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Old 11-09-2006, 03:00 PM   #11
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hyosafi,

I would really recommend looking around online and doing some price hunting. 3100 sounds very steep to me for an initial set-up. I would think that you could set-up that same system for nearly half that cost with fish and some basic corals and livestock. Although if they are delivering and setting this up for you that is likely where a lot of the cost is coming from. The only LFS I know of near my area that does set-up work charges 100+ dollars an hour depending on the scenario.

At any rate I would have to say that fish/inch calculators are the most inaccurate and useless things ever created. Fish amounts, sizes, and tank compatability are soley based on what you want to accomplish with your aquarium, what types of fish you want to primarily keep, how many pwc's you are doing and what type of filtration you plan on using.

From reading the set-up description my guess is you are shooting for a reef aquarium. In that case, even in a 100 gallon tank fish numbers will have to be kept to a low. That said I know many aquarists, including myself that keep highly populated reef aquariums. Although to do this successfully you need to be an experienced aquarist and willing to shell out plenty of time for pwc's. If you are new to the marine aquarium hobby my suggestion, if a reef is what you have in store, is to keep a low fish population at least until you get some experience.

As for having them come to your home and set all this up - do they plan on having it fish ready the same day? I know some places that claim that they can do that, I wouldnt buy it - any aquarium needs to naturally cycle!
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Old 11-09-2006, 05:18 PM   #12
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I would really recommend looking around online and doing some price hunting.
And I have been, but like I mentioned, I havn't found the prices online to be significantly less expensive than this LFS. Also, there don't seem to be too many large online retailers like Marine Depot (which is coincindentally not too far from me). I'm seeing a lot of online retailers that sell livestock, but not too many websites have a full range of equipment.

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...do they plan on having it fish ready the same day?
No they don't. The guy mentioned how the tank needs to cycle.
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Old 11-09-2006, 05:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyosafi
And I have been, but like I mentioned, I havn't found the prices online to be significantly less expensive than this LFS. Also, there don't seem to be too many large online retailers like Marine Depot (which is coincindentally not too far from me). I'm seeing a lot of online retailers that sell livestock, but not too many websites have a full range of equipment.
Try drsfosterandsmith.com
They don't charge extra for weight. I bought 270Lbs of sand a 6foot lighting system and some other things, I paid $15.99 for shipping. My LFS is about double the price on equipment than online.
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Old 11-13-2006, 06:03 PM   #14
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UPDATE

So last night I found a tiny LFS run by two hobbyists. I liked these dudes. They were closing soon but had no problem answering a bunch of questions and spending some time with me. I decided to pull the trigger. For a full, 100 gallon setup, its going to be $2,400.

The setup consists of the following:

100 gallon tank (60x18x24) with Overflow box
36" Black Oak Stand
6.5" tall matching canopy
Sump & Refugium - 3'
TEK T5 - 4'
ASM G-3 Skimmer
4 20 lb bags of livesand
100 lbs of LR (50 lbs base rock & 50 lbs mix of Tonga and Fiji)
250w Ebo-jagger heater
2 Seios 820 Powerheads
Mag 9.5 return pump
Test kits and plumbing parts

This will include delivery and setup which they say will take 4 or more hours. I think its a pretty darn good price, especially when compared with my previous quote. I compared his prices with prices online and am pretty satisfied.

I'd like some more input. What do you guys think? Price, equipment, etc. Do guys think the lighting is adequate? I'm not going to have any hard corals, just some soft stuff. Also, I think i'm going to add about 50 lbs of live rock to the order. Do you guys think I should add another bag of live sand as well to make it 100 lbs? How does everything else sound though?

I'm really excited. I get it on the 26th. Can't wait to get started.

Thanks for the input!
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Old 11-13-2006, 06:13 PM   #15
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How do you fit a 60" tank on a 36" stand? Mag will heat your water if in the sump just so you know, it can be plumbed outside of the sump though. Canopies can get hot and hopefully it has built in fans. Nice skimmer and power heads. I'd get two heaters at 250W for backup.

Didn't see any mention of lights. Will need another 50-80 lbs of base/lr. Another 60 lbs of sand would be nice also IMO.

Still think you could have done it with all listed including decent lighting for a couple hundred less but I understand why you went this route.

Congrats on bitting the bullet, there will be more expense to come but at least its a good start
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Old 11-13-2006, 06:13 PM   #16
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Cool, keep us updated and pics should be coming soon...right?
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Old 11-13-2006, 06:42 PM   #17
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I wuz wonderin' about the 36" (3') stand with 4' T5s? 100g tank? What's the dimensions? And I also agree. You'll need a couple of fans on a timer with the lights.

Got the outlet behind all this beefed up yet? I got an electrician to run me a new, 20amp dedicated circuit. All these new pumps, lights, filters, etc, etc. Now's the time to maybe do some inventory on your power needs and see what else in your home is feeding off that same circuit in order to make sure you're covered. Maybe you only need a new 15 amp. Dunno, but take a look IMO.

