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Hey everyone! Well I am not new to fish but new to the aquarium world. Recently a 90 gallon (48x18x25) tank fell into my lap and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to not go salt water. So I have been researching for about 2 weeks and there is a lot of stuff out there. I guess I'm here to join a new "obsession" and learn as much as I can. My plan is to build a stand, and drill a bean style overflow, and run a sump with refugium. I am going to the basics: live rock, dsb, return pump, protein skimmer, thermometer, ro/di system. Now my couple of questions come to extras if I should I get them. Long term goal is to have a reef and fish tank with both soft and stony corals. I guess i wanna know should I get: apex controller, chiller, tunze wave maker, auto top off, dosing pumps for ca, mg, alk, power heads, Carbon and gfo reactor, refractometer, electronic or liquid testers. I know it's a list but i rather do stuff right then make multiple returns.

The other question I have is lighting. I understand it's extremely important but I don't see the point of getting a 500w power house mh for $800. I have read a lot about LEDs. They seem to be the new way to go. I wanna know if anyone has any experience on how hard it will be to do a DIY model. I am pretty handy and have no problems with electrical. It may be a pain to make but it will be cheaper and it also won't kill the electrical bill.

I understand reef stuff isn't cheap so I am ot trying to skimp and crash my tank. I just wanna do it right

Thanks again for your help and I look forward to being part of my new addiction and hopefully with time helping others out


New member
Check out kessil LEDs, very affordable and awesome little light (a little smaller than a soda can actually!) I have the 10k and love it! Def getting another very soon! Keep in mind you will need 2 and possibly 3 for a 90 depending on dimensions and what you want to keep

Also, definitely buy a controller! Apex or a Reefkeeper
I have a Reefkeeper, def one of the best purchases I've made for my tank
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New member
Do a search over here for "diy leds" and you'll have plenty of stuff to read and study.

I recently started my own diy led build, but I started out with too few leds (I had 15 white and 13 blue) so it's back to the drawing board for me.

But to tell you the thruth, it is a fun project for me and not at all that expencive ( at least if you compare them to "commercial" reef lighting)

If I were you, I would go led from the start..... the effect of the ledlight hitting the water is AMAZING

Hope this helps