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4. 150 Gallon Marine Fish Tank
This solution outlines the necessary equipment to set up and maintain these larger systems and recommendations for advanced filtration systems and peripheral equipment. The guidelines below can be applied to larger systems as well.

For tanks over 155 gallons, choose the
UP2000 Trickle Filter options where the UP1700 Trickle Filter is recommended. UP2000 Trickle Filters have been used successfully on 300 gallon acrylic tanks for both reef and fish-only systems. For heavy loaded tanks over 200 gallons use the T2000 Series Trickle Filters. For the monsters or multi-tank systems the T3000 Series Trickle Filters are recommended.

For the ultimate 100 gallon+ saltwater system, only drilled, 'reef ready' tanks should be considered. If an existing tank is not drilled you can still have a great tank with a siphon box. These larger systems generally have a high fish load so equipment choice is crucial. The fish population alone can be worth a house payment so skimping on quality or amount of filtration is not wise. Some of the "high tech" options that may be borderline for smaller systems make larger systems function much better. An important feature of these additions is less maintenance.

Why a trickle filter?
As with any size system, filtration is the most critical component. Adequate filtration means the difference between a healthy thriving system and disaster or frustration and disappointment. Good mechanical and biological filtration maintains good oxygen levels and keeps harmful fish waste and other decaying debris
from polluting the water and killing fish. Trickle filters, because of their size and expanded biological surface area, perform these tasks better than any other form of filtration and should always be considered the first choice. Trickle filters are more reliable and easier to maintain. Since there are no costly cartridges to replace, trickle filters are also more cost effective to operate.

UP1700 Trickle Filter, Package #1
This package contains everything, including a pump
and siphon box, to hook up a UP1700. This great
package uses a 900gph submersible pump so it
uses less electricity. This package includes:
UP1700RR Trickle Filter
1- UP1700RR #AL2919 with Media
1 - #AL2985 - UP100 Siphon Box
1 - #5147 - 1” tubing
1 - #SIC109 Syncra 4.0 951gph
1 - #5095 - 3/4” Combo 90, Insert x Mipt
1 - #5141 - 1” Plug, Mipt
1 - #5069 - 3/4” Female Adapter, Insert x Fipt
1 - #5146 - 3/4” tubing
1 - #AL4858 - Advanced Locline® 3/4”


UP1700 Trickle Filter, Package #2
This package contains everything, including a pump,
siphon box and a venturi skimmer, to hook up a
UP1700. This great package uses a 900gph submersible
pump so it uses less electricity. This package includes:
1 - #AL2985 - UP100 Siphon Box
1 - #AL3488 - 22V Protein Skimmer
1 - #5147 - 1” tubing
1 - #SIC109 Syncra 4.0 951gph
1 - #5095 - 3/4” Combo 90, Insert x Mipt
1 - #5141 - 1” Plug, Mipt
1 - #5069 - 3/4” Female Adapter, Insert x Fipt
1 - #5146 - 3/4” tubing
1 - #AL4858 - Advanced Locline® 3/4”


For drilled aquariums:
These packages contain all the necessary equipment
to hook up the UP1700. No siphon box is required.
UP1700 Trickle Filter, Package #3
1 - #AL3488 - 22V Protein Skimmer
1 - #SIC109 Syncra 4.0 951 GPH
1 - #5096 1" Combo 90
1 - #5141 - 1" Plug, Mipt
2- #5126 3/4 Clamps
3/4" Tubing

UP1700 Trickle Filter, Package #4 w/ Pump & Skimmer
1 - #AL3488 - 22V Protein Skimmer
1- #SIC110 Syncra 5.0 1321 PGH External Hookup
2- #5127 1" Clamps
2- # 5126 3/4" Clamps
3/4" Tubing
If space is not an issue then this is a good package choice

Customize Your Own System!

Many keepers prefer to configure their own systems. Check out the links below and browse the many choices for filters, siphon boxes, skimmers and pumps to suit your individual needs.
• Standard tanks require the use of a siphon box. No siphon box is required for drilled tanks with overflows.

1 Choose a Filter
or Sump
2 Choose a
3 Choose a
Siphon Box
4 Choose a
5 Choose a
for tanks up to 155gal SICCE Pumps View All
Siphon Boxes
View All
ALSS Skimmers

View All
for tanks 155-200gal
for tanks 200+ gal

These filters have room for placement of two revolutionary chemical media, Chemi-Pure and Polyfilter - both of these media should be used in a saltwater tank of this size to ensure success.

Protein Skimmer
Protein skimmers. while not mandatory on a fish-only system, are considered one of two options on the “ultimate” system. Because of the maintenance required, they are not for every system, however, they are beneficial to any system. Protein skimmers remove proteins and waste aiding in algae and water quality control while lessening the need for carbon in fish-only systems. They are not needed for aeration in a system with a quality trickle filter like the P1700. Remember, all skimmers require cleaning and regular checking. The best choice for the systems here is the Model 22V Protein Skimmer.

