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Old 06-02-2005, 02:40 PM   #1
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Best filter and substrate

Can anyone give me some advice on the best filtration system to use in a beginner's marine aquarium? I have been told to stay away from UGF.
Also, what type of substrate is best? Traditional gravel or or something a little more complex?
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Old 06-02-2005, 08:30 PM   #2
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Live rock and live sand and a sump with a protein skimmer..I have all this and a wet dry as well. the undergravel is really old skool.. 8)
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Old 06-02-2005, 09:45 PM   #3
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Just because the ugf is old school does not mean it is not effective. There are better ways, but bottom line QT and regular maintenance (water changes, cleaning filter pads etc) goes the longest way in the health of your animals. Live rock and a good skimmer are a very good start.
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75 Gal FOWLR est. 6-01
Wet Dry w/Amiracle Skimmer
[Bio Balls/1lbs. slow drip Carbon]
9 Watt UV Ster.
100lbs. Live Rock (Fiji,Tonga Br)
125lbs. Aragonite Base
Maculosus Angel~Yellow Tang~Flame Hawk~Canary Blenny~Pajama Cardinal~Bl Yel Tl Damsel~Brittle Star

10 Gallon Sea Clear Acrylic est. 7-05
Whisper HOB w/carbon+ 1 rio 400 PH
65 watt 12K PC
DSB + 6lbs. Fiji LR/2lbs. Base R
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Old 06-03-2005, 09:29 AM   #4
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In response to these replies, I am considering going with a high-end canister filter. Is this a good choice for a beginner?
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Old 06-03-2005, 11:00 AM   #5
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I am considering going with a high-end canister filter. Is this a good choice for a beginner?
Yes and no. Canister filters add flow to the tank and provide you with a good place to run chemical media if needed. However, without regular maintanance they have a tendency to produce NO3. Here is what I would do...LS substrate and 45-60lbs of LR. This is all you need for biological filtration. Add on a good skimmer and you are set. You can still use the canister as a place to run GAC. I would fill the canister with LR rubble for added biomedia.
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Old 06-03-2005, 11:08 AM   #6
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I agree with Lando... Canister filters are not all what they're cracked up to be.. at least not in SW (maybe FW). I returned my fluval for more rock instead... best decision I made (besides my ro/di unit).

For the price... I would rather get an extra PH, and more rock. Less maintenance, looks better, and most likely cleaner water.
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Old 06-03-2005, 12:09 PM   #7
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O.K. So the best would be to load up on live rock/live sand. What is a skimmer? Should I use a powerhead?
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Old 06-03-2005, 12:22 PM   #8
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What is a skimmer? Should I use a powerhead?
It is a Protein Skimmer. They help in the removal of DOC in the water and help keep water water quality high. Powerheads should always be used in a SW tank. The number of powerheads will depend on the size of the tank.
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Old 06-03-2005, 01:10 PM   #9
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Um...a little confused. I was wondering about using an UGF and powerhead combo earlier, but people in this newsgroup have told me that they are "old school", now people are saying they should 'always' be used. How can this work? Do you connect the powerhead to the UGF plate? Where does the protein skimmer fit in?
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Old 06-03-2005, 01:43 PM   #10
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I would not bother using an UGF. There are much better alternatives (LS,LR) out there. Skip it.
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