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Old 12-28-2013, 07:18 PM   #1
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New to the salt water world and setting up a reef tank

I know what you're all thinking " new to the salt water world and setting up a reef tank, this should be fun", and maybe it won't go as well as I hope but I'm giving it my best try.

I have a 47 gallon fluval tank that I am running a Eheim Professional 3 ultraG160 on. I have two hydor 1150 power heads with the wave controller. I run two heaters and two thermometers, one at each end. I bought 32lbs of live rock, which to my surprise came with an urchin who seems to be doing well so fat ( only set up for 24 hours now). I bought "salinity" salt and an RO system(aquatic life RO buddi) which is the slowest process I have ever completed in my life.

My pride and joy of this large endeavour so far are the two marineland Reef led lights that I am hoping will provide more than enough lighting.

I'm running a skimmer that is powered by a power head.

I bought all of this under the guidance of my lfs manager. Does it sound like I'm on the right track?
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:32 PM   #2
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Sounds like a good start! The only thing is those marineland reef leds kinda stink. With two of them you can grow softies and probably lps but definitely no clams or sps or nems.
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:37 PM   #3
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Really? At $600 a piece I thought for sure it would be good. 3340lumens sounded good to someone who knows nothing about lights.
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caybrook View Post
Really? At $600 a piece I thought for sure it would be good. 3340lumens sounded good to someone who knows nothing about lights.
Dang you could get a lot better lights at that price tag like radions or ai Vegas or kessils. I mean they work fine for the corals I mentioned but only use 1 watt leds each and don't penetrate water great. They aren't dimmable or controllable either. Anyway to take them back and spend that money on better lighting so you can keep more light demanding animals down the line.
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:44 PM   #5
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Sounds good for just starting out. The Marineland reef lights are ok for keeping soft corals. I'm not sure what you planned on keeping but I don't think sps will fair well under these lights. I.actually had one of these lights and ended up hating it. The problem is that it will limit your coral selection.

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Old 12-28-2013, 08:13 PM   #6
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Holy crap, 600$ a piece?? You sure you got the marineland ones? Lol you could buy 4 kessil 350s for what you paid

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Old 12-28-2013, 10:24 PM   #7
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ThClick image for larger version

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Size:	227.0 KB
ID:	214026. These are the lights. The lfs said the only ones better than these were $800 each and I would still need two of them for my tank. I don't know the brand but they were roughly a one foot by one foot box and had two circles of LEDS on each side.
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:27 PM   #8
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Maybe radions but you can get them online for $600 each and are worlds above those lights. If you haven't taken them out of the box I'd return them and look into much better lighting. The eBay 120 watt led are really nice too and you'd only need 2. They run about $150 each. Or you could go higher end and get 2 kessil 360s or ai Vegas for $800 total. Both of which are dimmable and the Vegas are controllable.
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:58 PM   #9
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Wow. Really wish I had known that ahead of time. I already opened them and bought four year warranties so they can't go back. Have to see how I make out I guess and consider selling and buying others in the future.
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:01 PM   #10
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I mean you got two so you should be able to keep lps as well as all softies. Both can look awesome in a tank and the lights aren't terrible they will look fine . You will still have an awesome tank .
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:03 PM   #11
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Glad to hear I'm not totally doomed lol. Here's a pic of it with the blue lights on. Click image for larger version

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I installed an eheim surface skimmer tonight as well.
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:04 PM   #12
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Looks good and the blue will really make corals pop! Zoas are perfect for your tank and come in a million colors!
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Old 12-29-2013, 03:49 PM   #13
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Thanks! I bought a new skimmer yesterday ( original one I bought from a friend and it made too much noise). The new one is a home made type deal from the lfs. It's hangs on the side and runs off of a power head with a wood airstone in the bottom. There is a valve to control how much water is let in and I don't know how I should set it.

I have tested my tank and levels are all where they should be. Should the skimmer be producing waste constantly or should I turn it down? Currently it's running with a constant drip. I have a hose from the top into the buck so that I don't have to keep dumping the cup. The water in the bucket just looks like clear tank water, is it not suppose to be gross looking? I'm worrying it just draining my tank unnecessarily.

Thanks guys
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Old 12-29-2013, 04:00 PM   #14
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If there's nothing to skim (fish waste, dissolved food, etc.), there shouldn't be any skimmate produced. You are correct in that you are just syphoning out water if none of what I mentioned exists. There's good information on the web as to how and why protein skimmers do what they do. A little research should help you out and make it efficient for you.
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Old 12-29-2013, 04:04 PM   #15
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+1 I would not even use it until you're through the cycle. If you want to keep it on dial it back the skim mate should be very dark.
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Old 12-29-2013, 04:27 PM   #16
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Ok thanks for the help. I've been searching for info on just what to expect from your skimmer but haven't found anything other than " help my fish are dying because my skimmer is broken" lol. I'll keep it turned down.
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:37 PM   #17
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I would recommend a refractometer
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:10 PM   #18
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http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein_skimmer

This has basic info about them.
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