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Old 10-20-2010, 07:04 PM   #1
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Need a lot of help 110 gallon SW Aquarium Build

Hey Guys,

Where to start, I will be getting out of the Marine Corps soon, I injured my shoulder in Iraq, and it can not be fixed, and therefore can not be in the infantry anymore. But before I joined I was always fascinated with fish and aquariums, I've had many over the years but they have all been fresh water. I have now decided to take the plunge in to the SW world. I have some basic questions and hope you can help, and I did read the introduction thread, and tried to buy several books, but can not find any good ones up here, and I won't be able to go home until Christmas this year, to purchase some book, if you guys have any suggestions.

Ok, I bought a 110 Gallon tank off CL.

I would like to know what kind of filter/filters you'd recommended, the guy I bought the tank off swore by Fluval, and I have done lots of research on them, but the 405 series only rates up to 100 gallons, is that ok? Or do you have a better option. Also what else would you recommend for a filter to hang on the aquarium? Is it necessary?

Also what is your opinion on lighting? The tank came with out the lighting strip, so how long should I buy the light strip, should I get one with one two or three bulbs?

And anything else you can think of that I need, I need things I can tell my wife to get me for Christmas, she is so excited I have a hobby now so she has something she can purchase for me.

I'm sorry if I ask too many questions, I understand there is a lot of trail and error in SW, I just want to get it started all correctly, so then I can start my trail and error.

Just any info you can give would be most helpful.
I hope to start contributing soon myself.
Thank you,
Charles
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:01 PM   #2
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First off, Thank you for your service!
Are you wanting to keep corals in this tank? The lighting depends on the species in the tank, fish would be happy with normal flouresant lights. Fluval are great filters, if you have the extra money get the Fluval fx5 They are supposed to be the mother of all canister filters or you can create your own wet/dry filter there are a bunch of DIY videos on youtube.
I hope this can help you!
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:19 PM   #3
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Yes thank you for the help, the fx5 is pretty pricey is there another good option? And yes eventually I would like to own coral. I wish there was a lfs here I could talk to but there aren't any, and the book The Conscientous Marine Aquarist is not available here, so I have come here for all my help. I guess what I'm really looking for is a list of best options as what to get in every department, filters,lights,ect.
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Old 10-21-2010, 09:56 AM   #4
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Welcome to AA! As far as canister filters, you can actually have a SW tank without one if you like. It is just one of many configurations that are available. Alot of people (myself included) don't use one and instead we use a sump to provide a place for our filtration needs. I would recommend setting up a time line of goals and then set up your shopping list accordingly.

Check out this thread for an idea of what your going to need: Stock list and tips for maintaining your SW tank.
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Old 10-21-2010, 09:57 AM   #5
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Ok since you want to keep corals you will have to get either a T5, metal halide (Which can get quite expensive and very hot), or LED Lighing systems. Also when keeping corals they need alot more other chemical and water treatments such as an RO/DI Unit...
I will finish my feedback story later I have to get off the computer now
TO BE CONTINUED...
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:11 AM   #6
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Welcome aboard Charles. That link posted above by Chuck is a good one. Just figure out what type SW tank you want and we will go from there. Again welcome.
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:43 AM   #7
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Hello Charles and welcome to AA, and thank you for your service to our country!!

I have kept FW on and off for better than 20 years, and then fell into maintaining someone else's reef tank and 2 other fish-only w/Live Rock (FOWLR) system. I have to say that the Reef system is by far my favorite. Reef limits you to reef-safe fish, but there is such a colorful variety of marine fish that you still have a very large selection. However, if you're really keen on triggerfish and the like, FOWLR is an easier option from the perspective that you don't have to worry quite as much about lighting and dosing calcium and other coral supplements.

IMO, there's nothing more impressive in the aquarium realm than a full-blown reef system. If you are leaning that way, set yourself up for one.

I would highly recommend a sump system because it give you more options in the future, and allows for an in-sump skimmer, an area for dosing (for corals) and other possible filtration options. I would think if you start with a canister and then decide to you need to go to a sump, since the sump is below the DT (display tank), you would have to empty the DT and take it off the stand to put in the sump.

But if you're just wanting to start with FOWLR and consider Reef in the future, no sump would be really needed, and you can get a hang-on skimmer too, and spend the time learning...that's what it's really all about the first year or two anyways. You're in the right place for that.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:10 PM   #8
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Wow! Thanks for all the help!! Can someone explain to me how a sump works? I've seen it and don't really understand them, and are they a cheaper option that going with a canister filter? Also what would you guys recommend for a protein skimmer, as I have never really messed with them. I promise I will give pics with updates all along the way, as of right now, I have the tank, and cleaned it out, that is all, and I really want to take this slow as to make sure that this is done right.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:33 PM   #9
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Check this out under the Articles section (look up at the top of the website for the Articles link)

Sumps Explained

That's a good place to start. I don't know that it's necessarily a cheaper option, but it allows more flexibility and a cleaner looking display. You can do all kinds of things with a sump.

Check out the rest of the articles here, good reading.

Articles

Also look over this page, particularly Myth 15

Mything the Point, Part Three: Conclusion - Reefkeeping.com

And pages 1 and 2 of the same article

Mything the Point: Part One by Eric Borneman - Reefkeeping.com
Mything the Point: Part Two by Eric Borneman - Reefkeeping.com
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Old 10-21-2010, 03:11 PM   #10
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I also agree with the sump, I have one on my big 125 gallon and it works great so far
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