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  1. #1
    Senior Member Gigahertz99's Avatar
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    Aug 2005

    What system is considered being the best.

    After participating in this forum for 1 week and being new to marine aquariums, I am now confufed as hell. I'm running a 75G tank with 5 1200 Maxi Jet Power heads 1 rena 300 canister with no filters in it and for now 50lbs of live rocks with 70lbs more to come in the future. I also have 2X 250watts MH bulbs and 4X 48" UV neons. I've been told to run my tank as an ecosystem wich is the latest trend by Marinescape in Ottawa. Let the rocks do you filtering they told me but now I see all kinds of tanks here and all sorts of systems filtering the water, protein skimmers etc... I asked Marinescape if I needed all this and they told me that running the way they asked me to would not require all these fancy gadgets. Now my question is... Who the hell should I beleive now since I see some pretty impressive taks here like the one in the attachement i supplied and he's running a system that would cause me a divorce if I would adventure going his way.

    Should I stay with the system I was proposed or not???

    Please understand that when I do something I like to do it right the first time.
    If your gonna do it, do it right the first time.

  2. #2
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Here's my take on this...

    I don't think that Marinescape misguided you at all. You have the beginnings of an excellent system already. Your liverock will provide your tank with the biodiversity required for proper filtration. However... I would look into a good quality skimmer, like the Coralife SuperSkimmer 3004 (rated for up to 220gal). A good skimmer will help in exporting dissolved organics (the crud has to be taken out of the tank somehow).

    While I agree that many people can (and do) maintain successful reef tanks without a skimmer, I'm an advocate for skimmers.

    Going through your equipment list:
    - 75G tank nice size tank
    - 5 1200 Maxi Jet Power heads good flow
    - 1 rena 300 canister with no filters good for running carbon
    - in it and for now 50lbs of live rocks with 70lbs more to come in the future. good amount of liverock
    - 2X 250watts MH bulbs and 4X 48" UV neons sufficient lighting for all types of coral

    I didn't see you mention a sump. While not necessary, it does provide the added benefit of hiding some equipment, and give your more total water volume. You don't necessarily need a sump however; the Coralife superskimmer can be hung on the back (or side) of your 75g tank.

    Other equipment, such as kalk reactors, calcium reactors, etc... are not necessarily required. They just help maintain your calcium and alkalinity in a way that becomes less expensive over the long run (especially if you intend to keep SPS).

    So, in conclusion.... Add a skimmer, and you're set.

    FYI: You can find the Coralife SuperSkimmer 3004 for under $250 cdn. I havn't seen it listed on AquariaCanada, but I'm sure Ivan sells them as well.
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Marty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    I couldn'd have said it better myself.
    I agree that a skimmer is something you should look into. You can try a DIY skimmer if you're handy at building things and you have the tools to work with acrylic.

  4. #4
    Senior Member reefmutt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Well seeing as how you used a pic of my system (my old system), I feel obligated to jump in here!!..
    First, your very simple question of which system is the best probably has the most complicated and debated answer known to the hobby. All I can give you as an answer is my opinion because so many different systems will work.
    My opinion is that you have a very nice lighting set up. and enough flow.
    I also think that you need to get a decent skimmer- this is very important for good water quality and hair algea reduction.
    I also feel that a refugium is a good idea but not essential (but it certainly falls into the 'running the tank as an ecosystem' idea).
    I assume you are using r.o. water for the tank and water changes- if not I also feel that this is absolutely essential for long term success.
    in terms of additives for calcium and alkalinity control a calcium reactor is best- no question- However you can do just fine with two part additives, kalkwasser(which is second best, imo) or make your own concoctions out of baking soda and the like.

    I could go on and on...But I think that your absolute best course of action at this point is to educate yourself so that you don't have to rely on other people's opinions, who may or may not know more than you already know!!
    Get yourself some good books and read up- and then get some more books and read up some more!!!
    Once you have a grasp of the basics of reef keeping and understand how different systems work and why, you can begin to form your own opinions and theories and then you will be able to better judge the opinions you get from the reef keepers around you (us!!)
    Welcome to the hobby, by the way!!

