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shanks
04-01-2013, 11:40 PM
Hey All,
New to the forum and SW but not fish. I have a 300 gallon FW and will have a 125 Gallon SW in a week or so. I want to start a reef aquarium. Basically i have a light with T5HO and metal Halide as well as LED built in. I also have an FX5 filter for it at the moment.

Here is where you jump in. Please advise if this system will be enough to get it started. I know the basics of what i need but any info will help.

Thanks,

CM125
04-02-2013, 12:38 AM
I also have a 125 I assume its a 6' tank. Is it predrilled? And please go into more detail about your lights. Im guessing you will need more, but it depends on what you are looking to do, your also gonna need a sump, skimmer, powerheads, pumps and heaters.

shanks
04-02-2013, 12:53 AM
I also have a 125 I assume its a 6' tank. Is it predrilled? And please go into more detail about your lights. Im guessing you will need more, but it depends on what you are looking to do, your also gonna need a sump, skimmer, powerheads, pumps and heaters.

It does not have a sump but rather a canister. Do I need a sump for a reef. From what I have read the coral and rock and inhabitants do most of the filtration. Agreed on the rest of the list

mrhasan
04-02-2013, 01:02 AM
It does not have a sump but rather a canister. Do I need a sump for a reef. From what I have read the coral and rock and inhabitants do most of the filtration. Agreed on the rest of the list

For a 125g, canister will not work (other than possibly running some carbons and stuffs) and will need very strict maintenance schedule. Sump is always the way to go for bigger tank. Its not only for rocks but also to keep skimmers and add some extra volume of water.

Madreefer
04-02-2013, 01:33 AM
For a 125g, canister will not work

Thats not true at all. Those FX5's are a good filter.
It'll work fine for the mean time. Of course a sump is much better as to reasons already posted.
I recommend that you do not use any of the media that comes with an FX5.
Fill the trays in that filter with lots of rock rubble, don't use the sponges and get some nylon bags and put some good quality carbon in them.
I ran an FX5 on a overstocked fish only tank before which was on a 90G.
I did have a junk Remora skimmer on it though. It was supposed to be a fish only tank but it was also filled with softies and an anemone.
I have since took that tank down as two tanks was just too much work.

BlueWorldAquatic
04-02-2013, 04:35 AM
Sump is the better choice. Not only does it allow more water volume, it'll allow a place to hide your equipment so no messy mechanical parts and wires exposed.

Do it now, as yiu will regret it in the future.

shanks
04-02-2013, 04:39 AM
Sump is the better choice. Not only does it allow more water volume, it'll allow a place to hide your equipment so no messy mechanical parts and wires exposed.

Do it now, as yiu will regret it in the future.
those sound like wise words actually,

CM125
04-02-2013, 03:11 PM
There are a couple different ways you can get a sump. For your first one I recommend buying one over making your own. They are fairly easy to setup and will help you understand how they work, then later if you feel like building one you can. You still havent mentioned if your tank is predrilled, im going to assume no, since you come from FW background. I recommend two overflow boxes, having a back up is always nice, and they will cover more area.

shanks
04-02-2013, 03:16 PM
the tank is not predrilled. i suppose this will be someting i will have to consider.

CM125
04-02-2013, 03:26 PM
not predrilled is not a big deal if you already have the tank, although predrilled in so much better (can go right against the wall, no noises, no flood risk) Its up to you. There are some very good overflow boxes on the market, and they do give you more space inside the tank.

Myka
04-02-2013, 04:40 PM
I also suggest you drill the tank for a sump. My reasoning is to hide the equipment, but also because in-sump skimmers tend to be cheaper and better quality than hang-on. You can get drill bits from Princess Auto that actually work quite well and are cheap. Practice on an old 10 gallon tank. Use some sort of guide like use a hole saw in a piece of plywood, then tape it to the tank. The glass on a 10 is really thin and they break very easily. So if you can drill a 10 you can easily drill a 125. My personal rule of thumb is whatever the size of the hole, I don't go any closer than that to the edges. If you decide to bottom drill, check the tank manufacturer, some temper the bottoms and you can't drill tempered glass (it will shatter). Look online for how-to's for drilling and installing and overflow. I recommend a Herbie style drain, and because of the length of your tank I would suggest at least a partial coast to coast overflow because Herbie style drains are better used on single overflows, not dual.