But, back to my (and tecwzrd's) questions above...
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Old 11-13-2006, 07:22 PM   #18
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How do you fit a 60" tank on a 36" stand?
Sorry, I should have been more clear. The stand is 36" in heigth.

Quote:
Mag will heat your water if in the sump just so you know, it can be plumbed outside of the sump though.
I'm going to ask for it to be installed outside of the sump so I dont have to worry about this. Hopefully it won't be a problem.

Quote:
Didn't see any mention of lights.
4' TEK-T5 lights (2 bulbs - 1 blue and 1 white). I'm hoping this is adequate lighting. What do you think? I'm considering going with 4 bulbs instead of 2.

Quote:
Will need another 50-80 lbs of base/lr. Another 60 lbs of sand would be nice also IMO
As far as the LR, done. But I'm wondering if I should just go with base rock or if i should spend the extra money and go with LR (its fully cured). Also, I think I'll go ahead and include a couple extra bags of sand. Do you know how thick my sandbed will be with 120 lbs (based on the above dimensions of my tank)?

Quote:
Still think you could have done it with all listed including decent lighting for a couple hundred less but I understand why you went this route.
Yeah, I imagine I could have saved some cash by looking around a little more but I am just so sick of researching prices and driving around to LFSs that I thought it was time to make a decision. Plus these guys seemed very nice and geniune and I think it will be a good relationship, especially for my first big tank.

Quote:
Cool, keep us updated and pics should be coming soon...right?
Oh pics will definitely be coming!!

Quote:
You'll need a couple of fans on a timer with the lights.
When I was choosing the lights, I had mentioned that initially I was going to go with Power Compacts. He mentioned that the T5s would do as good a job, consume less power and produce less heat (which is why i wasnt worried about the fans). I'll ask how much extra it will cost to install a couple of fans. Also, will increasing the heigth of the canopy to 8.5" help with the heat issue?

Quote:
Got the outlet behind all this beefed up yet?
This is something I am worried about. I don't know anything about electricity, but I can tell you that nothing else will be running on any of the outlets along the wall where the aquarium will be. This is an apartment not a home so I can't really bring in a professional. I really hope I don't have any issues with power.

Thanks for the responses guys.
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Old 11-14-2006, 09:31 AM   #19
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The pump itself gets warm but it doesn't heat the water much at all going through it. They shouldn't have any trouble hooking it outside the sump as long as the sump is acrylic and they can drill a hole on the side. The other advantage of having it outside the sump is it gives you more room in the sump for your equipment/fuge.

I have two Mag 9.5 and have one installed outside of my sump. It has threads and is pretty easy to hook up. I use the other one to circulate the water for pwc and keep it in a 30 gal trash can. I don't have to keep a heater in the trashcan because the pump keeps the water right at 79 degrees all the time When doing a pwc I just hook up a 20 foot hose and pump the water from the trashcan to the tank which takes less then 2 minutes for 20 gal. (use a ball valve to control flow since there isn't an on/off button on the pump)

Lighting would be fine for fowlr, corals would be very limited though with your tank depth and wattage.

base rock or lr is up to you. I'd go with at least 30% lr total though so you have something to seed your base rock with. After a year the base rock will color up and look like the lr.

80 lbs of sand in a 60" long by 18" wide tank is just slightly over 1" depth. That's why I recommended at least 60 lbs more which would give you a 2" depth. Ideally a 3" depth would be better IMO which would require about 200 lbs of sand.

T5 lights do work as well as PC but will still get hot in a canopy. I assume the back of the canopy is open which will help with heat dissipation but you still will need at least one fan or preferably two (one on each end) If the back is closed then for aesthetic reasons I'd install them behind on each end.

I forgot to ask is the overflow drilled in the tank or is it a HOB? If it's a HOB I'd ask for a drilled tank since it isn't set up yet. Even if the tank costs a little more they are well worth it IMO so you don't have to deal with the HOB.
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Old 11-14-2006, 01:43 PM   #20
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When doing a pwc I just hook up a 20 foot hose and pump the water from the trashcan to the tank which takes less then 2 minutes for 20 gal.
Nice. You've got a pretty handy setup. I hope to have something along those lines set up, as the easier the water change is for me, the more likely I will be to do it more often.

Quote:
Lighting would be fine for fowlr, corals would be very limited though with your tank depth and wattage...T5 lights do work as well as PC but will still get hot in a canopy...
I spoke to the guy at the LFS yesterday and apparantly the lights are like 54watts each so I'm only getting a total of 1 watt per gallon?! Isn't that really bad? You mentioned that T5s perform as well as PCs, is that even when they use much less wattage?

At this point I think I might as well go with the extra set of T5s. Do you think that would give me adequate lighting for soft corals? I'm willing to switch to Power Compacts if that would be better. I don't want to be stuck in the situation where I have to upgrade my lighting after the fact because I can't support the corals I want (simple, soft stuff).

Quote:
I forgot to ask is the overflow drilled in the tank or is it a HOB?
The overflow is drilled, I specifically asked for this after reading about it here. I still don't really know the benefits to tell you the truth, just that it would be beneficial.

Thanks for all your help tecwzrd!!
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