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Old 02-01-2006, 08:36 PM   #1
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75 gallon FOWLR tank

Hey everyone out there. I have a 75 gallon tank and it is going to be a FOWLR tank. Here is my line up of equpitment that will be used in tank:

-Fluval FX5 canister filter
-Coralife Protein Skimmer (220 gallon one)
-2 reliable submersible heaters
-A digital thermometer with temp settings and alarms
-A Light fixture for 3 "blue" actinic bulbs
-2 aquaclear 70 powerheads at each end of the tank
-A salinity/gravity/ph meter (anyone have any good brands in mind?)
-A saltwater test kit
-All hooked up to an automatic timer

Alright this is basically what I have for the main tank. But I do have a couple of questions:

1) I was going to put in 100-110 pounds of live rock as well as 3-4'' of live sand. I think that this will be an excellent source of filtration as well as substrate what do you think?

2) What chemicals will I be needing (example: dechlorinator) besides the sea salt mix for cycling as well as the regular mentainence.

3) Im at the point where im going to be cycling my tank within the next couple weeks. The guy at the LFS told me that I should place a layer of live sand and about 15-20 pounds of live rock and a couple of fish and let the system run until your tank is cycled. Well you the experts im just wondering if this is the best course of action (and if not what is?), and ultimatly what should all my tests read when it is "properly cycled"?

4) A LFS told me the best thing to put in the canister filter is the foam with all the layers of bio balls, that should never be changed...is this right? I could use any suggestions on the filter media that will go in the filter compartment.

5) Is it a good idea to store a 30-50 gallon Plastic bucket with a heater and thermometer in store for regular "top-ups" and water changes...not to mention introducing new fish.

Well that should be everything if not then I will ask you guys but I thank you in advance to help a guy like me start such a rewarding hobby. Thanks a mill.
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Old 02-01-2006, 10:36 PM   #2
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1. Good, but 3-4" of Live Sand will break your bank. Do yourself a favor and get just regular dry sand. Research different kinds to see what grade you want. 100 lbs of pool filter sand or playsand will cost you about $15 max. That much LS will be about $100 or more. If you really want the LS, do a half and half mixture of live and not live.

2. None(besides dechlor). Your salt mix will provide everything you need. Some people dose calcium, iodine, etc. but this is not needed for a FOWLR.

3. Your LFS guy is almost right. I would get all of your liverock and livesand up front. Cycling your tank first, then adding in new rock and sand will only disturb your cycle. Also, don't add fish. They are not needed, and adding them to a cycling tank is not a good thing. They will likely not make it, and it will put much more strain on you by having to do many water changes to keep the fish alive. After you have your liverock in your tank, sit back and be patient. It will cycle your tank for you. If after 5 or 6 days you are not seeing any detectable ammonia when testing your water, add in a raw shrimp.

Your tank will be fully cycled after the ammonia and nitrite peak, and then become non detectable, and you have a small amount of nitrate.

4. I'm not too familiar with the insides of canister filters, but the bioballs would work great. You can also use things like clay rings, foam, lots of filter media.

5. Definitley. Keep in mind that you will "top up" with freshwater, not saltwater. Salt does not evaporate. So for keeping your already mixed saltwater for regular water changes, this is a great idea.

Enjoy the tank!
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Old 02-02-2006, 01:02 AM   #3
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Well thank you so much for very explicite awnsers I really appreciate it. But alright, on that note I do have one more question. I want yellowheaded jawfish in my tank and thats why I wanted 3-4" of sand in my tank...but I also want mandarins thats why I said live sand. I would love to know of a great mixture of sand for the bottom (example: 2" of chrushed coral and 2" of Live sand on top) I would love to hear any mixtures that have been successful with these fish. And I would also love to hear other opinions (even those these awnsers are enough for me) Thanks a million in advance and happy fish keeping
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Old 02-02-2006, 01:57 AM   #4
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Also I have another question. Im going to be using Distilled water for topping-up the tank each day. Im going to by it at safeway in larger quanities...but when I put it in I heard its best to make sure the water is the same temperature. Well how can I make it this temperature without being able to put a heater in it? Microwave it?
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Old 02-02-2006, 08:04 AM   #5
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You'll find that many people here advise against crushed coral. It often traps food, detritus, etc. In my opinion, you'd be better off going with all sand. Like I said in my first post, try half and half. 2" of dry sand on the bottom, 2" of livesand on the top. That way, over time, your sand bed will eventually become all "live". I do not keep a mandarin or jawfish, but would also advise you to check out some pod raising tips around here. There have been many posts stating what members have done to harvest their population of pods.

As for the water, room temperature is fine. With just daily top offs, it will not alter your water your water temperature significantly at all.

Best of luck. Keep the questions coming.
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Old 02-02-2006, 10:39 AM   #6
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Re: 75 gallon FOWLR tank

Mandarins have a dismal survival rate in captivity. As you are probably aware most will only eat live pods and a new tank no matter how much ls you buy isn’t going to have the healthy population of pods needed in order for it to survive.

You can purchase pods to get started and I would highly recommend a fuge to cultivate them if you do decide to get a mandarin. Below are some online sites that sell them.
http://www.reefnutrition.com/
http://www.ipsf.com/#anchor45957
http://www.inlandaquatics.com/prod/prod_detrit.html
www.seahorse.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemonsong
-A salinity/gravity/ph meter (anyone have any good brands in mind?)
This is the refractometer I use and it’s currently on sale.
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