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fort384 02-25-2012 01:00 PM

fort's 57 gallon Rimless Reef Build
Ok, so after a couple weeks of mulling over what size tank to start, I have landed on a 57 gallon Oceanic Illuminata at my first reef tank.

Oceanic Systems Oceanic Illuminata | Products

It is ordered, and due into my LFS some time in the next week or two.

That's basically as far as I have got so far.

For lighting, I am heavily leaning towards an Ecotech Radeon fixture, assuming 1 unit would be enough to light my tank appropriately. PAR readings on this fixture appear to be better than a 250W MH pendant, but I am worried about coverage/spread. I could use some advice and opinions on that. I know there are cheaper options out there, but I am pretty amazed with the functionality of this fixture, especially considering I can get it to work in concert with the Vortechs. The fixture would be suspended on wires from the ceiling over the tank, as I will run it open top.

I am also looking at the MP10w ES Vortech powerheads - probably 2 of them would get the job done in this tank.

The tank will come drilled with an overflow - I will need to figure out what I am going to do for a sump.

Any comments, advice, etc are welcome. I am brand new to the reef game, so I basically have no idea what I am doing.

carey 02-25-2012 01:04 PM

Nice tank! My lfs has one for sale right now, gorgeous setup and the starfire glass is a nice plus. :-)

I think you will need two radions for a 57g though. :-(

The vortechs sound good, I think 2 mp10's are good unless you want just the one mp40. :-)

bruinsbro1997 02-25-2012 01:04 PM

Wow, this is going to look sweet! With the magic you pull off in your planted tanks I can only imagine the amazingness of this one.

Have you decided on any corals or fish/inverts yet?

Good luck! I'll be following along :)

fort384 02-25-2012 01:25 PM


If one Radeon is not enough I will probably look at other options. I don't know if I could bring myself to buy 2 of them.

TLTGF 02-25-2012 02:47 PM

I've got the radion and (2) MP10w ES on a 54 corner tank.

One is just enough at 27", so for a standard length, you would need two.

As for the vortechs, I have (2) but they are dialed back to 50-55%. I think (1) MP40 would work fine.

fort384 02-25-2012 03:56 PM

Ok, thanks TLTGF. I was debating between 1 MP40 and 2 MP10's. I figured the control on 2 MP10's would be better, should I have any flow issues after scaping.

If the consensus is that a single MP40 would be just fine, it would save me a hundred bucks or so.

I think I will look into something else for lighting. I would like to keep it under $1000 if I can... but definitely LED. But, I am not going to build a fixture...

Any opinions on the AI SOL? A 2 unit setup would meet the budget, I suppose.

TLTGF 02-25-2012 04:05 PM

I went with the MP10's for the same reason. I am happy I did, but after using these I can see that easily (1) MP10 would've sufficed for my application, let alone a 40. I could go either way with it.

I read tons about the sol's vs. radion and a LOT of people like them. I have no experience with anything else, so can't really help.

Another option is the TaoTronics LED Chinese fixtures I've been hearing about. You can get them on eBay. Mr. X just put some on his build.

The thread is under Member's Showcase.

fort384 02-25-2012 04:09 PM

I saw those - they are definitely an option. I would really like a dimmable fixture though, and also, the fixture is going to be ceiling mounted and suspended, so the fixture needs to look nice as well.

Purevil21 02-25-2012 04:26 PM

The AI Vegas are available for pre-order now, when they ship I couldn't tell you. Last I had heard they were suppose to be significantly more powerful than the Sols, though 2 Sols should do just fine on that tank.

fort384 02-25-2012 04:27 PM

Yeah, the vegas look cool, but, I don't see specs on them. Also, I would think 1 might not be big enough, and 2 would be overkill. 2 SOLs ought to be about right from what I have seen looking around. You would know better than I.

melosu58 02-26-2012 01:04 PM

Two PH`s will be ideal as pointed at each other will provide chaotic water flow which imo is ideal. It`s basically what you see on the reef. Tank looks nice and should work good. What size tank will fit under the stand? As far as the sump or refuge I like the mag pumps. As far as the lighting I`m not up to date on LED`s. I`m still old fashioned by using VHO`s. Looking forward to the build.

fort384 02-26-2012 01:29 PM

Thanks Mike - the stand is 36" long, and I think 30 or 35" tall, so I ought be able to get a decent sized sump under the tank. However, I also think I need to plan for an ATO reservoir as well - I am sure I will see quite a bit of evaporation with an open top. I was thinking of trying to do something with about 24" length for a sump if I can get away with it, and leave 10-12" for a vertical type reservoir for the ATO. Not sure where that leaves me, or if that is possible. I suppose it is possible I could try and put the reservoir outside the stand, but as this tank will be in our main living area, I am sure the wife would appreciate things being as hidden as possible.

Purevil21 02-26-2012 01:58 PM

Your ATO reservoir doesn't have to go under the stand necessarily. I have seen them hidden in everyday household items and placed next to the tank. I believe I saw the guys on BRS TV put one in a storage ottoman you can pick up at target. No one will ever know it's housing part of you life support system, of course I guess this assumes you have any room next to the tank for such things.

fort384 02-26-2012 02:48 PM

Let's talk skimmers - what would be some good options for a 57?

TLTGF 02-26-2012 03:08 PM

Here is the one I just got last week:

To be honest, I have zero experience with skimmers, but within the week I've already had crazy amounts of crap pulled out. From what people are saying, it needs a while to break in, and it's already great. I at least, am impressed.

fort384 02-26-2012 03:13 PM

Thanks TL, I just saw Doug had recommended that one in another post as well. It looks pretty attractive, especially at that price point.

fort384 02-27-2012 12:47 PM

I ordered all the plumbing parts for my RO storage. Will post pics of the build of that once I get the parts in.

fort384 02-27-2012 10:36 PM

Just ordered:

175 gallon salt mix
1 300W heater with Digital control
2 Vortech MP10's
2 aqua lifters
2 float switchs for ATO

I guess I am all in now :)

carey 02-27-2012 10:49 PM

Before you go any further you might want to decide now if you will invest in a controller. For instance you can have it as a temperature and ATO instead of using other equipment.

Not sure if you've considered it or not. :-)

fort384 02-27-2012 10:51 PM

Yes, have considered it. I have so many timers, and I have a pH controller not in use, I am going to hold off on the controller for now. It is something I may want to do down the road, but for now, I am not going to go for it. When I get one, I will want a really nice one... and with the money going to the vortechs, the tank, the RO system, and the AI Sols, I don't think I wanna spring for it right now.

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