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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
WOW!!! I'm amazed at the flow of information in here! It's going to be fun getting involved in a hobby where there are so many interested / informed people to talk to...:)

OK...I am getting close to pulling the trigger on my system...first, I'll give you an overview and let me know if I'm doing something obviously stupid:

- Tank: 5'X24"X24" (150 gal)
- Pump: 1600 gal/hour capacity
- Sump and refugium (20 gal)
- Protein Skimmer (can't remember the brand - doing this by memory... but bloody expensive...just like everything else!)
- 2 power heads
- RO filter
- 3X5' VHO bulbs
- 2 Metal Halides (not sure of the wattage but open to suggestions)
- Heater (inexpensive relative to all the other parts of the system...is that typical?)

I think that's about it...various plumbing and sundries...

OK...now some of the questions:

- The tank is large enough to drill both corners...is that necessary or is one enough? Why?

- Live rock...I read the threads in other discussions and don't think I'm repeating anything...most of the rock I've seen for sale has very little growth occurring. However, the tanks I've seen in the stores have all been beautiful. Plus, here in Canada (Toronto) there doesn't seem to be a lot of options as far as suppliers. How can you tell "good" rock from "bad" rock...or is there such a thing? What is the basis for selecting rock?

- I understand the need to cycle the tank and will error on the side of conservatism when adding livestock. However, when I get to that point, what is the recommended "order" for adding fish, corals, clams, etc.? I ultimately want this tank to be a pretty diverse environment...

Any other thoughts you might have would be appreciated. I want to do this right the first time...

Thanks in advance for any thoughts you all might have...

Mark

:dance: --- This is me at the Stones concert yesterday...
 

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Welcome to TRT!!!

Wow big questions.:eek:

ok first off 1600gph in a 20g sump is a little much. if you want this much flow, which is a good idea, i think this pump should be used in a CLS, and not as a return. i would use a return pump that is more in line with the pump that is used on the skimmer. my guess is a mag 7 or so would be big enough.

if you are going to be drilling the tank then i would go with 2, mainly as a just in case thing. one gets clogged. i would also get it drilled for a CLS for that honkin huge pump you have.:D. do a search for CLS or Closed Loop System to get some great ideas from people here.

as for lighting i would go no less than 2 250w mh's since you have said the clam word.

heater are relatively inexpensive. the only one i would recommend is Ebo Jager.

as far as order, gotta start with the LR. LR starts out pretty ugly. as long as the LR is kept wet at the place you buy it, or you order it from a place that ships quickly you should be fine. hopefully you can find a place that sells LR for or less than 7.99 U.S. a pound. i let my tank cycle with just LR for 3 months. i had another tank at the time so it was not a big deal for me to let it cycle. i would then put in the clean up crew. your snails. give these guys several weeks to make sure all is well. make sure you check your parameters, but if you wait 3 months you should be fine. then you can add A fish. you can add fish slowly, maybe once a month so that the tank can get used to the increased bio-load. i did not get my clam until after the tank was set up for 9 months. i used a couple of small frags of SPS coral to make sure my Ca levels were good. they showed good growth so i was confident in my water quality.

the big thing is, a tank under a year old is not considered mature. so you have to add critters slowly.

hth,

G~
 

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Welcome to TRT mcdavies! :beer:

The only thing I can add is that you may want to use the 20gal as strictly a refugium, and use a little bigger tank for a sump.
The only reason I say this is that in the event of a power outage, the sump must catch all the water that drains back down from the tank until it gets to the level of the overflows... which 'could' be more than 10 gallons... and assuming that you run the sump at least half full (due to the 'fuge contained within) you'll run the risk of overflowing it.
I have a 10 gallon sump on my 55g and I just 'barely' have enough room to catch all the water that drains back into it (about 1/2" away from the top).
Hope that helps, and once again, welcome aboard. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the input...

To clarify, the refugium piece of the sump/refug combination would be 20 gal. Total capacity would be closer to 50 gal combined.

Geoff...you indicate that for clams, I will need some high-intensity lighting...is there any drawback to that? Could that much light damage / impair the growth of other livestock?

Mark
 

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mcdavies said:
Geoff...you indicate that for clams, I will need some high-intensity lighting...is there any drawback to that? Could that much light damage / impair the growth of other livestock?

Mark
heat may be an become a problem. these kind of lights produce a lot of heat. as far as the livestock, it all depends on what else you want to keep. generally speaking most anything will not have a problem with 250w mh's. stuff like zoa's and shrooms you can hide under a ledge. what causes the bleaching is when people just through these corals into their tanks with big mh's after the poor corals have been in a LFS with NO, or PC flourescents. it is a huge shock to them. in this case you need to slowly ramp up the light, so they can get used to all of the light.

hth,

G~
 

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Check out the Rock at Oceans Alive on the Queensway near Kipling. I didn't get my rock there but the young guy that owns the place impressed me and spent an hour answering my questions the last time I was in Toronto. Even gave me his email address in case I had any other questions( Iused to live in TO but now I am out in the sticks)

What I did was cherry pick my rock from about 4 different places that let me rummage through their rock tanks it was curred and I looked for shape and lots of coraline.

I was not impressed with the stuff at Big AL's Mississaga.Scaraborough,or Kenedy Rd.

Frank
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Frank...

I'll pop over to Oceans Alive on the way home tonite and see what they have...

When you were here, did you ever hear anything about / have experiences with the Reef Gallery in Oakville? That is the store I am leaning towards as far as purchasing my system from...

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Have never noticed before (considering I live about 2 minutes from that address and drive past it every morning!). Thinking they don't have a walk-up but I will check.

Oh...Oceans Alive appears to not be in business anymore...:(

Had a great chat with the owner of Reef Gallery yesterday. Pretty well set on using him...now I just have to decide on a 4' tank vs. 5'...decisions, decisions...

Mark
 
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