View Full Version : Saltwater suitability of Oceanic 150g tank

02/27/2008, 08:54 AM
I am confronted with the following situation:

150g Oceanic (4'Wx2'Dx2.5'H) built-in, viewable from 2 sides
system established October 2007
no sump, tank is not drilled, unwilling to remodel home
Ehiem canister filter w/ carbon 400 l/h
SeaCLOWN PS150 HOB (last time I listen to the LFS guy)
Current USA CF's 4 65 watt (2 blue 2 white)
2 Koralia #4's
3-4" sand bed
Water testing parameters have not been an issue

I could go on listing but I don't think it is required.

My basic premise is

This tank is not ideally suited to saltwater when it is not run with a sump.

Given it's depth of 30" getting adequate light to the bottom is impractical. Since it is enclosed any lighting upgrade gives off more heat and if I don't have room for a sump I certainly don't have room for a chiller. Without adequate lighting it rules out alot of desireable tank inhabitants. Even if I upgrade to a AquaC Remora PS HOB it is still on the small side. So I am left with a sparsely populated tank that is not inspiring.

What I am considering is purchasing a Solano 34g w/ 250 watt light system, transfer some/all of the LR & LS to it and then in time slowly add SPS and/or LPS to it. The red volitan and porcupine puffer (both juviniles) will need to go to a good home.

And turn the 150g into a freshwater tank, preferably a heavily planted community tank featuring a large school of neon tetras. The present light, heater & Ehiem equipment would easily transfer to freshwater.

What brought this all about is I am getting ready to shell out $300 for a AquaC Remora Pro skimmerbox PS but where will this get me? I feel like I am destined to failure given the tank dimensions and my unwillingness to remodel to add a sump.

I'd really appreciate your perspective/guidance. Any thoughts, comments and/or observations would be greatly appreciated.


02/27/2008, 09:15 AM

If your goal is to keep LPS/SPS successfully without the use of the sump keep in mind that it can be done.

HOWEVER - Success, with anything, is based on commitment. You sound discouraged and I can say that successfully keeping SPS and LPS will probably involve shelling out more cash than $300 dollars, and involve more setbacks along the way. Not that it takes a lot of money to do something right. It does however take experience, and with this hobby it seems that gaining experience and spending cash to get there sometimes run hand in hand. Along with the occasional house mod. It did with me!

I say that if you can get the same level of enjoyment out of a 150 gallon with 200 neons (which would be freaking cool as heck IMO) go for it.

You will only get back from this hobby what you and your family are willing to put into it. If you simply do not have the resources to go "Whole Hog" into SPS, or whatever, so what. Go for a massive freshwater planted tank and enjoy the crap out of it.

At the end of the day when my inlaws come over to the house they are more fascinated with my 7 year old daughters upside-down catfish in the 15 gallon tank, than with my SPS reef anyways.

Good Luck whichever path you choose.


02/27/2008, 09:23 AM
Daniel, why can't you put a sump underneath your tank? I have a 120 and keep my sump in the stand portion of the tank. I have an open top tank and have (2) 250 mh lights on it and have very little problems with heat.

02/27/2008, 10:21 AM
Thank you for your responses.

Basically I spent the last 10 months researching, designing and building our passive solar home. Having been out of SW for the past 10 years I missed all the changes to the hobby. My time on-line was spent googling "solar" instead of "reef" and thus I built the tank in as I did 10 years ago. Wow, alot has changed. Which brings me to where I am now. It is really impractical to add a sump also w/ the tank not being drilled that adds to the problem if I was to add a sump.

The top of the tank is completely enclosed in the wall cavity. The tank, when viewed from either room, looks like a picture hanging on the wall. Any heat from add'l lighting will go directly to the tank. I succeeded in aesthetics built failed miserably in operation and functionality for a saltwater system IMHO.

Thus, that is why I am compteplating this shift in strategy. I do not want a SW tank where the inhabitants survive rather I wish to create one where they could thrive. I don't believe it is practical given the tank's heigth and lack of a sump.

Besides, I'd end up with another tank. A backdoor move around my wife's strong objections to a second tank (in her defense, in the 1980's I had 13 tanks so she is a little nervous to say the least).

Thank you again

02/28/2008, 07:16 AM
Thank you to those who contributed. Any other thoughts?