Hi! New Member and New Tank! (Soon)

Discussion in 'New to Reefing' started by avery155, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. avery155

    avery155

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    Hello everyone!

    I have been reading this forum for a while now, and have been doing quite a bit of research reading here and a book that was highly recomended to me by all of my LFS. Some about me. I guess first my name is Brian, I have been in FW setups for about 10 years now. Now my fiance and I would like to dabble into the SW world.

    After about two weeks of talking to various fish shops we finally setteled on one place (which happens to be the furthest away from our house about 1 hr.), however they have been the most helpful through this process. Now this is where I ask for some of your support. This is the list that my LFS has set up for me to purchase for my tank.
    I will also list my random comments next to each item.

    Perfecto 90G w/ Overflow- Tank looks nice but overflow is only rated 700GPH is that a problem?
    Glass Top- I don't want anything escaping!
    AquaticLife HO 48" Light Fixture 10k/Actintic/Moon I like the setup completly automated and can be preset!
    (2) Koralia #3 PowerJets (850GPH)
    ProClear 200 Trickle Filter- Is the sump and return pump in same chamber? Havent seen this Sump yet :-\
    Supreme Mag Drive 9.5- Is this overkill since overflow can not handle that?
    Fluval Canister 405-I am against this because of reading on this forum but is it needed for my setup?
    300W Heater- Was told not to lay heater horizontal in sump due to unknown falures compared to hanging vertical in tank? Your thoughts?
    Thermometer
    Prime Water Conditioner
    Instant Ocean 160G Pail Salt- I have read that if you are planning on converting to a reef tank stay away from this salt?
    60 LB Sand- or should I go with 90 Also I want a black sand and black backing for the tank. Do you think that will look good?
    Saltwater Master Test Kit-If any test is not included I will purchase seperate
    Deep Six Hydrometer- Is this ok to start if I don't have he funding to get a refractometer right away?
    ASM G1X Protien Skimmer- Any good? I read alot about octopus skimmers here but this is what most of my LFS carry? I have read mixxed reviews?
    Sea Buffer-??
    Basic Pine Stand (Black)

    So that is my list it totals around $2500 Does that sound about right?

    Also This is going to be a long process of purchasing things. I wont be able to buy everyting all at once because I am trying to plan a wedding as well. Hopefully I can get a refractometer before the tank is ready to be set up. I plan on purchasing RO water from the Fish Shop for now. Then eventually buying a RO Unit. I ordered the Skimmer, and Koralia's. The Sump is on layaway. I must say I am a little nervous about the sump since I have not seen it. I orgianlly wanted a refugium however I was constantly talked out of it everywhere I went except one place.
    I am going to start out FOWLR and maybe after I can make sure everything is stable I will try some Mushrooms or something "easier". I will also be adding my live rock slowly not all at once. Then will let everything settle before adding my first fish. I honestly figure it wont be until July before a fish enters the tank. Once I get everything I will have to take pics and post a tank build thread!!

    Any thoughts, questions, concerns, or anything I am missing please let me know!:question:
    Sorry for long post! Thanks! Especially since everyone has already helped me learn so much and I haven't started anything yet! This is a great community!
     
    avery155, Feb 17, 2010
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  2. avery155

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Hi and welcome! Some suggestions about your list:

    Definitely skip the canister filter. Totally unnecessary! Especially if you are running a good skimmer like an ASM.

    Get a refractometer instead of the hydrometer. They only cost around $35 to $40. Having the funds for a refractometer is the least of your concerns!

    Get an RODI unit to make your own water. You can get a good one for around $100. You do not want to use tap water!

    How many bulbs does that light fixture have? The ones I see online only have 2 or 4 bulbs. That will not be enough light to keep corals. I have a 90 gallon tank myself and was using an old set of lights (4 bulb T5 HO) until I saved up for better lights. Everything died under that lighting except the hardiest, low light corals.

    Stick with T5s, but get at least a 6 bulb fixture with individual reflectors, or an 8 bulb fixture. I recommend Current Nova Extreme Pros -- that's what I ended up buying for my tank.

    You will probably need more than two powerheads. I am running four Koralia #3s on my 90 gallon tank.

    You can save $300 to $400 by making your own sump instead of buying a pre-made one. All you need is an empty tank or a plastic rubbermade tub. I never recommend that people buy sumps! It's a waste of money. And the trickle filter technology usually leads to poor water quality (high nitrates and lots of algae problems) in saltwater tanks.

    Instead of one heater, get two smaller ones (like two 150 or 200 watts). That way if one fails, you'll still have one working. Heater failures happen all the time. Don't risk your whole tank on one little piece of equipment! Have two small ones for backup instead.

    Instant Ocean isn't the best salt for reef tanks, but it's cheap. To start your tank, it will be just fine. If you want to keep corals down the road, you can always switch over to a higher quality salt. But I don't think there's really any need in the beginning.

