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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok im new to reef tanks and forums so please be gentle......
here what im working on, I have recently aquired a 55 gallon tank and stand(standard dimension)and here is my setup

Filter: -I have a wet/dry with bioballs(rated for a 55 gallon tank) and a
cascade 1200(rated for 150 gallon tanks)
-I still need a pump to take it from the sump in the wet/dry
back to the display tank....suggestions please:help:
-I also have two powerheads for circulation


protein skimmer: I dont have one but i am going to get one
......suggestions please:help:

Lighting: Im working with a budget so i was hoping 2 50/50 fixtures would
do the trick they are 108 watts each so a total of 216 watts.:help:

I want to start a live sand bed and circulate my tank for a week or so then add live rock and circulate for another week or so with some hearty fish in it like a damsel or somthing. once i have my set up squared away i want to eventually add in some low light tolerant corals. zoathids mushrooms i dunno.....suggestions please:help:


so im going to use an overflow box to take water to the wet/dry then my protien skimmer will do its work in the wet/dry sump before being pumped back to the display tank. the cascade 1200 will be a totally separate filtration system altogehter. i just need a protein skimmer, sump pump,and overflowbox help.:help:
 

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Welcome to TRT!!

:wavey:

before we can give you suggestions, we need to know what you are looking to keep in the system when it is up and running. there are many different biotopes that can be kept in our boxes of water, and it helps to setup the box to hold the critters that YOU want to mimic the biotope they live in.

G~
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
im not sure exactly what a biotype is but if your asking what type of enviroment....im looking to mimic a tropical setting where i can keep damsels, clowns, hopefully some triggers, and an anenome. i live in florida so somthing like you would find in the keys or in the carribean.
 

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this is where it gets fun. :D

tropical setting is a bit to vague when trying to figure out exactly what you are looking to do. setting a tank up for fish only can be a lot different than that for a reef tank. then you said the A word (anemone). the requirements for these is a lot more than you would think. anemones need a lot of light. far more light than you would think. to keep an anemone, i would get Metal Halid lights with at least 175w each and you would need 2 on a 4' tank like the 55g. i would not recommend using bio-balls on a system that will keep corals or anemone's in. bioballs if not kept constantly clean can actually degrade your water quality instead of improving it.

i strongly suggest never buying damsels for any kind of SW tank. they are extremely mean and will make getting other fish nearly impossible. this almost goes for clownfish, clownfish are just damsels in funny clothes. :D

powerheads are not the best plan if you plan on keeping an anemone. circulation is very important in keeping anemone's happy, but if they are not happy they have a tendancy to go walky on you and powerheads have a bad problem of chopping up loose anemone's. :(

G~
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
ok sooooo i guess i need to know how to get a tank started(or cycled if im not mistaken...right?). i thought i could just put some non-live sand like 1-1 1/2 inches then seed it with some live sand. i also want live rock, so i guess my question is how to setup a filtration system with what i have. the wet/dry, the canister filter, and the power heads. Im hoping to get by without the metal halide and use a 50/50 HO system. but i have yet to purchase lights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ok new question i had this crazy idea... could i used crushed live rock(about the size of bioballs) as media in the wet/dry?..... the denitrifying bacteria would do its work, the trickle effect would oxygenate the water and my skimmer would do the rest?..............also if i wanted to use the canister filter to pump the water back up to the display tank would that work?
 

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i would not use the canister filter at all. i would get a return pump that matches the flow rate of the overflow.

the crushed LR idea, is almost a good one. the problem is that any detritus produced by the LR or from the tank will get trapped in/under the LR making it very difficult to siphon it out every week when doing water changes. the rubble will also need to always be completely submerged or it will behave just the same as bio-balls and release nitrates into the system.

do not worry about "cycling" the tank. i feel this is an over emphasized part of setting up a system. it does not take a tank long to "cycle", but this "cycle" is just a small part of actually getting the system ready for life. the nitrogen cycle is important, but it is the phosphate cycle and your knowledge that needs to be ramped up before adding critters to the system. there are other cycles that need to occur, and jumping the gun, just because your ammonia is zero, can lead to a lot of problems down the road.

i recommend setting up the tank and letting it run with just fresh sand and some LR for 2 months with nothing else living in it. during these 2 months you will be doing very small water changes. just enough to replace the water you remove when siphoning out any detritus that accumulates from the LR. you will find there will be plenty of life on the LR.

G~
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
alright i think im armed with enough information to do that. i hope get some pictures up soon but im refinishing the stand now before it gets to bad rather than have it setup and try to take it all down when it needs it. so hopefully no more than a few weeks until i have rock and sand up and running thanks for the help, keep your eyes out for pics........and any advice how to setup my filtration while im prepping everything else would be helpful. ill be doing some homework!:read:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
well i repainted the stand and was gonna order some rock and buy sand but an accident involving my dog and my carpet sorta sidetracked my progress but im back on track.........i was able to build a small acrylic tank maybe 8 gallons or so to use as a refugium. ill post pics soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
today i came across a ten gallon tank that my girlfriend used for turtles once upon a time....anyway i might use this as a refugium to add volume and grow cheato or somthing cool i dunno any ideas? could i still us the the wet/dry with LR in the bottom or am i doubling my efforts here?
 
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