Jump to content

setting up a reef tank


Mouse

Recommended Posts

Hi,

I'm thinking about setting up a reef tank. The tank dimensions that I would want is a 24x24x24 so 60 gallons. Besides the Tank and the Stand what equipment do I need?

Sump

Skimmer

Heater

Water Pump

Thermometer

Lights - was thinking about T5... will that be enough?

and the salt, and water testing equipment.

I do not need a calcium reactor nor wavemakers right away do I?

Do I need a pump to pump water down from the tank into the sump or will gravity take care of that for me?

Anything else I am missing besides the live rock, the fish and the coral?

I am little confused on what I need to be looking for in a sump. How many chambers does it need to have and what type of filter is best? I have heard many people talking about putting some live rock down there with a light...

My goal is to setup a very basic aquarium, with live rock to begin with and then after about a month and I see the tank is stable I will start adding the inverts, fish and coral/reef stuff at that point.

Any suggestions will be welcome... I'm very new at this and my knowledge is limited to what I could find on the net.

Thanks,

Aaron

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

I'm thinking about setting up a reef tank. The tank dimensions that I would want is a 24x24x24 so 60 gallons. Besides the Tank and the Stand what equipment do I need?

Sump

Skimmer

Heater

Water Pump

Thermometer

Lights - was thinking about T5... will that be enough?

and the salt, and water testing equipment.

I do not need a calcium reactor nor wavemakers right away do I?

Do I need a pump to pump water down from the tank into the sump or will gravity take care of that for me?

Anything else I am missing besides the live rock, the fish and the coral?

I am little confused on what I need to be looking for in a sump. How many chambers does it need to have and what type of filter is best? I have heard many people talking about putting some live rock down there with a light...

My goal is to setup a very basic aquarium, with live rock to begin with and then after about a month and I see the tank is stable I will start adding the inverts, fish and coral/reef stuff at that point.

Any suggestions will be welcome... I'm very new at this and my knowledge is limited to what I could find on the net.

Thanks,

Aaron

1) I don't use a heater here in Austin.

2) Lights needed depends on what you want to keep, but for a reef, T5s at a minimum.

3) No immediate need for a calcium reactor, but you will have to dose calcium manually.

4) Wavemakers are not necessary, but good water flow is.

5) Gravity should pull water down to your sump.

6) For a 60g display tank, a 15-20g sump should be adequate. Do some online research on how to set one up, as it varies with preference.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Aaron,

There is quite a bit of flexibility depending upon what you want. You mentioned fish, inverts, and corals. Your list is also pretty good, I would recommend adding some powerheads or a wave box to your list for circulation. You really want to minimize spots with no or little flow. That being said don't over do it either, you can injure corals with to much direct flow.

There are some people on here that can help design or build some things for you. Prof is always great and has great prices on things like live rock (less than half of what local stores charge). And the rock looks better than the stores too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Aaron,

There is quite a bit of flexibility depending upon what you want. You mentioned fish, inverts, and corals. Your list is also pretty good, I would recommend adding some powerheads or a wave box to your list for circulation. You really want to minimize spots with no or little flow. That being said don't over do it either, you can injure corals with to much direct flow.

There are some people on here that can help design or build some things for you. Prof is always great and has great prices on things like live rock (less than half of what local stores charge). And the rock looks better than the stores too.

What is the Prof you speak of?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How many Watts of lighting would I need. I figure it depends on the type of plants or how deep the tank is. But Idk enough about or have a clue on what I want to put in there...

I have heard that it is possible to burn your reef is this true?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What is the Prof you speak of?

How many Watts of lighting would I need. I figure it depends on the type of plants or how deep the tank is. But Idk enough about or have a clue on what I want to put in there...

I have heard that it is possible to burn your reef is this true?

Prof = Dave = Epic Reef listed as a sponsor of the forums near the bottom of the topics page.

I'd choose a minimum of 1 250w halide over the center of the tank with T5 accent bulbs. Use the halide to cut through your want of a 24" tank. Most fluorescent bulbs are considered good for up to a 18" deep tank. By using a halide as the central light then you will considerably cut down on the cost of bulb replacement as you'd need about 6 T5 bulbs that are recommended for change out every 8 months. My general rule is that 5wpg is about the minimum of light to be considered for a general purpose tank. Your soft corals and most LPS will thrive under that amount of light and SPS should be kept under 8-10wpg. Of course that opens the battle to whether PAR or wattage is more important. That's why I said x amount of watts is a good start, not the final answer.

