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Old 11-06-2006, 08:12 PM   #1
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New Aquarium Setup quote from LFS - TANK UPDATES!!!

Hello,

I've been lurking around these forums for a very long time now, getting all sorts of valuable info. I've had a 20 gallon tank, but now that I'm in a new place, I have the space to set up my dream aquarium. I'm going with an 80 gallon rectangular, and the price I got quoted at my LFS here in Orange County (H.B. to be exact) is $3,100 with tax. This includes an 80 gallon glass tank with stand, canopy and overflow; sump, pumps, protein skimmer, uv sterilizer, lights, 100 lbs of fiji live rock, sand and water. Also includes delivery and installation (my 20 gallon was a simple setup, so I wouldn't really know what I'm doing with the sump and whatnot, plus delivery to a 3rd story apartment should be helpful).

Anyhow, I'd like to get some input regarding the price. I don't have names for all of the equipment in the package, but from what he showed me, everything looked pretty good.

Thanks for any advice you guys can provide.
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Old 11-06-2006, 08:19 PM   #2
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I personally think that is too much. I got my 125 I have now for half that you are talking about. I think you could get the tank somewhere there and the equipement online for about 1500 or less. JMO Also welcome to AA
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Old 11-06-2006, 09:37 PM   #3
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I agree, that sounds a bit high. You are likely to realize big savings by purchasing a lot of your supplies online, even with shipping. Get the big stuff, tank, stand, salt, at the LFS and source out the rest online. Be careful of LFS that want to set things up for you. While it may be a help, they do tend to "rush" things a bit and may not allow the tank to cycle fully before they start advising you to stock fish. I recommend you do your research, get a good book on SW tanks and go slow. Good luck with the setup and keep stopping by with your questions...we are all here to help.
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Old 11-07-2006, 09:29 AM   #4
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Welcome to AA

That deal could be decent if it's a quality $250+ skimmer and PC or MH lighting. Without name brands it's hard to tell. As the others mentioned you can usually get a much better deal buying your skimmer/lighting and other equipment online. lfs lr can be decent but usually you can get better quality and prices online as well. Also you will need 1.5+ lbs per gal of lr (and/or base rock) if using for biological filtration.

I assume you're looking at an 80 gal high (48 7/8 x 14 x 30 ĺ) which could be a real pain to light if wanting corals down the road. (Due to the height) Also building your lr up could give you trouble in such a tall tank.

Personally I'd go with either a 75 gal (48 1/2 x 18 1/2 x 21 3/8 ), 90 gal (48 1/2 x 18 1/2 x 25 3/8 ), or 120 gal (48 1/2 x 24 1/4 x 25 Ĺ) tank which all are 48" long but deeper and not as tall.

Iíd also look for one that is "reef ready" (internal overflows) so you donít have to mess with a HOB overflow.

Also I'd look at building your own sump to save money.

Take your time and research every purchase and ask a TON of questions if you arenít sure
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Old 11-07-2006, 01:53 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input guys.

Quote:
That deal could be decent if it's a quality $250+ skimmer and PC or MH lighting. Without name brands it's hard to tell.
I'm going to try and find more info about the equipment, but I know that it woud be PC lighting. I think 96x4.

Quote:
I assume you're looking at an 80 gal high (48 7/8 x 14 x 30 ĺ) which could be a real pain to light
Actually the guy at the LFS mentioned this to me when picking the tank. I really liked this tall 110 gallon tank but he pointed out that it would be a pain to light and I would have to get MH's, and if I got those, I'd have to get a chiller because my apartment already gets a lot of sun and the water would probably heat up. Anyhow, I believe the 80 gallon I'm getting is 18" deep -- it really did not seem particularly high.


Quote:
As the others mentioned you can usually get a much better deal buying your skimmer/lighting and other equipment online.
The thing of it is, I'm not experienced enough yet to build my tank up alone. I can go to marinedepot and just start buying random pieces, but I even after a lot of research and browing around websites and reading forums, I would have trouble picking out the equipment. First and foremost, I can't find any websites that have particularly good deals. A lot of the prices I see are pretty on par with my local LFSs, which was sort of disconcerting.

I'd be open to any suggestions or recommendations for an online store or actually pieces of eqiupment. Like you guys mentioned, I'd pick up the aquarium, stand, sand and rock locally (apparantly he can get 100 lbs of Fiji and $2.99 a .lb), and I can get the skimmer, sump, pumps and various other pieces online (ebay?).

