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Old 03-31-2011, 12:09 AM   #1
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55g Tank Recommendations

Hello all, I've been browsing the website and love the community. I'd love for you guys to give me a little help. =)

So I've decided to make the jump to salt water. I'm planning on doing a FOWLR, but also would like to get into corals and anemones, just not quite sure how much. I'd rather get a FOWLR going first, and then possibly add in some more stuff. Anyways, I currently have a 10g fresh water that recently crashed due to tap water changing to an extremely low pH level. I'm getting an RO/DI unit very soon, so that's covered. Also, I have a 55g tank that I'm planning on using for a saltwater tank. I've done plenty of research and feel like I'm ready to make the jump. I've been building a new stand so I can actually use a sump. I'm planning on using a BeanAnimal overflow system. I want to get a skimmer but don't quite know what type to get besides an in sump, not hang on back (tips here are appreciated). Also, I'll have some bulkheads for some flow. I'm looking at Aragonite Sand, but I'm not sure if its the best way to go, and if it is, how much to get. Also, I'm looking at getting base rock with a little live rock for seeding. Other then that I'm not exactly sure on what I should get. I'm definitely forgetting some small things, but a little help would be much appreciated. Any tips? Thanks guys!
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Old 03-31-2011, 12:13 AM   #2
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Hi welcome to the forum! And welcome to saltwater.

I would invest in a refractometer for salinity, about $30 on ebay, much more accurate than the swing arm way.

When it comes to lights though, youll either have to drop the money now or wait for when the corals and anemones come. They need ALOT of light while FOWLR doesnt. Something to consider.

looks like your planning is solid, be sure to post us some pictures!
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Old 03-31-2011, 12:24 AM   #3
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Well my 55g was setup like this:

4x54w t5 ho light fixture.
That way when you upgrade to corrals and anemone you have good lighting already.
And let's not forget you should wait 8-12 months before putting a anemone in your tank.

30g DIY SUMP/refugium.

Bubble magus 150 skimmer rated for 80g.

2- Korila 1050 for flow.

Mag-5 return pump.

Oh and there is no use for Ro/DI in freshwater..the only thing you should be worried is the chlorine....using a Ro/DI will take out other minerals that your freshwater fish need.
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Old 03-31-2011, 12:25 AM   #4
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Thanks for the fast response! That's one thing I forgot to mention, I'll be purchasing a refractometer also. Lighting I've been debating on... If I purchase better lighting for anemones and such, it won't effect the fish I get, correct? I don't see why it would, but you never know =/

edit: Second response while typing this up. Thanks for the info! That's around the size I'm thinking of for my sump, can't fit too much bigger. Also, the RO/DI is something i need, my tap water has all this extra stuff which seems to be causing me problems. Also, I'd rather be safe then sorry, and I hear an RO/DI unit is worth it. Thanks for the info again!
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Old 03-31-2011, 12:44 AM   #5
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The fish won't mind your lighting, good or bad. LOL

if you want to be successful with sw you really do need to use ro water. I'm still battling a phosphate issue from setting up my tank with tap water. If and when you do corals the phosphate level matter. Other than phosphate theres lots of other nasties in tap so I'd skip that. I'm still going to fill jugs every day, working on a portable ro unit.
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:01 AM   #6
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Alright, sounds good! I'll make sure I get that RODI unit in the near future. Also, any other advice on other equipment, particularly a skimmer, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for all the good info guys!
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:59 AM   #7
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Sorry about the double post, but I was just wondering if I could get a little suggestion on the skimmer. I am thinking of an in-sump design, but can't seem to decide on one. Are there any preferences that people have? (55g tank in case you need to be reminded) Thanks for the help guys, I appreciate it!
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Old 04-02-2011, 12:07 PM   #8
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I use a HOB skimmer so I can't be much help, sorry. Maybe if you start a skimmer thread?
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Old 04-02-2011, 01:08 PM   #9
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You do want to get aragonite sand and not crushed coral for substrate. The amount of sand will depend on the type of fish you plan to keep, jawfish and some gobies need deeper sand beds.

I have a reef octopus skimmer Reef Octopus 8 I really like it very easy to use compared to the coralife skimmer I have.

The lights will determine what types of corals you can keep for my 55 right now I have a cheap 4 tube t5 set up I am keeping mostly softies. a couple LPS but also have 2 lower light anemones in it. If you research enough you might find you can have what you want with t5 and not MH. The heat, kelvins and par is always a factor when deciding lights.
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:34 AM   #10
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I appreciate your help guys, its helped me a ton. I've been doing some looking around... How's this skimmer look? 55g tank in case you forgot. I'm basically looking for a good skimmer that'll run fine, but i'm not too interested in using it for a larger tank... unless I can get one that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. So basically nothing too much larger then needed unless its a good deal...

Also, I finished building the frame of the DIY stand I've been putting off for 2+ months... But now I'm going to finish it pretty quick. I measured the inside of the tank, and the dimensions of the inside are: L 47.5 x W 16.5 x H 31 inches. What's the best tank I could fit in there? I've been looking around, and saw some pretty big tanks (some bigger then my 55g) that could almost fit in there... Is it almost worth using the 55g as the sump and purchasing a larger tank to stick up top? The reason I built the larger stand was so I could fit a sump tank underneath. Now, the space underneath the tank is including the 4x4 corners. The 55g would fit in between. Not counting the 4x4 corners, these are the dimensions compared:

Inside stand: L 47.5" x W 18" x H 31"
55g: L 48" x W13.25 x H 18.75"

Comparing these shows that the 55g would fit, with a little shaving off of the end 2x4's. After thinking about this, I am debating on whether or not I'm purchasing a larger tank and using my 55g as my sump... What are you opinions?

If I did use my 55g as a sump and purchased a bigger tank, I wouldn't need to worry about going bigger until later on. I would love to go this route, although it would take some convincing of the all powerful mother... seeing as how I'm not quite 16, and still in high school. =O But, I think I could do it. Anyways, can I get some opinions on this? (the more I think about it, the more I want to get a bigger tank)
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