back into the hobby with questions?


New member
i started a 55 gal saltwater fish only tank 6 months ago after being away from the hobby for 10 yrs. now i cant get enough but so much has changed.. my friend just gave me his 135 gal flat back hex and i have no filtration...what is the best way to go about the upgrade and most cost effective. i want a fish only andall white coral for asthetic reasons (deal with wife for upgrade)so is it bad if i dont use live rock? i need a 500 dollar protien skimmer....should i get a used one? uv sterilizer? wet dry?..i need some direction. the salesmen in chicago just want to sell me everything. my 55 recently got ich and i lost three fish and had to treat with copper.should i use that water to start my 135 or not? fish looked better after a week so i stopped treatment...will it return?...i have so many more questions so ill just start here...thanks so much and i am psyched to of found this website.

your going to need live rock for your main filltration (sp) as for a 500.00 skimmer no.. get a asm g3 , you can find em used for less than 200 most of the time and theres a few mods you can do that are cheap that will help them skim better.. i wouldn't use the water if it was me i would start w/ new water/sand.. but if you don't plan on keeping corals i don't see why it would hurt, after you put in your dead coral it will turn purple over time as coraline builds up on it btw.. what kind of equipment do you have now and what fish?
I would keep anything from the copper-treated tank out of the new one, unless some thorough cleaning is done. The water isn't going to help much, anyway.

I agree that live rock is the basic for filtration. There are other approaches, but live rock is probably the easiest. You could consider a large macroalga refugium, but I'm not sure how well that'd really do.
i have a ehiem and a bakpack protien skimmer...1 small lion and one small stars and stripes puffer....whats (sp) and should i have a sump with live rock in it for a fish only?..the guy at the store wants to sell me a wet dry, uv, protein skimmer...its like 900 bucks...what should i do....thanks for your reply jim

ps cant i bleach coral like i used to....
The puffer is not likely to be compatible with corals, I think. In any case, I'd check those fish in a good reference.

For a fish-only, a wet-dry would be fine. That's rather pricey, but so is live rock. You might be able to find a used wet-dry or a canister filter for that size tank for a lot less. The UV is not generally useful, in my opinion. Protein skimmers are nice to have.

I'd just buy the plastic coral for decoration. That should work, if you don't want to keep live corals. There's no reason not to use bleached dead corals, either.
if you look in the local club threads you may be able to find LR for 2.00/lb, i don't think you will spend 500.. maye like 350.. (sp) means i don't know if i spelled it correctly lol