Posted: 2006.06.11(Sun)10:36 Post subject: Equipment Questions.
OK. So, I've been looking around, but I have some (more like a lot) of questions about some equipment. The plan so far is a 55 gallon FOWLR, and maybe some coral/anemone's later on.
A. A Turbo-Twist UV. Is this something I need/should have, or could I get by without it? Do you recommend it? If so, what size and how many would I need?
B. The SeaClone Protein Skimmer. Do you recommend this brand? If so, which size would be best?
C. Powerheads. I like the Powersweep and the Maxi-Jet Powerhead/Pump. I would like to use them for circulation and wavemaking to create a more natural enviornment. Which one do you recommend most? Would either work for what I'm wanting? Would there be any special equipment I would need for either?
D. WaveMaster Pro. Do you recommend it? Would it help me achieve a more natural enviornment?
E. Chillers. If I were to need one, is there one you would recommend but is cheaper?
F. Test Kits. API Saltwater Master Liquid Test Kit includes: pH, Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate. Do you recommend this brand? Is it accurate? If not, which do you recommend?
G. Aqualight Lunar Blue-Moon-Glow. I would like to get these to help achieve a more natural enviornment. Do you recommend them? How many would I need? If not, what would you recommend, and how many would I need?
H. Lighting. I plan on using a full spectrum and a blue actinic. Is this OK? Do I need to use different lighting? If so, what should I use?
I. Lastly, chemicals. Are there any special chemicals besides water conditioner I need? If so, what are they and what do you recommend.
Any imput will be very much appreciated. I know it's a lot to ask, but the more I know the better off I am. Thanks. _________________ If at first you don't succeed... skydiving is not for you.
WOW, that's a lot... I will answer a few of these and defer some for others to comment:
A. A Turbo-Twist UV
Not required for your success.
B. The SeaClone
A poor choice IMO, use your search tool we have covered skimmers many times here. The ones I see a lot of good comments on, here and other forums, are the Super Skimmer by Coralife, the Won Brothers line, ASM and of course the EuroReef brand. Be advised, these things are rarely "set it and forget it" gizmos, they can require cleaning, maintenance, adjusting, etc. As you have already seen many of the products on the market are worthless junk, choose wisely.
The Maxi line is good, also Hagen have done well for me for many years, other good ones out there as well.
D. WaveMaster Pro and E. Chillers.
Not required for your success.
F. Test Kits.
I like Aquarium Systems kits; look for foil-sealed/fresh-dated reagents, if in doubt about your water always get a second verification test done at the LFS, kits/reagents can sit on the shelf for a long time in some retailers before you purchase. Lamotte, Hach, whatever... fresh reagents are the key, if they are not fresh dated it's a "box of chocolates."
F. Personally, I would recommend the Hagen master kit. It comes with a whopping 10 test kits. This is something I personally use.
G. You don't neccesarily need a moonlight, but it is really nice. Sorry, I don't have any recommendations.
H. There isn't a certain light spectrum that you need. It is just personal preference. Most people use the actinic PC fluorescent bulbs for coloration with normal MH bulbs or (as I am planning) just using 20K MH bulbs. It's all about wattage. Though, you can get along perfectly with just PC fluorescents until you get into a lot of corals and anemones.
I. For corals, you should use Seachem Reef Advantage Calcium and Seachem Reef Builder. You don't need them for a FOWLR though. _________________ I would like to acknowledge that all of the info I give is purely based on research.
Wow. Thanks for all the help everyone. I know it was a lot of questions, but the more I know about each piece of equipment the better off I am. _________________ If at first you don't succeed... skydiving is not for you.
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