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have to start with a 119g tank

255 255 255 0

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255 255 255 0



A week ago my mom bought 4 percs, 4 dominos and 4 blue tangs, all 1inch each. Her lack of knowledge in nano keeping made her plop all them fishies in a 4.9gallon tank! not good i say. til now, a perc and a tang has died frm stress i guess and the rest are doin okay.


I come from Brunei Darussalam (in Borneo, and no we dont have anacondas, we are like Singapore) and here nanotanks are very new to the masses. I really wanted to start on nano years ago but had nothin to start with. Now we have 2 fishshops sellin marine and im really excited in buildin a reef tank.


Problem is i want one with a refugium but the smallest that they can build here is a 48"x24"x24" tank that can be drilled. Further negotiations really was useless so i ended up agreeing becos there is no other way i can set up a nano tank unless i scrape the refugium idea.


Now, Brunei is a hot country that lies under the equator and here MH lights are unnecessary so we have T5 lights instead. M gettin 2 of those and two actinics. My problem is how to go about, ie. the steps, in making this reef tank assuming that i have to make one and the options above are my only given choice. Here are my questions, please help:


Q1. how much sand should i put in the tank?


Q2. how much live rock should i put in the tank?

(here a kg of live rock, ie. 2.5lbs is arnd US$2)


Q3. What would my refugium system consist of?


Q4. What would be the tank's best inhabitants?

(2 inches percs here cost $8, cheaper for smaller)


More ideas, critics and advice would help.


I am aware this project needs patience so i am giving it a minimum 4 months before i add fishes.

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Originally posted by 255 255 255 0

Problem is i want one with a refugium but the smallest that they can build here is a 48"x24"x24" tank that can be drilled. Further negotiations really was useless so i ended up agreeing becos there is no other way i can set up a nano tank unless i scrape the refugium idea.

just skip the refugium. it's not a necessary component (helpful but not vital imo).


or just use some container that you can drill yourself (e.g. plastic, lined wood/steel, etc.). 100g+ refugium is weird for such a small tank. nothing wrong with it other than maybe you ought to switch it around. nice 119g display with a 5g refugium.


you can also check the refugium forum for ideas and better in-depth descriptions/explanations of the q's you're asking. with more info you can pose more specific questions with a better idea of what you want to setup.

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How does latitude affect lighting? MH lighting isn't meant to be a "heater" for the water (although it does), it is the strongest available lighting option (and the best). T5's don't give off anywhere near the light MH does. And living that close to the equator..you're probably going to need a chiller so that the tank doesn't get too hot. (You're going to want it to get no hotter than 27-28C).




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T5's don't give off anywhere near the light MH does


actually t-5s put off more light than 175 watt halides. overdrive t5s with like an icecap bllast and t5s will be like 1.5 times 175 watt halides. A 250 watt halide is where t5s become second best.

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Actually..if we're talking lumens/watt...overdriven T5's produce only slightly more lumens/watt than halides...and halides are significantly cheaper right now. I also haven't seen PAR ratings on the T5's (anybody have a link?)...I'm not convinced that any fluoro lighting will ever be better than halides..especially on deeper tanks. But that remains to be seen.




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Six T5s better than one metal halide I will give you, yes. One T5 better than one MH? No.


Watt for watt (eg. 175W of T5 vs. 175W of MH), they're about the same light output, but the halide does it as a point source (read: shimmer, depth penetration) whereas the T5s are spread out over the whole tank (read: even light over the whole tank, so the high-light stuff doesn't have to go in the middle under the bulb).


Do you have a source for that info about T5s being 1.5 times as powerful as MH (I take it you meant watt-for-watt, since you didn't specify a number or type of T5s) when overdriven by an icecap?



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I did a quick search and found that a 54w T5 produces 5,000 lumens when overdriven. A 250w MH produces 21,000 lumens. You end up with roughly 93 lumens/watt on the overdriven T5 and about 84 lumens/watt on the halide. But again..without PAR reading at given depths...lumens/watt doesn't really give us a lot of useful information. (of course it's moot in tanks under 12" deep..but we aren't talking about a shallow tank here..the given dimensions put the tank at 24" deep). I think T5's would be a great option for nanos..if it already wasn't just cheaper to buy halides..lol. but I can't see paying $500.00 for an 8bulb hood, when I can wait until January and get a 150w DE halide plus 2X18w PC's (and moonlights!!) in a convenient little 24" hood for $199 from aquatraders.com. (Or I could just say screw it all and toss my 400w halide over the tank..lol)




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See..now you had to go and make me look harder, didn't you? *searches*


175w MH produces roughly 14,000 lumens. That's roughly 80 lumens/watt.




