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Sivitri 03-10-2009 02:30 PM

A few questions about starting a new fowlr
I have read though a lot of posts and done a lot of research about starting a new fowlr but I am still a little confused on a few things. For starters I have a 46g tank, but I have not bought anything else for it yet, although I do plan on using an aragonite sand bed and a couple of koralia power heads.

This is my biggest question. From what I have gathered from most of my research is that I need a good protein skimmer, but I really cant find a great source of information about whether I need a filter in addition to the protein skimmer. The skimmer I was looking at was the Reef Octopus HB 300 Dual
Hang on Back Protein Skimmer.
Would this be adequate?

If I did need a filter would a hang on the back type filter (aquaclear, biowheel, etc) used only as a carbon filter work?


B Castle 03-10-2009 04:35 PM

I have asked the same questions, and have basically been told this: If you are going to use a PF, make it ONLY carbon. If you have enough flow and live rock, along with a good skimmer, you don't need it. If you insist on using it for "polished" water, it's OK, though most don't use one at all.

Anyone, feel free to correct me if I've got it wrong!

Pasfur 03-10-2009 06:52 PM

You do not want a power filter or biological filter. In fact, the use of biological filtration or mechanical filtration will actually lessen water quality.

The only use of a power filter should be limited to water movement and activated carbon. Even then, you would be best to drop a bag of activated carbon into the power filter, rather than have the water forced threw a filter pad that contains carbon.

I think you are off to a nice start. Your skimmer choice is good. I would encourage you to look at e-bay before spending the money. This model has been made by many different companies and can be found for well under $100 used.

For the record, if you look at my 58 bowfront build, you will see that I am using the same skimmer. Mine is made by CPR, however.

onefish2fish 03-10-2009 09:53 PM

welcome to the forum. what fish do you plan on keeping?

Sivitri 03-11-2009 12:23 PM

Thanks for the help!

Right now I have a 12g with a few pieces of lr, a pair of ocellaris clowns and a zebra barred dartfish. In my new tank I plan to do mostly peaceful species. I want to start out with a couple blue reef chromis, a royal gramma, and if all goes well a gold stripe maroon clown. Other than those I will wait and see what my lfs has in stock when I go.

onefish2fish 03-11-2009 09:56 PM

that already arises issue.
its best to figure out stocking plans now then stock and have to work around that. for one, certain species wont mix. another issue is that certain fish should be added before others to avoid issues.

as far as FOWLR tanks go a 46 gallon def. leaves out any large fish. the ones mentioned should be fine however if you plan on moving the oc clowns over there will most likely be issue with the maroon.

are you planning a sump for this tank?

Sivitri 03-12-2009 09:49 AM

I wasn't planning on moving the oc clowns to the 46 because I had an out break of ich in the 12g and I don't want to transfer any of that to the new tank.

I do want to do a sump for the 46, but I am still debating if I can afford to do that or not. But I am definitely leaning towards it. The only thing I am afraid of with a sump is a possible overflow if I ever have a power outage. I read SKAustins "Understanding Sumps" and I see that you can put a syphon break in the return line, but I don't understand how that works.

I haven't put much thought into the fish I want yet because I am still only in the research and planning stage of the tank. I have yet to purchase any of the supplies and the only thing I have right now is the tank. And that is only because I got that for free from the store I work for.

Mike420 03-13-2009 02:31 AM

When it comes to saltwater the rule of thumb is more water flow the better. On my tank I have hooked up a Fluval 404, Aquaclear 110 Filter, 2 powerheads, AA UV Sterilizer and a Protein Skimmer. All is running and has been for a long time now. I have many fish in the tank just look at my tank section and it'll give you an idea of what you may want or need. Have fun in your saltwater creation.

Pasfur 03-13-2009 06:03 AM


Originally Posted by Sivitri (Post 179239)
The only thing I am afraid of with a sump is a possible overflow if I ever have a power outage. I read SKAustins "Understanding Sumps" and I see that you can put a syphon break in the return line, but I don't understand how that works.

I always find the phrase "i don't understand how that works" to be very funny. I personally have no understanding of how my computer works, but i use one very effectively. ;-)

Bottom line, just follow the instructions on your overflow design and everything will be fine. After everything is installed, turn the power off. You will see first hand how the syphon break works and will understand that sumps are much less likely to leak than HOB skimmers and filters.

Sivitri 03-13-2009 10:55 AM

Alright, I'm convinced. Sump it is.

Now I think I have decided on my equipment, let me know how this sounds.

The tank is a 46 bow front dimensions are 36"L x 12"w x 21"h
K4 power head
Protein Skimmer- AquaC Urchin with Maxi-Jet 1200 & Drain Fitting In-Sump
mag 9.5 return pump
lighting - 1 36" 10k and 1 36" actinic
in sump refugium
5" sand bed
70lbs (about) live rock

Did I forget anything?

Do you think that a 20L would be a suitable size sump for a this? I know bigger is better, but I am trying to keep the prices reasonable (haha).


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