    For the back of your tank, just use a couple cans of cheap spray paint. It looks great, and it will cost you $5 to paint your tank.

    A refugium is one the BEST things you can add to your sump. I have no idea why anyone would talk you out of it? Growing macroalgae is one of the best ways to remove dissolved organics and contaminants from your water. Plus, it will provide a safe place for critters to breed and be a constant source of live food for your tank. Seriously, every nice reef tank I've ever seen uses a refugium.

    I think you're off to a great start! You may want to compare your LFS's prices to online prices. My LFS charges at least twice what I could buy dry goods for online. www.drsfostersmith.com is a good place to start. They have the $35 hydrometers.
     
    Bifferwine, Feb 17, 2010
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  3. avery155

    avery155

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    Ok
    Refractometer is now on my list.
    The lighting unit is what they are running on their show tanks it has 4x 54 watt bulbs with individual reflectors. If that is not going to be enough is there any other company that has the built in timer for the lights?
    I will have to look into RO units how much water can you filter at once?
    What size tank would you reccomend using to make a refugium/ Sump?
    I was unaware that trickle filters were not good? It seemed that a good bit of people still run them on here?
    Two heaters is what I was leaning towards. Plus if I use two smaller ones can I put them both in the refuge where the water enters or exits with the pump?
    Thanks again! Now I have to see if I can get my money back for my layaway.

    I have been trying to do price comparing I saved a good bit of money on my two koralia's and skimmer. Thinking of it.. my skimmer should be here in about 11 hours!
    Thanks again!
     
    avery155, Feb 17, 2010
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  4. avery155

    bwaller76 Love my tanks!

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    I ordered a six stage rodi for 100 bucks on ebay...it is rated at 100 gallons per day which isnt too shabby especially for the price. I agree with Biff about the LFS and the overcharging. I am a n00b and dont even have my tank up and running but I have a ton of research.

    Build your own sump its ridiculously easy... here is some material
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxnugJGiT3o]YouTube - Reef Tank D.I.Y. Sump part 1[/ame]
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgNe_OYgoL8]YouTube - Reef Tank D.I.Y. Sump part 2[/ame]

    I am working with a 150 gallon main display tank and am using a 40 gallon breeder tank as my sump. Here is a good idea for a failsafe overflow that I myself am in the process of installing...
    BeanAnimal's Bar and Grill - Silent and Fail-Safe Overflow System

    That is about how far I have made it...also remember that your tank will weight a lot... With my 150 I am having to place supports under my house to assist my floor from becoming a crash site!

    Welcome to the site...there is a ridiculous amount of experience and information to be had here keep the questions coming
     
    bwaller76, Feb 17, 2010
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  5. avery155

    bwaller76 Love my tanks!

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    oh yeah and on video #2... 2:50 "get into the corner real nice" lol
     
    bwaller76, Feb 17, 2010
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  6. avery155

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    The way I look at it, a built in timer is just one more thing that's a part of the lights that can break! Go buy a timer at $10 from the hardware store instead. It will be no difference than the built in ones. It will work just the same. And if it breaks, your entire lighting system doesn't go out.

    The RO units will vary. Most units average about 100 gallons per day.

    For your sump/fuge, you should get the largest tank you can fit in your stand. The larger the sump, the more water you can add to your system, and the more room you'll have to work with.

    Not too many people use trickle filters on this forum... The only one I can think of is Yote. They can be useful, but you have to be religious about cleaning them. They need to be cleaned at least once a week, and that's just way too much hassle for most people to deal with. I figure, if there's an easier and simpler way to do things, that is just as effective, why not do that instead?

    You can put both heaters down in the sump. Usually sumps will have 3 sections. 1) equipment, like protein skimmer and heaters. 2) refugium, macroalgae and rock rubble, and 3) return pump. The heaters would go in the first section.

    You can find quite a few threads about making your own sump in our DIY forum. You basically need an empty tank, some plexiglass dividers cut to fit the tank (to make the sections) and some silicone. That's it.
     
    Bifferwine, Feb 17, 2010
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  7. avery155

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    I think the people who discouraged you from having a fuge are the ones who never tried it :) I had a fuge in my 45g, and I have to say, my nitrates were always at 0...plus i had so many pods growing in there.

    I put a heater in each overflow in mine, and a lot of people here keep their heaters in their sump. Shouldn't be a problem.

    You got great advice from everyone here! Good luck and keep us posted!
     
    wontonflip, Feb 17, 2010
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  8. avery155

    daugherty part time reefer

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    welcome to the site
     
    daugherty, Feb 17, 2010
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  9. avery155

    dcantucson

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    Hello and welcome. We are glad to have you here.
     
    dcantucson, Feb 17, 2010
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  10. avery155

    Smitty

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    Hello and welcome to the site...glad to have you.
     
