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I currently have a 65 gallon tank but want to upgrade to a 180 gallon tank. I am asking for general information. I hate talking to the people at the stores because I get so much variation of information. I want to know what size heater, water pump, skimmer, and any advice on how to build my bio filter system. How this should I have my live sand be. I want this to be a reef tank, if that helps. I am trying to get as much info that i can before i dig in. Any tips on how to drill my my overflow holes and how to set that up. I want to buy just an 180 gallon glass tank and build everything for it. any information at all is greatly appreciated. Tips and advice as well.
 

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300 Gallon Reef Tank
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On a reef tank, go big on the skimmer and get a good one. They will always tell you the size it is rated for but go at least a size up. Buy your tank reef ready if you don't intend to make it that way yourself. Very low fish count in reef tanks. Plan on a couple hundred pounds of live rock. My sand bed is about 3 inches thick in a 125. The skimmer is the bulk of my filtration and the live rock takes care nitrogen cycle. I also use a refugium with macro algea to compete with any other algeas that would like to make a showing. Take it slow is probably the key. These guys with big reefs did not get there overnight. As for a heater I have a 300 watt heater but it rarely if ever kicks on because the pump and lighting and other equipment seem to keep water where I need it. Good luck!
 

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Unless you are doing some kind of custom overflows, buy a reef ready tank. The price difference is minimal compared to buying all of the components to do it yourself.

Also, a 180g tank will be tempered on the bottom and your overflows will need to be drilled into the back pane of glass.

Then there is also the risk of breaking the tank to consider.
 

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on the heater, ive heard it may be better to use two smaller heaters for backup sake incase one malfunctions.
 

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your in San Diego do you really need a heater?? a lot of your questions are personal preferences like the sand bed depth or type of sand. my advised would be to set a budget and get an idea of what kind of setup you would like to have by reading build threads of similar tanks.


If you are going to buy a new tank I would get it drilled. if you are buying used then get what is in your budget and drill the tank of need be.

next think about the stand. are you going to build it your self, where is the tank going to sit, how many sides will be viewable. my tank setup is a three sided tank with the long panel viewable from either side. building a stand and doing the finish work takes a long time and can be expensive depending on what type of material you use.

as far as equipment there lots of great manufacturers out there and it's like between choosing between Nissan and Mazda or Chevy and Ford.

as far as pumps go do some research and spend the money for quiet pumps. also in the sump pumps generate heat another thing to think of.

as far as lighting I like metal halides but these are expensive lights and expensive to run. you will need three 250 watt lights in my opinion. for this type lighting plus an artinic supplement.

that is a good start and a lot to think about.

one last word of advise the more planning and blueprinting you do now the less heart and headaches you will have later. :thumbup:
 
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