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Old 04-10-2011, 01:31 AM   #1
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Red face Fresh Meat Guys - Could Use Some Help

Hi everybody, I'm new to the SW world and could really use some advice and suggestions. First of all, I think all of you experts donating your time on this site is just great, and very conscientious.
But I digress, here's the setup. I have just purchased a 100 gallon aquarium setup for a killer price at this Ontario, Ca location : SoCal Aquariums - Aquariums. Got the 100 tank for $200 and the deluxe pine stand for $165, saw his ad on craigslist FYI for IE people. Here's what I have so far per LFS suggestions, planning on having coral & fish & starting fishless cycling tomorrow:

used overflow, refugium filter system w/ a protein skimmer.
Rio 20 Hyperflow 1290GPH & a Maxi-Jett 1200
216 Watt 10,000K T5 white, w/ an actinic blue & 8 led moon lights. (Prob 2 of them?)
Refugium Mineral Mud

Still Need:
Start out with 20 lbs or so of live rock? Or should I start with base rock, do the fishless cycling and then add LR?
How much live sand?
Should I use purified water & sea salt, or is water from the lfs better? or a combination?
How many watts of light optimal for a 100 gallon tank? 250-400?
Any suggestions...


Here's a link to the lights I'm getting : Omni T5 Lights


Please let me know if Ive missed anything obvious, I have the heater and ammonia and am getting the test kit. Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-11-2011, 08:59 PM   #2
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return the refugium mud. that's a waste of cash. the mj1200 is a small pump. it's only 295 gph. you need 2 1200 gph power heads at least.
the 4', four lamp t-5 fixture is also limiting. they do make 5' t-5 fixtures now. i would look into a 6 or 8 lamp one of those.
what exactly is the refugium filter system with protein skimmer? is that one of those all-in-one units they sell? if so, the skimmer is probably way under powered for your system.

you need about 100 pounds of rock...base rock or live, it doesn't matter.
cycle the tank once you have it all in there.

i would rather make my own salt water. it's cheaper and can be made as needed. no running to the store in emergencies.

the lighting intensity needed is up to what corals you intend to keep. i would do like i said above so you can keep whatever you want. it's not about watts. it's about the efficiency of the fixture you have, plus the amount of water you have to penetrate in order to hit the corals.

i can't enlarge that omni lighting page to read about the fixture, but i've never heard of it, but if i was going to start your tank, i would get a 5' t-5 fixture, with individual reflectors and high end lamps. i would probably go 8 lamps, but you could probably get away with 6....not 4.
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:31 PM   #3
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Okay, can you recommend a good lighting fixture? My tank is 60x18x21. Is there any affordable options?
I am cycling my tank now, but after the research I've done recently I'm wondering if it'll go well. My lfs insisted that he's been doing it for 15 years and his tanks and water are gorgeous, but he had me put the live rock, mud and sand in, and then add a nitrification solution with all of the bacteria in it. Told me not to add ammonia or anything else but to monitor the temp, salinity and nitrate levels. Will the live rock be okay?
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:11 PM   #4
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sunlight supply makes a 6 x 80 watt t-5 ho fixture. i don't know how affordable you need it to be.
Sunlight Supply Tek Light High Output Fluorescent Lighting Fixtures

ATI makes one as well-
ATI 60 Inch SunPower T5HO High-Output Fixtures


your live rock will be fine. i don't go for any of that bottled bacteria miracle cycle, and would not trust that it does what it says, but the rock should cycle from the decaying matter that's on it. how much rock did you say you have?
if you add rock in increments, it may cause spikes with each addition, depending on how much rock you add, and how much die off is on the rock.

just keep in mind that your LFS owner doesn't get paid unless you buy stuff.
if he is the one who suggested to you and sold you the components you have (bearing in mind that he's a very knowledgeable reef keeper), he's not being straight with you. in my opinion, he just unloaded a bunch of random stuff for profit.
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:12 PM   #5
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Hello and welcome, I had a question for you. I live in Socal as well and saw that exact ad on Craigslist yesterday and was looking more into it. How did the tank and stand come out for you?? Thanks.
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Old 04-11-2011, 11:03 PM   #6
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I have 80 lbs of rock and 90 lbs of sand Doug. Thanks so much for the links I'll check them out tonight cause I do want coral. Planning on doing some more research for the easy/beginner stuff. Planning on testing my water tonight.
Question, where on the overflow hose do I drill the hole in case of outages? Also does the heater go in the sump and is temp very important at this stage? The water is cloudy, I read I don't need my skimmer on at this point is that true?
Salty, everything has worked out great so far, great prices the glass is very thick and the stands were pine really sturdy, no scratches. Only complaint is he had no hoods, have to wait for that or my bf will build one.
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Old 04-11-2011, 11:21 PM   #7
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not on the overflow hose. on the return line...just as it enters the water in the tank...just under water.

i would put the heater(s) in the sump. or you could put one in the display and one in the sump, in the event that the return pump quits on you, the display will still have heat, until you can address the issue.

temp is important at this stage because you want to try and keep anything that is still alive on the rock, alive. ideally, the temp is in the high 70's.
you can run the skimmer if you like. a protein skimmer is not going to skim out bacteria, since bacteria resides on surfaces and not in the water column, you should be ok breaking it in now if you like. either way your tank will cycle with 80 pounds of rock.
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Old 04-12-2011, 03:53 PM   #8
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Might have to get another heater. Tested last night:
Temp-78.4
Ammonia- no reading (twice)
Nitrite- 0 ppm
Nitrate-.5ppm (hard to tell)
Only been cycling for 36 hours so might just be being to impatient.
Water still cloudy, irritating me!
Also why is this light so cheap? Odyssea 60" 322w power compact light fixture...
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Old 04-12-2011, 03:58 PM   #9
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LOL Odyseaa makes cheap fixtures. i have one for my 29g and I haven't had a problem with it yet.

i also have a really old odyssea fixture on my 55g. It has individual reflectoras, t5 quad bulbs and a kick butt timier built in. I think they used to make quality now they just make cheap stuff.

Good luck with your cycle! I'm gonna start a bio cube tonight so I'll be cycling as well.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:24 PM   #10
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Hope your cycling goes smoother than mine Think Im going to get the 2 60" odyssea light fixtures for now. Good prices and Im tapped out. Can you tell me if these readings are normal, given yesterdays readings:
PH-8
Ammonia-.25ppm
Nitrite-0
Nitrate-0-5 (cant tell, closer to 0)
Also, our pump is a hyperflow 1290 gph, and its sucking out the water from our sump faster than it's coming in. Are there any quick fixes or is the pump just too big for a 100g? Our water is really bubbly and cloudy becasue of it and there's constantly a loud sucking gurgling noise...
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