View Full Version : 90 Gallon Wishlist--help needed

03/11/2007, 10:00 PM
Alright guys, I just received word from the fiance that my/our new tank can begin. Being that this will be a second time around reef, I want to have only quality products and I am willing to wait if the price for that item is justified. I will have some sps, lps and softies, fyi.


-90 gallon reef ready
-stands- I was thinking DIY, does anyone have a quality stand builder? I want really nice trim work and little add ons.
-fuge - what size is recommended? I know bigger is better, but where do I start?
-skimmer- I was think the ASM g2
-amount of live rock (lbs.?)
-amount of live sand? (lbs?)
-return pump? - quite is very important as I am going to have it in the living room.
-auto-top off- what brand, pumps, etc.
-lights- (2) 250 MH- mogel or hqi? Ballast? Lights?
- vho or t5? Ballasts? Lights?
-flow? Closed loops? sea swirls? tunzes? seos?
-fans or chiller?
-controler system?
-wave maker?

Lets get this wishlist going so I can make a budget for my new reef tank. Thanks, Chris

T Man
03/11/2007, 10:52 PM
For all that you have listed I'd set at least a 4K budget, less the LR and LS. IMHO. Do some surfin' with Reef Centrals sponsers to compare products and prices, it's the best way to get to know whats ahead of you. Good luck with your new set up, I hope to see some pic's soon. TinMan

03/11/2007, 11:07 PM
i'm upgrading to a 90gal

i'm spending around $2000

03/12/2007, 01:20 AM
Wouldn't you want to go at least 125 gallons?

03/12/2007, 06:25 AM
All Prices are Approx:

-90 gallon reef ready
Go with the Ocean Tech Series Tank ($850) (Eurobraced, Starfire glass, and slim overflow, and it looks awesome!) but you could get just a normal AGA RR 90 for half the price ($440).

Go DIY($200)

Go for a Fuge/Sump combo, and i'd try to fit a 40 gallon breeder under there if you can fit it.($150 w/ baffles and pumbling)

Tunze 9010, super quite, small size, and super skimmer($300)

-amount of live rock (lbs.?)
Check out MarcoRocks.com, this stuff is awesome, priced well, and its dry, so if you order 50 lbs, your really get like 75-85, once its wet, and seed it with some top quality Figi. (i'd say go with pillars, roughly 50 dry lbs of Marco and 25 lbs of top notch Figi)($250)

-return pump? Ehiem 1260/1250 best on the market($60-100)

-auto-top off-
i'd run a JBJ ATO, with a MJ 600 (there are better, but this has worked great for me, can get it for $75) ($90 all said and done)

-lights- (2) 250 MH-
Luminarc Stealth HQI DE, with Sunlight Supply Bluewave VII ballast($600 w/ bulbs)

- vho or t5?
2x54 Tek T5 HO retros with individual reflectors.($140 w/ bulbs)

-flow? Closed loops? sea swirls? tunzes? seos?
Tunzes, No question($500)

-fans or chiller?
Vantec Stealth fans($20)

-controler system?
Neptune Jr ($270)

-wave maker?
Tunzes will take care of that ;)

Realize that there is better equipment out there, but everything i've listed is top quality and reliable IME, and there is really no reason to go higher if you want to keep your price range in check. Realistically, say you plan to spend $3000 (about what the system would cost above), you will probably spend $4000, but it will be worth it in tho long run. $4000 is definitely realistic for a tank of that size with respectable equipment, and some automation. I'm putting nearly $4500 into a 70 (36x18x25) gallon i am building, but it will have a little more automation and only a single MH with 4 T5's.

Hope this Helps

03/12/2007, 07:03 AM
I'd go with a Vortech's for flow...I'm running a G3 on my 90



03/12/2007, 08:44 AM

uscharalph- I can't go with a 125 because I don't have the length on the wall. This is due to a nook and an AC thermostat on the wall were the tank will be.

jgross and andy, can you either post or pm me some of your setups-everything, stand to fuge to lights to accessories. I would like to see everything.

jgross- do you will like your starfire that much more. I know where I can get a regular 90rr tank w/ overflows for under 300. So the 1000 price tag for starfire seems like I gcould get alot of other stuff for the extra money there.