Quote:
Also you will need 1.5+ lbs per gal of lr (and/or base rock) if using for biological filtration.
You mention how I need need 1.5+ lbs per gallon if I'm using biological filtration. But doesn't the sump provide the biological filtration, or filtration in general? Or would using 120 lbs of lr mean that I wouldn't have to use a sump? Would using both hurt?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 11-07-2006, 02:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Would using both hurt?
I'd use both.

As a matter of fact, I use both (1 - 1.5 lbs of LR per gallon, and a sump/fuge with even more rock) and use my skimmer on an average of maybe 3-4 days a month. 'Trates at 0 - 5.0.
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Old 11-07-2006, 04:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyosafi
I believe the 80 gallon I'm getting is 18" deep -- it really did not seem particularly high.
Is it drilled? Can it be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hyosafi
A lot of the prices I see are pretty on par with my local LFSs, which was sort of disconcerting.
Thatís great and judging by the lr prices sounds like they arenít trying to gouge. Most of us experience prices 50%-100+% higher at our lfs which is why we usually end up buying most of our stuff online (except the heavy stuff)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hyosafi
You mention how I need need 1.5+ lbs per gallon if I'm using biological filtration. But doesn't the sump provide the biological filtration, or filtration in general? Or would using 120 lbs of lr mean that I wouldn't have to use a sump? Would using both hurt?
You could use 1.5+ lbs per gal of lr in conjunction with a quality skimmer by itself but as ray said I'd also use both.

The lr has tons of small holes and a huge surface area which cultivates bacteria needed to process the nitrogen cycle. You could use bio-balls/sponges in a sump to accomplish the same thing but they get dirty quickly and accumulate waste which drives your nitrate up if not cleaned frequently.

The advantage of having enough lr in the tank to handle all your biological filtration is that clean up crews (snails, hermits, shrimp, & sea stars) will keep waste to a bare minimum and is virtually self sustaining.

The reason you also want a sump is not for biological filtration. Sumps increase your overall water volume which helps keep your parameters in line. They are also the ideal place to keep your equipment (skimmer, heater, monitors ect..) so you don't have to keep them in the tank.
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Old 11-07-2006, 05:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Is it drilled? Can it be?
Are you asking in regards to the overlow box? All of the aquariums that this guy sells are made to order and apparantly they will drill the overflow hole wherever you want. I asked for mine in the rear center.

Quote:
Most of us experience prices 50%-100+% higher at our lfs
Yeah I don't think this guy is trying to screw me or anything. I've done a lot of window shopping and his prices seem on par if not a little better than other LFSs, also, like I said, I dont see any websites where'd I'd be saving a significant amount. Though, I'm sure if I knew where to look and what to look for, I could save a bit. SW Aquaria stuff must be more expensive in other parts of the country. Some of the prices people were throwing out there for what they pay for LR locally really surprised me. $10 a lb for LR seems like A LOT.


Quote:
The reason you also want a sump is not for biological filtration.
Okay I think I'm starting to understand this a bit. So the LR and the Protein Skimmer will do all the filtratoin for me, I can choose to toss some other filtration media into the sump, but thats not necessary. So basically I'd be using my sump for the reasons you mentioned. I think I read that I can also put some Live Rock in the sump for even more filtration instead of something like BioBalls. Is this accurate?

Thanks everyone!
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Old 11-08-2006, 08:35 AM   #9
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Rear of the tank drilled for overflow sounds great. If only going with one hole I'd make it 1.5" and if two then 1" You want at least 800 gph flowing and closer to 1200 gph would be ideal.

The lr houses the bacteria needed for bio-filtration. The job of the protein skimmer is to remove DOC before they can convert to no3 so your no3 stays at respectable levels.

Adding smaller lr pieces in the sump helps as well but if you have enough in the main it's not necessary. Keep in mind that lr in the sump doesn't have a clean up crew to minimize any waste (although some add to the sump as well).

Was the lfs providing a sump in that quote as well? Have you considered making your own? It's really not that hard considering your tanks size.
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Old 11-09-2006, 01:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Was the lfs providing a sump in that quote as well? Have you considered making your own? It's really not that hard considering your tanks size.
Yeah a sump is included in that quote. I'm going to look into the links on how to make your own but I think at this point in my Saltwater career, that might be a bit out of my league.

Also, I think I'm going to up the tank size to 100 gallons. I want to be able to keep a decent amount of fish in there and really dont want to regret my purchase. I hear the tendency is to immediately want a bigger tank once you get yours set up. lol.

Do you have any thoughts as to how accurate the tank size / fish inches calculators are? I'm wondering how many fish I will ultimately be able to accomodate.
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