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Old 09-25-2012, 10:10 PM   #1
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Thinking of changing to reef setup... Need advise!

I just picked up a 70 gallon truvu acrylic tank with canopy and was thinking of starting my 1st reef tank. I have been doing freshwater for a while and I LOVE to look at saltwater tanks, so figured I might try it. It has a top with 2 access holes. The canopy has a double reflector we up with a coralife ballast for 2 65 watt setup. Could I use that and just get bulbs? It came w/ a Rena xp3, could I use that? I am now sanding it and getting it looking good, so I was just wondering what my options were. I am hoping to use as much stuff as I already have As I know it will be expensive. Here are some pics. Any advise would be great. Thanks.

Lindsay

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Old 09-26-2012, 01:15 AM   #2
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Awesome and definitely build a reef tank! I think that's not enough light for corals and those aren't individual reflectors meaning not as much light bounces off of them as there would be with most other lights. For my 70 gallon tank I use a 60" Tek Sunlight Supply T5 HO 6 light fixture with 3 blue actinics, 2 50 white/50 blue I believe it's called and a purple light to make the coral color pop. My lfs has this exact light fixture on their frag tank and even sps are thriving!
T5 Tek Light Fixture - Bulk Reef Supply
However this new ecoxotic Panorama light looks great and $200+
Panorama Marine LED System
What fish/inverts/coral do you want (if you know)?
What supplies are you getting? You don't need a protein skimmer btw and that is less cost, but more water changes!
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Old 09-26-2012, 10:39 AM   #3
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I'm not really sure. I had originally planned on African cichlids since they are bright. I am kinda intimidated on a reef. But I know my daughter would kill me if I did a saltwater an didn't include nemo and dory, lol. But I would need to do some research. Any suggestions? Could I use the Rena filter. I always here about sumps with saltwater. Would the tank be ok with the top? Could i use the canopy?Thanks.

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Old 09-26-2012, 10:43 AM   #4
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Also my tank is a stretched octagon shape that is 4' x 16.5" x 20" high.
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Old 09-26-2012, 10:50 AM   #5
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I don't know if you would be able to keep a blue tang (dory) in a 90 gallon as they grow over a foot and usually need a 6' tank..everyone has their opinion on this matter. I was intimidated when I started first, but after researching for 1+ year before setting up, I saved headache, time, and money. Theres some really good articles on AA about beginning a tank and cycling it and such. A rena filter might work, although it could increase nitrates over time. Plus that means you wouldn't have a sump, or an in-sump protein skimmer. You don't necessarily need a skimmer, but it definitely helps to get out the organic waste, so if you don't get a HOB one or an in-sump one, then you should consider doing larger more frequent water changes. The tank is fine with the canopy.
For quick stats on fish/corals/inverts (and compatibility chart):
Aquarium Fish: Tropical Freshwater Fish and Saltwater Fish for Home Aquariums
Other store for ideas on fish
Buy Saltwater Fish & Coral - Marine Fish, Live Coral, Salt Water Aquarium Fish, and Tropical Fish from BlueZooAquatics
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Old 09-26-2012, 11:39 AM   #6
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Oh, I hadn't really started researching fish yet just the tank stuff. Maybe I could just find one similar. And maybe some that were in tank with nemo instead. It's her favorite movie so nemo would be her main concern. How much do sumps usually run. Could my husband make one, he is quite handy? Maybe I can sell some of the stuff that came with it to get some start up funds. The guy told me it used to be a freshwater, will that affect it? Thanks.

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Old 09-26-2012, 01:52 PM   #7
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I just started looking and I love the dwarf angels. I am starting to think to keep cost down I might need to start with a fowler and later add some coral. I love the coral but I am not sure I can afford setting that up now. It sucks bc my Lfs is having their annual sale oct 9th and all fish are 50% off but my tank won't have time to cycle. What kind of lights do I need for just some live rocks?
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:38 PM   #8
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You need an overflow (box or pvs pipe/can be homemade), some plumbing...and whatever size tank, like a 30 gallon tank ($30 for a 30 gallon visio glass tank). Then you buy pre-cut sheets of acrylic/polycarbonate (or you can cut them yourself) and just silicone them in however you want. A DIY sump <-- would cost about $50 for a 30 gallon, I'd say. $100 max for a larger size. However if you're ordering a pre-made sump they usually run about $250-500 depending. To me, that's outrageous! I have a 55 gallon tall sump b/c the dimensions of my tank are strange and I wanted a taller sump (usually sumps are only 17"-19" and I use an external pump. If you have an internal one, then account for that. Also, if you get a protein skimmer, make sure it will fit in the sump! Your husband could no doubt make one! You can watch youtube videos of how people did theirs, or look some designs online.

If it was used for FW make sure to clean it out really good. The waste will cause problems with the parameters. Dwarf angels are awesome, especially the flame ones! I wanted one, but they can nip at corals and are semi-aggressive and that wouldn't work since I have only peaceful fish and am going to get corals. They would be fine in a FOWLR, spark interest and vibrant colors! I know how it feels to have lfs sales all the time and I'm so tempted, but...must...have..self..CONTROL!! haha. You can use T8, T5, Power Compact, anything really works. As long as you see the fish you'll be good (this is for FOWLR) !

For a cheaper option you could buy some BRS pukani dry rock. It seems expensive, but because it is so porous you get lots of pieces for less money than you would with dense LR (that is soaked in water). Plus I personally love the appearance more than usual LR that is usually Fiji rock. I bought 100 lbs for my 70 gallon and had over a quarter left and got 12 one foot pieces, and 3 two foot pieces! Plus no pests! BRS Pukani Dry Aquarium Live Rock - Bulk Reef Supply Other good dry rock I heard was from MarcoRocks.

And btw you don't need really expensive lighting for simple corals like mushrooms and most soft corals. PC and T5s do okay or try check craigslist for a bargain!

And for your daughter, how convient!:
The Nemo Tank Guide - Aquarium Advice
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:53 PM   #9
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Also, would a 30 gallon sump be big enough for my 70 gallon?
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:26 AM   #10
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I just saw this on Craigslist for 85, it comes with sump and skimmer for $85 he says it works great and is only a few months old. I looked it up and it was over $200, do anyone know anything about them?

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