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Old 02-03-2004, 05:35 PM   #1
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Anyone tried the "bullet proof reef"?

I have been thinking about a small reef tank as my next project. I have never done SW but have lots of past experience with FW and some recent experience since I have been back into fish keeping.

I had been thinking about another FW tank to do crustaceans in, but the selection is limited. Then inspiration hit, why not do a reef tank? From what I have read a healthy reef tank has lots of little inverts running around; hermits, shrimp starfish along with corals and sponges and whatnot.

I have been looking at the www.garf.org pages and have read up some on their 'bullet proof' reef set up. Has anyone here tried this? I have to say like the idea of doing this without taking anything from the wild.

Along the same line, where would you point me to read up more on reef tanks in general? What advice would you pass on to someone thinking about crossing over into reefing from FW fish keeping?

TIA for the help
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Old 02-03-2004, 10:31 PM   #2
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Honestly I haven't heard any good or bad things about their product. The only thing I have heard is how darn expensive it is. Last time I checked it was around $5 a pound for that Garf grunge stuff. For me, that would be around $300-$400 just in substrate. I could have some killer lights for that price...

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Old 02-03-2004, 11:37 PM   #3
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Ive read alot of the articals on garf. I think it not a bad idea. I would not have any problem spending my money on garf because it seems they are putting it to good.
I have purchased the garf grunge i thought it was great. I bought ten pounds of it to seed my dsb.


Good luck Dewey
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Old 02-03-2004, 11:47 PM   #4
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I thought you used the grunge as a seed, mixed with base(?) sand.

I guess the question is really more about the whole procedure of setting up the tank with a plenum, base rock and base sand then seeding it with the grunge stuff, or equivalent from somewhere else. Just powerheads at first, then later a skimmer. Lower light at first, higher later. I would probably not have fish, but LOTS of inverts.

I was thinking of a 3' 30 gallon, but the 3' 65 gallon would fit in the same space and it sure looked nice at the LFS tonight...
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Old 02-04-2004, 12:07 AM   #5
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Yep, I have a 40g garf style bullet proof reef. I varied a bit from the set up in that I purchased some wild LR to seed my base rock, and I did not use the 'aragacrete' I used volcanic lace rock for my base, some wild LR, hirocks.com base rock and I also seeded it with the garf grung 5lb (cool stuff for sure).

Tank details:
40g display
30g sump/fuge
3/4 PVC and egg crate plenum
60 lbs base and LR- at least (allmost all covered with coraline- except the new hirocks, just added 2 weeks ago.
30 lbs 1mm CC
25 lbs 2-3 mm CC
25 lbs arganite sand (sugar size) in the fuge and some in the display
2 PH
1 return pump 400gpm
overflow with durso stand pipe (quite)
1x 65w PC (1 10k and 1 actinic)
1x 20w actinic
1x 10k 20w in fuge
garf reef janitors clean up crew for 30g (need to add some more)

so far so good about 6 months- nitrate, nitrite, amonia, = 0 ph 8.2 solid salinity 1.024, KH 10
lots of critters in the substrate.. no major algae blooms other than during cycle.

happy so far.. will probably ditch the plenum and add MH when I upgrade in 6-12 months to a 55 or 75 show for the living room

good luck!
ps you can call the garf guys with questions too, they answer there phone!
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40g show
30g sump/fuge (low flow)
2 PH's and via aqua 2600 sump pump
50lbs LR
2" cc on 3/4 plenum
3" sugar aragonite in fuge with hair algae
20w white NO in fuge
65w pc 50/50 (2 bulbs)
20w actinit 2 damsels
1 TR clown
shrooms and zoos
h2o quality is solid 0's. 80 d.
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Old 02-04-2004, 12:54 AM   #6
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A person does not have to build a bullet proof reef using all there products,like there rock .They tell on there web site how to make your own if you want and have the time. Also base rock is pretty cheap. I like there idea of using the vho liteing . I have never had it. I have 2 250 mh 10 k and 2 55 watt actinic. It looks great but im still having troubles cooling it down even with fans in canopy. And its winter hear. I starting to wonder if in going to have to get a chiller before summer comes. Does vho liteing run cooler?

Dewey
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Old 02-04-2004, 01:20 AM   #7
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It looks great but im still having troubles cooling it down even with fans in canopy. And its winter hear
I have the same lighting and have no problems with cooling.. Take your fans have them exhaust out of your hood.. Don't have any intake fans.. You will notice your tank run much much cooler... FWIW I use 2x120mm fans to cool down my lights.. They are on a 55gal tank... I have cranked the heat up in my house and still have yet to see any sort of rise more than 1 degreee in the water temp.. Any questions please feel free to PM me..

HTH,
James
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Old 02-04-2004, 03:13 PM   #8
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FANS

Ill give that a shot thanks.

Dewey
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Old 02-04-2004, 03:16 PM   #9
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Ill give that a shot thanks.

Dewey
No probs glad to help... FWIW IMO you should never need to add a cooler if your lights are whats heating your tank.. Proper circulation should be able to cool it down good enough..

James
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