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  1. #1
    Senior Member Cmarty01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Question Ottawa area newby

    I have a 55G and will be using 44 lbs crushed coral with 15 lbs live sand and live rock.

    1) I noticed a couple of you live in the Ottawa area. I am fairly new to the area and was wondering if any of you have tried just ordinary city with aquasafe or do you all use Ro/Di Units? Anyone ever tried a brita filter? would this accomplish the same result?

    2) I will not be using a sump right now as I do not have room, what are my options for skimming? From what I have read a Hang-on is my only option, but its all so confusing with so many opinions. Any recommendations for a hang-on if thats my only option.

    3) I will be using an eheim 2224 canister filter. It will mainly be used for circulation, but everyone I have asked said take all the media out and occasionally put carbon in it. Does everyone agree?

  2. #2
    liv is offline
    Former Moderator liv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    i strongly suggest you get a ro/di unit..
    i think we all tried filtered city water.. and the brita stuff... not even close in quality to what an ro/di unit can provide.
    if you got a bit of spare cash for it.. its one of the best upgrades you can do..
    in my mind.. its a must.

    moving.. so temporarily out of SW :b8:
    planning next tank, possibly 60x30x20 on 2x plasma.
    updated: 2011/05/30

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    people do use conditioned tap water but as LIV said, I strongly recommend an RO/DI unit from AC.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    I have never used an RODI unit in my six years, but im told there is a significant difference and i want one soon. Can you shop on this site? are the prices competitive?

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Yes & yes...

  6. #6
    Mel is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    The RO/DI system sold here is identical to what I purchased from Ebay. I bought it before I realized they were sold here, my bad! Anyway, I paid almost 25% more and all I got to show for the extra was a 2.5 gallon holding tank! I strongly suggest the RO/DI system via AC. You'll notice the majority of reefers use them and they are equal to and better than the "reef" systems available from aquaria companies.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Fisherman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Welcome Cmarty01..

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    A couple of comments and questions.

    The most important starting point is to decide what are you interested in keeping in the tank. That will have a strong effect on the type of circulation, filtering, lighting, etc that you will need.

    1) I agree with the view that buying an RO/DI unit would be a good idea. However, to start, you could buy RO or distilled water from a grocery store. It gets expensive in the long run (and inconvenient).

    2) There have been some vigorous debates on this site about whether skimming is needed in all tanks. Do a search and you should find them. You might get away without skimming but doing regular water changes. In terms of good HOT skimmers, many people recommend the Aqua-C Remora line. IJO (here at the AC shop) sells this line but doesn't list the HOT versions. If you want to read about them, you could try the J&L web site (

    3) If you plan to keep mainly fish, and can keep the filter clean, you could use filter media. However, for most purposes, bio-balls aren't good. In general, people aim for an hourly flow rate of at least 10x tank volume (about 550-600 GPH in your tank) although more is often suggested. You need more than one pump since the goal is to get turbulant flow patterns. Since the 2224 is only listed as giving 160 GPH, you would need additional powerheads. For the price of the Eheim, you could almost buy a good HOT skimmer instead. You'd still need to buy powerheads for flow but you'd have much better filtration.

    How much LR are your planning to get? Your initial question implies 15lbs wehich would be too little for a 55G. You should aim for 1-1.5lbs per gallon of tank size. IJO sells excellent LR.

    Keep asking questions. Also, look into the MASO forum. That's an Ottawa club which has meetings to share ideas, etc. Next meeting will be in February and you'd be most welcome.

  9. #9
    Senior Member pt109's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Welcome Cmarty01!

    While you're saving up for your RO/DI unit, you may want to try using the Tap Water Purifier deionization cartridges put out by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals. I couldn't find them in AC's list of dry goods, but they are available from other online stores here in Canada (J&L Aquatics, M.O.P.S. etc) for about $45 to $60.

    As it happens, I have a 2-cartridge set (only partly used) listed for $50 in the Classifieds Feature accessible from the Home Page. I strongly suggest that you run them in a 2 cartridge series, replacing the first unit as it wears out - they seem to last longer that way. Send me a PM if you're interested.

    Hope to meet you at the next MASO meeting, hopefully soon.
    Man cannot live on bread alone --
    He must also have his peanut butter

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