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Old 02-08-2013, 12:18 AM   #1
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Work tank....help!

Hey guys, my work is tossing around the idea of a display tank at work and they want some ideas and numbers....from me.

My experience with sw is limited to live wells and a pygmy seahorse tank.

They want a reef with corals but since I have no experience with that whatsoever I think it's probably best to start out FOWLR and go from there.

The spot Ive picked out would accommodate a 6ft tank 125 well.

My issues are sourcing the tank and potential stocking.

I'd be doing maintenance also, so equipment related to that is a factor as well. I have no clue what their budget is so I need to formulate a few different options for setups.
I Hate buying new tanks from lfs but is that the best route? I don't want to mess with used since this is for a business.
Anyone wanna go on this roller coaster with me?
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:08 AM   #2
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Hey guys, my work is tossing around the idea of a display tank at work and they want some ideas and numbers....from me.

My experience with sw is limited to live wells and a pygmy seahorse tank.

They want a reef with corals but since I have no experience with that whatsoever I think it's probably best to start out FOWLR and go from there.

The spot Ive picked out would accommodate a 6ft tank 125 well.

My issues are sourcing the tank and potential stocking.

I'd be doing maintenance also, so equipment related to that is a factor as well. I have no clue what their budget is so I need to formulate a few different options for setups.
I Hate buying new tanks from lfs but is that the best route? I don't want to mess with used since this is for a business.
Anyone wanna go on this roller coaster with me?
This is all a write off for the business so go with a LFS so you get a receipt for the tank/stand. You will have to call around to price that(probably around 1000). Make sure you get something pre-drilled.

Items you will need:

I'd look for a 55 gallon for a sump and make some glass baffles for it.

Your going to be in the $300-$400 range for a skimmer

For lighting I would look at 2 of the 32" reefbreeders LED fixtures. That would be $900 and will allow you to grow whatever coral they want as well as keep maintenance down.

For rock you can do dry but most business want it to look good now so may want to just go all live. You will need about 120 lbs of either dry is usually around $3 per lb live will be $6-7ish per lb.

Will be about $250 for return pumps and power heads.

Around $100 for sand.

Setup an ATO around $50

It wont be cheap I'd say around $3500 for everything. Remember to look for things to make maintenance easier for you LED, ATO, and may even look into a controller.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:27 AM   #3
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Awesome, thanks for the advice. Looks like a good ballpark figure for me to work with. I think they'll get sticker shock initially but I'm hoping to lay out a few options. I was thinking of listing the redsea max 250 as an allinone type option, and of course the cheaper fw planted or rift tank route.

I'll let you guys know what they settle on.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:30 AM   #4
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Awesome, thanks for the advice. I think they'll get sticker shock initially but I'm hoping to lay out a few options. I was thinking of listing the redsea max 250 as an allinone type option, and of course the cheaper fw planted or rift tank route.

I'll let you guys know what they settle on.
Not a bad idea you could also go smaller say a 75 Gallon would cut costs quite a bit. I would start by calling around to LFS and getting an idea on the tank price. Then go from there.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:38 AM   #5
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What size tank are we talking about? What is your budget? Are we stuck with a 125, or can we do a 180? A 180 has a much better footprint. You can also order a custom tank. It's not that much more expensive, depending on who you order from. I'm on my second tank from glass cages.com, and am quite pleased. People down them, but they are half price of the competition and the tanks are not bad.

I would light the tank with 3 dimmable straight blue/white LED units, like the ones on my tank. at about 150 a piece shipped x 3 = $450.00

I would measure the stand of the tank you end up with and choose the largest tank you can squeeze into it. a 55 gallon is barely 12" wide, and will limit your protein skimmer choices. Is this an in-wall or will it be on a stand with canopy?

I would use all dry rock and just sprinkle in some coralline algae if you so choose. No unwanted hitch hikers this way. No algae spores...

An inch or two of fine grain, aragonite based sand (dry, not bagged "live").
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:10 PM   #6
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mmkay so here's the update. They are wanting a 6ft tank, 180 preferable. They got an estimate from a local tank building company and they got quoted ~$10k. After doing some digging I found out that this company is charging a ridiculous amount of markup on the parts, 150-200% over retail. Their 180 + stand and canopy is around $3k while a LFS has a 125 with stand and canopy for $750, so I don't know if that extra 55 gallons justifies an extra $2250 honestly.

So at this point I'm not sure what they are going to do, I suggested that they find other companies and get some more estimates. I also suggested that we could source the parts ourselves and see if a company is willing to set it all up. I don't have the time or experience to do it myself so I think that getting it set up professionally is the best route.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:48 PM   #7
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mmkay so here's the update. They are wanting a 6ft tank, 180 preferable. They got an estimate from a local tank building company and they got quoted ~$10k. After doing some digging I found out that this company is charging a ridiculous amount of markup on the parts, 150-200% over retail. Their 180 + stand and canopy is around $3k while a LFS has a 125 with stand and canopy for $750, so I don't know if that extra 55 gallons justifies an extra $2250 honestly.

So at this point I'm not sure what they are going to do, I suggested that they find other companies and get some more estimates. I also suggested that we could source the parts ourselves and see if a company is willing to set it all up. I don't have the time or experience to do it myself so I think that getting it set up professionally is the best route.
This is just off the cuff so take it with a grain of salt. If the company wants a nice SW setup then let them pay a pro to set it up and maintain it. The extra money should be worth it to a commercial enterprise if for no other reason than to have someone to call to take care of problems. You aren't paying for the equipment, you are paying for a "guarantee" of sorts. It says "Pay me the bigger bucks and you don't have to deal with the issues."

Why is the company wanting you to do the work?
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Old 03-02-2013, 02:17 AM   #8
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Honestly jockey, short of offering advice on the subject and guidance with any fish issues, I wouldn't touch that situation. If you help in the build and setup, of something goes wrong, you will prob be the first one they point at. It seems a great opportunity but in the long run it's best to distance yourself properly
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:12 AM   #9
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Truthfully...they need to hire experieced folks to do this..which you admitted your not...not with that big a project anyway.... There are folks out there that do this type of thing for a living... May be able to supply materials for project but set up.... And maintence...no i wouldnt do it ...
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:15 AM   #10
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Okay. They asked me to do it because I have an aquarium related side business and have dozens of fish tanks. I've made it abundantly clear that I can do a killer planted tank but SW reef is out of my realm. I do understand how everything works in these systems but it's just not something I have any interest in personally so I've never invested in it apart from a small fowlr setup.

I know it's just a company write-off but I also try to save the company money when possible, a few bucks isn't a big deal, but a few thousand, I have to say something.

I gave them the breakdown on equipment costs and just suggested that they get more estimates from other companies just to compare pricing, and also ask if we can source the equipment ourselves and if they would still install and do maintenance on it.

After digging a little it looks like this is the only show in town, so that may explain why they aren't all that competitive price-wise.

I'll definitely keep my distance on this and if they wrangle me in at some point I'll do so carefully.
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