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Old 09-11-2007, 12:16 AM   #1
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New setup: 95 g wave reef tank

Alright, this is going to be my first SW setup. I have just ordered All-glass 95g wave tank with overflow (AG megaflow). it will come with the stand, glass lid and overflow piping. Thats about it.

I have done lots of reading on the subject and plenty of research. Hence, here's my shopping list so far:

00. RO/DI: 5-6 stage 100GPD RO/DI Water filter
01. Lighting: 48'' SunPod 2x150W 14,000K unit with 9 lunar lights
02. Sump: ProClear Aquatics Premier 200 Wet Dry Filter without Prefilter
03. Return Pipe: Mag 9.5 950GPH
04. Skimmer: AquaC EV-120 in-sump
05. Power Heads: Not yet sure. Perhaps 2 heads @ 175gph each. (brand?)
06. Heater: 300W submersible in-sump (brand?)
07. Salt: Instant Ocean
08. SW test kit: pH, nitrite, nitrate, ammonia
09. Refractometer
10. Thermometer
11. any extra plumbing
12. Sand: Argonite either from LFS or HomeDepot
13. LR: 60lb of cured Fiji, 60lb of cured Tonga branch. 100% online order.
14. Cycle: 4 Jumbo shrimp from LGS

Can you see any discrepancy in this list?
Any and all comments and suggestions are appreciated.
I am somewhat concerned about getting 100% of my LR online. Should I get some LR from LFS? they sell cured Fiji for $5/lb.

Also, I am still in doubt what sump to get... ProClear or EcoSystem? Should I even consider one with a built-in skimmer? all-in-one looks like a good deal money wise... but I dont want to regret my purchase later.

I will start posting DSLR pics as soon as equipment starts coming in...

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Old 09-11-2007, 09:52 AM   #2
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Some do fine with mail order rock, but I'd prefer to see most of mine that'll provide the major foundation for my aquascape. Never did mail order, so maybe I'm not the one to listen to anyway. Your list looks good. You've been doing some good homework I see.

On the skimmer - if you can stay with the Aqua C, you'll love it. I've got the 180 EV on my 155g. You getting the pump for the skimmer too? I also like the John Guest speed fitting just in case I ever want to hook up a calc reator. Not going with a UV, huh? Lot's of folks don't it seems, but I have on in-line which I run for a couple of weeks at a time if I add new fish (after QT, of course).

Speaking of which, got plans for a QT tank setup? It may save you money and headaches in the long run. I recommend'm highly!

Also, look at dry, base rock. Great for aquascaping, and on the pocket, and it will become live in no time when mixed with the live stuff. Add it before cycling. Also, if you're putting a substantial amount of uncure LR in there, you may be able to cycle with just that anyway (w/out shrimp). You'll only need 2 decent sized shrimp IMO if you did cycle that way.

Also, realize that ( I believe) your tank is kinda tall. That lighting you're ordering isn't gonna support a wide variety of coral. Placement of coral (in higher areas) may be the key to success there. Of course, more lighting will evap more and make you top off more frequently, so think about room/plans for FW reservoir setups. I happend to have enuf room under my cabinet for a 37g FW tank and pump with sensors to do that for me.

Otherwise, welcome to AA and we're anxious to see your progress and help you. I like what I'm hearing so far. Just kinda up in the air about your lighting - if you really like reef.

Good luck!

