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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The best way to go?

I had gotten an offer the other day, for a 75 gallon tank, with stand, and hood, for $499.99, which at the time, sounded like a good deal, but I'm wanting to do a reef tank, and when I called the store about it, they said they had another offer for me, but I'm not sure how I should go. The second deal is for the same size tank, but with a T1 light(someone please tell me what that is), for $849.99. Now my dad said he'd buy me the $500 tank, so worst case scenario, I'm gonna have to pay about $300. So, which system should I go with, to start? And can someone explain T1 lighting to me?*c/p*
 

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I have never heard of a T-1 tube, double check with them and find out how many bulbs, wattage and manufacturer of the lighting. Why is it so much more as in what else is included.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have never heard of a T-1 tube, double check with them and find out how many bulbs, wattage and manufacturer of the lighting. Why is it so much more as in what else is included.
Ok, I misheard them, its a T-5 tube, and the reason its so much more is, it has a biowheel filter, light, stand, and hood, the $499 deal just has the stand. Would it be better to look around somemore, or try and get them to lower the price somemore?
 

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I would look around some actually check Craigslist in your area. The filter wont be any good for a reef system and 1 T-5 tube will not give you enough light. I would say to get the $500 tank if you cant find something better off Craigslist
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I checked craigslist for my area, and the best I could find was a 20 gallon, aquarium only. So which would be the best way for me to go? Keep in mind, I am new to this.
 

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I would do some more checking around $500 is a lot for a 75gal. tank and stand without lights and then add another $350.00 for lights that's a bit much. I brought a brand new 75gal. and stand for $100.00 for my kids. Nothing wrong with bio-wheel filters but I'm almost willing to bet real money on you upgrading that filter soon after you put it on. So do some more checking the deals are out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I would do some more checking around $500 is a lot for a 75gal. tank and stand without lights and then add another $350.00 for lights that's a bit much. I brought a brand new 75gal. and stand for $100.00 for my kids. Nothing wrong with bio-wheel filters but I'm almost willing to bet real money on you upgrading that filter soon after you put it on. So do some more checking the deals are out there.
Damn!!! Good thing I asked around on here, that 75gal/stand deal, was on sale. Sounds to me like I might need to find a different supplier. How risky is it to order a tank online?*c/p*
 

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Damn!!! Good thing I asked around on here, that 75gal/stand deal, was on sale. Sounds to me like I might need to find a different supplier. How risky is it to order a tank online?*c/p*
I have never ordered one off line, and I'm not sure I would want to go that way. If you do make sure you get it insured that way if anything should happen you won't be out of anything. And there is a lot of good used equipment out there as well. If you have a reef club in your area that's a good place to start.
 

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I mighta just found my deal, just 50 miles from home, what all would it take to make this tank reef ready? Perfecto 150g Extra High Glass Aquarium with Fluorescent Lighting - Sale - Fish - PetSmart

*c/p*
As stated above you will need better lighting, but for a 150 high I would look at least 4 power heads or 2 vortex's and that my friend will set you back about another $800.00 flow will be very important in a tank that big. I have 2 Koralia #4's and 2 modded maxi-jets in my reef tank. See if you can find someone to drill the tank for you or you can do it yourself with a kit you can find online. Or you could go with a overflow box.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
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Thanx guys, but I mighta just found a deal too good to pass up, a roughly 180 gallon used glass tank, reef ready, with T5 light, sand, filter, everything, except a stand included, for $800, and I could find a stand with little trouble. The only problem is, it had alot of salt water deposits on it. How hard would those be to clean up? Time is of the essence, she has other interested parties. One thing, except for one room, my floors are peer and beam, would they hold a tank that size? Please help.
 

