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Old 04-28-2007, 04:52 PM   #1
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Newbie reef system

I'm looking at getting into a reef system and been reading "The New Marine Aquarium" book by Michael S. Paletta. Seems to give some pretty good info thus far.

I'm looking for some feed back as to what some of you out there have had success with when it comes to setting up a reef system.

1st of I'm looking at purchasing
either a 45g or 60g Odyssea tank system w/ stand, their nice lighting system. They have it as a kit at my local pet store so it would also have some of the basics, heater, canister filter w/ quick change, 1lb live sand per gal, hydrometeor, salt, etc.
I'd prob be looking at doing 1lb of LR per gal.

Now the other stuff.
Protein simmer. they odyssea tank has a nice full cover lid w/ a media filter in it. I would have to remove this if i wanted to use a protein simmer.
I really like the way this tank looks as it is.
Is a protein skimmer needed for a smaller tank system like this if Im using odyssea top media filter thingy < yea real technical there i know hehe.> and a canister filter?

Power heads... Im thinking of using 2 and periodically changing there locations as to reduce any dead spots that may form. ( would prob move them on water changes.)

So has anyone heard or using Odyssea tanks, lighting systems, have info < useful info that is =)>

I dont mind spending a little extra for what i need now vs having to go back and upgrade later.

other info is good to. equipment.. water.. cleaner crew, etc
Thanks a ton
Mike
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Old 04-28-2007, 06:33 PM   #2
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Hopefully some more experienced aquarists will jump in and give you some advice. The only system I have is a 20 gal with seahorses and soft corals.
Here's my advice:
Find out what you want to keep in your tank before you start buying equipment. If you plan on keeping corals, I say definately get a skimmer. Usually a skimmer and a good amount of LR (1-2 lbs per gal) will be sufficient filtration. From what I understand, canister and HOB filters only serve as nitrate factories in a SW system. Not only are they not needed, but they can be hazardous to the system.
Also, what you want to keep in the tank will determine what type of lighting you need to have. If you want to keep LPS or SPS corals, you will do best with some MH lights. If you only want some of the basic softies (mushrooms, zoas), then PC bulbs should be sufficient.
You are probably going to need more than 2 PHs in a system that size.
With SW set-ups, the compatibility factor is a lot more complicated than the basic aggressive or community options in FW.
I would check the databases and sites like Drs foster and smith to see what's out there and what peaks your interest. From there you can determine if the animals you like are going to be compatable with each other; and what type of system you can keep them in....i.e reef or FOWLR.
Hope that gives you a starting point.
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Old 04-29-2007, 12:48 AM   #3
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If you are going to do a reef, ie keep corals and not just fish, your going to need a skimmer. theyre kinda like the secret weapon that isnt secret anymore (that and live rock.) Im not familiar with Odyssea tank systems but if there is any way to set up a sump below, you could hide the skimmer down there and not mess up the look of the display area.
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Old 04-29-2007, 01:39 AM   #4
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Just a personal opinion, but I'd really really shy away from those "starter kit" packages at fish stores. Everytime I've looked at them, half the stuff in them you don't need, a quarter of the stuff in them if just plain junk, and the other quarter is severly overpriced.

What I'd recommend is doing a bunch of reasearch up front (which you're doing... great book in my opinion!) and figure out what equipment you want... not just what your store is trying to shove down your throat at a huge markup. While I don't have any first hand experience with the Odyssea brand, I'd do some serious internet searching on that brand, and the Jebo brand lights... which are one and the same. I don't think you'll like what you find as far as quality. They're cheap though.

If you're going for corals, you don't need MH (metal halide) for LPS (large polyp stonies), zoanthids, or leathers and mushrooms. A good PC light will give you more than enough light for a lot of interesting corals. And if you're going with corals, you are going to want a skimmer most likely.

