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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-09-2008, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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New with questions

Hello all I am in the process of taking done my 2 SW tanks (120 and 90). I will be keeping the 90 and want to make it a planted tank. Have had the SW going strong for 5+ years now with excellent growth of corals but just am ready for something new (seems like everybody is doing sw now and I really like the look of a well planted tank).

My question is can I use the same tank 90 gal reef ready (has overflow to a lower sump). And can I set it up using a sump system to keep the tank at a constent level and to prevent any disturbance when adding makeup water?

I know these are pretty basic questions but wanted to make sure before I decided to keep the 90 and sump setup.

Thanks again
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-09-2008, 03:23 PM
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Welcome to TPT!

You can certainly use your sump setup, but may need to make some modifications if you plan on turning this tank into a high tech CO2-injected setup to try and minimize CO2 loss. Also, you probably will want to remove any denitrification and phosphate-removers you may have incorporated into your reef setup.

Lighting will also likely need some modifications; on a large FW planted tank 2-3 watts per gallon can generally be considered "high light" and you'll likely want to swap out most if not all actinic bulbs you were running for bulbs in the 5-10k range.

There's lots of substrate options, and it is not uncommon for substrate to be the single largest cost item in a planted tank, especially if you go with ADA AquaAquasoil.





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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-10-2008, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info. I will definitely be reducing the amount of light.

Thanks
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-10-2008, 04:58 PM
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This setup is calling out DIY to me lol.

One idea might be to make your own canister filter. Since you already have a sump you could use it for a DIY canister filter! I love making these, it just saves you a TON of money, and you can really make them just as good as these XP's, and Ehiem's. I made a DIY canister filter for my 55 gallon African Cichlid tank. All I did was take a 5 or 10 gallon bucket (make sure it comes with a locking lid (like a butter container), cut a hole slightly smaller than the size of the tubes/hoses you are going to use on the side of the bucket approx one inch from the bottom, this is going to be your inlet. After you get the hose through the hole (use pliars for a tight, hopefully airtight fit) you need to seal the outside of the bucket around the hose ( you can use silicone or any other sealing product such as calk or whatever you can find). Then you would want to use something to set ontop of the hose inside the bucket so when you start piling filter floss, ceramic, or anything else you are going to use in the filter, it doesn't pinch the inlet hose or break the seal. Chicken wire or eggcrate (light diffusers at home depot or lowes) work great. After this the customization gets pretty endless, you could just stuff it full of filter floss and/or sponges, peat, ceramic, or whatever you need depending on your water properties. Just seperate each section with a layer of egg crate or chicken wire.

Example: / = a layer of egg crate or chicken wire

inlet / coarse filter floss or foam / peat / ceramic rings / Fine filter floss or foam / outlet

After you get that all setup its time to put the lid on and make this work! Before it will work you will have to cut a hole in the lid slightly smaller than the hose, pull it through about a 1-2 inches. After you do that seal the top of the lid again as you did the hole on the side. Once this is complete you have your DIY canister filter. All you would have to do to get it working is hook the inlet up to your sump so the sump pumps water to the inlet tube, into the filter and then have the outlet hose run back to the tank. You could easily make this for less than $50 which is about 1/3 to 1/8 the price of these nice high-end canister filters and it does the exact same thing!!!


*NOTE*

Before hooking it up to the tank, after you make all the holes, insert the tubing and seal them, before putting any materials in the bucket, take the bucket outside, make sure the lid is closed and turn your hose on. Shove the hose in/around the inlet tube so the bucket fills up. Once the water fills the entire volume of the bucket, the water will have no where else to go but out the outlet tube on the lid. This is just a test to make sure its water tight.

I have built approximatly 3 of these, two with different size butter containers for my smaller planted tanks (10 gal, and 20 gal long), and one using a 10 gallon bucket with a lid for my 55 gal African Cichlid Tank.

If I have some time one day, Ill post a how-to in the DIY forum with some pics.

I hope this helps!
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-10-2008, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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Aquatic_Jungle thanks for the DIY tip, but I think my wife would kill me if I tried a DIY filter (all she could see is the potential flood)

lauraleellbp thanks for the info

Here is a picture of the reef tank that is coming down (old picture)


So the sump action will not strip out too much CO2?

Right now I have 2 250W MH and a 440W VHO 4 bulb setup (DIY so can rearrange as necessary). Will this be to much light (should I go with the VHO only or MH only) I know that both will be overkill.

Right now I have a Calcium reactor on the tank so I have the 5lb bottle and regulator with the Milliwalkee Ph probe and solenoid valve to convert over for CO2 addition.

Just so question to get me going

Thanks
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-10-2008, 07:22 PM
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I'd use 2x VHO for 220 watts over your 90g tank. Move it up to 3 bulbs if/when you see fit.

The sump WILL strip out CO2 unless you make some changes to the design to minimize surface agitation and/or turbulent flow.

The 5# tank + probe, solenoid, controller will be perfect for using with CO2 injection for a planted tank.

What brand/model CO2 reactor are you using? Selling it?

