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Old 02-15-2012, 01:36 AM   #1
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Hi! It's been over 6 months since my last post... I'm back from the dead...

Ive been on a mental vacation for a few months, but lately I've been thinking about setting up a non-nano tank... So I have some questions for you guys before I get started:

I have a 55g currently that I plan on using for my salt tank. It can fit under my stand and can be used as a sump, but I'd have to find a larger display tank to put on top. I can't decide if I want to do that, or use the 55g as a display tank and look around for a smaller sump tank... What do you guys recommend?

That being said, would getting a HOB overflow be fine, or should I go with the BeanAnimal coast to coast overflow I was planning on making? I don't want to worry about maintenance on an overflow.

Lights: I would love to take the reef path in the future, but I will be starting with a FOWLR first. What kind of lights would work best? Should I get them when I first set up, or closer to when I plan on going to reef? Would I really need to plan on spending a few hundred on lights, or are there other options that work well for fairly cheap?

These are my first questions... I have most of the little things down an purchased. I just have a few big things to take care of before the official build.

Thanks in advance! Hope I can get this build started soon.
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Old 02-15-2012, 07:25 PM   #2
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Any thoughts or opinions? I could really use some help here, I don't want to go spending money without some other opinions... :/
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Old 02-15-2012, 07:35 PM   #3
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The tank is really up to you. The bigger the better, and not just for the size, it's much easier to keep a system stable with extra water volume. A 55g is a bit limiting at least to me. I would go with a 75g if size is of concern but if you have the space and $$ I would go for bigger.

You can get your lights now or later,again up to you. You won't need lights for the cycling process anyways. The lighting for a 55g or bigger tank is gonna run quite a bit. Also depends on what you want to keep as far as corals or anemones.
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Old 02-15-2012, 07:47 PM   #4
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Thanks for the reply. I'll have to drive by my LFS sometime to see if they have any tanks on sale...

Regarding lights, if I wanted to be able to keep pretty much anything I wanted (nothing extreme), what is recommended? I know t5's are common, but I just dont know what im exactly looking for... (probably will end up being a 48x24x24 tank).
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:49 PM   #5
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I happen to like my t5's. I also ran halides and now am running an led. Each has it's own pro's and cons.

If you were going for a 48 x 24x 24 tank I would think 2 of these led panels would be good or something similar.

Amazon.com: TaoTronics Hot!/Aquarium Coral Reef Tank White Blue LED Lamb Grow Light 120W-provide light that have the same effect as natural sunlight and hence offers plants a very good growing habitat: Patio, Lawn & Garden

If you go with t5's I would suggest a 6 bulb fixture. But be preapred for it to be on the pricey side, just guessing about $500. But that would allow you to keep most anything you want and even be enough for an anemone if youre interested in getting one in the future. If you go with only 4 bulbs I don't think it would be enough light.
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:59 PM   #6
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500 for a t5 setup? Yikes... I'll have to do some more research lol. My LFS has sales sometimes that include lights with a tank, but I haven't been there in a while... Are those led's capable of producing enough light for anemones (2 of those setups)?

Thanks for the help, I guess it's research time!

Oh yea, for t5's, is a full pre made kit recommended? Or can I get the pieces separately?
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:04 PM   #7
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I just quoted a fixture price off the top of my head, but it would be for a fully setup light, all you'd have to do is just plug it in. You for sure can make your own led's too, check out the DIY section on the forum. Theres always some one being creative. lol Wish i could be of more help. And yes, I would think with the led panels you could keep a nem. They are 3 watt emitters unlike the 1 watters that are in many many fixtures you will see.
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:05 PM   #8
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Don't worry, you've already been plenty of help in this and other threads.

I'll do some more researching, but this makes me feel a little more comfortable with what I'm researching. Thanks for the help, and I'll be updating soon!
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:07 PM   #9
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Are those Taotronics good fixtures? And how many are needed for a 55g?
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:15 PM   #10
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I have one so far on my 20g for now. When hung it looks like it has nice penetration, about 20-24 inches deep and the spread is good at 24" wide. I would think 2 of the panels would work on a 48" 55g tank.

A bunch of other people are using these types of "cheap" led's and they seem to be pleased. i don't have any corals under it now so I can't really tell, but I will say when it has only the blue lights on it is extremely awesome. I had it over my reef tank to see and all my corals were glowing.
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