View Full Version : Getting my feet wet

06-10-2011, 12:16 AM
Hi everyone just a quick intro my name is David and I have decided to take the plunge into the world of saltwater, and would like to start with a FOWLR tank. And i have a few question's, will 55 gallons be large enough for a beginner, will my marine-land 3 stage canister filter be enough. Live rock how much will i need, will i need sand how much and what kind. Do i really need a sump or will constant water changes suffice, what type of protein skimmer is best, and how detailed of test kit will i need. Any and all input will be greatly appreciated. Thank You... ... David

06-10-2011, 12:44 AM
you don't really *need* a sump. They just make your life a heck of a lot easier if you ever want to add equipment that you'd rather not look at all day. I'm sure others can chime in with answers to the rest of your questions.

Welcome to the hobby!

06-10-2011, 12:51 AM
Will 55 gallons be large enough for a beginner?

Yes, depending on what fish you want to keep of course.
Will my marine-land 3 stage canister filter be enough?

If you plan on running a protein skimmer, you won't really need the canister.
Live rock how much will i need?

General rule that I've always heard is 1-2lbs/gallon, but I usually just add rock until I like the look
Will i need sand how much and what kind?

You don't need sand, depends on what you like the look of. If you do go with sand, you can find a calculator for how much here: http://www.reefcentral.com/index.php/sand-bed-calculator
Do i really need a sump or will constant water changes suffice?

Sump isn't necessary, but it doesn't really have anything to do with water change frequency. I'm not sure what you mean by this, could you clarify?
What type of protein skimmer is best?

If you don't plumb in a sump you will be limited to Hang-on models, which I have never used so someone else will have to chime in on that one
How detailed of test kit will i need?

For a FOWLR you don't need to waste the money on high-end kits. Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate while you cycle. You'll need a high range pH and something to test salinity as well.

10-13-2011, 04:29 AM
Agree with a lot Mandosh

55 gallons will be fine for 5-6 fish (not including anything that will get big- eg hippo tangs

Stay away from a canister filter- not needed and collect nitrates

50-75 lbs live rock will do you. Arrange so you get good flow around and through them,

Personally don't like sand bottoms. Seem to go hand and hand with cyano. Just spraypaint the bottom of tank a sand color.

Sump is not needed for 55 gallon FOWLR. 25% water change every 2 weeks

Protein skimmer- I like the hydor slim skim in tank skimmer. Have also had a remora pro (way too loud) and a deltec mce-300 (pricey and too much risk of flood)

Test kit- agree ammonia,nitrite,nitrate and a salinity refractometer

10-19-2011, 05:48 PM
Since you have a rather smallish FOWLR tank this is not as vital but in my 220 Gallon FOWLR with really big fish, mechanical filtration is really important! Hence I run canisters quick filters all with mostly mech media(changed often) and a really good protein skimmer.

I suggest you run at least some dort of mech filter beyond a protein skimmer, even if its a HOB type Aquaclear loaded with floss..