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Old 02-27-2005, 06:54 PM   #1
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Saltwater Newbie - Need Advice

I am a newbie to SW and will be setting up a tank within the next 1-2 months. What i want is a 45 Gallon tank FOWLR. I have been getting contradicting advice from my LFS and from other Forums. I want to start with FOWLR and maybe eventually add some corals. This is what i was told i needed.

1: Filter - LFS said i needed one, people on other forums said i dont since i will have a 4 inch sand bed, around 30lbs of liverock, and a protein skimmer (most likely a BAK-PAK 2, or Aqua C Remora).
2: Substrate - 4 inch sand bed, the stuff brought from Home Depot (think its called southdown).
3: Liverock - 30lbs from liverock.com (20 base rock and 10 keys)
4: Protein skimmer: BAK-PAK 2, or Aqua C Remora. or any other suggestions?
5: 2 Powerheads - dont know any good brand or how many gph i need
6: Heater - unknown of how many watts or any good brands
7: Lighting - some said the basic hoodlight would be fine, other say i need compact flourecent. THis is where i am really confused, the tank im looking to buy has space for two flourent lights, do i need to just change bulb, or do i need a whole new setup?
8: UV Sterilizer - Do i need this, and if so how many watts and whats a good brand.
9: Quarantine Tank - Do i need this, and what would a good setup include? i heard a 10 Gallon tank with 1 powerhead and small biowheel would be suitable.

Feel free to add any suggestions or comments. Thanks again.

- Jeff
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Old 02-27-2005, 07:23 PM   #2
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1- No mechanical filter is required but some use it for water polishing and as a place to hold carbon etc.
2- For the DSB you are looking for the 4 inches will work fine for denitrification.
3- Liverocks.com is great. Ideally you want 1.5 to 2 lbs per gallon for best filtration.
4- I would definately get a good skimmer- aqua c is my next upgrade.
5- You want total turnover to be 10x for a FO or FOWLR. Reef setups need 20x or more.
6- A single heater will do fine Some suggest 2 smaller heaters in case one goes out you still get heating.
7- NO lights will be fine until you move to a reef setup. When you upgrade you can do a retrofit or buy a new fixture but the bulbs dont interchange.
8- I dont use UV sterilizer and have heard mixed emotions/results. I plan to stay away for now- JMO
9- Definately a QT- Size and amount of fish will dictate QT size. I use a 10 gal with HOB filter. added a heater, PH and PVC fittings(for landscaping/hiding) and thats it.

I would recommend adding a refugium to the setup if you are able. The more water volume the more stable the setup. It will also help with nitrate reduction by using macroalgae. Good luck
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28gal bowfront
40lbs livesand(bag from LFS), 30lbs live rock(LR.com)
2 O. Clowns
1 peppermint shrimp, 5 red leg hermit crabs,
4 mexican turbo snails, 15 nassarius snails
ricordea mushroom, candy cane coral,
super color polyps, hairy mushrooms
bubble coral, hawiian feather duster
coralife lunar 2x65, HOT magnum canister
10 Gal refugium(chaeto) & seaclone skimmer
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Old 02-27-2005, 07:51 PM   #3
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hahah I see you made it to another forum I'm a regular on badfish! (although not as regular as Fishforums because there are a lot of pretty good people on here that give good advise so I concentrate my efforts on Fishforums) Good luck with your setup and I think we started you on the right track to a lot of success!
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Old 02-27-2005, 07:56 PM   #4
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Hey fishfirst, long time no see, as you can see i have been doing my homework, this forum looks like it gets a lot more action then the other one, But i gotta say you and the other two guys have been really helful in determining what im gonna do, thanks again
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50 Gallon Oceanic: 2 maxijet 1200's, 2 150 watt visitherm heaters, BakPak II Skimmer with PS & BT, Coralife Lunar 2X65 watt Power Compacts

Filtration: 50lbs LR.com, 60lbs sand

Swimmers: 2 O. Clowns, Yellow Watchman, Firefish, Yellow Tang, Dottyback.

Clean-Up: Several snail & hermits, Skunk Cleaner, 2 Peps.

Corals: 2 zoo colonies, yellow polyps, star polyps
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Old 02-27-2005, 08:07 PM   #5
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Yeah aquarium advice is pretty good... but sometimes your posts can get lost in the crowd... Nice job on the homework part though, its encouraging to see newbies asking lots of questions and making sure they got things right before even jumping into this hobby (I wish I had hahah)
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Old 02-27-2005, 08:35 PM   #6
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so i dont need speacial lights even though i will have live rocks??
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50 Gallon Oceanic: 2 maxijet 1200's, 2 150 watt visitherm heaters, BakPak II Skimmer with PS & BT, Coralife Lunar 2X65 watt Power Compacts

Filtration: 50lbs LR.com, 60lbs sand

Swimmers: 2 O. Clowns, Yellow Watchman, Firefish, Yellow Tang, Dottyback.

Clean-Up: Several snail & hermits, Skunk Cleaner, 2 Peps.

