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Old 06-06-2011, 04:08 PM   #1
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Building a 75gal reef, need advice

I have:
-75gal tank
-60gal home made acrylic sump
-mag9 return pump
-overflow box
-aquaC urchin skimmer
-100lbs live rock
-at least 80lbs live sand
-custom stand is being built

I need lighting.

I have been running 2 other small saltwater tanks. One is 20gal w/2 t5 bulbs. 1 actinic 1 white( I forget the k rating at the moment). The other is a 34?gal cube. It was used and came with a MH light. I know nothing about it except it works. I have had good success with soft corals, fish, and inverts so far.

I want to keep a nice mixed reef. I want to work my way up into the more challenging corals. I am thinking of going with a mix of MHs, t5s, and some LED moonlights for effect. The custom cabinet I am having built we give me the most options possible for mounting the lighting. I am tin king I would prefer some sort of retrofit style kit. I don't need some fancy, all inclusive expensive unit. I plan on getting a full on tank controller soon. So, I can control all aspects from one place and use simpler individual components.

Anyway, what is some good guidelines for light selection?
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Old 06-06-2011, 07:52 PM   #2
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i would get rid of the urchin skimmer. it's way underpowered for your system. honestly, i wouldn't use one of them on a 30 gallon.
if you want to go with metal halides, i would use 2 x 250 watters with quality reflectors. i like the sunlight supply lumenmax reflectors. you don't even need the T5s or the moonlights. the right halide lamps look plenty good without any supplementation. less is better in this case IMO. save the money you would spend on the t5s and LED moonlights and put it into corals.
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:18 PM   #3
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Yea, with 14k+ (preferably 20k-22k) you have plenty of blue. Plusrite bulbs are only 15 bucks and last 6 or so months w/o replacement. Not sure how much energy they waste, but $15 for a 250 watt 20k halide is pretty awesome...saw it on 1000bulbs or w/e the site is called.
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Old 06-07-2011, 01:29 AM   #4
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Thanks! I had gotten most of the stuff from a guy that took down his tank and I got it for a steal. If you have any suggestions for a skimmer, that would be cool too. The only other one I have is an eshopps hob for the 20 gal. It seems to be functioning well, if not a little finicky. The other reason I was considering multiple light systems is so could stagger the on and off times to simulate natural sun rise and sun set. I don't know if it really effects the critters, just more or less liked the idea.
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Old 06-07-2011, 01:45 AM   #5
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No experiences with skimmers, I've never owned a large tank so have never had the need for one. But I considered a Remora skimmer for a while. They are pretty much the best, though they are pricey... I think most people who have had them were quite pleased based on the reviews/ratings.
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Old 06-07-2011, 03:48 AM   #6
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I have a ASM G4 on my 175g seams to work great and isn't touchy like some. You need a fair bit of space in your sump for it to fit you should only need the G1 it's rated for 150g am sure there will be more suggestions to come.
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Old 06-07-2011, 08:56 AM   #7
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Have you looked at octupus skimmers?
Protein Skimmer, Protein Skimmers, Aquarium Marine Reef Foam Fractionators

This site has a great selection and lists the footprint of the skimmer too so you know if it will fit.

I use a remora skimmer on my 55g and have no complaints at all. I'm using an eshopps skimmer on my 125 but it's too new for me to rate just yet.
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Old 06-07-2011, 01:21 PM   #8
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Thanks everybody! It's good to get some real opinions. Most site reviews are sales advertisements and the LFSs seem to push their products and opinions. I look forward to hearing about the new eshopps skimmer when it runs in.
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Old 06-07-2011, 01:26 PM   #9
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I have an Eshopps PSK-150 on my 75. It is very sensitive to the water level in the sump. I honestly don't know if that's common to all skimmers or not. But I know it pulls out some NASTY junk from the water!!! I couldn't be happier with it.

It's the only protein skimmer I've ever had, so I have nothing to compare it to - but I feel like the Eshopps is the best bang for your buck.
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Old 06-07-2011, 02:53 PM   #10
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I also have the eshopps 150, just breaking it in still so I don't know how much mine will pull. And yeah, its very very sensitive when adjusting. lol Driving me nuts...
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