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Old 03-13-2003, 10:59 AM   #1
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Is there anyone out there who uses Wet/Dry instead of LR?

I am looking for someone with experience using a wet/dry filter instead of a LR setup. I'm new to the hobby, concerned with costs as well as the potential for sickness outbreaks and the possibility of having to medicate the main tank if there is mass infection. I've also been told that LR cause bad algae growth. But what I want is to hear from someone's experience how they are faring with this method.
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Old 03-13-2003, 12:12 PM   #2
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After listening to the advice of the more knowledgeable folk here I converted my wet dry to a sump. All the bio balls are in a bucket, all the aragonite is in a bucket. Southdown (5"-6"), 50 pounds of base rock and 95 pounds of LR is now in and cycling. This is for a 125 gallon tank.
RO/DI will be here tomorrow.
I've now spent just over double my original budget and still have no livestock.
But, I'd rather do it right the first time and not watch the pretty fishies die. 8)

I went through the learning curve with FW 10 years ago and watched too many fish die. I'd rather take the time to do it right the first time now.

Having said all that, I can't wait to start adding some livestock to this tank
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Old 03-13-2003, 01:42 PM   #3
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The LFS states the main negative as algae. Have you experienced algae problems? How difficult is it to clean the DSB?
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Old 03-13-2003, 04:04 PM   #4
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all the aragonite is in a bucket
Are you talking about aragonite? or Crushed Coral...two different things...Aragonite sand is good and is pretty much the same as Southdown if I am not mistaken...

Pretty Fishes,

If you are planning on doing a Fish Only aquarium, you do not have to use LR and LS to have a beautiful fish tank...

As far as algae goes, you can have just as bad either way and there is no proof of that...

The potential for outbreaks and possible diseases are prevelent in both systems...

In all, it will cost twice as much to go LR and LS as it will to just go with a wet/dry filter for FO tank...If you plan to have corals in the future, I would suggest the you plan your tank around a budget that includes 2 lbs per gal of LR and at least 1 lb per gal of sand and probably 3 to 5 pounds of LS to seed it...

I will give the seniority a chance to get in on this here, I hope I helped...
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Old 03-13-2003, 04:07 PM   #5
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The LFS states the main negative as algae.
That is a bunch of hooey...

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How difficult is it to clean the DSB?
Simple thing to this,,,,you don't
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Old 03-13-2003, 04:13 PM   #6
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Okay... So, If I choose to do w/ a wet/dry, What kind of rock should I get to provide hiding places? Plastic? Can I still use a small amount of LR for grazing purposes
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Old 03-13-2003, 04:13 PM   #7
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Obviously without LR, the source of algae seeding is gone so what you may end up with is heavy diatom growth and perhaps some hair algae (from the LFS or possibly from the fish itself?)
So I would say with certainty that without LR you won't have any macroalgae. You will have diatoms and micro green algae. I did in my FO with a wet/dry. A wet/dry has a HUGE amount of biomass and can support a heavy bioload.
You will also accumulate detritus on the bottom of your tank if using bare bottom or CC, which will need to be vacuumed at water changes. I think I would run a wet/dry in conjunction with a sand bottom and try and get some LS from a friend to seed the sand bed. If that weren't possible, I'd use 1/4" of CC and vacuum regularly.
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Old 03-13-2003, 04:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Can I still use a small amount of LR for grazing purposes
If you're going to get SOME live rock, there goes your algae excuse

Just get a used aquarim for your sump and spend the $150 for the wet/dry on a couple boxes of onlne LR. You'll be happier in the long run.
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Old 03-13-2003, 04:21 PM   #9
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Okay. So...in a LR tank, what can you do to increase the Bioload?

And if I use a 20gal high as a sump, is it neccesary (better) to have compartments and chemical filtration?
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Old 03-13-2003, 04:25 PM   #10
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You may want a compartment to put activated carbon for those few times when you want it. You will need baffles to prevent air from entering the return pump.

1-1/2 to 2#/gallon LR will be sufficient to keep a full load of fish. A 4" sand bed will further increase bio capacity.
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Old 03-13-2003, 04:29 PM   #11
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Anemoneman: for a 90 gal tank ... accoounting for the rock and 4" sand bed... what would you say is the reccomended fish load?

