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Old 09-08-2003, 11:02 PM   #1
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Replacing 9 yr old SW tank - need advice

Hi all, I stumbled on this board while searching for new tanks to replace my 9 yr old glass 38 gallon fish only tank.

We have been looking at a Seaclear System II acrylic tank to replace the glass one we have now. This acyrlic tank come with built in wet/dry filtration system.

Currently we have an undergravel filter which may not be working, a penquin filter w/ biowheel and a whisper filter. We have 2 fish... a large dog face puffer and a percula clown and 2 snails ... one big and one small. We have had the puffer for 6yrs old and the clown is about 4. We have had other fish over the years some lasting awhile, others not.

We would like to keep our current fish and expand a bit with a larger tank and convert it to a reef tank w/ fish. We would like some recomendations/opinions on the Seaclear tank set up and any tips/concerns you might have for setting up a reef/fish tank.

Also, how are puffer fish with reefs setups?

TIA
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Old 09-08-2003, 11:19 PM   #2
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I am a fan of acrylic. I have a 180 gal and a 75 gal currently hoping to expand some more in the near future.

Pros of acrylic: Weight is a lot lighter than acrylic. Keeps heat in the tank. Life time warranty against leaks.

Cons of acrylic: Cost more (Imo not a lot more). Scratches easier (but there is scratch removers).

Putting the Puffer in a reef (IMO) is a bad idea. They eat a wide range of invertabrets, and will eat corals. And puffers need room to move. However your percula would love a reef.

Hope this helps
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Old 09-08-2003, 11:42 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply!

I figured as much on the puffer but I love my puffers. I would like to get a porcupine puffer but I always heard that you should not mix them either. I had a porcupine puffer in college that had a wonderful personality. I could get him to spit water on people

Anyway, I guess my puffer will have to live in another tank. We have this 38 gallon that is getting old and I have a 29 gal and a 10 gal too. My wife is worried about the longevity of the 38 gal since it has a chip in the corner. We have moved a few times over the years.

Any thoughts on this tank?
http://www.petsmart.com/products/product_24385.shtml

I have heard that a wet/dry filter is better than the tank mounted filters like we have now. I am just unsure of how maintenance in on them. We used an undergravel filter but I have read that these are not really necessary. We have been out of it for awhile.

Any set up ideas using the tank in the link? What to put on the bottom? What to put in the tank? We want something somewhat cheap, easy on upkeep and appealing to the eye. We have 2 kids that like watching the fish. We have alot of green algae in the tank so it looks rough most of the time. Are water changes necessary with the wet/dry filter and the right tank life?

Sorry for all the questions.
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Old 09-09-2003, 12:10 AM   #4
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First of all I use wet/dry filtration on both of my tanks. I love them, they are great.IMO

As for that tank. I was actually looking at the exact same tank.
I am planning on making it a reef tank. The thing about that tank is it comes with a built in wet/dry. However with it being built in, it is harder to maintain and it tanks up more room than an acrylic with a built in overflow. It is a 50 gal but in all actuality it is really more like a 45 gal because of the built in filter.

I use crushed coral and aragonite substrate.

Do you mean fish to put in the tank? If so, I too have 2 kids and they also love watching the fish. I happen to love triggerfish. Since you have a puffer, the trigger would make a good tankmate for the puffer but not for the clown. I have kept 3 different puffers together and they did fine, so if you want a porcupine, I say get one, however, I would suggest a bigger tank. Some people will suggest a huge tank, but I will suggest a 75 gal for your puffer and a porcupine puffer.

Since you want something with easy maintenace, I would not go with the tank I mentioned above. I don't know how much acrylic tanks are in your area but a 75 gal with a built in overflow (not wet/dry) with blue backing runs about $315 and a decent wet/dry runs about $250 but you may beable to find a better price. You will probably be able to find a better deal on the internet, but the price I paid together is a little more than the tank you mentioned. So you will probably be able to get that around the price of that tank with the built in wet/dry.

By the way when you buy an acrylic tank with a built in overflow it comes with all the hook ups for the wet/dry filter. The wet/dry will go below your tank for easy access for maintance.

As for the algae on acrylic. My green algae comes off rather well. note: there is special pads you use on the acrylic to scrape off the algae without scratching the tank.

Yes water changes are thingsyou will have to due no matter what kind of filter you have.

