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Old 01-20-2004, 01:37 AM   #1
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New 135 Gal 6 foot long, what should I do with it? Help me!

Hello, first off, I have been reading these forums for along time now, and seriously respect everyone who uses their time to post to help out people like me. I have had a 150 Gal freshwater for alittle over a year, and its time to venture into saltwater.

So here is what I have got:
135 Gallon tank, 6 foot long, 18 in wide, 2 feet tall approx. Nice stand. I have done some basic reading, and I think I want a coral reef tank, as I can have a long stretch of pretty coral.

What kind of equipment am I going to need. I understand freshwater tanks, pumps like fluval 404s and magnum 350s, ect, but what will I need with saltwater? I dont mind spending the cash, but dont want to waste it. After equipment, how much substrate and coral should I get and where can I get it from?

Fish, I know I need to start out with Danio's. but I would like some really pretty fish to live on my reef.

So basically, help me design a really nice tank here. I am up for a challange, so hit me with your best shot!


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Old 01-20-2004, 01:46 AM   #2
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I don't know much about SW setup, but danios are usualy how you start out a FW aquarium and not SW. I think most SW people start off with clowns.

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Old 01-20-2004, 02:27 AM   #3
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most people start out with damsels to cycle, but i agree with most people on here, that its just as easy and quick to save a couple lives and use a raw piece of shrimp(maybe in a 135 gallon 2 pieces), than to use a few damsels that probably won't make it
55 reef-260w PC -purple firefish -maroon clown -lubbocks fairy wrasse - hydnophora -polyps, more LPS on the way

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Old 01-20-2004, 02:43 AM   #4
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Start with a filter first, since its going to be your filtration system thats going to keep everything alive and healthy, right. So don't go skimpy on your filter, set yourself up with a good sump system. Either DIY or a preassembled one. Oceanic systems makes some nice ones.

Lights are going to be your next big investment. I'd recommend some power compact/ metal halide combinations.

As far as your substrate goes, go with either a deep sandbed or plenum system in your sump. Before you get to heavy into peoples opinion on which one to use, try finding these books..... I've read both quite a few times. 'Sand bed secrets' by Dr. Ron Shimek and 'Live Sand Secrets' by Bob Groemans Ph.D. Both books provide some very strong points to both. Then once you have everything set up as far as hardware, then worry about trying to cycle.

Patience, Patience, Patience
95% of fish mortality results from improper housing and nutrition.
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Old 01-20-2004, 03:45 AM   #5
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IMO I would start out by filling the tank and getting it stable (temp-salinity) with Nice clean RO/di water.. The I would venture over to Liverocks.com and order yourself anwhere from 160# to 260#s of their nice LR.. Place it in the tank with a few powerheads such as maybe a MaxiJet 1200 in each corner.. You are also going to need some sort of overflow Either drilled tank or Overflow box.. CaptiveReefs.com has some Nice deals on some custom sumps for awesome prices.. For lighting I would go with 3x250w MH lights along with atleast 2 6' VHO URI actinics at a very minimum.. I am not really a believer of having a DSB in the tank but do like to have a 2" or so SSB seeded with some LS... Liverocks.com has LS as well for like 1.00 per pound.. Very good Very cheap.. With the amount of critters you get on your LR and in the LS from Liverocks.com it will provide a pretty fun to watch tank until your cycle has completed and your ready for fish...

1) Main things you need is waterflow min of 10x turnover
2) Lights.. 3x250w MH lights and 2x6' VHOs would be a perfect buy for that tank snd should suffice for about anything you wanted to keep
3) heaters Recommended 2 in case 1 fails.. 2x350w Won Pro Heat heaters should work..
4) 160# to 260#s of LR the more the better.. www.liverocks.com is highly recommened and TOP QUALITY liverock.. Along with maybe 10#s of their LS..
5) a very fine aragonite sand for your sandbed.. I prefer SSB over DSB due to the issues seen.. And prefer to have a DSB on a remote system such as a refuge so it can be taken offline if issues occur
6) Sump system setup
7) Protien Skimmer.. Some will say AquaC EV180 or EV240 will be great others will say one of the EuroReef skimmers.. Both IMO are about the same..
8) most important Test Kits.. IMO buy nothing but either Salifert or in worse case scenario Seachem.. I would not buy anything other than these 2 brands.. You are going to need to start off with for the cycle the following tests.. pH, Ammonia, nitrite, Nitrate and a good hydrometer (Refractometer Preferrably).. When you start to add corals then you are going to want Alkalinity, Calcium and maybe a Phosphate test..

I personally would reccomend Captivereefs.com for your Order.. I believe we get 6-8% off all prices on listed on the website for being a member here as well as Darin is extremely awesome to deal with and will make things right..

I am sure If I forgot something others will add to it..

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Old 01-20-2004, 07:52 AM   #6
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I agree with everything James posted, but before you buy all the other stuff...buy some books. To really recommend something like lighting we need to know what you want to keep, before you know what you want to keep you'll have to look through some books and the photo gallery here and see what strikes your fancy. Most beggining reefers will want to start out with soft corals and LPS and then "graduate" to SPS and Clams, personally in your size tank I would go with a nice mixed reef with all the flavors. A couple of books I would recommend are...

Reef Invertabrates by Calfo and Fenner

Aquarium Corals by Eric Borneman

The Conscientious Marine Aquarist by Bob Fenner


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