I am also not a fan of using canister filters on reef tanks, especially large reef tanks. If you do use it though, do as "madreefer" suggests regarding what to put in it. Expect to have to clean it once a week at least or you are likely to end up fighting high nitrate issues (read: algae). For what the FX5 can do (polyster media, carbon, and GFO) you can easily achieve in a sump where maintenance is much, much easier.

kien
04-02-2013, 04:48 PM
^ +1 what she said. Plus, I will add that, if you have the means to do a sump at this early stage (ie, you have the space, time and money), then I don't think there is a reason NOT to use a sump. If you can do a sump now but decide not to, you will probably regret it later once you get going and start wishing you had a better place to store your heater/skimmer/reactor/ATO, etc. At that stage in the game it will becoming annoyingly difficult to install a sump.

Madreefer
04-02-2013, 05:59 PM
You should be able to sell that filter for at least $100 which will get you a decent sump.

ChefFish
04-02-2013, 06:01 PM
I currently use a FX5 on a 90 gallon reef and its a major pain in the a**! I wouldn't advise anyone to go that route. Put a sump in now, as you will regret it later. They are a great filter for a freshwater tank but not really made with saltwater in mind. Listen to everyone and save yourself the time and headache. Just my 2 cents...

shanks
04-02-2013, 06:11 PM
ok going with a sump. my light is a 250 double ended HQI metal Halide?
by Coralife. I do not know the exact depth of the tank but prob around 30 inches or so.

CM125
04-02-2013, 06:21 PM
ok going with a sump. my light is a 250 double ended HQI metal Halide?
by Coralife. I do not know the exact depth of the tank but prob around 30 inches or so.

You would need one of those for every 2 feet of tank, so another 2, but again that depending on what you want to do. You may want to sell that and get a full length light fixture, there are nice ones with built in timers and things. And you can also get combined t5 and MH fixtures. If your not gonna be running high demand corals you may want to go with a all t5 setup (less heat) or even an LED setup. Unfortunately I dont know much about LED setups and because they are fairly new there is alot of misinformation out there. But if you can find a good setup they have very low power consumption and almost zero heat.

shanks
04-02-2013, 06:30 PM
the light i have has T% and Halide combined right now.

CM125
04-02-2013, 11:59 PM
Does it go across your whole tank? how many bulbs total?

Myka
04-03-2013, 12:11 AM
ok going with a sump. my light is a 250 double ended HQI metal Halide?
by Coralife. I do not know the exact depth of the tank but prob around 30 inches or so.

Is your tank 4 feet long? Is it a 110 x-high... 48 x 18 x 30"??? You will need to know what size and dimensions your tank is for figuring out how much carbon, GFO, etc as well as fish suggestions.

Madreefer
04-03-2013, 12:56 AM
You would need one of those for every 2 feet of tank, so another 2, but again that depending on what you want to do. You may want to sell that and get a full length light fixture, there are nice ones with built in timers and things. And you can also get combined t5 and MH fixtures. If your not gonna be running high demand corals you may want to go with a all t5 setup (less heat) or even an LED setup. Unfortunately I dont know much about LED setups and because they are fairly new there is alot of misinformation out there. But if you can find a good setup they have very low power consumption and almost zero heat.

So your suggesting that he put 1000 Watts of metal halide over this tank? Plus the T5's which I doubt they are. Most likely PC's if it's Coralife. I would assume this tank is 48" long but even a 36" will do. Coralife doesnt build anything shorter if it's 2 250W combined with supplemental lighting and moon rays. 30" does sound a little deep for a 125G
What he has is fine for this tank if he is going to use this Coralife fixture. If he adds another 2 like you suggest he will need a pretty good chiller.

CM125
04-03-2013, 02:18 PM
So your suggesting that he put 1000 Watts of metal halide over this tank? Plus the T5's which I doubt they are. Most likely PC's if it's Coralife. I would assume this tank is 48" long but even a 36" will do. Coralife doesnt build anything shorter if it's 2 250W combined with supplemental lighting and moon rays. 30" does sound a little deep for a 125G
What he has is fine for this tank if he is going to use this Coralife fixture. If he adds another 2 like you suggest he will need a pretty good chiller.

I made that recommendation on the assumption it was 6' long, running 3 MH across a 6' is quite common, but it sounds like it may not be (were still waiting on dimensions) so yes, if its 4 feet long you are quite right, that would be a lot of light lol

Kryptic4L
04-03-2013, 08:41 PM
IMHO. Run what you got, no matter how much you prepare, we evolve as much as our equipment does. Just make sure the fx5 was not used with copper treatments.

I guarentee within a year you will have a better idea if sw is for you, what type of corals you and fish you really want.

I feel the only way to really know is get salty for a bit and get used to the maintence schedule.

Nothing wrong with cycling some rocks and adding a few fish and evolving from there. I've gone through about 6 tanks in 6 years and I'm still not sure what the next year will bring.