Unless you're on a serious budget, I'd try not to be lured in by those "package" deals. While you'll probably spend more by buying things individually on your own, the quality will most likely be way better. Shoot... they usually don't even give you enough salt mix to fill your tank to start with!
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Old 04-29-2007, 06:23 PM   #5
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For a reef tank all you need is a good skimmer and LR. 1.5-2 lbs per gallon of LR. That is all I used for my 55 gallon reef tank for several yrs. Since I`ve gone to a 125 I`ve added a refugium. The canister is not needed.
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Old 05-01-2007, 06:31 PM   #6
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cool beans.. thanks for the feed back.
been doing some homework on Jebo / odyssea.
Not much ..scratch that.. NO info on their tanks what so ever. However the equipment seems to be mixed reviews. Its a you get what you pay for type thing. People were haveing issues w/ balists burning out and even starting on fire. As nice as their tanks look I think I would rather go with something a tad less sharp looking and more in the dependable area.

Finished the book so now its time to go out and start looking at all the goodies.
Not sure just how soon I'll be getting the goodies n setting things up but any additional feedback is welcomed.
thanks a ton
mike
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Old 05-04-2007, 11:20 AM   #7
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Couple more ?s

1st:
cycling.
If I set up a SW tank w/ all the LR and all the LS is a Cycling required or recomended?
I dont mind doing it, dont mind haveing to wait the 2 to 4 weeks give or take. Just curious is all.

2nd:
Water
From what I've read tap water probably isnt the best choice. Setting up a RO system seems a little extream considering im just getting into this and there is alot of waste.
So I've been tossing around the idea of useing Distilled water.
The LFS do offer RO water for 1.00 to 1.50 a gal and even offer pre mixed salt RO water for 1.50 to 2.00 per gal.
Im wondering what you guys / gals think on this subject.
Use Distilled water and add salt or go out and buy the RO water either premixed or not.
Benefits, disadvantages, costs, etc.

Thanks
Michael
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Old 05-04-2007, 01:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madhatter208
If I set up a SW tank w/ all the LR and all the LS is a Cycling required or recomended?
Definitely. Here is an easy and great way to do the Fishless Cycle .
It can take up to 6-8 weeks.
RO won't remove everything, RO/DI is the best way to go. I bought this unit:
http://cgi.ebay.com/New-6-stage-100-...QQcmdZViewItem
Personally, I think it will save you a lot of money in the long run to get the RO/DI and pre-mix your water for at least 24 hours. Not to mention having to lug water back from your LFS. Also, if you have an emergency and your LFS is not open, you will have problems.
I'll give you an example.
I had a cat chew through one of my filter's hose and lost about 25 gallons of SW on my floor. I always keep a 32G bucket of PWC on hand. By the time I got home, my LFS was closed and I would have had to wait until the next day...Just one of my recent experiences.....
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Old 05-04-2007, 01:50 PM   #9
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Dont you get ALOT of wasted water makeing RO water? .. something like it takeing 4 gals of water to make 1 gal of RO water?

tap water = no good that i get
RO water = Best , that i also understand

Whats the difference between RO water, DI water and Distilled water?? That im a bit confused by.
Most LGS sell Distilled water, some even have RO water so trying to fig out what realy is cheaper. Running to the Store n grabing gals apon gals of Distilled or RO water or getting a RO system and haveing lots < as i understand it > wasted water

Fishless cycle I have read and thats what lead me to asking the question. Fig it was easy and cheap if not free < how much can 1 or 2 shrimp cost hehe>. Just wasnt sure if it was Needed or if it was more of a Recommended thing.
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Old 05-04-2007, 01:55 PM   #10
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You can always go FO tank but you`ll need some good mechanical filtration like a canister or filter for your tank. Most canisters and filters have biological components and you`ll need to do some cycling also. As far as the second question as Scott said RO/DI is the best. I always bought RO/DI water for my water changes from the LFS but I always used distilled water for top offs. I did this for 7 yrs till I finally got my own RO/DI unit. I wish I had done it earlier.
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