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Hi all,


I know there is constantly talk on filtering etc throughout the forum but i just wanted to see if i could get some straight up answers to a pretty straightforward idea.


ok so here goes, in the "Information" section of this awesome site i came across a statement about filtration where it is recomended to use just live rock and live sand with no skimmer and that this also works well on larger tanks?


Well i just scored a 55 gal tank which i will be turning in to a reef tank. I would LOVE nothing more then to just use the above, only problem being that i cant find anywhere in Sydney here in Australia that sells any live sand. So what would be my choice instead of this? and is it even possible on a tank that is 55 gal and will have a large bio load to not have a skimmer or any other form of filtration?


Im just a bit skeptical about it all and to be honest after doing research over the last 12 months im now more confused then ever.


Ultimately i would like a reef tank that has as little equiptment etc on it as possible without risking the reefs life forms.


Any help will be greatley appreciated, thanks in advance



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I would say on a 55 go for a skimmer, especially if you are going to have a larger bio-load as you said. Skimmers are never really a bad thing, just not really needed for smaller tanks. As for the live sand, you can buy it online, or just use the bagged stuff, not as good, but will still help the cycle along.

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Live sand is unnecessary if you're going to have live rock. The live rock will seed the sand. That aged live sand in a bag is pretty much a joke anyways- I doubt anything valuable can stay alive for three+ months in a sealed bag of dirty water. You can just buy some nice aragonite dry sand, wash it a few times, and use that with absolutely no ill effects.


On the skimmer/55g question, I think the problem will be that you plan on having a large bioload. With a large bioload in anything, you'd either need a skimmer, or the ability to do water changes often. If you don't want a skimmer, then why not cut back the bioload a little? Specially in a 55G. With a 10G, you can't really have more than 2 or so smaller fish. Cutting back a fish or two in a 10G means that you pretty much don't have more than one or two small fish. In a 55G, cutting back on a few fish means still having 5-10 others (depending on the size of em and such)...

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