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Old 10-13-2009, 09:58 PM   #1
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Question 75G Reef Build

Hi everyone. My son and I are putting our 75G tank back together after a 5-year down time due to a move to a new house. (My wife and daughter have been after me the whole time to get it done. I had other things like painting, finishing the basement, landscaping, etc that took priority.) It was fish only with a wet/dry sump before but now I want to a reef tank.

Here's what I have so far:

75G tank with pre-drilled overflow
20G three-stage sump
Mag 7 return pump
Aqua-C EV120 skimmer with Mag 5 pump
2 Max-Jet 900 powerheads with wavemaker powerstrip
48" Nova Extreme light kit with 2 acitinic and 2 10000K lights

At this point it's all hooked up, water is in (SG: 1.024), with a shallow sand bed. I just got 50# of dry rock from Tampa Bay Saltwater. Cool rock, lots of holes. Pictures below. Once I'm happy with the aquascaping I'll add more sand/crushed coral to get the bed 3-4" deep. My plan is to add 50# LR, once I figure out where to get it. A couple of questions:

My son and I like the aquascaping with the dry rock. I tried to add some height. It's solid, but now I'm wondering if I should keep the dry rock lower and use the LR to add height? Any advice?

I'm thinking I'll buy the live rock in 2 shipments of 25# each. Does that make sense? Any suggestions on where to buy LR online?

Thanks for all your help.

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Old 10-14-2009, 12:49 AM   #2
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That tank looks awesome. It really does. I wish my rockwork was like that.. -_-

As for the way you want to stack rocks and give them height.. your best option would be to put the larger pieces on the bottom and the smaller ones on top. Weight distribution makes all the difference. Larger and heavier rocks have more surface area to support any rocks smaller than itself. You can do it reverse.. but it would not be all that sturdy unless you caulked the rocks together. But that's no fun is it.. But as far as whether the live or base rock should go on top or bottom.. it really does not matter. Whatever you like will be fine. There's nothing set in stone stating live rock has to be on top of base rock and vice versa.

I forgot the name of a site i ordered from which has excellent rock.. and once i remember i will post it up here. This is just my opinion, but i would stay away from liveaquaria.com contrary to what anyone else says. They shipped me the worst pieces of live rock i ever seen.
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Old 10-14-2009, 07:49 AM   #3
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Thanks. I've got the larger pieces on the bottom. I guess I'll just wait to see what the LR looks like and then re-arrange if necessary.
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Old 10-14-2009, 09:28 AM   #4
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MANY people have been pleased with MacroRocks

www.marcorocks.com/
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:42 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by bbecher View Post
MANY people have been pleased with MacroRocks

www.marcorocks.com/
Never bought LR from them, but their Base Dry Rock is excellent !
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Old 10-14-2009, 12:07 PM   #6
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Stick with the sand. No crushed coral. Most likely will have nitrate issues down the road with it.

For a better reef environment, you're gonna need at least twice the amount of rock pictured IMO. Try to create holes/swim thru areas with the rocks. Don't be afraid to lean the rock on the back wall and wedge them into each other for stability. I like to keep mine off the side walls enuf so that I can clean there too. If it were me, I'd find a nice big piece of rock or two to stack on top of those two rocks in the pic such that there'd be a large hole there. Agian lean on the back wall if you have to.

If you imagine getting burrowing critters (pistol shrimp, some gobies, etc) make sure the rock is touching the glass bottom.

Good choices on the hardware. I love the Aqua C skimmers. Most with 2 powerheads would mount them on opposite sides of the glass and have the current crash at the front glass.

What's the plan for cycling?
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Old 10-14-2009, 01:44 PM   #7
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Austinsdad,

My reason for the crushed coral was to keep the sand from getting stirred up so much. Maybe I should just find some grainier sand.

The dry rock is sitting on egg crate on the bottom of the tank; it's pretty stable but I'll wedge them around a little more. There's 50# of dry rock there now, I was going to add 50# of LR. Are you saying I should put another 50# of dry and then add the LR? I want to make sure I have room for the LR. I was thinking I would put the LR on top of the dry rock.

Still working on the plan for cycling. I'm thinking I'll add the LR, then throw in a couple of shrimp. Will that work?

I'll post a pic of the sump later tonight (when I'm not at work ).
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Old 10-14-2009, 02:04 PM   #8
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Yeah, look around and search on posts about crushed coral. Folks are often trying to switch it out down the road and have all kinds of problems since the tank is already established then. They all say they can't keep nitrates in check. ya see, all those nooks and crannies in curshed coral accumulate stuff over time. I'd also consider removing the eggcrate too. Not sure, but it can harbor nasties too that can create problems later. What made you use it?

The live rock and base will all look the same over some months. After a year, you likely won't be able to tell the diff, so let how the pieces fit together to give you caves and swimthru, and etc drive your rockscape work now.

Yep, the shrimp works. Check out the fishless cycling article at this site for more help. A Nitrite and Ammonia test kit is imperative during cycling.
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Old 10-14-2009, 03:28 PM   #9
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Will do on the crushed coral. I read another post a while back that recommended adding the egg crate to keep some of the sharper edges of rocks from hitting directly on the bottom of the tank. I'll have to rethink that if it will cause nitrate problems in the long run.

Already have a test kit, just haven't started using it yet.
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Old 10-14-2009, 05:30 PM   #10
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nah, the eggcrate is fine. and definitely use it, because the rock can crack the bottom of the tank if you dont use it and youre not careful
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