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Old 06-23-2015, 02:19 PM   #11
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Orange County
Posts: 341
Make your sump the as big as you can fit. If it's bigger than your display that's even better.

So time to do everything before water. GFCI Outlet. Weather cover. DJ Power Strip. Timers. Surge Protectors. Refractometer. Test kits for Nitrate, Ca/Mg,Kh (Red Sea), and maybe phosphate. I would recommend running at least two circulation pumps. Ideally one is on full time and the other is pulsing randomly. An affordable option would be two Jebaos. One of their pump modules has the ability to hook up battery back up. The benefit of battery back up is your tank gets filtered because of water continuing to move through live rock in the case of power outage. I would also recommend having a Backup-UPS to run everything through and keep the a circulation pump connected to the battery. Not the whole tank, just the smallest power draining pump haha.

I personally would get my coral food now... It also grows coralline purple algae that looks beautiful. I would recommend a 2-part buffer like B-Ionic or Seachem Fusion. The alkalinity should be considered the buffer for all sakes and purposes. I wouldn't have alk lower than 4 meq/l and I always do 5 meq/l KH at a min in every tank I run. Ca around 450-500 and Mg above or at 1400. For Magnesium I would recommend using powder, as any liquid would contain ammonia (except aquavitro ions).. Yes the 2-part will have small Mag but not enough to raise levels noticeably. It's just to maintain ionic balance. Good liquids are Seachem, Red Sea, Brightwells, and Sicce in that order IMO, IME. So like I mentioned, its better to establish the tank with coral parameters from the beginning as this will grow coralline and it won't be as much of a drain on the tank later on when you start dosing. Water changes as only method of supplying elements does not work.. Most people who attempted this ended up with a closet of dead unspoken corals and a dosing regimen

Consider setting up a reverse cycle refugium. This is a separate tank or section of your sump that will grow macro algae and provide save haven for pods that fuel the display as food for fish.

As well as a food source for display tank, it will also make efforts towards nutrient control and pH stability. With more room and more macros the more the refugium works for these 2. I only use Cheato, Calerpa, live rock and no sand. If I used sand it'd only be for mangroves and would be 6 inches deep.

Get the biggest protein skimmer you can fit.... If you can get two skimmers do it... You can run one wet and one dry..

auto top off is very nice. The Tunze are the best and only two to consider imo. (Skimming wet with ATO will require salt additions most likely)

Light is an important area. I could talk all about this one hahaha. What is your budget for light alone and what are your goals for corals? And this is a tank from the beginning with proper planning, so theres no reason what soever to stick with the easiest corals... Keep the tank clean from beginning and automate as much stuff as you can with back up redundancies.

Let me know if you have question, I may be able to be of help.

Reefer James is offline   Reply With Quote

5 gallon, 55 gallon, aquarium, gallon, star, start, starting

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