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Old 07-28-2007, 11:10 PM   #1
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Plans for my 20

Hey guys I've got my 20 in Orlando which has been set up for probably almost a year at this point. It is stocked with ~20 lbs of LR, ~20 lbs sand, and hermits. I keep it cycling by incrementally putting small amounts of food in the tank because I have just been too busy to really kickstart it. I've been working the summer and now I am so ready! So, I'm gonna tell you guys my plans-- I'd like to hear some opinions, maybe give me new ideas to implement. It's going to be predominately SPS with the possibility of shrooms and zoos/polyps in the lower/shaded portions of the tank. So far:

1. Going to add another ~10-15 lbs of LR to bring it up to ~30-35lbs.
2. DIY chiller (hopefully it works well, I think on the smaller sized tank it should be alright, going to try the good ol' dorm fridge plan or even the cooler-with-ice plan, and if it doesn't work as well as I want I'll just break the wallet and purchase a real chiller-- last resort!)
3. Going to rig my own lighting, thinking of one 175w 14k metal halide with supplemental actinic lighting (probably T5), and maybe rigging my own blue LEDs. I *could* go with all T5s on such a small tank, but I really like the shimmer of MH.
4. DIY refugium, ~10 gal.
5. Slowly stock with specimens.

Any more suggestions to pimp out my 20?
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Old 07-29-2007, 12:29 PM   #2
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Is this a 20 long or 20 high? If a 20 long wouldn't 175w be too much for the tank? Those are pretty shallow, and I am thinking maybe you'll have issues with too much light for the lower light corals you plan to add? Just thinking out loud here.

If it were my tank, being as shallow as a 20 long is, I'd use HO T5. Since you are in Florida and it's hot in the first place, the T5 would be that much less heat going into your tank vs. MH lighting. Maybe even eliminate the need for a chiller? The shimmer is nice though, no contesting that.

I'm using HO T5 on my 45 tall and it is a serious amount of light and the sps corals are just loving it.

Sounds like an awesome plan regardless. Make sure you post pictures.
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Old 07-29-2007, 01:43 PM   #3
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If you plan to keep an sps tank, do limit the amount of soft/lps additions since it will hamper their growth.

2. If your duy doesn't pan out use a fan or a microchiller. If using a fan you will have to top-off often, probably daily.

3. You'd be better off purchasing a 150w and even that can be considered overkill. Many seem to prefer Phoenix without the need for supplementation. As Lindsay stated, T5 would be a better option without worry of excess heat/evaporation and broad light penetration. Although shimmer is nice, as far as I know it has not been proven to actually aid in coral development.
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Old 07-29-2007, 07:16 PM   #4
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1. Nope, it's a 20 tall. And I'm rigging/building the housing for the lighting myself, probably a foot or so off the water minimum. I've been doing tanks for a while now, I don't really have a problem with the constant maintenance.:P
2. Shrooms/zoos would be going in shaded areas of the tank, and in very small amounts, as I know that it's best to keep SPS mainly with just SPS. I wouldn't even be adding LPS, because well, that's not the focus of this given tank that I would like to set up. I have no qualms with trimming, clipping, removing excess mush/zoo if they did impede on SPS growth. I have a 75gal mixed LPS/softie tank that trimmings could go into.
3. I was/still sort of am definitely considering T5 lighting, but on my 75 I have MH bulbs and it's just so difficult to go back to flat lighting. I know that there isn't any proven advantage to the shimmer, but it's just so beautiful I've heard a lot of good about said lighting though. I still have to compare prices.
4. As far as getting a 150 instead of a 175w, I was pretty sure that 175 is the smallest mogul-based metal halide bulb, which is much easier to get the cheap parts for than a double-ended. Unless you guys know maybe a place where I can get said parts

Thanks for the imput!
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:17 PM   #5
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Sounds like a good idea on the 175.

sounds like it's going to be a great looking tank, can't wait to see pictures.
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Old 08-01-2007, 01:30 PM   #6
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I'm so excited
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