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Old 03-28-2012, 11:08 PM   #1
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Help me decide and tell me why!

Ok...so here's the deal. I've been struggling for about six months what to do with my tanks. I have a 54 gallon corner tank with African Cichlids, a 30 gallon tank with Goldfish, and an empty 76 gallon half circle reef ready tank.

In setting up the 76, I can't decide between the following (keep in mind the Goldfish are heading out to the backyard pond):

A) Build the 76 as a freshwater for three of my Livingstonii Cichlids to give them room to grow and hopefully breed. That would thin down the 54 giving my other cichlids more room. I could then use the 30 to put any fry from the Livingstonii's until they were large enough to put back into the 76.

B) Build the 76 as my first saltwater reef, leaving the other tanks as is.

I love Africans, especially the Livingstonii. At the same time I have always wanted a reef tank. HELP!!!
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54g tank w/ Filstar XP 200: (1) Jack Dempsey, (1) Pleco, (3) Livingstonii, (1) Ventusus, (2) Peacock Cichlid, (2) Red Zebra, (1) Fuellbborni, (1) Aurastas
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:47 PM   #2
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If you build the 76 into a reef, be prepared to drop a ton of $$ into it. If you don't have that right now then stick with option A and provide more room for happy fishies
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:05 AM   #3
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Reef, all the way. All three of them
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:14 AM   #4
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The 76 is reef ready for a reason.....reef, reef, reef, reef........did I mention.............reef.....LOL
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:31 AM   #5
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You came to a Saltwater forum asking people if you should do reef or freshwater... hmmm... REEF!

AND here is why. I love my 54 gallon, BUT since your's is already set-up as fresh - keep it that way. A 76 gallon is a good size for a starter tank, and the water volumn will help buffer mistakes you make.

You won't have to re-setup the freshwater into the 76, clean everything and start again, you'll just be starting from scratch.

HOWEVER, as stated above, expect to drop in upwards $2000 - $3000 for a nice reef in a tank that size. Keep an eye for Craigslist for deals on rock, and equipment.
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:52 AM   #6
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I actually posted in both the reef section and cichlids section so I could get an assortment of replays. You mentioned $2000-3000. I'm curious where those numbers come from and if you could be more specific? Admittedly, while knowing its more expensive I haven't looked to much at the expense of the livestock to go into a reef.

As far as hardware, what I already have for the 76 is of course the tank, an Aqueon ProFlex Model 3 Sump, Pondmaster Magnetic Drive 9.5 Pump, and a Coralife 30" HO T5 with 10000k 31 watt and a Actinic 31watt. At this point that is where I would be starting from if I went reef.
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54g tank w/ Filstar XP 200: (1) Jack Dempsey, (1) Pleco, (3) Livingstonii, (1) Ventusus, (2) Peacock Cichlid, (2) Red Zebra, (1) Fuellbborni, (1) Aurastas
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:59 AM   #7
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For a big reef i'd suggest a protein skimmer as well as some power heads for flow
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:27 AM   #8
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I'll write out a nice reply, but it'll take me a few so don't think I'm ignorng you. Give me a few.
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:29 AM   #9
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Take your time...I appreciate it.
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54g tank w/ Filstar XP 200: (1) Jack Dempsey, (1) Pleco, (3) Livingstonii, (1) Ventusus, (2) Peacock Cichlid, (2) Red Zebra, (1) Fuellbborni, (1) Aurastas
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:38 AM   #10
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As stated already reefs can be very expensive depending on how you decide to do it.. I have right around $2k-$2500 tied into my 46. Id say expect to spend roughly $50-$100 per gallon on a nice complete reef
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