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as for my source on rc there in one of the threads on t5s an electrician posted about it. As for it being better to go with t5s they consume like 1/5 the energy a halide does and do not get really hot and bulbs have to be replaced like every 14-18 months (about every 12 months if you overdrive them). In the long run you save a lot of even though halides are cheaper to start the electricity bill will kill you ime thats why i swithed to t5s on my 55 gallon. In all wether to go t5s or mh it depends on what corals you want to keep and how much money you want to shell out for electricity. Sure t5s can keep many sps happy but halides are better for sps. then again if you only want like lps t5s wont cost you like $30 a month to run a halide. Finally when you pointed out halides can point directy at something what makes t5s so good is reflectors like slr by icecap that increase light down on the tank by 300 percent!! Anyways we can continue bickering about this but imo halides are better but t5s in the long run save tons o cash for a pretty damn good light.





ps (depth penetration is about 16 inches before it starts to fade so you are right on it isnt good for deep tanks.

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LOL! you guys are rather amusing.


255 255 255 0,


about 100 pounds of sand, depending on how deep you want your sand bed, i like around 2 inches.


you are going to need about 200 pounds of rock in that tank or it will look empty.


inhabitant choice is up to you and what YOU prefer. but a moorish idol would sure look good in that tank!



255 255 255 0, you never mention corals at all, but you mention fish several times. it sounds like you want to set up a FOWLR tank (Fish Only With Live Rock). virtually any lighting will work on such a tank. t5's will also work with 'softie' corals like mushrooms, zoos, ricordias, and clove polyps. where you might run into difficulty with t5's is if you want clams or SOME SPS corals (there are, in fact MANY low light SPS). but then, your fish might chew on SPS. a moorish idol certainly would. a moorish idol will eat almost all corals. its an example of how some fish can limit what type of tank inhabitants you have.


a 100+ tank should really have a sump rather than a fuge. its a place to filter your water and keep pumps and a protein skimmer, which you should really have with a FOWLR tank.


255 255 255 0, bottom line is this; YOU need to decide what type of inhabitants you want, then look at all the tanks on the internet and copy their equipment. http://www.reefcentral.com/ has pictures of MANY different set ups for you to browse.


remember this rough rule though, more fish means less corals and more corals means less fish.




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255 255 255 0

Thanks you all.


this thread is a gr8 help altho im now more confused than ever on what to use for lights. M not sure wat corals to get and it wud help if somone can provide a general list that wud fit well in a 119gallon tank. Im makin it custom-made with a dimension of 38 x 24 x 24 and the sump would be 24 x12 x16. is that sump size enuff?


also i need to knoe where is best to put my overflow. i might want to put it at the centerback with two returns comingfrom the rear corners. shud i have one or two overflows?


Can anyone specify wat corals and anemones wud be best for my tank? It shud be noted that my fish shop is not as diverse as those in the States, but we do have exotic marinelife from our local waters.

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With a 24" deep tank You would need some pretty intense lighting for the light to get all the way down to the bottom of the tank, so you're looking at t5, or metal halide to do a reef system. Which is better will always be a debate. If you go with a fish only with live rock you would probably get by with pc or vho lighting and be able to do mushrooms, zoos, leathers, among many other soft corals that don't need as intense lighting as the small polyp stony corals. What you could do is start with the soft corals (most are a lot easier to keep than sps) and the vho or pc lighting, and as your experience factor goes up, so can a lighting upgrade. Your local pet store can point you in the right direction as far as easy corals, so that you will have success in reefkeeping. To start out with the more difficult corals would be detrimental to them because you would end up frustrated and get out of the hobby (making them lose money in the long run). Also the exotic marinelife in your local waters in my opinion should stay exactly where they are. Besides the fact that is illegal to collect marinelife from the wild without being liscensed to do so(in many parts of the world) our natural reefs are dying off at an alarming rate and I'd hate to see anyone contributing to that. We can't do much about all the corals that have been taken from the wild, but through aquaculturing the ones we have at least we can try to slow down the deterioration...Sorry if it sounds like i'm preaching but it is something i'm very concerned about. Good luck in your endeavor and keep reading the forums on websites like this and Reef Central, the people are a great help and helped me stay with this hobby, as I'm sure they will be more than happy to help you in the future.

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255 255 255 0, i will say it again.



YOU need to decide what type of tank you want. You have to decide on the types of corals you prefer. the link i posted above has a very nice tank on the first page, but its not for me, and i would never set up such a tank.


its like asking us, over the internet, what you should plant in your back yard. well, do you like trees or bushes? do you like a lawn (with the mowing and water use) or a vegetable garden?


we have no idea what the answers are. you live in a different part of the world, we dont know what is available to you. i happen to like atlantic ricordia floridia's. but you dont have much of a chance of getting those in Borneo (and yes, i know where that is and i know you dont have anacondas. but you do have pythons and tiny elephants, http://thestar.com.my/news/list.asp?file=/...1264&sec=nation)


what do YOU want your tank to look like? then you go from there.



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255 255 255 0

i want a reef system with 6-7 fishes the most becos im emphasising on the reef part. im planning after a few months of setting up the tank im gona get RBTAs and GBTAs fer sure, brain corals(i like the green ones), umbrella corals, sea cucumbers, leathers and a couple more. im just not sure which ones to add first and what are


and ive decided not to make the tank too deep. should i settle for a 12" height or an 18"? my dimension choice is either:


48L x 12W x 12H or 36L x 18w x 18H


which wud be better? the one which gets the highest vote by you guys will be my definite choice.


and YES, m goin for a reef tank :)

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255 255 255 0

Here 's my update on what I'm gettin:


Main Tank : 36 x 18 x 18 (50 g) <<< is this a better choice?


