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Old 04-13-2012, 05:43 AM
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Default G&D's Foray Into a 90G Tank (Take One)

For about 21 of our 24 years of marriage Deborah and I have maintained a freshwater tank and for several years a pond. We have often dreamed about taking a foray into the ocean of salt water. Until now our hobbies have taken us separate directions - Deborah loves crafts and sewing and George loves wood working. However, cutting cloth straight on a table saw is a real challenge and sawdust makes a mess of the dining room! As we begin this undertaking together, we are looking forward to the rewards, challenges, mistakes and successes.

First Purchase. We purchased a used 90 G tank with a canopy, corner overflow, stand, 600 gph pump, approx 30 G sump, 300 W heater, four Hydor Koralia powerheads, and a refractor.



Where to put it? Once we purchased the tank we needed to decide where to put this thing! Living room, family room, dining room . . . ? The family room won which displaces the freshwater tank . . . So what to do with that, move it to the dining room or sell it? We still have not decided. Another consideration was whether to re-carpet the family room right away, or be satisfied with the current carpet for the next many years. The final decision was to save the $2000 and live with the carpet as it is.

Refinishing the stand. The first challenge was to refinish the stand, which wasn't a challenge, it just took some time. Then, being a bit cautious, I decided to add an internal 2x4 frame to the manufactured stand. That being done I think the stand is ready to go.


Lighting up the tank. A next task was to think through the lighting. We had thought that the lights in the existing canopy would be sufficient three T5s. As we had talked with a number of people we have realized that for corals to thrive at the bottom of the tank we will likely need better lighting. We are looking at a MH T5 combined unit or just make the jump to LED. At this point we are leaning towards the LED.

Rocks. Another question was rocks. We are leaning towards purchasing Marco base rock and seeding it with live rock. This will obviously take longer to get the tank fully operational, but it will save a few $$.

We are hoping that sometime in the next few weeks we will have the time to be able to set the tank in place, get some rocks and start the process.

Any comments or suggestions along the way are welcome. Thanks to Subman for the tutorial on getting pictures into this!
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:54 AM
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Looks great George! That's a beautiful looking setup!

I recommend Led's and the mix of live and marco rock.

- I was hesitant on going with led's but now I can't believe it took me this long. The power and new bulb savings make up for the price difference. (That being said the mh t5 combos can be found used for dirt cheap right now)

- As for rock I love the look of true love rock and the joy of the hitchhikers (even the bad ones were super cool in the beginning)...but the marco rock is a significant savings for you and mother nature. There is a major impact on the ocean by harvesting live rock.

Its a great hobby I hope you both enjoy for many years!
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225gal dt with 100g sump. Mitras, vortechs, bubble king, AI Sol and Profilux.
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/sho...threadid=84782
Will trade subs for frags

My other summer hobby:
http://www.edkra.ca
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:22 AM
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Well congrats on the tke over. Salt is way more fun.
LEDs are way better path to take.
I noticed you haven't said anything about filters?
There is a lot out there from mangroves to skimmers to algae scrubbers.
all I can say is make sure you have a good air supply to your tank.
The top two mistakes I see in beginners tanks is flow and air.
The rest you'll learn as you go.
Looking forward to see your progess.
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:56 AM
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Welcome Deborah and George. You are in for a huge change in thinking.
Last fall I decided to rid myself of 180g of combined freshwater headaches and I am almost ready to put water in my new SW tank ( I am taking a lot longer than most to gear up ). I felt SW would be more rewarding for the work I was performing.

So, good on ya'
What a unique looking tank/stand. Very nice. I haven't seen the white trim before.
I know not enough about SW yet, but will put my 2 cents in right now ....
And I mean it, so, if you don't mind some advice from a rookie ....

Get out of MH lights as I feel they are leaving the market and will cost you money in the long-run.
T5s are a huge improvement over T8s/PCs and rival MHs.
LEDs are up to you. They are relatively new so research lots as there are sooooo many options.
T5s will get you by for now, to save you initial start-up costs, and if you buy the right fixture, you may even keep it.
I have a Powermodule 8 x 54 watt T5 on a 75g and it will be all I need ... ever. I'd like to see where a 10 bulb makes a difference.
So, for you, you'll need lots of light. But you don't need to buy it all right now.
Find yourself a fixture that can change and grow with your tank.
Something that gives you the ability to control more than the standard "2 on" "6 on" crap out there.
I fell in love with Hamilton Lighting. Then I found my fixture on here ( Canreef ) and modified it. I bought all the wiring needed and now it's fully controllable ( well, I can control all 4 pairs. )