    Old system torn down to make a playroom.. planning a 62x42x28 high

  5. #5
    Senior Member Gigahertz99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Ok cool so if I understand right, I have all the proper tools and in the future I will need no matter what a skimmer. This sounds very reasonnable. I also want to specify that in no way I was saying that Marinescape is misguiding me but it's just that I see threads of people talking and showing their tanks and all of them have a skimmer and more but I was told by them I didn't need one.

    Now for my next question... I'm at the pint where I have 65 hermits, 15 snails and buying 15 more right now. 2 clowns, 5 frags of blue shrooms. What should I put next and when?
    This tank has been cycling with salt and 150lbs of bottom gravel since Febuary and I added the 50lbs of live rocks 3 weeks ago, then came the crabs and snails and then the rest if the following weeks.
    If your gonna do it, do it right the first time.

  6. #6
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    You've got a great cleanup crew (admittedly better than mine)
    Those hermits might make a quick lunch of your snails, keep an eye on them, and throw some empty shells into your tank for them to "upgrade" into as they grow (the reason they kill snails).

    What are your water parameters currently?
    Do you currently have any algae blooms?

    I'd say maybe some LPS (like a torch, hammer, or frogspawn) would be a nice coral to move on to. You can probably locate an inexpensive frag somewhere... or if you want, join us at the next MASO get-together in September and purchase one of many frags available there.
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  7. #7
    Senior Member badmedicine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Man I hear ya
    There are so many opinions about this hobby. People will swear that what they are doing is the best way and that you HAVE to do it their way or you are doomed to meet failure. If I have learned anything, it is that there are many ways to do it Few people have ALL the fancy equipment (some of us would rather not).
    Your way (lots of lights,water flow and lots of rock) sounds very natural and I like it. The trend IS moving back to a more natural (less chemical additives like in the picture) enviroment.
    If it is working for you- keep it up. Your system will last ionger in the long run I think (my opinion).
    YOu never mentioned what you are putting in your tank... Corals. fish. cleaning crew that will change the eco.
    My advice (just that) is if you see that Marine escape's tanks are successful and that you feel that they are knowledgeable (sounds like they have your best interest because they don't sell gadgets to make money) then stay the course. "Don't change a horse mid race".
    I have a lot of Patients

  8. #8
    Senior Member Swimfins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    This is intresting. I'm new of course to saltwater, but was getting frustrated at the costs of keeping up even my little 25g as a trial.
    I would like to convert my 66g long tank from fresh to salt in a few years but had to rethink it after reading what it takes in $$$$ for the larger tanks. Kalkwasser drips? calcium reactor???? never mind.
    Minimum: Of course it has to be drilled, sump/refugium, better lights, skimmer, lots of rock. Good calcium sand base.But that would be it. I guess its feasible if it stays 'au naturel'. Oh ya circulation. The closed loop a la Salty Dog seems like an idea.
    Plus, the more you add on, the more there is to *&&^%$ uo!
    Canons shooting coconut creme
    40 guns in a steady stream. :coolmad:

  9. #9
    Senior Member putz28's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    you'll need the skimmer months from now ( if at all ).

    Many people run without them and I have heard/read from many sources to wait 6 months before adding one.

    That being said, I will own a skimmer but at this point do not.

    Go with a sump, it allows more water to be in the system, it's a great place for extra Live Rock so your tank has more space and of course it will hold hardware like your heater and eventually your skimmer.
    125G in wall
    2 x 250 hqi
    4 x 4' actinics
    tunze wavemaker & 6060
    2 x 1200 maxi's
    quiet one 3000

    ...just started of course

    One day my daughter asked me for Nemo. Here we are thousands later and I'm just getting started.

  10. #10
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    I'm in the you need a skimmer club, but I do admit you can run a tank without one. Be prepaired to do more water changes & IMHO skimmerless is more work than having one.

    As far as cost goes, aside from DIY, I've had great luck picking up stuff from the classifieds on this board. Much of the set up I have belonged to somebody else here first.

    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary measure.

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