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Help me get back into the swing of things


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  1. #1
    ReeferMike - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    macomb michigan
    Posts
    87
    First Name
    Mike

    Default Help me get back into the swing of things

    I've been out of the game for a few years now. I'm getting a 180gallon tank and need to brush up on some basics in order to plan some equipment purchases. I've forgotton some of the rule of thumb type knowlege, and may be a little rusty as far as what kind of equipment is preferred. So I'm asking for some help.

    I had an swc skimmer in the past. thought it was a great skimmer for the money and was thinking of getting an extreme 160. Are there better skimmers for around the same money?

    How big of a sump should I get, and what kind of flow rate should be going through it? Recommend a good for the money return pump. Had a mag 950 in the past, but thought it was kinda loud and sucked alot of power.

    I liked koralia powerheads, but they seem to have a ton of new models... for a 180gallon tank 6x2x2, which ones should I be looking at and how many?

    My plan is to setup a mixed reef with primarily easy corals... zoas polys shrooms, I'd like to have a couple bta's, frogspawn/hammer corals that sort of thing... maybe some of the easier sps such as birdsnest and montis. I'd like a pair of captive bred clowns, sailfin tang, maybe some chromis.

    Lighting will probably be t5.. is the vue660 really the new icecap660?

    What kind of sandbed is preferred these days ssb, dsb, bb? I'm hoping ssb is still a good option. Any good deals for aragonite sand for cheap? I remember sand being expensive.

    anyone still running refugiums?

    Answering a few of these questions would really help me out. thanks

    Mike

  2. #2
    dputt88 - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Romeo MI
    Posts
    873
    First Name
    Doug
    Awards Tank of the Month - January 2013 Tank of the Month Post and Reply Award - Finding Nemo PAR contest Fishbowl Drawing Winner - Summer Swap Fishbowl Winner (Red Dragon)

    Default

    im not very good with skimmers for that size tank.

    as big as you can get IMO, i always feel like i need more space in my tank. more water volume add a lot of stability to the water chemistry. my dream is to have a huge sump so i can have a spot for equipment, a section for a frag rack, a section for a refugium, and then another section for equipment... maybe look into an external? im assuming your 180 is dual overflow, so you will want about 750 gph per overflow after head loss and what not.

    first i wouldnt buy a korailia, they break way to easy and are expensive in the long run. many of us just switched to this new brand named Jebao. i switched about 7 months ago and love the new one. for my 90 gal i bought a WP-40. its something like 3200 GPH. for your 180 gal you could buy a WP60, it will be a lot cheaper than a few korailias and give you a lot more flow.

    your plan sounds cool.

    if you want to save money on lighting in the long run i would look into LEDs. obviously they are a bigger start up cost but they last for about 5 years, and ofter that you can still replace the diodes pretty easily. diodes are about $1.50 to about $3.00 depending on which kind you want. i personally am using the $1.50 type over the past year and i havent had a single one go. im using LEDs made by reefbreeders, i would reccomend checking them out, for a 180 you could do well with 3 16" fixtures

    sand beds tend to be the opinion of the hobbyist, i have a shallow, some have deeps.

    many people still run refugiums, if i had the space i would definitely have one.

  3. #3
    ReeferMike - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    macomb michigan
    Posts
    87
    First Name
    Mike

    Default

    Thanks for the reply, I'm supposed to start moving the tank this weekend. It's an old clarity plus 180gal that Im getting from my uncle...It was setup on a main floor with the sump in the basement so it will take some work for teardown and removal. After that it will need some work before its ready to use as a display again, so I have time. I'm really stoked, its been too long and a 180 is what I always wanted. From what I understand he's got a bunch of dead liverock and a bunch of equipment, but im not sure exactly what he has, if its any good, and if alot of it even works.

    Jimsflies, Schminksbro! hope you guys remember me I remember talking to you guys alot years ago, glad to see you guys are still around, I'm gonna need your help!

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ReeferMike View Post
    Thanks for the reply, I'm supposed to start moving the tank this weekend. It's an old clarity plus 180gal that Im getting from my uncle...It was setup on a main floor with the sump in the basement so it will take some work for teardown and removal. After that it will need some work before its ready to use as a display again, so I have time. I'm really stoked, its been too long and a 180 is what I always wanted. From what I understand he's got a bunch of dead liverock and a bunch of equipment, but im not sure exactly what he has, if its any good, and if alot of it even works.