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Old 09-11-2007, 11:53 AM   #3
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New setup: 95 g wave reef tank


Ray gave some pretty good advice. I'll add my ideas.
00. I have this RO/DI unit
01. Lighting will depend on if/what types of corals you want to keep.
02. Sump, not sure about...
04. Aqua C Remoras are a good popular brand. I don't use a skimmer.
05. Phs... I really like the Hydors they have a great cone shaped flow and I have seen snails crawl accross them and not get damaged. I also like SEIOs they have a great flow that can be adjusted to disperse over a nice range. You can also look at Maxi-Jets , these will give you a strong "jet stream" flow. There are other brands out there, but these are the ones I have experience with. Tunze is also a costly but great brand.
06. Heaters - Personally, I like the Finnex 300w DIGITAL Titanium Heater w/controller , I have two in my 125. I lost a lot of water in my 55, exposing the heaters (100W ones, I think) to the air for a few hours and they both still work great.
07. This will probably be debated a bit. I started with IO and changed up to Reef Crystals. I had problems with cyano, when I used IO. There are plenty of folks that use it, I think some of it depends on your water...but who knows.
08. I use the Saltwater Master Liquid Test Kit . It's a good price and easy to read results (except for the pH). Seachem makes great test kits as well.
09. I like this Refractometer .
12. I bought 270Lbs of Aragamax Sand from the drs site (linked, like the rest of the other items) and shipping was $15.99. If you check HD, bring some vinegar with you to test the sand. If it is silica based, it won't foam/fizzle. Aragonite sand is ideal for your sand sifting critters.
13. Like Austinsdad said, you can save money if you mix base rock with either cured or uncured rock. I bought 150Lbs of base from marcorocks.com and am very happy with how porous they are.
14. I would stick with 3 jumbo shrimp (you want to shoot for 1 jumbo per 30 gallons).
Props on doing the humane Fishless cycle.

I also wanted to add, thatpetplace.com, in Lancaster, PA price matches.
You may also want to go Here to join the Pitt regional forums.
Age is relative, you are only as old as you act....of course, this works in reverse....

Questions loved, heeded advice greatly appreciated!

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Old 09-11-2007, 01:02 PM   #4
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Your equipment list looks pretty good. I might even suggest just 2 shrimp as even though your LR says cured you will experience some die off through shipping. This will supply some of your ammonia source.
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Old 09-11-2007, 01:34 PM   #5
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Thanks for some great and detailed inputs! I knew that I was going to miss some points...

OK, first things first. I will write a more detailed response later from home...

00. roka64, this is the exact same RO/DI unit I was going to get on ebay
01. austinsdad, you have an excellent point, my tank height is 25'' and I completely disregarded the depth issue. I just went ahead and used the http://members.dslextreme.com/users/...umens_sqin.xls, posted here earlier. It returned 4.25 T12 equivalent index... is it too low? should I go with 250w bulbs? or may be a completely different system such as Coralife? I do realize that light intensity requirement depends on the lifestock... which I did not think much about just yet. But what I do know is that I dont want to come by my LFS when the tank is all set for lifestock and realize that I cant handle 80% of lifestock/corals available there...
04. oops, did not realize that the skimmer does not include pump, thought the return pump would be sufficient... what capacity the skimmer pump should be for my skimmer model?

I will reply to the rest of your comments later tonight.
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Old 09-11-2007, 02:15 PM   #6
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Hi Pittsburgh and welcome!

Do you plan to attend the MACNA conference at the Expo Mart this weekend?


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Old 09-11-2007, 02:32 PM   #7
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Likely a Mag 5 or 7. Check the skimmer specs. It'll tell you what's recommended.

I'm not a T-5 person, so I can't help you much with that. Of course, once you go metaal Halide, other issues come into play. Water temp. Evaporation.

See if this helps...


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Old 09-11-2007, 08:15 PM   #8
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Not sure how that index thingy works. I was surprised you say it came up with 4.25 wpg. As little as I know, I just did 2x150+300, and 300/95+ 3.1 or so. Then, thought about the depth and thought you'd get less than that nearer the bottom of the tank.

So, what did I miss? I'm sure there's something in that formula thingy.....
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Old 09-11-2007, 09:29 PM   #9
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Alright, lets move on.

