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Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. Default Considering a 37gal FOWLR... Some Questions Before I Decide


    0 Not allowed!
    Sorry, I think this post might be kind of long. I've had a 37gal tropical community for five years now and I really want to switch to a FOWLR setup. I've been doing my research for the past two and a half years (Cliff, I know you'll probably read this and I just want to say that your articles on Reef Aquarium are very helpful and informative) and I think I've read just about everything there is on the Internet about marine aquaria; I'm confident that I have the knowledge and time to set up and maintain one properly.

    However, as I just started university, doing a large aquarium is impractical since I probably won't be living in the same place for a long time. This is why I'm considering switching over my 37gal. I know that it's a little on the small side, but I'm aware of the risks and I'm willing to put in the extra time to deal with keeping my water quality constant and high. I'll be trying to this on a budget, but I don't want to do it unless what's in my price range is totally fine (basically, I'll spend the money on something if I have to but I don't want anything over-the-top). So here are my questions:

    1. I'm trying to kill a few birds with one stone, so I was wondering if it would be possible to use an AC50 and and AC110 (along with a suitable amount of live rock) as my only filtration (i.e. no sump or skimmer). I know that skimmers remove a lot of dissolved organics and oxygenate the water, but is one necessary if I don't plan on keeping corals and maintain a good water change schedule? The reason I'd rather do this than get a skimmer is because this would also give me a pretty good flow rate and I'm hoping I wouldn't have to get any powerheads.
    2. I don't know the exact Toronto water parameters, but I'll be calling the water company in the next few days to see if I can get an exact analysis so I can provide numbers (one thing I know is that, unlike most cities, we have fluoride in the water (to prevent tooth decay) - is that a problem?). If I'm willing to do water changes every few months with distilled/RO water from the store to help keep TDS down, does it sound ok to use tap water the rest of the time?
    3. I'm pretty sure I've read that the intensity/type/amount of light don't matter in a FOWLR setup as the main purpose of light is only viewing the tank, so would a 24" T8 bulb in the stock light fixture be ok?

    I think those are the only modifications to a "standard" setup I'm considering. How do they sound?
    Last edited by jgranata13; 03-05-2014 at 01:22 AM.
    Joseph Granata
    My decommissioned 37gal freshwater community tank journal: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...d.php?t=116054
    My current 37gal FOWLR tank journal: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...42#post1214342

  2. #2

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    A 37 gallon is OK size for your first tank. Your certainly on the right track. Below are a few suggestions to your questions to help you along.

    1-Around 30 lbs of live rock for you biological filtration would be good. If you use the AC50 for chemical filtration media, and the AC110 as a HOB refugium, you should be set.

    2-When I lived in Brampton, I did not consider the water quality good enough. I would suggest RO water. You can buy it pretty cheap for the initial set-up and with 10% water changes after that, the cost would be minimal

    3-That is false. If you use lighting in the lower color spectrum (below 10000K) you will be promoting marine algae. I would suggest actinic bulbs or bulbs with 18,000K or higher. Wattage is not important, go as low as you feel comfortable.
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  3. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks Cliff. Can you explain or point me in the direction of some good articles about refugiums? I've read that they can be used to grow copepods and plankton for animals that eat constantly, but I don't understand how they would be able to resist the current to stay in there long enough or why they wouldn't be killed by the impellers.
    Joseph Granata
    My decommissioned 37gal freshwater community tank journal: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...d.php?t=116054
    My current 37gal FOWLR tank journal: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...42#post1214342

  4. #4

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Pods, microplankton, and other little critters will develop throughout your tank. The refugium is basically a separate area that is apart of your set-up (either HOB, or a sump compartment) where you can grow algae or use other means to consume nutrients.

    Below are a few links you might find helpful

    http://reefcentral.com/forums/showth...=how+to+DIY+an

    http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh....php?t=2076774
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  5. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I'm so excited that my idea will work and I'm now in the planning stages of the new setup, and I have a question about curing live rock and a question about my filtration.

    From all the research I've done, it seems like most people cure live rock in opaque bins rather than in their tank to avoid growing algae. If I blackout my tank, would it be possible to aquascape first and then cure it? (The reason I ask is because I'm a perfectionist and I wouldn't be surprised if it takes me a few days before I get something I'm happy with and I'm pretty sure that would set me back to square one on the curing front if I cured it beforehand.)

    As for my filters, Cliff, you suggested the 50 for chemical filtration and the 110 as a refugium. Can I also put a filter pad in the 50 or do you think the space would be better used for chemical filtration? My thought is to do one AC sponge and the rest either Seachem Matrix Carbon, Seachem Purigen, Seachem HyperSorb or a mixture thereof in the 50 and then some live rock rubble and macroalgae in the 110. How does that sound?
    Joseph Granata
    My decommissioned 37gal freshwater community tank journal: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...d.php?t=116054
    My current 37gal FOWLR tank journal: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...42#post1214342

  6. #6

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I would suggest carbon and a good quality phosphate remover in the AC50, and live rock and macro algae in the AC110
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  7. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Would you say that Instant Ocean is a good quality mix? My LFS is having a 50% sale on it and I might as well stock up while it's cheap. Otherwise, what would you recommend instead?

    By the way, is the size of the container the amount of salt or the amount of water that can be mixed (e.g. does the 25gal bucket have 25gal of salt or is it enough to mix 25gal of water)?
    Joseph Granata
    My decommissioned 37gal freshwater community tank journal: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...d.php?t=116054
    My current 37gal FOWLR tank journal: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...42#post1214342

  8. #8

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Not all salts are equal. The same sized container can from one brand can make slightly more salt water than another when keeping the salinity the same. You have to be careful and read the label. I would recommend any of the below brands:

    Instant Ocean Reef Crystals
    H2Ocean
    Royal Marine
    Tropical Marine

    I have used all of them and found the when mixed at a salinity of 1.026 with RO/DI water, the parameters are right in line where I like them. I have tried other cheaper brands and was far from impressed by the resulting water parameters.

    And please keep in mind, when I am referring to water parameters, I am only referring to the new made salt water using these brands of salt with RO/DI water (0 TDS)
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

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