Minimum Hardware - Page 3 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #21 of 29 Old 02-28-2007, 10:31 PM
the best quality protien skimmer you can find

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post #22 of 29 Old 02-28-2007, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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I was talking about filters, not skimmers. Skimmers don't have any kind of bacterial filtration at all do they?
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post #23 of 29 Old 03-01-2007, 05:57 AM
canisters are not really good for reef, but will be ok for fish only. the best thing to do for reef is a sump.
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post #24 of 29 Old 03-01-2007, 07:30 AM Thread Starter
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OK, now I'm REALLY confused. I thought that a sump had no filtration use at all, and was only pretty much a tank to put all your ugly stuff into, and the hold a refugium in, which only really took care of removing nitrates. Not amonia or nitrites.
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post #25 of 29 Old 03-01-2007, 08:13 AM
OK lets see If I can clear it up for you. A sump is a tank that you will either keep a refug/sump or just a sump. The difference between the two are just the refug. Yes you can keep all the ugly equipment in there. But for the filteration, the refug/sump will have an area that you grow micro algea and has live rock in it to filter out the water. The water will fall into another section that the skimmer is in and then fall into the holding area were it will wait to be be pumped back to the main tank. A sump will only have the skimmer and other equipment in it no refug.
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post #26 of 29 Old 03-01-2007, 04:01 PM
Originally Posted by hamdogg08
I was talking about filters, not skimmers. Skimmers don't have any kind of bacterial filtration at all do they?
the skimmer, live rock, live sand, and power head is all you need, the skimmer is the mechanical form of biological filtration, it skims the tank of the dissolved fish waste before the bacteria has a chance to turn it into nitrates.
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post #27 of 29 Old 03-02-2007, 03:56 PM
You can add plenty of floss or sponges to a sump as long as you clean them regularly. In a fish only set up with out live rock you'd probably want a canister filter as you would have no other source of biological filtration.

Now TR you are taking somehting out of context that I said. Yes I said "old sand is just that, old sand and can be washed and reused". They key to what was just said was "WASHED". As in is this person goign to tear downt heir tank and completely start over when they go reef? Doubtful.

The question is how can you "spoil" the tank? Easy. Most people that run FO tend to like aggressive fish that pollute heavily. Also another observation is that by not having much rock work and zero coral the tendency is to keep more fish. A proper reef tank has very few, if any at all, fish. The fish we tend to keep are very small "light" fish that do not pollute quickly.

The reason I'm telling you to pick one or the other is that as you "morph" over to the coral side you'll quickly understand how critical a clean and balanced sytem is necessary.

An old Cash song is needed here. Remember the one that goes, "I got a 62, 73, 64, 66, 77, etc... Cadillac."? Who wants to drive a car made from several parts of different cars? Why build your tank like that? I'm saying start with the shell of a '55 Chevy and build it into the primer grey, tilt front, blown, quick pull trunk lid, rear gas cell Two Lane black Top racer of your dreams from the start.

Or better yet, in English, "don't half ass it all the way through". Pick a goal, be it fish only, or a nice reef. You'll be quickly surprised by the amount of mistakes you make switching them over and realize that it would have been easier to cruise along until you have the right set up.

Of course this does not mean that you can't buy a nice tank, skimmer, substrate and rock work to get you by for a few months. On the contrary, you'll be ccling the tank and getting started. Add that one or 2 little clowns you want and begin addign your corals as you see fit. But I wouldn't hump along for a year or so with a canister and a tank full of fish only to switch gears that late in the game. At that point I'd say to tear it all down and start over.
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post #28 of 29 Old 03-03-2007, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
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Well, after calling up the LFS to just get some quick general info, I came to the understanding that a plan would look like this (today at least....I learn new things faster than my plans actually unfold and keep changing them.):
P.1_______________________________________________ ________
The goal of phase 1 is to just have the future reef fish. Not stock it like crazy only to get rid of the fish a few months later....except the damsel. The tank will look the same as when completely finished just without corals.
-Use existing 75 Gallon tank
-Buy a RO unit and use it while the tank's a fresh until I get:
-Live rock(is there a different between "base rock" and "Live rock?")
-Venturi Protein Skimmer
-2-3 Powerheads
-1 tough little fish maybe a damsel (still learning about fish right now, and If they eat corals, then I'll give them away after the tank's cycled)
-A few weeks later 1-2 more reef safe fish (Psychodelic fish are reef safe right?)
-A few weeks after that, 2-3 more fish, then I'd be done (I heard that stocking light is important in a reef tank)
P.2_______________________________________________ ______
After that, I'd chip away at getting stuff to help the corals
-MH or CF Lamps
-Anything else I can think of
P.3_______________________________________________ ______
Many years from now after I can afford it:
125 gallon-ish reef ready tank
Sump with a refugium setup (I don't want to drill my tank or have that HOB overflow, I heard problems about them leaking and causing tons of damage
Maybe a calcium reactor and a chiller (again, still learning)
__________________________________________________ _____
So those are the newly proposed 3-phase purchasing plans that I have for the tank. As always, feel free to blast the ideas. That's why I posted it!
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post #29 of 29 Old 03-03-2007, 09:46 AM
"pschydelic" or better yet Mandarin Dragonettes will have no place in your tank for at least a year. The general concensus is that the minimum tank size should be no less then 75g with at least 100lbs of live rock. They tend to only eat micropods in the system. These pods must have room to regenerate fromt he constant feedings of the dragonette. In reality they should not be sold through hobby stores as their needs are very demanding. As has been said over and over again, "for the price and beauty, Mandarins are God's little joke on us reefers".

Your list looks a little better and will help keep the tank stable until you go the full blown route. What type of skimmer do you have in mind? Most are junk. Look into H&S, Deltec, Euroreef, or ASM for the most efficient and best skimmers you can buy. Alternates are forced venturi skimmers like PM (precision Marine), Trigger fish systems. Those styles are ok for large tanks but use a lot of electricty for smaller tanks. Buy a Euroreef or ASM and put your electrical savings into more wattage for your lighting. Same thing for return pumps from sumps, buy Eheim as you'll save double the amount of electricity over any other brands.

Don't waste your time with base rock. It is extremely dense and not very beneficial. In a large tank it makes a good support for your regular Fiji or Marshall islands rock. In such a small tank I'd get as much Fiji or Marshall as you can afford, you'll need the benefits from the good rock more then you'll need a support for the rockwork. 100lbs would be a great start. Look online at for a huge price break. When I bought from them I had $600 to spend and found myself buying almost double what my retailers sell for.

You are right that when you go to a 125 that buying a reef ready will make it much simpler. As far as drilling a tank or HOB overflows leaking, that's only as good as your plumbing skills. My 125 has had a dual 600gph, 1,200gph total, overflow on the back for almost 3 years without ever so much as a hiccup. It's all int he equipment you chose and how you install it.

Remember that cheap things in this hobby are only that, cheap. It might cost a bit more to buy a Euroreef skimmer or MH lights but in the end they are so superior to any other products that it does make a difference. If you are looking at a piece of recommended equipment that runs $400 and you find another "skimmer" that is only $100, then that products only design was to part you with your $100 before you go back and buy that right piece of equipment. Not to mention the possible livestock losses and economic loss from that.
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