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Thread: South Dakota Reefers

  1. #1
    Brittle Starfish
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    South Dakota Reefers

    Just wanted to start the thread! Im a lucky West River member here in Rapid City!

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    Let's do a roll call. I wanna see how many of us are here from the area. Maybe we will find someone that doesn't post on the other board.

  3. #3
    Brittle Starfish
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    Geez Travis, i just got done checkin out the setup of your tank, i dont know if i want to set mine up now.... Yours is all fancy and pimped out.... I like the track the lights are on too, so when you comin to RC to help me with mine?

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    Brittle Starfish
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    Hows this sound for a startup:

    90g AGA no holes, Acr. Canopy $40, 120 MI LR $550, black sand (dont know where from), Remora Pro HOB PSkimmer with skim box $270, 4 MJ 1200's 2 MJ 400's, 2 150w heaters $12, Salifert Test Kits $10ea, IO SaltMix, RO/DI unit $80, and ill figure out lights later. Besides the little things like food and tubs does this sound like a good setup for a starter, only creatures i play on havin anytime soon is clowns and maybe some easy shrooms (dependin on what lights i get) ?????????????

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    Thanks for the compliment. I started my first system out simple. It was through the years that I learned more about the necessary equipment to keep my reef happy and I applied all of that to my new system while also taking into account aesthetics and accessability.

    The first thing I would change about your setup is the tank. I would have it drilled for an internal or external overflow. Trust me, if you don't do it now you will regret it later because when you want to add a sump you will not want to have to tear your tank down to get it drilled. You can always add an external u-tube siphon overflow down the road but those are prone to failure. Any glass shop in your area should be able to drill the tank for you. BEWARE: don't have the bottom drilled because it is tempered glass and will shatter into a million pieces. Then you can order an overflow online. wetdryfilter.com makes decent custom ones and they also have some standard sizes to choose from that should fix your tank. For a sump you can just start out with something simple like a 20L or 20H. It doesn't have to be fancy, it just needs to hold water. This will give you a place to put your equipment like heaters, chemical filters, skimmers, etc. without having them in the tank where they will distract from the beauty of the tank.

    The next thing I would change is the large amount of powerheads in the tank. That is a cheap solution for waterflow but those pumps take up valuable real estate in the tank and take away from the aesthetics. I would have a couple holes drilled for a closed loop. The money you would spend on 6 Maxi Jets should get you a decent closed loop pump that will put some good flow in your tank and not be so intrusive. For a tank your size, I think having a sea swirl or oceansmotions (oceansmotions.com) unit would really help benefit the flow dynamics, although they are both expensive. You can always upgrade to one of these units down the road.

    Personally, I wouldn't go with the black sand. It probably would look cool though. I just wouldn't do it because it wouldn't look as natural. Also, black sand would absorb a lot of light, whereas white sand reflects it back into the tank making your lighting more efficient.

    Everything else sounds great. MI rock is my second favorite. I just can't get over how beautiful the Solomon Islands rock that I ordered from Dr. Mac is. That is by far my favorite but I still love the MI too. (I just checked Dr. Mac's site and it looks like they don't carry the SI anymore) The Remora Pro should be a great skimmer for your tank. I would go with a sump and get the in-sump version.

    For test kits you will NEED a PH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate kit to get started. You don't need high end kits for these parameters. I used to use a cheap kit that came with all 4 for like $15 from my LFS that gave me the same readings as Salifert kits. Once you start adding corals you will also want a calcium and alkalinity kit. I would recommend Salifert for these.

    What brand heater do you plan on using? I prefer titanium heaters as you don't have to worry about breaking one in your tank and possibly killing everything.

    What RO/DI unit are you thinking about? After much researching, I got mine from Aquatic Reef Systems. I highly recommend them for their prices and customer service. Don't forget to get a TDS meter too or you won't know when your filters need to be changed.

    To get started you can probably just use a cheap normal output fluorescent light strip for shrooms. Some people may disagree with me on this. If you get your tank with a stand and canopy it will probably come with a strip light too. If you want I can show you a pic of some shrooms in my FOWLR tank that are under a single strip light that is at least 2.5 years old. The shrooms came on some live rock from a friend and do just fine under very little light. Water quality is more important that anything.

    I hope I didn't overwhelm you with all of this. I know how frustrating of a hobby this is to get into because there is so much to learn about setting up your first tank before you take the plunge and do it. I just hope I can help keep you from making the same mistakes that the majority of people make when starting out. Keep asking questions, I'm more than happy to help.

  6. #6
    Brittle Starfish
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    THanks Travis what a great response, i dont think anyone has takin that much time to give me a damn good answer like that, i appreciate it, its hard to start this hobby in SD because my LFS is tryin to sell me UGF and Fluvals, all the books just like basic **** and i dont know anyone personally who does SW, i thank you for takin the time to answer my questions. Is there a web diagram to get my tank drilled, i dont know where the holes need to be. I hadnt planned on puttin all 6 MJ's in there, just informin you that i had that many, bought them in a group for $50 bucks to save money, do you think usin like 2 or 3 is okay for now?(waterflow) I suppose ill pass on black sand, my whole point was i was goin with a purple theme, but ill plan that later, havent really figured out what brand heater, ill look into titinium, is that a brand or type? And ill get bak to youon teh RO/DI unit, i think im goin to hold off for now, seems this hobby you can always get somthing a little betterfor another $100, or just another $50 here and there, and buy the time you add it all up, you start laughin at yourself, thanks for the help and ill keep you posted, secondest hardest part is explainin to the wife that we need to spend that extra $100 dollars, lol

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    Getting a tank drilled isn't really that big of a worry. It shouldn't matter much where you get it drilled. I would just make sure you stay a few inches away from the edges and you should be fine. If you go this route I would plan where to drill, then check with the manufacturer to see if they think it will be ok, then have it drilled. You will lose the warranty with the tank by having it drilled but who ever uses it anyways?

