whats an RO/DI unit and a HOB ilter? is that a power filter?
HOB = Hang on back power filter. HOB is a common term, like HOB Protein Skimmer, HOB refugium, etc.
RO/DI = Reverse Osmosis/De-ionization. From a good unit, the purest water you can get. Removes everything that ISN'T water. You'd mix your marine salts with it, and do your daily top offs with the pure freshwater of it.
Meant to add earlier putting a good protein skimmer on your list would prevent many ills in your tank.
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Something I would like to add to this on the topic ofLive Rock. In a Freshwater tank you really are only ever concerned with nitrifying bacteria. This is the breakdown of ammonia and subsequently nitrite as well. In a marine tank you also have to be concerned with de-nitrification, the breakdown of the nitrate as well. The de-nitrification process is an anareobic process and that is something that a HOB filter simply cannot provide. You need to have the live rock to provide that in sufficient quantity. This is a very important process in a marine tank because the organisms are far more sensitive to nitrates. IMO Live Rock is an indespensible part of a marine tank. It's possible to do it without it, but it's not a smart thing to do.
I agree completely with that.
Originally Posted by ILuvMyGoldBarb
Sure, you can make a tank with .5lbs live rock like you want to, but why would you? Live rock is the most important part of any saltwater tank. Your tank will be twice as hard to maintain with .5lbs live rock than it would with 1lb. That, and it will look very empty, not much room for aquascaping, and your bio-capacity will be severely decreased.
Here's my "recommended" equipment list for your tank-
-10lbs live sand
-at least 60lbs live rock
-20-30 gallon sump
-Refugium of some sort
-A team of powerheads
-Heater x2 (one for water changes)
-Lighting (depends on whether you are doing FOWLR or reef)
-Saltwater complete master test kits
Whatever money you save on Live rock now you'll spend later in maintenence costs. Like Cocoa said, you can get dead rock for $1 a pound.
Why do you not want to use live rock so much?
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Just to chime and stress importance, live rock is basically an absolute must. If it's the expense that you're concerned with then check your local classifieds or Craigslist for your area. You can find great deals on it as people break down their tanks. Live rock not only provides for all the things listed above but also is asthetically pleasing and creates a closer to natural enviroment for your animals leading to less stress and other problems for them. It also creates hiding spaces and the like for those creatures that are a tad more shy or need a quick escape.
Oh and as I mentioned in another thread tap water is evil, be sure to use a QUALITY RO water. You'll thank yourself later!
Last edited by oldhead; 07-12-2008 at 01:24 PM.
I just wanted to address this issue because it seems to be a very prevelant attitude. This is true probably 99% of the time. There are however a few of us around that are extremely lucky and have water out of the tap that is unbelieveable. Personally, my tap water is <1 dKH and <1 dGH and 0 phosphates. I use my tap water simply because it would be a large waste of money for me to go out and buy a RO/DI unit. My TDS is somewhere around 10ppm. Just something to ponder and you may want to test your tap water for KH, GH, and PO4 before jumping into a RO/DI unit.
Originally Posted by oldhead
That's true and the units can be pretty pricey. I just went and bought mine from Walmart at 68cents a gallon. Was hilarious to pull a pallet and shopping cart of 70 gallons through the store. My friend and I kept getting asked about it by customers so we started telling them it was for our bunker and meth lab as a joke. lol.
The one thing about tap water, even 'quality' tap water, is there's no control over the composition of what is in that water (flucuations of compositions are allowable as long as they fall within certain thresholds or parameters, so tapwater composition can never be regarded as consistent). Also, there's no way to really know what that 10ppm is actually comprised of (there are definately things in tap water which one can't test for). Usually, cities publish annual water reports, and there's a lot of stuff in there that isn't nitrate or phosphate that one wouldn't want in a sensitive tank.
Originally Posted by ILuvMyGoldBarb
With RO/DI water one is assuring that impurities are not entering the system, and basically eliminating the unknowns. RO/DI water, however, is probably more recommended with reef tanks than FOWLR systems. If you had just fish, high quality tap water should be fine.
Also, even in a reef tank, your corals would let you know if something was wrong with the tap water.
Again, I am one of the very lucky ones, I have nothing wrong with my tap water.
Originally Posted by kaybee
I think you may be misunderstanding me, I'm certainly not suggesting that being able to use tap water is normal, it is extremely rare, I happen to be one of those who is lucky enough to be able to. Also, I am not advocating the use of tap water for everyone, I'm simply putting it out there as something to be aware of.