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Old 01-31-2015, 08:00 PM   #1
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Convert my FOWLR to a Reef Tank.

I'm going to convert my 150 gal (72" x 18" x 24" deep) FOWLR tank to a reef tank. I have a 30 gal sump with a Reef Octopus skimmer. My tanks has 150 pounds of live rock. I use RO/DI for makeup water.

I have had a saltwater tank for over 15 years and this tank has been running for 6 years. In the last five months I have been doing a lot of reading and research. I realize that I have been in grade school for those 15 years. I didn't really understand the chemistry and good maintenance techniques. I hope I'm now at least a high school level. I have fighting high nitrates (50 ppm) for a long time. I got it down to 15 recently by reigning in my excessive feeding and stopped vacuuming my sand bed. Now that I have a better understanding, I want to convert to a reef tank.

When my Royal Gramma Basslet get out of quarantine, I have to remove my live rock to catch my bullies (3 three stripe damsels, a 5" blue fin damsel and a tomato clown) to donate to my LFS. I'm planning on replacing my sand bed with live sand since it is 6 years in my tank. My live rock is covered with coralline algae that is not encrusted. I do have some cyno algae. Until a few months ago, I never measured my calcium. I have been raising the calcium and measuring my alkalinity. The rock is starting to turn purple. While it is out of the tank I plan to scrub off some of the cyno and coralline algae.

1. Does my plan to replace the sand bed and clean my live rock make sense?

2. I have a 4- bulb T5 HO fixture but half doesn't work. I want to upgrade my lighting to LEDs. I will be starting with soft corals and hope to progress to LPS. I want to progress to SPS if I can maintain proper water parameters.

I have seen some LED lights on EBay that are reasonably priced. One is 165W Dimmable LED Aquarium Light Full Spectrum Reef Coral Marine SPS LPS Lamp. 165W Dimmable LED Aquarium Light Full Spectrum Reef Coral Marine SPS LPS Lamp | eBay. But I think I need 3 lights to cover my 6' tank and it will be too much light even dimmed.

This is a 120 watt fixture. New Dimmable 120W Aquarium Coral Reef Fish Tank White Blue LED Grow Light US | eBay. They have 120 degree light angle. Could I cover most of my tank with two of these?

I would appreciate any feedback with my plan. Thanks.


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Old 02-04-2015, 08:00 PM   #2
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I think your plan for sand replacement is probably not going to help much. Cleaning the algae off the live rock is ok, so long as you don't leave it out of the water long, and don't use hot water or fresh water. Otherwise you will get die off and nitrates when you put it back in the tank.

As far as the lights, what kind of coral do you want to grow?
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Old 02-04-2015, 10:14 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advice. I will start with soft corals and some LPS. I ordered my lights. I went with AquaStar 165w dimmable full spectrum LEDs on EBay.
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Old 02-04-2015, 10:18 PM   #4
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You'll do fine with that I would think. Did you go for 2 or 3?
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Old 02-04-2015, 11:41 PM   #5
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I bought 3 to cover my 6' tank. The LEDs have a 90 degree lens so I can hang them 9 to 12" above the top.
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Old 02-05-2015, 01:07 AM   #6
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Nice. That ought to work well.
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