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Thanx guys, but I mighta just found a deal too good to pass up, a roughly 180 gallon used glass tank, reef ready, with T5 light, sand, filter, everything, except a stand included, for $800, and I could find a stand with little trouble. The only problem is, it had alot of salt water deposits on it. How hard would those be to clean up? Time is of the essence, she has other interested parties. One thing, except for one room, my floors are peer and beam, would they hold a tank that size? Please help.
First off your going to want to dump that sand. You don't want to use sand from a system you know nothing about, so you have to keep that in mind. And your looking at over 1500lbs. A gal. of water is about 8.8lbs plus another atleast 180 pounds of live rock and atleast 100lbs of sand depending on if you are going to do a deep sand bed or shallow sand bed. And to find a stand for a tank that big may not be as easy as you think it may be. So you would have 1 of 2 options either build one or have someone else do it or pay another $300 to $500 for a good one. Believe me I'm not trying to rain on your parade, but I've seen a lot of people come into this hobby get halfway through a build and find out they bit off more then they can chew. That's when you start cutting corners and hurt yourself in the long run. I'm telling you this from my own quest starting in this hobby. I didn't have anybody to tell me these things. I walk into a pet shop asked what I needed to start a salt water tank and walked out with a bag of salt a bag of sand and a few rocks and that was it. I never want to see another hobbyist go through that if I can help it. Here's what I would do sit down with a piece of paper and a pen count every dollar you plan to put into your tank. Then make a list of everything you will need to get the tank up and running. Then if you have a good local fish store in your area go and get a price for that from them then look online and see what will work best for you and go from there. It is always better to get the biggest tank you can afford, but at the same time you want to be able to put something in it. I know how it is when you want something...you want it right now, but take your time this earth is covered by 70% ocean so it's not going anywhere and we promise you we'll save you some my friend. I hope this give you a better understanding of what this hobby entails and you can ask anybody that has a tank IT IS ADDICTING so enjoy it every chance you get.
 

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Trouble93 made some very good points.

The advice about the sand is not a bad one. If you insist on using it anyways and can confirm that there is no contamination from Copper based meds and such, then I would seriously rinse it thoroughly, then when adding it back to the tank add a bag of live sand or 10-20 lbs of Graf Grunge. Just make sure its a calcium based sand substrate.

Yes that is a lot of weight to be placing on a home floor. Not only is that a lot of weight but its a small foot print to distribute that weight on. Consider too that a tank that size, the minimum recoomended monthly water changes will send you through a bucket of salt pretty quick too. The amount of top off water you will need will make a R/O water unit a very cost effcient piece of gear to have too and thats an added cost to consider. Granted you can bu the water from the LFS but it gets expensive when dealing with a large tank and their maintenance on the filter may not be all that great, so the water quality might not be as great either.

As for stands...I wouldnt trust even a new one from the factory. Getting one built will add a good bit to your start up expenses. Builting one for a tank this size makes a lot more sense using well designed plans. I have built many of the stands I have used in the past on large tanks including a 300 gallon RR and a 240 gallon RR tanks. My stands generally ran me about 200 fun dollars or more to build. Its not a project you want to "just slap together".

Here's what I would do sit down with a piece of paper and a pen count every dollar you plan to put into your tank. Then make a list of everything you will need to get the tank up and running. Then if you have a good local fish store in your area go and get a price for that from them then look online and see what will work best for you and go from there. It is always better to get the biggest tank you can afford, but at the same time you want to be able to put something in it. I know how it is when you want something...you want it right now, but take your time this earth is covered by 70% ocean so it's not going anywhere and we promise you we'll save you some my friend.
If you only knew just how great that piece of advice was...seriously! I would first sit down and do some serious soul searching. Figure out what you want to keep in your tank, FOWLR, FO, Fish/Reef or Coral Reef only. If corals are involved which corals are you wanting to keep. This can have a profound effect on exactly what it is you need, especially when it comes to lighting!!! The depth of your tank will also be a mitigating factor when it comes to lighting as well so dont forget that consideration either. Lighting on a reef tank can easily cost more than a custom tank! Generally speaking a 4 ft long tank can usually be outfitted with lights as cheaply as a 36 inch tank or a 6ft tank. Instead of constantly upgrading your are money ahead just getting what it is you need to begin with. Develop a detailed plan before you spend the first fun dollar, start out slow and easy and you will most likely save yourself a lot of money and a lot more headaches. Nothing good in a SW tank happens fast, I assure you! Sometimes a lack of funds can be a blessing in disguise too! At the time, you just might not realize that is the case.

I feel you would be better off running a sump/fuge under your tank but not sure what cost difference there would be
If your going with a reef tank I would have to strongly agree with that statement!!! That being the case I would suggest a Reef Ready tank from the get go. Yes it will cost more for the tank but after years of keeping and propagating corals, it really is the best route by far to go. Of course you dont have too. Many use a Siphon Over Flow Box in a standard tank and some just use HOB filter and get nice results. Do some research and decide whats best for your needs.

Thats my Buck O Five on this topic...
 

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Trouble93 made some very good points.

