55 gallon filter ?
Santa' brought our family a 55 gallon top line aquarium for Christmas and we are in the process of setting it up....
We have sand and live rock in it so far. Had the water tested and added some snails, hermit crabs, and a couple of little 'hardy' fish -can't remember the name..
Took the water in a week later to have it tested and things are developing...
But this person is telling me that the filter that came w/ the tank might not be big enough and I should spend $300 and buy a sump pump system for it
This is our first experience w/ saltwater tanks so we are not sure what to think...
I though another option might be to buy another filter for the tank and put it on the other side so it would be balanced.......and this is assuming there are issues...
What has been your experience w/ this size tank?
Ditch the filters all together, you so not need them in a SW tank. You'll need a minimum of 55lbs of Live Rock or Macro Rock in that tank A Skimmer rated at twice the water volume would help clean up that water. Weekly water changes will also help keep the water clean.
Now, with a Sump/Fuge you keep macro algae in it, growing off the excess nutrients in the water, thus cleaning the water column for you. I don't do many water changes, maybe one every 4-5 months or so. The bigger the Sump, the more Algaes and plants you can keep in there.
Algae Turf Scrubber with the addition of a Sump is actually the best you can do with regards to cleaning the water column naturally.
Now, if you still want to keep your filters, yoiu can run them with Chemipure Elite or other Phosban, things of that nauter to help maintain water quality, but do not keep floss or micron filters in it to trap debre.
In a 55g tank, you should also have at least a 550gph turnover rate of the water, meaning a powerhead that blows the water throughout the tank. This keeps dead spots in the tank to a minimum, and matched with a Skimmer and or sump, allows those devices to help clean up the water.
I do not want to change the water weekly that's for sure....
I do have enough live rock in it but it looks like if I go to a pump system I have to completely take apart the tank....
If I stay w/ the current pumps that came w/ the tank (when the guys from the tank store came out to put water in they actually put the system together and said it should be fine) then how is the Chemi-pure used?
so much to learn w/ these tanks....I guess I should have started studying months before it came into the house....
Chemipure works just like Carbon Bags do, you just set them in the system and they will suck out the trash from the water.
The more filter you put on the tank, doesn't mean the cleaner the water will be, not in a SW tank. Only visiaully will it be cleaner.
And the guy that put it together said it would be fine.....DOESNT KNOW ANYTHING. These LFS guys are just there to sell you junk you don't need. One difference between me and them, I don't make anything off my advice to you, they do.
I don' tunderstand what you mean by, If I go to a pump system, I'll have to take apart the tank? Does that mean you think if you go with a Sump, you'll have to redo your tank?
Here is a list of things I give out to new people when they are just starting up a SW system. And belive me, with a 55g Tank, you must have a Skimmer, your never going to get those water parameter levels under control.
#1-Dry Rock, there are a few hitchhikers on Live Rock that people want to stay away from, so they opt for using Dry Rock, or Dead Rock. Macro Rock is a good place to start looking for that. Either way you go you will need a minimum of 1lb per gallon. You can use Fully Cured Live Rock, and have the tank cycled in just a few days also. Other way is to use just a couple of pounds of Live Rock and the rest Macro or Dry Rock.
#2-Replacement filter media like filter floss and activated carbon (if you get a filter) Which is really not necessary.
#3-Multiple Power heads (2 or 3) 10x your water volume for just a Fish Only With Live Rock, and at least 20x your water volume for a Reef Tank. So lets say your going reef, and you have a 100g tank, you would need flow in that tank at minimum of 2000gph, or 2 1000gph power heads.
#4-Protein Skimmer, rated at 2 times your water volume. Unless your tank is under 30g, in which case you can do 10% water changes a week to rid the system of detrius. But, you'll have to watch the water parameters close, if things go haywire, you'll have to do more water changes.
#5-Saltwater Test Kits. Reef Test Kit. Test for Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, PH, Phosphates, Calcium, ALK and Magnesium.
#6-Saltwater fish food. Mysis Shrimp, Squid, Cyclopease, Algae Sheets, Romaine . Flake food is not really a good food to feed your marine fish.
#7-Aquarium vacuum. This one is iffy. Most don't use one, if you have enough flow in the tank you won’t need one
#8-Rubber kitchen gloves
#10-Two, clean, never used before, 5-gallon buckets
#11-Aquarium thermometer, digital being the best.
#12-Brush with plastic bristles (old tooth brush) - needed for cleaning the live rock if you don't get Fully Cured Live Rock.
#13-Power Strip, possibly GFCI outlets by the tank.
#14-Optional but definitely recommend getting a Reverse Osmosis or RO/Deionization filter for the make-up water, and a barrel for storing the water.
#15-Possibly a Quarantine Tank for your new fish. They sit in here for a few weeks to kill off parasites and bacteria, to keep it from getting in your main tank
#16-Heater rated for your size tank.
#17-Saltwater Mix. Marine Salt. Instant Ocean is the cheap Salt that beginners and Advanced use alike.
#18-Saltwater Hydrometer or even better a Refractometer, which is more accurate. There is also a Digital Meter that is way advanced if you have the cash.
#19-Aquarium filter (not absolutely necessary if running with adequate amounts of live rock, but nice to have if you need to use a mechanical filter or activated carbon, or GFO and such)
#20-Aquarium substrate such as live sand or crushed coral. Some go bare Bottom, others choose the 2-3" bottom, others, more advanced will try the Deep Sand Bed, which is over 6" deep.
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Thanks a ton
You gave me tons of info to read through and try to figure out the best way to go..
We do have live rock that we bought from the tank store as well as 2-3" of the live sand. ...
so we have a start at least....
I'm so frustrated and not sure what to do.....Aquarium was set up in late December and ready to add fish early Feb.....all was well, then we had a Royal Gramma "disappear' for a week and then show up again but all beat up....it ended up dying.....
Then one of our clown fish showed up w/ 'spots' so tank store gave me some garlic and some special food to feed them....Today the clown is up by the filter, leaning on it's side so I think it's dying too ....And the other clown is down near the bottom of the sand and didn't go up to eat.....
I'm checked the water and ph is fine.... ammonia was a bit elevated so I added the stuff to lower that.....
nitrate and nitrate levels look like they may be a 'little' high.
I'm thinking maybe partial water change but not sure....As well as filter cartridge change.....
It's making me sick about these fish......
What should I do? Should I take the clown to the tank store so they can medicate him or both of them?
In Marine aquaria, the most I ever do is change 5-10% every other week to replace trace elements. And if I skip a WC, no harm, no foul. The main filtration in a marine tank is 1.5-2 lbs of Live Rock plus the 4-6" Deep Sand Bed. These two things harbor an anaerobic bacteria that completes the nitrogen cycle and turns unwanted Nitrates into Nitrogen Gas that leaves the system naturally. A Protein Skimmer then removes any Dissolved Organic Compounds (fish waste) before they have a chance to break down into Nitrates and Phosphates.
So large, regular water changes are not really needed, and any type of mechanical filters (canister, HOB and wet/dry) are a detriment to a Marine system (by sheer function, end result of a filter is nitrates, we in the marine hobby want the end result to be nitrogen gas).
This is called the Berlin Method.
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