Need FOWLR Pro's Advice

stooges3tx

New member
So was building about a 400G system straight reef and figured why not make it a 600G system with a FOWLR attached? Here is my build thread:

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1711426

I have been a successful SPS/LPS aquarist but never have kept a Pred Tank. I would be using a 265G tank with minimal rock in it. I have a 100G sump with 150lbs of rock in it and would be eventually adding another big tank with rock for the reef. I am not so worried about keeping stable parameters and such.... Here are my questions.

Can you mix a system like this? Do preds like or care if my salinity is 1.026? temp 78-80F etc.?

What type of turnover rate should I try for? I am thinking as much as I can to push the waste into my rock and large fuge.

Other than here, is there any good sites to get info on set up for a FOWLR?

Thanks,

Jon
 

jjk_reef00

New member
Temp and salinity will be fine for most fish.
The only concern is going to be water quality if you are keeping sps. Make sure you have a big skimmer because those big fish produce a lot of waste.
 

jmccown

New member
Yes, like jjk said by tying the two together your params will be subpar for corals. Just as well, you'll not be able to treat fish with any meds such as copper based types because it is tied to coral tank as well.
 

stooges3tx

New member
Thanks or the replies. I never had my fish get sick in my reef tank. Are preds different???? Are they more prone than say a tang to getting sick? I always thought if I maintain stable parameters and feed healthy food I will have healthy fish with healthy immune systems. No?

You think nutrients are a concern in a 265G tank with a high turnover rate and awesome filtration? Are they that messy?

Hmm... you guys are scarying me. I thought a FOWLR tank was supposed to be easier than a reef.
 
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anbosu

New member
In some ways it is easier, but if the two are tied together you will have to keep your FOWLR with reef like water quality, which will be a challenge.
 

stooges3tx

New member
Okay, this is what I am asking. What are the pitfalls associated with a FOWLR. Why would I struggle to maintain "reef" quality water? I am confident that a 90G fuge, 100G sump filled with rock, good skimmer, and a high turnover rate should suffice to keep the nutrients low. Am I foolish for thinking this?

I mean if I am not over stocking a 265G tank and have a 90G fuge with 100G sump. I would think that is good.
 

IridescentLily

Editor-Reefkeeping mag
Team RC
If your skimmer can export the huge amount of fish poop that the fish WILL have. AND the large amount of food that they will eat ...and drop.
I think that's what they mean by "harder". It can be done. You just need to make sure your skimmer can get it out before it settles and rots, on your corals. Especially your sps. So you'll have to pay extra attention to your parameters, such as nitrates. And so that will be "harder" than what you've been taking care of, previously with sps.
 

Mentat

New member
Okay, this is what I am asking. What are the pitfalls associated with a FOWLR. Why would I struggle to maintain "reef" quality water? I am confident that a 90G fuge, 100G sump filled with rock, good skimmer, and a high turnover rate should suffice to keep the nutrients low. Am I foolish for thinking this?

I mean if I am not over stocking a 265G tank and have a 90G fuge with 100G sump. I would think that is good.
From reading your first post, you plan to plumb-in a 265 gal. predator FOWLR tank to 400 gal. reef system. Have you seen predator tanks with groupers, morays, triggers, puffers, etc. at feeding time? They eat lots of of food, some are quite messy, and they release copious amounts of excrement. What other members have stated (and I agree with) is that, in order for this to work, you will need to have a filtration and/or water change system that will maintain the water quality a reef tank requires. You do plan to share the sump and refugium for both tanks, right? Maybe it would help if you state what kind of predators and numbers is the 265 destined for.
 

stooges3tx

New member
Okay, I am plannin on fast moving colorful fish. Maybe not messy predators. This is what I don't know. I am trying to learn. :) I will basically have this set up.

100G sump
90G fuge with a DSB 12"
75G frag tank
265 FOWLR
XXX Reef.

All this plumbed together. I want to create a giant ecosystem of sorts. I would have to believe that with the amount of rock/filtration in unison I should be able to pull this off and have the FOWLR tank actually aid in feeding my other tanks. I skimp on feeding now but not for worries of waste but just in keeping my fish healthy
 

viggen

New member
It can be done I would just stay away from the messey stuff. Some of the coolest fish we can get are puffers and triggers & I would probably stay away from those especially ones that get big. Even some angels & tangs can grow to over a foot long which eaquates to a lot of poop the filter needs to clean. If you take it slow & stay with non messy fish your chances are definantly a lot better however if it was me I would keep it seperate. If you just want fish they do not even need LR, just a big w/d filter & a skimmer. You can even use the dirty reef water & change that with the FO tank's water. Then if for some reason you do get a sick fish you can treat the 265g & not worry about any issues with killing the LR, corals etc with meds.

It really depends on what fish you want in the FOWLR. Depending on the fish you want it that tank it might be just as easy to make it a reef tank. But if you want some of the bigger fish like emperor, queen, french angels & some big tangs I would keep it seperate. It will be easier in the long run!!!
 

stooges3tx

New member
Okay so after doing a tad of research I did not want a predator tank. OOps! I am interested in a "bold" tank. Maybe an angel, tangs, wrasse, stuff like that. The pretty fish that I can't keep around my SPS. Fast movers. Any input as to some of the more desired fish like this? Really colorful species? I do like the Tusk of course but I am sure many do. I want to put together a tank of really colorful fish.
 

jjk_reef00

New member
It sounds good, just like others say don't get the supper messy fish. 1 large angel, a few tangs (depending on the type). It would help a lot if you came up with a list of the fish you would like to keep, then people could recommend what is most likely to work. Please share what are your stocking plans for your reef as well.

