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Old 06-22-2008, 05:47 PM   #11
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I looked at that aquarium source place, very nice stuff but that $800 dollars is just for the tank, the cheapest stan to go with it is $1500 dollars!

I saw BRI, I will see if my local dealer can get a quote from them.
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Old 06-22-2008, 06:13 PM   #12
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Well, I found this, MyFishTank - Product List [ Stands > Bowed Front > LS Oak ], which is along the lines of what I am looking for.
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Old 06-23-2008, 07:41 PM   #13
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Alright guys,

I finally hit the last LFS in the area and I think I found a resorce that can help me out here. The place had a god stock of tanks/stad/supplies and a clear professional tank farm. While their stock had a little to be desired (especially in inverts), the livestock looked well taken care of and heathy.

Most of all, the staff there was friendly and helpful. When I informed the guy I talked to about who I was, what I was looking for and how much I wanted to spend he spent a good hour on looking though the internet with me and going through catalogues to find a solution to my stand problem above, and from there we went step by step through what I wanted for my tank and then through what he thought I needed. This is what he reccomended for me and the prices he quoted.

1) 65 Gal Predrilled Glass Tank - $236.86 - I had originally wanted acrylic because I don't like seams, but the LFS rep made a good arguement for glass. Basically he showed me his farm tanks (he used acrylic there only because of all the modifications to the tanks he made for the farm) and said they were prone to algae buildup (is this correct?). Then he showed me the scratches and scuffs created from a few years of cleaning that algae off. He did say, however, that glass filters out more of the light spectrum and thus might mute the colors of corals/fish (is this correct?).

2.) 36X18 Serenety Series Cabinet Stand - $239.75 - This met the decour needs of my living room, and also fit into the place I want it to go. I wanted something between 50 and 75 gals but I didn't want anything longer than 3", hense the deeper aquarium. I want the debth though, I have some ideas for rock formations that may need it.

3.) 36" Nova Extreme Pro 6x39W HO T5 Fixture (fixture includes 3x39w high output T5 10K lamps + 3x39W high output actinic lamps + reflectors + cooling fans and mounting docks) - $349.00 - [i]This is something I need the most help with, because though I have read a lot about lights I don't quite have my head around it yet. I want to be able to keep all ranges of coral, so I know I need the appopriate lighting, but this would be almost the most expensive thing in my tank! Is this going overboard?

4.) Ecosystem Pro Series Refugium 2410 (includes refugium 24"x10"x12", motorizes protien skimmer13W PC refium light, miracle mud (what is this?)) - $499 - Now I know from reading here that his is hotly debated in many circiles. My original intention for filtration was to use the LS and LR for biological, then use a canister and biowheel in tandem for mechanical/chemical and a little more biological as well as aeration. Now I know many here swear by the regugium, but at $499 that seems a bit much (I don't have the means to build one myself). Would my original idea for a filtration setup fit the bill or is paying for this a good idea. The LFS rep showed my the refugiums used in the store's show tanks (not the far ones, but full functioning reef tanks for display) with all the macro algea and whatnot but I am still balking at the price.

5.) Mag Drive 950GPH Submersible Pump - $130

6.) 250W VISA Therm Submersible Pump - $27.00

7.) Coralife Digital Thermometer - $9.00

8.) AGA Overflow Plumbing Kit - $50.05

9.) Live Sand Aragonite Sunstrate - $60.00

10.) Chemipure Activated Carbon Resin - $18.00 I meant to ask about this before I left but forgot, what is this for? As far as I tell this suggested setup has no chemical filter to use the carbon with.

11.) 65 Gal salt water from LFS - $97.50

12.) SeaTest Hydrometer - $9.59

13.) Laborett + Reef Test Kits - $60.00

14.) 2 Koralia circulation pumps model 3 - $80.00 - I can see the logic behind these as far as makeing a strong current for the corals, but I wonder if these are necessary because I haven't seen many here mention extra pumps in their reef tanks (or seen them in pics).