Can you reccomend an online retailer for the LR that doesn't charge like $100 for shipping?
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Old 03-13-2003, 04:48 PM   #12
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$2.99/lb http://www.premiumaquatics.com/Merch...L-FIJI-UNCURED

$4/lb farmed LR http://www.tampabaysaltwater.com/price.html

best deal: $2.44/lb delivered if you order over $150 (90lbs is $218) http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/p...=24&pCatId=397
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Old 03-14-2003, 03:39 PM   #13
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do you think a wet/dry (used as a sump) measuring 24L x 16H x 8W will be sufficient for a 90 gal tank....? I will need to put the heater and protein skimmer in the sump
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Old 03-14-2003, 04:15 PM   #14
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If your heater and protein skimmer will fit then it is probably sufficient. The limiting factor would be if it will hold the volume of water that will backflow out of the main tank in the event of a power failure. A 90 gallon is 48"X18" surface area (I think). That would be 3.7 gallons per inch of drainage. Your sump is approx. 13 gallons. If you keep it 2/3 full you will have about 4.5 gallons of extra capacity. It will be close. You could keep it half full and get more capacity that way.
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Old 03-14-2003, 04:26 PM   #15
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Can you explain the backflow issue? I will be getting a Reef Ready tank with the over flow at the top... if the power fails and the pump stops... how will the water get to a level where it will go over the overflow and down into the sump?
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Old 03-14-2003, 05:35 PM   #16
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The water in your main tank (when up and running) will always be at a level above the top of the overflow, right? That's how the water gets into the sump. You will also have a return pipe from your pump that goies over the top and into your main tank. Imagine a power outage, your pump stops so the water will contnue to drain into the sump until it is below the level of the overflow. Additionally the water will siphon back through the pump to the level of the return pipe. You are married to the overflow level - no way to change how much water will drain out of your tank until it reaches this level. The return pipe, on the other hand, can be regulated by you. You simply drill a 1/4" hole in your return pipe just below water level so when the water goes below this hole, air will enter the return pipe and break the siphon.
It's a little confusing to describe without drawing a picture. Did you get it?
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Old 03-16-2003, 03:53 PM   #17
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Almost...i'm just trying to understand ...when you say "You simply drill a 1/4" hole in your return pipe just below water level "... can you explain further? the water level of teh tank or the water level of the sump? oh..

by the way... I bought a used amiracle wet/dry from ebay.. its 24Lx12Wx14H.. I'll of course scrap the bioballs and now I have a multi-chambered sump that cost me 100 bucks instead of a premade sump ( $250) or a wet/dry ($235). All hail EBAY...
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Old 03-16-2003, 07:06 PM   #18
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You drill a hole in the return pipe as it enters the main tank from the pump which pumps water from the sump back to the main tank. The return pipe will enter the main tank and the outlet will be under water. If the pump stops, water will siphon back through this pipe, into the pump, and into the sump. It will continue to siphon until the outlet of the return pipe is out of the water (the level in the main tank has dropped below the outlet of the return pipe). To prevent too much water from siphoning back, drill a 1.4" hole just below the water level (when the pump is running) to allow air to enter the return pipe (before several gallons has siphoned out and exposed the pipe end) which will break the siphon and stop the flow of water into the sump.
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Old 03-17-2003, 09:38 AM   #19
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Okay. I understand better what you are saying. But, if you drill a hole in the pipe, while the pump is working normally, won't water escape the pipe?
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Old 03-17-2003, 10:07 AM   #20
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But, if you drill a hole in the pipe, while the pump is working normally, won't water escape the pipe?

Yes, but if you make the hole right below the surface of the water, there is no problem. All the water is getting returned to the tank anyway. When drilling an anti-siphon hole, I usually have the pump running so the waterlevel in the tank is at normal operating levels, then I make a mark on the return line at the water surface. Turn the pmup off, remove the pipe and drill a small hole just below the mark. 99% or more of the water is still going to be returned through the end of the return pipe.
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