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Old 09-20-2013, 06:00 PM   #1
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I need help with a reef tank



I am trying to do the right thing before I start and want to learn as much as I can before getting the rest of the equipment sorted so appreciate all comments.

Would like to start a reef, so want to know about live rock, corals and lighting. The brighter the better and I love anenomes. Tank dimensions below (This and some crushed coral is all I have for now - no water yet). My tap water is pretty much RO (filtered rain water) so was thinking of getting red sea coral pro mix. Thinking of getting Aquaone Pro skimmer G220 and Aqua One Maxi 104 power head. what sort of pump do i need to pump the water about and what is the best thing to put in the bio filter box? I know a little about bio so understand it is all about surface area but still appreciate comments on what works best from people who do this! what testing stuff do i need? I have API freshwater master kit, can i use this? also need to know about water changes (prefer not to do 30% changes, tank is too big for this), do i need an additional filter or not. i have access to the ocean as well as deep sea stuff.

Dimensions:
Tank - 1780mm L x 590mm H x 300D
Bio Filter box - 290mm W x 310mm H x 255mm D
which sits in a glass box 610mm L x 310mm H x 310mm D

Thanks !
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Old 09-20-2013, 06:37 PM   #2
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A picture is worth a thousands words here's a series of videos that will get you started if/when you have more questions please ask.

How to set up a saltwater aquarium - Episode 1: Reef tanks made fun and easy - YouTube
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Old 09-20-2013, 07:06 PM   #3
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Here are some getting started articles. Spend your goof off time at work googling for stuff too, lots of info on the net...

We have a series of articles to help get you started
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:56 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Animal-Chin View Post
Here are some getting started articles. Spend your goof off time at work googling for stuff too, lots of info on the net...

We have a series of articles to help get you started
+1 And welcome aboard
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Old 09-20-2013, 11:27 PM   #5
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Thanks for the links, I am spending the weekend watching it all! This is bound to be a slow process! still have to build the base and buy the rest of the parts, should develop a sound understanding by the time I actually get life in there! I got a 300 light strip of LED's off ebay where I can control intensity and colour - still have to build the lid, but the lights look pretty cool online, if not - they were cheap enough to use elsewhere! 5M 300 LED 5050SMD RGB Waterproof Light Strip IR Remote 5A Transformer | eBay
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Old 09-21-2013, 09:22 AM   #6
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you need to start with an RODI unit. Tap has so many chemicals in it, and if it is rain water, it also has chemicals in it, as it passes they smog and air borne pollutants, as well as what ever it comes in contact with roof ect. No a RODI unit is not exciting but it is the first piece of equipment you need, starting with one is the right way to start
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Old 09-21-2013, 05:58 PM   #7
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, the rain water I am using is filtered! perhaps not as clean as RO but pretty clean (I live rural NZ so not much pollution at all - pH 7 (hardness is 0 like RO) and my freshwater fish do fine in it on tap - just needs nutrients!). Perhaps a few bugs but those get filtered.

I am planning on trying out actual sea water in the tank and just topping up the tank evaporation with some filtered rain water - not adding any fancy fish for a while as i am suitably confused with all the info available - will get into testing the parameters and experimenting with some stuff i catch from the sea - was thinking of getting the conductivity to calculate more accurate hardness and refractometer to monitor the salinity. do you know if the freshwater pH, nitrites, nitrates and ammonia work for salt or is this different tests?

excited to hear that my refugium can act as a brine shrimp hatchery
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Old 09-21-2013, 06:57 PM   #8
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They may be the same but test kits are fairly cheap I'd just buy the salt water test kit
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Old 09-21-2013, 07:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angielynn View Post
Thanks for the links, I am spending the weekend watching it all! This is bound to be a slow process! still have to build the base and buy the rest of the parts, should develop a sound understanding by the time I actually get life in there! I got a 300 light strip of LED's off ebay where I can control intensity and colour - still have to build the lid, but the lights look pretty cool online, if not - they were cheap enough to use elsewhere! 5M 300 LED 5050SMD RGB Waterproof Light Strip IR Remote 5A Transformer | eBay
I do not think this will sustain photosynthetic creatures. You need something much stronger. You need 3 fixtures over a roughly 6' tank. What is your budget for lighting?
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Old 09-21-2013, 09:59 PM   #10
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Thanks, yes I figured they wouldn't be strong enough in the end! having some super bright ones built now! I am pretty lucky in regards to custom stuff as I have an electrician at hand! Planning on using the less bright strip in the refugium now, if the algae doesn't grow with it, I will change it! i read somewhere that one needs up to 5 watts per gallon and adjustable for different corals! and those lights, although adjustable were 72 watts live and learn!
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