skimmer. you can empty it out fill it with live rock rubble (small pieces) and then use 1 tray for your occasional chemical filtration (purigen or carbon)
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Old 07-07-2007, 05:01 PM   #3
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I would go with sand . It will be easier for your clean up crew to clean. If it is CC or a rocky sand then you`ll be trapping waste in your tank which will cause build up of nitrates. IMO the canister is not needed but if you want it for extra flow then you`ll be OK.
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Old 07-08-2007, 10:07 PM   #4
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I use my cannister for purigen and to run rowaphos which helps keep my phosphates in check. I run it a few hours a day.
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Old 07-09-2007, 10:29 AM   #5
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I also use my fluvials for purigen and phosban. It is great extra flow. The first thing I did when I got my filter, was to toss the sponges. If you already have one you can use it for your SW tank. Some folks don't use filters and use a skimmer in it's place. I also agree with the sand. Don't go with the larger sizes, it will be harder to clean and could harm some sand sifting critters.
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Old 07-10-2007, 12:45 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies!

After doing some more reading, research and these posts I will definitely go with a sand substrate. I have been reading pros and cons of the play sand and it could be a way to save money. But…I don’t have a warm and fuzzy feeling about that, so I will probably spend a little extra and get the aragonite sand for my substrate. OK….that one more thing off the setup check list.

So it is sounding like I can keep and use the Fluval. I will certainly get rid of the sponges. I like the idea of us LR rubble in the canister. One question about that…since it is LR will it “bloom” in the canister? Or since it’s in a closed system no need to worry about that since nothing would survive. Should I still get another power head or do you think the Fluval will provide enough circulation? I guess that also depnds on what inhabitants I put into the tank. I read some like more flow and some like less...but in general LR requires good circulation.

Couple of other questions popped in my head in regards to lighting. The lighting for the SW system obviously is going to be quite different that my FW setup. With the Current USA Orbit light I listed above I will have to ditch the lighting setup that came with the tank. My tank is actually a 46 gallon bowed front tank. The Orbit light comes with legs to elevate the light above the water…but my question is…what do you place it on? Glass? How much? By this I mean…I imagine you want some openness for oxygen flow so I am not sure how much to cover.
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Old 07-10-2007, 10:53 AM   #7
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The concept of the rubble is a place for the beneficial bacteria to grow (this is what converts ammonia to nitrAtes), bioballs do the same thing but require cleaning (so does the rubble) you simply rinse it out in your old SW.
That fluvial will not give you enough flow, you may want to invest in 1 or 2 more phs. I have three in my 55 plus the fluvial 304. I like the Hydor Koralia Water Circulation Pump , I have 2 of the 2s in my tank. Other great brands are Maxi-Jet (these have a strong direct flow), or SEIOs (an adjustable, dispersed flow).
The lighing system should be good as long as the bulbs are covered and you are correct about the glass top. It will trap heat and prevent O2 exchange and possibly reduce your pH. I have the Nova Extreme T-5 Fixtures w/Lunar Lights on my 55 and love them.
BTW, click on my bold words and it will take you to the links.
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Old 07-10-2007, 02:28 PM   #8
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So then I should provide some kind of glass platform for the lights to be on, but have it not take up alot of room so the tank can breathe.
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Old 07-11-2007, 10:09 AM   #9
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I wouldn't usae glass at all. Did your lighting system come with legs?
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Old 07-11-2007, 10:53 AM   #10
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I haven't ordered the lights yet as I am gathering info and planning an order. But yes...the lights will come with legs. Having not seen it I was concerned about having the lights on legs right above the water. Fearful of the lights falling in and electrocuting the tank. 8O

Last night I then thought to myself...just place the order and gather things and take a look at things when the come and then see what I need to do. Looking at your lights you listed above...looks like yours have legs. How's that working out for you?

Here is the lighting I am looking at: http://www.petmountain.com/product/l...6w-1023-d.html

So it is sounding like I am all but ready to do my first round of setting up. Thanks to the posts here I will be getting a nice sand substrate, the Orbit lighting, Aqua C Remora Skimmer, and a couple PH's. Once I have that and have disassembled my FW setup and I get back from vacation...I will start down the SW path. [url]
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