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Old 08-19-2009, 05:45 PM   #1
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Question Advice regarding a new 175 gallon aquarium

Hey there reefers and aquarists,

Like most of the newcomers to the hobby that seek advice from the expert hobbyists Iím currently planning my first salt water tank. The information on the internet is endless so much to read and so much to learn, the vast knowledge is very confusing. This setup or that, with each and every post there seems to be an addition to the hobby and all the reading has rendered me confused as to what to start out with. The main issue that seems endless to me is filtration. OMG ! At first it seemed like a canister filter would do the job then came the issue of using LR as media instead of the bio balls then came along sintered glass media and with more reading I started to think about a DSB and a sump setup with LR. The more I read the more knowledge I gain but the more confused I become so then it became obvious; Iíve gotta ask the people for advice since they already have an up and running aquarium.

This is the basic setup Iíve been working on:

Tank: This is a custom made in wall show tank with a custom made metal stand, the dimensions are 73x31x18 = 175 gallon tank. I will be using either 1cm tempered glass or 15mm float glass reinforced by corner cover strips and both longitudinal and cross braces.

Heater: 2 x 300w heaters (Jager submersible vs Hydor inline)

Lighting: NO fluorescent lighting system

Substrate: Crushed coral vs Collected live sand

Protein skimmer: BOYU Protein Skimmer DG- 2524

2 Power heads for current and surface agitation on opposite sides

2 Digital thermometers on each side

3 Stage tap water filter (5 micron sediment filter, carbon block filter, granulated carbon filter)

BOYU UV Sterilizer - UVC- 40watt

Salt mix: Instant ocean (Although I am considering real sea water to reduce expenses)

**Filtration** : This is where it gets complicated, at first I was going to start off with an Eheim Canister filter 2076 or 2080 but then I thought about a cheaper alternative without compromising neither efficiency nor capacity. This is when I thought about a DIY Sump (30gallon) with a live rock + DSB compartment but Iím not quite sure if I can get all the live rock necessary(175lbs). I live an hr away from the sea and a few hours away from highly populated reefs (red sea) which has got me thinking about collecting my own LR and LS but thatís another story. Would it be possible to substitute the canister filter by adding extra compartments in the sump for the bio balls or any other media ?

I would appreciate it if you could give me some feedback regarding my setup, future marine aquarist in progress needs some advice.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:01 PM   #2
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With the sump you can put some LR in as your extra Bio filter, but the LR in the main tank will do the same thing. I do highly suggest a sump for a system that large and if its built in to a wall. Sounds to me like your pretty well set.
With the NO lighting though you can do a FO but you will need to upgrade to T5HO or metal halide for anything else(I suggest upgrading).
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sumps, Part I by Greg Taylor - Reefkeeping.com
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:00 AM   #3
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The only reason I don't want to use the LR is because I will have to collect it myself. I have limited sources to buy from and it's overpriced so I'm trying to come up with alternatives. Any suggestions ?
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:36 AM   #4
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I wouldnt take anything from the ocean IMO as you dont know what's really on it. I know we are setting up tanks to mimic the ocean but the ocean is much larger than anything man can reproduce and therefore I think the things in the ocean like sand and rock is better left untouched by us. Why dont you go to some websites for LR or DR like marcorocks.com (for DR) and intmarinefish.com for LR (free shipping). Im not sure where you are located but these would definitely come in handy. Also, live sand is not necessary because something in a bag with a tiny bit of water can't really be considered live when sitting on a shelf for who knows how long. Just go with aragonite or dolomite and be done with it. You can order substrates online from sites like drsfostersmith.com or the other two sites I gave you. Whatever you do, dont go with crushed coral as it will increase nitrate levels in the future.
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:02 PM   #5
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Check local laws first, but Id say any where along the US coastline your not going to legally take rock.
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mounda View Post
The only reason I don't want to use the LR is because I will have to collect it myself. I have limited sources to buy from and it's overpriced so I'm trying to come up with alternatives. Any suggestions ?

Hear you go.

DIY Live Rock
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:44 PM   #7
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You live a few hours from the "RED SEA", wow, dreamland. Find out how much you can collect legally from the red sea and go from there. DIY is a real alternative and most of the rock show was made my myself. If I can do it anyone can. The curing is what takes time to get the PH down to a usable rate.
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:21 PM   #8
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Doesn't live rock come from the ocean originally ? So what difference does it make whether I collect it myself or someone else collects it for me ? I'm not saying that it's the same however it just seems that if I cure it on my own it should be as good. I think the only difference might be the pollution and not the natural contaminants but if you go deep and far then you should be able to keep error to a minimum, right ? My livestock will be from around the same location as the live rock anyway so the inhabitants should be used to the composition of the neighboring LS and LR.

Unfortunately I don't have access to overseas shipping so I can't order most of the nifty tech items or exotic components at your disposal. I only have the luxury of a few quality imported items mainly eheim brand then everything else is Chinese and I'm a bit skeptical about their performance and longevity.

Thincat, regarding the DIY rock, if I have dead natural rock wouldn't that be an alternative to the artificial rocks? Isn't the whole idea having the "live" part to aid in the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels ?
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:46 PM   #9
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Live rock you buy is "propagated" from reef "gardens" that are set aside by governments for the sole purpose of aquariums. It is usually not taken off of natural reefs. Please, if at all possible, don't disturb whats left of our worlds reef systems. They are already in so much jeopardy.
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:21 PM   #10
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I have no intention of chipping off chunks of reef or damaging coral/marine life or bringing an imbalance to the ecosystem, thank you very much. I am more inclined to picking up rogue pieces of rock and gathering live sand to kick start whatever dry rock is available at hand. The LFS however does have a set of divers that do the job for them because it's much easier to collect rather than culture. Buying it from them would push the economy wheel in their favor and motivate them to collect more of it thus starting the cycle over and over again.
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