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Old 08-01-2007, 10:53 PM   #1
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180 Redo, looking for input

First off I would like to say hi to everybody and thank all of the great users for all of there input. I have been browsing these forums for months and think that this information priceless to our hobby. So thanks!

Now to my questions. I have been considering redoing my system for quite some time now and have finally gotten to the point where I am ready to do it. I am going to be redoing practically every aspect of my tank and am looking for as much information/input as possible on ways to improve what I already have, or what new equipment I should get. My tank is currently a FOWLR but I am interested in doing reef (mainly softies, easy to keep corals, and clams) and will plan my new setup accordingly.

My current setup is as follows...

Tank: 180 gallon Acrylic, not reef ready

Stand: 36" tall, built it myself but am going to be building a new one

Filtration: 250lbs Fiji and Tonga Branch rock, 320 lbs sand, 35 gal sump, 20 gal refugium with dsb, 20lbs live rock rubble and macro. 36 watt UV Sterilizer. Coralife Super Skimmer 220.

Circulation: 2- 1200gph return pumps, 2- hydor powerheads 950gph, 1- 850gph pump flows through UV then to refugium. Auto top off system.

Lighting- Display- 2@ 250watt Metal Halide (20,000K bulb temperature) Refugium- 1@ 110watt power compact (10,000K bulb temperature)

Current Water Parameters
Ammonia- 0
Nitrite- 0
Nitrate- undetectable
Phosphate- undetectable
pH- 8.3
Temp- 77

Future Plans
I want to build a new stand, I am getting a 135 to use as a new sump/refugium. I want to drill my tank for over flows, and am considering installing a close loop system. Upgrade lighting to T5.

If you guys have any questions about my setup or any suggestions please ask. Thank you.
Anthony
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Old 08-02-2007, 01:38 AM   #2
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Anthony, I am not a salt-water hobbyist yet, but that is gonna be some system! Whatever you do, I can't imagine it looking bad with the starting point and plan you have... I am looking forward to seeing pics. I love big tanks like this. Good luck!
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Old 08-03-2007, 01:50 AM   #3
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Sicklid, thanks for those kind words. I will definitely be putting up more pictures soon to show everybody my progress.

I am starting to look into new lighting systems, and I have some concerns. I want enough light to be able to do clams, so probably metal halides to vho t5. All of the 72" metal halide fixtures that I can find have a light in the middle. With my acrylic tank I am worried that such intense light over the acrylic top could warp the acrylic and drastically increase heat. I was wondering is two 400 watt MH pendant would provide enough light? How much actinic would be needed?

As for progress, I set up my new Quarantine tank today ( 55 gal). I also plumbed a water line to the garage for my new RODI unit.
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Old 08-03-2007, 12:23 PM   #4
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AG, how thick is the acrylic top? Is it just the center brace you are worried about? I wonder if you could make some sort of heat shield from some material like they use for catching welding slag or a ceramic tape they put on a motorcycle exhaust. It's very thin, and blocks out heat up to some very high temps... But if you go for the pendent lights then it wont matter.
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Old 08-11-2007, 02:25 PM   #5
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Since you have such a large tank I would suggest using a large reflector for each bulb that will help get the light spread over the tank better. As for the actinic lighting you could easily go with 2 6' uri bulbs. But you will need a hood of some sort to cover all the lighting.

Did you have plans to have a canopy or were you giong to leave the top open?
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Old 08-18-2007, 01:02 PM   #6
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Sorry for the delay work has been crazy lately, but anyways things have calmed down now and this project is really ready to get going.

I have set up my 55 gal quarantine already, so if anyone gets sick due to the stress of getting moved around I will be ready.

I have started building a new stand that will house my larger sump/refugium. It will be a standard 90gal tank and I will add the baffles myself. I am planning on half of it being a sump and half of it being a refugium.

I don't have plans to make a canopy, personally I don't like the way that they look so changing the reflectors would be impossible, even though that probably would be the best thing to do. I will try out the light fixture that I have now and if it isn't putting out enough light I can upgrade to a better one.

I plan on ordering some new heaters, a dual stage temperature controller, and kent phos ban reactor and using it as a fluidized bed filter.

I also want to drill the tank so I no longer have to rely on an external overflow box. my plan is to drill four holes at the top of the back pane of acrylic. I was thinking that 2 1/2 holes drilled in the center would be fine for the return lines. I don't know how big to make the other holes for the overflow. I have two return pumps that are each pushing about 1200gph. I read somewhere that 2 1.5 inch holes would be able to handle that but those calculations were based on holes under pressure and these will not be. Does any one know what size would work? And will noise be an issue? If it will be I have heard of installing sandpipes but are still not quite sure how to get to them to work in this setup. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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