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Old 04-06-2012, 03:05 PM   #1
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55g reef build

Hey all, I had a reef tank a few years ago and loved it. I have wanted to get another one ever since, well the time has come. The project came to be after following some other builds on here and talking with a buddy from work, the bug has been caught. I work out of town during the week and have way to many tanks and not enough time to deal with them all so I decided to liquidate and only keep one tank. I've traded all my freshwater fish in to my LFS for in store credit to put towards my stock. The tank is drained and I now have to clean it up and get it ready. I'm using my 55g and for now will be running my canister filter while I Reno my basement. Once the Reno is done to a point I can move the tank down I will be transferring everything to a reef ready 75g and convert my 55 into a sump that will be plumbed to my storage room under the stairs. I am headed to the city tomorrow and will be checking out light fixtures (likely t5ho for now) and rock. My stocking plans are: a pair of Picasso clownfish (wanted a lightning maroon till I saw the price tag) and an anemone for them to host, fingers crossed. I will get a cleanup crew aswell but not exactly sure what else for fish, I would love a tang or something but don't really know what would be suitable for my size tank so recommendations and suggestions are welcome. I plan to get some various corals and am bound and determined to get a green torch, love the look of them swaying in the current. I am also thinking of some NPS coral and I would also like some SPS. I love the look of GSP but have heard it can quickly take over a tank same with some softies. Again recommendations and opinions are welcome. Well I'll stop yapping and will update as things progress and get some pics of things.
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:14 PM   #2
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Well I'm headed to the city soon to check out lighting and hopefully pick up some live rock to start cycling. I'm at odds as to what lighting to get, I'm on a budget so t5ho are my choice but I am unsure of whether to get a 4 or 6 lamp fixture. Obviously 6 is the better choice but if I don't need it then why spend the extra cash. I do want an anemone (probably a bubble tip) and LPS coral. I may get some SPS in the future too. Is a 4 lamp 54w fixture gonna be enough? Someone please chime in.
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:32 PM   #3
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With you being on a budget and wanting sps in the future, I'd skip over T5 and go straight to LED. There are chinese knockoffs that work well out there. Several people in the forums have been using and raving about them. I wish I had gone that route before I got my T5HO.
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:00 PM   #4
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I will eventually get LED but for now I got t5ho, aqua medic 6x54w so that should be plenty of light. It included bulbs 2 actinic, 2 10k and 2 15k. I also got two nice pieces of rock loaded with mushrooms- 21 lbs. I will be adding more as I go to hit the desired 55lbs. I am just trying to dial in my specific gravity then I will add the rock and take a pic. Due to monetary restraint I was unable to get my sand this time around so it will be bare bottom for a couple weeks.
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:00 AM   #5
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Well here is a pic of my rocks, I opted to stack them as I am going to go for a column style scape. The top rock is loaded with mushrooms all of which have a very rich green color. I will be getting another 30 or so pounds to stack on the other end of the tank with an open area in between them. I opted for column style since I love the look of it and I still want some open area. In two weeks I will be getting more rock and hopefully get my sand. Then it will be my CUC and a HOB fuge. I am also going to be adding powerheads to ramp up the flow. Around the rock right now I have good flow off the return of my canister but the other end is very calm. I will also be putting my powerheads on timers to alternate flow and simulate waves. I know I have only just begun but so far I am loving it!!!!!
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:45 PM   #6
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Well the latest developement is adding my skimmer and powerhead. A buddy from work hooked me up with a remora aqua c HOB skimmer and a marineland powerhead, he also gave me an over flow box that I installed my filter intake and outlet into which really cleaned up the look. I also removed the ceramic from my filter and added filter floss in its place, I will be picking up carbon to throw in also. Things are finally starting to clear up after adding the powerhead, it kicked up a mess and a half. On a side note I have a couple small miss barred false percs in there to help the cycle. The cycle should only be a mini cycle due to the rock coming from an established tank straight into mine.
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Old 04-12-2012, 03:04 PM   #7
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Well I've been on pins and needles all week, I work out of town and have instructed the wife of what needs to be done to the tank while I'm away (top offs and feeding) I'm hoping she is being diligent. I really need to get an ATO which is now very high on my list. All reports from home have been good though. On a plus note when I took my freshwater fish into the LFS I told the owner I'm starting a reef tank. Apparently one of his other customers is getting rid of his so he passed my number on and I have arranged to go have a peek. My father in law has been wanting a reef tank also so we may get it and divide some stuff up. I'm not sure what all he has but will find out soon enough. I'm hoping to convince the father in law to go with a seahorse tank so I can take all the coral, fingers crossed.
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Old 04-12-2012, 03:07 PM   #8
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Here is a close up pic of one of the mushrooms on my LR.
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Old 04-12-2012, 03:12 PM   #9
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Nice those mushrooms look sweet. How big are they? Just came on your LR when you bought it?
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Old 04-12-2012, 03:18 PM   #10
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They all range in size, the pic of my LR shows them but they are hard to see and the top is literally covered. The one in the photo is about 1.5 inches with a few more that size and a bunch smaller. I picked the rock out due to the mushrooms and they look way nicer under my lights than they did at the store.
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Old 04-12-2012, 04:20 PM   #11
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On another note, I have some time ahead of me for decisions and am looking for suggestions on what fish to get. Clowns are a must and I will be going with a pair. I like the firefish and the different wrasses and blennies. I wanted to add something larger and Angels are out cause I don't want to risk the coral I will be adding. I really like the kole tang and have found mixed responses. Most sites say 75g min but my 55g is a 4' and the way I will be doing my rock scape is to keep it open instead of the typical heap of rock. Input and suggestions are welcome so fire away.
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Old 04-12-2012, 04:23 PM   #12
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Here is my stock list for a 66 gallon tank. Your tank should be better for these fish though because mine is just over 3 feet long. You could get these fish in a 55 g, but maybe cut out 1-2 unless your bioload can keep up

