Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   another 10g fowlr build (

trukgirl 04-24-2010 10:05 AM

another 10g fowlr build
Ok so I am starting my own thread on this so I'm not hijacking dylan94's thread! :lol:

Sorry if there are any silly/dumb questions but I am a total noob to saltwater.

PLEASE... any and all advice welcome!!!!!!

Anyways... my plan is to convert my 10g into a saltwater FOWLR. (At least till I am more used to caring for it and can upgrade my lighting. Maybe later down the road I will do corals.)

As far as equipment goes... I would like to upgrade my filter.
Right now it has a HOB AquaTech 5-15g. (aquatech filter link)
I would like to go with either a Marineland Penguin Bio-Wheel (link) in the 20g size
or an Aqueon 5-20g power filter (link)
Both descriptions say they are OK for saltwater.

As far as my heater goes, I need to keep it in there, right? (its for a 5-15g)

Ok... with powerheads.... what is their purpose? Just to make a current? Or do I need to have it hooked into an undergravel filter? I don't quite understand this part.

As far as stocking goes, I definitely want at least 1 clown, possibly one of the ones that is black and white instead of orange.

I want to have 1 more fish....
either a yellow watchman Goby (
or a fire fish (
If I can have all 3 it would be super, but I don't want to crowd them.
These links are from the LFS that is about 2miles from my house... they are seriously geared at Saltwater! I am going to be getting live rock and sand from them as well, and they carry coral frags and all KINDS of stuff not listed on the website.

BTW, what is everyone's opinions on a clown and one of the above fish together? I haven't asked them yet at the store.

As far as a cleanup crew goes, I'd like to have a fire shrimp (I think thats what they are called, they are super bright red with a bit of white dots on them) and some type of starfish. Does this sound ok?

fishesfriend 04-24-2010 10:04 PM

Please read this link for filtration. (link)

trukgirl 04-24-2010 10:32 PM

WOW. That changes things!


trukgirl 04-25-2010 08:50 AM

Mmmkay... how about this for a filter & protein skimmer together??
Taam Rio protein skimmer

dylan94 04-25-2010 09:13 AM

Yay now I can follow your thread for double the information :) Your tank will be awesome trukgirl, also that LFS that you posted links to looks incredible. My LFS is big like that too, but I think yours has more saltwater fish than mine :)
Good luck with your tank :)

trukgirl 04-25-2010 11:07 AM

Thanks! :)

willieturnip 04-25-2010 04:46 PM

Powerheads are just for current. Marine life is used to extremely fast currents in nature and it's virtually a requirement for at the very least 15x the volume of the tank to be turned over per hour.

In a marine tank, weather it be FOWLR, reef or whatever, live rock does most (and possibly all) of the filtration. Skimmers and such are completely unnecessary for small tanks. I have been running my 20 gallon (used to be a 15) skimmer-less for a month or two with no negative changes.

Do some reading of the build threads on here, thats how I got into marine and it has been very successful.

dylan94 04-25-2010 04:52 PM

willlieturnip: I was just curious as to how your 20 gallon used to be a 15 gallon. Or did you mean you switched the 15 for a 20. i think that is what you meant... wow I'm dumb.

trukgirl: I only plan on having an HOB filter on my tank, mostly for beneficial bacteria growth and like a bonus filtration to help the live rock a bit. I don't plan on using any UV sterilizer or protein skimmer or any of that. I do however plan on doing frequent water changes.

willieturnip 04-25-2010 05:11 PM

I siliconed another 5 odd inches to the top of the tank while it was still filled and just topped it up when the silicone was dry..

I moved everything into a new tank. :lol:

wake49 04-26-2010 08:40 AM


Originally Posted by dylan94 (Post 369511)
trukgirl: I only plan on having an HOB filter on my tank, mostly for beneficial bacteria growth and like a bonus filtration to help the live rock a bit. I don't plan on using any UV sterilizer or protein skimmer or any of that. I do however plan on doing frequent water changes.


Water changes and Protein Skimmers do not do the same thing. If you are running a reef tank, the best method of filtration is going to be:

Live Rock: Have enough to feel that the tank looks "full" of rock. If you look at some members tanks and online examples, you 'll get a good idea of how much.

Live Sand: 4-6" of depth will give you good denitrification.

Those two above are for the nitrogen cycle. Aerobic bacteria live in the shallower depths of the sand and rock and convert ammonia into nitrite and nitrite into nitrate. Anaerobic bacteria that live in the deeper depths of the rock and sand where oxygen is not abundant convert nitrate into nitrogen gas, which leaves the system naturally.

The only other important form of filtration is the one that directly removes dissolved organic compounds (DOCs) from the water column. This can be done in one of two ways. The protein skimmer, through foam fractionization, removes DOCs before they can break down in the system. The other method (which I am suggesting based on the smaller size of the tank) is activated carbon. This also removes DOCs directly from the water column.

Water changes only remove the end result of this breakdown from the water. At this point the DOCs, which are an acidic compound, have already had an adverse effect on your Alkalinity. You need a method that controls DOCs before this happens, such as said methods above.

I would run an empty HOB filter with just activated carbon in a fine mesh bag to remove DOCs. You will rinse the bag every few days and replace the carbon monthly.

I advise against running the HOB filter with anything but the activated carbon. Filter pads collect detritus and food particles that break down into nitrates and phosphates, which have an adverse effect on your system.

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