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Discussion Starter #1
I am thinking about setting up a 75 gallon reef, probably starting up with a FOWLR. As far as filtration i am lost. I like the fluval 405, but its more pricy, and an ac110 seems like the easy way out. How do you clean a canister, and is it difficult? I hear that is a big con to having them. also what about multiple filters ie: a canister with a HOB or 2 HOBs? also any models in particular you guys like?


For lighting, what do you call the thing that holds your lights? like a fixture i guess. All i know is i want t5 high outputs, and a blue light for night. PLEASE tell me what kind of wattage i need/ where to find the fixtures and bulbs and everything. I am a little lost when it comes to this stuff. THANKS!
 

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Rock guy
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If you want a saltwater tank, its recomened you go with FOWLR, atleast to start. If you do, you dont want a canister filter, or a HOB filter, they need to be cleaned out about every day to every other day, way to much work for something you dont even need. Your live rock will actualy do the filtering. Get about 75lbs of rock, and some good powerheads and you will have good filtration. If you want something more you can get a protine skimmer, they do a great job of cleaning the water.

As for lighting, you should decide now if you will ever want corals or not before you buy. Its better to buy a good light first so you dont waste money on a fixture that 6 months down the line you realise isnt enough light for the coral you want. You should look online at different lights. i have used marine depot and big als online. If you know you dont want any corals than a bulb fixture would be enough, if you want corals than a 4 or better yet a 6 bulb fixture would be better. Many also come with the blue led moonlights you want for night viewing.
Good luck with the tank and keep asking questions so we can help you enjoy your tank more
 

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If you want a saltwater tank, its recomened you go with FOWLR, atleast to start. If you do, you dont want a canister filter, or a HOB filter, they need to be cleaned out about every day to every other day, way to much work for something you dont even need. Your live rock will actualy do the filtering. Get about 75lbs of rock, and some good powerheads and you will have good filtration. If you want something more you can get a protine skimmer, they do a great job of cleaning the water.

As for lighting, you should decide now if you will ever want corals or not before you buy. Its better to buy a good light first so you dont waste money on a fixture that 6 months down the line you realise isnt enough light for the coral you want. You should look online at different lights. i have used marine depot and big als online. If you know you dont want any corals than a bulb fixture would be enough, if you want corals than a 4 or better yet a 6 bulb fixture would be better. Many also come with the blue led moonlights you want for night viewing.
Good luck with the tank and keep asking questions so we can help you enjoy your tank more
+1... but just for clarification... he is talking about T5HO setups. but disregard that for now. take it 1 set at a time... first decide if you want corals of not.

for a 75 gallon, a skimmer is really a must. Especially for a reef.
 

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I like my canister, i have a fluval 305 on my 46. Here is why i like it.... I took out all the carbon and bio material because as stated earlier all your biological filtration should be done by the live rock, if you add bio balls you will make an environment where nitrates will be a problem... so the reason i cannot do with out mine is because i cannot handle particulate in the water. I like to blow the rocks off with a turkey baster two or three times a week, and between the skimmer and canister it gets cleared out pretty quick. If you cannot devote yourself to cleaning it once every 5 to 7 days then dont get it. i clean mine constantly. I go through 10 dollars worth of polishing pads every two weeks. I will keep mine for now.. until another build when i do all the stuff i really learned from this go around... lol...

With lighting i made a mistake.. i bought pc's and found out that they are good for some conditions but not all, or my conditions. So i spent 200 dollars on something that did not work for me at all, i then spent another 400 on led's which i love. I still have the pc's dont know what i will do with them. so figure out if you want coral, i can tell you that when you are over loaded with fish you will want coral, and then all you want is coral... i did anyway... so on the lighting decide what you want in the begining, i say coral would be a good thing to plan for, even if you dont have coral i really think when i got the pc lights my fish were happier, they played out in the light more, things like that.. so if you dont plan on coral then get at least some ok lighting, it really helps with the live rock, coraline, and the livestock... IMO. I hope this helps, i am still a beginner and learning as you are and this is a great place...
 

