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Preliminary 180 Gallon Reef Build Advice

Daniel81390

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Attached is a Photo of my all my research to set up a 180gal reef tank at a cost/quality price. Taking into consideration i don't have back up equipment on the list, is there anything that could be swapped out for cheaper alternatives (if its not gonna crap out on me in less than 2 years)? Anything I'm Missing? Planning on running hardy corals eventually, no SPS to start out (would these lights work for SPS if I got a 4th?). Still undecided on a skimmer, Recommendations? Im all for getting that price down.


IMG_8050.jpg
 

Kryptonian

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I get that you want redundancy in heaters but can save you $190 by just getting one of the listing below. I have it on my 180 and it does fantastic (the 500 watt). The reason I chose this one is that it can also mount horizontally in the sump. If it fails, you just have 24 hours of maintaining temp with heat bags in the sump and another can arrive the next day (with Amazon Prime). Mine has been running almost 6 months without any issues.


I also run my 180 off an RO Buddie 50 gpd rodi that only costs $60 and DI changes $15. I just have 6x 5 gallon home depot buckets hanging around.
 
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Kryptonian

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Use code COVID on fragtastic reef to get 5% off your order. That can take a few bucks off the MP40s for sure. That's where I ordered my MP40s.

Also a HUGE plus for that website is that it does not charge tax. A lot of other websites do, so that'll also save you quite a bit.
 

Finnaddict

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I run the M2 on my 180 and wish I had bought the L2. On the skimmers, I like the Reef Octopus and the Classic 202-S8" would be a good fit for your budget.
 

cvrle1

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Skimmer - Look into Lifereef VS3-24. Bulletproof and just works. Get one used when you can, these things are beast. Set it and forget it as well. Can be expanded if you upgrade to even bigger tank.
Sump - Look into IceCap 36XL as well. Great sump, has top off section included and is a bit cheaper.
Heaters - Eheim Jager (300W) would be better choice and cheaper as well. Whatever one you go with, make sure that you have separate heater controller. All heaters will fail, keep that in mind
Would replace MP40s with Maxspect Gyre 330 or if you really want 350
You are missing a bunch of tests like Ammonia, Nitrate, Nitrite (all needed for cycling tank) PH, Alk, Phosphate, etc
 
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bam123

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I'm building out a similar tank. I'm going with a bubble magus 9 skimmer (7 would work in your tank) and an IcE cAP 60 watt scrubber. Both great value.
 

Devaji

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my 2 cents....for what ever its worth.

but 1st a question. what are your plans for this tank? reef fish only?
if FO I would go bigger there 310 are nice.

custom sumps are nice but I personally would spent my $$ else where. get a 40br from petco dollar per gallon sale and some glass baffels and there you go I bet you could do it under $75

for skimmers reef octos are nice but also look in to life reef skimmers
 
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Daniel81390

Daniel81390

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my 2 cents....for what ever its worth.

but 1st a question. what are your plans for this tank? reef fish only?
if FO I would go bigger there 310 are nice.

custom sumps are nice but I personally would spent my $$ else where. get a 40br from petco dollar per gallon sale and some glass baffels and there you go I bet you could do it under $75

for skimmers reef octos are nice but also look in to life reef skimmers
clown pair
Purple tang
(Yellow tang, haven’t decided if i should risk adding young at some time as yellow tang, thoughts with this size tank)
Foxface
Six line rass vs mandarin goby (opinions?)
Royal gramma
Couple various damsels
Lawn mower blenny

CUC

peppermint shrimp
Cleaner shrimp
Various snails

I’d love to add some other tangs and rass but this is the base what I really want list.

I plan to add corals. Mostly torches/hammers/frogspawn, mushrooms, and zoas. Forget the name put the pulsating coral. I might do sps one day but not till I have more experience and a mature tank.
 

ImaFlippinDolphin

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In all honesty go Reef leds, they're par factories. If you want sps you need good lighting. I'm setting up a 240 with a skimmer that has good reviews but know I'll upgrade later. The reality of this hobby is: buy nice or buy twice
 
Best reef aquarium LED lighting

cvrle1

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In all honesty go Reef leds, they're par factories. If you want sps you need good lighting. I'm setting up a 240 with a skimmer that has good reviews but know I'll upgrade later. The reality of this hobby is: buy nice or buy twice
With all due respect, I disagree with this to large extent. While for some items this holds true, for a lot of items in reefing, this is a red herring. Just as quick example, you can buy cheap CBBs like Viparspectra even for tank that OP wants to use, and they will grow any coral he wants to keep, including SPS. They will last just as long as one of the big 3, but will cost fraction of cost. As mentioned already by @Devaji , you can use 40G breeder and build a cheap sump that will wok great. Hell, a lot of folks use Rubbermaid containers as sumps and they work just as well as nice fancy sumps that cost a lot more $
 
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Daniel81390

Daniel81390

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Getting a used set up would at least cut the cost in half and sometimes only 1/3 if not more.
I’m on the lookout. My favorite tank is the Waterbox and Redsea but the one caveat I have is my wife refuses to allow me to have that Modern look in what she is trying to create. Therefore Planet aquariums has a custom stand that is acceptable to her. Red Sea and water box won’t allow me to purchase tank only in a 180. So my wife is limiting me on available used tanks all because of the stand. And I’m not a good enough woodsman to make one is feel comfortable risking all that weight on.
 

Devaji

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Hey Daniel,

bummer about the wife not liking WB/RS they are nice pkg deals for sure.

as another tank and stand option
check out glass cages they have been really uping there game as of late. talk to @joe@glasscages for a custom quote on tank and stand. or just check out there prices on there web. they just redid there stands but have the older one too.

like anything in Reefing and life ppl like what they bought ( most of the time)
so you will get alot of options but better research before you buy so you know what you are getting into. like said above you dont need it all at once but if you have the budget it nice.

lighting options reefbreeders photon V2 are nice. they are coming out with a wifi app too :D
but I do love my little AI prime so I guess the bigger AI would be nice too.

good luck man go slow and ask questions.
 

What is a good measure of success in this hobby? Choose all that apply!

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