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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Craigslist FTW! got a great deal on a 125g tank that was 10 mins from my house.Dimensions are 72x24x18 with dual overflows in the corners. im having a custom cabinet stand and canopy made by a friend. i have a 1/3 hp jbj arctica chiller. I plan on making my 55g tank a sump with baffles in it for a refugium. Would 3 150w MH be enough lighting? t5 or led supplemental lighting for dusk/dawn? i want to be able to keep a mixed reef. I kind of like the idea about the PVC return Spray Bar thing i think its a good concept but only problem i can think of its an eye sore. but you can hide that with rocks. I am thinking about going bare bottom as well. any advice would be greatly appreciated :rotflmao:
 

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Three 150w MH's will work for a 125g due to the shallow depth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
On this tank i have PLENTY of time to setup it up i am not rushing anything. As far as the 150w halides would that just be "ok" ? or ? i want the tank to thrive not barely manage but if the 150w will do the same justice for my tank as the 250w cause of the 24" depth i would rather save money lol
as far as the T5vho or the LEDs i want something to make the color of my corals pop out at you like the LEDS but you can hardly tell a difference when 3 MHs are on. But would the t5vho do what i am trying to achive?
Any one had/have any experience with these "Spray Bars" from the return of the sumps i am really interested in this and the whole Bare Bottom tank. and what Protein skimmer would you recomend for this tank? Thanks for the input ^^
 

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250s are going to give you the best results and the T5s and Vhos are to different lighting choices and i would have led moon lights but use the T5 or VHO for ur actinic supplement there are alot of bulb choices to choose from and yes you will get the pop from them as well
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
any thoughts on skimmer? i was looking at octopus they seem to have good reviews but every skimmer ive had was HOB and this was years ago alot of new stuff on the market.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What Tempature lighting would you get for the t5HO because all i have ever had was metal halides...i just want it to pop im going with the three 250w 14k MH and im guessing a Pure Actinic bulb rated at about 420 nanometers will be fine for what i want to achieve? im thinking about doing 4 x 48" spread out of the lid of the canopy do you think that is enough for the well desired POP :D?
 

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Three 150w MH will be fine if you want to save a couple bucks. If you go with the 250's, I would just get LED strips.

Your corals are going to be "fed" by the MH so the supplemental lights will mainly be for looks. LED strips aren't cheap but you will never have to replace the bulbs either, so in a year or two you made the difference back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
i dont know i really do like the LED strips and i believe they make the colors of the corals just glow. but every led fixture i have used and seen are too weak for 3 MH bulbs you couldnt even tell the difference when u unplugged the leds. im just stuck between the two.. the only LED strips ive seen that are worth it are the ecoxotic and many of thier reviews say u cant see the LEDS with just a 2 bulb t5 fixture and im getting 3 MH bulbs any SUPER powerfull leds you know of that arent a diy project?
 

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if you want the pop from the actinics a 460 looks great Id still do 250w I just seem to see better growth a friend of mine runs his frag system with 250s its only 15inchs maybe and swears 150s dont get the growth as his 250s
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
so just stick with t5HO? how many bulbs would i require for the desired effect? i was thinking atleast 2x 48' maybe 4
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
72"x18"x22" are the dimensions of the tank... sorry i always get Height width length all mixed up... its an AGA tank and i dont have measuring tape eithier. About the protien skimmer.. i found an octopus there are two octos i am torn between the Reef Octopus Extreme in sump rated for 160g or the
Reef Octopus 6 recirculating rated for 180 they are both around the same price but the extreme comes with the pump any current users or good reviews between the two that will help choose?

 

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I have a 125H. I have 3-250W 15000K MH bulbs as well as around 300 watts actinic PCs. I just fired up a Vortech MP40w. I have timers on each light. I am very happy with this setup.
 

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My suggestion, and I have run this setup, 3-150w MH utilizing Lumenmax 3 pendants. You get more PAR put out by them than alot of 250w setups. The pendants make the setup and it is worth the cost to buy the best you can afford. I had over my tank 1-250 Icecap reflector and 2 -150w reflects and the 150's were as bright if not brighter than the 250 simply due to the reflector I used. I would also look at the octopus skimmers utilizing the bubbleblaster pump and if you can afford it, in the cone style. They truly are freaking awesome.

As for the chiller, save yourself a ton of money and get rid of it. You really dont need it as you can maintain the temperature of your tank with a few well placed fans. I like to use 120mm computer case fans with a temperature controller to turn them on and off. Choosing the right components will make the difference in temperature of the water and there are ways to reduce the amount of heat going into the water.

Efficient lighting (aka 150's vs 250's)
External pumps
Efficient powerheads or Ecotechs that run the motor externally.

All this will reduce the amount of heat in the tank and will use less energy in the long run and therefore save you a ton of money in this hobby (it is expensive enough as is). Good luck with your setup and remember, we love pics around here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So i just turned my 55g into my sump/refugium today.. i like it i made the first chamber probably the biggest so i can have a filter sock(s) and have a protein skimmer that's smaller than 13x12 that shouldn't be a problem all the ones i am looking at are like 8x10... thank you for your advice but when i move into a house (when this aquarium actually gets UP an running) im living with my GF and one of my real close friends so the electricity bill gets split in 3rds i appreciate all the very helpful ideas. and for the skimmer the only octopus i can find that's cone style and bubble-blaster pump (w/ 3 year warranty lol) is the Super Reef Octopus XP1000 Space saver (110 Gallon) Internal Cone Protein Skimmer its almost a 100$ more do you think it will be all right on a 125 normally i like to get anything that's higher rated than the aquarium itself. but it seems like a really good skimmer

so is that the one i should get? and what kelvin rating would you use for the MH because i want to do the t5ho actinics supplement lighting like 10kor12k?

btw gonna have pics up tom. of my 55g sump build and a pre warning the sump is not going to be pulchritudinous as long as it does its job that's all i need it for lol

 

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I recommend 14K phoenix bulbs in the 150's, they are 14K and no need for actinic supplementation with them. Make sure that you get the reflectors I recommended, otherwise you will be just wasting your money on cheaper ones. Seriously, you should not need the shiller, and I can assure with the costs of electricity your friends will not be happy when they have to put a decent amount of extra money out just so you can have a tank... theink about being efficient here and also try to save a little bit of the environment at the same time
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
the Lumenmax 3 pendants are a bit pricey but like you said they are really good.. . 150$ for one and that's no bulb or ballast. so 350 just for reflectors 50$ a bulb x3 then three ballasts at least 100$ a piece as far is i can see. so that's around 800$ for 3 150w MH but im guessing those are TOP of the line.. the good thing is im in no rush so i can slowly keep putting money towards it..

what ballasts would you use for that setup?

and that protein skimmer i described in the previous post is that one allright for a 125g even tho its rated for 110?

and sorry one last question... should i go with 1 mp40 or 2 mp10 ??

(basically the same price) the mp10s max glass thickness is 3/8s of an inch im really not to sure how thick mine is and i am lacking the tools to tell
 
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