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Abhijit

Hydra 26 HD v/s Prime HD for SPS

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Abhijit

Hi Guys,

 

I am in the process of setting up a new 21g custom nano with an internal sump. The dimensions are 18X18X18 inches. The sump takes up 18L X 4W X 18H, so essentially about 6 gallons. 

 

I plan to have a Tunze 9001 or Skimz Nano Skimmer in the coming few months. I will also be building an external refugium.

 

I am still undecided on the lights. When I planned this tank, I was sure I was going to buy AI Prime HD. Now, I'm leaning more towards AI Hydra 26 HD, since I want this to be a predominantly SPS tank. 

 

I will have a few Zoas and LPS too. I was thinking about 20% Zoas, 20% LPS (Acans, Blasto, Scolys, etc) & 60% SPS (half of which will be Acroporas).

 

Do you guys think a single AI Prime would handle it? Or should I rather go for a Hydra 26 HD? 

 

TIA!

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Clown79

On a 21g with those dimensions, I think 1 prime HD should be enough.

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Horerczy

I'd say hydra 26 or if you wait a bit AI is releasing an updated model the Hydra 32. Not because you need the extra output but mostly because sps of the stick variety tend to like light from more than one point so they can grow without shading out parts of themselves.

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Abhijit

@Clown79 @Horerczy I finally bought the Hydra 26 HD. Thanks guys!

 

I had one more question - Is a protein skimmer absolutely necessary? I mean I know if I keep up with my water changes diligently, I don't need one. But considering I'll have SPS in my tank, should I get one? 

 

I'd like to avoid the additional expense if I can.

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Horerczy

Not strictly necessary in my experience but its easier to balance a system with one than without. Particularly with sps involved.

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Abhijit
24 minutes ago, Horerczy said:

Not strictly necessary in my experience but its easier to balance a system with one than without. Particularly with sps involved.

@Horerczy Okay, then I better get one. I'm also thinking of building a refugium for NO3 and PO4 export. Good idea? Or unnecessary?

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Horerczy

If you can get fast growth from macro algaes and trim frequently then a fuge is great. Though an algae turf scrubber is more efficient in that regard.

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Abhijit
26 minutes ago, Horerczy said:

If you can get fast growth from macro algaes and trim frequently then a fuge is great. Though an algae turf scrubber is more efficient in that regard.

@Horerczy What do you think about a Algae Reactor? Are those any good?

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Clown79
1 hour ago, Abhijit said:

@Clown79 @Horerczy I finally bought the Hydra 26 HD. Thanks guys!

 

I had one more question - Is a protein skimmer absolutely necessary? I mean I know if I keep up with my water changes diligently, I don't need one. But considering I'll have SPS in my tank, should I get one? 

 

I'd like to avoid the additional expense if I can.

Not necessary on every system, especially nano's.

 

On some systems ppl have to shut them down because of lack of nutrients. Having very low to no nutrients is not beneficial

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Abhijit
14 minutes ago, Clown79 said:

Not necessary on every system, especially nano's.

 

On some systems ppl have to shut them down because of lack of nutrients. Having very low to no nutrients is not beneficial

@Clown79 Should I skip the skimmer and let a RowaPhos reactor for phosphates instead? Nitrate export will happen with weekly water changes. What do you think

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Horerczy

I dont have any experience with algae reactors.

 

Ultimately it really depends on how much nutrient export is needed. Just enough nutrients to keep coral happy is the ticket but what that is is a different story for every system.

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Abhijit
1 hour ago, Horerczy said:

I dont have any experience with algae reactors.

 

Ultimately it really depends on how much nutrient export is needed. Just enough nutrients to keep coral happy is the ticket but what that is is a different story for every system.

I guess I'll just wait and see how my system responds before adding anything 

 

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Clown79
8 hours ago, Abhijit said:

@Clown79 Should I skip the skimmer and let a RowaPhos reactor for phosphates instead? Nitrate export will happen with weekly water changes. What do you think

Phosphate get reduced with water changes as well.

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mitten_reef
6 hours ago, Abhijit said:

I guess I'll just wait and see how my system responds before adding anything 

 

This ^ 100%. Don’t rush out to buy everything to combat excess nutrients and don’t chase 0’s on nitrates and phosphates.  Corals need those to grow just as much as algae. It’s when you have too much, that’s when algae bloom occurs. 

First to combat algae in a Nano system would be adjust your feeding quantity and/or water change quantity. Rather than jumping to other export system. 

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Abhijit
12 hours ago, mitten_reef said:

This ^ 100%. Don’t rush out to buy everything to combat excess nutrients and don’t chase 0’s on nitrates and phosphates.  Corals need those to grow just as much as algae. It’s when you have too much, that’s when algae bloom occurs. 

First to combat algae in a Nano system would be adjust your feeding quantity and/or water change quantity. Rather than jumping to other export system. 

@mitten_reef @Clown79 Okay, I'll wait on the GFO then. Going skimmerless at the moment. Will probably do an external DIY ATS at the moment and see how it goes. Other than the ATS, just an internal sump with bio media, live rocks and live sand that I'll harvest from my other tank that's already cycled. 

 

My tank is 21gallon, of which 6 gallons is the sump. I'm going with Jebao OW10 wavemaker. Will adjust the waterflow to about 420-450 gph. Sounds about right? 

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Abhijit

@Clown79 @Horerczy @mitten_reef - I finally bought a sunsun wavemaker. It's rated at about 520gph. I think it should be more than enough for tank my size. And it's cheap!! 

