Simple FOWLR tank advice? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-17-2018, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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I know this isn’t a marine forum but TPT has been one of the best online communities I’ve ever been a part of and I know many here have reef experience.

I went high tech planted 3 years ago and I need a break. The 50wcs, pruning, and algae have gotten the better of me. I could never to back to low tech FW, so I was thinking of doing a very simple FOWLR tank with my 24.1 cube and was hoping for some advice. What do you guys think of this set-up? I am not willing to drill this tank.

1. Lighting: I have 2 FW Satellite Plus Pros. If I max the blue and add little white I get a good ascetic but will this cause a lot of algae?
2. Filtration: I was going to focus on live rock, but I have an AC50 and 2 AC 30’s lying around. I was thinking of throwing on the 2 30’s.
3. Substrate: Aragonite
4. Flow: Hydor 240
5. Skimmer: This is where I need help. I am having trouble finding a good nano skimmer.

Im thinking this is it. Not getting an RODI unit yet. I will just get from my LSF. Thinking of getting a pair of small clowns, some type of nano goby, and a small clean up crew. What do you think?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Nobody?
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 01:40 PM
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Sorry! Possible SW folks have to work full time to pay for the addiction?
Sorry, no experience from me.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 02:02 PM
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I run a very simple 10 gallon nano housing hermit crabs and a pistol shrimp + goby pair.

Filtration is via a "sump section" I made from 1/4" acrylic. Water enters at the top right where I made a notch, and then goes through baffles before being pumped back into the display. I have pictures and a thread on a website dedicated to nano reef tanks.

I do not run a skimmer. I do use purigen. I try to do weekly to bi weekly water changes depending on how things look. I buy distilled water from the store, but if I went ANY bigger than 10 gallons then I would go with a RO/DI unit.

Salt is sort of a pain in many regards. I went with a FOWLR because I planned on converting to a reef tank if I enjoyed the little tank. I am pretty glad I started small because the maintenance is just a pain lol. The tank is super easy to clean thankfully, but I despise aging/heating salt water as trivial as it is! Be aware of that if you have not kept marine tanks before. You will accumulate some junk by the time you have salt, pump, heater, refractometer, bucket, etc.

A far cry from my freshwater process of siphoning water out of the window and then refilling with a hose connected to the bathroom sink via hose pipe adapter.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ahud View Post
I run a very simple 10 gallon nano housing hermit crabs and a pistol shrimp + goby pair.

Filtration is via a "sump section" I made from 1/4" acrylic. Water enters at the top right where I made a notch, and then goes through baffles before being pumped back into the display. I have pictures and a thread on a website dedicated to nano reef tanks.

I do not run a skimmer. I do use purigen. I try to do weekly to bi weekly water changes depending on how things look. I buy distilled water from the store, but if I went ANY bigger than 10 gallons then I would go with a RO/DI unit.

Salt is sort of a pain in many regards. I went with a FOWLR because I planned on converting to a reef tank if I enjoyed the little tank. I am pretty glad I started small because the maintenance is just a pain lol. The tank is super easy to clean thankfully, but I despise aging/heating salt water as trivial as it is! Be aware of that if you have not kept marine tanks before. You will accumulate some junk by the time you have salt, pump, heater, refractometer, bucket, etc.

A far cry from my freshwater process of siphoning water out of the window and then refilling with a hose connected to the bathroom sink via hose pipe adapter.
This is what I was worried about. The tank would be easy to clean but there would be a bunch of peripheral stuff that would make it just a much work as my planted tank. Can’t I just buy pre salted rodi from my LFS and then get some unsalted rodi for daily top offs? Or is there more to it than that.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 01:43 PM
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You can buy pre-mixed water. But you are still going to need to heat it unless you are doing small water changes. And I go through a gallon or two a week for evaporation, so I have to store those two gallons somewhere.

I have a 10 gallon nano (which is my fourth marine tank) and a 125 gallon High tech planted tank. In my opinion, the planted tank is easier than the FOWLR as far as time and peripherals. If you have a garage then things may be easier for you. I do not have any place to let the water age, so a bucket literally sits in my kitchen when I am making water lol.

