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Old 10-11-2012, 12:18 AM   #1
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Undergravel filters

I have a 55 gallon tank with an undergravel filter and hoping to get a protein skimmer very soon. Is this good enough for some live rock? I found out that i could have started my tank with live rok after i already got fish. So i was hoping i could add some a little bit at a time is there anything else i need in order for the bacteria and stuff to live? I have some t8 reef lights. My tank is pretty new its a month and a half old now and i have 3 damsels and a clown fish and an anemone.
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:06 AM   #2
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If you get live rock, feel free to add it your tank. Also are you sure those are T8 lights? Those won't be able to sustain an anemone I'm afraid.
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:26 AM   #3
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If ou already have an established biofilter, you can cut costs by adding mostly dry base rock. I'd still recommend some live rock for the diversity of life in high quality pieces. But it should be noted that undergravel filters are not the best option. For one thing, they don't work as well with sand, which is what it looks like you have. For another, without proper maintenance, they can actually create problems with water quality. And you can't just "turn it off", if you ever do so, it must be completely removed.
But yeah, add in the rock. Either one piece at a time, watching to make sure there's no mini-cycle, or take the time to cure it separately. And like Rick said, anemone need high light.
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Old 10-11-2012, 04:02 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott1324
]I have a 55 gallon tank with an undergravel filter and hoping to get a protein skimmer very soon. Is this good enough for some live rock? I found out that i could have started my tank with live rok after i already got fish. So i was hoping i could add some a little bit at a time is there anything else i need in order for the bacteria and stuff to live? I have some t8 reef lights. My tank is pretty new its a month and a half old now and i have 3 damsels and a clown fish and an anemone.
Please don't get afended, however, your anemone is going to die... The issue here is in what you lack. anemones require very intense lighting, and a T8 is not built to support this. If you are not running a metal halide, quad T5HO, compacts, or high par LEDs, then it just won't cut it.

If the anemone dies, and it will in this setup, It can contaminate the tank and kill your fish. Wether you upgrade your lights ($150+ fixture) or get rid of it, you need to make the change. A clownfish does not rely on an anemone in any way and is a common misconception. So not required.

Secondly, anemones absolutely require a mature tank in order to survive and feed correctly. Weather this is 6 months, or a year plus, thats in the aquarist opinion, but i would say 6 months at a minimal. They require pristine water quality (skimmed) as well.

Next issue is your filtration. In saltwater, and under gravel filter is only going to hurt you in the long run. Particles of organics are going to get trapped in your gravel (highly highly recommend picking up sand). Your nitrates are going to rise and potentially kill your fish.

Please quickly re-advise, and I would really focus on researching before you buy in order to protect the welfare of the animal and save on some hard earned cash. I say always ask the question here on AA. Your first focus should be with dealing with the anemone, then moving on to buying a skimmer...
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:05 AM   #5
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Just to add, there are good articles here on the forum about setting up a saltwater tank. Also other articles via the Internet about proper setup of a saltwater aquarium.

http://www.reeftime.com/reef-article...nemones/11.htm
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:21 AM   #6
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First & foremost.... Welcome to AA!

You really need to get that undergravel filter out of there... All it's going to do is collect detritus and old food and become a problematic nitrate factory.

Hate to say it, but the anemone needs to go.... quickly. They need a mature tank, and the T8 lighting is way too weak to maintain it. When it dies, it can pretty much nuke everything else in the tank & you will be starting from scratch.

As far as rock, I would add dry rock to an active tank.... it will become "live" as it colonizes beneficial bacteria. You can use live rock, but it needs to be cured first to prevent another cycle from any organism die-off, and it can come with unwanted pests.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:46 AM   #7
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Alright thanks! Thats good to know so what do i do with the anemone? And how would you recommend switching out the filters and gravel with the fish? Wouldnt it start a new cycle or am i good on that
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:51 AM   #8
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Alright thanks i have some base rock already and im gonna have to get rid of the anemone
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:54 AM   #9
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Ya i am going to get rid of the anemone. :/ but is it possible to take out the gravel and replace it with sand with fish in it? And i have like 6 or 7 pounds of base rock and will it grow the same stuff live rock does after awhile?
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:01 AM   #10
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Pull the fish, drain the tank (into tubs), empty the gravel and remove the UGF. Replace gravel with sand, add a lot more rock, and refill the tank. Realize that at this point, any bacteria you have are currently residing in the little bit of base rock you have and in the gravel. Once you remove that gravel, you will have to cycle the tank again. If you can rehome the fish and definitely the nem, this is the easiest way to go. If you need to keep the fish, I would attempt to find a large volume (35 pounds at least) of cured LR. The best place is someone's established tank, trade them some base rock and cash for their cured LR. Some LFS also carry fully cured LR.

I merged all three of your threads (which were all on the same topic) into a single thread. Please refrain from starting multiple threads on the same topic as it gets too confusing for both yourself and other members.
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