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Old 03-06-2011, 10:52 PM   #1
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Location: South Dakota
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Exclamation Need some suggestions for 55g FOWLR

I'm starting a 55g FOWLR in June and this is the equipment I have purchased so far along with some items I'd like to get a more "seasoned veteran's" opinion on. I'm currently reading the articles and advice on the forum plus i've purchased the book: Marine aquarium handbook Beginner to Breeder...can't get to much info.

Items Purchased already:
55g tank
(2)Koralia 750 circulation pumps
(2)150W Hydor THEO submersible heaters
Day-Night Timer/Wavemaker
Thermometer
AquaC Remora skimmer w/Maxijet 1200 and drain
Prefilter for Remora (MJ 1200)
RO undersink system for water
Refractometer
Hydrometer for backup
EHEIM 2217 External Canister Filter
10g QT aquarium
Penguin 150 Biowheel filter for QT

Items I still need and would love some suggestions or comments on
Test Kit...Will buy when I get ready to set tank up (good brand?)
Sand (Want to go all dry aragonite...how much do I need?)
Live Rock (Want to go 40# base rock/20 LR to seed...would like some suggestion on what type of live rock to go with like Fiji or Carribean plus good dealers...there's a petsmart and a petco 100 miles away)
Salt (a good brand with a good track record)
Lighting...I have a cheap hood but I hate how it looks, would love some suggestions on how to upgrade this. It's just for a FOWLR...no corals or nems. I don't know what I all need to buy to upgrade like a plexi-glass cover and what light fixtures; I would like to keep the project $100 or under, if it is feasible.
Tank Stand...I would love to build one, but I have never built anything like that before and I want it to look nice with cabinets underneath...if you know how or know where to get VERY detailed plans for one, let me know.

Well that's what I got for now, I'm open to any and all suggestions. First SW tank and I want to do it right. I'm very patient, so time is no big thing...don't care how long it takes; just so it's done the right way. Like I said i'm not setting up until mid-June so I still have time to purchase. I know alot of the members out here have very good suggestions and input and i'm looking forward to hearing all of it. I'd like to keep cost down but I'm not going to skimp a penny for less quality and risk to my livestock when that comes around. Thanks all!
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:53 AM   #2
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Hydrometer for backup Give it back. You already have a refractometer. Just calibrate once a month.

EHEIM 2217 External Canister Filter - DUMP it and just use LR for your biological filtration.

10g QT aquarium GOOD
Penguin 150 Biowheel filter for QT GOOD, keep the biowheel in the sump (which you'll get in place of the cannister filter) for future use when not being used in the QT tank.

Items I still need and would love some suggestions or comments on
Test Kit...Will buy when I get ready to set tank up (good brand?)
I like the Salifert kits for Alk, Ca, Mg, NO3, the Hanna handheld for PO4, an electric for pH, API or other liquid test kits for others.

Sand (Want to go all dry aragonite...how much do I need?)
How deep do you want the sand bed to be?
There are sand bed calculators around, and we plan on adding one this site in the future.

Live Rock (Want to go 40# base rock/20 LR to seed...would like some suggestion on what type of live rock to go with like Fiji or Caribbean plus good dealers...there's a petsmart and a petco 100 miles away)

I like Pacific Island rock for it's porosity. Caribbean is a denser rock. You want to have 1 - 2 pounds of rock per gallon of volume to achieve biological filtration. There are many good online stores to buy it from (liveaquaria.com is one).


Salt (a good brand with a good track record)
Pick any major brand and you'll be fine. There is no perfect salt. I use Red Sea Coral Pro, others like Tropic Marin, and some swear by IO.

Hope that helps.
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Old 03-07-2011, 01:04 PM   #3
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Thank you for the input! I have the hydrometer for backup because I have 2 kids, boys 6 & 3 and i'm afraid that it'll end up a sword or something one day when i'm not paying 100% attention to them! The reason for the cannister and not a sump right now is I don't have any room for a decent sized sump right now and I thought this would be a good alternative for now. When purchasing live rock, if I go to the store 100 miles away (about an hour and a half drive) will putting the rock in a cooler with some of the water from the LFS work? Also, should I set up the biowheel filter in my main tank when not using it on the QT?
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