15.) Vinyl backround - $15.00

16.) Plumbing odds and ins - $8.00

17.) Canopy - $0.00 The LFS rep suggested no canopy for my tank, primarily because of the heat generated by the lamps. That makes sense, but I can always cut vents in the canopy for air flow. Most things I have read have stongly suggested a canopy, any thoughts?

Total = $1,888.75

A lot of damage, but hardly as much as it could be. I am currently doing online checks on all this equipment to see if I can get it cheeper, and if I opt out of the refugium or for cheaper lighting that will go down. What do you all think, I put myself at the mercy of your experiance!
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:24 PM   #14
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Check the prices at That Pet Place, Drs. Foster and Smith, Marine Depot, and Big Al's for better pricing on just about everything.

Get the tank and stand locally. Get almost everything else online. Pick up a RODI unt on eBay for $150 or less and make your own water. Get a bucket of salt mix (stating a brand preference can start a small war, but I use Coral Pro).

If you have LR, LS, a Protein Skimmer, and a sump you do not need a cannister filter. The protein skimmer is a must IMO. You can make a sump out of a plastic tub to hold the PS and heaters, etc. You can also put the macro in there. You can make a sump/fuge from a 20 gallon tank with just a few pieces of acryllic glued to the sides.

Aeration happens at the surface of the water. That's one of the reasons we use power heads in the tank. Aim them towards the surface to ripple the surface and break the surface tension. Not sure where you got the idea that we don't use them. Almost everyone has at least one if not 2-4 power heads in the tank.

That light will allow you have almost anything. Crocea clams may be out as may some higher light loving, bottom corals (plate). A deeper tank needs light that penetrates deeper. The 6 bulb Nova Pro is a good choice but in a deep tank 250w MH would be best. Don't sweat it though, that's a pretty good light system.

Skip the hydrometer and get a refractomer (about $35.00). Hydrometers are not consistent though they may be accurate at times. The SG is too important to turst to a $10 piece of plastic.
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Old 06-23-2008, 11:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Get the tank and stand locally. Get almost everything else online. Pick up a RODI unt on eBay for $150 or less and make your own water. Get a bucket of salt mix (stating a brand preference can start a small war, but I use Coral Pro).
Yeah, I had planned on making my own water, thats just what they guy put on the quote so I figured I would use it.

Quote:
If you have LR, LS, a Protein Skimmer, and a sump you do not need a cannister filter. The protein skimmer is a must IMO. You can make a sump out of a plastic tub to hold the PS and heaters, etc. You can also put the macro in there. You can make a sump/fuge from a 20 gallon tank with just a few pieces of acryllic glued to the sides.
Yeah, I thought I might be able to do that cheaper myself as it doesn't require modifying the aquarium as much as just routing water through pipe work. However, is it really necessary to have a sump AND a refugium?

Quote:
Aeration happens at the surface of the water. That's one of the reasons we use power heads in the tank. Aim them towards the surface to ripple the surface and break the surface tension. Not sure where you got the idea that we don't use them. Almost everyone has at least one if not 2-4 power heads in the tank.
I guess I just must have missed it. I am asuming my powerheads should be run through the trunk? Are they pushing water from the sump/refugium or just pushing water within the display tank?

Quote:
That light will allow you have almost anything. Crocea clams may be out as may some higher light loving, bottom corals (plate). A deeper tank needs light that penetrates deeper. The 6 bulb Nova Pro is a good choice but in a deep tank 250w MH would be best. Don't sweat it though, that's a pretty good light system.
Okay, so it sounds like this will give me enough breath of choice in livestock to be worth the price.

Quote:
Skip the hydrometer and get a refractomer (about $35.00). Hydrometers are not consistent though they may be accurate at times. The SG is too important to turst to a $10 piece of plastic.
Yeah, I actually just read an article that said just that.

Thanks for the advice!
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Old 06-24-2008, 12:28 AM   #16
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Sounds like your off to a good start.

Water flow is very important in a reef tank. I give give a few links if wanted. I didnt see any LR listed so i would do a 50\50 mix of base rock and LR.Saves money and limits unwanted hitch hikers.

You almost have the basics down but understanding there needs is much more helpfull. Also remember the monthly increase on your electric bill , could be 60 bucks or more.