Rock is your choice. I opted for the cheap dry rock route for the majority of my stock, and it will probably take a year for it to mature.
If you buy mostly base rock like me, count on about a year before you can fully stock your tank safely.
If you get a mix of 50/50 you stand a better chance of stocking your tank much sooner after startup. This is where so many tanks thrive or fail. If you don't have enough live rock to support your critters, you will suffer failures that may make you want to leave the hobby. Make your choice RIGHT NOW.
Do you want to;

1- Fully stock your tank right now, and see all the fish in it you envisioned
Or do you want to;

2 - take your time and watch it mature as you add your critters, both fish and corals

If your choice is 2, you are on the right track.
Nothing good ever happens fast in a SW Tank

You obviously have a friend here that will help you, but I want you to hear it from another.

Take your time, add things slowly, ie;
Not like FW. One fish every 2-4 weeks is all your tank can handle, and that's if your rock is stable.
And if you can be more patient, 2-4 weeks between fish is too soon.
Use a Quarantine Tank if you have one left over and wait 4-8 weeks before adding the new fish to your Display Tank.

Big change, isn't it?

It'll be worth it ... just be patient.

Oh, lastly, you can glean a whole lot of good info from our resident Writer here

Hope you read all that
Happy Reefing
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:06 AM
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Part II
Stop worrying about pH like we did with our FW tanks
And re-learn about Alk, it's relationship with Ca and so on.
I learned so much from here;

This is the link to all Mindy's writings
Myka's taking up bandwidth

But I specifically learned what I needed from here;
Myka's Guide .....
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:08 AM
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I hope I didn't frustrate you in any way.
This is a wonderful hobby.

This community is invaluable.
Get started and everyone will help you if you need it

DO IT
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattjoly85 View Post
Well congrats on the tke over. Salt is way more fun.
LEDs are way better path to take.
I noticed you haven't said anything about filters?
There is a lot out there from mangroves to skimmers to algae scrubbers.
all I can say is make sure you have a good air supply to your tank.
The top two mistakes I see in beginners tanks is flow and air.
The rest you'll learn as you go.
Looking forward to see your progess.
Thanks for the question re: filtration. This is an area that I have not done much research on yet other than protine skimmers. As of yesterday I thought I had an almost new skimmer from a friend who shut down his system a year ago. Unfortunatly, after a long search through his shed (during Calgary's snow storm) he was unable to find it and came to the conclusion tha he must have sold it. One of my next tasks - on the growing "to do list" is to research filtration.
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:09 PM
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I would suggest keep your eyes open on canreef, take your time and buy the best skimmer you can afford. There is no rush as the rocks will take time to seed and they don't need a skimmer to do so.
__________________
225gal dt with 100g sump. Mitras, vortechs, bubble king, AI Sol and Profilux.
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/sho...threadid=84782
Will trade subs for frags

My other summer hobby:
http://www.edkra.ca
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Old 04-14-2012, 02:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzz4 View Post
Nothing good ever happens fast in a SW Tank
Thats a lie!!


Tank crashes happen fast everytime
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Old 04-16-2012, 03:48 AM
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Default Weekend Progress

We want to thank all those with helpful suggestions on our project. We would appreciate it if you keep them coming.

Deborah and I were able to make a bit of progress on the tank project over the weekend. We moved the old freshwater tank (servicing only goldfish at present - they are our "pond fish") out of the family room and into the living room to make space for the reef tank. We then moved the stand into the family room and got that set up - it looks good - but I'll get back to that later. . .

We also took the tank into the shop to have a hole drilled for an emergency overflow. We appreciated the suggestion to install a second overflow. As soon as the suggestion was made, we were very uncomfortable with no emergency overflow. This afternoon we picked up the tank - it all looks very good.

Back to the stand. . . Though the stand looks great, I have been increasingly uncomfortable with the manufactured stand that we have. We took the time to refinish it and to build an internal frame to make it stronger, but the sides, top and doors are MDF. Even though they are finshed very well I am worried about what their condition will be in several years. So . . . Deborah and I made the decision this afternoon to scrap the stand (we might acutally use it for a TV stand in the basement!) and build one from scratch. Woodworking is my first hobby and in particular, making furniture. My schedule will not allow me to do much on it this coming weekend, but hopefully by the first weekend in May, I will be able to get a lot of it done. If anyone has suggestions for the construction of stands, please pass them on.

Until that is done, we will just enjoy the tank as it is.
My son took a picture and posted on Facebook that I had run out of money and had to settle for a borrowed stuffy from my younger son. Thanks kid!

Any comments and suggestions are welcome.
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