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Thread: 15 gallon tank setup. Ideas?

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    15 gallon tank setup. Ideas?

    I'm semi-new to this saltwater hobby. I've had a 75 gallon tank setup for quite some time now and am looking at setting up a nano tank. I want the tank to be low maintenance, and pretty cheap. I've got a standard 15 gallon tank, and I already have live sand & rock. For lighting, I'm looking at a 75 watt t-5 fixture with 8 led bulbs and 2 18 watt 10,000k bulbs and 2 actinic bulbs. As far as filtration goes, I'm looking at having the live rock be the major filter with two koralia nano powerheads (240gph) at each end of the tank blowing towards the center at the rock. I may also include a marineland bio-wheel 350, which is rated for a 70 gallon tank. I really like the look of the oceanic illuminata, and want the tank to not have a lot of things hanging out of or over the rim of the tank. My questions are as follows:
    1. Is that sufficient for filtration? With or without the marineland filter?
    2. Will that be enough lighting for soft corals? Or which corals might go in that setup? Suggestions?
    3. How important would a protein skimmer be on this setup?
    Any fish suggestions would also be appreciated.
    Thank you everyone, in advance!
    -Jeremy

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    Welcome to RF!! On the setup, to avoid stress down the road from nuicance algae etc, skip the marineland filter from the get go with the bio-wheel. A bio-wheel is designed to work in a highly oxygenated environment (like a wet/dry filter) and so the end product of that filter would be nothing but nitrates as no denitrification can take place there. All of the biological filtration and denitrification you'd need for that tank would come mainly from your liverock and sand. As far as a protein skimmer goes, I personally wouldn't run a tank without one. They are so beneficial especially on a tank that small where things are so easily influenced due to the "smaller" water volume so you want to keep it as clean as possible. If you decide not to go that route, you will have to be sure to stay on top of water changes and tank maintenance because as suggested, things can be influenced very easily in a smaller tank. I would suggest doing weekly water changes of atleast 10-15% regardless of if you have a skimmer or not. It is a good habit to practice in order to help remove any waste that is settling in the tank before it has a chance to degrade water quality. As far as lighting goes, I think you will be fine with softy's, but let the others chime in on that first as I have never used T-5's before and I'm just going on what I've read here on the forum from other's experiences. If you want, take a look here http://www.reeffrontiers.com/forums/...o-build-57551/ to see what I did to a 10 gal to hide some of the equipment. Never got a chance to set it up as someone wants to buy it actually today, but atleast you can see the concept behind it. As for your flow, you might want a bit more than that, but it is a good starting point. I tested that 10 gal nano with more flow than you are considering in a bigger tank and felt I could probably use a bit more. Nonetheless I am a flow junkie so as suggested, might possibly be sufficient for you.

    Good luck!!
    Last edited by Krish; 12-30-2010 at 08:10 AM.
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    Krish, Thank you so much for your help. However, I now have more questions after reading your post.
    1. Would you suggest doing a HOB filter at all? I was thinking the marineland without the biowheel, just for waterflow and carbon?
    2. Is there a protein skimmer that you recommend for a tank that size? That doesn't look disgusting on the back of the tank?
    3. Also, what size powerhead, sticking with the koralia line, would you suggest? The nano does 240 gph. I was thinking of just using two, one on each end.
    Thank you so much for the help. I would rather setup something from the start that will be successful than end up causing more problems.
    -Jeremy

