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 Starting a New Reef Tank

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CDT
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Posts : 17
Location : Waco, Texas
Favorite Fish: : Mainly reef dwellers: all fishes, corals, invertebrates , sponges, and anything else that maybe residing in or around the reef.

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PostSubject: Starting a New Reef Tank   Starting a New Reef Tank Icon_minitime10/29/2009, 8:47 pm

Hi I am wanting to start up a new reef tank. I haven't had and aquarium in about 15 years, so everything has changed a lot since then. I have purchace a used 100 gallon aquarium. It is 48"L x 31"H x 13"W undrilled. I was thinking about a deep sand base in it. I just received my light today it is a 48" 4 strip T5 light with legs and 8 LED lights as well, plus it has 3 cords on it so I can put timers on each pair of lights. I am thinking about a refugium for the filtration. I may try to build my own since we don't have a lot of choices here to get equipment. There is only Petco, Petsmart, and one fish store here that has been here as long as I can remember and it is North Waco Tropical Fish. So any and all help will be greatly appreciated.
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PostSubject: Re: Starting a New Reef Tank   Starting a New Reef Tank Icon_minitime10/30/2009, 12:00 am

ok first off welcome again and second let me give you a hand. for a DSb (deep sand bed) i recommend 3 to 6"depth althou i find 4 is about the best from my experience without taking up to much real estate, second save some bucks and use pavestone pulverized limestone from home depot (cost is under 5.00 a bag for 40 lb bags) which is what i am using and it is fine grain sand and safe for sand sifters.

next we will move onto the fuge, you can order one online ready made, have one custom made ( i recommend marc at melevsreefs.com who is based in the DFW area) or you could make your own out of an old glass fishtankadn some glass or acrylic baffles. i recommend longer as opposed to taller in the case of a refugium. longer will give you more surface area while again not eating up real estate making it hard to do maintenance under your stand.

since your tank is not pre drilled you will need an overflow box, these can be ordered online, and sometimes found on forums in the buy and sell sections (maybe even a member here may have one)

if you want to get it set up quickly you could throw on some emperor 400 power filters filled with live rock rubble instead of the carbon filters and start with that.

to help you go through the cycle faster i recommend 1 or 2 hardy fish (ocelleris clowns work well for seeding a tank and most reefers have clowns of some sort in their tank), in addition to the 1 or 2 fish pick up some stability ( a seachem product) which is basically beneficial bacteria in a bottle to help jump start it. using stability and a fish or 2 your tank will go through its cycle in 7 to 14 days.

once you have been through the 7 to 14 days you can then add another fish. use stability every time you put in a new fish giving 1 to 2 weeks minimum before adding the next fish to give the biological filter time to catch up to the bio load. when you add fish you will not dose the stability in the same way as when you first started the tank, just follow the instructions starting with what it says for the second day and continue it daily for a minimum of 7 days, you may see some brown algae grow on the sand bed but that is ok.

if you have any other questions feel free to ask, i will be glad to help out.
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CDT
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Posts : 17
Location : Waco, Texas
Favorite Fish: : Mainly reef dwellers: all fishes, corals, invertebrates , sponges, and anything else that maybe residing in or around the reef.

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PostSubject: Re: Starting a New Reef Tank   Starting a New Reef Tank Icon_minitime10/30/2009, 8:28 pm

Thank for the advise again. I found me a little bit shorter but wider tank. I just got back with it. It is 60"L X 21"D x 18"W. I found somebody on craigs list just wanting to get it out of there garage. It came with a 48" single light strip and a couple of smaler light strips I guess they are about 18" long and a stand. Now I think i will build me a litlle bit stronger stand, but I bought all of this for only $100.00, so I think I got a good deal. I have read on another thread to use crush paverstone for the sand. I also want to know do I have to have an RO system for my water and what size heater do I need as well?
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PostSubject: Re: Starting a New Reef Tank   Starting a New Reef Tank Icon_minitime10/30/2009, 10:34 pm