Here are my questions back to you guys or anyone else;
-under fuge- do you prebuy your baffles on ebay for $39, or do you make your own? If so I might inquire about at a price from you.
- live rock- I was thinking of making some "live" rock like the garf.com website suggests. Then I will use this as my base and then buy real live rock and place this along the top and it will see the other made live rock. In addition to this, I will use live sand.
-lights- Do you have a link so I can take a look at them? I can't find them on the net.
-flow- which Tunze?
- controller- is this the best, or are you just familar. If you do own it, would you step a little and buy the larger controller, or that not needed?

Thanks again guys, Chris

03/12/2007, 08:59 AM
Jgross- so you like this Tunze better than a ASM or Deltec? Just asking for your opinion.

03/12/2007, 09:23 AM
Stand & canopy, custom made, sorted thru Wet Pets in Montgomery.
90G Oceanic tank, huge Oceanic sump(its wider than the tank, and slightly shorter) added an extra baffle for the skimmer, so the level remains constant. Asm G3 with gate valve (easier to maintain level)
Eheim 1260 return pump. Two Vortech powerheads/flow. Lighting is IceCap 660 driving 4 T5 lamps (retrofit). Its all being controlled ny an Neptune AcJr & DC8, and i'm about to add a DC4hd to split the load better. and i'm probably going to add another two lamps on a triad ballast so i can simulate dusk/dawn. Moonlights from http://www.thelebos.com/.

More questions?

03/12/2007, 09:31 AM
Since no one has commented about the LR and LS to much i'll take a stab at it. You can get LR off ebay drop shipped to you. 50lbs for 167 shipped. a very good deal. I'd go for 150lbs of LR and just get a good sand substrate, no need for LS, let your rock seed it and save a few hundred bux. By the time your cycle is finished your sand will be somewhat seeded and it won't take long after that. FWIW, my bud ordered the LR from ebay and it was awesome! I totally missed out when starting up on LR, but you do have to let it set a while and fully cure, but the hitchhikers were amazing. I"ll try and find the link for you.

03/12/2007, 09:36 AM
I got my live rock from someone who was taking his tank down.

03/12/2007, 09:37 AM

There ya go, 50lbs x 3 = 498 bux....you could go with 100lbs and only have 332 to fork out...all depends on you.

03/12/2007, 09:53 AM
luke and andy thanks for the help. I am tring to sort all this out. Luke- have you ever thought about making your own rock and then getting some real to seed it? I was thinking of making my own rock to save a whole lot of money. what do you think?

03/12/2007, 10:02 AM
Buy some used rock


03/12/2007, 10:41 AM

The only concern I would have about buying used rock would be taking in other people's problems ie disease, bad hitch hikers and so on. What do you think about this?

03/12/2007, 10:41 AM

Can you post some pictures of your tank and guts? Thanks, Chris

03/12/2007, 10:44 AM
kb and everyone else,


03/12/2007, 11:03 AM

03/12/2007, 11:14 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=9456413#post9456413 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by chrismhaase

The only concern I would have about buying used rock would be taking in other people's problems ie disease, bad hitch hikers and so on. What do you think about this?

If its coming from an existing tank, chances are your get less bad stuff :)

posted pictures...sorry its untidy, am currently working on the tank

03/12/2007, 12:08 PM

I have class all day, but i'll snap some picture of my current tanks setup and also further explain my new tanks setup tonight.

