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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So am a few weeks into being a member of TRT now and with the advice from numerous members here my tank is cycling nicely (4 weeks in)! Have added some live rock from another tank which had a little algae, but with the lights off has mostly disappeared, on the new live rock some brown algae has just started to form and I appear to be getting closer to my first inhabitants..

However the more time I spend browsing here the more questions and new ideas I have, currently I am running a canister filter with protein skimmer, 50 gallon tank and koralia air pump, live sand, live rock etc... The more I read though the more it seems I don't need the canister filter, can I really sustain a 50 gallon reef tank with just an appropriate protein skimmer? or would you suggest any other additions. I am also intrigued by sumps but know little to nothing about them, is there a beginners guide or even a complete sump setup you can just purchase in the UK?

Thanks in advance again for your help!
 

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When I bought my aquarium it was a kit from my LFS. It came with a canister filter and after reading on here I decided not to use it and I returned it. I've been running for over a year without one just fine. The main reason to have a sump is to hide the ugly stuff so it's not in the main tank. My protein skimmer, heater, return pumps, and filter socks are are located in my sump. A sump also adds water volume to you tank.

I personally wouldn't attempt a sump without a drilled tank with an overflow box. There are many on here that use a siphon method though. If you do it right, you won't have any leaks during a power outage. If you don't do it right, some or most of the water from your tank can siphon onto the floor during a power outage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys! :wavey:
I am not too bothered by the ugly stuff so much, can hide the skimmer etc in the cabinet and put up with a heater and a few tubes in the tank.
But I could get away with just the skimmer or would you suggest any other methods or tools to keep on top of my tank and filtration?
 

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No need for the canister filter...It will only add to your nitrates. LR and the protein skimmer should be able to handle all of your filtration, IF properly stocked and maintained. (notice the bold "IF"). Sumps serve a few purposes: increased O2 input (gas exchange), increased water volume (makes the tank a little more forgiving), area to add extra LR for filtration, area for adding macro algae to assist in nutrient export, area to keep livestock for their own protection or to protect the DT from them (crabs, for example). There are other purposes as well, but these are the most common, in my opinion. Oh...and to provide a place to put things like the protein skimmer, so you don't have to look at it as part of the DT.

the more you are on here, the more questions you'll have and the more ideas you'll come up with...and that won't change even after a few years...There is always more to learn and more to try. And the more answers you get, the more questions you'll have.
 

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Thanks guys! :wavey:
I am not too bothered by the ugly stuff so much, can hide the skimmer etc in the cabinet and put up with a heater and a few tubes in the tank.
But I could get away with just the skimmer or would you suggest any other methods or tools to keep on top of my tank and filtration?
Good quality live rock and an appropriately sized protein skimmer should be all you "need". I like my filter socks though. They filter out all the big stuff before it hits the chamber with the protein skimmer. They add a bit more time to my maintenance, but I think they're worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks again, what would be the suggest stock amount of live rock for the tank. Is it 1 pound per gallon???
 

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+1 on the filter bag or filter sock. I use them. As for the LR, general rule of thumb is 1-1.5 lbs per gallon, but that needs to be modified based on the rock. If you get really dense rock, you can put more "weight" in, but you ideally want porous rock. It provides more surface area for bacteria, is usually easy to make "caves" and tunnels, and it provides for better water flow than denser rock. "Stackable" space is a better indicator, but no clue how to measure it other than the "eye ball" test of "I think it will fit" :rolleyes: You need as much LR as needed to allow for the swimming room of the fish, hiding spots, caves, flow, etc to keep healthy fish and be aesthetically pleasing to the hobbyist. I have seen tanks with minimal LR (I have 25-30lbs in my 55g FOWLR) and I have seen tanks so loaded that you can't find the fish as they are always hidden in a cave somewhere. Be careful with too much LR as some fish, such as tangs, need a lot of room to swim in order to maintain health.
 
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