Now with that said. You can absolutely make saltwater much much easier. There are tons of people that have things almost automated. The limiting factors are money and space. I would poke around on nano reef and reef central. I'm not trying to bash that side of the hobby. I don't even think its much harder than a planted tank, but it does require more work just because you have to manage salinity.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-21-2018, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ahud View Post
You can buy pre-mixed water. But you are still going to need to heat it unless you are doing small water changes. And I go through a gallon or two a week for evaporation, so I have to store those two gallons somewhere.

I have a 10 gallon nano (which is my fourth marine tank) and a 125 gallon High tech planted tank. In my opinion, the planted tank is easier than the FOWLR as far as time and peripherals. If you have a garage then things may be easier for you. I do not have any place to let the water age, so a bucket literally sits in my kitchen when I am making water lol.

Now with that said. You can absolutely make saltwater much much easier. There are tons of people that have things almost automated. The limiting factors are money and space. I would poke around on nano reef and reef central. I'm not trying to bash that side of the hobby. I don't even think its much harder than a planted tank, but it does require more work just because you have to manage salinity.
So your saying your 10 gallon marine is more work than your 120 planted? I can’t just do unsalted top offs and say a 10 water change weekly without heating the water? I will have to test for salinity? I don’t mind spending 5-10mins a day on a tank but I can’t do 2 plus hour cleaning/trimmings anymore.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-22-2018, 07:48 PM
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Yes, you will be doing top offs with unsalted water. You really only test salinity when you make your water change water. If you are changing a low percentage, I guess unheated water is fine, but I have always heated the water. If you are skipping the skimmer, you will want to do larger water changes.

I probably spend more time on the planted tank (couple minutes a day through the week and then 30 minutes on Saturdays for water changes/trim). For the nano saltwater tank its just more of a pain to do the water changes. Add salt, water, heater and powerhead to bucket. Let run for a few hours. Test salinity. Adjust as needed. Drain old water into a bucket, fill with new water. I keep all of the stuff in an outbuilding so its just a bit more of a pain lol.

If you can spend 5-10 minutes a day and have a place to make your water change water then you will be fine with any tank IMO. Maybe just start small and try it out for six months before going crazy to make sure you like the saltwater side.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-22-2018, 08:27 PM
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Just my 2 cents. I used to have a 10 gallon with clowns and anemones. No skimmer. I did 25% water changes every 3 or 4 days. I had two 5 gallon buckets. I mixed the salt in one bucket to the salinity I wanted. I let it settle so the excess crud would be at the bottom. I'd then siphon that water to a second 5 gallon bucket with a heater. Then use that water to fill up my tank. I didn't have enough evaporation with my hood to need any top offs. It would take me 1 minute to add salt and water to the first bucket, wait 5 hours, 1 minute to siphon to other bucket, wait a day, 1 minute to siphon from tank, and 1 minute to add new water. I used live rock and live sand. I'd clean the tank once a week or so and that would take like 5 minutes.
Basically just as easy as a small FW tank just cost a bit more. You can buy pre mixed saltwater in 5 gallon buckets for like $20 here which would last a week or so. But for the same price you can mix like 50 gallons yourself.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 01:52 PM
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One last thing, if you do buy pre-made saltwater. I would be sure to test the salinity before using it for water change water. I don't know how often it occurs, but I have come across several cases where the salinity was low or high due to error and caused issues. Happened to one guy in my local club!
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 06:16 AM
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Nope sorry, 1 more last thing. Idk how familiar you are with salt water but you will have to find a salinity that works best for you and what you stock. It's like the pain of ph gh and kh. Lower salinity happy critters (usually) but also happy parasites....i think the buckets are 3.14? Someone plz correct me if I'm wrong.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-26-2018, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahud View Post
One last thing, if you do buy pre-made saltwater. I would be sure to test the salinity before using it for water change water. I don't know how often it occurs, but I have come across several cases where the salinity was low or high due to error and caused issues. Happened to one guy in my local club!
This is all starting to sound like a real pain. I do trust my LFS. Could I simply buy the water from them on a Friday afternoon. Throw a heater in the container over night and do a water change the next day?
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