FOWLR set up for noob.When to get stuff?
I'm still going back and forth between planted freshwater or FOWLR for a 75 gal. tank.
Here is what I have: 75 gallon glass tank with glass cover. Light: Single tube 48in flourescent fixture (won't even mention the bulb since it will be replaced first thing). Filter: Eheim 2215 (brand new) and a Marineland 350 with the 2 small biowheels. For the planted FW I was going to use just the Eheim but I suppose that's not enough for saltwater, so I'll probably do the 350 HOB too.
My question is since I don't have unlimited funds and would be putting it together a little at a time, can I use my singe tube light at first while curing the rock and with just fish? Doesn't the live rock need a certain amount of light for coralline(sp?) algae?
Do I NEED live sand or can regular sand work? Lastly, how much live rock? I read somewhere on a different forum that I wouldn't need 100lbs of live rock, but maybe 25 lbs live and rest base rock.
Thanks for your help.
The single flourescent fixture will work perfectly fine for a fowlr setup, as for bulb it may take a bit to find what you like for viewing your fish. I ran into that issue myself recently with the fish in my qt tank. I orginally had a daylight bulb which works well for viewing fw fish and planted tank, but I was finding that I felt it washed out the color of my sw fish. I replaced it with an aqua-glo which tends to be higher on the blue spectrum and so far like how things look under that. For coralline algae I do believe doesn't require very high lighing and will grow in low to moderate light. Here is a little bit of info How do you encourage coralline algae growth?
The canister filter I believe you could use to run carbon through. If you did use the Marineland I would remove the biowheels, this is an area in which the nitrates will build up on and with a sw tank you want to keep your nitrates as low as you can. With excess nitrates and phosphates in the water this can lead to problems with nuisance algaes such as green hair algae.
For flow in the tank you will want to get a couple of powerheads, for a fowlr setup at least 10x the water volume. I would also suggest a good protein skimmer, are you planning on doing a sump or going without one? If you are not doing a sump there are several choices out there on HOB protein skimmers that would work.
As for sand I would pass on buying the stuff that is sold at the store as live sand. In time your sand will become live as your system establishes itself. Most people use argonite sand, it is not too course like crushed coral which can trap detritus.
You can set up your tank with a mixture of live and base rock, it will take longer for the tank to cycle and establish, but with time the base rock will become live with the nitryifing bacteria. For rock a good place to check is Macro rock.
I am sure that there is more but hopefully this will help
A couple of other things when looking for equipment, I looked for and have gotten most of my stuff from online stores. Another good place to check is forum classifieds and also if there is a local reefing forum in your area I would keep an eye out there. There are people who are leaving the hobby and often you can find a good deal. I am for supporting lfs, but I know that my place charges almost double on the same equipment that I can get online.
You don't need any of those filters. You will need 10x the water volume in powerheads, or at least 750gph in powerheads for your tank. You will need a skimmer rated at twice your water volume, salt water is not like fresh water when it comes to cleaning up the water column. The light you have will be fine for the Live Rock, as long as you not looking at getting Corals, you own't have to get a different light either. You can get all Base Rock, Live Rock is optional. All depends on what kind of bio lifre yoiu want in the tank, and the hitch hikers that come with it. Play Sand is not a real good idea to use because of all the silicates it has in it, plus its alittle rough on the bottom dweller fish, if you get any.
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