Austinsdad: the skimmer specs say Mag-5 for the pump, so be it. Now, I was going to get Mag-9.5 for my return pump, is the return pump and skimmer pump same thing? do I need two pumps? if its the same thing, does it make sence to go with a more powerful pump than the one recommended? Do I have any control over pump throughput on Mag's?
UV... I thought about it in the same context as you did, UV+QT tank. I figured that if I build a QT tank, I would have UV unit in it... Although, I wasnt going to build a QT just yet. Same for FW tank. One step at a time. What kind of pump and sensors are you talking about? Can you post a link to info/examples?

roka64: Great advice on PHs, and everything else for that matter. I really like what I read about Tunze PHs... their basic units such as 6060 provide 3 times the flow of other lower cost brands. I am definately getting at least one Tunze 6060...
I may need two heaters as well, its just that if I go with HQI Lighting, I will probably end up getting a chiller instead
Hmm... I should check out that Aragamax sand, btw how much sand would I need to cover about 1'' of the 95g tank? the tank is tall, so the area is about 48''x22''? 270lbs sounds like alot, how big is your tank? 125g?
Now, here is something I do not quite get about curing LR. I was under the impression that I can not get the base rock to cure just by using raw shrimp. I thought I should have at least 20% of cured LR to get the base rock going. Are you saying that even 100% base rock will get cured over time with the shrimp only cycle? It will probably take about 2 months, which is not a problem, but I just wanted to be clear on this.

melosu58: Thanks. You are right...two shrimp would probably suffice if I will be getting 100% of cured rock online.

An t-iasg: I've seen the ad. It's abit late for pre registration, I wish I knew about the event sooner. I may still consider stopping by on one of the weekend days just for the day events if time permits... Its good to meet you. I should pay a visit to our regional forum as roka64 suggested.

Now back to my pain of the day, lighting. Forget about MH/CF/etc for now. Any general suggestions regarding a 95g 24'' deep reefer? As I have already mentioned, I would like to be able to grow corals with average and above average light requirements. Not just mashrooms. I was going to go with MH lights because of high density (14000k), moonlights and power savings. Or so I've read. Any reason I should reconsider my choise? How much evaporation should I expect with 300 and 500w MH per day? how much is it different from CF lights of similar wattage? I am also surprised to get 4.25 using this formula, but didnt know better... I should consider 2x250w MH unit and a chiller... or may be there is a CF unit of similar capacity?
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Old 09-11-2007, 10:39 PM   #10
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Just chiming in to say way to think things through! Looks like you've got a great equipment list. (I'm jealous!)

I'm a big fan of two smaller heaters versus one big one. The thinking is that if you have one and it sticks on, you're going to have problems quicker than if you had two smaller ones and one stuck on. I've personally had this happen (even with the "never-failing" VisiTherms!) and was able to realize what was happening before things got out of hand. The flip side of that argument is that you can never get two heater to "agree" with each other. Personally, I haven't had a problem with this. It takes a few days of tweaking, but you eventually get it there.

Also... regarding your live rock... I think the idea of using 20% "cured" live rock is so that you'll get a source of coralline algae and some "hitchikers". Using 100% base rock will not get you those things. With regard to the cycle and the beneficial bacteria that you're building up during your cycle, 100% base rock is just fine. You don't need "cured" live rock to give you those bacteria. Given even sterile rock and water, an ammonia source, and 4-8 weeks, you'll develop a good population of bacteria.

I'd hold off on the chiller until you're sure you'll need it. A little clip-on fan blowing across the sump and tank will take an amazing amount of heat away from your tank. Really, it will!

Welcome aboard!

PS - Regarding live rock purchases online, I got all my live rock from PremiumAquatics.com and couldn't be happier. None of my LFS had decent looking rock at a reasonable price. I called Premium Aquatics and talked to the nice folks there. I described what I had in mind for aquascaping and they described to me what they had in their tank that they thought would look good. I got it delivered via Southwest Airlines (luckily, I'm pretty darn close to an airport!) and it worked perfectly. If I was buying rock online, this is the only way I'd do it - versus getting a "mystery" box of unknown sizes. Then again, if I had a LFS with Fiji at $5/lb and it looked decent, I would've bought it local!

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