i have only run a freshwater tropical aquarium before when i was younger. now that i have a bit more money and i have settled down i would like to setup a marine aquarium.
i have been reading a few books, reading this forum and visitng lfs
over the past couple of weeks. from this i have a good idea in mind of how i would like my setup.
i would appreciate any adivce or recommendations on the system i have detailed below, there are also a couple of questions at the end with reference to things that i don't really understand and can't find the answers too:
the system will be built into a dividing wall with viewing from both sides (ie. two rooms) the plan is to start with fish and live rock with a view to adding some soft corals and inverts at a slightly later date.
main tank - 48x24x18
t5 lighting VHO
power heads x2
20kg live rock
20kg ocean rock
sump - 48x18x12
high quality skimmer
refugium (question on this below)
filtertration system (possibly magic mud???)
pump - not sure which size yet?
possibilty of adding a second 4ft tank above the first at a later date for keeping a few large specimen fish, depending on how the inital setup goes.
questions.....any help would be appreciated....
filtration system, my lfs
has recommended the use of magic mud as a means of filtration, i can't find much info on this so i'm not really sure how it works, however they are using it too good effect in the shop. anyone know how this works, or if a standard biological/chemical system is better?
i have also read a lot about the berlin system using only live rock and a skimmer for filtration the recommendation being that any bio balls are removed from existing filtration systems, i'm quite confused about this, with live rock already in a tank surely the addition of a filtration system is an added advantage not a hinderence to such a system.
refugium - the reason that i am going for such a big sump is for the extra water capacity and therefore increased fish capacity and stability. in doing this i will have quite a bit of spare space in the sump. i have seen reference to refugiums and as far as i can gather they are a place in the sump where live rock and invertbates are kept, is this correct? what size of reugeum would you recommend.
last but not least i was looking at buying a second hand tank to use as the sump. however i have been told by the lfs
that if copper has been used in the tank previously it is absorbed by the silicon. this then slowly releases and kills all corals or inverts........is this correct or is he just trying to get me to buy new?
sorry for such a long post, i would appreciate any comments or advice on this setup and questions, i plan on setting the system up in a month, therefore my options and views remain very open.
hope to hear from you soon, thanks in advance