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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-10-2008, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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It's a MRC 2 that I split the bottom stand (just acrylic bottom piece) so I could fit it under the stand.



I will let you know, I gave my local fish guy first dibs on the systems as a whole.

Thanks
Tony

I forgot that I also have two Icecap 660 T5 ballast with standoff and endcaps for 6 bulbs. Would that be a better light setup?
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 01:09 AM
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I completely understand where you are comming from when you say that seansod lol. But you would honestly be surprised how reliable these are, as long as you take the time and do it right instead of rushing through it without thought. Either way if you get bored it may be a fun idea to build it, just to do it. You never know when you might need a spare for an emergency, or even if you decide in the end to use it! Good luck with your decision either way!
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 02:10 AM Thread Starter
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Would the Fluval FX5 be to big for a 90 planted tank?

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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 02:39 AM
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that might be a bit over kill (i'm pretty sure that and under statement)

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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 04:27 AM
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I'm with epicfish, I'd go with 220 watts of VHO, everything else is going to be overkill.

You can use an FX5 and consider yourself VERY well filtered. 2x Eheim 2217 is probably the most common recommendation for your tank size if you don't already have the FX5 and want to save a little $$.

There are a few advantages to running dual filters instead of just one- if one breaks down or when you need to do maintenance you still have one running at all times, it's easier to control water circulation and avoid dead spots with 2x the intake/outtake plumbing, and you have more tubing where you can add inline heaters and CO2 equipment (this is a much more common arrangement instead of using a sump with a planted tank, but it can be done...).





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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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The X5 I can get for trade from one of my MH light sets. So if I am hearing you correctly it might be better for me to go ahead and trade the reef ready tank with the sump for a standard tank setup? I also have a fluval 305 filter but not sure what that is rated for (used it for a SW quartine tank). Also, you think the VHO's would be better then the T5's. I think I can seperate the T5's so as to only have around 2.5 wpg and be able to expand up to 3 wpg if I desire. The VHO setup needs to have all 4 bulbs running or they will be overdriven.

Thanks again for the info

Tony
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 04:32 PM
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Oh, if you have the entire T5 setup that also would work well. I thought you only had the ballast, and so I was trying to be thrifty. I'm actually a really big fan of T5HOs. Given your current VHO setup T5s would probably be a better way to go (I think you'll end up with too much light from the VHOs if you can't run fewer bulbs).

You CAN make your current reef setup work for you, it will just involve some modifications (especially depending on your sump).

On the other hand, I personally also started out with a reef-ready tank on my last project, and decided to sell it and start from scratch just to make my life easier. So that's really just up to you and how much work you want to invest in it.

Since the nice setup you have now should probably fetch a pretty penny to someone else wanting a ready-to-go reef tank, that would probably tempt me to sell and start over. Most FW equipment isn't as expensive as SW... so you could very well end up netting some $$ on the deal, too!





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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-12-2008, 01:07 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, so I have decided to trade the 90 gallon reef ready tank for a new standard tank and will use the T5's for lighting and the Fluval X5 as the filter. What bulbs would be the best (I assume that I would want around 6500K???). The next thing I need to think about is the substrate. I have found a couple of pictures that I want to use as inspiration (will post soon).

I also plan on using pressurized CO2 (since I already have everything but the glass diffuser, I think).

I think I will make a new post soon as a diary of the conversion from a well established (6+ years) reef tank (I have been getting a lot of grief from my fellow reefers here, they can't understand why I am taking down such a nice established tank, looking for the next challenge).

Anyway any ideas as to what you would do if you were setting up a 90 gallon high tech system would be appreciated.

Thanks
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-12-2008, 02:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seansod View Post
Aquatic_Jungle thanks for the DIY tip, but I think my wife would kill me if I tried a DIY filter (all she could see is the potential flood)

lauraleellbp thanks for the info

Here is a picture of the reef tank that is coming down (old picture)


So the sump action will not strip out too much CO2?

Right now I have 2 250W MH and a 440W VHO 4 bulb setup (DIY so can rearrange as necessary). Will this be to much light (should I go with the VHO only or MH only) I know that both will be overkill.

Right now I have a Calcium reactor on the tank so I have the 5lb bottle and regulator with the Milliwalkee Ph probe and solenoid valve to convert over for CO2 addition.

Just so question to get me going

Thanks
I wanna cry.... your tearing that down????? i sooooooooooooo wanna cry.

Anyway ya most of your SW stuff can be used, you will have to mod it some, the Cansiter your talking about would work, just remember unlike SW you want nitrates in FW planted. So a canister full of Bio material and you could maybe get away without doseing nitrates if your going High tech. Your CO2 System can be easily adapted to use. and you can Make your own CO2 Reactor Easily, all you really need is a Spare Gravel Vac(just the bigger plastic end), Maxi jet power head,CO2 Tubing, Glass bead air stone,piece of sponge filter and a drill(the drill bit should fit INSIDE the CO2 Tubing Snuggly). This should give you an idea of what im talking about, yes i know my skills with MS paint need work. lol
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