Newbie questions on lighting and skimmer for FOWLR

Sci_Man SF

New member
Hello everyone-

I am in the intial process of setting up my first marine tank. I have over 10 years of experience with African cichlids. I have spent weeks looking over all the forums and have gained a lot of information on the hobby. You all are a very experienced group.

I am setting up a 75 (48x18X20)gallon FOWLR with a 35 gallon sump/refugium. I am planning on 75-100lbs of live rock and a 1-1.5" sand bed (Caribsea Seaflor select grade). The refugium will contain rubble, macroalge and a DSB. I plan only to keep fish and some inverts in the tank (snails, crabs, shrimp). I may add some mushrooms or LPS for some added color at a later date.

So I am planning on adding 4x54watt Tek T-5 retrofit for lighting. My question is regarding bulb selection. I am planning on using 2 ATI Aquablue Special and 2 ATI blue plus. Does this give a good spectrum for fish and live rock or should I add a midday (6500K) bulb? I perfer the crisp white light with a slight blueing.

Also, will a Octopus RW-150 be suffiecent for a moderate stocking level in this tank?

I look forward to posting often and sharing the pics of my new tank as it develops.
 

bertoni

Premium Member
[welcome]

I don't think the DSB in the refugium is likely to be useful, but it likely won't hurt anything.

Fish don't much care about the lighting, so whatever suits your eyes is fine. Coralline algae seem to grow more rapidly in low light regions, but typically lighting isn't critical. I like the look of 10,000 K bulbs with a bit of actinic added.

I don't know anything about the Octopus skimmer.
 

Sci_Man SF

New member
Bertoni, thanks for the response.

Why is a DSB not useful in a 35-gallon refugium with macroalgae. If the point is to have denitrification, then won't it still help if the refugium is close to half the volume of the display? I hate the look of a DSB in a display tank and it takes up too much volume (not to mention the cost)

Will mushrooms also look good under 10K and Blue+? What is the best ratio, 1:1 or 2:1 (10K to Blue+)
 

bertoni

Premium Member
The DSB really works by consuming solid debris, and it's hard to get the solids from the display to the DSB. I wouldn't bother trying.

I prefer 2:1 10,000 K to actinic, but that's really a matter of personal taste.
 

Sci_Man SF

New member
Jonathan-

Since you live in Foster City I was wondering if you could give some recommendations for LFS in the Bay Area that have good livestock and are conscientious owners? I have been to Aquatic Gallery in Milpitas and he seemed to have a really great store but it is a long drive. Most of the ones in the SF are downright scary...

Thanks again for your advice.
 

tripsied

New member
The great thing about FOWLR's is that you can get away with quite a bit. I have a 65 gallon FOWLR and all I'm using on it at the moment is a Penguin HOB filter and the stock light strip that comes with Perfecto tanks.

The lighting you have in mind should do pretty well for a FOWLR. Since you are eventually planning on adding some corals you may want to look into a heavier output lighting system but that would be down the road though. You are clocking in at about 3 watts per gallon roughly, which just based on the watts/gallon is on the low side. This doesn't mean to go running out and upgrade your lights right away, just plan for an upgrade path if you choose to go the coral route (you had mentioned LPS, they will require a slightly higher amount of light then what you are putting out now). The most likely upgrade path would be to add T5 strips to either side until you get you desired light yield. Again, it's something that can be done down the road.

The skimmer you have picked out should be just fine as far as I can see, I have heard some good things about it (but then I have heard bad...a lot tends to be personal preference). I don't even have a skimmer on my tank at all and it's been doing just fine.

The majority of fuges I have seen in these forums and others have sand in them so it certainly can't hurt at all. Like Bertoni said, you will likely not get the same benefit in the fuge as you would in the display. You do not necessarily have to have a DSB in the display, a lot of people are using bare-bottomed setups or minimal sand. The choice really is one that is up to you and your preference.

HTH

Tom
 

rustybucket145

New member
bertoni
I don't think the DSB in the refugium is likely to be useful

??????? the purpose of the DSB is for de-nitrification in this case. If it won't work, then why are hundreds of people filling up 5gal buckets with sand and hooking them up to their systems??

I have DSB in every fuge I've ever setup. It gives you a great place for pods and filter feeders to live and raise young. The rubble on top of the dsb is VERY beneficial to pod and polycreates populations.

I don't think I've ever heard anyone say that a DSB would not be beneficial to a refugium....... Especially in a FOWLR situation where de-nitrification is going to be the main purpose.
 

bertoni

Premium Member
Well, there's two different ideas in play here. The DSB in a bucket seems to be a twist on the old denitrator filter, and would depend on very high flow, and would process dissolved wastes. The live DSB depends on animals consuming the waste, which works if the wastes are solid, not so well otherwise.

So most refugia aren't going to have the flow for the DSB in a bucket, from what I understand of how that works, and getting the solid wastes to a living DSB tends not to work. I agree that a thin layer of sand would allow more animals to grow, and some rubble might help, too. I seem to have plenty of animals in my refugium that has no sand and only a few spare chunk of live rock, though.
 

bertoni

Premium Member
Sorry, missed the other question. I don't really have enough experience with fish stores in this area to make any recommendations about a close-by one. There are a number of small ones: SeaScapes, Fish for You, and Ultimate Aquarium.
 
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