Hope this didn't confuse you I kinda got on a rambling streak, but I hope this helps
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Old 09-09-2003, 12:14 AM   #5
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I forgot to mention the wet/dry I bought came with a built in protein skimmer so thats why it might seem high for being just a decent wet/dry. Wet/dry without protein skimmer you can get for around $150.

If you have anyother question feel free to ask, I will do the best I can to help.
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Old 09-09-2003, 09:50 AM   #6
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I will have to look into the tank with overflow idea. I had heard that the built in ones are a lot quieter but I have never heard one so it is hard to say. The tank link I posted from Petsmart listed the tank at $479 + shipping. We found a dealer on Ebay that offered on at $369+ shp. Seems like a killer deal now. I think we might just keep our current fish and add a few more. The reef set up might have to go in a different tank. I would hate to give up the trigger since we have had him for so loan.

It sounds like a 7g gal. might be a better choice though. We have not found any local places that sell acrylic in the Louisville, KY area. Still looking though.

Are there any good online vendors for tanks or filters? We have found most stuff on ebay. We have seen a wet/dry filter that uses a 10 gal. aquarium that looks decent.

Another question: Any suggestions on setting up the new tank? Can we use the crushed coral we have had in our current tank and re-use the water to keep the environment intact? Might be tough to start fresh.

Btw, I had a niger trigger back in college and we also has a huma huma that we mixed with other non-aggressive fish with decent results.
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Old 09-09-2003, 02:26 PM   #7
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if you want to make your new tank a reef tank, i wouldn't suggest getting any of the fish you are thinking about. they are not reef compatible. as far as the tank, most people will tell you that it isn't a good idea to use a wet/dry, especially with bio balls. the store excess nitrates wich are bad for corals and inverts. not saying that it cant be done, but will require more maintenance. looking into a tank with an overflow is a better idea because it gives you a lot more options, such as using a refugium, a sump with a protein skimmer, canister filters etc. while these may be louder due to water having to flow through the pipes down to the sump, it gives you more water volume, which means better water quality and less maintenance. its all preference though so you should always do what you think is better for you. as far as substrate, most will say to use a DSB in a reef and not crushed coral. you can use your water though to start the new cycle, which will happen when using LR. just make sure it is clean and a good quality. Well these are all things to think about. HTH
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Old 09-09-2003, 03:48 PM   #8
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I think at this point we are going to hold off on the reef setup. I guess right now we will focus on getting a new tank(which is a must) and getting some more fish. We have not thought too much about fish lately and are really just wanting to get back into the game so to speak. Would the DSB be the substrate of choice still?

Honestly, how do you clean with a sand bottom? Now, I take a big siphon tube and go over the bottom sucking up the nasty stuff when the water gets low. With the filters we have now, cleaning day is the day you get tired of hearing running water, unfortunately.

My wife might actually take the 29 gal tank and set up a reef. I think the fish would be easier to start off with. Really a nice tank and a good filtration system that is easy to take care of is the main priority. We would like to do both reef and fish but the fish I like are not reef compatible

Are these tanks with the overflow any better with the salt build up on the top of the tank? I always attributed that to the filters we have.

Thanks again.
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Old 09-09-2003, 10:24 PM   #9
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Acrylic Tanks

I hate to ask this here but a search did not yield much. Are there online dealers that sell acrylic tank that allow for an overflow? I have not found much and locally I have yet to find any acrylic tanks.

The 55 gal seaclear system II is looking to be the best option just due to price and availability. I have heard the advice of a separate overflow but I have not seen one for sale. We are definately just doing fish and such. No reef for this tank...

Can someone point me in the right direction?

Thanks
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Old 09-10-2003, 12:49 AM   #10
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First of all the statement that wet/dry filters are bad is definitely just an opinion. Wet/dry filters are one of the most popular filters in sw tanks.

As for a refugium, they work if you have the extra money to have one. IMO they are not worth the money.

as for the acrylic tank shopping try these

www.customaquatics.com
www.liveaquaria.com

My systems are very quiet and protein skimmers can go in your wet/dry sump.

You don't have to worry about salt creep because there is lids for your tank and overflow. (comes with the tank)

Your cleaning method is also my cleaning method.

Your 29 gal will make an excellent reef tank.

Use as much as you can from an already existing tank to start a new one this will help the cycling.

As for the DSB, its does help with the ph but to be honest Im more about space saving. I want my fish and corals to have space, so I don't use dsb. My tanks are just fine.

I use aragonite and crushed coral mixed for my substrate.

Most LFS will special order acrylic tanks from wholesalers. Thats how I got mine.
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