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Old 07-19-2013, 01:21 AM   #1
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55 gal reef

I am wanting to set up a reef tank in my 55 gallon tank. I have read the very informative stickie at the top of the Saltwater & Reef getting started forum. I have purchased a filter setup already (Rapids Pro Series RP3 Plus). And am looking at wavemakers and lights. For wavemaker I was considering a couple Hydro Koralia Evo pumps, and for lights I was wanting to go with LED lighting (energy savings, slimmer profile). For LEDs I had read somewhere that said TruLumen Pro are very good, are they good lights for reef tank (I'll be sticking with the softer corals as a beginner).
Any other thoughts are welcome.
Thanks for the help
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Old 07-19-2013, 02:09 AM   #2
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A money saving purchase on lighting that I would take a look at are chinese leds. Some of our more advanced reefers here use them for their tanks and apparently they are very nice units, especially for the price. I am most likely going to order 1 of them tomorrow.

New Dimmable 120W Aquarium Coral Reef Fish Tank White Blue LED Light White US | eBay

To get good coverage on a 55g tank I would suggest buying 2 of them. With 2 you will have to run them at low power but you will have the means to grow any light dependent organism you can get your hands on.

That's quite the filter you bought there. I've never seen one quite like that before.

Good choice on sticking with softys for a while. I started up my tank back in april and just now bought my first stony coral. I think it was a good amount of time to let my tank establish itself.

1 word of advice that I wish I had learned before starting up my tank.
Even if you have no fish in your tank be sure to QT your first additions before they go into the DT. I didn't and my DT had to sit fishless for 6 weeks because of ich.
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:18 PM   #3
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I bought that particular filter because it has everything basically, skimmer, filter, evaporation auto fill tank and the reviews I had read were all good.
I will have to check into those LED lights you linked. Also what is everyones opinion on buying sand, live rock and whatnot online. Stores places to avoid. I live in the second largest city in North Dakota and I think the stores are very lacking in saltwater items. Petco does have some fish, inverts, live sand but not much besides that.
thanks for the input
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:31 PM   #4
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It's fine to purchase online. Bulk Reef supply has a good deal on dry rock. For substrate I would suggest a fiji pink aragonite sand. It's not really necessary to buy this as live sand. If you want to speed up the process you could buy some live rock to seed the dry rock. I would probably do 10% of your rock as live.
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:29 PM   #5
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Those LEDs look good, I will have to look into getting a couple, do you know if there is anyway to mount them other than hanging from the ceiling? How much quicker will the tank cycle if I seed vs using all dry rock?
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:52 PM   #6
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I'm not exactly sure on that. All Tue live rock I bought for my tank was pre cured. I would say seeding would probably drop 2 weeks or so off of the cycle time if there's any comparison to fresh water cycling.
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Old 07-23-2013, 02:44 PM   #7
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settled on Kent salt mix, the hydor 550 pumps and a Finnex 150 titanium heater with a digital control. As far as rock and sand go, if I use all dry rock what jump starts the nitrogen cycle and bacteria? And for sand any argonite sand is ok? Then I should be ok to start it up?
Thanks for the help guys!
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Old 07-24-2013, 04:59 PM   #8
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The 550 powerheads may be a little under powered for your 55. I had two of the 750s in my 55 and thought I should've had more flow. To do it all over again I would go with 100% dry rock and dry sand. As well as spending lots and I mean lots of time looking in to aquascapes. Find a photo or better yet a reef tank that you love then figure out how they are stacked. Take all the time you need to stack and don't be in a hurry to get water in. To get your cycle started just throw in a raw shrimp from your grocery store. Remember if the shrimp is pink or red it is not raw.
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Old 07-29-2013, 09:53 PM   #9
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Looking to pull the trigger on some rock and sand this week. Read lots of good things about Marco Rocks thinking I'll maybe go thru them perhaps a 50lb box of dry rock and another 15lb of their prime cut to make bridges and overhangs with? Will this be enough rock?
Also maybe purchase sand from them too, but I was kind of wanting a dark color sand with hopes that the dark floor would make the colors pop a little more. Good idea, bad idea?

Suggestions, comments, recommendations welcomed.
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Old 07-30-2013, 05:11 AM   #10
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That sounds like a decent amount of rock for your tank.

Everything I've heard about a dark substrate though is negative. Apparently it just makes a reef tank look too dark.
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