Also as far as starfire goes, its nice, but thats not the real reason i bought the Tech Tank, i bought it mainly for the fact that it is eurobraced, as i will be running a single halide with 4 T5's. The other big plus is that the overflow only sticks out about 2 inches vs. AGA's roughly 4 inches. If i was you though, i would take the deal for $300 on the RR 90, unless money is no object. Heres a picture of a 120 Tech Tank just for an idea of what it's like:

Ocean Tech Tank (http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1058629&highlight=oceanic)

As for skimmers, I have never seen a Deltec in person, but from what i hear they are the best. However in their price range they are almost in a league of there own. I have seen and heard G3 in person, and it seems like a great skimmer, however if you are a noise freak like me(my tank runs silent, loudest thing is the slight hum of the ballast), it may be too loud. Its not that loud, dont get me wrong, but the tunze is almost dead silent, u have to put your ear right up to it to hear it.

You can check out this sites for lighting:
there are a lot more....

For flow, from what i understand the vortecs are great pumps, but they are not controllable, thats why i am going to run tunzes on my new tank. For the 90 you could probably get away with the two 6055 nanostreams with a controller, they're not out yet, but will be in the next few weeks, might not be enough though, might have to go full size. Although, you know what might be great, is a one vortec and one 6055 on a controller, so that way you would get your main flow from the vortec, and the random/wave action from the 6055.

Be careful with used live rock, make sure you see it in the tank before you buy, you definitely dont want to get byprosis or dinos, just be careful if you go that route.

Here's a old picture of my current 36 gallon BF just to give you something to look at, i will take some pictures of the equipment setup later, aswell as fill you in on the new tank plans.

Nice tank!


03/12/2007, 12:53 PM
iwaki has always made a nice pump (jap motor) for the price. quiet and do not forget about heat transfer/ electriic bill

03/12/2007, 02:00 PM
JGross, I like hellolights.com, I bouth all my DIY lighting from them for many different tanks. When we bought some ballast and lights from them earlier for a friend of mine, we ran into a problem and they walked us through. Good company, great support.

I would have to agree with you on the deltec skimmer opinion. What skimmer are you running that is really quite?

03/12/2007, 02:01 PM
5-5-6, is that iwaki pump good, quite and has a low temp in operation or are you saying that it it is quite and good but not good on low temp sitautions?

03/12/2007, 02:02 PM
Vortech controller out soon ;)

03/12/2007, 02:11 PM
Chris, if you can get a good buy used LR is great. As for bad hitchers, there's always the risk and it can usually be taken care of fairly easy. Would i worry about disease...not at all. If your going to be setting up the tank for a cycle, any disease, well, most diseases would be gone after 4-6weeks. Most people would worry about ick, and with no fish, its no worry if you don't add any for a 4-6 week period. I'd suggest nothing in your tank for this long anyhow. Maybe some cleaners after a few weeks but they can't host ick anyhow.

03/12/2007, 02:21 PM
I'd go for an Eheim as a return pump, or i have heard good things about the OceanRunner pumps

03/12/2007, 03:04 PM
Andy which model? Is it quite? Good on Energy ?

03/12/2007, 03:06 PM
good point luke, I will have to look for some used rock, plus it might save me some time on the making and curing of live rock! That might be worth a few bucks and I wont have to worry about such a long curing process to get rid of the PH spike. Something to think about.

03/12/2007, 03:10 PM
I'm running a Eheim 1260, very quiet and more efficient than a Mag7, Ocean Runner is more efficient and a little more noisy.

03/12/2007, 04:03 PM
I'm upgrading as well. I was thinking about a 90g at first but Paul (hookedonfish) talked me into a 120g. The 90g is around $300 and the 120g is almost $500 with overflows. I bought a retro MH kit from ebay for my lights. The bulbs aren't the best but by the time your system is stable enough for SPS you will need new bulbs anyhow. He also told me to get a Euro-Reef rs80 skimmer. Which if it's good enough for his perfect 180g it's good enough for mine. I'm going to be spending a little over a grand for this upgrade.. so you should be able to do it for 2k. That deal on ebay for the live rock looks pretty good. Might have to buy some myself. I would seriously think about upgrading to a 120g. Look at it this way.. more room for fish, more room for corals, and doesn't take up any more noticable space. It's six inches deaper and 2 inches taller. You might outgrow the 90g and have to do this all over again. The 120g is big enough to give you the extra space you'll need and all the equipment that you were going to buy for the 90g will work on the 120g. I'm getting close to ordering my equipment and I'll let you know if I find some good deals.

