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Old 02-19-2004, 03:30 PM   #1
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Newbie -- Wants to dive right into Reef Tank

OK, from what I have read this isn't advised. I have a couple teenagers thought that are willing to learn w/me. We are willing to do our homework. We just ordered 4 books and are ready to start reading. I have what I believe to be a great spot for the tank. A low traffic area in the office of my house (2nd floor). We are looking to put a 100 gallon tank there (do I need to be concerned about the weight?) I want to do this right. Not saying money is no object, but I am to invest the money so this has more of a chance of working

After some preliminary reading here are some questions:

1) Tank size/brand. Any compelling reason not to go w/100 gallon? Also, what brand(s) should I be seeking?

2) Skimmer/Filter. Seeing as I want a reef tank. Can anyone recommend brands/sizes for 100 gallon tank?

3) Used equipment. Any reason I would shy away from this? Also, if anyone knows anyone that would have equipment that would be appropriate for this project, please forward my email address. I wouldn't mind buying out of state if the corresponding referals were around.

4) Sounds like the success rate on reef tanks is really low. Can a newbie make this work? Or am I wasting my time.

Any and all advise would be great ! Also, pinball is my main hobby, so I could return the favor w/some pinball advice

Thanks in advance for your help !

Ivoran
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Old 02-19-2004, 04:29 PM   #2
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We just ordered 4 books and are ready to start reading.
Which books?

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A low traffic area in the office of my house (2nd floor). We are looking to put a 100 gallon tank there (do I need to be concerned about the weight?)
How old is the home? Placed perpindicular to the struts and on a load bearing wall, it should be fine.

Quote:
1) Tank size/brand. Any compelling reason not to go w/100 gallon? Also, what brand(s) should I be seeking?
Nope, the biggest you can afford (long term, don't just think start up, there are maintenance costs) is the way to go.

I like AllGlassAquarium and Oceanic.

Quote:
2) Skimmer/Filter. Seeing as I want a reef tank. Can anyone recommend brands/sizes for 100 gallon tank?
No filter, a sump, maybe 55g or a 40g breeder tank with a refugium. Skimmer, I'd probably go with an ASM, EuroReef or an AquaC EV180.

Quote:
3) Used equipment. Any reason I would shy away from this?
If the products are in good shape, no there is no reason. There are a couple of things I wouldn't buy used, my main pump is one of them, I want the main pump to have a warranty and I'd probably buy it from the LFS so if it went south, I could return it quickly and not have to wait on mail order.

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4) Sounds like the success rate on reef tanks is really low. Can a newbie make this work? Or am I wasting my time.
IMO, if you do your research, like your doing now, and you have a support group, like these online forums...the succss rate is pretty high. If your a newbie, I think you should start with a reef, with our help we can get you off in the right direction without having to unlearn any bad habits.
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Old 02-19-2004, 04:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
We are willing to do our homework. We just ordered 4 books and are ready to start reading.
Thats great. Can you share what books. Just curious

Quote:
We are looking to put a 100 gallon tank there (do I need to be concerned about the weight?)
Can you describe the location of the office in relation to house. Do you know if there are any major suport beams under or near any of the walls? Do you know what way the floor joists run under the floor? Its best to put the tank as close to a load bering wall and also to place the tank so its weight is spread between as many joists as possible.

Quote:
1) Tank size/brand. Any compelling reason not to go w/100 gallon? Also, what brand(s) should I be seeking?
I always say go with the biggest tank you can easily afford. A 100gal tank sounds fine to me. Whats the dimentions of the tank or do you not have one selected yet? Oceanic is like the cream of the crop when it comes to glass tanks but there are many good acrylic makers of tanks if you want to go arcylic.

Quote:
2) Skimmer/Filter. Seeing as I want a reef tank. Can anyone recommend brands/sizes for 100 gallon tank?
100-125lbs of live rock and a 4" sand bed with a berlin style skimmer and a 20-30 gal sump is how I would go. No need for canister filters or hang on equipment.

Quote:
3) Used equipment. Any reason I would shy away from this?
Used tanks, stands, caonpies, etc is a great way to cut costs. Always ask to see the tank before commiting just to check out the level of wear and tear on the tank and that its not scratched up or really damaged.

