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Old 03-19-2020, 03:03 AM   #1
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Thinking about switching a 20g tall or 10g to planted reef

This would be my first saltwater tank ever. Before I decide to tear down my cycling 10g or 20g plunk down money for rock, wave maker and salt mix, I have some questions. Coming from planted freshwater.

I have a 20g tall and a 10g currently filled and cycling them (for freshwater). I got them dirt cheap used but the lights aren't plant worthy. Looking for lighting ideas, I stumbled onto the topic of planted reef and I am quite interested. I'm considering a RODI unit anyways for all my tanks. My water seems to suck.

I know to use RODI water for salt. I will hit up the LFS for a couple months til I can either pick up or build a RODI system.

I'm looking to stay on the easy side of macroalgae and corals. Although sea grass would be awesome.

Lighting has me sort of confused as antinic lighting is used in reefs. I'm wondering if a dual T5HO fixture (with reflectors) is going to be enough with a grow bulb and one antinic bulb or if it's even a good combo. this would apply to either the 10g or the 20g. I'd also like to be able to run lights for the coral/macros, but i'm also curious about adding some dim led (or whatever) to be able to view the coral at night also that wouldn't encourage microalgae to grow.

As far as I can tell, I do not need to worry about co2 dosing with planted saltwater. Am I correct?

Then about dry rock. Rule of thumb seems to be 1lb per gallon at a minimum. Some stuff I have come across suggests that with macros I do not need quite as much rock. So I'm wondering if I can get away with closer to 15 lbs for the 20g or around 7-8 lbs for the 10g
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Old 03-19-2020, 07:16 PM   #2
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For a small tank like that, a dual T5HO unit will grow a good amount of coral under it. We don't use Co2 in saltwater, though I think some members have experimented with that and other things...but there wasn't any follow up so don't know what ended up coming of it.
The amount of rock you're talking about for both tanks would be just fine. It isn't about the growing space, that is your main biological filtration in saltwater.
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Old 03-19-2020, 11:25 PM   #3
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Thanks. I know the rock is the bio filter. My reading indicated that not as much rock is necessary when adding in macroalgae.
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Old 03-20-2020, 07:08 PM   #4
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That would be two different types of bio filtration. The bacteria in the rock will move the ammonia to nitrite and nitrate to nitrates. Then the other ways of managing parameters take care of the nitrates. The macro algaes will feed off of the nitrates. You'd basically have a refugium inside your display, compared to in the sump. I personally prefer algae turf scrubbers, but both work.
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Old 03-21-2020, 06:03 PM   #5
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That would be two different types of bio filtration. The bacteria in the rock will move the ammonia to nitrite and nitrate to nitrates. Then the other ways of managing parameters take care of the nitrates. The macro algaes will feed off of the nitrates. You'd basically have a refugium inside your display, compared to in the sump. I personally prefer algae turf scrubbers, but both work.
The past day I've come across and learning about refugiums. Personally I'd rather be able to display macro in the tank.

Refugiums are quite interesting. I came across pico reefs looking up more into keeping reef tanks.

I may turn my 3.5 into a pico down the road. A small refugium for that is a great idea.
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Old 03-22-2020, 01:58 AM   #6
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If you have the macro algae in your display, the display basically is the refugium. But, with a macro display tank you could easily just plumb the two systems together to accomplish the same thing.
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Old 03-22-2020, 10:18 AM   #7
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If you have the macro algae in your display, the display basically is the refugium. But, with a macro display tank you could easily just plumb the two systems together to accomplish the same thing.
I didn't think about that. that is an interesting idea.

Before I moved My bedroom/office was a fish room which I miss. I don't have that luxury anymore because of wall space where I'm at now. 24 inches about length is max I can do.

Where I can fit the 24 inch length I was going to build industrial shelving to get 2 20g stacked. A coral tank with a macro refugium plumbed in would be cool.
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