 

On the skimmer, I've decided to go for it. It wouldn't hurt. I'm thinking of the Hydor Slim Skim Nano. My priority is that the skimmer should be silent since the tank is in my bedroom, and I shouldn't need an ATO. Tunze 9001 is a good skimmer, but I've heard people needing an ATO just to keep up with the water levels. What do you guys think?

 

@seabass Sorry to drag you into this conversation, but would love to hear your thoughts. I value your opinion. 

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Clown79
26 minutes ago, Abhijit said:

@Clown79 @Horerczy @mitten_reef - I finally bought a sunsun wavemaker. It's rated at about 520gph. I think it should be more than enough for tank my size. And it's cheap!! 

 

On the skimmer, I've decided to go for it. It wouldn't hurt. I'm thinking of the Hydor Slim Skim Nano. My priority is that the skimmer should be silent since the tank is in my bedroom, and I shouldn't need an ATO. Tunze 9001 is a good skimmer, but I've heard people needing an ATO just to keep up with the water levels. What do you guys think?

 

@seabass Sorry to drag you into this conversation, but would love to hear your thoughts. I value your opinion. 

I don't use a skimmer on my tanks, I'm not sure which one is the quieter of the 2.

 

I manually top up my tanks so can't really advise on the best ato.

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Abhijit
2 hours ago, Clown79 said:

I don't use a skimmer on my tanks, I'm not sure which one is the quieter of the 2.

 

I manually top up my tanks so can't really advise on the best ato.

@Clown79 Do you keep SPS? If yes, they do okay without a skimmer?

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mitten_reef
7 hours ago, Abhijit said:

@Clown79 @Horerczy @mitten_reef - I finally bought a sunsun wavemaker. It's rated at about 520gph. I think it should be more than enough for tank my size. And it's cheap!! 

 

On the skimmer, I've decided to go for it. It wouldn't hurt. I'm thinking of the Hydor Slim Skim Nano. My priority is that the skimmer should be silent since the tank is in my bedroom, and I shouldn't need an ATO. Tunze 9001 is a good skimmer, but I've heard people needing an ATO just to keep up with the water levels. What do you guys think?

 

@seabass Sorry to drag you into this conversation, but would love to hear your thoughts. I value your opinion. 

Both skimmers would need an ATO because they both have top intakes. OR it should be placed in a sump chamber that maintain constant water level. I don’t know how your internal sump is set up, what’s the brand of the tank? A pic might help identify if there is a constant-level chamber. 

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mitten_reef
9 hours ago, Abhijit said:

@Clown79 Do you keep SPS? If yes, they do okay without a skimmer?

My tank is acropora-dominated, and I've been doing it without using a skimmer most of the time.  It's all about your nutrient management, what goes in the tank, only a small fraction gets used as the animals ingest and grow (yes, both corals and fish).  But you need to remove/export the rest.  That's what dictates what level of filtration equipment you need - it's not about what you keep, altho there's some indirect relation.     

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rfalk

While you can obviously top it off yourself over the years to me the ATO has become my most important piece of equipment.  There will be time when things come up and you wont be able to get to your tank or be at home.  If you really want to have a SPS system the most important thing is stability and fluctuating salinity on a small tank could be a problem - I would certainly plan on ATO in the future with acros.

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Abhijit
14 hours ago, mitten_reef said:

My tank is acropora-dominated, and I've been doing it without using a skimmer most of the time.  It's all about your nutrient management, what goes in the tank, only a small fraction gets used as the animals ingest and grow (yes, both corals and fish).  But you need to remove/export the rest.  That's what dictates what level of filtration equipment you need - it's not about what you keep, altho there's some indirect relation.     

Gotcha! 

13 hours ago, rfalk said:

While you can obviously top it off yourself over the years to me the ATO has become my most important piece of equipment.  There will be time when things come up and you wont be able to get to your tank or be at home.  If you really want to have a SPS system the most important thing is stability and fluctuating salinity on a small tank could be a problem - I would certainly plan on ATO in the future with acros.

Yes, I plan to get an ATO soon. Or maybe I'll just build a DIY

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seabass
On 10/10/2019 at 12:25 AM, Abhijit said:

@seabass Sorry to drag you into this conversation, but would love to hear your thoughts. I value your opinion. 

Sorry that I didn't see the mention earlier; I would have responded.

 

Sounds like you're making some good decisions.  I personally like using protein skimmers when possible (even though they aren't usually necessary).  My tanks aren't in a living area, so I don't care about noise (some skimmers are noisier than others).

 

On 10/11/2019 at 3:38 AM, Abhijit said:

Yes, I plan to get an ATO soon. Or maybe I'll just build a DIY

If going DIY, make sure you have some redundancy built into it.  ATO failures can not only cause a flood, but loss of livestock due to a huge salinity swing.  A good ATO helps stability and is invaluable while you are on trips.  However, you're better off doing manual top offs than having a failed ATO.

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frahny

Back to your light question. I think you could get a way with 1 prime or a hydra32, however, I would lean to 2 primes vs 1-32. Reason being would be shadowing. I have that exact setup on my 2' shallow reef and although its not necessary now it will be as acros start to grow out and shade other corals.

 

As for ATO's and skimmers I would definitely pick up something vs diy. I have had great luck with the Tunze 3152 for the last 4-5 years. For skimmers I have only had 2 the desktop ghost skimmer (sub par) and the aqualife 115 (decent), I have order the cadlights pls-50 so Ill keep you posted on how that works out. 

 

Good start!

 

 

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MrObscura

I know op already made a decision, but my 2 cents...

 

Since hydras are pretty much just 2 primes in one unit,  I'd probably go 2 primes so I could position them as desired and get better coverage.

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