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Please Help with my 150 Gallon Setup: Reef Top Biotope

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Forestal

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
148
Location
CT
I have been thinking of what to do with my 150 tank (72x18x28h). It has bulkheads in the back near each corner. I want to plan this as much as possible, and truly set up a biotope type environment, where all corals/fish/inverts are from the same region.

After re-reading John Tullocks book, Anthony Calfo's Reef Inverts, Bob Fenners' Concientiuos Marine Aquarist, Julian Sprung/Charles Delbeeks' Reef Books, Scott Michaels Reef Fishes series, i think i have the plan for the 150.

I will set up as a pacific reef top biotope. I will use live rock from that area (?walt smith stuff), with a deep sand bed, sugar fine aragonite based sand, 5-6". Plan is to have some but not a full tank of LR, most will be in the 2 50 gallon fuges, filled with LR and Macro algae grow out and a skimmer i have yet to attempt to build.
Livestock:
-Bubble tipped anemone with 5 tomato or maroon clowns.
-Sixline wrasse
-blue tang from 60 as it grows out, perhaps another local tang
-snails/shrimp from pacific region
-10-12 blue/green chromis to school in upper layers of tank
-sps corals, pinks
-tridacnid clams
-? yellow jawfish, cool, but tough to do

Plan is for closed loop system with large overall water turnover/flow but spread out well. I have 2 50 gallon agro tubs, plan is to fill both with liverock and dsb , build a larger countercurrent skimmer from pvc. I may use one of the tubs, still inline as a sps grow out tank, have not decided yet

tank to be cycled fully with live rock, then addition of snails/shrimp.
addtition of bta and clowns next perhaps month4-6.
then addition of corals
then other fish
then clams

I would love to accomadate some of the other larger fish (butterflys/angels), but don't want to overdo the bioload, or be reef unsafe.

I would love to get ideas/criticisms for my set up. Thanks all.
 

mojoreef

Reef Keeper
Joined
Jul 5, 2003
Messages
7,530
Location
Sumner
Hey Dan sounds like an exciting setup, you must be stoked!!!. In looking at the setup overall I would call it more of a back reef and or lagoonal setup. The reef top is a very high energy place, where the corals are exposed to high wave action, intense light and dry tides to.
With sand in the tank you are not going to be able to have allot of flow, or at least none down low, this will change the dynamic of the tank over all. With anenomes also, they are more of a back reef or fore reef type of critter.
I would stick with smaller fish and just have one or two larger fish, but beware of the butterflies and angels as they have an appetite for corals in most all cases.

Mike
 

Forestal

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
148
Location
CT
Thanks Mike,

I will be staying away from the butterflies/angels, just would be nice to have some (next tank i guess :) )

I wasn't planning on using a surge device or any dry tides, but was planning on using some fairly heavy diffuse flow in the mid/upper parts of the tank. I didnt mention, but this is a pacific type biotope. I guess what it is called doesnt matter, i just want to make everything fairly compatible.
forereef/lagoon is even better, so a little less flow, would be ok.

what type of plants grow in the lagoons of the pacific. having a back reef on one side sliding into a lagoonal type area would be neat. you see i have too many different ideas i like to do.
I know for sure, i want a BTA/clowns, and at least 1 if not 2 tangs. I would rather avoid much of a fish load, the chromis idea was to cater to my want for lots of neat fish, but i can do without them. maybe just a few wrasse.

i think i need help, since i want too much. Maybe if i win the raffle, i can do another biotope, hehe.
 

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
Forestal - Check out this link. You may find the information you are looking for in regards to zonation: Coral Reef Zonation

Since you are looking at lagoonal type set-up, here is a quote from the above link:

Sand Sub-Zone / Lagoon

Gradually the reef structure gives way to vast areas of coral sand eroded from the main reef structure. Dotted throughout this zone are small 'islands' of Scleractinians that rise up out of the sand. In the calmer regions delicate branched corals form intricate growths. The lagoon is constantly supplied with nutrients and sediment removed from the reef front and reef rock rim zones, with some lagoons becoming muddy from the accumulated sediment. Holothurioids are prolific inhabitants and constantly rework the surface sediment.

