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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Whats everyones opinion on using a 44 gallon Hexagon for a reef aquarium???

I like the look of the Hex but im not sure if it would be a suitable tank for a reef aquarium, and if they are allright what kind of equipment would be good to use for this type of tank?????
Im later planning to keep SPS, but obviously i need to start with the beginner corals since this will be my first reef tank.

And one more question: What kind of skimmer would be best for this size tank??

Thanx a bunch
Aquaholic:cool:
 

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A huge TRT welcome to a fellow hexer!!!

Hex tanks make great reefs. They are so cool to look at. And they fit in places longer tanks won't.

No, to the bad part. They are difficult to light if you plan on using a hood. It's just hard to pack alot of lights into a small place.

The second more important issue is the surface area of the water. In proportion to the same size retangular tank, there is far less surface for gas exchange to take place.

I have a softie 20gal hex tank with 2x36w pc lights. Not even close to enough for any LPS, SPS, or especially clams. But all the softies I have are doing great. I even have a LTA which I've had now for about six months with no problem.

The surface area issue can be less of an issue if you greatly understock our tank so the oxygen needed to sustain life is less.

I am currently setting up an 80gal Hex. It will have an open canopy with a 400w 10000k MH pendant. Maybe some pc's around the edge of the inside of the canopy.

Another solution if you really want a hood is to piggy back the lights in a criss cross pattern. I have seen this done with great success. The only problem is you really need a chiller.

I hope this helps, and again welcome. You can get my email address from my profile. Get in touch anytime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanx for the welcome and the info!!!
But i still have a few questions

I want a hood because some of the fish i want to stock it with are jumpers: Royal Gramma and a Firefish. So if you have any info on how to do the criss cross thing please let me know. The lighting i was planning to use was 10k MHs with Vhos, but i dont know if i could use these for this kind of tank. Do you think just PCs would be allright?? And do you think i could use fans instead of a chiller???
Sorry about all the ?s
Thanx
Aquaholic
 

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Little fish in a big pond
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They are a devil to adequately filter, as well as light.

I've seen some that were awesome, once the logistical issues were overcome!

Jenn
 

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That's alot of light to put in a potetially small hood. If you going to have jumpers, use egg crate (the stuff that covers lights in office buildings) cut to the size of the top of the tank. Each square is only about 1/2" so only the smallest fish with really good aim will be able to jump out. You can get that stuff at Home Depot.

If you do go with a hood, you will probably have to build it yourself. I would make it 12" tall with at least two fans built in the hood. I found a web site of this guy who did just that. I'll try to find it again and forward the address to you.

Are you planning to have a sump? Cause that will determine the type of skimmer you get. I have a CPR Bak Pak II on my 20gal. It works good once you get it dialed in. On the 80gal, I'm building a sump and will probably go with a Euroreef skimmer. I've nothing but good things about that brand.
 

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JennM said:

I've seen some that were awesome, once the logistical issues were overcome!

Jenn
I agree. They are challenging. But set up correctly, they make a very impressive display.
 

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Little fish in a big pond
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The biggest problems we found were that HOB filters didn't fit the small panels. For 60s we usually ended up with a hang on overflow box and a sump - not ideal (prefer pre-drilled but hexes don't come that way...) and custom made hoods.

Jenn
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes i am planning on having a sump and i really like the Euro Reef skimmer but i dont know if they make them for a 44 gallon tank, so i might end up using the bak pak.

And again thank you for your help
 

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I've always thought the looks of a hex are really cool, but this past weekend when I was in "fantasyland" (a new aquarium store) I noted to the owner that he didn't have any. He said in his 28 years of experience, they leaked more than recs or cubes. Guess that makes sense, since they have more joints, and that's where they usually leak, eh? Also, is there a visual advantage to a hex over a cube, which I also think are way cool.
 

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Good point about leaks - we had a customer buy one used at a yard sale - wanted us to set it up as a b'day surprise for her husband (just rock, no fish...YET). Scott saw the tank and cringed - silicone looked like it had been spackled on with a trowel and a paint brush :eek: He suggested a re-seal but there was no time... they tested it, it held water... fast forward 8 weeks and it was leaking, they bought a cube tank to replace it.

Of course the previous owner had leakage problems, hence the necessity to spackle on gobs of silicone. Not too many would have paid money for that tank - but she was naive...lesson learned.

Just the nature of their shape would make them more of a risk.

They are pretty if they are set up properly.