    Sorry, didn't realize you already had the MJ's. Since you do, just use them for now. They will be fine for getting the necessary flow in your tank. I would use all of them. Might as well use em if ya got em. I would be willing to bet you will get sick of looking at them at some point in the future. I would go ahead and at least drill the tank for a CL intake. You can just add a ball valve to it and keep it closed for now. Then down the road when/if you decide to go with a CL you just start plumbing it at the ball valve and you don't have to drain the tank or anything.

    Titanium is a type of heater. There is glass and titanium to choose from. Titanium has no glass. It is a type of metal that won't corrode in saltwater. With a titanium heater you never have to worry accidently breaking it and releasing mercury into your tank.

    $80 did sound kinda cheap for a RO/DI. Check out this page: http://aquaticreefsystems.com/ I think you would be fine starting out with a 3 stage value RO. At least this way you would have a good base unit to start with. Then you can always add extra accessories like psi meter, auto shut off, 4th stage, etc. as money permits. I will let you in on a little secret though. I never had an RO unit for the first 2 years or so. I just used tap water and never had algae problems. Just make sure you dechlorinate it. I'm not recommending that you use tap water, I'm just saying that you don't HAVE to get an RO/DI right away. So if you need to save a little money this is one place where you can cut corners initially while you are busy spending money on the tank, lights, and LR, which are the bare necessites.

  8. #8
    Brittle Starfish
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    Thanks for replyin Travis, where would you suggest gettin my tank drilled...? I dont have a warranty or even know the manufacturer because i got the tank used, im lookin into get a ASM G-3 which would be a nice upgrade from the Remora Pro, the guys wants $255 shipped, good price, but then i would need a sump, so i was thinkin what if i just used a Mag-7 from the sump and build an over-the-top CL? Think that would replace the need for MJ's or should i get a few and use both?

    Also, did you buy our heaters locally or do you have a website you could shoot me?

    And the RO/DI unit was a suggestion from some people on here that got one off eBay and reco. them to me. For a while there ill be using tap water. Thanks for the info. keep it comin!

  9. #9
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    Call around to your local glass shops. At least one of them should be willing to drill the tank for you. Not sure how much they would charge though. Also, they usually won't "guarantee" that they won't crack the tank. You could also drill it yourself. Aquaticeco.com sells diamond drill bit hole saws. The one you would need for a 1" bulkhead runs about $100 though. I'm sure if you searched around it could be done for cheaper. Not sure how much of a DIY'er you are but this can also be done with a dremel and diamond drill bit set ($7 at Wal-Mart). Just find out what size hole you need for the bulkhead, get a temlate that size and drill away. It is much easier than you would think but I would recommend trying it on a scrap piece of glass myself. Last weekend I tried it for my first time. I drilled 13 overflow slots on a 20H and it worked really well. Next, I will be drilling overflow slots and a couple bulkhead holes in my 75 AGA.

    I don't know much about the ASM's but I've heard they are pretty good skimmers. I would plan a sump into your system regardless. The number one reason is to reduce equipment clutter in the main tank.

    Yup, you can always go with an over the top CL. I used to have one on my 75 and it worked great but once again it was plumbing that was visible in my tank, which I don't like. A mag 7 return from the sump and a decent pump on the CL would surely eliminate the need for the MJ's.

    You can get the heaters anywhere. My LFS's both sell them but it is cheaper for me to get them online. As I've mentioned before, I like marine depot, premium aquatics, and custom aquatic. Here is the heater that I use http://www.marinedepot.com/aquarium_...um.asp?CartId=. I use the 350w pro-heat II version. I use 2 on my 280, 1 on my 75, and 1 in my 100 gallon water change tub. I really like these because they have a digital display but there are also cheaper options out there.

  10. #10
    Brittle Starfish
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    Thanks for the update Travis, so besides all that equipment ill need a Mag 5 for the CL and how many outlet tubes should i make on it for a 90g?

    My other question is how do you keep PH level, ive been readin how somtimes it drops for people, i dontwant to invest in a CR yet.

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    If you plan to keep any corals or anemones you will want to shoot for a minimum of 20x turnover in your tank. That comes out to about 1800 gph. If you go with a mag 7 for your return (probably about 400 gph after head losses) and a mag 5 for your CL (500 gph) you are only half way there. I would suggest a larger pump on the CL. You will want at least 2 outlets on the CL.

    Here is an article on low ph problems and how to fix them:
    http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-09/rhf/index.htm

  12. #12
    Brittle Starfish
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    Im thinkin about gettin a LIFEREEF overflow, they are pretty damn expensive for a stupid box that lets water go into it, but the cheaper of the two is only 700gph, think i get the big one at 1400gph? Its like $180... So then the plan will be to have that fill a sump down below, hopefully witha ASM G-3 skimmer, now im tryin to figure out the pumps, sould i have a closed loop that hangs on the back and gets tank water or one that gets water from the sump? And you tink Mag 7's will be good enough for this concept?

  13. #13
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    yea dude , all around to glass store and u will find some one that will drill holes in your tank for 15 or 20 bucks than buy bullkhead from custom aquatic for 7 buck and u will be happy
    no ugly box on your tank in the way
    that is ,if your tank anit filled up
    hey nice to meet u

  14. #14
    Brittle Starfish
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    Nice to meet you too, but i bought my tank used so i dont know what type of glass it is and im to scared that some SouthDakotan glass cuter will smash my 90g that i got for a good deal

  15. #15
    dont get it
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    yea , ask around , u just tell them where u want them , i had 4 tanks drilled last week , and its all good. well good luck

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