Corals: 2 zoo colonies, yellow polyps, star polyps
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Old 02-27-2005, 09:35 PM   #7
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Theoldsalt seems to think so... I really don't know exactly if they "need" special lights... I don't have any on my 20 gal and mine are still doing fine after a year... although I did notice that I had some of my stuff die off... the algae growth is still good on it and it still looks good.
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Old 02-27-2005, 09:59 PM   #8
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yeah fishfirst, i was reading more on this forum and people seem to think that speacial lighting isnt necessary for LR. That is a releif, later on when i want some coral i can upgrade, but its already overwhelming. I was also wondering how often i should do water changes if i was using a Remora skimmer? once a month, once every two months?
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50 Gallon Oceanic: 2 maxijet 1200's, 2 150 watt visitherm heaters, BakPak II Skimmer with PS & BT, Coralife Lunar 2X65 watt Power Compacts

Filtration: 50lbs LR.com, 60lbs sand

Swimmers: 2 O. Clowns, Yellow Watchman, Firefish, Yellow Tang, Dottyback.

Clean-Up: Several snail & hermits, Skunk Cleaner, 2 Peps.

Corals: 2 zoo colonies, yellow polyps, star polyps
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Old 02-27-2005, 10:23 PM   #9
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once every two weeks... or I would test the water every week and do waterchanges as necessary
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Old 02-27-2005, 10:39 PM   #10
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i can't wait to get this started, im so excited. Should i put the Liverock in right away? What about protein skimmer and powerheads?
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50 Gallon Oceanic: 2 maxijet 1200's, 2 150 watt visitherm heaters, BakPak II Skimmer with PS & BT, Coralife Lunar 2X65 watt Power Compacts

Filtration: 50lbs LR.com, 60lbs sand

Swimmers: 2 O. Clowns, Yellow Watchman, Firefish, Yellow Tang, Dottyback.

Clean-Up: Several snail & hermits, Skunk Cleaner, 2 Peps.

Corals: 2 zoo colonies, yellow polyps, star polyps
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Old 02-27-2005, 10:45 PM   #11
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fishfirst, this may be a stupid question, but what is a sump tank, do i need one? Im pretty sure it has something to do with filtration, but why do a lot of people have them, and why do i not need one.
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50 Gallon Oceanic: 2 maxijet 1200's, 2 150 watt visitherm heaters, BakPak II Skimmer with PS & BT, Coralife Lunar 2X65 watt Power Compacts

Filtration: 50lbs LR.com, 60lbs sand

Swimmers: 2 O. Clowns, Yellow Watchman, Firefish, Yellow Tang, Dottyback.

Clean-Up: Several snail & hermits, Skunk Cleaner, 2 Peps.

Corals: 2 zoo colonies, yellow polyps, star polyps
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Old 02-27-2005, 11:48 PM   #12
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there are several different types of filtration... I suggested the one that I thought would be the best for you now with a FOWLR tank... a sump is a pretty good method of filteration... but if I was to suggest it I would rather suggest a refugium... (basically a sump with lights and living organisms in it) just something to consider (and research) for your possible reef system and look up while you are getting the hang of the FOWLR. I'm not quite sure about what the benefits of a sump are, but a refugium is a nitrate absorber. As for your skimmer and power head question... I would get the power head right away... wait for skimming after the cycle and wait to add the live rock after your nitrites have peaked. JMO though.
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Old 02-28-2005, 11:22 AM   #13
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can't wait to get this started, im so excited. Should i put the Liverock in right away? What about protein skimmer and powerheads?
How do you plan t cycle the tank. If you put in uncured LR, there should be enough die-off on it to start the cycle. You can also use a raw shrimp from the grocery store to kick things off.
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Old 02-28-2005, 11:55 AM   #14
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lando I thought it'd be best with the cocktail shrimp and leave the liverock til later so a lot of the stuff won't die off... we went over fishless cycling on the other forum I believe... I've preached about it so much I tend to forget if I told him or not hahah.
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Old 02-28-2005, 01:10 PM   #15
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check this link

http://www.melevsreef.com/what_sump.html
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28gal bowfront
40lbs livesand(bag from LFS), 30lbs live rock(LR.com)
2 O. Clowns
1 peppermint shrimp, 5 red leg hermit crabs,
4 mexican turbo snails, 15 nassarius snails
ricordea mushroom, candy cane coral,
super color polyps, hairy mushrooms
bubble coral, hawiian feather duster
coralife lunar 2x65, HOT magnum canister
10 Gal refugium(chaeto) & seaclone skimmer
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Old 02-28-2005, 01:28 PM   #16
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lando I thought it'd be best with the cocktail shrimp and leave the liverock til later so a lot of the stuff won't die off...
That is a good plan depending on what type of LR you get. If it is uncured or needs to be re-cured, then cycling with the rock will be fine. If it is fully cured (like from the LFS or even liverocks.com) then it is good idea to "pre-cycle" the tank to preserve all of the wonderful life that comes in on the LR. Keep in mind that you will have to pay close attention to water parameters and do water changes as needed to protect the life on the LR. This can prolong your cycle but it is worth it.
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Old 02-28-2005, 07:26 PM   #17
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hey guys thanks for the advice, and yes i was planning on getting my liverock from liverocks.com. i will prob. add at least some liverock to get the cycle goin.
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50 Gallon Oceanic: 2 maxijet 1200's, 2 150 watt visitherm heaters, BakPak II Skimmer with PS & BT, Coralife Lunar 2X65 watt Power Compacts

Filtration: 50lbs LR.com, 60lbs sand

Swimmers: 2 O. Clowns, Yellow Watchman, Firefish, Yellow Tang, Dottyback.

Clean-Up: Several snail & hermits, Skunk Cleaner, 2 Peps.

Corals: 2 zoo colonies, yellow polyps, star polyps
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