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Old 06-27-2003, 01:44 PM   #1
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My current plan

And I thought I had a vauge idea of what I was getting into...Ha!


The tank: 47 gallon bowfront (36" Long, 12"wide at ends, 16" center, 16- 18"deep, I forget.



The Revised Equipment plan for a Reef with about 9" (?) of fish:



Canister Filter: Fluval 304, It's going in the closet for now. Maybe someday I'll need it for something....Hot tub?


Power Heads: 3 Maxi Jet 600's (does that seem excessive?)


Protein Skimmer: Red Sea Prism hang on.


Heater: Ebo-Jager 150W. (I think I'll get another one of these and run 2)


4" total of sand (about 115lbs) with some live sand thrown in as well. The base of it will be something along the lines of the Southdown but I haven't found that particular brand yet but if not I'll try to find a non-silica preferably.


40 lbs. of live rock. I see I can get some online that I will need to cure for a heck of a deal when compared to the stuff I can get at LFS. (Look at me!! Using abbreviations like a pro.)


Lighting: No matter what my plan is I have to build an enclosure of some type. The 3 foot length and the shape of the tank put some kinks into this. I am looking at the AH Supply 2X96 kit but with seperate controls for a 10,000 and a Dark Blue 03. That's really about all I have room for. I may keep the single 30W tube assembly that came with my hood and see if I can squeeze the guts in there somewhere, which I think I can. That puts me at about 5W. per gallon.


My lighting is the big kink in the plan. With the lighting set-up I have described and with the depth of my tank, what wouldn't I want to put in the tank?


My timeline (totally unrealistic, totally) is out the window and I am content to stare at the empty tank for as long as it takes. After I get my lighting figured out I am close to filling it up and getting it cycling.
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Old 06-27-2003, 02:18 PM   #2
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I think you could put a 250 watt metal halide bulb, and then a 96 watt actinic, i think that would work rather well, or maybe two 175 watt MH bulbs
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Old 06-27-2003, 03:22 PM   #3
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I was looking at MH as well at the Hello Lights website. The cost isn't as much a factor as the size. They show the overall width of the reflector at 13" which is bigger than width of my tank at the ends (I suppose I could cut them down). Ignoring that I could get two of them in as far as the length goes, but there wouldn't be any room for anything else. My (current and subject to change) plan was to make my hood about 10-12 inches (front to back) and cobble together a small "lid" in the front of the tank similar in configuration to the stock hood for feeding and such. I might even be able to use the stock lid and just hinge it to the hood I'm making. That's why I was looking at the AHS 2X96 Compat Fluorescent Kit, the reflector measures out at 7", which I know will fit. Are there MH kits out there that I haven't found with a smaller reflector?

Or maybe ................Maybe I could squeeze the MH lights in if I used AHS's 2X96 (7"X34") reflector but only running one 96W actinic bulb and mount the Mh bases in there without using their reflector but mounted directly to the AHS reflector. I love to tinker. Anybody think that would be feasible/work?
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Old 06-27-2003, 03:24 PM   #4
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Hmm, I dont know if that would work, you dont want to loose a bunch of light. I would keep looking, you might find something you like.
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Old 06-30-2003, 09:54 AM   #5
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Great to see your planning this out before you jump in. If you plan on MH lighting, remember that it requires a little more clearance from the water surface than PC or VHO. Most peoploe I've talked to keep their MH 10" to 12" or more from the water surface. Also, I would not use 1 MH lamp over your center brace. The heat created by these bulbs could damage the plastic brace.
The only other suggestion I would have is to rethink the prizm skimmer. IMHO a prizm is not suitable for any tank over 20 gal, and even then they can be a pain due to their need for constant adjustments. If you are using a HOT skimmer I would recommend either the aqua C remora or the cpr bak pak. If money is not a concern, go for the aqua c Remora pro with the mag 3 pump. IMHO it is the best HOT skimmer on the market.

Brian
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Old 06-30-2003, 11:49 AM   #6
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Another good skimmer is the Red Sea Berlin. You can get either a HOT version or a sump version. While any skimmer is better than none, I'd look at the Aqua C and the Berlin. Your 3 MaxiJet 600's are not excessive IMO. You might want to get a wavemaker later to run them. There are several available, but I have found the Natural Wave strip to work very well and you can get it for about 1/2 of what the others cost.
As long as you don't intend to keep SPS corals or other inverts with high light requirements, the 2x96 will probably be fine. If you think you might want to keep stony corals at some point, you'll probably need MH. I'm not saying they can't be kept under PC's, but MH will probably work better. Since width is an issue with this tank, you might look at hellolights.com for a VHO setup. You could get 3 or maybe 4 VHO tubes in the space you have available and they are 95w each. Or, if you decide to go MH, the VHO actinic may work better as far as space goes. Some people say that VHO actinic is more intense than PC...I'm not sure. I use both and get good growth under both types.
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Old 06-30-2003, 12:55 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input folks!

First of all my lighting problem is solved. I went ahead and ordered a Custom Sealife 2X96W with the little moon lites in it. It should fit fine and the price was low enough to scrap my plans to build a hood and put one together from parts. I played around with MH plans/configurations and I really needed to start somewhere. I can engineer something different later if I decide to up my lighting.


It sounds like my Prism skimmer isn't going to do the job? This is fine because I haven't received it yet. It's in the same box as the Fluval floating around the country via UPS. The online supplier I bought it from has a great return policy so I may just return the Prism and the Fluval and grab a different skimmer.

Quick question.

Skimmers: Money is an issue but it's not the only issue. But, Dang, these things don't come cheap do they? I am a little (total understatement) confused on the mounting of these things. I understand the HOT type but what about the Sump type. I don't have a sump and don't plan on running one. Can these skimmers be plumbed/mounted/thrown inside the cabinet all by themselves?

Filtration: I am not running the Fluval so there goes my filtration. I know (I think I do anyway) that with a reef set-up (DSB w/Live Sand & Live Rock + fish) the filtration is handled naturally but should I have something besides the skimmer?

Thanks for the help. I am getting closer every day.
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Old 06-30-2003, 02:29 PM   #8
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Stanley,

Sorry but no you can't use an in-sump skimmer with out a sump. They are designed to operate while sitting in your sump. A lot of them require specific water levels to operate properly. I know a good skimmer costs money. I started with a prizm on my 50gal reef. I could not believe the difference when I upgraded to the remora pro. There is no adjustments to be made except for the height of the collection cup. Keep it low for wet foam and raise for drier foam, thats it. Another good feature is that you only need about 4" of clearance from a wall to hang it on your tank.
You would not believe the change in my tank since I added the remora pro and began dripping kalk. Those two additions have made a huge improvement in my tank.

Brian
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Old 06-30-2003, 07:37 PM   #9
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Well, I just went and bought a different skimmer. I'll return the Fluval and the Prism when they get here. I ordered the Aqua C with a maxijet 1200. I think I may be all done buying stuff (yea, right) and I should be able to start assembling as the boxes start showing up. The time will be spent watching my tank clear up after adding 100 lbs of play sand. "Looks like toilet water", said the girlfriend. I also need to sit down and figure out the the wiring. I see some crafty wiring in the future.

Thanks everyone!
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