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3,516 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
210 gallon display R&J Extreme Stand and Canopy
50 gallon sump w/ fuge
55 gallon top off system
PFO 400w MH SE
Icecap 660 for VHO actinics
35" tall downdraft skimmer
300mg/hr ozone on controller
lifereef LCR1 calcium reactor
3 Seio 1500's
mag 36 return
1/4 inline Chiller
Some Fiji and marshall Island liverock
Some Acros
Some LPS
Some Soft corals
A clam
A few tangs
An Anthias


40 Posts
I am getting ready to convert my 55 reef into a 180 reef. What are your suggestions for
1. lights
2. protein skimmer
3. flow - maybe a OM 4 or 8
4. CA reactor
5. chiller
6. return
7. depth of sandbed

Saltwater Mom
5,869 Posts
Cant help much with equipment, I'm new to that my self. Just wanted to say awesome tank!

3,516 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
well chris this is my suggestion

1. lights- I have never had a problem with PFO lighting. They make a great product and have great customer support. They are TAR style ballasts which overdive bulbs but I still get a year out of my bulbs. The drawbacks are the size of the ballasts and they do produce some heat. I have looked into electronic ballasts and find them appealing because they use less energy, have smaller ballasts which you can mount anywhere and produce less heat, however I am wary about their lifespan and I am not sure how easy they are to fix. PFO ballasts are very simple to replace parts on and most of the time parts are covered by PFO.

2. protein skimmer- I use the impact skimmer from sealife systems. Bioreef is selling a few used ones right now cheap. I had a aquamedic turboflotor needlewheel and that was a great skimmer. Its best to do some research on this one and pick a skimmer that meets your needs and budget

3. flow maybe a OM 4 or 8?- I have heard great things about OM, and sea swirls but since I never used any I cannot comment. I would get some Tunze or if you want to save some money get Seios. I use the seios and they are great. The only drawback is that they use about 30 watts and heat the water. Tunze are around 11 or 15 watts. You could also go closed loop with a dart pump but thats alot of work and if you cannot access the rear of your tank you shouldnt go closed loop.

4. CA reactor- I am using a lifereef reactor. its well built but an old design. When you are shopping for a ca reactor make sure the pump is on the bottom of the unit and not on top. also check out MRC and Geo

5. chiller- Chillers are expensive so make sure you get the right one the first time. I am using a 1/4 hp on a 210 and it keeps it around 80 with a canopy fan. Without the fan I get around 81. I am looking at getting a 1/3 or 1/2. Also make sure the coils are titanium and its best to go inline so you can keep the unit far from the tank. I also do not like the newer chillers with built in controller and plastic case. If you have a neptune or reefkeeper controller its pointless to have a built in.The next chiller is going to be a aqualogic or current usa.

6. return- I am a big fan of magdrive. I use a mag 36 for 2 returns, my chiller, and skimmer. However it uses 380 watts and produces alot of heat. I am going to get a dart pump for my next return pump.

7. depth of sandbed- I have a DSB because I like the way it looks. I have seen nice tanks with DSB and BB. Its your call
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