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Coral Vue Hydros

Looking for opinions about what to do with my tank


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So, I'm on the second rev of my nano cube - the first one had a leak I couldn't repair and ended up getting a new one that inherited what was in the old, and it went from there.  The thing's had it's ups and downs, so it's always been a bit frustrating, but I really don't want to give up on it.  And I guess that's one option, give up/get out.


The tank's been running for the past week without its 105w quad-cf lamp because I broke the old one removing it as well as the new one when putting it in.  I dug out some old florescent grow lights I used to use in a plant terrarium so it wouldn't be completely dark.  The replacement is now due in tomorrow some time.  I'm thinking I'll get things going again with the new bulb and hope for the best.  That leaves me with about six months to figure out what to do.  And I could continue the status quo and replace the bulb again.


I've been eyeing an LED retrofit kit from http://proledsupply.com/contents/en-us/d2.html, but haven't wanted to drop the $200 on it.  I've had people tell me to just do it.  Does that sound like a good option to keep the tank going and give it a bit of an upgrade?  It certainly would get me out of the $40 twice a year for replacement bulbs (luckily I got the two of these for $20 each, so I'm breaking even).


Option four could be starting over.  Not really sure how much I want to go this route due to expense, placement, what to do with what's in the current tank...  The biggest upside to this, for me, would be that I could have a glass tank.  I will never buy an acrylic one again.


So, which is par for the course when I try writing thing, I kind of weave back and forth along the path.  Although I'm not a new comer - rev 1 started 2007 - I've never really made it beyond beginner status.  I'd really enjoy to see what some seasoned reefers think.



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I say use up the two bulbs that you have already ordered.  And use that year to save up for and plan for your new glass tank with LEDs.

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Not really clear on how starting over would help with the lighting situation.  All your hand wringing could be over tomorrow if you just go buy an LED light today :). Clearly it will pay for itself in the cost of bulbs.  But if you're going to do that I would skip the retrofit and buy something like the AI Prime HD for the same price. 

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9 hours ago, wsonner said:

AI Prime HD

Thanks.  I'll check those out before making any LED decisions.


Right now, I'm staying with the quad-cf.  It came in today, and will get me through the fall.  I think I'll likely go the LED route when this bulb reaches its end of life.  I wouldn't mind any other LED suggestions that could fit my 28 gal nano cube.


Just to comment on this whole thing.  Breaking two bulbs and going a week without lighting, except for my old grow lights, really made me wonder what to do with my setup.  It wasn't so much a point of what to do with my lighting, I've been eyeing an LED upgrade for about a year, but the bigger question of what to do with the whole thing.  Getting rid of it, though it would simplify my life a bit, really wasn't an option.  Also, replacing the CF twice a year was getting old, and was really bringing me down the path of LEDs at some point.  I only mentioned the idea of starting over was because it was an option, though not really a likely one.  What are folks' thoughts on tearing down and starting over?  Is it as daunting as I think?  Can/should the rock, substrate, livestock be used in the new setup?


I'm really just phishing for info and insight.



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59 minutes ago, scottso said:

What are folks' thoughts on tearing down and starting over?  Is it as daunting as I think?  Can/should the rock, substrate, livestock be used in the new setup?

I wouldn't necessarily call it tearing it down and starting over.  I'd just transfer the contents to a new glass tank.  It would take a good day to complete it, but it's not that hard.  I'd probably use new substrate, but the rock and livestock will transfer over just fine.  If you don't love your acrylic tank, I'd consider doing it.

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Took me a full day to transfer from my 15g to 25g.


I'd reuse rocks, some water from existing tank, but new sand.


It really depends if you want a whole new system or just want to upgrade the lights.

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fwiw, I started my actual first SW tank with just an AGA 10g from petco. it wasnt until I moved several months later, I had transferred my entire aquarium into the 25g rimless DIY I made. the biggest things I did for the transfer was like seabass mentioned, using new substrate. otherwise, I just threw everything into tupperware or buckets. the move itself was more stressful than the transfer.


as for the lights, I totally understand the desire to want to change lights. if the corals are happy, growing, and you like the color, is it really necessary? Accidents do happen though, and it can really bum someone out, and there is the maintenance costs to using bulbs. If you do decide to get a new light, I'd avoid the retrofit kit, its a bit too much, especially considering you want to change tanks already. if you know the new tank you're wanting to switch to, I'd suggest looking at a light that would be suitable for the tank you're going for than getting something that works for your current tank and now you need another light later.


I feel if it would make you in the happy in the end to switch tanks, lights, or both, go for it. Your experience with fishkeeping is whatever you want to make it.

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Thanks for the input.  Definitely something some food for thought.  And I have six months to think about it, so nothing to do for at least 5.



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