Quote:
4) Sounds like the success rate on reef tanks is really low.
I dont think so. I think there are more people who want to get into it but end up not being willing to put the effort or time it takes. There is some daily and weekly tasks to keep up with as well as some continuing expenses like electricty and salt, etc that seem to catch alot of folks by suprise.
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Old 02-19-2004, 05:52 PM   #4
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just make sure that you do a lot of homework about every thing that you want to get and put in the tank. i made that mistake i put in cc and not sand. wish i would have gone with a dsb
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Old 02-20-2004, 01:17 PM   #5
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Here is the info you guys requested :)

Which books did I order?

Natural Reef Aquariums: Simplified Approaches to Creating Living Saltwater Microcosms

The Coral Reef Aquarium : An Owner's Guide to a Happy Healthy Fish

Saltwater Aquariums for Dummies

The Reef Aquarium: A Comprehensive Guide to the Identification and Care of...

How old is my home?

15 years old. Fish tank will be against wall.


=======================

Got this response on someone selling equipment

I have a 110g 48\"L X
19\"W X 30\"H with wood stand and wood light canopy.

What would be a fair price to offer for this?

He also mentioned that he had 6 50lbs bags of Southdown Sand

Again, fair price? Is this something I would want to use?


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Old 02-24-2004, 02:38 AM   #6
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As I know a bit about construction, there should be no problem at all with a tank this size. Imagine 5-6 men standing together for a picture, would you worry about them falling through? It's around the same weight as the tank your putting there. I don't think age of the house is really a factor either, some older houses are several times stronger than newer ones. Larger beams, more joists, less cost cutting, etc. Now double the size of your tank and you might wanna get someone qualified to see if your floor can support it (2000+ lbs). Have fun...
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Old 02-24-2004, 07:52 AM   #7
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If your house can handle teenagers it can handle a tank! Again a load bearing wall perpendicular to joist is the safe bed. I think everyone has the basics covered here. The only thing I would add, it to try and find a reef-ready or predrilled tank with overflows. This will save you from a future frustrations. I have a 72 Gallon with a 30 Gallon sump and 150+ of LR upstairs in a bonus room. It's even across a corner with no issues at all (knock on wood). If you are a DIYer I would try to find the tank and build the stand an canopy yourself. Also while there is absolutely nothing wrong with used equipment, just make sure you really like what you get. Don't settle for something you are leary about just because you got a deal. I feel about reefs the way I feel about air traffic; I am an idiot and if I can do it, anyone can do it. Good luck and happy reefing.

R-
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Old 02-24-2004, 11:21 AM   #8
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Just my 2 cents but.... I've been in this hobby for a little over 1 Year. If I were to start again I would have gotten a much larger tank than my currant 55 gl. The initial cost of the tank is a small percentage of the overall investment.

Also I sure wish I had a Reef Ready tank (built in overflow) Oceanic seem nice (I've seen them at the lfs) All Glass Aquariums are made in Franklin Wisconsin, not sure if they have a retail showroom. You could almost drive there in a days time.
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Old 02-24-2004, 07:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
) Tank size/brand. Any compelling reason not to go w/100 gallon? Also, what brand(s) should I be seeking?
I have an oceanic reef ready 105G tank its 48X26X18. almost too tall, but with a deep sand bed its easier to manage. It is however a really nice tank. The oceanic stand and canopy that go with it are great also. The tank you mentioned above that is 30" high, I would suggest caution as you will find it will require a good step ladder, very long rubber gloves, and a lot of patience to work with the bottom of the tank. As I said, mine is 26" high and its a chore to feed my bottom dwelling corals. Maybe thinkup some kind of mockup to experience it for yourself or something and you'll understand more what I mean.

Quote:
) Skimmer/Filter. Seeing as I want a reef tank. Can anyone recommend brands/sizes for 100 gallon tank?
AquaC EV-120 will suffice, works great on my setup however you could go the extra mile with the EV-180

Quote:
Used equipment. Any reason I would shy away from this?
Go for it, one mans junk... Just make sure you not buying equipment so old you can't get parts for it. Also make sure and give any used stuff a good once over to check for worn O-rings, chipped impellers, etc.

Quote:
4) Sounds like the success rate on reef tanks is really low. Can a newbie make this work? Or am I wasting my time.
I never had a saltwater tank in my life until just this last october. With AA's help and a few good books "Aquarium Corals" by Eric H. Borneman, "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" by Robert M. Fenner I have been very successful to this point with my first Reef aquarium which was about the size your looking to get into. Best of luck to you!
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