View Full Version : Beginner FOWLR Questions

01-23-2011, 05:37 AM
Hi guys,
Been doing some research on starting a fowlr in the fall (a long way off, but will likely be moving twice by September and wont have funds due to school). I have some questions that I hope you can help with, as this would be my first SW tank.

-size of tank? I was thinking getting a 55 gallon at least, new, and then getting my accessories used if possible. Got a couple tanks off of Kijiji and haven't found one that doesnt have some pretty obvious scratches. This tank size ok for a beginner? Would like to build around a pair of Clowns.

- does used live rock come with all the "goodies" that you'd get from the LFS?

- is a sump necessary? I'd be lying if I said that I was overly handy, and don't know much about plumbing. Is there a link that goes very basic on setting up a sump (including pumps and such?). Does the tank have to be drilled for a sump to work?

- is RO / DO water necessary for a fowlr? Have read opposing opinions, I know Cakgary has some very good drinking water, but could understand the other stuff. If RO is needed what's the cheapest source?

Thanks again guys, have a fish tank addiction creeping up on me

01-23-2011, 06:47 AM
-first off, I think that a 55 gallon would be perfectly fine. ( in my opinion, but its good to have a few perspectives )

-getting live rock from the LFS is usually more reliable, so if your getting it secondhand I would strongly suggest to inspect it closely.

-I would recomend a sump :) im not good with the plumbing part either, but here's a link :

-google is also good for info on sumps

-in my opinion RO isnt needed, and I just use declorinated tap water, but its your tank, so do what you think is nessesary :smile:

- Hope this helped, and good luck :biggrin:

01-26-2011, 02:14 AM
A lot of what you are asking revolves around the fish that you want. For clowns 55 is way more than you need (but doesn't hurt). So I would narrow down your list a little more before you jump into a tank.

Sump is a good idea because with more water volume the more stable the system will be and less stressful on your inhabitants. Also cleans up your display tank with less equipment. But if you are choosing "beginner" fish that are more hardy then just paying close attention to water evaporation, water parameters and regular water changes will be sufficiant to eliminate a sump. Tank doesn't need to be drilled as you can buy overflow boxes, but its nice to have a drilled tank...

For fish only declorinated water is fine. RO/DI water won't hurt, at the very least algea will be reduced. If you find algea problems during spring run off then just get grocery store RO/DI water for those few months.

If you are considering clownfish, an anenome is not required. If you want one do your research, some have very slim survival rates. Better lighting will be required aswell. Personally clowns and anenomes go hand in hand for me :)

01-26-2011, 02:39 AM
Thanks for help guys, I've read a bunch more on Sumps and it does seem appealing, especially for a larger tank. And from what i can tell it should be cheaper then buying a good quality Canister (like an Eheim) if i start with an aquarium that i could get cheap.

Im gonna build around the clowns as they're the most appealing for me (what can i say, haha)

Otherwise I might go with a Biocube and see what i can do with it, definitely want Clowns

Thanks again

01-26-2011, 03:47 AM
Bio cube 29 would be awesome for a pair of clowns. Like I said you need to know how many other fish you would like as a 29G could pretty much be the entire "territory" of the clowns.

01-26-2011, 05:08 AM
Not sure what else I'd want, haven't got that far along yet! Seems like the Biocubes are a reasonable price considering I'd spend probably at least as much if not more just for a tank. Might go run to Big ALS and see their prices tomorrow.

01-26-2011, 06:16 AM
i would argue(because i like to)that ro water is just as important in a fowlr depends on how you see it i mean if you want to avoid algae problems then id suggest it because your cleanup crew is limited in a fowlr....normally.... but in your case with clowns you can add anything you want in the way of inverts etc...but youll be on the coral train haha

and i personally prefer to get liverock from others tanks a little here from one and a little here from another adds diversity....lr in most stores is no different except there may be dieoff already depending on where it came from or how long its been sitting in their tanks so youd want to cure it no matter what just to be safe...where as rock from an established tank is already cured and you can control the amount of dieoff by the way you transport it.aot of times lr in a store comes from shut down tanks anyways lol:):)

go for the biocube..... unless you can see yourself with a large tank......problems happen faster in small tanks larger systems are more stable but costly.....cheers:)

03-23-2011, 03:08 AM
If you want a BioCube check out Pisces. They are having a promo on them and you get lots of extras...test kit, biocube protein skimmer, sand, salt, a few other goodies for only $480ish.

05-26-2011, 03:37 PM
I have a FOWLR and I have always used the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals tap water filter that you hook up to your tap and then let the mixed salt water sit for a day while it heats up and I've never had any algae issues. I run my tank with 50/50 PC lighting because over the years I've added some lower light mushrooms and polyps etc.