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Old 07-19-2008, 11:59 PM   #1
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New to the community

Just wanted to say hi.

I have been browsing around and these are fantastic forums, so i decided to make it my home.

My tank is only been up about 2.5 months total. I am new to the whole hobby and have done everything by self research. So let me introduce you to my tank and its occupants!

Its a fish only tank, I have been thinking of adding some cleanup crew critters to help my skimmers load. Maybe a lawnmower blenny as well.

Setup Details:
80 gallon RR acrylic aquarium
30 gallon sump
standpipe overflow
jackson marine skimmer
100 lbs crushed coral for the sandbed
0 lbs live rock, i'll be adding some to sump shortly.
Lighting are just 2 6500k NO's w/ a actinic bulb'

The lighting is where my focus is currently... i just finished the design phase of my lighting setup (i'm a computer geek so of course my lighting plans get visio'd first lol).. which will be a 400watt MH in the center w/ 2 actinic VHO's, and after reading the DIY led guide.. i think i have to add those to the mix.

My livestock are:
1 Blue Tang
1 Maroon/Yellow clown
1 yellow tang
1 domino damsel
1 yellow damsel
1 stripe damsel
2 macro algae plants in sump.. this was my addition to try to offset the brown algae that was taking over my tank.

Anyway.. we all love pictures so here are mine..





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Old 07-20-2008, 08:35 AM   #2
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hi. what are your plans with this tank? will you be keeping corals? if you intend to keep corals, you'll need somewhere to put them. what most people do is create a natural aquascape out of live rock and allow the corals to grow over the rock.

adding live rock after your system is stocked with fish, is not a good idea, unless you purchase the rock, then let it cure in a separate container with a heater and powerhead for a month or so. the newly purchased live rock will create a cycle, and the ammonia, and nitrite can kill the fish. hold off on the cleanup crew until you decide which way you are going with this.

also, i think i would go with two 250 watt halides rather than one 400 watter. i'd also choose T-5's over VHO's for actinic supplement. do a search for a retrofit kit with individual reflectors. hellolights has some cheap ones. champion lighting does as well.

i'm kinda new here myself, but......welcome!
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Old 07-20-2008, 10:26 AM   #3
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Welcome to AA!

You may want to change your focus from lighting to filtration. Since you have no live rock now, what is your filtration system?

Are you planning on keeping hard coral? As Mr X said, I would also not recommend using 1 400w MH. You tank is not that deep and you don't need the light penetration you get from a 400w bulb. You can easily get away with 2 175w bulbs. I use 3 175's on my 125. 2 250's would work fine too.

A clean up crew will not take any load off your protein skimmer. A skimmer removes dissolved organic compounds (DOC's), a clean up crew eats uneaten food and algae. I never heard of a Jackson skimmer so I don't know how efficient it is.

What are your water parameters? pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate. If you start doing hard coral, you will also need to test for calcium, alkalinity and magnesium.
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Old 07-20-2008, 12:27 PM   #4
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Same questions here. What is your filtration?
What are your water parameters (please post actual numbers)?
400W MH is overkill. Even with clams on the bottom 150W MH will do ( I have 3 on my 125), though 250w would be best if you intend a lot of sps coral. Also the T5's with individual parabolic reflectors are a better option than VHO.
If that is what you intend you may want to pull the cc and replace it with a sand bed, though the substrate does look close to sand in the pics you posted. Can you post a close up of your substrate.
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Old 07-20-2008, 01:46 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice on the lighting. I will look into 175w instead of the 400w.

For filtration i have the protein skimmer and macro algae in the sump.. i'm not 100% sure if that is what you would consider filtration. I had a hard time in that area becaues originally i was going to do a wet/dry with bioballs then i read how it can be a breeding ground and isnt recommended.

At this time I do not plan on doing corals. I do want a reef but will likely end up getting a bow front tank to do a reef in, or maybe a nano.

Another plan i had was to put about 20lbs of live rock in the sump, i will cure it and cycle it in another container and not my live tank.

I will post my numbers once i get a test kit. I have been using the cheap strips since i setup.. those read little to no nitrate, nitrite, anmonia. My ph is right around 8.5

Thanks for the welcome
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Old 07-20-2008, 02:57 PM   #6
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Do you have a hang on back (HOB) or cannister type filter (with or without a biowheel) for biological filtration.

The standard recomendation for a biological filter is 1Ĺ - 2 pounds of LR per gallon of tank capacity.

API test kits get good marks but I prefer Salifert. Seachem marine multi test kit also a good kit.
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Old 07-20-2008, 08:55 PM   #7
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No i dont have either of those

Just ordered a test kit
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Old 07-20-2008, 09:44 PM   #8
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Welcome aboard. Tank looks nice.
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Old 07-20-2008, 11:56 PM   #9
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So after reading everything here. I think i am going to go buy 100lbs of live rock and let it cycle in a diffrent container. During that time i will do the light upgrade.

I also read that crushed coral is not good and that is what my bed is. So i should likely pull that out and replace with sand before i place the live rock into the tank.

Thoughts?
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Old 07-21-2008, 08:27 AM   #10
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that's a pretty good direction to go.
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