CDT wrote:
Thank for the advise again. I found me a little bit shorter but wider tank. I just got back with it. It is 60"L X 21"D x 18"W. I found somebody on craigs list just wanting to get it out of there garage. It came with a 48" single light strip and a couple of smaler light strips I guess they are about 18" long and a stand. Now I think i will build me a litlle bit stronger stand, but I bought all of this for only $100.00, so I think I got a good deal. I have read on another thread to use crush paverstone for the sand. I also want to know do I have to have an RO system for my water and what size heater do I need as well?

ok since you mentioned using a deep sand bed you want your substrate to be sugar fine grain, with that said you can use aragontie in a sugar fine grain or go for the cheaper and just as good pavestone pulverised limestone. ok make sure the brand is pavestone and make sure you get the right thing. you get it at lowes and it comes in a 40lb bag for 4.68 +tax per bag and says pulverised limestone on the bag. if you are not sure take a small amount of vinegar with you (yes vinegar). to test to make sure it is the right stuff you will need the vinegar. ok, take a small amount of the pavestone (there is bound to be some from busted bags) put some pavestone in a small container and pour some vinegar on it, it it fizzes up you have your stuff. now on to the RODI unit, no it is not neccesary as you can use dechlorinator to remove chlorine and chloramines but for best water quality right off the bat because an rodi unit will take your water down to 0 TDS (total disolved solids) virtually eliminating anything bad in the water + as a bonus if you have the kit you can also use it to get drinking water from lol! . now the lighting that came with that tank, is it like a normal aquarium light? if it is i recommend buying a T5 HO fixture at least or you could go with metal halides but a normal output stock style tank light wont do it once you go to keep corals. if you have any other questins let me know and i will get back to you as soon as possible.
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juice28
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juice28

Posts : 376
Location : Norman, OK
Favorite Fish: : black false percula, spotted mandarin

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PostSubject: Re: Starting a New Reef Tank   Starting a New Reef Tank Icon_minitime11/8/2009, 11:48 am

sorry to leave you hanging raptor, I been really sick these past couple weeks.. when it rains it pours.. lol... anywayz...raptor knows what he is talking about thats for sure. since you are just starting out, you can do a few things to get started. your light system is good as long as ya have fresh bulbs in it. as far as DSB, id say 4 inches.. mine is about 3 and a half as far as sand goes it really depends on how long you are wiling to wait lol i have no patience so I actually bout all of my water ready made instead of using tap or regular H2O. I also used about 20 lbs of LS to seed my regular sugar fine sand. You want the bacteria in your sand but i idnt want to wait for it to develop petco carries this stiff called nite out(i think) its basically bacteria that you can ad to your tank to help reduce nitrates/ites and one specifically for creating a new "bio" filter for a new tank. It works pretty good of you are using a lot of base rock with a little LR instead of the other way around..LR is expensive and for a 100 GAL. i hate the weight ration which is roughly 1.5-2 lbs per gallon. Id say half to 2/3 of the tank should be rock. there is alot of rock that is great for LR and is not really heavy, but it is really porus which is what you want. I have a piece that is about a foot across 6 inches high and roughly 6-8 inches wide, great rock but it weights like 7 or 8 lbs which isnt alot...you get the picture...id say go with volume of rock more then actual weight of rock.
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PostSubject: Re: Starting a New Reef Tank   Starting a New Reef Tank Icon_minitime11/8/2009, 5:48 pm

Starting a New Reef Tank 858205 i would like to add that i reccommend a minimum sand bed of 4 " due to you having a taller "show" tank. thsi will bring the substrate closer to the light source making the lights better penetrate the depth of the tank. some corals are best on the sand bed as are clams but they also required high to moderate lighting. another thing is your T5 HO should be at least a 4 bulb setup which i am assuming it is due to you had mentioned multiple cords.
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CDT
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Posts : 17
Location : Waco, Texas
Favorite Fish: : Mainly reef dwellers: all fishes, corals, invertebrates , sponges, and anything else that maybe residing in or around the reef.