The advice about the sand is not a bad one. If you insist on using it anyways and can confirm that there is no contamination from Copper based meds and such, then I would seriously rinse it thoroughly, then when adding it back to the tank add a bag of live sand or 10-20 lbs of Graf Grunge. Just make sure its a calcium based sand substrate.

Yes that is a lot of weight to be placing on a home floor. Not only is that a lot of weight but its a small foot print to distribute that weight on. Consider too that a tank that size, the minimum recoomended monthly water changes will send you through a bucket of salt pretty quick too. The amount of top off water you will need will make a R/O water unit a very cost effcient piece of gear to have too and thats an added cost to consider. Granted you can bu the water from the LFS but it gets expensive when dealing with a large tank and their maintenance on the filter may not be all that great, so the water quality might not be as great either.

As for stands...I wouldnt trust even a new one from the factory. Getting one built will add a good bit to your start up expenses. Builting one for a tank this size makes a lot more sense using well designed plans. I have built many of the stands I have used in the past on large tanks including a 300 gallon RR and a 240 gallon RR tanks. My stands generally ran me about 200 fun dollars or more to build. Its not a project you want to "just slap together".



If you only knew just how great that piece of advice was...seriously! I would first sit down and do some serious soul searching. Figure out what you want to keep in your tank, FOWLR, FO, Fish/Reef or Coral Reef only. If corals are involved which corals are you wanting to keep. This can have a profound effect on exactly what it is you need, especially when it comes to lighting!!! The depth of your tank will also be a mitigating factor when it comes to lighting as well so dont forget that consideration either. Lighting on a reef tank can easily cost more than a custom tank! Generally speaking a 4 ft long tank can usually be outfitted with lights as cheaply as a 36 inch tank or a 6ft tank. Instead of constantly upgrading your are money ahead just getting what it is you need to begin with. Develop a detailed plan before you spend the first fun dollar, start out slow and easy and you will most likely save yourself a lot of money and a lot more headaches. Nothing good in a SW tank happens fast, I assure you! Sometimes a lack of funds can be a blessing in disguise too! At the time, you just might not realize that is the case.



If your going with a reef tank I would have to strongly agree with that statement!!! That being the case I would suggest a Reef Ready tank from the get go. Yes it will cost more for the tank but after years of keeping and propagating corals, it really is the best route by far to go. Of course you dont have too. Many use a Siphon Over Flow Box in a standard tank and some just use HOB filter and get nice results. Do some research and decide whats best for your needs.

Thats my Buck O Five on this topic...
Thank-You for the input...Sounds a lot better coming from more then one person.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
First off your going to want to dump that sand. You don't want to use sand from a system you know nothing about, so you have to keep that in mind. And your looking at over 1500lbs. A gal. of water is about 8.8lbs plus another atleast 180 pounds of live rock and atleast 100lbs of sand depending on if you are going to do a deep sand bed or shallow sand bed. And to find a stand for a tank that big may not be as easy as you think it may be. So you would have 1 of 2 options either build one or have someone else do it or pay another $300 to $500 for a good one. Believe me I'm not trying to rain on your parade, but I've seen a lot of people come into this hobby get halfway through a build and find out they bit off more then they can chew. That's when you start cutting corners and hurt yourself in the long run. I'm telling you this from my own quest starting in this hobby. I didn't have anybody to tell me these things. I walk into a pet shop asked what I needed to start a salt water tank and walked out with a bag of salt a bag of sand and a few rocks and that was it. I never want to see another hobbyist go through that if I can help it. Here's what I would do sit down with a piece of paper and a pen count every dollar you plan to put into your tank. Then make a list of everything you will need to get the tank up and running. Then if you have a good local fish store in your area go and get a price for that from them then look online and see what will work best for you and go from there. It is always better to get the biggest tank you can afford, but at the same time you want to be able to put something in it. I know how it is when you want something...you want it right now, but take your time this earth is covered by 70% ocean so it's not going anywhere and we promise you we'll save you some my friend. I hope this give you a better understanding of what this hobby entails and you can ask anybody that has a tank IT IS ADDICTING so enjoy it every chance you get.
Ok, if the sands not gonna be any good for a reef tank, am I gonna need to replace it with more sand, or live rock? According to the store, the previous owner just couldnt handle the tank, which is why he got rid of it.
 

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Here my thoughts on that subjet for what it might be worth to you...

