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JWCB
09/24/2017, 10:55 PM
Hello Folks!

I am returning to the hobby after a 10 year hiatus. I had a 75g mixed reef when I was in high school with varying levels of success. It has been so long, and I screwed so much up before that for all intents and purposes I consider myself a beginner.

I now have my own place and considerably more funds available at my disposal. I am INCREDIBLY excited to get started again. I remember enjoying so many build threads so my goal is to piece one together that is semi interesting and am hoping to get some help along the way.

My stand should be finished this week and I'm starting to receive my ordered equipment in the mail.

So here is what we got so far:

Already Purchased
60 long x 18 wide x 25 tall tank

116.9 gallons
Low-Iron glass front and sides
Overflow

42 x 15 x 15 Refugium/Sump

40.9 gallons

Reef Octo classic 150-INT protein skimmer

Rated for 211 gal tank

Current USA Orbit Marine Aquariurm LED Light

46 Watts
8,000k/12,000k white 96 LEDs
445nm/460nm actinic blue 96 LEDs

LED 12W Sump light

Royal Blue 450nm + Cold white 10000K + Actinic blue 425nm + Blue 470

Adjustable gooseneck lightbulb holder for sump light
Finnex Deluxe Titanium Tube Heater

TH-800S: 140-265 Gallon

2 KEDSUM Submersible wave maker

20 Watt
2642 GPH

Jacob/Jebao DCT Marine Controllable Water pump

42 Watt
Up to 1585 GPH

Digital Aquarium Thermometer
RO water filtration

What to Buy
Finnex Temperature controller digital heater
GFCI surge suppressor
Buckets
Filtration sock(s)
2 55g trashcans for water changes
Fish Nets
Test Kids

PH
Nitrate
Nitriate
Ammonia
Calcium

TDS meter
Refractometer
Salt
Rubber gloves
Magnetic glass cleaner
Pump with air bubble for mixing water
Various sizes of tubing for acclamation and siphoning tank
? - Aquarium Controller (most likely save for later)
? - ATO (water top off) (most likely save for later)
? - DI water filtration (is it necessary?)

I'm looking for help as to what items I'm overseeing and any recommendations on which brand of test kits and what brand of salt to get. Also since I already have RO water filtration installed for our drinking water, is it necessary to install a DI filter as well.

Thank you for your time, I'm hoping to have pics posted later this week once the stand gets in.

JWCB
09/24/2017, 11:56 PM
I've also ordered 140lbs of coarse Bahama Aragonite Sand and 75lbs of Key Largo dry rock. I plan on getting about another 75lbs of live rock from my LFS.

SAT
09/25/2017, 04:11 PM
JWCB,

[Welcome]

Sounds like a great setup!

For test kits I would add phosphate, magnesium, and alkalinity. I haven't bothered with nitrite testing in a decade, and nitrite isn't very toxic in seawater, so you might leave that out.

As long as you have RO, DI is not critical unless you have really bad tap water.

SycoCell
09/25/2017, 04:20 PM
You'll hear a million answers to which salt is better, which kit is better...

I personally use Reef Crystals for my 120 reef/fish tank. No issues.

I use RedSea for my testing equipment. No issues.

I have full Apex classic automation - recommend 100%. I use the apex to turn my two heaters on and off - thus bypassing the stupid internal controllers on the heaters that tend to fail. Also have everything on my tank running off of 3 Energy Bars - so I can have the ultimate control while gone (I'm an airline pilot). Neptune breakout box is great idea if you're handy and want to set up some floats for backup - I use two in my sump to protect incase my ATO fails - also have one for my Skimmer incase the cup gets full it will shut off the skimmer. Ph, ORP, Salinity probes are great to keep an eye on stability.

Auto Doser - Life saver. I run the Jebao 4 head pump for Alk, Calc, NoPox - parameters are rock solid and never change.

I have the JBJ ATO. It's been rock solid for me. Someday I'll splurge on the new Apex ATO when I'm drunk - but for now, can't justify $200.

I run the BRS 150gpd RO/DI system with the water saver. Love it.