    Smitty, Feb 17, 2010
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  11. avery155

    kennedy98

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    Welcome we are glad that u found us ask us any question we will help!
     
    kennedy98, Feb 17, 2010
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  12. avery155

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    Welcome aboard.
     
    yote, Feb 17, 2010
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  13. avery155

    rwynn Big Daddy

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    Welcome! +1 Everyone. Looks like your not adverse to researching, asking questions, and having patience all very important to this hobby!
     
    rwynn, Feb 18, 2010
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  14. avery155

    Leslee

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    Hi there! Welcome to the site!
     
    Leslee, Feb 18, 2010
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  15. avery155

    avery155

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    Thanks everyone for the warm welcome. I appreciate all the help so far!
    I called my LFS and they said I can get my money back for the layaway and use it for the tank or stand. I think the smart idea is to get the stand first so i can place my refugium inside of it and make sure it is all good.

    I cleaned my 30 gallon tank out and scrubbed it down with fresh water really well. I placed my protien skimmer in and used the box the pump came in as a size reference for my return pump to get an idea how big the refugium area can be. I came up that it will only be 9" Long about 10" High and 12" Wide possibly a little bit smaller? Is that going to be a large enough area for propper filtration?

    I was thinking a 3" DSB with some live rock broken up or one nice size peice and some sort of algae? Also at the final overflow area I would like to place a small mesh filter to keep anything from the refugium from spweing over into the return pump area. I am fearing that this tank is going to be too small to do everything that I want to do. Tomorrow or maybe later tonight I will take a picture of my mock up idea with some editing to show my basic idea and dimensions of each compartment.
    If anyone can give me an idea of how large the compartment for the return pump needs (Mag Drive 9.5) that would be appreciated. Or if anyone can let me know the dimensions of the pump I may be able to make the refuge portion longer and the return area a tad smaller, however I want to make sure that my pump doesn't outpump its compartment if that is even possible?

    Thanks again. I think I am going to go find my digi cam and try to upload a picture!
     
    avery155, Feb 18, 2010
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  16. avery155

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    I would skip the DSB unless you add 6 inches of sand or more. 3 inches is too shallow for it to be considered a DSB. A DSB is defined by the anaerobic bacteria that live in it -- and the sand needs to be 6 inches deep or more to create an anaerobic environment. Anything between 2 and 6 inches is just a waste trap. So I would recommend less than 2 inches.

    You will need to put a PVC ball valve on the line coming from the return pump to control it. That's how you'll make sure it doesn't pump too fast.
     
    Bifferwine, Feb 18, 2010
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  17. avery155

    andysgirl8800 Blenny Badlands

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    Welcome to our site! Ask anything, even if it sounds stupid in your head! *L*
     
    andysgirl8800, Feb 18, 2010
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  18. avery155

    avery155

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    Ok so here is a mock up of everything..
    I just got done typing a super long post hit the submit button and my computer crashed so now I have to retype it all.. Here we go I hope you can follow through with all my random thoughts!
    Here is the picture that I made up really quick.
    [​IMG]

    Ok I'll try to make this shorter than the post that didn't go through. Line one will be 11" Tall to give protien skimmer area an 11" depth. I don't believe this is too deep? Line 2 will be 1" from the top and 1" from the bottom. I want it 1" from the top as a "overflow fail safe" if the sump tries to flood for some odd reason. Line 3 will go from bottom up 10.5". Lines 1,2 and 3 will be each 1" apart to complete my bubble trap. Line 4 will be 10" high from the bottom. This gives my refugium area 9" long, 10" High. Line 5 will be 1" from the top (to keep up with my fail safe) to 2" from the bottom. The blue area will be some type of mesh filter to keep anything from entering the return pump area. The return pump area will be about 5" Long, 10" high, and 12" wide. Now I am thinking that I should re arange everyhthing and make the first chamber my refugium, second for protien skimmer, and thrid for return. This will allow a deeper area for refuge so I can use a DSB I can make the first chamber really high and step it down for the protien skimmer. That way the water from the tank can go to the refuge first and then the skimmer. I would keep the water deep enough in the skimmer area for two heaters. I think that might work out better. I will have to try to draw that up tomorrow. I would also move my filter idea to before the skimmer. I am liking that idea better to tell you the truth. What is everyones thoughts.
    Sorry for the long post again. I can't wait until I can post more pictures than words for everyone to enjoy. Now back to more reading from my saltwater book!
     
    avery155, Feb 18, 2010
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  19. avery155

    rwynn Big Daddy

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    If you are too cramped for space you could also drill the sump and put the return pump on the outside of the tank...but I would think you could leave it in there..
     
    rwynn, Feb 18, 2010
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  20. avery155

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    Based on your pic, baffles 1, 3, & 4 could probably go higher higher. Gives you room for water evaporation before you have to top off. I have no experience with this layout (mine has the intake/skimmer on the left, fuge on the right, and return in the middle). So I'm just guessing :)
     
    wontonflip, Feb 18, 2010
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