New FOWLR Setup - advice please!! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 11-09-2010, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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New FOWLR Setup - advice please!!

Hi All,

I'm looking to set up my first marine fish tank, with live rock/sand and possibly a few soft corals. Having read up on the equipment needed I've made a list of what I think needs buying but before I go ahead can anyone advise on whether this looks correct?? I'm seriously confused so any help will be greatly appreciated - I don't want to kill any fishies!

Tank already purchased: Roma 125 Aquarium and Cabinet
which comes with Fluval U3 Internal Filter, Tronic Heater 150watt, Fluval GLO lighting (T8) one of each 20watt PowerGlo & AquaGlo, LCD thermometer, 100ml Nutrafin Aqua Plus water conditioner, 100ml Nutrafin Cycle

Things I think are needed in addition to this:
Protein Skimmer - Tunze Skimmer 9002
Powerheads - Hydor Koralia Evo 1600 Circulation Reef Pump x 2
Hagen Fluval E 100w Advanced Electronic Heater (the tank comes with a heater but no guard so I'll get this one instead and sell the Tronic on).
Seachem Prime water conditioner (I've read it's better than Tetra Aquasafe) - I'm thinking of using tap water and using Seachem to dechlorinate, remove metals, etc - and then add "Red Sea Marine Salt 22Kg - New Formula" to the mixture until the correct salinity is reached. I've brought a Salinity test thing from eBay which should do the job.

Once the water is cleaned I'm thinkiing of popping in 2 kgs Live Rock, Gravel or Live Sand as a substrate, and maybe a couple of clownfish?

Eventually I'll add a few more compatible fish and some soft coral

I'll also need water testing kits (pH, nitrate, nitrite, amonia, etc), Gravel cleaner, Bucket for water changes

Many thanks
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post #2 of 6 Old 11-10-2010, 09:36 AM
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Welcome to TFK!!!!!!!!!! these links are the first one i recomend to any one starting to research for a saltwater tank... they are packed with great info from some of our members... again welcome and feel free to ask anything we are all here to help....

Jumping Back into the Freshwater!!!
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post #3 of 6 Old 11-12-2010, 07:40 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Bears!

Many thank for the advice and links. They've been very helpful in ticking off what's needed.
I think the equipment I've selected should be ok, I'll need to upgrade the T8 lighting to T5 at some point but don't think I'll be able to afford that before xmas so will go ahead with a copy of higher output t8's (the best i could find are the Arcadia Marine White & Blue 24") and reflectors.

I was curious about whether I needed the Fluval U3 filter installed along with the Protein Skimmer but from what I've read this isn't required - so the filter may be making it's way onto eBay at some point.

The other thing I am unsure about is the water - a big thing really! Do I need to use RO/DI water? I'm on a water meter so imagine it could work out pricey and don't really want to plumb in something permanent. The alternative is to buy RO water from my LFS (found a link to an acyroymns page which was very useful!) but this would become annoying, especially as winter approaches.
I've read that DI filters have to be replaced alot more the RO so this could work out expensive as well.
Will pre-treated (seachem prime) tap water be adequate?

The Tunze Skimmer 9002 and Hydor Koralia Evo powerheads have both had good reviews so they sound like a good investment.

I'm ordering the rest of the equipment this weekend as my wife wants fish in that glass box by Christmas!

Thanks again.
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post #4 of 6 Old 11-12-2010, 08:42 AM
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glad to be a help .. for the fluval unless you intend a FW at some point sell it off and put the money to good use in the salt water venture....
unless you are setting up this week end i HIGHLY recommend you let the better half know that fish for X-mass may be pushing a little (LOT) to fast... there are many ways to jump start a FW tank not so in marine systems... and please believe when i tell you i speak from experiance slow and steady will get you a wonderful tank....
a great member here once said (and often repeated) that the only things that go fast in a tank are bad things and they are 100% correct in that....

so if you are waiting for gear go ahead and set up after all is here.. however somethings can be added later as they have no real impact on the set up
for example.... if using a sump and over flow (drilled or not) these should be set up right away but the skimmer can be added later as they serve no real function in the first month or so....
power heads for flow are a must but you can get by with one if you dont have all the ones you are planning for in the beginning.... lights T8 are fine as you are doing a FOWLER... they become imperative when we start talking corals and macro algae...
now in today's economy every one wants to save a few bucks so here is a way that will save you some (in exchange for a little more time in the maturity process).
buy the majority of your rock as base/dry rock this less expensive... then seed it with a small amount of Live rock
you can do the same with your sand...
now i know you are looking at a FOWLER right now but using the live rock adds in the natural filtration and will save you a lot of work down the road (and that is always a good thing)
as for the water issue this is a matter of quite some debate... it really breaks down to a few things you need to consider
1) how safe is your water?
2) can you test for all the things that may be bad for your tank?
3) are you willing to deal with the issues this may bring?
now that said my water here is fine and i use a tap water treatment after its been set for a bout 30 minutes i then mix my salt for a minimum of 30 minutes (usually 24 hours to be sure its mixed well) and then move forward....
as of this moment i have not had any issues but if i were to have any i am willing to deal with them.... others are more cautious than i and chose RO/DI only and have had great success...

Jumping Back into the Freshwater!!!
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post #5 of 6 Old 11-12-2010, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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Hi again Bears,

Very impressed with the advice so far, thank again!! Don't quite trust my LFS yet!
We're quite limited on space in our living room and the fluval fit perfectly into the space we want which is why we went for it. I'm hoping to start setting up this weekend as much as I can but realistically i won't have rock, etc in there until next week so I'll take note of your advice and not rush it. I've read that cycling can be done by adding a hardy fish like a Clown and Live Rock - I was hoping if I filled the tank with conditioned, salted water and left it running for a few weeks I could add a Clown around the end of December - is this unrealistic?

I have a water test kit (for ph, ammonia, etc - guessing I need to also test for calcium) so I'll check out the quality of tap water in my area - it's definitely drinkable and I've never had any problems with it but a test will show this up better. I may get an RO unit sometime next year if there's a way to temporarily hook it up as and when required - I've seen a post of someone doing this with a tap or hose pipe connection of some kind - may have to look into this!

I've never seen the idea about buying base/dry sock, seeded with live rock - excellent plan! Will definitely save a few pounds so thank you very much. This will certainly take more time in maturity but worth it.

Time to put together an order for the remaining bits now!

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post #6 of 6 Old 11-12-2010, 11:38 AM
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i would strogly suggest not cycling with a fish in the systemas the stress from all the fluctuations is quite high.. rather once sand and rock is in throw in a uncooked shrimp from the market and let it rot. this will start the bacteria growth and has two major benefits 1) no stress to a fish and 2) cost way less with out having to replace a fish that can not handle the stress...
often if we are not careful in our purchases the obtain wild caught fish that are stressed and or unhealthy to start with then introduce them to aharsh environment and end up killing them...

Jumping Back into the Freshwater!!!
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advice , fluval , lighting , saltwater aquarium , skimmer

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