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I know this gets old...more newby questions
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bishop
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Joined: 22 Jul 2003
Location: CA all day

PostPosted: 2003.07.22(Tue)1:49    Post subject: I know this gets old...more newby questions Reply with quote

OK...I know this gets annoying after a while, but I can't find an article/post online that seems to really answer my questions, so here goes nothing:

I have a 55G in which I am going to set up my first-ever saltwater tank. I have kept freshwater for years now and I am ready to take the plunge. Here are the options I am considering. Please let me know if I am missing anything, or if any of my ideas seem stupid. Thanks in advance!!!

I want to have a fish-only tank. I am not interested in reef tanks at the moment. However, if all goes well, I am sure I will get the bug to upgrade later, but to be honest, I am not probably not heading that direction for a long time.

With that said: For a fish only tank (keeping an eye on future expansion), what would be my best options for substrate/Filtration? I can't seem to find a good resource for the so-called Berlin Method or the Eco-System Method (usually, they just seem to be advertising something without really explaining what it is). (Moreover, the concept of the "sump" is still not clear in my mind.)

I am planning on shelling out the $$$ for a new filter anyway, so I am curious if I would be better off going with a simple canister, a selfcontained wet/dry (like an Eheim), or a wet/dry trickle? (Or do I skip this and try for a more natural approach?)

I already plan on using aragonite sand and a bit of live rock, but I am unsure of what quantities to use. Do I need (or even want) a DSB of 4-6" for a fish-only tank? Will it benefit me in the long run?

Ugh!!!

I am planning on running a UV sterilizer (anyone got a recommendation on brand? I assume I skip this if I go reef.) and a protein skimmer (probably a Red-Sea Prizm).

I figured I might set up a couple of powerheads (Hagen 402's) for movement, a couple of heaters (Ego Jaber) and that's about it for equipment.

Finally, is a RO/DI unit really indispensable for a fish only tank? I am not sure what the deal is with my tapwater here, but is this something I should start shopping for? I am going to call my water company this week anyway....

OK...my head is spinning and I am going to bed. I really appreciate your time. THanks for any info you can give me!
Bishop
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SoS
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Joined: 16 Feb 2003
Location: New Jersey, USA

PostPosted: 2003.07.22(Tue)4:13    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a fish only the ro/di is not a must. The best thing to do is age the water a bit. Keep a 25 gal tupperware container with treated and salted water sealed in the dark with a pump. That water should be fine for a fish only, plus it makes water changes much easier.

IF your going fish only you really don't need a berlin or eco tank. Nitrates aren't as much of a concern with fish as they are with corals. A small wt-dry or large canister would be just fine.

You'll also need a protien skimmer. (bak/pak and prizm are good models)
Although once the prizm dry runs once its never the same.

Here's a good combo protien skimmer/wet-dry filter:
http://www.petsolutions.com/cgi-bin/cgiitmls?m=ThisP&p=1016.300000&l=19

UV wise I'd go with the turbo-twist or the custom sealife double helix.

I would go with a sand substrate. Everyone seems to have problems with crushed coral after a year or two.

hope I was some help
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bishop
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Joined: 22 Jul 2003
Location: CA all day

PostPosted: 2003.07.22(Tue)11:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply!!! If I plan to add corals at a later date, I assume some of these components would change, correct? If so, in your opinion, would I be better off setting this up as a reef tank even if I don't plan on adding anything but a light load of fish for 6-12 months?

I am planning on using aragonite sand without a doubt. I also am planning on loading up on live rock, but the correct amount to use is somewhat unclear. Some sources recommend certain amounts, but others seem to contradict them a bit.

sorry for all the rambling questions.
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SoS
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Joined: 16 Feb 2003
Location: New Jersey, USA

PostPosted: 2003.07.22(Tue)13:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

Differant types of live rock has differant density's so recommending poundage varies. IF you have supplemental filtration like a wet-dry or canister. Just decorate to the way you want it to look.

If you are using the live rock as your primary filtration with water changes. Filler-up Very Happy. Not 9000 pounds but a good amount. Most people put up a nice liverock wall covering most of the back of there tank and that seems to do the trick for them. If your really serious about corals go RO/DI right from the start. You'll be thankful later. A cheaper and effective way of doing it is a tapwater filter.

http://www.petsolutions.com/cgi-bin/cgiitmls?m=ThisP&p=1026.100000&l=37

I use it and it works great. If you plan on a large tank 75+ gallons I'd go with a full RO/DI unit.
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karlas
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Joined: 07 Feb 2003

PostPosted: 2003.08.01(Fri)7:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even with a fo tank I would suggest still going with ls and lr also it would already be set for future upgrade. I personally don't have a sump but if you decide to go this route it is better to have your tank predrilled before anything is in it. Much much harder to add this option after you have your tank set up.
As far as mechanical filtration thats a tough one to say since I only have a emporer, prizm skimmer, and pwrheads on my tank. Some people love the ehimes, wet drys, trickle filters. But one that is not suggested is a ugf definitly not for saltwater and reef tanks.

Here is a page all on filters, different kinds and how they work if it would help
http://saltaquarium.about.com/cs/filtration/

I'm not much help on uv sterilizers but the prizms are decent especially for the price, there is a big range of skimmers it all depends on your price range. Hagens and mini, maxi jets IMO are the best powerheads available. I run both and have had no problems I've tried other brands and they have failed where those 2 brands are still going.

As far as live rock it is reccomended 1-1 and half lbs per gall. There are different kinds fiji is the lightest and probaby the most common. I would go with the sb at least 4" this is a benifit wheather its a reef or not. There shouldnt be much of a change if you decide to go with corals except the lighting. This is a must but with it being fo you can go with the regular lights that come with the tank.
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elchupacabra
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Joined: 04 Aug 2003

PostPosted: 2003.08.04(Mon)1:28    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK I'll try to chime in here...is it really necesary to do water changes if you have the right filtration? I can't see why you would need to do these weekly water changes if you had a refugium or a sump with plants.
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karlas
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Joined: 07 Feb 2003

PostPosted: 2003.08.12(Tue)9:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

You still need to do water changes even if its once a month. The plants, corals, and so on do use up and deplete the elements out of the tank. You need water changes of some type to replenish these. Also things build up in the water and water changes take them out. You need them to put good things in take the bad out no matter what filtration, sumps, filters you have for your tank.
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