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    Quote Originally Posted by howejeremy View Post
    Krish, Thank you so much for your help. However, I now have more questions after reading your post.
    1. Would you suggest doing a HOB filter at all? I was thinking the marineland without the biowheel, just for waterflow and carbon?
    2. Is there a protein skimmer that you recommend for a tank that size? That doesn't look disgusting on the back of the tank?
    3. Also, what size powerhead, sticking with the koralia line, would you suggest? The nano does 240 gph. I was thinking of just using two, one on each end.
    Thank you so much for the help. I would rather setup something from the start that will be successful than end up causing more problems.
    -Jeremy
    No problem at all!! . On the HOB filter, yea, if you like you can use if for the extra water flow. It will do great for surface aggitation which in turn increases oxygen exchange which is a good thing. Also, just to run carbon, that is another good use for one. Other than that, I wouldn't mess with it if you want to use a bio-wheel. Some people actually convert hang on powerfilters into refugiums as well and add a little light on there... Pretty neat!! On the powerheads, the Koralia's should be just fine man...Especially seeing you will have sand. I don't use sand in any of my tanks because I like a lot of flow and when you have too much flow and sand, you end up with a sand storm. You will be turning over your tank's volume about 30x with those 2 pumps which isn't bad. If you wanted something with a bit more flow, but along the same line as Koralia's, then you can look into the Tunze nano streams. They have some that put out a lot more flow, but they are more costly. I'd stick with your original plan on flow though and see how it goes. On the protein skimmer, they have some really nice hang on skimmers, that don't look too ugly or bulky that will do the job for your tank. We have a member here Mark (username: skimmerwhisperer) who would be the one to talk to about skimmers. He recommended a skimmer to someone the other day that you could hang on the tank and it even had space to run carbon and a heater in it which isn't a bad idea at all. You get everything in one without having a bunch if stuf hanging off of your tank. Could even skip having the powerfilter if you want less equipment. I will send him a pm and ask him to chime in here for you on the skimmer. He's the expert here on skimmers.
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    Yes, I thought about just using the HOB filter for a refugium and just doing some carbon in it and use it for water flow. I suppose I could always add that on down the road too. I went out and bought the powerheads and the lights today. I have a koralia 240gph and a 425gph. One or both might be set up on a timer as well to act as a wavemaker. Ideas on that would be appreciated as well. And I went with the 72 watt light I mentioned above. The skimmer you mentioned above with the heater and carbon wouldn't be a bad idea as long as it doesn't look too bad on the back of the tank. I also found this one for a decent price.
    Its on aquatraders.com under skimmers. It's the second one. This site won't let me post the link..
    I'll look through some threads from the skimmerwhisperer until he jumps in here. (Hoping he does with good info!!)
    Again, I appreciate any help and will work on getting some pictures up here in the coming weeks when I start getting parts together.

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    Sounds good!! I will check out the site and see if I can find the skimmer. Tunze makes a nice nano skimmer, but it would be better used on a tank like the one I showed you I put together in that link as it sits in the water. I sent Mark a pm, but guess he hasn't been here yet. Hoprefully he chimes in today. On the wavemaker might not be a bad option to create some random flow in there. I use to use a sea-swirl and some tunze's on a controller to do basically the same thing in my old 75gal. Really helps!

    Good luck with it and I will continue to tag along
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    Is this the skimmer?? Filtration - Reef - Hang On Refugium with Protein Skimmer . If so, I will leave it up incase Mark chimes in to get his thoughts on it. You can also browse our skimmer forum here under the equipment forum and look for a few threads where people are requesting some hang on skimmers and see what recommendations they get. If you want a really good skimmer check out these Hang on Back HOB Reef Octopus Protein Skimmers REALLY good brand!
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    That wasn't the exact skimmer I had been looking at. It was this one here: Odyssea Protein Skimmer
    I will take a look at the site you gave me and even browse through the forums on here. Thanks so much!

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    No problem at all man!! As for the skimmer you posted, haven't heard much about it.
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    Also, we added a new section here if you want to check it out for new members http://www.reeffrontiers.com/forums/f236/ . Cool way to introduce yourself and get to be greeted by some of the others.
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    hola and welcome to RF!!!
    sorry for my late reply....

    so yes, for 15g the oddysea pro pac would be fine...
    just dont bother with their pump and sponge kit..
    get this pump instead:
    CPR-ASP1-1000 Premium Aquatics - CPR-ASP1-1000
    and you should have no problem putting your heater in the return chamber of the skimmer.

    as for your flow, i would say to get 2 of the 400gph koralia nano powerheads instead of the 240gph ones,
    or maybe even just one larger powerhead.
    in my 20g, i have a tunze 6045(1200gph) so dont be afraid to use a little bit more flow.
    i use just the one larger powerhead instead of multiple smaller ones and then i hide that powerhead behind the rockwork,
    set up in a laminar flow gyre... so massive flow, and i cant see the powerhead

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    Thanks for chiming in Mark!! . Just so you'll Jeremy, some of us here like myself are flow junkies which is why I said you may want more flow. I once had about 4,000 gph of flow in a 38 gal cube (that's over 100x turnover rate) so like Mark suggested, don't be afraid. Most you will have to be concerned about is a sandstorm.
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    Hi I'm new to this forum and saltwater tanks so any info would be great I'm looking at starting a 15 gal reef with some corals and fish. Need some ideas on some easy corals to keep for beginners thanks

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