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Old 12-27-2004, 10:01 PM   #1
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Almost ready to make my first purchases... input appreciated

Greetings all,

Actually have already started (Paletta's book, Fenner's as well, and a 10 gal tank at a flea market to use as a QT)

Will shortly be picking up an AGA 90 gal reef ready tank from my LFS -- I will be using a DIY sump (eventually a fuge).

Am in need of suggestions/clarifications with regards to the rest of my pending acquisitions.

Cheers!!!

Here's the rest of my shopping list...

1. Protein skimmer -- Aqua C Urchin probably
-- good idea to upgrade the pump to a Mag 3?

2. 2 powerheads for water circulation
-- not sure what brand or flow rate to purchase

3. Return pump from sump to tank
-- not sure what brand or flow rate to purchase

4. Liverock from Liverock.com (may drive there only 3 hours away)
-- 60lbs base and 60lbs live to seed the rest (will this ratio work?)

5. Aragonite for the bed (2 in. depth)
-- not sure if i need LS or not as the LR should seed it?

6. Still undecided on lighting; heat issues may be a problem
-- PC maybe to start with

7. Test kit
-- no idea which brand to choose

8. RO/DI unit (25-50gal per day model -- around $200.00)
-- seems this would be cheaper in the long run as opposed to bottled water


Any thoughts, comments, suggestions, criticisms would be greatly appreciated!


Thanks

nickthapainter
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Old 12-27-2004, 10:08 PM   #2
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Quote:
1. Protein skimmer -- Aqua C Urchin probably
-- good idea to upgrade the pump to a Mag 3?
Definitely go with the Mag 3. For the minimal cost increase, it is worth it.

Quote:
2. 2 powerheads for water circulation
-- not sure what brand or flow rate to purchase
Two Max Jet 1200s would be good, adding a third would be even better. You may want to get a check out a wavemaker for them as well.

Quote:
3. Return pump from sump to tank
-- not sure what brand or flow rate to purchase
No idea, this would depend a lot on how much flow you want through the sump and how high the tank is above the sump. Also, you can look into a SCWD wavemaker, and you would eliminate the need to the powerheads, just requires some extra (simple) plumbing.

Quote:
4. Liverock from Liverock.com (may drive there only 3 hours away)
-- 60lbs base and 60lbs live to seed the rest (will this ratio work?)
That ratio will work. Given that they are three hours away, definitely give them a call and drive down there to pick out your rock. Maybe they will give you a deal and you will not have to worry about the base rock

Quote:
5. Aragonite for the bed (2 in. depth)
-- not sure if i need LS or not as the LR should seed it?
The LR will seed the LS. It would not hurt to get a few scoops of LS from a LFS or another established tank to speed it along.

Quote:
6. Still undecided on lighting; heat issues may be a problem
-- PC maybe to start with
With PCs you will have a lot of options for what you put in the tank. Probably a good idea to start with PCs.

Quote:
7. Test kit
-- no idea which brand to choose
Salifert kits are the best. I use FasTest kits myself. They are very easy to use and accurate. Avoid some of the really cheap test kits.

Quote:
8. RO/DI unit (25-50gal per day model -- around $200.00)
-- seems this would be cheaper in the long run as opposed to bottled water
Absolutely cheaper to go with RO/DI. Check eBay, you can get a 100+ gph 6 stage unit for a bit over $100. This is way cheaper and works very very well.
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Old 12-27-2004, 10:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Quote:
3. Return pump from sump to tank
-- not sure what brand or flow rate to purchase

No idea, this would depend a lot on how much flow you want through the sump and how high the tank is above the sump.
If you're getting a 90 gallon AGA RR tank I'd suggest a Mag 7. The AGA bulkhead is 1" (standard, appx. ~600 GPH drain).

The trick is not to pump/return more than the drain can handle.
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Old 12-28-2004, 12:11 AM   #4
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I take it the Mag 7 pumps approximately 700 GPH -- would any tubing after the pump reduce that flow rate?

If I go the SWCD route (I like the idea -- less clutter on inside of tank) would I need to increase the pump size (due to more plumbing)?

Can a larger pump be used and then be dialed down?

Cheers
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Old 12-28-2004, 12:44 AM   #5
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Actaully a Mag 12 would work when you figure in the restriction of the scwd. There is alot of local guys running a SCWD and mag 12 with a AGA overflow.
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Old 12-28-2004, 11:14 PM   #6
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1. Protein skimmer -- Aqua C Urchin probably
-- good idea to upgrade the pump to a Mag 3?