Deeper lagoons with heavy sediments or high turbidity have:
Scleractinians: Cataphyllia, Euphyllia, Gonipora, Leptoseris, Pachyseris, and Montipora.

The island or patch reefs that rise out of the lagoon floor consist of:
Scleractinians: Acropora, Favia, Favites, Galaxea, Goniastraea, Pavona, Pocillopora, Porites, Seriatopora, Stylophora, and Tubipora.

Spread over the sandy bottom can be found:
Scleractinians: Heliofungia, Fungia, and Herpolitha.

Other families present:
Alcyonaceans: Heliopora, Sarcophyton, Lobophytum, Xenia, Cespitularia, and Sinularia.
Coralliomorpharia: Rhodactis.
Zoanthidea: Palythoa, and Zoanthus.
Hope this helps!
 

mojoreef

Reef Keeper
Joined
Jul 5, 2003
Messages
7,530
Location
Sumner
Sounds good Dan you can do some really neat aquascaping with that. Check into some of the Japanese tanks for some ideas. If you have strong enough lighting you might be able to look into some sea grasses to go along with that.

Mike
 

Forestal

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
148
Location
CT
I have the lighting all set, 3 175 watt MH, and 2 96 watt actinic vho's, 6 foot long, just need newer bulbs... i will work on the plumbing and start getting it set up before adding any water, since i have little free time to do this. I will be trying to make my own overflows as well...

i am thinking of using 2 small islands of live rock on the ends with some type of sea grass in the center, OR, forereef wall (and actually aquascape :) ) on one end with some caves and such, and grass on other end and small patches of rock/coral leading to grass, smaller in size...i like the latter idea best

not sure how to plumb the 50 gallon rubbermaid tubs; thinking of using overflow from main tank x 2 or wide one, going to refugium tub with spray bar type dispersement (under water), and 2 standpipes (gravity drains) in the center to tank below into filter sock and spreading out to 2 or 3 outlets giving decent high flow, well dispersed, holding coral propagation grids with pump back up to main tank(small divider section with pump and maybe skimmer). thinking of using dsb in main tank and 2 tubs...
plan on trying to make a large skimmer out of pvc, hopefully will work...anyone had experience making skimmers? can a eager yet not so experienced diy fella like me pull it off?
 

Forestal

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
148
Location
CT
Ok, more planning has been done. Plan for a backreef/lagoon edge from s.pacific biotopic area.
tank is 150 as above,
Livestock:
-Bubble tipped anemone with 5 tomato clowns.
-Sixline wrasse, perhaps another 2 or 3
-blue tang from 60 as it grows out, perhaps another local tang
-snails/shrimp from pacific region
-native lps/sps corals
-tridacnid clam(s)
-native seagrass for one end near small island of rock

My plan is for this to be a mostly invert tank with a few fish as above, mostly wrasse and a few (2-3) tangs. The sand/rock will cycle for a while before adding anything, then the fish then the corals.
here are my basic drawings for the plumbing/scape plan...feel free to criticize...thanks

http://forestalsfish.com/pics/personal/closedloop1.bmp
http://forestalsfish.com/pics/personal/closedloop2.bmp
http://forestalsfish.com/pics/personal/tank1.bmp
 

Angelscrx

Import Fish
Joined
Jul 30, 2004
Messages
1,103
Location
Ettrick, VA
I too am setting up a 150g tank. I am upgrading from my curretn 55g. I want to use the 55g as a sump/refugium. Currently just planning the stand and canopy/lighting. then I will work on the plumbing. I have an idea of what I want for the plumbing which you have to have an idea of to implement into the stand. I hope that made sense? I am watching this thread as it is very pertinent to my tank. Thanks
 

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
Dan - I like how you put your inhabitant list together - with the time progression. I look forward to you getting the tank put together. Very well thought out.
 

Angelscrx

Import Fish
Joined
Jul 30, 2004
Messages
1,103
Location
Ettrick, VA
Looking good. What size pump are you planning on using for your return? Is this going going to be enough circulation? I was thinking of having something similar to Nikki's bottom tank returns, at the top of my tank and then a spray bar across the bottom.

See Nikki's pic below.
 
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