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Old 02-09-2004, 05:21 PM   #1
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Looking for advice - Building a 55 gallon Reef with fish

Hi,

Well I'm researching a lot lately with the intention of building a 55 gallon SaltWater Reef aquarium with corals, live rock, live sand and fish.

Here is what I am thinking of buying to start the unit, but PLEASE give me your opinion:

- 55 gallon tank with stand and and cover (not sure what brand yet)
- Marineland Emperor 400 Power Filter with Bio Wheel 400GPH
- Penguin Power Head 1140 - 300GPH
- Digital thermometer
- Protein Skimmer (not sure which one yet)??
- Thermostat heater

Now, is anything missing or not needed? Any recommendations? Nothing is bought, and I'm open to suggestions from you guys and gals!

Thanks
Eric
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Old 02-09-2004, 05:38 PM   #2
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Quote:
- 55 gallon tank with stand and and cover (not sure what brand yet)
Get a drilled (reef ready) tank for easy addition of a sump to place equipment in.

Quote:
- Marineland Emperor 400 Power Filter with Bio Wheel 400GPH
Not necessary, if you already have it, remove the biowheels and use it for water movement and occasional use of carbon.

Quote:
- Penguin Power Head 1140 - 300GPH
I would use MaxiJet 1200s, probably 4 of them, or make a closed loop for water motion.

Quote:
- Digital thermometer
These are cool

Quote:
- Protein Skimmer (not sure which one yet)??
I'd go with an Aqua-C Urchin Pro, in the sump or the Aqua-c EV 180, alternately I might use an appropriately sized EuroReef skimmer.

Quote:
- Thermostat heater
I'd go with a WON ProHeat titanium heater, excellent heaters and are unbreakable. You want to get 3-5 watts per gallon on your tank, depending on your climate, I like to get two heaters of slightly smaller wattage rather than 1 large heater, that way, if it sticks on it can't boil the tank and if one sticks off, the other one can keep the tank reasonably warm.
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Old 02-09-2004, 05:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Marineland Emperor 400 Power Filter with Bio Wheel 400GPH
Imo get LR and LS and forget this purchase

Quote:
- Penguin Power Head 1140 - 300GPH
I agree Maxi Jet 1200s are a bit nicer and quiter..
Quote:
- Digital thermometer
Yes Very Cool
Quote:
Protein Skimmer (not sure which one yet)??

I'd go with an Aqua-C Urchin Pro, in the sump or the Aqua-c EV 180, alternately I might use an appropriately sized EuroReef skimmer.
I run the EV180 on my tank and all I can say is WOW..
Quote:
- Thermostat heater



I'd go with a WON ProHeat titanium heater, excellent heaters and are unbreakable. You want to get 3-5 watts per gallon on your tank, depending on your climate, I like to get two heaters of slightly smaller wattage rather than 1 large heater, that way, if it sticks on it can't boil the tank and if one sticks off, the other one can keep the tank reasonably warm.
I use the Won proheat 300 and it keeps my tank very stable in temp.. I plan on adding a backup but right now I am home almost 24/7 and my thermometer has a High/Low alarm so I would be right there to correct any issue.. highly reccomend getting 2 of them..

I would look into getting a Sump where you can place all your equiptment in and keep them out of the Aquarium.. A few other things.. Test kits.. Dont get anything other than Salifert or Seachem.. You might have to get them online but they are the only 2 brands that I have found accurate.. Digital pH meter is also nice but not needed.. Check into captiveReefs.com for some of your Equiptment.. he has great prices and his Customer service is Top Notch..

HTH<
James
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Old 02-09-2004, 07:39 PM   #4
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As much as I'd like to add something to the above advice, I can't except to say that I agree. Kevin and James pretty well covered it.
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Old 02-09-2004, 08:20 PM   #5
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Why don't I need the bio wheels?
And if I go with the sump, what kind of filter and water pump do I need?
Didn't read up on the sump system yet, so this is all news to me!!

Thanks
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Old 02-09-2004, 08:39 PM   #6
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There are a few articles you may find of interest here.

Quote:
Why don't I need the bio wheels?
The Berlin Method of filtration

Quote:
And if I go with the sump, what kind of filter and water pump do I need?
You will only need the skimmer, no additionsl biological filtration. I would probably use a magdrive 7 for a pump for a 55.

Quote:
Didn't read up on the sump system yet, so this is all news to me!!
Sumps Explained
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Old 02-09-2004, 09:32 PM   #7
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OK, here is the updated list:

- 55 gallon reef ready aquarium with cover and stand.
- 2 MaxiJet 1200 Powerhead for water movement.
- Digital thermometer.
- Aqua-c EV 180 protein skimmer.
- Magdrive 7 water pump
- 2 Won proheat 150W heaters.
- Salifert or Seachem test kits.

Thanks for the advice!
If I may ask, what does looping the powerhead's do? Should the Powerhead's be at each back corner of the tank?

Thanks for all the help. The advice and articles have been really great.

Eric
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Old 02-09-2004, 09:43 PM   #8
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Since you are having the mag 7 for a return.. I would suggest a 9.5 as the mag 7 just doesnt seem enough to me.. You can put the 2 powerheads in the front corners and plumb the return from the Mag 7 in the back 2 corners.. The mag 9.5 is rated about 950gph but at 4' head which is probably what your looking at it will be about 700gph or so.. Fot the few dollars difference I would get the 9.5..

You will like the Ev180 as you can also put it on a larger tank in the future as its rated for up to 180g tanks.. Everything looks great.. Except your going to need a sump if you get one.. Captivereefs.com has awesome looking sumps.. I have never used one "Yet" but they look like they would work great.. Also PremiumAquatics.com has the precision Marine bubbless sump which I have heard alot of good things about.. I would check out both..

HTH,
James
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Old 02-10-2004, 08:36 PM   #9
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Getting closer

I'm wondering what size tank can I put next to a supporting wall on the second floor?

Anyone know?

I'm also undecided on what sump to buy. Any recommendations?
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Old 02-10-2004, 08:45 PM   #10
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personally I like this one Precision Marine or you may want to talk with Darin over at captivereefs.com it seems as though he took them off his site but he had some very awesome sumps that had a waterchange thingy on them.. They were very reasonably priced as well..

HTH,
James
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