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Old 06-17-2013, 07:54 PM   #1
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Newbie with lots of questions!!!

Hi! I just recently bought (2) 55 gal tanks and I want to start a couple reef tanks. I've been researching a lot and have decided to just do 1 at a time til I get the hang of it. My first question is can you run 2 tanks off of 1 filter tank? My second question is about lighting. iI've read that I need about 10k Kelvin and 7-8 watts per gallon lighting for hard coral and soft coral requires a more yellow light. Can I run a soft coral tank with the same lighting as the hard coral or will this hurt the soft? Thanks in advance for any help!
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:32 PM   #2
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Not sure what you mean by running two tanks off one filter tank? Do you mean sump? The watts per gallon rule is a bit out of date as LEDs are becoming more popular and obviously have much less wattage. If you have a mixed reef tank you would just need to consider the corals placement, higher up for SPS and positioned lower in the tank for lower light corals. There is a massive thread on here 'lighting your reef, best bang for your buck' good idea starting with the one tank - my first tank was a 55g too. Best advice I can give is go slowly and do plenty of research, it will save you money and heartache later on...
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:36 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Dan L View Post
Hi! I just recently bought (2) 55 gal tanks and I want to start a couple reef tanks. I've been researching a lot and have decided to just do 1 at a time til I get the hang of it. My first question is can you run 2 tanks off of 1 filter tank? My second question is about lighting. iI've read that I need about 10k Kelvin and 7-8 watts per gallon lighting for hard coral and soft coral requires a more yellow light. Can I run a soft coral tank with the same lighting as the hard coral or will this hurt the soft? Thanks in advance for any help!
By filter tank do you mean a sump / refugium? If so then yes, it can be done. It will just require some serious plumbing and water pumps to make it happen. You could go a few different directions here imho.

A mixed reef would work with both hard and soft corals together. It requires some creative placement but it can have very nice results. On the other 55g tank I would do a FOWLR tank to have some more variety in fish. This wold work nicely because you would save some money on lighting 2 different reef tanks.

A 55g Soft and a 55g stony coral tank would work well because you could have specialized setups that are geared towards the specific species. This would probably be an easier setup than the mixed reef because you wouldn't need to specialize placement for them.

55g mixed reef with a 55g sump. I like thi idea because it would give you super stable water parameters and lets you concentrate all your effort into one single reef tank. A 55g display refugium might be a good addition.

From my experience, my mushroom corals as well as my finger leather coral HATED a more yellow light. I had let my actinic blue and 10000k light go for too long without a replacent and wasn't getting the par levels I wanted so I switched them with a 6500k and a 10000k light. They were not happy at all with the change. My zoanthids didn't really care
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:10 PM   #4
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Thanks

Thanks for the help. Yes, I was talking about a refugium tank. (Still learning the terminology) I am really set on doing the seperate hard/soft coral tanks. My plan is to use the two tanks as the back drop to my future bar! Since it is possible to do 1 sump for both tanks I guess my next question would be should I try to start both tanks at the same time? Or...can I start one and then add the other in later. The latter seems like it could be trickier keeping levels in one while setting up the second.
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:48 PM   #5
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Great site for sump building Melevsreef. Com check it out.
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:53 PM   #6
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Thanks for the help. Yes, I was talking about a refugium tank. (Still learning the terminology) I am really set on doing the seperate hard/soft coral tanks. My plan is to use the two tanks as the back drop to my future bar! Since it is possible to do 1 sump for both tanks I guess my next question would be should I try to start both tanks at the same time? Or...can I start one and then add the other in later. The latter seems like it could be trickier keeping levels in one while setting up the second.
It depends on your money situation more than anything. If money isn't an issue I would set both of the tanks up now getting them both cycled with live rock. I would start doing soft corals first before anything and then when your tank becomes more established and the levels are more optimal I would start adding the stony corals to the second tank. This will give you time to learn about keeping corals and maintaining a salty tank without the huge expense of stony coral frags that might die because of a new tank and reef keeper.

That being said, If you are looking at something to impress customers I would invest in a 150g tank so you can house some larger fish such as tangs. A 55g doesn't have the footprint to have the most impressive looking fish imho.
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:45 PM   #7
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I probably should have clarified in my previous post that the tank will be a focal point in my personal bar in my finished basement. I am building a custom case in which the two tanks will sit side by side with a refugium tank below. Thanks everyone for their advice and input so far.
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:45 PM   #8
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Daniel Fishy...thanks for the link!
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