Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community

Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community (
-   Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started (
-   -   New 72gal BF Reef Tank Setup Questions. (

Hersh_007 01-21-2004 11:09 AM

New 72gal BF Reef Tank Setup Questions.
Hi everyone, I bought an All Glass 72 Gal BF with 1 built in overflow and I am looking to set up a Reef Aquarium, with clown fish, LR and LS. I have some questions for you guys, and i'm looking for recommendations on specific brands for my 72 gal tank.

1) 1.5 xi 72 = 108ibs of LR. Is this an acceptable number to use as a bio only filter?

2) 3" of LS in a 72 Bow dimensions: 48 1/4 x 17 7/8 x 22 3/4 would be approximately 140ibs? I'm going to go with 30ibs of LS and the rest dead is that good enough?

3) I know I need some pretty serious lighting to accommodate a reef tank but figuring out exactly what i need is the problem i'm having. From what i've read the general consensus is that MH is the way to go so you only buy lights once. My tank needs a 48" canopy similar to this:
How many lights am I looking at getting? Can anyone recommend a store that sells what I need? All Glass is the brand of tank I have but they only have a 2 or 3 light canopy from what i can find, would that be enough? I have to have the strip-light type of canopy that sits on top of the tank and the best I've been able to find is this: I hate lighting =o)

4) Protein Skimmer. I have a built in over flow with the overflow kit I need a recommendation on which skimmer to buy. From what I understand HOB's are for non RR tanks and sumps are for ones with built in overflows, so i need an under the stand skimmer, how large should my sump tank(can i use a rumbermaid container?) be under there?

5) 72-78degrees is optimal for clowns and many LR (from Foster & Smith), would 2 150w heaters be sufficient for 72 gallons? What brand do you guys recommend?

6) Would 2x Maxi Jet 1200's for water movement be enough?

Bottom line i'm looking for is your opinions on the following:
Best place to buy LR?
Best place to buy LS?
Best place to buy a 48" canopy with MH lights?
Best Skimmer for the buck?
Best salt mixture and best place to buy?

Price and Quality are my 2 driving factors in that order.

Thanks guys!

fishfreek 01-21-2004 11:46 AM


Best place to buy LR?
Best place to buy LS?
I think you will find many of the members here are huge fans of 1.5lbs of live rock per gal should be adiquate for a bio filter. Depending on how much that fills your tank you might want to add some additional rock later on aswell.

Bowfronts are kind of hard to get a true sand weight calculation but if you use the dimentions as if it was a solid rectangle and then add maybe another 30lbs to the mix that should get you close. Using 30lbs of live sand will be a good way of seeding the dead sand. Put the live sand on top of the dead sand.

The lighting you linked to will be good only for fish. Your correct if you want the maximum flexability with your setup the MH is the way to go. For a tank of your size I would suggest 2 175W MH bulbs positioned so they are about 1' in from the left side and 1' in from the right side. Then add to that a pair of VHO 110W actinic bulbs. If you want to go florecent then shoot for 4 110W VHO bulbs or you could go with 4 96W PC bulbs.

LIghting is the most expensive part and also the most critical when your thinking about going to a reef setup because its so expensive you dont want to underbuy only to have to buy more stuff later. Your best but would be to get a retrokit from a lighting suplier like and put that into a caonpy/hood that you have constructed or pickup a prebuilt MH/VHO hood.

Sumps and skimmers should nto be confused with eachother. Since your tank has a built in overflow you will need to setup a sump under the tank. In the sump you can place your heater and skimmer. This will keep this equipment out of your display area. You will need to pickup a pump to push the water back up to the display tank. Does your display tank have some pre plumbed return lines? If not you will need to plumb the return lines and have the water return back into your tank. For your size tank you should aim for 700-1000GPH pump at the specific head height from the sump to the top of your tank. Sure you can use a rubbermaid container. I would aim for something in the size of 30 gal for the sump. Basicly dont skimp on the sump size.

I like my tanks a little warmer in the 80-82F range. Two 150W heaters should be ok unless you keep your home really cool in the summer or winter. When sizing the heaters one thing to consiter is how much the tank temp will be above the room temp.

Two maxijets will not be enough for water movment unless they are used as supplumental water movement to your main return pump.

Salt mix is highly debated. Some will say IO and others will say STAY AWAY. Probably be best to get that locally unless they are really over charging you. SHipping is a killer on big buckets of salt.

Hersh_007 01-21-2004 12:31 PM

Wow, thanks for the input!
I still don't get the lighting really, are you saying I need 2 MH's and 2 VHO's? That link you sent me is down for the count, so I can't get a visual of what you are talking about. The problem I have is that my canopy is a glass top that is sectioned to allow you to open half and feed, clean, ect. To light the aquarium I need to set a strip-style light on the glass top, do they make ones that can hold 4 lights and not interfere with opening and closing the glass canopy? Can I just use any 48" Strip-Light canopy with MH's or do I need a special type to be able to handle the load? Would 2 MH's and 1 VHO work?
I think i'm just all about keeping the all-glass brand together but if its not possible i'm open to whatever works with my current setup =)

So those non HOB skimmers just set down under my stand in my sump and thats it? I think I understand how the sump works, its just a medium to send your dirty water to get cleaned up, then get heated and sent back up into the main tank right?

