Jumping Back In!

Rovert

Premium Member
Howdy, folks!

Long time, no post. I'm returning to the hobby after a nearly 10 year absence, having abandoned a 72gal Bowfront mixed reef and a 55 FOWLR. I'm sure that a great many things have changed. So I figured I'd start a post and ask for feedback on a bunch of stuff to be sure I'm going in the right direction with the hardware and dry goods.

I know there are other individual sections for this stuff (like lighting) but posting a dozen different threads gets burdensome to the forum. I'd like to keep it consolidated for now.

As a point of reference, I still have the following equipment, though the functionality is untested on all, but presumed to be working:
AquaC EV-120 Skimmer
PFO 2x255 HQI Ballast
Iwaki MD-30 (I think...)
Korallin 1502 Calcium reactor
AquaFX 4-stage RO/DI system

Objective: This time, I want to go with a 180+ (or thereabouts) with dimensions 72"L x 24"D x 24-28"H, and rebuild another mixed reef so it'll be LPS, SPS, Clams, inverts, and so on.

Tank: I know they're expensive, but Starphire glass is on the radar. I've seen tanks (custom and pre-built) from Miracles Aquraiums, GlassCages, Red Sea, Crystal Dynamic (expensive!) and others. I'm inclined to an internal overflow so I can keep the tank closer to the wall. Is there a recommended maker, and if so, why did you pick that one? Your input would be appreciated.

Lighting: When I was last in the hobby, MH was king, and I was running XM 10K single-ended (mogul) lamps on the PFO HQI ballast. There was no LED array that could match the punch of a single-point source light for the 'glitter lines' that it could deliver. However, 10 years is an eternity in technology, and if there are LED arrays that can match the look and benefit to the healt of the animals from MH but at lower heat output and operating cost, please hit me with your ideas.

Return Circulation: Though the Iwaki worked for my 72 gallon tank, I'm sure it's not nearly enough for what I'm planning. It would likely do better as a skimmer pump. Can you recommend a return pump that would be suitable for this sized tank?

In-Tank Circulation: At one time I had a SeaSwirl and liked it because it didn't distract the eye like in-tank pumps do and had great wave motion, but it took a dump and I never fixed it. Can you recommend something else that would be equally effective at creating simulated wave motion? I see there's a new type (Maxspect Gyre) that looks pretty cool. More reliable? Better effect?

Skimmer: Same situation as the Iwaki pump, I'm sure the AquaC isn't up to the task for a tank of this size. I also have a second skimmer (ETSS) that I could use, but I'm guessing that two skimmemrs is one too many and buying something new is in my future. What would you guys suggest?

Testing Gear: Is there any sort of electronic hand-held meter for the standard values (pH, NO2/NO3, 02, etc.) that one routinely tests for in a reef tank? I had a LaMotte kit at one time, but it did get to be a PITA to use after a while.

Automation: Something I'd look for is a certain level of automation, in the short term for lighting and some circulation is concerned to dial it back after hours. I plan on Zwave (and other compliant) gear for the rest of the house running off of either an OpenHAB (or even other branded) hub, so if there's something that fits into that schema, let me know! In the longer term, I might consider auto dosing and other more advanced management methods, but for now, something simple will be helpful.

Well, that should be it for now. I know there's a lot here. Looking forward to your input.

Thanks in advance!
 

Maxxumless

To the Max...
Howdy, folks!


Tank: I know they're expensive, but Starphire glass is on the radar. I've seen tanks (custom and pre-built) from Miracles Aquraiums, GlassCages, Red Sea, Crystal Dynamic (expensive!) and others. I'm inclined to an internal overflow so I can keep the tank closer to the wall. Is there a recommended maker, and if so, why did you pick that one? Your input would be appreciated.

Lighting: When I was last in the hobby, MH was king, and I was running XM 10K single-ended (mogul) lamps on the PFO HQI ballast. There was no LED array that could match the punch of a single-point source light for the 'glitter lines' that it could deliver. However, 10 years is an eternity in technology, and if there are LED arrays that can match the look and benefit to the healt of the animals from MH but at lower heat output and operating cost, please hit me with your ideas.

Yea, I'm in the same boat. Have a 5g pico and I'm using my old Kessil 150w as well as other old gear. I'm moving into a new home in the next six months and I'm starting my research. I used to have several tanks, all home made, and they were a lot of work. Used MH too and they were hot and expensive. LED's with T5's hybrid seems to be the big thing now if you want SPS with a good look so that's probably the way I'm going. I like Kessil still but I'm also looking at the Red Sea LED 90 too. It seems to be getting good reviews so far. With T5's I think either light will be just fine.

Most AIO tanks these days have low-iron glass it seems. I'm leaning toward Red Sea's Reefer series as it's just so darn turn-key. I no longer want to deal with all the DIY. I just want to set it and forget it. So I'll also get a doser for a two part. Everything will have to fit under the tank. If it doesn't fit I wont buy it.

Nuvo is also on my radar too.
 

Rovert

Premium Member
Yea, I'm in the same boat...

Most AIO tanks these days have low-iron glass it seems. I'm leaning toward Red Sea's Reefer series as it's just so darn turn-key. I no longer want to deal with all the DIY. I just want to set it and forget it. So I'll also get a doser for a two part. Everything will have to fit under the tank. If it doesn't fit I wont buy it.

I find that most branded systems are more expensive and don't offer the same value as shopping for separate components. I don't mind a little DIY, but most of the key components I need (overflow, Ca reactor, skimmer, etc.) are are already set. However, I agree that having everything under-tank is a benefit. That's my goal, too.

Still would like to hear from others, especially about tank choices.
 

Vinny Kreyling

Premium Member
Nothing wrong with your ETSS except the pump needed to drive it electrically wise.
Most LED'S will grow corals it just depends on the bells & whistles you want on them.
As long as you get something with 3 or more watts /LED. Sea Swirls are still available.
Dc is the new thing in pumps & Varios gets good reviews, just get an oversized model & turn it down because they don't like head pressure. No all in 1 testing reliable enough @ a decent price. Salifert kits are well respected or Hannah checkers. Automation leaves Neptune Apex or GHL as the best choices. It's said GHL is more reliable but more difficult with programming.
 
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