Looking to get back in the hobby- Equipment Advice

scottw

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I love my red sea, and wouldn't mind having tgere new 900! But they have good tanks and you can gey a deal on a used one sometimes.

Radion Lighting or check out noopsyche for budget
t5HO supplemental lighting - i ike the noopsyches

And please don't confuse budget with quality with the Noop LED's. Chef will be making the change soon ;).


Welcome back to the hobby! Get that money ready!
 

jayroc24

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Hey everyone, I have decided to with a 120 gallon tank 4X2X2, looking for a sump with the bag filtration and onboard ATO compartment.

Next is the other costly stuff.....

Would love some opinions on the following-

I plan on a light fish load, going to really set this up for reef, a couple of clowns and we will see what else.... but mainly small fish.

Sump- ideally looking at a Ice Cap 30 for the sump, please someone chime in if this is the wrong way to go or if you all know something I don't.
Need a good protein skimmer and have some great suggestions above that I am currently exploring.

Lights- looks like the consensus is Radion Gen 5- will I need others lighting with these for the reef/fish?

Controllers- I have always dosed in the past with a cap full of this and cap full of that.... when do I need to look at the Neptune Trident or other controllers?
I start to get lost at this point.
Probably a least month away before even starting to put water in this tank.

Thanks in advance!
 

ZapataInc

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Hey everyone, I have decided to with a 120 gallon tank 4X2X2, looking for a sump with the bag filtration and onboard ATO compartment.

Next is the other costly stuff.....

Would love some opinions on the following-

I plan on a light fish load, going to really set this up for reef, a couple of clowns and we will see what else.... but mainly small fish.

Sump- ideally looking at a Ice Cap 30 for the sump, please someone chime in if this is the wrong way to go or if you all know something I don't.
Need a good protein skimmer and have some great suggestions above that I am currently exploring.

Lights- looks like the consensus is Radion Gen 5- will I need others lighting with these for the reef/fish?

Controllers- I have always dosed in the past with a cap full of this and cap full of that.... when do I need to look at the Neptune Trident or other controllers?
I start to get lost at this point.
Probably a least month away before even starting to put water in this tank.

Thanks in advance!
I have a couple of reef octopus skimmers that I'm not using. I'm currently out of town but can give you the models by tomorrow night if interested. I think one of them is the SRO-2000INT.
https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/supe...Z4b2lqHxHjkVYDiwfcRMjzU5TamIbHvRoCvZ8QAvD_BwE
 

Adam

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It's been a minute since you started this thread. In reading the OP. The first question I'd like to ask is what was it with you're 1st two tanks wasn't satisfying about them? 2nd question would be what are you looking for in the optimal display that is going to make you happy, what do you have pictured in your minds eye? 3rd question is what types of coral and livestock are you planning to keep?
 

jayroc24

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It's been a minute since you started this thread. In reading the OP. The first question I'd like to ask is what was it with you're 1st two tanks wasn't satisfying about them? 2nd question would be what are you looking for in the optimal display that is going to make you happy, what do you have pictured in your minds eye? 3rd question is what types of coral and livestock are you planning to keep?

1st question - the 120 I had it was maintenance that drove me out, had so many other things going on could not take care of it like I wanted, the RSM we moved; but constantly had issues with the skimmer that drove me nuts! Just needed a break.

2nd question-clean and functional, first 2 tanks I did a poor job of aquascaping. I want to take my time with this one. We always loved watching our reef in the 2 previous tanks. I am of the rare people that love the canopy look.

3rd question- I really don’t have an idea of what I want specifically but probably a little of everything, livestock will be very minimal- clowns, perhaps a yellow tang in an effort to decrease the maintenance.
 

jayroc24

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Adam

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With #1. Is maintenance still going to be an issue? If so a 60 or 90 cube might a good choice. If you feel you're up to the task this time around anything between a 120 to 180 could work for you. Whichever way you go try to get as wide a depth front to back as you can. It really helps with the rockscape options.
Don't worry about skimmers yet. Once you are 100% on the tank, sump and stand, then the skimmer decision is easier.

#2. There aren't many packages out there as clean and functional as the Red Sea line for something ready to go out of the box. Are you going to do a diy stand & canopy or looking to get a package deal?

#3. While it's harder getting through the ugly phase with a higher fish load. Once the coral starts growing well after the 1st year to 18 months you will struggle with low nutrients if you only have 2-4 fish. The bigger the tank the bigger the problem. You may not want to even get a skimmer sized to the tank and go smaller. At some point adding more fish may be needed. If you pick your stock with jobs in mind it will also help with the maintenance and help the reel stay healthy.
 

