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BfishLpond78 08-14-2011 10:22 PM

New 120 build...gonna be a long ride...
So im waiting to her back on a brand new 120 gallon tank with starphire front panel and new stand from my LFS. 550 for both, hopefully a good deal.

I would like to know if a 40 gallon breeder tank is doable for a sump?

What brand of skimmer should i look in to?

I am going to start as a FOWLR for now and build up to a reef after 3-6 months. What is the recommended wpg for LPS corals? Im not fully up to speed on different corals. I really like the ones that move with the current.

Im sure ill have more questions soon...i will know by next weekend when the tank is ordered.

mr_X 08-15-2011 08:41 AM

a 40 breeder is a good tank for a sump. it's got a good foot print. plenty of room to fit a skimmer.
watts per gallon isn't a good gauge to go by when you are talking about a reef. there are other variables like the efficiency of the fixture, the distance between the fixture and the corals, and the type of corals you intend to keep, that must be taken into consideration when choosing lighting. For your tank I'd probably go with an 8 lamp t5 HO fixture. It's going to be enough light to keep whatever you want. I know you said LPS, but every person i've ever heard say they wanted to keep low light corals ended up trying sps, clams, anemones...etc. and you'll be glad you got the extra light.

BfishLpond78 08-15-2011 09:28 AM

Alright, i guess in the grand scope of everything i'll shoot for the fixture that has no limits i guess because it's easier to reduce light than it is to add. Cause i would like to have the clams and anemones down the road cause they are so fascinating to me.

So why would my tank be better with t5 HO instead of metal halides, i like the sound of that better due to the heat issue, as paying for a 700 chiller does not sound like fun. Also how high above the water should the fixture be? What brand would you recommend? Would i need this fixture for the first couple months while it's only FOWLR?

This is going to be a slow build....hopefully...i would like to add something to the set up like once or twice a week so i don't go But, i would like to get higher end stuff so i am only buying it once and do the research on it. I have tons of questions but will wait till I get to that point to ask them.

mr_X 08-15-2011 10:49 AM

you could use a pair of 250 watt halides if you wanted. i like t5s better because they put off a little less heat and you can tweak and adjust the color to your liking. using halides doesn't necessarily mean you will need a chiller.

no, you won't need powerful lighting unless you have photosynthetic creatures in the tank. live rock can do fine with just regular aquarium lighting.

Tek, fixtures from sunlight supply, or current nova extreme pro would be middle of the road fixtures that will do a good job for you. i would use a mixture of ATI lamps also. the better bulbs make a big difference.
there is no limit to what you can spend. you can even go LED, but you have to be very careful what fixture you purchase. many are choosing fixtures according to price and are getting screwed on fixtures that can't support corals.
i used a pair of hydroponics fixtures over my last 24" wide tank. the 2 differences between hydroponics and aquarium fixtures are width, and price.
the hydroponics fixtures have much larger reflectors.
i used 2 of these-
Hydrofarm 8 Lamp 6500K 4' T5 Fluorescent Grow Light - Plantlighting Hydroponics
and then bought high end bulbs for them. you would only need one.
these fixtures have 2 switches so you can turn on just the 4 inside lamps, or turn on all 8 if you prefer. they only have one cord however, so you cannot put timers on the 2 sets of lamps unless you do some rewiring. the morning evening transition is not necessary anyway. that's just for human enjoyment. corals only absorb PAR(photosynthetically active radiation).
do you have a canopy for this tank, or will the fixture be hanging from the ceiling? i would keep the fixture about 6" off of the water if i could. mainly so it doesn't get splashed, and also so you can get your hand/arm in the tank with ease.

BfishLpond78 08-15-2011 10:55 AM that fixture is 200 much are the "better bulbs" that i would be putting in there?

mr_X 08-15-2011 10:56 AM

about 20 dollars a pop.

BfishLpond78 08-15-2011 10:57 AM

Wow...and why doesn't everyone do this? What could i support with this fixture?

mr_X 08-15-2011 10:59 AM

because they are 24" wide, so they won't fit over a lot of tanks, and because they just don't know. you could keep sps, acropora, clams, anemones..whatever you wanted.

BfishLpond78 08-15-2011 11:01 AM

Lol good point, i just realized they were 24 inches wide. What bulbs would you recommend for this, keeping in mind going full reef with all the goodies?

mr_X 08-15-2011 11:11 AM

this is one bulb lineup that a local reefer had over his tank and i swear, it looked like the forest in the movie AVATAR!
ATI Blue Plus
ATI 12000K Aquablue
ATI Blue plus
KZ Fiji Purple (this can be replaced with ATI purple plus)
GE 6500K Daylight (you can keep one of the bulbs that come with the fixture for this)
ATI Blue plus
UV Lighting 10000K AquaSun
ATI Blue plus

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