Posted: 2009.06.29(Mon)6:49 Post subject: My Shopping List for 240 litre Marine Tank
I am currently compiling a shopping list for my 240 litre (53 UK Gal) Tank. So far, I have the following list of hardware, and I would love to read any comments/advice as to what you guy _________________ May the fish be with you!
I think you have a nice list in place. I assume you do not have a sump system? If you have a sump, then you will want to opt for a different skimmer. I think the Deltec model is a little overpriced for the simplicity of the design and the MaxiJet venturi, which leaves a lot to be desired.
I also would suggest that you not use the canister filter. Canister filters tend to cause more trouble than they are worth on a marine system, especially a system with live rock and a protein skimmer. I would go as far as to suggest that the canister filter will hurt water quality in such a system, rather than help. The organic matter that gets trapped on the filter pads of the canister will break down into Nitrate, producing phosphate as a byproduct, and depleting carbonates from the water. This process is avoided if you skip the canister and allow the protein skimmer to do the job for which you purchased it.... being the direct removal of organics from the water, without biological breakdown of these acids.
I notice that you said you plan to purchase beginner fish, but you also indicate you want to keep an anemone. These statements are somewhat contradictory, because anemones are very advanced marine keeping. Do you prior marine experience, or will this be your first such adventure?
1) I'd agree w/ MarkLehr about the anenome. They are some of the more difficult saltwater organisms to keep and require good lighting, water conditions, etc. In lieu of an anenome, there are some decent soft corals and LPS corals that can provide similar effect but are a lot easier to take care of.
2) Since you have the tank already, I'm assuming it's not drilled? If not, I'd highly recommend having it drilled, outfitted with overflows and setting up a sump. That's the one thing I always regretted about my previous 56 gallon s/w setup was that I didn't have a sump. Then, like MarkLehr said, you can opt for a cheaper in-sump skimmer that will probably do just as good a job.
3) I'd up the circulation to a couple Koralia 3's (850 gph each) and skip the canister filter.
4) What wave maker were you thinking of? Because you won't be able to use a Wave maker with Koralia's.
5) You'll need something to measure salinity. I'd recommend a refractometer or if you can spend the cash, an American Marine Salinity Monitor. Skip the plastic hydrometers, they are crap.
Can't think of too much else you'll need. Obviously test kits for carbonate hardness and high pH, as well as a salt mix.
I stand corrected on the Koralia wave maker. I was thinking of the first gen Koralia's which you couldn't use with wave makers. I see they've created new models, at pretty inexpensive prices too! (Although the wave maker itself sure costs a pretty penny.)
As for the overflows, if you install a proper overflow system (I.e. w/ internal overflow boxes), then you won't lessen the height of the water at all. For example, on this page there is an example of an overflow system. You can see how the overflows are "sectioned off" at the back by the installation of plastic baffles. Water flows over the lip of the baffle into the section with the drain pipes. The result is the water level in the tank is always maintained at a constant level right at the top of the tank. And this is true even if water evaporates. The level in the sump will go down, but not in the main tank.
Btw, you mentioned a chiller. Well, an advantage of an external sump is it also acts as a heat sink. I installed a 3 gallon above tank 'fuge on my old 56 gallon reef and the average tank temp of the main tank dropped from ~80-81F to only 78-79F in the summer months. So just another reason to consider it.
The only other options are an external overflow box (I.e. suction based), but I've read mixed things about those, or an above-tank sump. Doing a two-pump system isn't really feasible because it's virtually impossible to tune it so that the outflow and inflow precisely match.
But whatever way you go, I'd strongly recommend investigating a sump/overflow system. The advantages imho greatly outweigh the initial hassle of setup.
The typical rule of thumb for sump turnover is 5 to 10 times the main tank volume. So in your case, you'd want to pump about 1200 to 2500 litres per hour.
Can speak to the filter you linked as I hadn't heard about it before. That said, I'd be skeptical of anything doing mechanical filtration for the reasons already pointed out (I.e. detrius build-up and nitrate production). Live rock and a skimmer are all you really need for filtration.
I have no seen the AquaOne product in person, but I did click on the link. It took less than 2 seconds for me to find multiple reasons why I would not buy this product. 1) The protein skimmer is much to small. 2) It incorporates a biological filter (why???) 3) Water is forced to flow through mechanical filtration pads. 4) This entire concept is akin to using an abacus to add numbers.
The hobby has advanced very far in the last 15 years. Units such as the one you have linked have no place in this hobby today and I have no idea why manufactures continue to bite the hand that feeds them by making it more difficult than necessary to keep marine aquariums.
You need a good protein skimmer, live rock, and live sand. If you can incorporate a sump to improve options, all the better. If you want to follow my personal philosphy and include a UV Sterilizer, fabulous. If you want to add a refugium, go for it.
But there is very limited place for biological filtration in this hobby, which is on extremely low bioload systems with extremely sturdy livestock, such as the type of systems you often read Florida Boy encouraging money starved newcomers to use to get their feet wet. This is OK when approached with a grain of salt, but certainly not for the situation we are discussing in this thread.
Sorry, I ranted. Maybe we can get congress to give a tax credit to everyone who trades in their old biological filter for a new environmentally friendly Protein Skimmer.
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