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Old 07-20-2009, 11:10 PM   #1
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JOM20's 38g Reef Build

Yay! The time has come to start my reef build. I've been wanting a reef tank for AWHILE now and while its not the size I'd like, its what has to work for now! I plan to update this build thread as I piece the tank together and learn SW tank care. I can't do it alone, so I'm definitely looking for input.

It's going to be a slow build, so have some patience.

Here is what I have so far:
38g AGA (Aqueon) tank - 36"x12"x19"
Metal double 36" stand (plan on having a breeding project on the bottom in the future, probably FW)
75gpd 5 stage RO/DI filter from BulkReefSupply

What I still have to buy:
6x39w Nova Extreme T5HO fixture and bulbs
Octopus BH100F Protein Skimmer with filter compartment
Koralia powerheads (need to decide which ones)
Refractometer
250w Stealth Heater
Test kits
Oceanic salt mix
Nets
Live Rock
Sand


And there's probably something else I missed. But as you can see I have alot to buy! And its not cheap!

I plan on going to the lfs tomorrow to see about some sand. I'm planning on getting mostly dry aragonite. Depending on the price of live sand, I might get 1 bag for kicks and giggles.

After I get paid next week I'll be making an order with the good Drs (Drs Foster and Smith) to get alot of stuff on my list.


Any idea which Koralias I should get? I was thinking 2 Koralia 1s, but not sure if that will be enough.


Livestock Plans:
Mixed Reef - LPS, polyps, softies, some SPS eventually
Fish - undecided. Definitely a Blenny and/or Goby and a shrimp.

Stay tuned! I will take pics (of my empty tank) tomorrow.
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:47 PM   #2
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For the koralia's maybe a 1 and a 2 or 2 2's, confused lol? Or, try and aim for 20-30x turnover.
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:56 PM   #3
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Thanks! I have considered a 1 and a 2. I'll probably go that route.
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Old 07-21-2009, 12:38 AM   #4
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I would shoot for 2 of the same. The Korelias have a very wide, gentle flow pattern.
The nova extreme should come with the bulbs. I had that fixture and upgraded to the pro series, they have a little better light distribution because of the curved reflector around each bulb, but you do lose the LEDs.
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Old 07-21-2009, 03:08 PM   #5
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KRISTIN!!!!!!!

hi!

You needs to get this tank going!!!!!!!!

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Old 07-21-2009, 07:44 PM   #6
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Good to know about the Koralias, Scott! I will get 2 1s then. And if I need more flow later on, I'll do something about it.

I know the Nova Extreme comes with bulbs, but I want to get some ATI and/or UVL bulbs. Those are apparently the best from what I have learned in my research, plus I can mix and match blues/whites. I'm not in a hurry to get bulb replacements though. I'll probably use what comes with the fixture and then buy better bulbs later on, when I accumulate more money.

I bought some Aragalive sand today, Fiji Pink. Just 20lbs, as that isn't really what I wanted. I am going to buy a 30lb bag of Aragamax Select sand online somewhere, since this lfs didn't have it.

Thanks Andrew! I'm trying.


Question: I want around a 2" sand bed. Does that sound good? And I used a substrate calculator and found that I'll need around 50lbs of aragonite for a 2" bed, so that's what I'll have. Does that sound about right?
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:22 PM   #7
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Tagging along!

I think 2" is fine. I've read article upon article about different sandbed depths, I've come to the conclusion that it's pretty much irrelevant unless you go deep (6+).

Any other filtration other than the HOB Skimmer? And curious why you selected the oceanic salt.

My only complaint with my Koralia's is the size of them. I have a pair of 2's in my 72g bow, and they're huge. I can only imagine what a 1 is going to look like in your 38g. Be mindful of their dimensions.

Surprised you were unable to find dry aragonite near you. My local petsmart carries it. Good call on returning the live stuff tho, you don't need that extra cost and it's not really alive anyway after it sits on the shelves.
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:30 PM   #8
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We just put a couple of K2's in the 50 gallon, and I have to say that you might be better off going with the K1's instead. The 2's move a LOT of water, and we're still trying to get them positioned to where they don't blow the sand around! LOL
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilanh View Post
Tagging along!

I think 2" is fine. I've read article upon article about different sandbed depths, I've come to the conclusion that it's pretty much irrelevant unless you go deep (6+).

Any other filtration other than the HOB Skimmer? And curious why you selected the oceanic salt.

My only complaint with my Koralia's is the size of them. I have a pair of 2's in my 72g bow, and they're huge. I can only imagine what a 1 is going to look like in your 38g. Be mindful of their dimensions.

Surprised you were unable to find dry aragonite near you. My local petsmart carries it. Good call on returning the live stuff tho, you don't need that extra cost and it's not really alive anyway after it sits on the shelves.
Thanks for the info, Neilan! My other filtration will be live rock. I'm also considering a HOB refuge in the future. I've thought about modding an AC70 or AC110.

I chose the oceanic after reading on many forums about which people prefer. The people that used Oceanic and had used other brands in the past said their calcium and alk (or was it Mag?) stayed higher (in the good range) than other brands. I'm up for suggestions if you think one brand is better than that one (and others). The Oceanic wasn't going to cost that much more than other common brands though.



Thanks Severum Mama! I'll keep that in mind. The 2s would probably make my tank a sand storm!

Some good news! I sold my 55g so I have some extra money to buy stuff. I'll probably order my stuff from the Drs on thursday.


Pic of my empty tank:


It's hard to take pics of an empty tank. Those are glares on the tank and not dirt. I put that background on there hoping it would help with the glare, but it didn't help much! I have to decide what color background I want and what type I'll put on there (may or may not paint it).
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My links to pics: 40g breeder planted build, 40g breeder planted update, My 38g Reef Build

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Old 07-23-2009, 11:25 AM   #10
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yay! its coming along nicely now! lol I would go with a blueish background. They seem to be the most natural looking and doesn't make the tank look dark like black does.
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