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Featured What Equipment To Use In A Reef Tank

Discussion in 'Help and Advice' started by phil hunter, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. phil hunter

    phil hunter Registered

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    Hello I'm starting up a 250l reef tank with a 130l sump underneath . I've got a skimmer bio pellet reactor to go in the sump but not sure wether to add a calcium reactor / dosing pump or both as I'm wanting to keep both soft and hard corals ? any help and advice would be appreciated
    Cheers Phil
     
  2. phil hunter

    phil hunter Registered

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    Also should I use a Kalk Stirrer for the corals
     
  3. doug_amanda

    doug_amanda Admin Staff Member

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    Hi Phil and welcome to the forum,
    Dosing pumps, calcium reactors and kalk stirrers all do pretty much the same thing so it’s really a case of which method suits you best, I’ve never used a kalk stirer but my preferred method is a dosing pump over a calcium reactor purely for its simplicity (others may have differing opinions) You May find that unless you load your tank up with hard Frags and colonies right from the off you won’t need anything as yet as a weekly water change with a decent salt will keep all your elements nice and stable.
     
  4. phil hunter

    phil hunter Registered

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    Ok cheers for that just working out the best way to keep healthy corals as they're quite fragile and expensive so want to do things right from the off
     
  5. doug_amanda

    doug_amanda Admin Staff Member

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    Letting your tank mature for a few months and allow it to stabilise before adding hard corals would be worthwhile,
    Adding softies will be fine from the start,
    I would say running carbon is a must when mixing softies with hard corals.
     
  6. phil hunter

    phil hunter Registered

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    can you explain 'running carbon' please ?
    Phil
     
  7. phil hunter

    phil hunter Registered

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    Also when running my pipe work to and from the display tank ( and everything in between ) am i better off using 16mm/20mm pipe ?
    Cheers Phil
     
  8. doug_amanda

    doug_amanda Admin Staff Member

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    You can buy active carbon for use in reef tanks that will help to reduce the toxins produced by soft corals which can be detrimental to the health of any hard corals, it comes in a granular form and can be used in a media bag in the sump, the alternative is to run/use it gently in a media reactor, again placed in the sump.
    As far as pipe work it really depends on how you are pumping water in and out of your system, for example mine uses a 25mm pipe to pump water from the sump to the tank and two 35mm pipes behind the wire to drain it back to the sump.
     
  9. phil hunter

    phil hunter Registered

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    cheers for that do you use any stop caves on any of the drain/return pipes to help control the flow ?
     
  10. phil hunter

    phil hunter Registered

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    valves sorry
     
  11. doug_amanda

    doug_amanda Admin Staff Member

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    Yes I have a valve on one of the 35mm pipes from the weir to the sump to help balance the flow and reduce any gurgling sound.
     
  12. Jasandjules

    Jasandjules Registered

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    Until your bio load takes up all the Ca and Mg etc from the water column you don't need a Ca reactor etc. A skimmer, heater and a light for cheato are ideal in the sump to start with, after all it will be six months to a year before you want to add "hard corals" - do you mean LPS or SPS? As LPS in the main can be controlled with just water changes...
     
  13. phil hunter

    phil hunter Registered

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    cheers does anybody use a UV sterilizer in their set up ? I have one but unsure wether it's needed
     
  14. Jasandjules

    Jasandjules Registered

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    Not in a marine reef no, it will kill good stuff as well as bad (assuming it works well enough to do either)
     
  15. phil hunter

    phil hunter Registered

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    thanks for that any other good advice needed when setting up would be greatly appreciated I'm in the process of setting up the tank/sump haven't added water yet . it's a 250 litre tank with a 130 litre sump . I've go a bio pellet reactor , a skimmer a heater to add and am after a calcium reactor to add also
     
  16. Jasandjules

    Jasandjules Registered

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    My best advice - find a couple of people local to you and go see their tanks. Look at what kit they have and why. Because a LOT of stuff you don't really, really need. Some things can be a major bonus for example I have a temp controller which does hot and cold, auto top up unit makes a huge difference to corals IMHO etc.. And how to get decent flow around the tank...
     
  17. Staypuft

    Staypuft Registered

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    Ditto the above, a lot of what you use and how depends on two key things, imho, budget and simplicity - i totally agree that you don't necessarily need loads of kit.
    I have found that the majority of sump-based equipment will require some maintenance, so planning your sump/electrics/pipework is crucial to easier weekly maintenance.
    BTW have you filled the tank yet and how is it going?
     
  18. phil hunter

    phil hunter Registered

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    Hello thanks for the advice and taking an interest I've got all my pipe work finnished put the sand in the display tank and filled the sump with saltwater . I've half filled the display tank with saltwater ( approx 250 litres ) and my next step is to add live rock then cycle and test
    Any advice ( wondering if I should have added the live rock before filling as probably have been easier to arrange the rock how I want it ) ?
    Much appreciated Phil
     
  19. doug_amanda

    doug_amanda Admin Staff Member

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    You’ve done it the right way,
    scaping live rock in a dry tank means you’ll end up with a rockscape of mostly dead rock,
    I prefer to add the rock to the tank before the sand but as long as you make sure the rock is nice and stable and pushed into the sand you will be ok.
     
  20. Staypuft

    Staypuft Registered

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    To be honest, I have tried and used both live rock in before and after water but I don't think either helped me a lot - it's really if you have multiple pieces you want to stick together outside the tank that adding to a dry tank can help.
    Have you tested pumps/heaters/pipework in the sump/tank wet yet? While only half full of saltwater, it would be easier to see leaks and fix; saltwater is too expensive to waste :).

    Personally, I would leave the UV and Calc reactor out of any plan right now. As above, skimmer, heater, live rock, water, sand and lights (so you can see stuff in the rock!) would be my priority (I too can recommend temp controllers with titanium heaters and auto top-ups but weigh up costs while you cycle the tank). Don't rush the cycling process though, bacteria is a sloooowww worker - you can speed it up by using live sand or one of the bottled products, off the shelf, to do a bit of this but waiting is a much better way IMHO.
     
    doug_amanda likes this.
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