03/12/2007, 04:19 PM
the only difference between the 90 and 120 is the 6" in width. they are the same height. I'm getting my new 90gal for $370 with stand.

Anyway i still have not set it up. i'm still buying equipment for it.

I plan to use:

lighting: odyssea MH fixture 2x 250 mh de 260watts of pc - $370
skimmer: Das ex2 $400 [really is overkill for my tank, its rated for 250gallon heavy stocked]
pumps: Still not sure about this. Maybe tunze 6000x2, plan to try 1 6000 and some mj 1200. Will get the second 6000 if i need extra flow.
LR- 120-170lbs
controller: reefkeeper
sump/fuge: 30gal long.

This tank will be bare bottom so no sand.

03/12/2007, 04:49 PM
Sorry... stand corrected

03/12/2007, 04:52 PM
For a 90g you don't need anymore than an Eheim 1250 at best for a return pump.

Save yourself some money, electricity and also help your skimmer be more efficient. You really want as little turnover through the sump/fuge as possible.

03/12/2007, 06:07 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=9457971#post9457971 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by chrismhaase
5-5-6, is that iwaki pump good, quite and has a low temp in operation or are you saying that it it is quite and good but not good on low temp sitautions?

low heat transfer.. wont heat your water like many cheep pumps will

03/12/2007, 07:25 PM
kp- is it possible to overskim your tank? Why bare bottom? Are you making your own fuge with the 30 long? What are your baffles going to be made out of; glass or acrylic?

dhnguyen- are you suggesting to use the Eheim 1250 for the return and skimmer?

03/12/2007, 07:35 PM
No just for the return. No need to have a larger pump than that Eheim 1250

03/12/2007, 07:40 PM
You can't overskim a tank, IMO.

I'm going bare bottom because i like the clean look and sand is hard to keep clean. I plan to use a starboard bottom. But the main reason is that i want a lot of flow in this tank.

My fuge will have no baffles. The skimmer is external and will feed off my overflow. The return pump will be place on the other side of the fuge. I dont plan to have a ton of flow through my fuge, under 250 gph.

03/12/2007, 08:33 PM
I have a question about making live rock- since you assume that you are supposed to use sand and oyster shells, well, what if you went to the beach(I do live in FL) and got a bunch of sand and shells there? Would this be the same? I could go there, dry out the sand in a kiddie pool, then use it and the shells I got. I could then make everything in the kiddie pool. And when I was done I could use the kiddie pool as a curing tank. Plus, it will be outside so it could get natural sunlight to start the color process.

What do you think?

03/13/2007, 08:10 AM
Okay, what a fuge layouts? Can you guys post pictures of your fuge. Whats the best order?
- or another way

03/13/2007, 08:11 AM

03/13/2007, 08:52 AM
Thats what I was thinking andy. Do you think a 40 long would be too much combined with a ASM G3 skimmer? I like those ASM's, they are easy to use and seem to do a pretty good job.

03/13/2007, 09:18 AM
I'm all in favor of big sumps, yes its more water to skim/heat but a large(ish) slow moving flow of water allows stuff to settle out an get filtered

03/13/2007, 10:21 AM
andy do you like your asm g3? Would you buy it again if you were starting a new 90?

03/13/2007, 10:24 AM
andy, what is the size of your fuge, and placement of your baffles? And why did you not have sand or LR? Any special reason? What is the measurement of your skimmer section? Return length? and Fuge lenght?

03/13/2007, 10:33 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=9464797#post9464797 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by chrismhaase
andy do you like your asm g3? Would you buy it again if you were starting a new 90?