UV Sterilizer
The second of the two options for the “ultimate system” is a Ultraviolet Sterilizer. These units kill unwanted bacteria and parasitic pathogens thus reducing the chances of disease outbreaks or spreads. No store central systems go without them and that speaks for itself. Like protein skimmers, UV's can be added at any time. Turbo-Twist UV Sterilizers are compact and well designed. See All UV Sterilizers

These units are used on most large-scale public aquaria and aquarium stores. Ozonizers raise the redox potential and polish aquarium water, and kill some pathogens. In the aquarium they are used along with a protein skimmer. Air is either pulled through the ozonizer by a venturi skimmer or it is pushed from an air pump through the unit to wooden airstones in a protein skimmer. Ozone should never be introduced directly into an aquarium.
Overdosing ozone can be harmful to fish. Water from a protein skimmer with ozone is safest if drained onto carbon unless you are sure of the application amount. Systems with cloudy water or frequent bacterial blooms, can be almost miraculously cleared with ozone application.

Ozonizers can also be turned off and used only as needed. Further, studies indicate that ozone units enhance the efficiency of protein skimmers. Some ozone units
can be used without a controller or, alternatively, units can be controlled with a redox controller setting them from 350-400mv. This gives automated, worry free control of the units. Units like the AquaZone Deluxe - 50mg have a controller and ozone built in. The Stationary ORP Monitor & Controller is the stand alone controller of choice. See all Ozonizers


• Hydrometer
This important instrument is used to measure the salt concentration (salinity or specific gravity) of the aquarium water. A good economical and accurate choice is the CoraLife Hydrometer. Another quality hydrometer is the Ammonite Hydrometer.
  • Synthetic Sea Salt
Brightwell Neo Marine, 50# bag, because of its high quality and repeatable performance, is used for all EPA lab testing studies. Tests have shown this to be a superior aquarium salt. For other high quality salts available online, see SeaChem Reef Salt.

For saltwater enthusiasts with an interest in a more precise and sophisticated instrument to measure salinity, the Milwaukee Refractometer with automatic temperature compensation is a consideration.

• Grounding the tank
Grounding the tank prevents more sensitive species from getting Lateral Line Disease. The origins of this ailment are controversial. A Titanium Grounding Probe eliminates one of the suspected causative agents.

• Substrate
20lbs Choose a CaribSea product. Natural, calcium based substrates are best for saltwater aquariums.
• Fish Food
Nutrition is second only to filtration importance. Saltwater fish should be fed 80% frozen foods since these foods most closely match their natural diet.

• Water Conditioner
The water must be conditioned and prepped for aiding the slime coating of the fish. AquaLife Complete is an excellent dechlorinator and it detoxifies chloramines if they are present.
• Do not overfeed the fish. Feed fish only what they will eat in two to three minutes 1-2 times per day. Vary the diet. Different types of frozen foods from Ocean Nutrition and San Francisco Bay with VitaChem dripped on them combined with occasional feedings of OSI foods will ensure the health, longevity and color of your fish. It is important to try and duplicate the foods eaten in the wild.

• Starting Bacteria Culture
Use Activate Saltwater. Seeded biological media is sometimes available to speed up the cycling process. Super Porous Filter Media is an excellent media for this purpose.
• Algae Scrubber
Mag-Float 130 cleaning magnet for glass
Magical Cleaning Rod 22"
• Fish Net
Fish Catcher Net
• Thermometer
Hagen Thermometer, Floating
• Never underestimate the importance of water testing. Fish trapped in water with even small amounts of ammonia and nitrite can die within hours. Water test on a regular basis and be prepared to act quickly is something goes wrong. A Mini Master Test Kit Freshwater & Saltwater contains accurate testing supplies for pH, ammonia and nitrite.
See All Test Kits
See All Controllers & Monitors

• Do a 25% water change monthly or a 10% water change twice a month. Remember to dechlorinate the water and adjust it to the same temperature as the aquarium water.

• Always add a high quality dechlorinator anytime tap water is added to the tank. AquaLife Complete is an excellent product that not only dechlorinates but adds important elements to maintain slime coat integrity and reduce stress. AquaLife Complete also detoxifies chloramines if they are present.
• Keep the aquarium between 76-78°F. The best fully submersible heater is the Hydor THEO UL Heater 150W.

• The pH should be 8.2 High quality salt such as Brightwell Neo Marine has added buffers and with proper water changes, pH should be stable. Aquavitro Salinity is sold only at our local store. For other high quality salts available online, see SeaChem Reef Salt or Marine Salt. However, if water changes are being done and pH is a problem, use Marine Buffer by SeaChem. Further information is available on water parameters in the Log Sheet section.


Further Reading:
9. Mixing Saltwater
11. Supplements & Additives
12. Understanding the Nitrogen Cycle

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