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Thread: Starting?

  1. #1
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    Starting?

    Having housed many gallons of fish H2O in my house for years I think it's time to step up to a Saltwater/reef tank.I've raised every kind of fresh water fish,bred most,have planted tanks with over 2 watts/gallon of water and the fertilizer dosing etc. that goes with it.Starting with SW/Reef I have a 50g.,55g.&135g. available to convert.The question is starting from scratch with money no object,I would like to know equipment wise,what are the essentials,and the best products I'd need.I'm going to start with the smaller tanks first and move up to my 135g. Cycling etc. is not an issue I'm experienced and patient,I'm thinking 50g.-fish,live rock&easy corals,55g.-fish,live rock and more variety of corals(I guess higher light),finally 135g. full blown Reef display tank.I know it's a lot to ask I think this is the place for answers.I also am a DIY nut so I'm not shy to use elbow grease to get the best systems possible.Thanks Greg.

  2. #2
    Senior Member DARK's Avatar
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    Welcome to AC Greg!

    If money isn't a hindering point this is what I'd do. Use the big 135g as a main display tank right from the start, buy everything you need to run this system properly. Use 50g as a refugium and the 55g as a sump, a 3 tier system. Water flows from the 135g into the 50g that has sand/rock ruble/algae which flows into the 55g return pump sump. If your local to Ottawa there are a few guys that drill tanks for a reasonable price.

    Equipment that you'd need to get this system running given that the 135g is a 6 foot tank:

    3 MH bulbs
    3 MH Balasts
    3 PFO reflectors or equivalent
    4 VHO Bulbs
    1 IceCap VHO Ballast
    100+ Pounds of quality live rock
    1 Big Deltec/EuroReef/Bubble King skimmer
    1 Return Pump
    Tunze TS 24 pump/controller(powerheads)

    There's ALOT more I could add but it all depends on if you'd consider running the system this way. If your dead set on running the 2 small tanks then I can change the list abit. I've found that its ALOT easier to take care of a big tank then running 3 separate systems.

  3. #3
    Former Moderator a4twenty's Avatar
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    to Aquaria Canada

    i agree with Dark, start with the big tank and use the smaller ones for your sump and refugium. you can save money by only buying the equipment once and save the frustration of upgrading a fully running system a few months down the road.
    `

    120S RR tank with 60G basement sump / fuge

    Return Pump: Little Giant 4-MDQX SC
    Water Movement: MP40W, Seio 1500, (2) Hydor K4's
    Lighting: 400W SE MH with 10K Venture
    Skimmer: Euro-Reef RS250 with gate valve
    Other: RODI, RDSB, PO4/AC reactor


    My Gallery

  4. #4
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    I'm planning on running all 3 tanks,I have someone to drill my tanks,sumps/refugiums I'll build all the tanks have lots of room under them.My fishroom is24' by 12' with water,power,sinks and all the needed equipment.The 135g is 65"L/24W/20H & it will be in my rumpus room, for all to see.Behind the 135g is a closet in the adjoining room which will hide the equipment,I own a Drywall Company so cutting holes in walls or even moving them is not a problem.This is probably unneeded info. but I stil am gradually going to move up to the bigger tank,so I can experiment a bit.Thanks for the fast response,and when you say "Quality" Live Rock what is the deciding facter for this? Can I do non-live base rock and then the Live Rock on top?Thanks Greg.

  5. #5
    Senior Member DARK's Avatar
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    If your going to run 3 separate tanks I'd use a common sump. All 3 drain into the main sump. This way you will just need a BIG skimmer and not 3 smaller ones.

    Kinda like this... both my tanks drain into this



    I used base rock and don't like the look of it. Its to 'solid' and not as much life on/in it as the live rock. It all depends on where you live and the availability of good rock.


    For your smaller tanks I will suggest using T5 lighting. These small bulbs are really bright and use less electricity then other bigger bulbs.

  6. #6
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    Pardon me for the off topic question, but dark, how long does it take to get that much crap in your collection cup? What a beastly monster of a skimmer.
    120g AGA~145 lbs Haitian LR~DA Reef Keeper 2 Controller~Dual 14k 250 DE MH's~Dual Overflows~Dual 250w Jager Heaters~Dual 96W Actinics~30g Sump/Refugium~Mag 12 Return~140 lbs Reefgrade Caribsea Aragonite~BubbleKing 180 Skimmer~Phosban Reactor~GEO Kalk Reactor~Powerheads:MP40w/Seio 820/modified Powersweep 270 with Hydor rotating deflector~Digital lighting timer for moon/fuge lighting~7 stage RODI filtration~Quarantine: modified 12.5g Marineland Eclipse

  7. #7
    Senior Member DARK's Avatar
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    3-4 days depends on how wet I skim

  8. #8
    BWI
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    Quote Originally Posted by DARK View Post
    Welcome to AC Greg!

    If money isn't a hindering point this is what I'd do. Use the big 135g as a main display tank right from the start, buy everything you need to run this system properly. Use 50g as a refugium and the 55g as a sump, a 3 tier system. Water flows from the 135g into the 50g that has sand/rock ruble/algae which flows into the 55g return pump sump. If your local to Ottawa there are a few guys that drill tanks for a reasonable price.

    Equipment that you'd need to get this system running given that the 135g is a 6 foot tank:

    3 MH bulbs
    3 MH Balasts
    3 PFO reflectors or equivalent
    4 VHO Bulbs
    1 IceCap VHO Ballast
    100+ Pounds of quality live rock
    1 Big Deltec/EuroReef/Bubble King skimmer
    1 Return Pump
    Tunze TS 24 pump/controller(powerheads)

    There's ALOT more I could add but it all depends on if you'd consider running the system this way. If your dead set on running the 2 small tanks then I can change the list abit. I've found that its ALOT easier to take care of a big tank then running 3 separate systems.


    :045: I agree 100%, starting with the larger tanks helps with all the chemicals swings making it a little easier on people just getting into this hobby and also EVERYONE WANTS A LARGER TANK lol

    WELCOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Building Quality not Quantity

  9. #9
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    I've been convinced to go big,135g,I'm cleaning the tank as we speak.I have to build a custom canopy,tank is 65"L/24"D/20"H,and I would like to hide electronic equipment as well as the lights in it,anybody with a design or thoughts on this?

  10. #10
    Senior Member DARK's Avatar
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    Theres tons of ways to build a canopy. I used google and RC to research what I wanted. Heres some Google examples.


    http://www.plantedtank.net/articles/DIY-Tank-Stand/11/


    http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/diy_stand.php

    Is this going to be an inwall tank? IF so then its easier to make something to hold the lights.

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