Yep I like it works fine all the time, and i would buy another, i think there are better pumps around than the sedra but again it works fine and i leave it alone

03/13/2007, 10:48 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=9464829#post9464829 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by chrismhaase
andy, what is the size of your fuge, and placement of your baffles? And why did you not have sand or LR? Any special reason? What is the measurement of your skimmer section? Return length? and Fuge lenght?

Baffle containing the skimmer is 8" tall and 13" from the LH tank end
(constant water level for skimmer, plus skimmer gets "raw" tank water

The the fuge section (i'm about to put some live sand in there, was trying without, works better with)

Second baffle is approx 10" from skimmer section and is approx 7" tall
third baffle is approx 3" from second its about 7" tall with a 1" gap. then into the return section.

Its an Oceanic Model 3 sump, if I was doing it all over again I'd get a sump made, smaller return section larger fuge section. Now the summer is approaching i'll move the return pump to be external again.

Some will moan about having only two baffle...and i think if you have a small sump you need more baffles to make sure micro bubbles dont get back into the aquarium, but with large sump like this i've never had a problem.

03/13/2007, 11:34 AM
So if I were to make mine, should I use a 30 long, have the same skimmer section you have and the remaining part all fuge, with an external return? If so how would you plump out the retur water or would you just have a really small return section that leads to an external pump?

03/13/2007, 11:41 AM
How wide is a 30 long?

03/13/2007, 11:56 AM
Here is a link from All Glass Aquariums. Which tank should I use? http://www.all-glass.com/products/aquariums/index.html

03/13/2007, 12:01 PM
That depends on the internal size of the stand, I'd still go for the biggest you can get in there, if your planning on putting in our own baffles etc look for a used tank

03/13/2007, 12:27 PM
well i am going with a 90 gallon reef ready tank so the basic size is 48'X18" deep and 24" tall. So if I went with a 30 breeder, 36lx18dx12 tall then that would be a good fit. This way I have room for an external return to be out to the right of the sump.

03/13/2007, 12:32 PM
that sounds good, i'd wait on the baffles until you have the skimmer, so you can check the fit etc

03/13/2007, 12:40 PM
Yeah thats what I was thinking. I called all my friends who I gave equipment to that are still not using it and requested it back. So in all reality I should have;
- a 250 elctronic ARO ballast (for a MH) so I need to pick a bulb. This will yield 8.3 watts per gallon.
a.) should i get a 10k, 14, 20k bulb if I am going to use this as a prop tank?
- a pro clear skimmer, model MPS 150 here is the link http://www.proclearaquatics.com/skimmers.html

Then all I will have to do is buy a cheap tank, some LR and LR and some PVC to make a stand. I can then get sand and some rock from my buddies tanks to seed my new tank.

I will also need a small power head in there right? what size a MJ 1200 or 900?

03/13/2007, 01:11 PM
No idea about MH I'm a T5 guy :D for a prop tank you will need some water movement, perhaps someone with more knowledge will chime in.


03/13/2007, 01:15 PM
Stay away from the ProClear skimmers. They are garbage.

03/13/2007, 02:42 PM
dhnguyen- I was only going to use it since it was free and easy to setup. This was only going to be a loaner for the prop tank time period. Then I was going to upgrade to a ASM G3 to be put into the sump later when my bigger tank was up and running.

I was just trying to get a head start on corals when I was in the planning process. But I do agree with you full heartedly.

03/14/2007, 08:08 AM
How high do you think I should have this tank. I am 6'4" so I am pretty tall. Iwas thinking a 34 or 36 height on the stand. What do you guys think?

Plus I have long arms and a small step stool if I would have any problems getting to the bottom of the tank.

03/14/2007, 08:13 AM
depends on how you will mostly view the tank, sitting down or standing up.

I think mine is 36" maybe slightly taller

03/14/2007, 08:17 AM
well it will be in the hallway on the first floor. You will be able to be outside my front door-it is glass- and be able to see it from the street. When you walk down the stair and also come out of the 1/2 bath it will be right there, and you will be able to see it from the living room. So alot of standing and sliding my bar stools over to it.

