Bitin' off more than I can chew?

Discussion in 'The Reef Tank' started by brandondu, Apr 11, 2006.

  1. brandondu

    brandondu Peppermint Shrimp

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    All,
    Two days before Katrina hit, I had a 135g tank, stand, and canopy delivered to my house to begin my career as a reefkeeper. The remainder of the equipment was to come on Monday, which turned out to be the day the actual storm hit. Needless to say I lost what I had taken delivery of. The equipment is all fine though.

    I am now getting to the point where I will be moving back to Lakeview late May. I was ready to order a new 150 (5'x2'x2') when my friend offered his 215 to me. The price is right and I can get it much quicker, but I am worried that I am biting off more than I can chew. I have a good job, so its not really economical worries, but more like fear of the unknown. I am an engineer so the complexity and chemistry does not scare me. I have never had a tank before. What do you guys think? Should I go bigger?
     
  2. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    for new reefers, bigger is better.

    swings in water chemistry have less effect on your system the more water you have. it allows alot of leeway for mistakes whereas with say a 30g system if you overdose something or a fish dies and decomposes, then the water chemistry will get out of whack much more quickly. as long as you pay attention to your tank, you'll have more time to catch problems and fix them before they potentially cause a crash.

    i say as long as you've done enough research already to know what kind of equipment it will take to maintain a tank of that size, go for it!
     
  3. Tank102a

    Tank102a Postasaurus Rex

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    I agree as long as you do the right reasarch. A very good book any reefer should have in his/her library, no matter how much you know is " The Reef Aquarium science, art and technology. by J. Charles Delbeek and Julian Sprung". Going to make you feel more at ease. :D

    By the way I had a 55g before the hurracane for less than a year. It got destroyed. Now I'm setting up a 300g with a sump, refugium, propagation, and mixing tank. :shock: (scarry)
     
  4. robharold

    robharold Montipora Coral

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    I too would have to agree with te above comments. I have only been reefing for about 5 months now and have a 55G. I have had several small problems that I truly believe would not have happened with a larger water volume. I would definately go bigger if money was not an issue.
     
  5. Pettee86

    Pettee86 Marine Betta

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    I would go with the 215. As long as you have the proper set up you should have no problems. If you were looking at a 150 215 is not all that much larger. JMO
     
  6. brandondu

    brandondu Peppermint Shrimp

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    It all started for me last May. One of my friends has an awesome 90g setup that I saw and fell in love with. The complexity of the equipment I believe is what really grabbed me (what can I say, I'm an enginerd). He supplied me with multiple books that I have read. I don't remember the names offhand because I no longer have the books (thanks again Katrina.) Also, I read this forum and reefcentral religiously.

    My plan is for a mixed reef tank. I eventually would like to keep some SPS but it definitely won't be an SPS dominated tank. Probably more LPS and softies, with some fish, and maybe a clam.

    My equipment that I already have is: ASM G3 skimmer, 50g sump, 24g quarantine/water change tank, 25w UV, Blueline return pump, VHO lighting with IceCap ballasts, and a 1/3 hp chiller controlled with a Medusa controller. The only issues equipment-wise that I think I am outgrowing with the 215 is I need new 6' bulbs for the lighting. I also haven't bought the RODI and Kalkreactor yet but will have before I startup. I have a 3'x5' equipment room directly behind where the tank will stand. It used to be a wetbar but I converted it to a fish room. My plan is to house the chiller and main freshwater storage under the house in the crawl space which is about 4' high. First equipment upgrade in the future will more than likely be to MH lighting. I'll probably wait on the SPS until then.

    I have a great schematic of the whole system that I drew but its drawn in Excel and I don't know how to post that. Any hints are welcome as I would love the feedback.
     
  7. Kirk_M

    Kirk_M Chevron Tang LARC Supporter

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    Sounds like a nice setup. Only thing you may need to upgrade in the future with a 210 is your skimmer, once you get that tank really well stocked. I think it's rated for like a 250 gallon tank by ASM, which is an OVERRATING, while asmskimmer.com rates it realistically for a 180. Hope that helps...and GOOD LUCK MOVING BACK HOME! You've got balls, man...
     
  8. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    What's a few Gallons between friends! :lol:
     
  9. Kirk_M

    Kirk_M Chevron Tang LARC Supporter

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    Heh... especially if it's a few gallons of beer :)
     
  10. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    the only thing I would question is water flow. I see you have a blueline return pump.
    what is the gph @ the piping system design head pressure?
    is this a sump return?
    might want to look into a closed loop pump for in-tank circulation and not just rely on your return pump for it.
    I have an Ampmaster 3600 as my closed loop pump on a new 240gal and think it is the smallest pump (least gph) for a tank this size. If the tank would be mostly sps coral I would need to up in pump size.
    Closed loop pumps are much better than powerheads IMO as powerheads add heat to the tank. You do have a chiller so that may not be a concern to you.
    Just my .02$
    Darrin
     
  11. slebla240

    slebla240 Peppermint Shrimp

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    your an eng. right? draw it up on some kind of cad and export it into a bitmap or gif file type. then use some html code and post it. How do you draw on excel? I work on excel just about everyday and don't know how to that. you have that one on me. ;)
     
  12. brandondu

    brandondu Peppermint Shrimp

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    tank schematic

    Never thought of doing a screenshot, thanks!

    Let me know your comments/criticisms of my proposed setup. This will be my first tank so I am open to suggestions.

    One thing that I am now questioning is using a kalkreactor. I have been told by some other reefers that the mixture from kalkreactors is too caustic. They suggested using those two part additives until the time that I can get a real calcium reactor. What do you guys think?

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    didnt know that could be done in Excel ! coolness :D
    I always just use AutoCad.
    What will be the flow rate thru the uv bug zapper? I know it needs to be rather low to get enough dwell time to kill the beasties.
    what other means will you be using for water flow in the main tank?
    If you want to save some $$$ on rockwork and get some large pieces to fill up that big tank you should look up:
    http://www.reeferrocks.com/baserock/index.htm
    Add some live rock ontop to seed the bare base rock.
    This is what I will be doing with my 240gal in a few weeks.
     
  14. Kirk_M

    Kirk_M Chevron Tang LARC Supporter

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    I'd have to disagree with the statement about the Nielsen reactor. Sure, the effluent is of very high pH, and of course is caustic if you dump it all in at one time into the tank. But, kalk is meant to be dripped slowly over time, or added slowly during the course of the day by your topoff unit, so, it makes its high pH a non-issue. It won't raise your calcium or alkalinity, but, once you get it set to where you want it with additives, it is an EXCELLENT way to maintain both of them, and it is a CHEAP and BALANCED additive (read Randy Holmes-Farley's articles on RC about it), balanced meaning that it maintains both your Ca and Alk equally -- usually if you just add Ca, over the course of a few days, you'll see your alk diminish and vice versa. You won't see that with Kalkwasser. You said something about getting a "real calcium reactor." Many people actually have & recommend both a Ca reactor and a Kalkwasser reactor on their tanks...I sure will.
     

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