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2D_Todd

Getting back in the hobby

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2D_Todd

Hello.

I am not new to reef keeping. A couple years ago I kept a 29g aquarium with soft corals and a couple of clownfish successfully until it leaked while I was on vacation. Those that survived were givin to my neighbor and I didn't set one up again because I had to move into dorms.

Now Im living somewhere where Ill probably be for the next 3 or so years. And I want to set up a 20g long aquarium. The only remaining piece of equiptment from the last tank is a 250 watt metal halide pendent spotlight (needs a new bulb, will probably hang about 18-24 inches above the tank). A few questions as they come to mind: Any heater suggestions? What wattage? Also how deep of substrate (I have no desire to set up a plenum) ? I will be buying CaribSea Aragonite. I'm going to keep mostly soft corals and a couple of clowns in the tank. It will be skimmer less. With a powerhead and a hang on filter for circulation. I will get around 15-20 lbs live rock from Tropicorium (because its 20 minutes away from my apartement). Any comments, concerns are appreciated.

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HuBu

100w heater. you can probably try 30# of sand. if you are keeping mostly softies, imo a 250w Mh will be somewhat an overkill. why not try some sps and lps in your tank?

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2D_Todd
Originally posted by HuBu

100w heater. you can probably try 30# of sand. if you are keeping mostly softies, imo a 250w Mh will be somewhat an overkill. why not try some sps and lps in your tank?

 

I just don't have any expirence with them. I'd be willing to try them after the tank matures. The Mh was fine for the 29g. I figure if I just have it hang high enough above the tank everything will be fine. (perhaps you can see that I am apprehensive towards buying new lighting, funds are limited). The softs should be alright if they are placed towards the bottom right?

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HuBu

yeah but then again the higher you rise the pendant. you reduce the intensity of the light and most of the light would escape and just light up the floor. hee hee. i think i remember you sayin that you have to buy a new bulb which would cost you around $100. see if this site still has a special on 2 36w pc. Lights

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Kapelakin

There's no point in putting in 72 watts of PC when you have a perfectly good MH setup sitting around.

 

I have a 20 L, and I'm now kicking myself for not going with a 29. The main reason is that I have 2.5 inches of sand, and anything more than 3 is going to look stupid. With the 29, a 4" DSB would work well. Also with the 29 you'll have more play room with coral placement.

 

If you think you might go SPS, skip the softies unless you plan on trading them in later. Many of them, especially the shrooms and leathers emit chemicals that are detrimental to SPS, especially in a smaller tank. I think zooanthids, green star polyps, etc would be fine, though. I'd start out with LPS with that lighting though. They're really not hard, especially ones like plates, brains, meats, and frogspawns.

 

With all that light, you'll want to acclimate your corals, because they'll probably be used to lower lighting. A shorter lighting period with the light higher above the tank to start out with, then increasing the photoperiod and lowering the lights over a month or so should work great.

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NanoReefer53

You won't need to hang it that high. I keep a 250w over my 20g tank (soon to be 250w hqi) and the water stays below 80 all the time. It's only 4" off the surface and has a fan blowing across the water under the bulb.

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realhiphop

Kapelakin : I'm currently looking to start up a 20L and have some questions for you as far as setup, hopefully you can e-mail me back

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2D_Todd

I just remembered that I have a 2x20 watt flourescent fixture buried in my parents basement. Lets say I just keep softs. Do you think they'd be happy? Because the bulb for the Halide will be a lot of money, and I'd rather spend it on good live rock.

 

Edit: I can make a 3x20 with all the stuff in my basement. Good idea?

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Todd March

The newer 20,000K halide bulbs are controversial to say the least, but I really like the blue light they give off--it comes darn close to the supplementation that actinic 03's give... Plus they have less intenstiy than the 10,000K or 12,000K bulbs. For your situation they might be ideal...

 

I don't think 2 20 watt regular flourescents would keep soft corals, although it's been a long time since I had charge of very many softies... Maybe someone else might chime in, perhaps this low wattage might work for some of the leathers...?

 

Todd

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2D_Todd

I think the 3x20 would be alright, they all fit snuggly accross the top. Another reason is the heat the MH would produce, the A/C unit is in the bedroom and not much makes it to the living room which is where the tank is.

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