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Engineer Brian 07-26-2015 07:07 PM

Planning a New Build- input wanted
Hi all-

I've been running 90g FOWLR for nearly 15 years and I'm considering make the switch to reef on my next build. Any thoughts on planned equipment would be appreciated.

DT: 150-250g considering custom drilled Visio, reef ready Deep Sea Aquatics, or a lifetime aquarium from custom aquariums. The choice will need to be local to SoCal or able to be shipped. Any thoughts on the DT?

Sump/refuge: will be custom built. Leaning toward the filter sock chamber from custom aquariums plus a custom baffled 55 breeder.

Protein Skimmer: I've been running an ASM G-1x for years with great success. My current G-1X will be too small for the new setup and I need to decide if I will stay with ASM or go with a different brand. What skimmers does everyone out there recommend?

Carbon/Media Reactor: are you using them? What is the best brand?

Closed Loop: yes or no?

Uv: yes or no. I currently have an old 18w omni-zap. I only run it when adding new live stock or if I get an algae bloom. Most of the time it is off. Does anyone else use them?

Lighting: initially I will repurpose my existing PC retrofit kit for the new aquarium, possibly in a DIY hood. Plan is to eventually move up to a DIY LED system supplemented by a small T-5 or PC system if needed.

All of this will be housed in a custom built stand and controlled by my APEX.

Any thoughts opinions or ideas would be appreciated.


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mr_X 07-27-2015 08:12 AM

The newer ASM cone style skimmers are ok, but I think the old ones are not worth the money. NYOS, Reef Octopus, SWC, even Bubble Magus makes some decent skimmers. Skimmers are all about the pumps- how much air they pull V.S. how much electric they use. The sedra pumps ASM uses are good pumps, but use a lot more juice than some of the newer pumps. I would suggest a skimmer rated for 1.5 to 2 times your total system volume, as manufacturers loosely rate them.

I'm not familiar with any of those companies you mentioned except DSA, but I will say that it's best to have a shallow tank with a large footprint for a reef. You are going to want to be able to easily reach the sand bed and have plenty of real estate for corals.
I recently had a DSA 105 rimless, and I was disappointed with the glass thickness they used. My tank bowed considerably when filled. I kept it for a year, and nothing broke or leaked, but still....hard to sleep at night knowing this.

I don't use any reactors, but if you like them, many companies offer them. Bulk Reef Supply makes the reactors built out of the canisters used on their water purification units. These are pretty tough.

I don't think you need a closed loop. A few Vortech Quiet Drives and you will have all the flow you need.

I don't use UV sterilizers, as they kill whatever goes through them, good or bad.

Lighting is personal preference, but the right LEDs need no supplementation, so if the efficiency of LED is what you want, skip the unnecessary pc or t5 supplement. If this is a reef, I would get the light you plan to go with immediately. Corals don't do well with lighting changes. Better off starting them under the light you plan on using.

I can't make any sense out of the Custom Aquariums sump page. I would just make it myself from a standard glass tank. It will end up being a quarter of the price.

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