New To Reef, Help With build

shrive81

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Afternoon,

Ok guys so I am excited to finally pull the trigger on a reef build and new to the salt world. I am in need of some guidance. I have spent the last few weeks reading and researching and need advice now from your experiences and knowledge.

-Tanks- I am going to go with the Mode Infinity series but debating on the 75 gallon vs 100 gallon, room and budget are not an issue but dont want bigger then 100 gallons
-Lights- I would like to find a light i can mount to the tank, I believe the 75 gallon is 36" wide and the 100 gallon is 48" wide
-Protein skimmer and refugium? what are you thoughts in doing both and would you suggest any other media
-Rock..... wet, dry, live or artificial
- Any other suggestions on equipment or tips and trick feel free to let me know hahaha.


Really trying to do this the right way the first time I hate upgrading after things are up and running. I am so excited to finally start this journey

thanks in advance
 
Budmans

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Here is my advice.
  • Rock
    • go with dry rock or something like real reef rock. All rock becomes live overtime. The difference is that dry rock allows you to control what enters your tank, where as live rock (especially from fish stores), brings in a whole bunch of things that you may regret later. Bottled bacteria (as well as different types that I can list if you want) and ammonium chloride (for fish tanks) is the way to go
  • Lights
    • This really depends on your budget. If you have a price range in mind I can list some.
  • Skimmer and refugium
    • I am an advocate for a refugium with a strong and proper light. This is cheaper than a skimmer, removes nitrate and phosphate, provides a home for copepods and other microfauna, and requires little to no maitenance. If It is unable to keep up with your waste production, then get a skimmer.
  • Media
    • I tend to prefer less rock in the display by using more biomedia in the sump (seachem matrix, etc), However, that is my personal. Biomedia is just super porous rock. Even a sponge works.
    • Good carbon is something I always recommend. You would add this after your first fish.
    • Phosphate media can become handy but if you have a proper refugium then I would not run this. Do not run this when cycling.
 

Robbie Gibbins

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lights that can mount to the tank. I recently stumbled across a coworkers tank running the illumagic Blaze x light with vitamini strips I'm super impressed by this light. The AI Hydras are a great option as well. (these options if you don't have a budget). I'm a reefer on a super budget and I run black boxes, (results and opinions vary on them lol). I started with live rock, pests can be an issue for sure. Dry rock is a great way to go because you can have it out of water and drill and glue till you get a aquascape you like. pros and cons to both live or dry rock. If I had to start all over again I would start with dry. I run a sump with a skimmer and GFO and Carbon reactors. I never got into a refugium on this tank. I do grow mangroves in the Sump with a strong grow light.
 

Nathan Milender

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Go 100 gallon for sure, make sure to get a wide (front to back) for corals. Lights and powerheads kind of depend on what kind of reef you are thinking of. Think of the most exciting thing you want to get and tailor the items around that.

Lights can be anything. Some like really actinic, some like more daylight. Some like on/off, some like ramp up and down. You will have decide on that and then there are plenty of options.

Skimmer or refugium? I actually have both on my tank. You probably don't need both. Plain skimmer with no light under there will likely be less major maintenance down the road as you will not have algae and things getting out of control.

Whatever you do, be ready to capitalize on black Friday.
 

vetteguy53081

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100g. You’ll want that extra room in no time and live rock for seeding of tank and good establishment of system.
Light will depend if you are doing corals, fish only or both. Obtain a skimmer and even UV sterilizer in time.
Buy the best you Can’t afford thereby buying it once due to good quality

WELCOME TO THE R2R COMMUNITY AND FAMILY
 

jeffrey750750

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Hello and welcome! I would go as big as you can afford, less wanting to upgrade later

Screenshot_20200919-021549_Google.jpg
 

Spare time

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thanks for the great reply, as for the light i would like to stay under 500 for the light but really like around 300


I think that for the lights it will depend on which of those tanks you get. Popular budget lights that can mount on the tank include SB reeflights and Reefbreeders. You could also go with a Reefbrite setup (I believe they can rest on the top of the tank and you can spread them out). The lights are going to be the most expensive equipment in the tank. There are black box LED's that are cheaper but you would need to hang them (such as viparspectra).
 
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shrive81

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thanks guys ya I just ordered the mode infinity 100 gallon the tank itself is 48" wide, 24" deep and 20" tall. I really need to figure out the light cause this is going to be really exspensive and want to have a clean look with no hanging from the ceiling and best quality for a good reef and a few fish...
 
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Alchameth

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I learned some costly lessons when it comes to lights...

I've tried this and that and something else and in the end spent twice as much as I needed to. Knowing, going into it, roughly what type of corals I wanted. So my advice would be to try and get an idea on what kind of corals you're thinking about and go from there. If you're going LPS and Softies, you could start with a pair of AI Prime 16, then add another pair down the road for better spread and coverage, those 2 with mounts would eat your $500. I started my 90G under a 48" Fluval Marine 3.0 which had no issues with softies and high mounted torches and hammers, which you can snag on sale for less than $200.

Just really depends on what you want in the tank. It's an area I've always tried to skimp on when I could, but learned that lesson so not anymore.
 

highest_tides

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Welcome to the reef! I went with some live rock and when I upgraded into my new system I moved that rock over. I use a bunch of porous media in the sump as well and currently only run a filter roller with a refugium. As my bioload gets bigger I will grow into a skimmer as well. If the budget is tight eventually, there are a ton of DIY tips floating around.

Some things I suggest:

RO/DI filtration system (can't trust LFS pretty much everywhere for 0 TDS)
Testing kits (fun to track your N cycle but important to keep your big 3 in line)
Auto Top Off system

Good luck! Nothing better than the zen of a reef.
 

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