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Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Jul 13, 2008
I am currently in the process of making my tank a reef tank. I have an odd shaped 5 sided corner tank that is 50 Gallons. My question is what is my next step? I already have the proper filtration system ( I used to have just the overflow filtration with a carbon bag ) I know I need light and that brings me to question 2. power compact vs metal halide? I think I want metal hailide but I don't want to worry about a chiller. After the light is here, what can I start to do to prepare for the corals? I am really new at reef tanks but not to saltwater. I also have a dog faced puffer, will he be OK with the corals? PLEASE HELP!!!!
Look into the T5HO lighting. They run much cooler than the halides and are almost as good. I think a good one is the Nova Extreme, if I remember correctly.
Once you get the lighting you will need to make sure all your water parameters are pristine. You will also need to test for calcium, alk and magnesium in addition to the normal tests, with a reef tank.

The puffer would have to go.
do you have a canopy on this tank? if not, what are the dimensions? what size fixture will you be looking for?
If your worried about MH being too hot you could buy some computer fans (about 2.99 each from and have them blowing across the lights, not sure how would you do this unless you have a custom canopy though. I plan on using MH and was worrying about heat because my house is usually a constant 80F but Im just going to custom build a canopy and have two fans on each side of the canopy two blowing out and two blowing in, and then have an additional 2-4 fans on top of the canopy.
I would also recommend the T5s, but with a weird shaped tank like the one you have, it might be difficult to get enough wattage without using two fixtures. In that case halides might be the way to go.

What kind of filtration do you have now? Many folks here with reef tanks don't have any "filter" at all, just live rock, a skimmer and some powerheads. A sump can be nice to put all the equipment and maybe a fuge but any sort of filter with filter media will be a nitrate factory which could be a problem for a reef tank.
I`m going to leave this thread in this section because of the lighting question but the part about the puffer and corals needs to go in the SW reef aquaria section. Post your puffer question there
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