New to the forum, New tank

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by calla969, Mar 2, 2007.

  1. calla969

    calla969

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    Hi everyone, I am brand new to this forum and I am pretty new to the aquarium hobby. I have had saltwater aquariums in the past but they have always been very simple fish only tanks. I have just purchased a 90 gallon tank with a wet/dry filter, protein skimmer and a crappy double 48" flourescent light fixture. I am trying to do this on a low budget if I can. I plan to buy live sand, live rock, improve my lighting by adding first, a set of VHO 48" tubes (while keeping the current ones as well), and then possibly adding some MH lights as well. I also will probably either add a refugium for filteration purposes or converting the wet/dry to act as a refugium. I would love to get some input on what I should do first, what I should not do and any other helpful tips you guys can offer. I guess I should add that I would like to focus on fish and live rocks for now and maybe try to add some coral some day.
    Thanks everyone, Chris
     
    calla969, Mar 2, 2007
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  2. calla969

    george

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    I would do my lights first that way what you add later won"t have to go through the change in lighting.
     
    george, Mar 2, 2007
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  3. calla969

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    One thing you dont want to do is get in a hurry,Which is alot harder than it sounds.
    I also agree with George on getting the lights set up so that you can add coral when your ready.
    Do alot of reading,researching,and ask be sure to ask any questions you come up with.And just when you think you got it down,start all over.
    There are some very helpful articals at the top of the page.
    And welcome to the reef and the addiction.
     
    yote, Mar 2, 2007
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  4. calla969

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Hello and welcome. Unfortunately, no matter which way you go, lights for a 90 gallon are going to be expensive. Some options are cheaper than others, but using VHO may very well restrict what you can and cannot have in your tank. But it sounds like you are on the right track. Keep us updated and feel free to ask any questions that you might have, and remember to go slow.
     
    Bifferwine, Mar 2, 2007
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  5. calla969

    calla969

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    I realize that VHO lighting will not be enough for coral, but would it be a good Idea to use them as my first upgrade and add a couple 250W MH bulbs at a later date. I thought that, as an end result, two 110 VHO tubes and 500 wats of MH would be a pretty good setup. I was hoping that the two VHOs and the 2 NOs would be good enough to allow my live rock to grow and my tank to cycle and make a couple fish happy until I am able to add the MHs. Is that not going to be enough? ANy better Ideas? Thanks again.
     
    calla969, Mar 2, 2007
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  6. calla969

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    You can cycle your tank and keep live rock under standard lighting.
     
    yote, Mar 2, 2007
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  7. calla969

    reeffreak

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    I agree with what everybody else said...get the lights first.You can do a successful reef with all the equipment you listed.Mh's and VHO's will allow you to pretty much keep anything you like.
     
    reeffreak, Mar 2, 2007
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  8. calla969

    JellyMan

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    I almost agree with the stated above however I have seen beautiful reef tanks under just vhos so yes you can accomplish a reef tank with vhos depending on what your forte is. When it comes to lighting reall it depends on the you type of coral you wish to raise ie candy cane, torch, hammer, frogspawn, shrooms, xenias, zoas, buttons are all good starter corals and require moderate lighting just a thought for you. You can still save up for the lights while you have a beautiful reef tank.
     
    JellyMan, Mar 2, 2007
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  9. calla969

    Adrastos not getting a free ride

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    I agree with Jelly here - do what you can to start enjoying your take as quick as possible - BUT don't rush into things. I think you are on the right track. I think you have a very nice tank with VHO.. it all depends on what you want to keep in the tank.

    The key is to enjoy your tank - while building it up. This is not an inexpensive hobby so you better get some enjoyment out of it while you are watching it slowly drain your bank accounts!!
     
    Adrastos, Mar 2, 2007
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  10. calla969

    AndyB4784

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    I think that your course of action with the setup should be just fine. If you want to start the tank as a fish only the vho fluorescents will be adequate. I wouldn't even bother with the NO fluorescents waste of energy IMO. I'm sure that if you wanted to you could also add a few hardy soft corals under only 2 VHOs.
     
    AndyB4784, Mar 2, 2007
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  11. calla969

    jhnrb

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    welcome to the site. glad you found us. have fun.
     
    jhnrb, Mar 3, 2007
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  12. calla969

    reeffreak

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    Andy,Jelly I agree.I didn't know if Calla was doing a retro or full hood.Wouldn't a VHO full hood limit what Metal Halides he puts on it,right or wrong?I just thought that it would be cheaper now than later.Calla you can run NO's for fish and live rock now, then decide later which route you like to go.
     
    reeffreak, Mar 3, 2007
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  13. calla969

    calla969

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    Thanks everyone for your input! I am looking everywhere for lighting ideas and came across something really interesting. Has anyone ever tried using overdriven flourescents? From what I've read, I should be able to use a 4 light ballast for a 2 light setup and get 1.7 times the wattage out of standard NO tubes. That means that I should be able to get 272 watts from 4 NO tubes all for about thirty dollars plus bulbs! Awesome right? My question now is, assuming this works, what types of tubes should I get? (actinics, 10,000k, how many of each, stupid idea, recommendations?) Check out this site Overdriving Fluorescent Lights
     
    calla969, Mar 4, 2007
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  14. calla969

    jhnrb

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    Just my 2 cents worth. I do not recommend using equipment out of its listed, rated use as set by the manufacturer. when you do that is when problems can arise. keep us posted. (over driven fluorescent bulbs Have been know to shift spectrum, deplete quicker, and sometimes physically fail.) good luck. (bad idea IMO)
     
    jhnrb, Mar 4, 2007
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  15. calla969

    reeffreak

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    The only system overdriven system I've seen was for T5-HO from Icecap.Sorry,I don't know of anyone who runs overdriven bulbs,I hear that bulbs need to be replaced every3-6mo.Not gonna save you money in the long run.
     
    reeffreak, Mar 4, 2007
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  16. calla969

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    Overdriven lights are not a good idea,IMO there going to produce more heat,and the potential to explode and fill your tank with glass and the residue from the bulbs which could possiably cause you tank to crash.
     
    yote, Mar 4, 2007
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  17. calla969

    Adrastos not getting a free ride

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    I think everyone pretty much said it all - but I'll add it anyways. There is a reason lights are rated for a certain maximum wattage - exceeding that is past what UL has certified safe to use. You would be just gambling with your tank and potentially the safety of your home.
     
    Adrastos, Mar 4, 2007
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  18. calla969

    VAreef

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    Hi and welcome to the forum. Have you thought of building your own canopy and light set-up? If you are comfortable with wiring and building things a DIY light setup can save hundreds. Plus building things for the aquarium keeps you busy while the aquarium cycles. There are tons of plans out there and the lighting supplies can be readily ordered.

    Other options for cheaper lights are to search through craigslist and the local newspaper for used lights that will suit your purpose.

    Anyways just a few thoughts for you to think about. Have fun with your tank.

    Brian
     
    VAreef, Mar 4, 2007
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  19. calla969

    JellyMan

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    Yep Ice cap makes some great wireing setups for up to 4 bulbs pushing 400+ watts.
     
    JellyMan, Mar 5, 2007
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