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Old 10-01-2004, 02:11 AM   #1
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180 Gallon.... Need help on getting started..

Hello all,

I'm about to purchase a 180 gallon tank w/ stand. I'm wanting to create a reef tank. I have a limited budget, so I'm going to build up slowly. I'm just curious what I'm going to have to get to get started. Most of my SW knowledge comes from reading the forums, web, and the Conservative Marinest. My plan is to buy four separate shipments of LR 45lbs from Fosters and let it cure in my tank. Once it is all cured, I'm going to take it out and add live sand and then arrange LR how I want it. Once tank has cycled, I will worry about fish then. Do you think this is a good way to go about it? If so, what would be the minimum supplies needed to do this (skimmer, powerhead)? Also, what is the best type of filtration for this size of a tank? The LFS said I could use a couple of Rena XP3's but for some reason, I don't think this would be best. They even said I didn't need a protein skimmer. I have a feeling, I will have to do some type of sump w/ a protein skimmer. If I do a sump, will I still need a canister filter? Also for the $$$$$$ will you tell me what you think the best products are?
1. skimmer
2. powerhead
3. pump
4. lights
5. filter
Thanks for your help, I have been reading as much as I can, but some info is hard to come by. Any help, recommendations are much appreciated. Thanks, Johnathan
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Old 10-01-2004, 02:29 AM   #2
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First of all, welcome to AA!!! .

The bare minimum i would say, with nothing in it but LR would be powereheads, and lights to keep the coralline alive. The main filtration in a reef will be LR, so i filter isnt really needed. To keep coralline alive you only need about 2-3 wpg, but if you want to keep alot of coals you should look into better lighting.
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Old 10-01-2004, 03:42 AM   #3
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Again, welcome to AA!!

The biggest suggestion I can make is to order your rock from lrs.com instead of dr foster and smith. LR's rock won't need to be cured for NEARLY as long. Also, much better quality, and a lot better life.

I dont' get in the habbit of recommendations, but I'd look into the EV-180 AquaC skimmer, it's not cheap, but it will work well for your tank I do believe. Probably the best choice you have, and I'm sure that 'most' peeps in this forum will agree.

I just got a Wave2k wavemaker, and let me tell you, this thing is awesome, I'd check one out, I got the small one for my 75 gallon and it is plently of current, but it's so random it's amazing. I would think that their normal size should be good flow for a 180, or maybe two of the smaller ones would let you spread it out better. THe best thing about this unit is that there are no power cords though, I love this feature.

Other than that, your take it slow plan sounds good to me. I'm assuming that your tank is either 6 or 8 feet long, I'd go with a VHO setup to start with. Icecap ballasts and Uri lights. You can always upgrade to MH later if you want, or just add more tubes. I can second the no filter, except the Protein skimmer. You should love this tank, you will be able to keep some wonderful fish in it.

HTH, Joshua...
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Old 10-01-2004, 10:31 AM   #4
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Thanks for you your advice, again any help is much appreciated. Steer me in the right direction now, hopefully I won't make as many mistakes later. Have a couple more questions...you said mimium light w/ LR ...Would the standard flourcensts work until I was able to upgrade (just keep LR alive)? Suggesstion w/ LR.. lrs.com is about twice as much as fosters which would take me alot longer to aquire what I need, could I buy majority from Fosters then add some for lrs.com later or is it worth the wait and extra $$$$$? So the EV-180 is one of the better skimmers? So do I need to use a sump? It looks like sumps can be messy (open top) spills, evaporation, flooding, salt creep. Is there anything else or is that the best route to go?
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Old 10-01-2004, 11:34 AM   #5
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YEs standards would work assuming you have the correct bulbs, i would go with 1/2 actinic an 1/2 10k. Or you could try a 50/50. Just make sure you will have between 2- 3wpg.
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Old 10-01-2004, 06:47 PM   #6
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i sugest two seaclone100's if u can afforde. help a tun with water qualty
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Old 10-01-2004, 07:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by first-timer89
i sugest two seaclone100's if u can afforde. help a tun with water qualty
These are some of the worst skimmers made, hands down. Two of them will run you around 200 dollars USD, you can get the AquaC for less than twice as much. To me, this is one of those mistakes you DON'T want to make. I am currently using a Seaclone, and wish every other day when I have to fix it that I would have gotten the better one. As is, I'm a college student, so it's gonna be awhile before I can upgrade too

HTH, Joshua...
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Old 10-01-2004, 07:19 PM   #8
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Ya I agree with nyghtone about the seaclone.
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Old 10-02-2004, 09:44 AM   #9
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o
mine is working great and has never broke
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Old 10-02-2004, 02:14 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by first-timer89
o
mine is working great and has never broke
That is great, and I'm happy for you. Unfortunatly you belong to a group of around 10 people in the entire world who have had good luck with this skimmer!!! The vast majority of us don't, and in fact HATE this skimmer, I am planning on giving mine away free when I can finally upgrade.

Joshua...
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