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PostSubject: Re: Starting a New Reef Tank   Starting a New Reef Tank Icon_minitime11/8/2009, 9:43 pm

Thanks so much for both of your advises. Can either one tell me now what wattage of a heater I need to use and what brand do you prefer?
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nitty
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nitty

Posts : 1906
Location : Houston/Atlanta
Favorite Fish: : Mine:
110gal. Eclectochromis Lobochilus Hertae
56gal. Neolamprologus Brichardi

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PostSubject: Re: Starting a New Reef Tank   Starting a New Reef Tank Icon_minitime11/8/2009, 9:53 pm

Ebo Jager

250 watt
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CDT
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Posts : 17
Location : Waco, Texas
Favorite Fish: : Mainly reef dwellers: all fishes, corals, invertebrates , sponges, and anything else that maybe residing in or around the reef.

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PostSubject: Re: Starting a New Reef Tank   Starting a New Reef Tank Icon_minitime11/8/2009, 10:07 pm

Thank Nitty, is this one a fully submersible? Is it also titianum, stainless steel or glass?
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PostSubject: Re: Starting a New Reef Tank   Starting a New Reef Tank Icon_minitime11/8/2009, 10:37 pm

nitty wrote:
Ebo Jager

250 watt

i have always used 2 150 watt heaters to split the difference myself. i used 2 150 watters in my old 55 and i use 2 150 watters in my 90. by doing this the heaters dont work as hard, get more even coverage, and prolongs the heater life by a bit.

i use marineland stealth heater since they have a lifetime warranty.
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juice28
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juice28

Posts : 376
Location : Norman, OK
Favorite Fish: : black false percula, spotted mandarin

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PostSubject: Re: Starting a New Reef Tank   Starting a New Reef Tank Icon_minitime11/8/2009, 10:47 pm

my tank is fairly small so I dont use a heater, I have one but it hasent been plugged in since I got it, my tank stays at about the same temp all year long, if it is going to be super cold ill turn it on so that when it does get really really really cold my temp doesnt flux but other than that, it stay pretty regular.
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PostSubject: Re: Starting a New Reef Tank   Starting a New Reef Tank Icon_minitime11/9/2009, 2:50 am

juice28 wrote:
my tank is fairly small so I dont use a heater, I have one but it hasent been plugged in since I got it, my tank stays at about the same temp all year long, if it is going to be super cold ill turn it on so that when it does get really really really cold my temp doesnt flux but other than that, it stay pretty regular.

ryan with your light and size of tank i am not surprised. still you have one for when you need it Starting a New Reef Tank 393849
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nitty
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Moderator
nitty

Posts : 1906
Location : Houston/Atlanta
Favorite Fish: : Mine:
110gal. Eclectochromis Lobochilus Hertae
56gal. Neolamprologus Brichardi

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PostSubject: Re: Starting a New Reef Tank   Starting a New Reef Tank Icon_minitime11/9/2009, 6:00 am

CDT wrote:
Thank Nitty, is this one a fully submersible? Is it also titianum, stainless steel or glass?

fully submersible and it's glass
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CDT
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Posts : 17
Location : Waco, Texas
Favorite Fish: : Mainly reef dwellers: all fishes, corals, invertebrates , sponges, and anything else that maybe residing in or around the reef.

Starting a New Reef Tank Empty
PostSubject: Re: Starting a New Reef Tank   Starting a New Reef Tank Icon_minitime11/9/2009, 9:22 pm

Thank Raptor, I hadn't thought about it that way. It does make a lot of since that you would get more even coverage and the heaters would not have to work as hard.
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juice28
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juice28

Posts : 376
Location : Norman, OK
Favorite Fish: : black false percula, spotted mandarin

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PostSubject: Re: Starting a New Reef Tank   Starting a New Reef Tank Icon_minitime11/9/2009, 10:20 pm

yup, i got it if I need it! when i upgrade ill already have one lol
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PostSubject: Re: Starting a New Reef Tank   Starting a New Reef Tank Icon_minitime11/11/2009, 3:11 pm

CDT wrote:
Thank Raptor, I hadn't thought about it that way. It does make a lot of since that you would get more even coverage and the heaters would not have to work as hard.

no problem
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