Then trusting the LFS water source removes a big factor. With water many unwanted trace elements take time to appear after many water changes and then its harder to control. This hobby all about control and the more you have the better.

Also preplan all wanted stock from CUC to fish and coral for easier introduction and there needs. GL..

Amazon.com: The New Marine Aquarium: Step-By-Step Setup & Stocking Guide: Michael S. Paletta, Edward Kadunc, Scott W. Michael, John Goodman: Books

Common Saltwater Aquarium Mistakes 10 Most Common Saltwater Aquarium Mistakes

What is a Biological Filter? - About Guides to Saltwater Aquariums
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:38 AM   #17
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Agree with others with what they said.

One thing though... for a "package deal" from a LFS, that's a pretty nice one as far as the quality of the stuff they're quoting and the components. There's no obvious gouging going on... other than paying normal fish store prices. I mean... they're not trying to sell you stuff you don't need. (Well... maybe you don't need the chemipure and they quoted you a hydrometer instead of a refractometer, but those are small items.)

Agree that you'll find much better prices online, but it sure seems like you have a trustworthy fish store that's not just looking to sell you only big profit margin items, and stuff that they'll know you'll have to upgrade in 6 months. You might want to throw them a bone and buy some of that stuff from them, depending on what your budget is. I just hate to see someone spend all that time specifying a system for you and then not making any money for their effort. (This coming from someone that bought most of their hardware online! But I didn't shop it locally first though!)
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:17 AM   #18
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Well I am glad to hear I have some apparently trustworthy guys to work with. Don't get me wrong you guys are awesome, but it is always good to have a someone to have a face to face discussion with.

At the very least the tank and stand will go through them since there just isn't any local source, probably the lighting as well. They are also going to be getting my initial LR setup busisness because they had some very good looking pieces (LR wasn't in the quote).

I am pricing online now, and if I get any major deals I will get those components online.
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Old 06-24-2008, 03:29 PM   #19
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Alright, I did some pricing online and I can indeed get some components cheaper. That being said, as Kurt said it is obvious that the LFS wasn't gouging me and rather just charging a normal markup (which is totally cool, he isn't a volunteer!) and in a few cases slightly less.

The two big places I think I can save money on is the lights and the refugium.

1.) Lights. I found the exact same model for $284.70 at PetMountain.com - Online Pet Supply Store, Pet Supplies, Pet Accessories, so that is a savings of $65.00.

2.) The LFS actuall had the same price for the Ecosystem Pro Series 2410 as the ecosystem website itself (I assume that is where he will order it from). Now there is obviously something to be said for a seft contained all in one system since I am a newbie, but I can't help thinking I can do better myself. I priced out a good protein skimmer that you guys here seem to like, the Octopus NW-110 for 169.00. A similar sized (24"x10"x12") acrilic aquarium to the Ecosystem setup is just $60.00-$80.00. I figure I divide that into a sump (for the skimmer), a refugium, and a small return with buble trap with three pieces of acrylic. $60.00 for some miricle mud, $20.00-30.00 for a PC light and I should be set, right?

On an aside, I am a bit confused about the pump/sump setups, tell me if I have this right. The protien skimmer/sump gets fed via the gravity driven overflow from the tank. The refugium gets fed via an overflow from the sump? Now looking at the some diagrams it seems like this is not so much an overflow as simple a gap in the acrylic plate. I assume that the sump has a positive pressure and thus outward flow because of the pressure from the gravity overflow and keeps the macro algae and whatever else from entering the sump? From the refugium there is an overflow to a return chamber that again keeps the macro algea from getting to the display tank, and from the return chamer a submersible pump pushes the water back to the display tank? I assume the system stays balanced because everything the pump pushes to the tank should fall back down through the overflow, right?
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Old 06-24-2008, 04:36 PM   #20
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Glad to see you priced out the lights. That was an area I was going to mention that I was sure you could do much better on purchasing online. It initially seemed crazy to me to buy lights (thinking of major shipping damage!) online, but I couldn't believe how well packaged they were. (Check out hellolights.com if you haven't already.) And now, I even get my replacement bulbs via mail order.
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