This is what my overflow kit consists of:
This simple to install kit contains bulkhead fittings, pre-filter, standpipe, float, return pipe with flexible nozzle, pre-filter media, straight and 90 degree barb fittings, which is enough to outfit one corner overflow.
PART#29250 attached is the pic.

Some of the skimmers have built in pumps and some don't should I get one with it built in or seperatly? Can you recommend a skimmer and a place to buy one?

Again, thank you for the help!

Hersh_007 01-21-2004 12:36 PM

Opps it didnt attach, here it is again.

fishfreek 01-21-2004 12:48 PM

Ok. The overflow kit has return plumbing in it so your drain line into your sump would connect to the bulkhead of the overflow and your return plumbing would connect to the bulkhead that then connects to the return nozzle. --> This will be no good for a reef setup. Florecent bulbs while they are great to view the fish and the tank itself they dont provde the intensity that the corals in a reefsetup will need. Power Compact, VHO and or Metal Halide bulbs will get you much closer to the intensity of the tropical sun. VHO and Power Compact florecents take a different ballast than NO florecents and thats why the all glass hoods dont work as they have a NO florecent ballast.

Powercompact bulbs are also much hotter than NO bulbs and would likly melt a plastic hood. With high output lights you will probably find yoruself taking that glass cover off the tank and leaving it off. The reason is the higher output lights can really warm up the water and having the tank uncovered you will gain greater gas exchange increasing evaporation and also increasing the cooling efficency. Most of use who have reefs have custom built canopies that we have wired with our lights. Bow fronts can be a challenge due to their shape and often bow front folks end up

Seems like hellolights is having a problem with their website today. I was on it for a breif period but its not responding again. This is quite irratating when you want to use a site to show some stuff but cant get to it.

Hersh_007 01-21-2004 12:58 PM

Hmm, how do you put a lighting canopy up without a glass cover and prevent your fish from jumping out of the water? Wouldn't the bulbs shatter if any water was splashed on them?

The plastic pieces in my glass cover are at the seam where it folds and at the base where it attaches to the aquarium, would these melt from MH's?
I see many posts about what light to use but I cant find out how to set it up, especially when you have a BF tank.

fishfreek 01-21-2004 01:15 PM

HEHE, Looks like its just you and me on this topic. :)

The canopy would sit on the sides of the tank. Usually they would go down over the outside of the tank a little and there would be little cleetes inside them that sat on the tank edge. The back of the tank would be fairly well enclosed except for maybe a few cutouts for cords and such. The canopy would be vented with some vents and fans and the front would have a door hatch so you could access the tank. With the bowfront there might be some space in front of the canopy thats open unless you built one that followed the contor of the bow.

I dont know if it would melt but it would defantly get soft.

I think what your seeing is how contraversial the differnt lighting setups are. Scope out our DIY area and maybe look in the photo gallery to see what others are using for lighting.

I really want some folks who have lit up bow front reefs to jump on this thread.

fishfreek 01-21-2004 03:35 PM

Its $549 for a pair of 175W MH bulbs and then upgrade for $70 to a pair of VHO florecent bulbs.

Thats a simple premade hood that would sit over your tank.

This is the same basic setup as the above but its just a 'retro' kit. This basicly means you build the enclosure and wire up the ballast and install the reflector and endcaps.

Hersh_007 01-21-2004 03:49 PM

Wow so $620ish for lighting? Thats more then I paid for my entire Aquarium, Stand, Overflow w/kit, glass lid and freight shipping heh.
What alternatives are there to cut the cost but still put out sufficient light for LR?

fishfreek 01-21-2004 03:58 PM

Now if all your doing is live rock then you dont need that high of output. I flew up and looked at your first post again and it did say REEF and to me that implys corals.

Lighting honestly is the most expensive part of a reef setup. Think of the above as 'top of the line' type lighting. A lower cost lighting setup for just a FOWLR setup or a reef with low light corals would be to go with a power compact setup.

This would have powercompact florecents in the hood. PC bulbs are more instense than NO florecents but would rank lower on the intensity scale to MH.

Then you have the option of going with only VHO florecent bulbs.

Since lighting is so costly its important to buy the correct setup to fit your goals. if your goals are truly to have a reef setup with corals that need more than minimal lighting then its to your advantage to get the MH setup. If your goal is to jut have live rock and minimal light corals then a VHO or PC setup would work. If your goal is to do only live rock then you 'might' be able to get by with a tripple NO fixture but the rock wont grow the corline algae or macro algae.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:47 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.