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Old 02-13-2005, 09:16 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Southern California
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Gonna take the plunge but need your input first. :)

Okay, well after about a year of asking questions, online research, and extensive reading I've decided to actually start purchasing the components of my reef. Now I was hoping you could give me some advice as far as what brands I should be looking at when it comes to all the components.

So here's what I have at the moment:

Tank & Cabinet: Custom made cabinet w/ a drilled 120 gallon glass tank. Still working out the dimensions. I'm debating between whether to go long or go deep.
Hopefully the cabinet design will resemble this: Photo #1 Photo #2

Lights: I want to be able to go to stony corals in the future. I would love to have some clams so I'm going to go with two 250W 14,000K Metal Halide's (double ended) and probably one of those night lights (is it worth it?). What brand shoud I go with here?

Skimmer: I think a G-3 skimmer is the right way to go

Pumps: I'd like to get two smaller pumps instead of one larger pump for the sake of keeping things quiet underneath the tank. I'm currently looking at two "quiet one" 4000 pumps @ 1017gph each

Sump: probably 45-50 gallons

Poweheads: I'm thinking of getting a Tunze 6100 w/ controller

Heaters: 2 200 watt heaters, titanium heaters

RO/DI Unit: Probably just one of the $100 units that are all over ebay


I realize there's alot of stuff that I'm asking you, but any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm hesitant to solely rely on the advice of my LFS's when it comes to major purchases like this.

Thanks alot


12 gallon Eclipse: 5 Cherry Barbs, 4 Columbian tetras, 4 amano shrimp, 1 one in. pleco,

30 gallon tall Eclipse II: 4 Praecox Rainbow Fish, 2 Australian Rainbowfish, 3 zebra snails, 2 Clown Loaches, 2 Congo Tetra, 2 Boesemani Rainbowfish, 1 Red Irian Rainbowfish, 1 Bronze Corydora, 1 Golden Panchax Killifish, 1 Aplocheilus lineolatus Killifish, 1 Common Pleco (~5 in.), 1 candystripe Pleco (~1 1/2 in.)

My online photos
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Old 02-13-2005, 09:53 PM   #2
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Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 468
i just bought my ro/di unit from ebay. I bought from filtersdirect and am very pleased so far. Fast shipping and everything seems great so far. Made about 50 gallons of water this weekend.


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Old 02-14-2005, 10:25 AM   #3
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Tank & Cabinet:
Depending on what you want to keep your dimensions might be prefered one way or the other. For example if you was planning a full reef setup with corals and the whole 9 yards a longer tank might be prefered over a deeper tank (top to bottom) This is because it will be easier to light a tank that is not as deep. Unless of course you mean deep as in front to back.

Ok based upon this then I would use the following guidelines for lighting. Tanks less than 24" tall should go with 250W MH bulbs every 2' of tank lenght. For tanks taller than 24" should go with 400W MH bulbs every 2' of tank lenght.

The pump you are talking about looks like it will push 800GPH at 5' head. I use 5' as this is the average head height of most tanks on stands. Since your stand is going to be built custom the acutal head height might be different. Two pumps would give you about 1600GPH at 5' head. This is a good flow rate for a 120 gal tank. Be sure the installed overflows have a drain size of 1 1/4" or greater so as to permit the flow of the water.

Sounds good. A 40Gal breeder tank that has been segmented with glass partions would be good for this size tank.

Sounds good. Or you could try to do some closed loops to minimize the equipment inside the tank. I doubt you will need much given the 1600GPH from the two pumps.

Sounds good.

RO/DI Unit:
I would purchase one that has color changing DI membrane as well as an inline TDS meater and a water pressure guage on the inlet. This way you know if your filter is operating at proper pressure and the TDS meater will give you a good indication as to when to change membranes.

Liverock from liverocks.com You can get their base rock and save a little $. The live sand I would suggest getting from a fellow reefer. All you need is a few lbs of this to jumpstart your own sand bed.
Remember dont tap the glass, your fish will think you're an idiot -Anonymous mother

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