If it was previously a reef tank and the owner just bit off a little more than they could handle and decided to thro in the towel then the substrate is likely very usable still. If it is sand and not crushed coral, then I would highly suggest washing it in RO water thoroughly and then reuse it. I would add it back to the tank with a bag of live sand or a few pounds of Garf Grunge. Either of these will seed the old sand bed with new colonies of benefical bacteria. The latter may also add sponge spores, coralline algae spores, 'Pods and various worms and such as well.

The biggest reasons for not using existing sand are several. One you dont know if any copper based meds were ever used. You dont know if there was a huge nitrate issue for heavy nutrient over load in the tank before either. Calcium based substrates are pourous and will soak things like this up like a sponge and when in water again it will begin to slowly release these compounds. Often times many will use Crushed Coral for a substrate which in my opinion is one of the worst choices out there. This type of substrate has a tendency to trap all kinds of crap within the "sand bed" creating a nutrient rich enviroment that leads to high Nitrate issues, poor water quality and persistent algae issues. None of these are things you want. You can use Crushed Coral substrate just understand that they will require constant cleaning on a regular basis. It is for this reason, and also becuase I am kinda lazy, that I very much prefer CaribSea Seaflor grade sand or finer grades in my tanks. With adequate filtration, water circulation and sand bed fuana I can usually avoid many of the problems associated with Crushed Coral "sand beds".

According to the store...
While there are some very reputable Stores out there you might wanna exercise some caution. All are in the business to make money and pay the bills, this means making a profit. Many are far more comcerned with thier best interest more so than yours. There are many stores and sales reps out there that are willing to tell you anything you wanna hear inorder to make a sale or move something off there show room floor or livestock tanks. Learn which ones you can trust if any in your area and proceed with caution. Again this in not a condemnation of all, there are some out there who are very dedicated. Once you have been in the LFS business you will be able to relate to what I am saying here. I would explain all the little ins and outs of the business but it would be better fitting for a novel vice a useful thread. Before you take thier word for something...RESEARCH IT and prove the information to be correct! This also goes for anything you are told on the internet as well.
 

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Here my thoughts on that subjet for what it might be worth to you...

If it was previously a reef tank and the owner just bit off a little more than they could handle and decided to thro in the towel then the substrate is likely very usable still. If it is sand and not crushed coral, then I would highly suggest washing it in RO water thoroughly and then reuse it. I would add it back to the tank with a bag of live sand or a few pounds of Garf Grunge. Either of these will seed the old sand bed with new colonies of benefical bacteria. The latter may also add sponge spores, coralline algae spores, 'Pods and various worms and such as well.

The biggest reasons for not using existing sand are several. One you dont know if any copper based meds were ever used. You dont know if there was a huge nitrate issue for heavy nutrient over load in the tank before either. Calcium based substrates are pourous and will soak things like this up like a sponge and when in water again it will begin to slowly release these compounds. Often times many will use Crushed Coral for a substrate which in my opinion is one of the worst choices out there. This type of substrate has a tendency to trap all kinds of crap within the "sand bed" creating a nutrient rich enviroment that leads to high Nitrate issues, poor water quality and persistent algae issues. None of these are things you want. You can use Crushed Coral substrate just understand that they will require constant cleaning on a regular basis. It is for this reason, and also becuase I am kinda lazy, that I very much prefer CaribSea Seaflor grade sand or finer grades in my tanks. With adequate filtration, water circulation and sand bed fuana I can usually avoid many of the problems associated with Crushed Coral "sand beds".



While there are some very reputable Stores out there you might wanna exercise some caution. All are in the business to make money and pay the bills, this means making a profit. Many are far more comcerned with thier best interest more so than yours. There are many stores and sales reps out there that are willing to tell you anything you wanna hear inorder to make a sale or move something off there show room floor or livestock tanks. Learn which ones you can trust if any in your area and proceed with caution. Again this in not a condemnation of all, there are some out there who are very dedicated. Once you have been in the LFS business you will be able to relate to what I am saying here. I would explain all the little ins and outs of the business but it would be better fitting for a novel vice a useful thread. Before you take thier word for something...RESEARCH IT and prove the information to be correct! This also goes for anything you are told on the internet as well.
+++1 on everything above
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Ok, I've been some thinking, with my internet having been down lately, and I think I've decided to wait on the 200 gallon. After all, they said they were about to put it in storage, b/c no one would buy it, so I probably dont have much to worry about. I do have one question tho, with a 75 gallon, how likely is it that it would get tipped over/broken?
 
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