I would suggest a Mag 12-14 if you have a 90 Gallon Tank

8. RO/DI unit (25-50gal per day model -- around $200.00)
-- seems this would be cheaper in the long run as opposed to bottled water

To much money my friend use eBay and get a 6 stage 100gal per day for 110 dollars thats what I did good luck
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Old 12-29-2004, 12:58 AM   #7
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AquaC Urchin pro is a great skimmer. Definately do the mag 3 upgrade. I do not even sell them with the rios anymore because the mags worrk so well. Although you will be at the upper limits of this skimmers ability. The euroreef CS6-1 would be another good choice or the AquaC EV120.

Go with the mag 12 for a 90 gallon tank
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Old 12-29-2004, 11:03 AM   #8
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1. Protien skimmer: Not familar with that one. Sorry.

2. Powerheads: 2 Maxi Jet 1200's should be good. perhaps a smaller 900 for added flow. (you want about 1500 gph total. or perhaps a bit more.)

3. Return pump: again, not familar with return pumps. Sorry.

4. Live Rock: Driving there is a great Idea. Shipping would do un-nessicary damage. If I lived that close I would do the same thing. check out my gallery to see how awsome their LR is.

5. Argonite: I did not use LS. If you want to, go ahead. but I don't think its totally nessicary.

6. Lighting: Check out PC lighting. it seems to be a good middle ground. (and check out moonlights. they rock!)

7. Test Kits: I am not terribly familar with all the brands so your guess is as good as mine. just be sure to avoid the strips.

8. Water: For a 90 gallon you can beat a good RO/DI unit. I spend about 3 bucks a week on my store bought water for my 37 gallon , so that isnt to bad, but for a 90 you would be spending 30 bucks a month easily.

hope all that helps!!!!
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Old 12-29-2004, 12:29 PM   #9
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FWIW...
1) I use the remora with MJ1200 HOB version of the urchin. It seems to work well, but the jury's still out until the microbubbles stop, maybe 2-3 weeks.

2) I had been using MJ1200's and they worked awesome. They work great with a wavemaker. Since then I have switched to the powersweeps mainly for the adjustable flow rate. The 2 MJ1200's were too much for my 47.5 gallon.

3) No experience with return pumps yet/no help there

4) LR.com is awesome. I had 35lbs keys shipped 6 weeks ago, and ordered 20lbs gulf and 20lbs rubble (for filtration) yesterday. I know they are not the only ones out there, but I really liked their service and the rock was killer. You shouldn't be disappointed with any rock from them.

5) I used arag-alive live sand. It wasn't too expensive and looked good. I swapped from CC and like the sand MUCH better. I used 60lbs in 47.5 gallon @ $18.75 per 20lb.

6) Lighting - tough choice - Heat was an issue for me, I ended up breaking down and mortgaging a chiller (only 323 more payments...lol) Even PC lighting caused too much heat. I wish I'd gone MH with PC now that I had to get a chiller anyway, but thought PC would be less heat - which it probably is - but it was still too much for my liking.

7) I use HAGEN master test kit after trying 3 different brands. It seems to be the easiest to use and comes closest to the readings @ my lfs. I paid $55 off ebay. It has Cal, Phosphate, Nitrate, Nitrite, Amm, Alk, PH, etc. Plus it comes in a carrying case for easy storage. Mine has a date of 2008 for expiration. I think it's good for 75-90 tests, depending on which test it is.

8) I have had excellent luck with a $109.00 85GPD RO/DI unit off ebay (filterdirect was the seller, also website of the same name). It was easy to install, has a 4gallon holding tank, and works great for drinking water also. I would look into this if you can

I am still learning, but I have made some of the same choices you are thinking about.

I hope this is of some help.

--Logan
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Old 12-30-2004, 12:26 AM   #10
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Thanks for all of the replies!

Am still pondering the flow situation in my tank. As I fear that I will be constantly battling heat problems (infernal Florida sunshine! ), I'm thinking of using a closed loop system with an external pump -- trying to keep pumps out of the tank.

Mag 9.5 or 12 for the overflow -- with an SWCD -- compensating for an overflow of 600gph

another MAG 9.5 or 12 for the closed loop -- not sure if another SWCD would be necessary.

I'm thinking that this would equal out to around 1500gph while keep as much heat out of the tank as possible.


Am still trying to nail down wether it will be more cost effective to set the thermostat lower on the AC or to invest in a small chiller.

What would the average temperature difference be between a 90gal tank (lit by approximately 400 watts of MH or PC or T5's) and room temperature (78 F. year round)?

I'm hoping no more than 2 degrees.
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