Newbie - planning phase and questions

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by FO7, 23 Aug 2009.

  1. FO7

    FO7

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    Hi everyone,

    I am planning my first reef setup. I have a 4ft (246L) tank with a side (3 chamber) bio filter. Been reading all the do's and don'ts. Just a few questions any further advice will be appriciated:

    1. Substrate : Crushed Coral (CC) vs Aragonite vs Playsand.

    2. Filter media : most advice is not to use bio balls and rings.

    3. Powerhead vs submersible pump

    4. Lights - 4 or 6 T5 configuration (600mm, 900mm or 1200mm)
     
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  3. Annoying

    Annoying

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    Congrats on starting your jurney!

    Don't use cc only playsand or if you have the money argonite
    Yore lighting should be enough to keep lps not so sure about sps maybe above...
    No bio balls or ceramic rings correct!
     
  4. Drk

    Drk

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    My advice is 6 x t5 39 watt 2 marine blue 4 white

    If you can get CC or aragonite playsand is for us living in the middle of nowhere and in a rush to get our systems up and runing.
     
  5. Drk

    Drk

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    Pumps depends mostly on the setup and space.

    CC will work for bigger fish else aragonite
     
  6. FO7

    FO7 Thread Starter

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    Thanks guys, I am opting for the more sandy substrate and will be looking into aragonite. What will be a good configuration for the side bio filter?
     
  7. FO7

    FO7 Thread Starter

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    PS. What skimmers should I be looking into?
     
  8. S2

    S2

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    Hi fo7 in my old tank which was a 1.2meter i had 8 t5 lights 2 blue and 6 white and kept lps corals and a clam. According to the bio balls and ceramic noodles dont go there i used them too when i started out, rather go with a dsb and a good over rated skimmer. I also used crushed coral would advise not to use it rather use fine aragonite that what i did in my system in the dt and dsb. But with my new tank im working on now im going to try play sand or beach sand.
     
  9. Tony

    Tony

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    FO7 a TS2 skimmer will more than be adequate for yout tank. Like the guys said go for aragonite if you can and use playsand for your DSB
     
  10. Pugsly

    Pugsly

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    You could use Crushed coral in the DT but only if it is sugar fine.

    I have playsand mixed with beach sand I collected and it works perfectly in my DT.

    Filtration should mostly consist of skimmer and DSB. you can always add a scrubber and UV light ect. Just don't use filter wool or bioballs or anything for that matter that can collect gunk.
     
  11. Pugsly

    Pugsly

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    PS. I agree with Tony on this one - the TS2 skimmers are truly great skimmers and will work perfectly for you! Don't skimp on a skimmer, rather pay a little more and get the job done perfectly!
     
  12. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Hello And Welcome.

    Rather get a proper sump. This is ok for a goldfish setup, but take it out if you can.
     
  13. riyadhessa

    riyadhessa

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    FO7...Welcome to MASA...
     
  14. FO7

    FO7 Thread Starter

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    Thanks you all, I still have a lot of homework to do before my build starts. Will start a new thread with photos with the progress. First things first, will get the stand and the cosmetics out of the way, then take it from there one step at a time
     
  15. FO7

    FO7 Thread Starter

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    Guys, need some more advice on what I can do with this new tank. As mentioned it is a 4ft, on the one side it has these three chambers, the first chamber is where the water will filter through very thin gaps, once filled, it drops over the top into second chamber, once reaching the bottom the third chamber will be filled and then be returned to the tank.

    I was advised to place the heater in the first chamber and a pump in the third. Guess this makes up a standard bio filter, with all the media in middle chamber. Removing it from the tank does not seem to be an option at this stage. I will definitely invest in a a good skimmer.

    Could this be used as a phase 1 filter and then adding a sump at a later stage. This will be a very basic setup as it is my first attempt with marine. Any recommendations in a configuration for getting the tank into cycle mode and also clocking up some mileage and maturity in the tank?
     
  16. FransSny

    FransSny

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    The sooner a sump & DSB is started the better it will work, also adding things at a later stage could cause more trouble than joy.

    My 2 C
     
  17. Neil H

    Neil H Moderator MASA Contributor

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    first off i encourage you to look at the following thread on rocks and substrate, i am sure your questions regarding this will be answered there
    Rock and Sand in the Reefers World, A geologists Perspective. - Biological/Natural Filtration



    I am not sure that i follow this logic ? may i be so bold as to ask for a further explanation?

    i am afraid FO7 you have been sold an old school system.... if you are aiming for a full reef system then your current sytem setu will only lead to failure in my opinion you have 3 options

    1. leave it as is and run a fish only system .... it would be very limiting indeed
    2. use the compartment as an overflow, post some pics and i will show you what i suggest, drill the base of the compartment, and use this to feed a sump in the cabinet below
    3. the option i would use - move the current tank to the sump and build new display tank

    trust me get the initial setup right, if you dont you will be fighting problem algae etc etc all the time
     
  18. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    My current tank, when I got it it had a 3 chamber thing at one end. Guess what was the first thing My brother and me did... We took it out.
    Previous guy was so proud of the filter thing he build, explaining it to us. No thanks.
     
  19. Pugsly

    Pugsly

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    I agree - get the sump done right now - keeping it old school will only lead to allot more work in the future - I have been there, done that. Only now is my system looking allot better after a long battle!
     
  20. FransSny

    FransSny

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    FO7, just saw nowbody answered your Q regarding powerheads vs submersable pumps.

    IMHO the coice will depend on your setup and what you want to keep EVENTUALLY (trust me yo will change your mind along the way !)Hers my 2C;

    Submersible pumps are cheap , an eyesore and very difficult to get to create chaotic / random flow in a reef setup.

    Powerheads are a bit more expensive BUT you can add as you go along, hook them to controllers, angle them ....so many choices.

    But first decide what you want to keep as a fish only system wont need as much flow as one with SPS, softies can adjust easier to lower flow, nennies needs lots of flow & lights etc etc (think you get the point)

    just also remember that good flow in atank helps to facilitate decent skimming, helps to prevent detrius build up, GHA, Cayno etc.
     
  21. Pugsly

    Pugsly

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    I agree with Frans.

    I had submersible pumps all over my tank and never got chaotic flow - then I replaced them with sunsun 12000lph powerheads x4!!! What a difference. Sun sun are by no means theb best out there, but for the price you can get the setup allot better quickly! I will in time replace the sunsun ones with decent powerheads and controllers as they pack up! Was struggling with GHA problems but they seem to be sorting that out now with the more flow I have.

    Just my 2c
     
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