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effin 10-05-2004 12:48 PM

Help with planning a 37 FOWLR
I'm planning a FOWLR tank, in a 37 gal tank that was given to me. I've been reading the forums and recommended books for the last week, and have come up with a plan. Looking for some feedback on a couple questions.

3" playsand bed
~50 lbs live and base rock
BAKPAK2R protein skimmer
2 maxi 1200 powerheads
2 75w heaters
30" 2x65 Aqualight with 50/50 bulbs

My main questions are the rock and lighting. I'd like to save a little money and use about 30 lbs of base rock and then 20 lbs of live rock. Will the base rock get colonized significantly over time? Will that be enough biological filtering? (see fish thoughts below)

As for lighting, I like the idea of the 50/50 bulbs and the two power supplies. Is that a good choice for lighting? Are there any cheaper alternatives?

Currently I don't have a hood. I was thinking of hinging a couple pieces of plexi together to make a lid. I thought I could drill some holes in the plexi to allow for more gas exchange.

As for fish, I was looking at damsels, chromis, and anemonefish. I really like the look of striped or domino damsels, but I've read a lot of negative comments about damsels' aggresiveness. Would I be better off with some blue green chromis as my first fish? Would 3 chromis/damsels and maybe 2 anemonefish (later) be an appropriate fish load, with a few shrimp/crab/snails?

Thanks in advance for you help.

Gatorfreak 10-05-2004 01:32 PM

Being a newbie myself, I can only share with you what I've read here.

The base rock will become live rock with time. I'm doing the same thing, about 70% base and 30% live.

Some people use light diffusers for a lid to keep fish from carpet surfing.

phases99 10-05-2004 11:06 PM

You could do a 50/50 base to LR ratio. Just give a few weeks for the base rock to start becoming biological before you add fish. I would go for 3 blue green chromis and maybe a pair of clowns. Those Domino Damsels are evil. You would get much better air exchange if you use eggcrate over your tank.

effin 10-06-2004 10:59 AM

Thanks for the advice.

I think I'll go with the light diffuser to start. I can always change to a plexi top later. My thought was to find a good balance between gas exchange and evaporation. I guess I'll just see how it goes.

I was expecting that response on the damsels. See, it's the damsels feistiness that I like :-)

phases99, how do you like that clown? I was looking at the yellow-striped maroons, I love the coloration. They're pretty aggressive, right? Suppose I started with chromis, then added the clown later. Any chance that a single damsel added after the clown is established would be ok?

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