I will take a picture. But how do you post them on here?

03/14/2007, 08:23 AM
Sounds like taller is better for you.

I have my own web space and upload to their then put a link in, not sure how other people do it

03/14/2007, 08:37 PM
which one do you use? I would like to do the same.

03/14/2007, 09:07 PM
Ah its an old account from England, its running a site I own, you don't want to pay UK prices.....trust me

03/14/2007, 09:57 PM
what do you think about photobucket?

03/15/2007, 06:12 AM
photobucket seems to work ok

03/15/2007, 07:35 AM
here is my first try using photobucket...
<a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t296/chrismhaase/avatar.jpg" border="0" alt="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket"></a>

this is my dog.

03/15/2007, 07:35 AM
it worked. muhaha

03/15/2007, 09:10 AM
i have a 90 gal non drilled .. overflow from aquatraders
for the sump i built my own about 30 gallon ..
skimmer i now have a ASM G3
return pump rio 2100
i have some power heads in the tank for the flow looking to get seos or MJ mods not sure .. light i have PFO mogel 250w 10K
and PC for attnic ...ive spend about a total of just under 3K for it all

03/15/2007, 09:35 AM
can you post a pic of your tank and especially your fuge. I am looking for design ideas. I had a seo before. It was in this 55 g reef. <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t296/chrismhaase/tank.jpg" border="0" alt="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket"></a>

I am also thinking about the mj mod from mjmods.com. they look cheap to do and very effective.

03/16/2007, 10:12 AM
I think I have changed my tank description now. I think I am going to get a fellow reefers same tank, it was a 72 bowfront. He has done a great job with this tank. the plus, it will be able to go in my living room. Here is the spot I was thinking of.
<a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t296/chrismhaase/wallfortank.jpg" border="0" alt="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket"></a>

Here was the other spot in the hallway.
<a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t296/chrismhaase/Wallforfishtank.jpg" border="0" alt="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket"></a>

Which is better? Against the stairs? From the corner to the spot where the chair touches the wall is about 9 feet. A 72 bowfront is only 4 feet long, so I think it could work. And the hallway will not be as crowded feeling. And the living room has a dual fan, and 2 AC ducts.

03/27/2007, 10:11 PM
beautiful condo! word to the wise, let your wife pick where to put it

04/01/2007, 05:14 PM
Thanks 5-5-6, it isnt a condo, but a two story. But thanks anyway. I think we have decided to put it against the stairs. This should be a good idea, it was her pick and I can have some equipment in the storage area under the stairs. I was thinking of having an auto-top off and maybe a calc reactor. All I would have to do is drill a small hole and run the lines through a single hole.

05/02/2007, 02:19 PM
Alright here is an update:

I got the extra equipment from my buddies back home and I have have started the prop tank. It is a 29 gallon that was given to me from Pedro, thanks man. I plan to use some of 40 lbs. of live sand to seed my new tank once I get it up and running. I also bought 20 lbs of Bali live rock from Life Oceanic. I started a thread about the LR I got here it is http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1112367

Also, here is a picture of a what I got
<a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t296/chrismhaase/LRfornewtank008.jpg" border="0" alt="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket"></a>

And here is a picture of the prop tank setup. I know it is cheesy looking. It is in a guest room closet, per my fiance's request, which I guess is better than nothing.
<a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t296/chrismhaase/LRfornewtank009.jpg" border="0" alt="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket"></a>

I just got my doors that I had made at Lowe's and pictures will follow soon.

05/02/2007, 02:23 PM
As you can see it is a pretty ghetto setup. I have an old donated Pro Clear skimmer elevated on the left side of the tank with a filter sock to eliminate bubbles and a small maxi jet to create flow. On the right side of the tank will be a frag shelf. Since I dont have the corals yet, it is not up. I made a shelf, but I am waiting for the tank to balance out before placing coral in there.

I think I am going to go get some more LR, maybe 10 -12 lbs more and place it under the skimmer.