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LiteEmUpGood

Returning to the hobby need advice for an apartment setup, Bring me uo to speed

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LiteEmUpGood

Hey everyone, Im returning tot he hobby after a 10 year hiatus.

 

I am currently living in an apartment with residents underneath me, I travel semi often for 5-7 days and really want the enjoyment of a small reef tank back in my life.

 

What is the best way to go about this? 

 

I am figuring Id need to have a sump in case of a power failure to not cause a flood, and automation for lights and feeding. Possible a float switch in another bucket,

 

Any advice here? equipment, lighting for SPS?

 

Is an aqua clear remora still a good protein skimmer.

 

Help bring me up to speed please!

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squamptonbc

An all in one might be good for you, no need for an external sump and reduces the risk of any flooding.  Aqua C seems to have lost popularity in the hobby, I always liked their skimmers, but at least in my area nobody sells them anymore, difficult to even find used ones these days.

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ajmckay

Agree - an AIO is clearly the way to go if you're needing simplicity - modified with a large ATO (auto top off) reservoir and the help of a trusted neighbor that can help with feeding.

 

Innovative marine (IM) and Fluval offer some smaller AIO tanks that are not super expensive and offer quite a bit when it comes to equipment - oh and visually the package looks nice too. 

 

If you're careful not to overstock you can likely get along fine without a skimmer.  Just adds another thing to potentially go wrong while you're gone anyways. 

 

I would advise going for an ATO that has high reliability rankings - which will likely mean something other than float switches.

 

Spend some time browsing some of the online retailers (there are several good ones that are sponsors of the forum here) as well as your local shop and I'm sure you'll catch up on the equipment side of things quick.  Good luck. 

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LiteEmUpGood

What about gutting the mechanical filtration in an AIO, adding a refugium in its place and a slimmer?

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ronix

The Fluval Evo sea AIO is a great choice. Add in the Autoaqua smart ATO system and you can leave it for a week at a time no problem. 

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tonydahomie

Same advice here.. There’s a ton of AIO tanks that would be great for you. Really just depends how small you want to go

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ajmckay
3 hours ago, LiteEmUpGood said:

What about gutting the mechanical filtration in an AIO, adding a refugium in its place and a slimmer?

So if you're able to clean it out frequently mechanical filtration can be pretty effective.   A refugium is nice but it's been fairly well proven that unless you dedicate a large water volume (as a % of total system volume) to the refugium it's not going to be particularly effective in removing nutrients compared to a skimmer.  That being said they do provide some benefit in the form of culturing natural food sources and various infauna.  You could do something similar by putting a small ball of chaeto or something and just let it float around or you could "tether" it to something with some fishing line.

 

Depending on which All-in-one tank you're interested in many have a spot for a compact skimmer built in. A skimmer would also have the benefit of better gas exchange, which is a nice thing for systems with partial or full lids.  So if you have the budget I say get a skimmer. 

 

An alternative is to still gut the filtration and install a mediabasket. http://shop.mediabaskets.com/

 

This would allow you more flexibility to use a combination of filtration.

 

 

 

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