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Old 01-09-2011, 04:48 PM   #1
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reef aquarium advice please

hi everyone my first day on here today.
i'm looking for all the advice i can get on setting up a reef tank, i currently have
a trigon 350 corner setup as african cichlids for about 2 years which is great but the time has come to try marine.
the tank i have to setup the marine is 700 litre so can anyone give me a check list and to do list and any other things i need to know before i setup ?
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Old 01-09-2011, 04:57 PM   #2
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Start with this

Stock list and tips for maintaining your SW tank.

Also read our SW articles section. Great info there. Welcome aboard.
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Old 01-09-2011, 04:58 PM   #3
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thanks really cant wait so excited lol
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Old 01-09-2011, 05:02 PM   #4
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that's a long list.
you want a good quality protein skimmer, rated for 1.5-2x your water volume. coralvue's "reef octopus" line of skimmers is a good brand.
something like this would be my choice-
Reef Octopus Extreme Series XS-250 Protein Skimmer

you'll want to decide what kind of corals you intend to keep, and purchase lighting accordingly. i suggest getting the best lighting you can right now, because most people either do that, or buy twice.
you can go with metal halide, T5 HO, or LED. all of those three will allow you to keep whatever you want, providing the fixture you choose is of good quality and has quality bulbs in it.

is this tank "reef ready", or does it need to be drilled? i would want a decent sized sump and i would not want to have to rely on a HOB overflow box.
i would use a 40 breeder or a standard 55 as a sump, unless you have room for larger.
what are the dimensions of your tank? this will also influence the purchase of your lighting.

will you have substrate in the tank? a shallow sand bed? a deep sand bed? perhaps bare bottom?

you'll also need about 200 pounds of live rock or dry equivalent.

and then the usual, heaters, thermometers, refractometer, test kits, salt mix...etc.
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Old 01-09-2011, 05:47 PM   #5
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Oh and by the way.....Welcome to AA...
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Old 01-10-2011, 08:04 AM   #6
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hi

the tank is 6x2x2, was hoping to get away with just using an external filter instead of a sump, roughly a 1 inch live sand or crushed coral, not decided on which types of coral etc but would want lights strong enough for any like you said in most cases people end up buying the second lighting system.
as for the skimmer i thought about getting a octopus nwb - 200 needle wheel.
the power heads what output would you recommend and how many of ?
172 gallon 670 litre
the main fish i would really like to have is a lionfish
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:30 AM   #7
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just use dry aragonite based sand, not crushed coral. crushed coral requires too much maintenance.
the skimmer i posted is a beast. i've owned that exact model. both of the skimmers mentioned are in sump skimmers. you'll need a sump to use them.
if you want to get away without a sump, then something like this might be good for you-
Super Reef Octopus LX 2000S Hang-on-Back Protein Skimmer - AquaCave
but i still feel that it's under powered, especially if you are keeping predators. perhaps 2 HOb skimmers might be a good idea.
i would reconsider the sump.

powerheads for a 180....three 1200 gph power heads or maybe 2 larger ones. koralia, koralia evolution, coralvue high seas, seio prop pumps, tunze, or vortech will all do the job.

as for lighting, you will want 3 x 250 watt halides, a comparable t-5 fixture like something with at least 6 lamps per 3 feet (preferably 8), or a high quality LED fixture or pendants. be careful. there are many fixtures out there for sale that are about worthless. do your research!
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Old 01-10-2011, 01:12 PM   #8
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thanks a million, sure ill be in touch again about something else lol
very helpful much appreciated
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Old 01-10-2011, 02:03 PM   #9
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with that size tank you are best to consider an in sump system by all mean. sure its a little extra cost at the begining but you will save more in the long run. I would suggest vertex skimmers, i have been running both vertex and reef octopus but IMO best bang for your buck goes to vertex. anywho, you will need to rinse down the aqurium qith hot water and vinegar get it nice and clean and rinse it out again. then go buy yourself some sand
(not live sand) and have 1-2 inches of sand evenly spread around in your tank. Once you do that go get some RODI water, or a RODI system for your house. Put a large bowl in the aquarium and start mixing water and salt in a bucket. Poor the water in the bowl so it does not disturb the sand (dont have to wait days for the cloudiness to dissapear, trick i learned over time). Once you have your tank filled with salt water (when you buy sand,salt also buy a refractometer) test the water after about 12 hours. You want your salt level to be .0122-.0124. Once your salt levels are good go buy 100 lbs of liverock to start (make sure it is cured, save time and trouble). Once you have your live rock you will some power heads, you will need 3. one 1050 and two 1200's. get them all going and let your tank cycle for a week or so.

Before you do all this you need to get your tank drilled for your sump. one hole will do but two is preferable. You will need the protein skimmer and spare tank at least 40 gallon and a return pump (mag7 should do but could go up to a 9.5). The spare tank should be placed directly below the main tank. With some PVC run the hole in the main tank to teh sump, where your skimmer will be, not a bad idea to have 30lbs of live rock in the sump as well with some macro algae. Place the return pump on opposit side of skimmer with some more pvc going back up to the main tank so water gets pumped back into your tank. I have it set up with my skimmer and micro algae on the left, live rock in the middle and return on the right. You can add baffles to seperate but not required. Once you have water about 60% filled in the sump it is all ready to be turned on.

Start with your skimmer, then your return pump. Make sure your water level in the main tank is not high enough to start draining into your pump or you may have a nice flood if your return pump doesnt work for some reason.

once you see the pump is working fine, top up your main tank or add more water to you sump tank until the water is coming into your sump and back into your main tank at a constant level.

Once you tank has cycled for a week or so like this, then its time to add half your cleaner crew. I would start with 20 hermits and 20 various snails plus 3 mexican turbos... after a week or so like this, start buying test kits for nitrate nitite and ammonia. your ammonia and nitrite should be zero and nitrate will eventually be zero. If nitrates are very high do 20% water changes every day for about a week until they are under 5. If you are maintain good water levels start by adding a pair of clown fish and go from there.

Welcome to salt water.

You do not need any fancy lighting for quite some time until you decide you want to keep Corals. Fish and live rock need only the most basic of lighting

best of luck
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Old 01-10-2011, 02:22 PM   #10
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oh and almost forgot make sure oyu buy a heater and keep water temp at 80 F
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