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C'est la vie
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that setup is ok, but i wouldnt get it for 2 reasons. the skimmer pictured is a coralife and its a piece of junk. also, a 55 is really skinny and it makes it difficult to work with.

i was going to get a 55 but i went with the 75 and am really really happy i did. the extra 6'' of width is really nice to have
 

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that setup is ok, but i wouldnt get it for 2 reasons. the skimmer pictured is a coralife and its a piece of junk. also, a 55 is really skinny and it makes it difficult to work with.

i was going to get a 55 but i went with the 75 and am really really happy i did. the extra 6'' of width is really nice to have
+1. I have a non standard 55... its 36x18x18. 1 foot shorter, but you get the extra depth which is really nice for aquascaping. But im now planning a 90 gal upgrade.
 

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I'd go with at least a 75... most 55 are really narrow at least for a reef....we just upgraded to a wider 75 and turned the 55 into a fowler predator tank.... There was just not enough swim room in the 55 with all the rock in coral in it....Now it has much less rock and is just perfect for my fuzzy dwarf lion and hopefully soon an antennata lion :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So Now.....

Ok now im thinking i definately want to go with a 75 gallon.

if i went with a Octo bh2000, with 50 pounds of LR, is that enough filtration, or do i need 75 pounds of LR? next, what can a sump do that LR cant? is it really a dramatic difference? Im very confused. It sounds like unless i clean my filters daily, they arent worth it. If sumps are really that necessary, why can I still go with just LR?
 

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Ok now im thinking i definately want to go with a 75 gallon.

if i went with a Octo bh2000, with 50 pounds of LR, is that enough filtration, or do i need 75 pounds of LR? next, what can a sump do that LR cant? is it really a dramatic difference? Im very confused. It sounds like unless i clean my filters daily, they arent worth it. If sumps are really that necessary, why can I still go with just LR?
all sumps are is a place to store your equipment out of the DT, and add more water to the system. Thats it. nothing more, nothing less. It really doesnt matter if you get one or not.

And you should at least try to get 65-70 ish pounds of LR in there. the general rule of thumb is 1 pound of rock per gallon of water.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
so heres my plan-

75 gallon
55 pounds of live rock to start out
2 clowns

will this work out? or do i really need the skimmer and extra rock?


then adding a octo bh 2000 soon
and a 240 watt t5 light

what kind of corals could i use with that light?
 

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Rock guy
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make sure you cycle the tank before you add the clowns, or any fish.

55 would be ok, the more rock you have the larger the bioload you can have on the tank, and its just easyer to add the rock in the begining so it wont cycle again.
You will need some flow in the tank too, a few strong powerheads

you dont need the skimmer to start, you should try to get it before you add to much to the tank to keep the nutrients down
It depends on the actual light fixture, is it a t5 or t5 HO, big difference, Does it have individual reflectors? How many bulbs? if you give a link to the fixture we will know more, watts per gallon doesnt really work well anymore as a guideline.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
as far as lighting im not quite sure because im buying it off someone else. Bottom line:

75 gallon
crappy standard light (comes with the tank, made for freshwater)
40-50 gallons of LR

will this suffice for a pair of clowns? I figure its such a large tank, that it should be ok until I get the extra rock and skimmer right? As far as cycling, what do i do? Im new to Salt ( i have a small fresh, and brackish) To start out, im going to get RO water pre mixed, so i dont have to worry about getting the salinity right. Then what do i do? wait? ill keep a separate thread for pics :DD the tank is going in friday, hopefully rock and water saterday
 

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Discussion Starter #17
so i just did a bunch of research on the cycling of a tank. If i get my live-rock from a pre-established tank, (im basically taking it out of a different system and putting it into this one) will my tank still need to be cycled with live-sand? If I wait a week for it to cycle, then test it, will that be good?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I have to see how much cash i have up front, im basically getting the tank set up with rock and the nice lights (t5 240 watts 2 bulbs i think not sure on the exact model with moonlights) with water and heads for around 650
skimmer will be another 100 to 150
 

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Rock guy
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you dont need live and at all, you can get dry if you want, its cheaper too
you can also get dry rock to bump up the amount in the tank

you will need to test to know when the cycle has ended, it can take a day to a few months depending on many factors, if your using established rock, it depends on how long it is out of water and how much die off there is, but it should not take too long


is the light a t5 or t5 HO?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
the bh1000 is up to 90 gallons, the bh2000 is up to 120, its a 75 gallon tank, will it make much difference? should i spend the extra few bucks on the 2000 (literally like $10) or is it overkill?
 
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