Your reef could be primarily corals with a small population of small fish, inverts, etc... That would help offset a lot of the waste by your FOWLR tank. I would not plan on stocking both heavily with fish.

Go slow adding fish to your FOWLR tank, keep an eye on your parameters. Also keep in mind the fish you get will eat more and more as they grow larger. My 11" queen angel fish eats more food in 1 meal than my entire 120 gallon tank did in one day. He is in my 280 reef display tank, and I recently added a 110 fuge to help with filtration, plus I have a monster skimmer. What skimmer do you plan on using?
 

jjk_reef00

New member
I just saw you were asking about types of fish. It sounds like a Majestic Angel might be a good choice for your FOWLR. What are the dimensions of your FOWLR tank?
 
Two things to consider

01 - Sulphur reactor . Even with top skimmer , NO3 will rise up. Sulphur reactor will help to lower the levels as bold fish eats a lot as well.

02 - Phos reactor. Lot's of food mean high load of phosphate. So must have more than usual phosban some solution like that to prevent algae blooms.



When you mean good , skimmer ... please oversize it with some bbk , itech, deltec , atb ... good brands and top models ... don't skimp on this for this project...


Fishes ? Some nice angels , maybe a trigger .... it is up to you ... just make sure to deal right with NO3 and Phos and things will be fine...
 

baldwinaquaman

New member
you mention a tusk? You can keep a tusk with corals, just not any hermits or snails, or other clean up crew. SO If you just anted a tusk, and a large angel, you could possibly keep a tusk and emperor in your reef display, and then you would have a unique display reef.

If you still decide to have two seperate systems you need to make sure you you use pretine quarantine procedures not to introduce any diseases into your tank, I mean a month or more, for each fish.

Personally if it were me, I would either only keep mainly a soft coral display, or just create two seperate systems. Two systems would be better, becuase you could maintain prestine water quality in your reef, and you could allow your FOWLR to have more phosphates, and possibly a higher fish load.
 

stooges3tx

New member
Thank you for the input all! You guys are really helping me. I will try to answer your questions here.

Fish list. I haven't thought about the fish list yet. I do like a Tusk but I also like snails in my reef. :) I want to pick where my algae grows. :) I want to make sure my setup is proper and then add fish that I can keep in my setup and ones that will get along.

Skimmer- No worries. I will not skimp on this. I had an octopus recirc on my 75G that was rated for up to 180G. :) I will get a monster. I am taking this slow. One step at a time. I am interested in setting up the tank to add water volume but no bioload till I get the skimmer and such. I want micro organisms to grow first!

Dimensions are a standard Marineland 265G 84"x24"x30"

NO3- I already run phosban and I would think that my 12" dsb in my 90G fuge plus the 6" sand bed in my FOWLR along with the 6" bed in my reef would do??

http://www.wetwebmedia.com/deepsandbeds.htm

I do have the sugar fine sand. :)

I do not think I want a Trigger. They seem too aggressive from what I have read. I want color and zip around the tank.

Now here is my idea on other things I got from your posts.

I think I could get away with this from having my setup the way I do. Also, I am realistic and do not overstock. I go slow and realize when I have maxed out my system capabilities. IMO. :) I do not feed my reef. Every few days when I do. I hope the FOWLR will produce waste that my pods and corals can eat. When you guys mention the waste this will produce I welcome it. I really do. I think I am running too clean of a tank atm. Anyway, thank you so much for the suggestions and I will surely post a fish list over time as I get a better idea. Tell me what your "dream" fish would be in your tank. I want to know every fish available to me so I can make a sweet tank.

I am concentrating on a pump right now. Do I want a max turn over rate for it? I am thinking I do. How about a Reeflo pump with like 5000 GPH turnover?
 

rockworm

A-counting guy
I have a system similar to what you are contemplating. I have a 220g FO, 180g (will be predominately SPS), a 54g for LSP and 54g for Softies like 'shrooms, rics and zoas. My fish room is in the basement. I have a 75g sump, 65g dsb plus chaeto and 90g chaeto.

All display tanks currently run on the same system. I use a Reeflo Hammerhead to feed the tanks. I have approximately 700lbs of live rock, run a Reeflo Orca 250 pro skimmer, carbon and Phosphate reactors.

My phos levels are undetectable and my Nitrates are less than 10. I wanted the Fo tank so I could have butterflies and angels. I currently have a Blue Face angel, multicolour pygmy angel,lemon peel angel, auriga butterfly, klein butterfly, vlamingi tang (unfortunately I will have to give him away because he will get too big) and a yellow tang. And of course, got to have my token clown fish.

I monitor the parameters fairly regularly. I sm just starting to add SPS and other corals. I am considering a nitrate reactor for the system.

My suggestion: take time to plan the plumbing and make judicious use of true unions and ball valves. My system is set up so that I can take the FO tank offline from the main system. If it becomes permanent, I will have to add a skimmer or w/d filter.
 

stooges3tx

New member
Awesome! I was considering adding the capability to isolate my tank if needed to treat for disease and such as was suggested previously. I am glad to see that you are having success with your set up. I knew this could be done!
:dance:
 

rockworm

A-counting guy
It definitely can be done. I think it just takes closer monitoring, particularly of Nitrates and Phosphates. The only nuisance algea I have is a small patch of red wire stuff in the 180g. The hermits and a bristletooth tang keep it in check.
 

viggen

New member
Get a trigger.... they are definantly one of the coolest things we can throw into our tanks!!!

Black Durgeon, Niger, Sargassum, Bluejaw are 4 types which do not have attitudes with the bluejaw & sargassum many feel are reef safe!!

You just need to start with a small trigger not a 12in black durgeon
 
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