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I am in the process of building a 150 gallon reef tank which has been a lifelong dream of mine. I have had the deign in my head for years but never had the space to do it. We are adding a family room off the kitchen and the tank will go in the wall between the two rooms so both sides are viewable.

It will be several months before the area is ready for a tank but I am trying to prepare for it. A couple months ago I started gathering some of the things I will need. I have set up two – 25 gallon tanks to give me a jump start on the initial set up and I will re-use each tank in the sump design of the big tank. Each tank has 40 lbs of live rock, 20 lbs of live sand and 10 lbs of crushed coral and I have added the cleaning crew, a few pieces of coral, a maroon clown and an anemone. I will add other things to help give the big tank a nice start. There is nothing sadder looking then an empty 150 gallon tank.

I am trying to plan this all out and was hoping I could get some feedback. I really want an efficient system with good lighting and water flow.
I was thinking I would attach an over flow to each end of the aquarium and use the two – 25 gallons tanks. One as a wet/dry sump and one as a quarantine tank that would also hold the protein skimmer, heater etc. I liked the idea of having two sumps because it will allow me to split the return to cover both ends of the tank and it will keep things tidy (if only in my mind). Is there anything overtly wrong with doing it this way that might create problems down the road that I haven’t thought of?
I am a little unsure about a few things so if you have any advice on the flowing subjects I would be most appreciative. I want to buy a few things each week over the next couple months.

1) First where do you guys buy your online supplies, like pumps, lighting, fish, coral, etc…. I have bought a few things off liveaquaria.com but I hate that they ship from 3 different locations and slam you with all kinds of shipping fees.

2) How many gph should the return pumps be putting out for a 150 gallon reef tank and what brand pump do you recommend?

3) How many additional power heads would I need for a good healthy water flow and what brands to you suggest?

4) I have heard halide are the best lights, but they are very expensive. What are some excellent alternatives. How many watts would I need for 150 gallon tank?

5) what are good skimmers. I know they range wildly in price. I am looking for a good solid skimmer at an slightly above average price?

6) what is a healthy water change for a tank this size and how frequently?

7) I am having problems keeping the small tanks cool. I use to have a 75 gallon tank that never had big issues with overheating. With all the lights, pumps, powerheads, skimmers etc will overheating be a big issue for the 150g? Aside from buying a chiller what do you do to help keep the tanks cool without depriving the coral of light?

I have other questions but I will save them for later. I appreciate any advice you can give.

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

Julie
 

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ICH is work of the DEVIL
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Julie.... go to a Local Fish Store....especially a LFS that goes out and services Doctor & Dentist offices.....

.....and "interview" some of the staff on their knowledge & professional skills. Find someone who will come over & give you solid advice.

Perhaps even hire them for a SIDEJOB to help during off-hours. There's alot of people out there looking to pickup extra cash as sidejobs. Many people who will do the work at half or even a third of what it would cost hiring them thru the LFS.

Dont get in over your head. I'd go with a professional......just my opinion.
 
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