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Old 08-17-2011, 12:18 PM   #1
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55 Gallon in 2003 to 75 Gallon in 2011

Ok so I am in for a tank change. After successfully maintaining a 55 gallon SW reef aquarium for 8 years, I have decided to upgrade. Well, successful is probably not quite accurate. I have had the same four fish in it since the beginning (Flame hawk, maroon clown, gobi, and cardinal fish). Also, had, had being the operative word, some coral (hammer, brain and some polyps). After about six years the coral started to die. I believe this was a combination of not having access to ocean water (because I sold my boat) and because I neglected the tank somewhat.

Now, my wife wants a bigger tank. However, I have read some interesting things that seem to have changed in the last 8 years. Apparently, the wet/dry system is not the gold standard for the a reef aquarium. So I would like some advice on that. If the new standard is a sump tank; then do I need a protein skimmer? Also, can I use my old Pro series 75 wet/dry as a sump.

My other question is in the lighting department. I have already purchased 2 x 250 watt MH ballast and bulbs and 2 x 65 watt PC ballast and bulbs (actinic). Is this sufficient for corals such as hammers, polyps and mushroom. I believe it should be, but would love some advise here. The only issue I foresee here is temperature. I live in south Florida and the temperatures are pretty warm and the house stays at 78 degrees for most of the day. I'll probably have the lights turn on during the evening when the AC is cranking at 72 degrees. Again, any guidance here would be much appreciated.

Which brings me to my last question which is in regards to a chiller; if necessary. Is the chiller considered "a pressure system"? I am about to buy an external pump for the system (Little Giant 3-MDQX-SC 1100 GPH, 1/15 HP - Magnetic Drive Inline Aquarium Pump). Would this pump be too much for the 75 gallon tank? Will it work with any chiller? I believe it has a rating of 1100 GPH max. If so does that mean I have to buy a larger HP chiller. Please any info would really help me.

I will post pics on my progress.

Much appreciated.

55 Gallon Saltwater tank with a ProClear Aquatics 75 with integrated protein skimmer. 8 years mature, live rock, flame hawk, gobi and cardinal.
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Old 08-17-2011, 12:44 PM   #2
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Wet/dry systems are no longer very useful. You can do a refugium/protein skimmer combo if you want. The thing you said about your coral dying because you stopped using NSW is interesting. I'm in Miami beach and so far have only used sea water...
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Old 08-17-2011, 12:57 PM   #3
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slitherbomb,

thanks for the advice. The NSW was the best for the tank. I didn't have to use additives and every time I collected NSW (about four miles out approx >400 ft depth) the coral would grow. It was when I lost access to the sea water that my coral didn't do as well. I also never took the time to find out the correct amount of calcium and other additives that the invertebrates need. Does the sump tank need its own lighting? Any recommendations on what you do?

Thanks
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Old 08-17-2011, 01:16 PM   #4
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Yes, the refugium/sump needs lighting. You can really use whatever. I'm using a $9 target clip on lamp, with a cfl bulb.
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