My parents have bought for me a new fish tank as a graduation present. They're offering to pay for all the stuff I need to set it up, and I'm now trying to figure out exactly what all I want to put on the tank and how I want to do it. To complicate matters, I'm moving into a new apartment (downstairs, thankfully) at the end of June. So, I have to figure all this out and have the tank up and running by then so I can simply move my fish from one tank to the other in the move. Before I get started with the questions, here's a list of the stuff I have so far...
42 gallon hex tank with stand
2x55 watt PC
lights (1 full 10,000K, 1 full .03
1 ballast running both PC
1 hood for both PC
1 reflector for both PC
Sump for 75 gallon tank
sterilizer w/ Mini-Jet 404 pump
Protein skimmer for 75 gallon tank w/ Rio 600 pump
Mag 7 return pump
40lbs of live sand
45lbs of live rock
New tank (needs and already-haves)
92-gallon corner tank
Mag 12 return pump
2 x 270gph oscillating powerhead
Metal hallide lighting
Fans for lights
As far as the refugium goes, I plan on building that myself. I may post with questions later when I'm in the process, but that part I think I can handle. I guess I can start with the real questions now:
1. I'm thinking about using a single 250-watt 10,000K MH
on the tank. It has to be actually white, though. I've seen a lot of 10,000K's that are almost actinic-looking. What brand should I go with? Also, how can I be sure that the ballast will work with the bulb? I've heard rumors of a dimming ballast for MH
's, but I haven't seen any information on them in a while. Can anyone verify that they do exist?
2. I'm also thinking about what I should do for actinics. The tank is a sort of odd shape, so I'm thinking about getting a 1x96-watt ballast and putting that bulb towards the front of the tank where it is wider and then using one of my 55-watt bulbs in the back with the old ballast from the old tank. Then, if I can extend the wires far enough, I can run the other bulb down to the refugium to light it. Is it okay to have the fuge lit only 12 hours a day? It would only be lit as often as the actinics were on.
3. Since I'm going to have to buy more rock/sand and I'm likely going to order the rock, I am considering putting 40ish gallons of water in the tank with the two oscillating PHs and ordering some rock 2 weeks before moving. Then I can fill the tank with the new rock/sand and let it cycle down in our garage. Then I'll move the tank to the new apartment and commence with moving the contents of my old tank into the new tank. Is this a sound plan?
4. Now to consider switching tanks. When we do this (assuming I follow the procedure in question #3) the new tank will be at the new apartment, about half full, with some rock and sand. The old tank will be at the old apartment with all of my live stock, the 40ish gallons of water it holds, the old sand, and the old rock. I'll have one large Rubbermaid bin and an unlimited number of jugs for water. I think I'll unstack my rock, siphon out some water into the Rubbermaid bin, take the rock and put it into the bin, then bag the fish I can catch, and put the rest of the water into jugs. I'll take the tank (with a very small amount of water and the sand in it), the bin (with rock and water in it) and the jugs to the new apartment. Then, I'll put the sand from the old tank into the new tank. I'll take the bagged fish and put them in the bin with the water and rock. I'll put the water that was in the jugs into the new tank and start a drip acclimation on the bin (which will be holding all my livestock and my old rock at this point). After acclimating for a couple hours, I'll slowly move everything into the new tank.
5. I haven't yet decided on a protein skimmer. I've heard tons of good things about the Aqua-C Urchin Pro, but it's only rated for a 120-gallon tank, and I'm going to be using it on a 90-gallon. I prefer to keep my protein skimmers rated for much larger tanks. Should I go with this skimmer, or should I try for something a bit bigger?
Phew, this has taken forever to type and think about. I'll probably have a zillion questions by tomorrow that I'm forgetting about right now, but this is plenty for you guys to work with now.
92-gallon corner tank, 100lbs of LR
, 140lbs of sand, 250watt 10,000K MH
, 110watts of actinic PCs, Mag 7 return, custom refugium, AquaC EV180 w/ Mag 5
Female lyretail anthias, eyelash blenny, tomato clown, saddleback clown, firefish goby, 2 sand-sifting stars