OH and a 60 only has room for the smallest sump size - a generic "model 75" usually snugs in there. I don't know about a 45... but you'd best check the specs before you put money down - I don't know of a smaller sump, and you need to have at least enough space for return pump, skimmer, heater, a bag of carbon and volume enough to catch all the water in the plumbing if the power cuts off -- snug at best in a model 75 on a 60 - I don't think the 45 would handle a 75 sump.

Jenn
 

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JennM said:

OH and a 60 only has room for the smallest sump size - a generic "model 75" usually snugs in there. I don't know about a 45... but you'd best check the specs before you put money down - I don't know of a smaller sump, and you need to have at least enough space for return pump, skimmer, heater, a bag of carbon and volume enough to catch all the water in the plumbing if the power cuts off -- snug at best in a model 75 on a 60 - I don't think the 45 would handle a 75 sump.

Jenn
I struggled with that same problem with the 20gal I have. Ended up just skimming using a CPR Bak Pak II Reef Ready. It fits perfect on the smaller panels. With the 80gal, I really wanted a sump/fug. So, instead of trying to cram a rectangular object into a round hole, I am building the sump into the stand.

I thought about it for a long time. I was at first going to line the six inside walls and the inside bottom of the stand with acrylic. But I don't have any experience welding acrylic and the measurements and cuts would have to be pretty darn exact for it not to leak. So I scratched that idea. Then I found a web site about building tanks out of ply wood. My stand is going to be made out of ply wood so why couldn't I make the bottom of my stand a tank? I would have to use thicker ply wood. About 1" should do the trick and then some. The special paint isn't too expensive. All I would need is 1 piece of acrylic to mount in front so I could still have door for access. With this setup, I should have at least a 30 gal sump and if I coat the entire inside of the stand, the amount of tank water it will catch will only be dependant on how tall of a piece of acrylic for the front I use. The taller the piece, the more water.

BTW if anybody has any tips on working with that special paint, let me know. They would be greatly appreciated.

Also, my glass hex 20 has been running for at least 8 years with first fresh and now salt. I haven't had any leaks yet. Crossing my fingers on that one.
 

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FWIW having looked at a few tanks over the years I have been in the hobby. IMO the main problems with hex tanks are small footprint relative to volume, Heigth versus volume, as well as the other stuff.
The nicest Hex's i have seen were MH lit, Acrylic(easier to custom plumb) and had space in a closet or room behind them to set up the sump,skimmer, etc
Typically there is never enough room in a stand made to fit a hex, and most square or rectangle stands look outta place, tho if its really nice it can be pulled off OK.
The nicest ones I have seen , consistantly seem to have one spectacular coral as the focal point and everything subdude. A really nice setup would be a trophy Fiji Yellow leather or a really nice Hammer, Frogspawn or the like(hosting a couple clowns is a bonus) with an assortment of mushrooms, star polyps and zoanthids for accent.
An acrylic tank is less seams to leak, easy to drill and if you have the room to remote the life support they can be really sweet. On the other hand the smaller panel size in my opinion really exagerates the cluttered look if you have to use hang on equip. HTH :)
 

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Good points Doug. In regards to the stand, I think a DIY square stand would look really good and give you a little extra space. Similar to what Wasabi did here.....

http://www.thereeftank.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=1255&password=&sort=2&thecat=996

Aquaholic,

Like I said, I will be setting up my 80gal hex over the next couple of months. I started a thread and i will be reporting on my progress. Check back and maybe we can learn a thing or two together.

http://www.thereeftank.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=23210
 

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Aquaholic said:
Thank you for all the info everyone.

Kram, do you have a picture of your 20 hex?

Thanx everyone
I actually don't have any of the whole tank. I've taken a few, or tried to take a few, of the inhabitants. I take some pics this week and try to show the setup as best I can.
 

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ive got a 75 hex im trying to sell. i manaaged to put in two 55 gal wet/dry filters and drilled them together with bulkheads. gave me enough sump room for skimmer and submersible pumps, heaters, etc. i even had enough room for drainage cups from the skimmer. i should mention that this was in a clarity plus stand. dont know if that will help!? as far as getting flow in it i found that spraybars are the only way to go. everything else seemed to make a tornado action.


Brandon & Kelly
 

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I have a 10 gallon Hex Nano. Although this isn't what you are looking at, I thought I would point out that a 5 gallon water bottle (typical office water cooler type) works nicely for a sump. It slides right in to the stand of a 10 hex. I don't have a skimmer on this system, only a fluidized sand filter hanging on the back. Lighting is still a pain. on this 10, I could only fit 18W of PC light. With the newer combo bulbs, you could probably fit a 28w in there.

It is an AGA hex with mitered edges on the pannels. Whatever hex you get, I would get one with mitered edges to prevent leaking.
 
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