Saltwater Aquarium/New to the hobby- help?
Okay, I've got a 55 gallon aquarium that I'm looking to turn into a FOWLR tank to begin with, possibly a reef tank in the future. I'm working on getting a hold of some hand-me-down equipment like lights, filters, heaters, but I can't seem to to come across a decent filter anywhere. I'm on a really limited budget, and I've found a person selling a Nautilus protein Skimmer and a reef mania media reactor w/ true union valves on Craigslist. The protein Skimmer needs a 700 gph pump, but I figure that'd be pretty easy to come across. Would the Skimmer & the media reactor be enough for filtration in a 55 gallon tank alone? Or would I still need a hang on back filter of some kind?
There are many ways that one can run a reef tank, if you look online you will come across many people that claim they have found loopholes in the system. I bring this up because yes, technically it is very possible to run a tank on just a skimmer and some live rock. but its tricky getting the right skimmer, and the right amount of live rock to make that filtration method the most effective.
I would highly suggest you go the safest route and purchase a sump, a sump is a small tank that you put inside the stand under the main tank. you will have an overflow system that spills water directly from the main tank down to the sump, in the sump you can put your filtration, such as your skimmer, and also your heater, many people also will use this as a refugium and put macro algae in there, mangroves, a deep sand bed, because all of these things will benefit the tank. then there is a separate chamber in the sump for a pump that will pump the water directly back into the main tank. Here is a link to a pretty complete sump you can purchase. they get a bit pricey but i highly suggest you buy new. who knows how many more miles you can get off of hand me down items. they may break down on you at some point.