It is possible to burn your reef, but it is generally looked at more from a heat issue then from to much light. The heat generated from excessive lighting can raise the temps up over 80F and can keep them there slowly cooking, aka "bleaching", your corals. They can handle small fluctuations up to about 83F but it's not considered good to keep them there for long periods. I've known several people that kept their tanks near 13-15 wpg of halide lighting on their reef tanks but they also countered this with large chillers, excessive calcium dosing, and other measures to artificially induce speedy growth. The only real problem I've heard of from us reef keepers using high powered lighting is that over a period of years it can cause our fish to go blind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Prof = Dave = Epic Reef listed as a sponsor of the forums near the bottom of the topics page.

I'd choose a minimum of 1 250w halide over the center of the tank with T5 accent bulbs. Use the halide to cut through your want of a 24" tank. Most fluorescent bulbs are considered good for up to a 18" deep tank. By using a halide as the central light then you will considerably cut down on the cost of bulb replacement as you'd need about 6 T5 bulbs that are recommended for change out every 8 months. My general rule is that 5wpg is about the minimum of light to be considered for a general purpose tank. Your soft corals and most LPS will thrive under that amount of light and SPS should be kept under 8-10wpg. Of course that opens the battle to whether PAR or wattage is more important. That's why I said x amount of watts is a good start, not the final answer.

It is possible to burn your reef, but it is generally looked at more from a heat issue then from to much light. The heat generated from excessive lighting can raise the temps up over 80F and can keep them there slowly cooking, aka "bleaching", your corals. They can handle small fluctuations up to about 83F but it's not considered good to keep them there for long periods. I've known several people that kept their tanks near 13-15 wpg of halide lighting on their reef tanks but they also countered this with large chillers, excessive calcium dosing, and other measures to artificially induce speedy growth. The only real problem I've heard of from us reef keepers using high powered lighting is that over a period of years it can cause our fish to go blind.

Unless there is a better way to determine PAR rather than buying a $200+ meter I am going with the w/g method. About 650 watts of light will get me about 9.6 w/g. Would it be ok to run 1 400 watt MH and 1 250 watt MH? Or is better to get 250 watts of T5 lighting?

Also what would be a good way to cool this setup. I am unsure of how I want to mount these lights, idk if I would want a canopy over the tank or if I want to suspend them over the tank. I guess fans is the only way to go? I would really like to keep the noise down as low as possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

as for your sump i think it really depends on what you want to keep in your tank. It can be something as simple as just a skimmer and a fuge or a lot more complex. You have any idea what types of coral you would like to keep?

I have a 6x39 t-5 over a 25" tall tank and all my coral at the bottom seem to get a good amount of light, they are growing. But you will just have to see what you like the best, maybe ask to visit to locals tanks to get an idea of how they have there tanks set up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

as for your sump i think it really depends on what you want to keep in your tank. It can be something as simple as just a skimmer and a fuge or a lot more complex. You have any idea what types of coral you would like to keep?

I have a 6x39 t-5 over a 25" tall tank and all my coral at the bottom seem to get a good amount of light, they are growing. But you will just have to see what you like the best, maybe ask to visit to locals tanks to get an idea of how they have there tanks set up.

Not really... I guess a variety. I dont want to be limited to just one type if that is possible. I was thinking about a 30 gallon sump. I think I have the basic flow of things now... thou I am unsure of where to put a calcium reactor if I should get one or add one on later. I would really like to have all my bases covered before I start building.

So you only have a total of 234 watts of light for a 75 gallon tank. You make me wonder if I really need 650 watts for a 70 gallon tank... I was going off the idea of about 9 to 10 watts per gallon. Maybe I should have closer to 7 w/g....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey, mouse, I am willing to answer just about every question I can. I can also help you design and build a sump. As far as lighting, I use t5's on my 110gl tank and metal halides on my tanks that are 20-40gl. There are sooooo many factors to consider. I also have some books on reef keeping you can borrow. i think with how much information you are trying to get answered, speaking to someone and research are your best bet. if you want, pm me and we can talk on the phone, and you can even veiw my tanks if you wish.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

didnt wanna make a new thread so i tohugght id ask here...i too am also a nooobb...

i was wondeirn what kiind of lights are out there and wahts the differnece...

its CF, MH, and T5 right?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...