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timeaway 10-30-2013 03:36 PM

New saltwater fish only start up ??'s
Thanks to everyone who responded about my freshwater filter questions.

While looking at the store today, I couldn't help but be drawn to the saltwater fish. I tried a 90g reef years ago and just got a bunch of brown diatoms everyday and no coralline :(

If I wanted to do just a saltwater fish only tank, do I still need a skimmer? Live rock? sump/bioballs etc??

What type of filter would be best for my 55g??


Noob Aquarist 10-30-2013 04:03 PM

I have a 55 gal FOWLER as well. I use just a dual HOB filter with a carbon filter inside as well. Keeps the Water clear and eats up a lot of the smell that would be associated if I didnt have the filter.

In reality though you would want to get a sump set up with a protein skimmer. It will help with having to do less water changes and will help keep your params in good shape.

Everything really depends on your bio load and how much live sand/rock you have in your tank becasue that beneficial bacteria will be what mostly filters your tank.

Just an FYI: I have about 60 lbs of live rock and 20 lbs of live sand in my 55gal.

Good Luck!

TheTodd 10-31-2013 12:52 PM

In saltwater, you only need a skimmer, live rock and enough flow in the tank to keep detritus (poop) off the sand/rock so that it can get grabbed by the skimmer or filter sock (if you use one). Ideally you have a sump to put the skimmer in, but a HOB can work. Regular mechanical filters need to be cleaned weekly to keep the nitrates from elevating quickly. Do partial water changes as frequently as needed to remove nitrates and you are good to go.

Having diatoms in the past is just part of having a new tanks. They feed off of the silicates in the sand, but once that is gone, they have no food source and will die off. Takes a few weeks usually. If it stays longer, it might be algae.

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