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GreenMonster 09-17-2011 11:27 PM

Do I HAVE to have a sump/refugium?
I've had fresh water aquarium experience in the past and am looking to invest in a saltwater fowlr setup. I'm trying to decide between a 40g breeder or a 75g tank. I'd like to use HOB filters with a biowheel, but I really do not wish to have a sump/refugium. I'm just wondering if anyone has or is using this setup?

joy13 09-18-2011 12:07 AM

No you don't need a sump or fuge. I have a 45 gallon reef tank with a HOB filter it is rated for 110 gallons. If you have live rock and sand that is where most of your bacteria is anyway. Bigger is always better I don't know maybe you could use 2 ac 110 on a 75. Personally I have seen what saltwater does to a biowheel and it isn't worth the hassle.

GreenMonster 09-18-2011 03:39 AM

Phew that's a relief! I think I'm goof to go with the 75g then. What are some different kinds of filters that you recommend? Thank you for your help

Fishguy2727 09-18-2011 10:18 AM

Although a sump or a refugium is not a requirement for any saltwater tank, there are many reasons why they are so popular. To start with they add a lot of volume, which helps a lot with chemical stability. They also offer somewhere to hide a lot of equipment. Saltwater tanks can be a lot more complete and balanced as a whole than freshwater, IF you rely on natural filtration. As stated the live rock is most of your filtration, but the other two most valuable forms are a protein skimmer and a refugium. In addition, a sump uses an overflow which helps keep the surface of the tank clean, which is a problem in many tanks.

HOBs, canisters, etc. are all filters made for freshwater tanks. When used on marine tanks they usually do little more than trap a bunch of debris that will sit and rot, lowering the water quality unless you clean the filter every single month without exception, ever.

It can be done, but a system that is setup the best will run the best, and I wouldn't consider standard HOBs and canisters as doing that. They will create a lot of unnecessary maintenance.

GreenMonster 09-18-2011 04:26 PM

I'll look into getting a sump, but it's the refugium that I am really not looking to get. I do plan on having quite a bit of live rock and using two HOB filters that are rated double of which ever sized gallon tank that I decide to buy, as well as adding a protein skimmer. Changing the filters every month won't be a problem, as I do this already with my freshwater tank

carey 09-18-2011 04:30 PM

I currently have a55g that runs with a fluval canister and a remora skimmer. Couldnt have kept the water any cleaner even with a refugium if I had gone with the sump. I just made sure to do my monthly canister maintenance. I didn't overstock or overfeed too much lol, and I kept 0 trates and had no algae issues to speak of. The water also looked crystal clear, I rotated months with carbon though so that can help.

joy13 09-18-2011 05:10 PM

If you get a skimmer I would highly recommend a sump. I haven't had much luck with the HOB skimmers I have tried 3 of them, if they do work they put micro bubbles in the tank something I didn't like.

GreenMonster 09-18-2011 05:45 PM

I'll keep that in mind Carey thank you! I'm looking to build my stock list around ocellaris clownfish. I figure I'll get a pair of them and maybe a pacific blue tang if I go with a 75g, any idea as to what my fish capacity limit would be? Also, what are some other fish suggestions that would be compatible with clownfish?

carey 09-18-2011 05:59 PM

I CAN tell you you'll need at least a 6 foot tank for the tang. :-(

It all depends on yoru fish load and how many. Some are messier than others. lol

You can look into blennies, gobies and dottybacks, maybe a kole tang or a tomini tang.

check out Aquarium Fish: Tropical Freshwater Fish and Saltwater Fish for Home Aquariums to get some ideas.

GreenMonster 09-18-2011 08:20 PM

Oh really? That's kind of a bummer lol how come tangs need a longer tank to be in if you don't mind me asking? More swim room?

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