Fuge : 24 x 12 x 12 (15g) <<< is this enough?


Lights : 2 T5s and 2 actinics



Stuff depending on the tank size:

2 Powerheads


Internal Pump for return


50lbs sand + lbs of crushed coral


25lbs LR (20lbs from South China Sea, 5lbs Fiji LR)


Cleaning Crew:

- 2 Queen Conchs

- Cleaner Shrimp(s)

- Snails (10-20) (astrea, celiths, nasses)

- Cleaner Clam(s) [for fuge]


Then potential corals:

- Bubble coral(s)

- Hammer coral(s)

- Mushroom coral(s)

- Elegant coral(s)

- Carnation(s) - Notsure about this tho cos of plankton issues

- Plate(s)

- Ricordea(s)

- Star Polyps

- Xenia

- Umbrella

- Zoos

- Green Horn(s)


[Please suggest on what corals should i get first b/c i don't wana get them all at once. I prefer hardy ones first]


Then id go with:



Yellow cucumbers

Black and white sea slugs


2 yellow percs

1 Lawnmower blenny

1 cleaner wrasse [is there any reason not to get this?]

1 yellow tang

1 panther grouper [will my bigger cleaner shrimps be okay?]




I need your expertise in this, am i going the right way and choosing the right options?


wat wud be a better list?


should i just go with the 48 x 18 x 14 dimension?

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your fine on the tank.


your fuge is large enough


you have no where near enough rock. a 50g will take at LEAST 75 pounds. you wont even get off the sand with 25 pounds.


careful with they cucumbers, if it explodes in your tank you might lose everything. same with the slugs. and the clams for that matter.


yellow tangs prefer 48" and up tanks. forget that one.


as far as i know, groupers are not reef safe. no shrimp will be safe with him.



like i said, pick what you want. but if you want a REEF tank, you will not be able to have just any old fish.


you say you want hardy stuff, but that list is loaded with (IMO) stuff that can be 'troublesome'. novice reefers should only have stuff that, if they die, wont take the whole tank with them. you have anemones, slugs, cucumbers, and clams. its asking for trouble.





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255 255 255 0

thanks nalbar, will skip the slugs clams and cucumbers.


m just gona stick with live rocks and hardy corals for a full 6 months minimum before venturing to more explodable specimens. problem is i don knoe which corals are hardy


so, perhaps m just gona be gettin 2 percs, 2 skunkclowns, the blenny and, yes, im sticking with the panther grouper b/c it grows to 2 inches avrage and the one i saw in my local fish store seems peaceful enuff living with shrimps its size. m not sure about the cleaner wrasse tho cos i read it feeds mainly on parasites, whch i cant provide.


EDIT - i might consider a yellow pygmy angel in exchange for the tang. or are there better options?


EDIT - i just researched on the panther grouper and found out it grows too big. I got misinformed that it grows to only 2inches. so the grouper's outta the list

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255 255 255 0

Hi everyone, m a noob and i just wana know wat would be a nice design but still relevant to reef tanks.


Im doing this at haste b/c my lfs is offering 75% on custom AGA tanks only until next monday. Here are my options:


A. 48L x 12W x 16H (40g) (bottom area = 576 " sq.)


B. 36L x 18W x 18H (50g) (b.a = 648" sq.)


C. 36L x 12W x 18H (34g) (b.a = 432" sq.)


D. 48L x 12W x 12H (30g) (b.a = 576" sq.)



Personally i like the long slender look, especially Option A and D.

But won't a low height ascertain any complications such as:


-Too shallow swimspace? (fishes will be percs, blenny, wrasse)


- Too near to the light? (Corals and anemones are in the plans)





I'm not worried about aquascaping b/c the concept will be having cubes in a row (ie. shallow rock scaping)


I'm not worried about growth b/c fragging is an option, just worried about the efects or near light to corals' growth



My decisions rest on the fact of needing to minimise the use of LR and LS per area of the tank. by minimising the surface area of the bottom ground, in theory i am minimising the need for more LS.


please help.


PS. do you guys knoe anymore pros and cons of having a shallow tank? (ie. 12", 14" or 16" high)


here's a basic diagram of Option A's setup




and here's my plan of the lighting system:


the first 3 feet length im gonna use tubes while the last feet i'm gonna use a clip-on.


i gather that this wud produce a diverse lighting than a constant one so inverts can choose spots where they wish to be and sun corals might do better with the clip on (which i'd modify to fit in the hood.


anyways, as i mentioned i don matter much about the depth for aquascaping b/c its possible in nano-cubes and via aquas. the tank is just like Cubes in a row only joined. im not trying to reach high with the LR. the only thing im worried about is wud my corals and inverts be fried with this depth? assuming that i use tubes for 36" lengths.


i need better reasons, like my corals wud definitely fry, to make me go 18H

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