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Old 04-06-2012, 03:05 PM   #1
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55g reef build

Hey all, I had a reef tank a few years ago and loved it. I have wanted to get another one ever since, well the time has come. The project came to be after following some other builds on here and talking with a buddy from work, the bug has been caught. I work out of town during the week and have way to many tanks and not enough time to deal with them all so I decided to liquidate and only keep one tank. I've traded all my freshwater fish in to my LFS for in store credit to put towards my stock. The tank is drained and I now have to clean it up and get it ready. I'm using my 55g and for now will be running my canister filter while I Reno my basement. Once the Reno is done to a point I can move the tank down I will be transferring everything to a reef ready 75g and convert my 55 into a sump that will be plumbed to my storage room under the stairs. I am headed to the city tomorrow and will be checking out light fixtures (likely t5ho for now) and rock. My stocking plans are: a pair of Picasso clownfish (wanted a lightning maroon till I saw the price tag) and an anemone for them to host, fingers crossed. I will get a cleanup crew aswell but not exactly sure what else for fish, I would love a tang or something but don't really know what would be suitable for my size tank so recommendations and suggestions are welcome. I plan to get some various corals and am bound and determined to get a green torch, love the look of them swaying in the current. I am also thinking of some NPS coral and I would also like some SPS. I love the look of GSP but have heard it can quickly take over a tank same with some softies. Again recommendations and opinions are welcome. Well I'll stop yapping and will update as things progress and get some pics of things.
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:14 PM   #2
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Well I'm headed to the city soon to check out lighting and hopefully pick up some live rock to start cycling. I'm at odds as to what lighting to get, I'm on a budget so t5ho are my choice but I am unsure of whether to get a 4 or 6 lamp fixture. Obviously 6 is the better choice but if I don't need it then why spend the extra cash. I do want an anemone (probably a bubble tip) and LPS coral. I may get some SPS in the future too. Is a 4 lamp 54w fixture gonna be enough? Someone please chime in.
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:32 PM   #3
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With you being on a budget and wanting sps in the future, I'd skip over T5 and go straight to LED. There are chinese knockoffs that work well out there. Several people in the forums have been using and raving about them. I wish I had gone that route before I got my T5HO.
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:00 PM   #4
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I will eventually get LED but for now I got t5ho, aqua medic 6x54w so that should be plenty of light. It included bulbs 2 actinic, 2 10k and 2 15k. I also got two nice pieces of rock loaded with mushrooms- 21 lbs. I will be adding more as I go to hit the desired 55lbs. I am just trying to dial in my specific gravity then I will add the rock and take a pic. Due to monetary restraint I was unable to get my sand this time around so it will be bare bottom for a couple weeks.
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:00 AM   #5
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Well here is a pic of my rocks, I opted to stack them as I am going to go for a column style scape. The top rock is loaded with mushrooms all of which have a very rich green color. I will be getting another 30 or so pounds to stack on the other end of the tank with an open area in between them. I opted for column style since I love the look of it and I still want some open area. In two weeks I will be getting more rock and hopefully get my sand. Then it will be my CUC and a HOB fuge. I am also going to be adding powerheads to ramp up the flow. Around the rock right now I have good flow off the return of my canister but the other end is very calm. I will also be putting my powerheads on timers to alternate flow and simulate waves. I know I have only just begun but so far I am loving it!!!!!
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:45 PM   #6
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Well the latest developement is adding my skimmer and powerhead. A buddy from work hooked me up with a remora aqua c HOB skimmer and a marineland powerhead, he also gave me an over flow box that I installed my filter intake and outlet into which really cleaned up the look. I also removed the ceramic from my filter and added filter floss in its place, I will be picking up carbon to throw in also. Things are finally starting to clear up after adding the powerhead, it kicked up a mess and a half. On a side note I have a couple small miss barred false percs in there to help the cycle. The cycle should only be a mini cycle due to the rock coming from an established tank straight into mine.
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Old 04-12-2012, 03:04 PM   #7
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Well I've been on pins and needles all week, I work out of town and have instructed the wife of what needs to be done to the tank while I'm away (top offs and feeding) I'm hoping she is being diligent. I really need to get an ATO which is now very high on my list. All reports from home have been good though. On a plus note when I took my freshwater fish into the LFS I told the owner I'm starting a reef tank. Apparently one of his other customers is getting rid of his so he passed my number on and I have arranged to go have a peek. My father in law has been wanting a reef tank also so we may get it and divide some stuff up. I'm not sure what all he has but will find out soon enough. I'm hoping to convince the father in law to go with a seahorse tank so I can take all the coral, fingers crossed.
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Old 04-12-2012, 03:07 PM   #8
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Here is a close up pic of one of the mushrooms on my LR.
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Old 04-12-2012, 03:12 PM   #9
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Nice those mushrooms look sweet. How big are they? Just came on your LR when you bought it?
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Old 04-12-2012, 03:18 PM   #10
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They all range in size, the pic of my LR shows them but they are hard to see and the top is literally covered. The one in the photo is about 1.5 inches with a few more that size and a bunch smaller. I picked the rock out due to the mushrooms and they look way nicer under my lights than they did at the store.
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