I have the same skimmer as you - I think you'll enjoy it. Works well.

I'm not a pro by any means or have much experience, but I feel as if the lights your looking at won't be strong enough. I could be wrong and someone else will chime in I'm sure, but 46 watts seems weak for such a big tank. I personally run 4x, Hydra 26s over mine (which I'm sure is overkill) but that's about 350 watts.

Not sure where the outlet is located for your tank, but one of the outlets I use is directly behind my tank. I went to home depot and bought an outdoor outlet box to cover it up to protect from splashes, etc etc. Cheap $15 insurance.

JWCB
09/25/2017, 08:11 PM
JWCB,

<img src="/images/welcome.gif" width="500" height="62"><br><b><i><big><big>To Reef Central</b></i></big></big>

Sounds like a great setup!

For test kits I would add phosphate, magnesium, and alkalinity. I haven't bothered with nitrite testing in a decade, and nitrite isn't very toxic in seawater, so you might leave that out.

As long as you have RO, DI is not critical unless you have really bad tap water.

Thank you! I was under the impression that the nitrate/nitrite testing was important for the cycling process

JWCB
09/25/2017, 08:24 PM
Thank you SycoCell!

I've been eyeing the reef crystals on amazon. They have a high review and what looks like a decent price. I was thinking of giving that a shot.

I'm definitely wanting to do the controller, ATO, and Doser, but its just more added cost and it's just all adding up. I've had to convince my spouse that this is all a good idea and I just keep adding more to the list. Hopefully I'll be able to get them hooked also and it will be a non issue (fingers crossed).

I've been a little concerned with the light not being enough, but that's a fairly easy thing to add another bar of LEDs later. So I figured it would be good to start out with and see how it goes.

mcgyvr
09/26/2017, 05:04 AM
If you want corals return that current marine light before you even open the box..
Its not suitable for your tanks 25" depth at all..

I would suggest regular IO vs RC salts too..

And yes ammonia/nitrite is useful if you want to watch/monitor the cycle.. nitrate and phosphate test kits are always good to have as a quick judge of water quality.

SAT
09/26/2017, 05:07 AM
Thank you! I was under the impression that the nitrate/nitrite testing was important for the cycling process

You will definitely want to test nitrate. Nitrite testing during the break-in proocess can be interesting, but if you are waiting for nitrate to stabilize anyway, is somewhat redundant.

tjm9331
09/26/2017, 06:38 AM
If you want corals return that current marine light before you even open the box..
Its not suitable for your tanks 25" depth at all..

I would suggest regular IO vs RC salts too..

And yes ammonia/nitrite is useful if you want to watch/monitor the cycle.. nitrate and phosphate test kits are always good to have as a quick judge of water quality.

not to hijack the thread but I'm curious why IO over RC? doesn't RC add trace elements, calcium and alkalinity to be more in line to what a reef needs?

If not then I'll switch to IO, it's cheaper :lmao:

mcgyvr
09/26/2017, 07:19 AM
not to hijack the thread but I'm curious why IO over RC? doesn't RC add trace elements, calcium and alkalinity to be more in line to what a reef needs?

If not then I'll switch to IO, it's cheaper :lmao:

Not really..kind of...sort of....maybe :)
I'm not sure what they do with "trace element" levels vs NSW..
Not sure there is enough data to say what levels of traces are best..

They do have some other organics in RC too supposedly but its kind of a secret whats really in it AFAIK.. People have been using IO for years in tanks with great success..

Cal/alk/mag is more elevated though vs the real ocean....
Is the real ocean the baseline for what a reef needs? probably should be

Typical ocean values are
CAL 420 ppm (RC is 490... IO is 400 so IO is technically closer to natural levels)
ALK 7dKH (RC is 13... IO is 11.. so IO is again closer to natural levels)
MAG 1280ppm (RC is 1440ppm... IO is 1350... so IO wins again in that regard)

Does being closer to real ocean values = better? maybe
Is being elevated over them = better? Maybe

different strokes for different folks..
There are many brands of salt.. each with their own "magic recipe" of what they think is best.. There is no true definition of "best" or no "perfect recipe"

It is known though that with elevated cal/alk/mag that faster growth rates can be achieved.. is that better?