1 occerellis clownfish (maybe 2)
1 dragonette (added in a very long time)
1 Orange stripe prawn goby
1 Fairy wrasse
1 Flame angel
1 chalk bass
1 midas blenny
1 FoxFace Lo
1 Schooling bannerfish


As it stands. Too much is on the list but i cant decide what to cut out!!
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Old 04-12-2012, 06:54 PM   #13
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I'm not going to go crazy with fish but I will with coral. I'm pretty set on a pair of clowns, I really want some picasso's. I also really want a nice center piece fish like a kole tang and I think it's doable as long as I'm smart with my rockscape. Other than that it's kinda open, I likely won't get wrasse as they are known for carpet surfing but don't know if blennies have the same reputation. I do like the look of a blenny perched up on a rock watching the world go by.
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:27 PM   #14
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Haha alright well i hope my list helped! I would definitly get a midas blenny, they are super cool! Do you have a rimless tank?? I would TOTALLY get a wrasse if you have a full top, they are super cool to watch. So you like coral much more? Any thought about which ones you may want?
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:46 PM   #15
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I love the coral that's the main reason I'm doing the reef. I know I want a green torch, I had one in my old 29g for all of 2 days till my urchin knocked it down ontop of my nem. It was the nicest torch coral I've ever seen in a store I was bummed. I also want a brain they cool awesome, likely some zoas and I have come to really like the monti. I also like the duncans and candy canes and am still undecided on gsp. I really like the look of gsp but hear it can really take over.
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:51 PM   #16
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I like all of the corals that you just mentioned! Haha dont hesitate about the gsp it is awesome. I put my frag on the sand bed with tons of rubble around it so when i spreads it will be on a nice rubble frag and i could easily sell it to the lfs. The lfs sells gsp frags at a good price so i could make some money that way. Gsp also looks great on the back of your tank is you can get it to grow back there!
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:13 AM   #17
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Well maybe I'll give the gsp a shot, it all depends on what sort of space I have left. There are a number of corals I really want which will come before a gsp. I would also like some nice colorful sps as my lighting should be able to handle it- 6x54w t5ho. I'm more a fan of LPS but would like to throw some SPS in to mix up the look. After sleeping in it I think I will try the kole tang and set my rock up to maximize swimming area. I did get a report from home last night(I work out of town all week) that I have a diatom bloom so hopefully that clears up sooner than later.
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:12 AM   #18
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Well home from work and made a couple stops on the way, unrelated my paintball gun came in, related I had a look at the reef tank I posted about on page 1. It's a 27g I believe with t5 lighting and some fish and loads of coral. He has a nice purple brain, some mushrooms and polyps. Also has a devils hand, a few nems and what I think is a Duncan. What he had most of was hair algae, I mean loads. He has been using tap water and I suspect he has the wrong bulbs. My father in law is going to take the tank and most inhabitants I'm taking the brain, suspected Duncan and yellow feather duster, I forgot to mention the two feather dusters and the electric clam, that thing is awesome I'm taking that too mwah ha ha. Not like he can complain its a free tank. I am an electrician so struck a deal to hook up his hot tub next week and he gives me the setup and stand, I want some of the coral and the father in law wants the rest- win win. While I cycle the critters I'm taking are going to stay in his tank.
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Old 04-14-2012, 02:12 AM   #19
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unrevised fish stock list

well im sure the tang police will jump on here but wth.

kole yellow eye tang
pair of picasso clownfish
firefish ( i really like the purple firefish)

and one or two of the following
bicolor blenny
midas blenny
tailspot blenny

i am unsure of blennies reputations for carpet surfing, i know wrasses and gobies are known for this. i really dont want to worry about finding fish on the floor, nor do i want to subject the kids to the horror of finding them so please share your experiences. i picked these blennies for thier contributions to tank cleaning and ease of care, man i love google.

onn a side note, after the previous post i am left with some extra tanks as the father inlaw was going to take my 45g long as a planted freshwater which left my 29 empty, the 45 is gone no matter what but im considering turning the 29 into a dwarf seahorse tank. what do you all think?
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:18 AM   #20
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Your tank is 4' correct? If so, just make sure you leave alot of open swimming room with your rock structure and i think a small kole tang would be a good addition. Get the clowns and firefish, but i would only get one blenny due to the agression. Get the midas and maybe a cool goby/pistol shrimp pair? That would be cool because i LOVE my pistol shrimp! Blennys and firefish are known to jump so make sure you have any openings nomadder how small covered. As for the seahorse tank....i would get the 55 running smooth and then think about that. But if i was in your position i would make the 55 a fowler with a snowflake eel, dwarf lionfish and angler. Then turn the 29 into a nano reef with 4-5 small nano fish and tons of corals
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