Shawn

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If money were not an issue:
Reef Saavy
Then Mode, Planet Aquarium
Then
Waterbox
RedSea
There are more, but you get the idea.
For testing:
GHL because they have an ion detector due out this month and Neptune has not even mentioned nitrates and phosphate testing yet.
But if money were no object, would get both systems just because.
Lighting:
Radion gen5 or AI newest generation depending on tank sizing
LifeReef skimmer
Advanced Acrylic custom pvc sump and refugium.
Abyzz return
Ecotech pumps with battery backups.
Wait. There’s going to be a machine that measures nitrates and phosphates??
 

Adam

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Wait. There’s going to be a machine that measures nitrates and phosphates??
This definitely falls into the "money is no object" category. A full GHL equipment loadout is going to cost, a lot.
So far no PO4...
 

Shawn

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Ah. Only thing I really want is po4 testing these days. Guess it’s time to get a reef bot!
 

trizzino

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This definitely falls into the "money is no object" category. A full GHL equipment loadout is going to cost, a lot.
So far no PO4...

I’ll shake tubes for a little while longer...
 

sharis100

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Wait. There’s going to be a machine that measures nitrates and phosphates??
There are 2 elusive unicorn machines- the GHL product- whose release got lost in the pandemic- and the Mastertronic- which still has not been released although videos showing it coming soon still appear randomly on the internet.... Having watched every single product that automates this testing mysteriously disappear into the night over the last few years, must be a conspiracy theory in there somewhere lol....
 

Adam

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There are 2 elusive unicorn machines- the GHL product- whose release got lost in the pandemic- and the Mastertronic- which still has not been released although videos showing it coming soon still appear randomly on the internet.... Having watched every single product that automates this testing mysteriously disappear into the night over the last few years, must be a conspiracy theory in there somewhere lol....
I believe it has more with the difficulty of producing a marketable product that does all these things. Over promise and under deliver.
 

jayroc24

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With #1. Is maintenance still going to be an issue? If so a 60 or 90 cube might a good choice. If you feel you're up to the task this time around anything between a 120 to 180 could work for you. Whichever way you go try to get as wide a depth front to back as you can. It really helps with the rockscape options.
Don't worry about skimmers yet. Once you are 100% on the tank, sump and stand, then the skimmer decision is easier.- Thank you, that makes a lot of sense.

#2. There aren't many packages out there as clean and functional as the Red Sea line for something ready to go out of the box. Are you going to do a diy stand & canopy or looking to get a package deal?- DIY, the more I looked at them (pre packaged), there items that I liked and disliked on all them.

#3. While it's harder getting through the ugly phase with a higher fish load. Once the coral starts growing well after the 1st year to 18 months you will struggle with low nutrients if you only have 2-4 fish. The bigger the tank the bigger the problem. You may not want to even get a skimmer sized to the tank and go smaller. At some point adding more fish may be needed. If you pick your stock with jobs in mind it will also help with the maintenance and help the reel stay healthy.- And certainly this is my lack of knowledge I assumed the more bio load (i.e. fish) the more problematic the tank was... Certainly want to automate things a lot more this time around. I am looking at the Neptune Apex Bundle Elite to assist in that effort, do you have any thoughts on these products?
 

Adam

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Since you're going to DIY the stand. If you plan for enough room a LifeReef skimmer would be a good option. Now it's just nailing down the size tank you are 100% comfortable with, then picking out a sump. With the tank, I always recommend going bigger than you think you want to avoid the cost in upgrading. You've been down this road before. So it's up to you to decide what level of maintenance you're going to be comfortable with.

Every controller has it's pros and cons. I really am a Neptune fan but there are certain products of theirs I've stayed away from. The Apex is really the middle of the road expense wise. With anything automated it's up to the user to keep up with the maintenance of it as well as protecting the investment from damage, like housing everything near the sump. It's easy to look at the results automation shows you on a screen and believe it to be the truth, only to find out down the road the numbers were off. When something starts varying in an unwanted direction always have other test kits on hand to verify before taking corrective measures. This will save you lots of time, energy, money & loss. Probes may need cleaning, a hose may be clogged or it just needs to be recalibrated. Verifying any parameter is going to help you save yourself from yourself.

That last sentence has come up a couple times for me lately. It always reminds me of a line from an Ozzy song, Diary of a Mad Man. "Can I ask a question, to help me save me from myself?"
 

joeyprice

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For testing:
GHL because they have an ion detector due out this month and Neptune has not even mentioned nitrates and phosphate testing yet.
But if money were no object, would get both systems just because.
I didn't realize this was even a thing. It doesn't look any more expensive than a Trident, why don't more people use it?
 

Adam

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I didn't realize this was even a thing. It doesn't look any more expensive than a Trident, why don't more people use it?

Because they have not delivered it yet to this country as far as I can tell :)
The price of the Director isn't bad but look at the pricing for everything you will need to be up and running.
 

joeyprice

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The price of the Director isn't bad but look at the pricing for everything you will need to be up and running.
Hard to tell what I'd need to make it all work. I'm assuming the controller, and detector. Will it work with any doser?
It doesn't look that much more expensive than an Apex, Triton and Dos.
 
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