Here is a chart with many brands and their alk/cal/mag..
http://www.thatpetplace.com/salt-mix-guide
Which one is "best"?

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?
The world may never know :frog:

SycoCell
09/26/2017, 01:48 PM
Thank you SycoCell!

I've been eyeing the reef crystals on amazon. They have a high review and what looks like a decent price. I was thinking of giving that a shot.

I'm definitely wanting to do the controller, ATO, and Doser, but its just more added cost and it's just all adding up. I've had to convince my spouse that this is all a good idea and I just keep adding more to the list. Hopefully I'll be able to get them hooked also and it will be a non issue (fingers crossed).

I've been a little concerned with the light not being enough, but that's a fairly easy thing to add another bar of LEDs later. So I figured it would be good to start out with and see how it goes.

The doser is cheap. You can find them on Ebay for $60ish bucks. Then just use any kind of contain to store the fluid in until funds allow for "fancy" containers. I personally think the doser is one of the best investments on a tank of that size.

JWCB
09/26/2017, 06:04 PM
If you want corals return that current marine light before you even open the box..
Its not suitable for your tanks 25" depth at all..


I really like the idea of LED set up. Do you have any recommendations for LEDs that won't completely break the bank that would work for my 25" depth?

I really want to be able to support a clam, RBTA, and SPS. I'm wanting to do a mixed reef so it won't be solely SPS, but I definitely want to be able to grow some.

JWCB
09/26/2017, 07:22 PM
I like the energy saving features of LED, the lower heat output (I live in Arizona), this model is pre programed for sunrise and sunset, and has some neat features like lighting storm & moonlight.

It was fairly inexpensive ($200) and I could feasibly just buy another bar of lights. Would that be helpful, or just wasting another $200? I'm pretty clueless with in comes to lighting.

SycoCell
09/30/2017, 06:20 AM
I like the energy saving features of LED, the lower heat output (I live in Arizona), this model is pre programed for sunrise and sunset, and has some neat features like lighting storm & moonlight.

It was fairly inexpensive ($200) and I could feasibly just buy another bar of lights. Would that be helpful, or just wasting another $200? I'm pretty clueless with in comes to lighting.

I'd agree with above. I don't think that light will be sufficient. Consider investing a bit more, or save some money with the Ebay Black box lights.

Brooklyn11220
09/30/2017, 08:50 AM
I agree with the apex controller, it's a little on the expensive side but worth every penny.

JWCB
09/30/2017, 11:31 AM
I'm returning the Current light and have a Reef Breeder unit on the way.

Photon 50-V2
https://www.reefbreeders.com/shop/photon-50-v2/

Tank stand was delivered yesterday and I'm excited to start piecing things together! Just waiting on the sump to be delivered and I can get this show on the road!

JWCB
09/30/2017, 12:48 PM
I'm starting to piece together my wishlist for livestock and would love some feedback. I've been looking around at compatibility, but please let me know if I missed anything. Also any suggestions as to how many snails or hermits i should be getting for clean up crew.

Fish
2 Percula Clownfish
Randalli, Bullseye, or Hi Fin Red Banded Goby (to be paired with a pistol shrimp)
Coral Beauty Angelfish or Potter's Angelfish
3-5 Sunburst Anthais or Barlet Anthias
Tailspot Blenny, Midas Blenny, Scribble Blenny, or Eyelash Blenny
Purple Firefish or Zebra Firefish
Flasher Wrasse
Powder Blue Tang

Inverts
Tiger Pistol Shrimp
2-3 Cleaner shrimp
5-7 Sexy Shrimp
RBTA
Clam(s)

Clean-up Crew
Snails - Turbo & Astrea mix
Blue legged hermits

Corals
Zoanthids
Acropora
Montipora
Acans
Brains
Chalice

Any other suggestions as to your fish/invert you feel like is a must would be great as well!

JWCB
09/30/2017, 03:22 PM
http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l170/taliver/IMG_2008.jpg
Progress!