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Taking the plunge
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Osprey
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Joined: 15 May 2006
Location: Okotoks, AB

PostPosted: 2006.08.15(Tue)20:04    Post subject: Taking the plunge Reply with quote

I've finally found a place to put the 33 gallon FOWLR I've been coveting. Now I need to plan in detail. Funny thing is, while freshwater tanks are almost entirely about the fish, my concerns about the saltwater tank are almost entirely about equipment. Given the tiny amount of SW fish I can put in the tank (thinking maybe a pair of occelaris clowns), stock isn't even a huge debate. But there is a lot of equipment out there on the market, and I need to figure out what's going to work for me. So, here's what I figure I'll need so far:
Testing equipment (salinity, pH, nitrates. Already have the rest for my FW tanks). And the stuff you need for any tank: heater, etc.
Powerheads. What brand and model would work best in a tank this size... and do I need two, or three?
Protein Skimmer: I know, I know, it isn't considered strictly neccessary. But I want one. Do the HOB models work well? Or am I going to have to drill the tank and put in a sump?
Mechanical filtration: should I go HOB, or canister? What are your personal preferences? I usually use HOB for my freshwater tanks, and that's kind of what I'm planning here. (I know to remove the biological component- just planning on foam).
Should I worry about building a refugium? Or is it unneccessary with the stock I'm planning?
I'm going to be using bottled RO. Should I worry about de-ionizing it, or will it be OK?
Most important of all, am I missing something? Shocked
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FloridaBoy
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Joined: 04 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2006.08.16(Wed)15:31    Post subject: Re: Taking the plunge Reply with quote

Osprey wrote:
I've finally found a place to put the 33 gallon FOWLR I've been coveting. Now I need to plan in detail. Funny thing is, while freshwater tanks are almost entirely about the fish, my concerns about the saltwater tank are almost entirely about equipment. Given the tiny amount of SW fish I can put in the tank (thinking maybe a pair of occelaris clowns), stock isn't even a huge debate. But there is a lot of equipment out there on the market, and I need to figure out what's going to work for me. So, here's what I figure I'll need so far:
Testing equipment (salinity, pH, nitrates. Already have the rest for my FW tanks). And the stuff you need for any tank: heater, etc.
Powerheads. What brand and model would work best in a tank this size... and do I need two, or three?

Hagens are fine.

Osprey wrote:
Protein Skimmer: I know, I know, it isn't considered strictly neccessary. But I want one. Do the HOB models work well? Or am I going to have to drill the tank and put in a sump?

YES get a good skimmer, see below...

Osprey wrote:
Mechanical filtration: should I go HOB, or canister? What are your personal preferences? I usually use HOB for my freshwater tanks, and that's kind of what I'm planning here. (I know to remove the biological component- just planning on foam).

Cannisters are hard to clean. Consider a large trickle filter with reduced media or live rock instead of plastic media and you don't need to drill, an overflow prefilter box will be fine just keep all the pads clean. This way you are getting a sump to put your skimmer with increased water volume and a mech filter all in one but again the filter pads need to be cleaned. The main thing is you can get all that junk out of your display; I see so many laboring over beautiful reefs that are visually spoiled by pumps, filters, hoses, skimmers, etc., all best described as ugly mechanical junk when they are cluttering up the display.

Osprey wrote:
Should I worry about building a refugium? Or is it unneccessary with the stock I'm planning?

Fuge is a great idea, can be added now or later, no worries. A large trickle filter can be combined with/and or fitted as a refugium with live rock, see above. Plenty of other options to consider... algae filters, deep sand beds, depends on your goals and livestock. Don't forget to also stsrt a hosspital quarantine tank along with this display! Your questions/research will lead to happy fish.
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Pete Harcoff
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Joined: 18 Jun 2005
Location: Canada

PostPosted: 2006.08.16(Wed)15:57    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use Maxijet powerheads. They're quite versatile and quiet, too. A couple Maxijet 600's (one for each side) would probably be sufficient.

For filtration and refugium, you could combine the two by modding an Aquaclear 70 or 110 filter (see example of a modded AC 70 here).

For a skimmer, the AquaC Remora's are generally recommended. The Coralife skimmers are nice, too (I have a 125), but for that sized tank, the intake pump would look pretty huge in the tank.
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Osprey
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Joined: 15 May 2006
Location: Okotoks, AB

PostPosted: 2006.08.17(Thu)14:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the responses, guys! I was especially confused with the skimmers... most of the stuff I find online looks the same, but the prices range between 30-500 dollars for skimmers that all claim to properly skim the same size tank, and it's hard to know what's really considered 'the middle of the road': not overpriced, but still a good piece of equipment. The Remora definitely seems to be the best option... I'm thinking that if I can't find it locally, I may just bite the bullet and order it online.
WoW, that's a great DIY link! I'm already familiar with aquarclears, b/c I use them on all my FW tanks. I could easily do that- thanks, Pete!
I'm also ordering in an army of books via the local library-all published since 2000. Hoping they have some good visuals, etc.
What would you consider a decent size for a marine quarantine tank?
Oh, and has anyone used bottled drinking water (RO) for their tanks?
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FloridaBoy
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PostPosted: 2006.08.17(Thu)20:20    Post subject: Reply with quote

10-15 gal QT is fine for small fish.
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Pete Harcoff
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Joined: 18 Jun 2005
Location: Canada

PostPosted: 2006.08.17(Thu)21:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the quarantine tank, it depends. I would recommend a tank at least 50% the size of your main tank. So for a 30 gallon, get a 15 gallon quarantine. If you have the space for an even bigger quarantine tank, then go for it. You can never have too small a quarantine tank.

I haven't used bottled RO, but I did use bottled distilled water when I set up my tank. In retrospect, it was a dumb idea since I ended up buying an RO/DI purifier anyway. Plus, I have massive algae in my tank for about 4 months. I don't know if that was from the distilled water or from the die-off in the rocks (or both), but I've been using RO/DI water since and I haven't had any more algae problems.
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