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x_steveo_x

Newbie to reef aquarium

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hi all i have a nice little 36 x 18 x 18 and would like to setup a saltwater tank. the question is to sump or canister what size protein skimmer and do i need a chiller and if ucould think of anything else i might need would be great thanks Steve

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Sounds like a good sized tank.

The canister filter is more or less useless unless the water that passes through it is not prefiltered to a great degree,also vary the particle sizes in there for nitrites and nitrates.

A protein skimmer is never to big(with in reason)only to small.

A chiller is a must unless your house has air con!

Try to include a dry section with your aquarium,it helps a lot for the long term.

An external filtration(sump)can be of a huge benefit if you build it correctly an that is not hard to acheive.

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hey i have wondered this for a while.

so did you say canister filters wouldnt be sufficient?

sumps seem to def be the better option from what i have gathered

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Canister filters are more so for freshwater or quarantine or short term biological filters(showing fish or competitions as such).

You see they are at there best as a wet section and if you have live rock in your tank,than that is a good wet section in it self.

They are not designed to remain very clean or have a properly working dry section,so they don't last at a high performance level for very long and do not help sabilise PH at all.

If you are not going to have a strong load on you tank(lots of fish),some live rock and a slightly over sized protein skimmmer combo is the way to go.

A sump(these were never called that in the past) should have a protein skimmer at the begining of it.

The water coming out of your tank should be perfectly prefiltered with a filter bag.

Than a sand bed,than an algae environment.

Than a return pump to your tank.

If you can put in a small spot for a carbon filter bag,all the better.

I would never build a system again with out a dry section,some where,it can be remote(not on your filter) and be put anywhere really ,even in the next room,nothing stabilises water like one of these.

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Live rock is all the bio filtration that you require to maintain a marine tank.

It posesses aerobic bacteria on its surface,

And anerobic bacteria deep in its pores,

The only form of "filtration" your require is mechanically through a protein skimmer.

The idea of a marine environment is to create a self sustaining ecosystem. A sump will provide you the extra volume of water and also allow you to place heaters and pumps out of the display tank. Both positive things.

You want your tank volume going through the sump about 6 times.

It will cause you less dramas if you omit the canister from your setup in the long run.

Salt water is more dense than freshwater, that is why canisters are not reccomended for marine setups. The oxygen requirement is much higher in salt water. Alot of people have the opinion that they will try their hand at marine setups. The most important thing is stability in any environment.

You will also need to test water parameters so you know what exactly is going on.

It is alot to take on when you start. Take your time, do it right the first time and you'll be rewarder for all your efforts.

Turnover rate is another thing to consider.

Fish only aim for 20x display volume

Hard corals aim for 80 x display volume

This rate is in the display tank, not the sump as many people wonder.

Wide flow powerheads are perfect for this.

Keep reading as much as you can.

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