    Jimsflies, Schminksbro! hope you guys remember me I remember talking to you guys alot years ago, glad to see you guys are still around, I'm gonna need your help!
    Great to have you back! For your skimmer I would suggest the xs 250 or 350, I have both sizes running here at the store and I love em. For a 180 I would suggest going bigger than the 160. Refugium, quality skimmer, quality flow, ssb and plenty of live rock should do the trick. Lighting is personal preference. T5, Halide, or LED. For flow I don't think their is anything at any price better than Vortech although some will make the argument for Tunze or these new chinese jobbydos. Having tried Tunzes, Koralia, maxi-jet, closed loops, ocean motions, scwd, ect... I think Vortechs create the best gentle and random flow. 2 mp40s would be ideal in a 180.

  5. #5
    Coral Frenzy - Reefkeeper CR Sponsor
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Shelby Township, MI
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    104
    First Name
    Ken

    Default

    Hey Mike,

    Great to have you back. A 180 is a great size.

    Today's return pumps are much more efficient and are much quieter than years past. It all depends on if you are going to be going internal or external.

    Yes, the vue660 is basically the same as the Icecap 660. The top engineer at Icecap went to Coralvue when everything went down.

    I agree, I am a fan of the Vortechs, too.

    Good luck and welcome back.

    Ken

  6. #6
    ReeferMike - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    macomb michigan
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    Mike

    Default

    Just talked to my uncle I'm going over there right now to start the teardown, I'll post pics tonight!

  7. #7
    Tom@HaslettMI - Reefkeeper
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    East Lansing, MI
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    2,144
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    Tom
    Awards Yugo Award - For helping with the CR Booth at MCES Monthly Giveaway Winner Monthly Giveaway Winner Photo of the Month Tank of the Month

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    Welcome back!

    Shallow sand beds are fine. I don't like a lot of liverock in the display so I balance the shallow display sand bed with a deep sand bed in the refugium.

    I would go with either TUNZE or vortec he. Currently I have TUNZE but may switch to vortech someday.

    Get as big of a sump as you can.

    I have a TUNZE return pump and am very happy with it. Quiet, efficient, reliable, and powerful. Ther are some DC pumps out there now that look interesting though.

    I would go with LEDs. Having to replace bulbs is a PITA.

    Looking forward to the pics!

    Tom

  8. #8
    ReeferMike - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    macomb michigan
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    87
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    Mike

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    Got the tank stand canopy and rock all moved home currently sitting in the garage. He had converted the tank from a reef to freshwater for some time so all the rock should be nice and clean of nuisance hitch-hikers. He had some really nice pieces of what looked like figi lr in there that Im really happy to have...probably 80 or so pounds of it. Im going back tomorrow for the rest. Ill be getting a 55 gallon tank, what looks like a 50gal tall, and maybe a 60 cube as well(he wasnt sure). He has a couple large stream pumps, and a vho ballast with 2 actinic bulbs(I think). I always liked vho actinics, they really make the colors pop. Also a ballast thats kinda scary looking and 2 sockets for mh lights. Not sure if any of it works, all I really know is that the stand is sturdy and the tank doesnt leak

    I'm going to have to do some construction and move a door so I can put the tank where I want it. The tank itself needs to be thoroughly cleaned, and likely wet-sanded and buffed. Theres 3 holes with bulkheads drilled on the bottom of the tank for 2 drains and a return, but no overflow, just straight pipes... (Ill have to remedy that somehow). I'm going to be re-finishing the stand as well.

    heres the pics I promised:

    Here it is at my uncles house (best pic I have of it)
    IMG 20140111 132930114 zpsfd6b9c8b - Help me get back into the swing of things

    And here she is in the back of my truck ready to come home:
    IMG 20140111 153223792 zps7f31d849 - Help me get back into the swing of things
    180 build in progress
    http://www.captivereefs.com/forum/me...-begins-30974/

    Mike
    Likes MizTanks liked this post

  9. #9
    MizTanks - Reefkeeper
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    U.P. of Michigan.
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    Jamie
    Awards Photo of the Month - October 2012 Photo of the Month Post and Reply Award - Winner of the first PAR Contest. Monthly Giveaway Winner

    Default Help me get back into the swing of things

    How exciting!! Love new builds! That stand is especially sweet. Subscribed!!


    Sent from my iPhone 4s via Tapatalk.
    There's nothing like being a Reefer! www.upmmas.com

  10. #10
    ReeferMike - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    macomb michigan
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    Mike

    Default

    So its 8:30am sunday morning, bout half-way through my first cup of coffee, and this tank is all that's on my mind. Wifey is at work till later this evening so I have all day to see what I can get done.

    First thing- clean my garage and fire up the heater... need some room to work... then its time to start scrubbing and get an idea of what I really have to work with.

    I'd like to get the tank cleaned, and get an idea of what I'm going to do about overflows... I also dont like the two little access squares on the top... I think I'll be redesigning that with a router

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