lee250 lee250
  • Just popping in
  • Just popping in
  • Joined: 29/4/2009 14:13
  • From Merseyside
  • Group: Registered Users Basic Membership
  • Posts: 13
  • Posted on: 29/4/2009 14:26
New tank help! #1
Hi! Hope some of you guys could help me! I?ve been running a nano marine now for a while which I have loved doing. Luckily my circumstances have changed and I am able to upgrade to a bigger tank in the next few months. Just wanted to ask simply how much difference is there in set up? And if you have any suggestions on what would be a good tank?? I?ve been looking at around 5ft (400l) which is my maximum really! But a massive difference from my orca 550l! Am hoping this will be a sufficient set up to keep a wider selection of fish! Cheers guys. Sorry for the long post.
EagleC EagleC
  • Plants Adviser
  • Plants  Adviser
  • Joined: 28/3/2007 11:01
  • From Hampshire
  • Group: Registered Users
  • Posts: 8176
  • Posted on: 4/5/2009 23:09
Re: New tank help! #2
Hi, sorry for the late response I think the post got overlooked by the marine advisers!
Welcome to the site

Other than costs and bigger water changes, no it doesn't need to be very different. You can make your life easier in a few respects though.

Get a tank that is drilled with a sump underneath to house your skimmer, auto-top up, and other equipment. A sump is very useful for housing macro algae which uses up organic toxins and helps stabilise the PH in the tank. It can also be used as a naughty bin for hitch hiker crabs and increases the volume of the tank as a whole. The weir that feeds the sump skims the water surface which improves light penetration and gas exchange.

Get a UV too and keep the Orca to use as a quarantine tank for your new stock. As you probably know medicating a marine tank is hard, dangerous and often ineffective. Medicating a big tank is quite frankly insane. It's so much better to quarantine all new stock and never add a disease to the tank. If a fish becomes ill having a quarantine or hospital tank on hand is a life saver. Quite literally.

I keep a 75L plastic food safe box by the tank which I fill with RO water, add salt to the right level and run and airpump and heater to mix well for the water change. Sitting in the box is a high power pump so once I've taken the water out for the change I just pump the fresh water straight back in. This means that a 50L water change on my tank now takes 15 minutes from getting the equipment out to drying it and putting it away again.

Hope that helps,
lee250 lee250
  • Just popping in
  • Just popping in
  • Joined: 29/4/2009 14:13
  • From Merseyside
  • Group: Registered Users Basic Membership
  • Posts: 13
  • Posted on: 5/5/2009 18:43
Re: New tank help! #3
Hey thanks for the reply! you pretty much answered everything i wanted to ask! my biggest question was going to be about a sump!! the tank i've already looked at is the juwel rio 400, seems to meet my requirments for size etc. i know it can be used for marine but i will need to some how get a sump in there! i have seen 1 on a site "some rocket site that does aquariums"......... i'm sorry thats lame but not sure about the legalities of advertising! do you know of anywhere i can buy a sump?
One more thing.. sorry! T5 or metal halide???

Thanks so much!
EagleC EagleC
  • Plants Adviser
  • Plants  Adviser
  • Joined: 28/3/2007 11:01
  • From Hampshire
  • Group: Registered Users
  • Posts: 8176
  • Posted on: 5/5/2009 20:09
Re: New tank help! #4
You can post links to other sites, products and even forums on this site if its relevant to the conversation. Fishadmin or one of the mods will edit it out if they think its blatant advertising

Bought "off the shelf" sumps tend to be undersize and over price. Sometimes they're just fancy external filters.

Juwel tanks are often converted to marines but if you're buying a new tank for the purpose of marines why not buy a marine tank that's set and ready with weir, sump and pipework ready?
I've been looking at companies like this : http://www.ndaquatics.co.uk/?pg=details&ii=28 for when I upgrade my 450L tank.

Your local fish store may have a preferred supplier too.


T5 or Metal Halide is probably the hardest question to answer. For soft corals and LPS T5 is enough. You'll want 4-6 full length tubes. You can put more tubes on to support SPS too but the price/performance ratio starts to work against you. Remember you will be changing the tubes every 12-24 months at ?20ish a time. I run 4x54W over my 450L tank which is pretty low really but I cant afford the heat output of any more. It's enough to keep a variety of mushrooms and leathers healthy.

Halides allow 250W tubes so less tube replacements but more heat is directed at the tank and into the room so better cooling is required. Because halides are more of the point of light you get a nice shimmer effect on the sand too.

Halides are better for both output and quality of light but the cost of purchase, electricity, cooling and so forth means they're not for everyone.

I think if you want over 150w of light for every 2'x2' of surface area then Halides are your best choice. Otherwise T5s are perfectly adequate.
lee250 lee250
  • Just popping in
  • Just popping in
  • Joined: 29/4/2009 14:13
  • From Merseyside
  • Group: Registered Users Basic Membership
  • Posts: 13
  • Posted on: 2/6/2009 18:31
Re: New tank help! #5
Hi, finally got my tank ordered. At last! I found the site you recommended was the best option for me as they are doing the entire pipe work etc for me. Also seen some really good reviews about their tanks. Lighting is still puzzling me. I don?t really want metal halides, just to much hassle! So going with the T5. Been looking around trying to work out how much wattage I would need for a 400litre. I am looking at 6x80 watt. As I would like to keep some SPS. However is that possible to mount a unit with that much wattage into a hood? Not really liking the idea of having anything suspended over the tank. Thanks for your help.
EagleC EagleC
  • Plants Adviser
  • Plants  Adviser
  • Joined: 28/3/2007 11:01
  • From Hampshire
  • Group: Registered Users
  • Posts: 8176
  • Posted on: 2/6/2009 19:19
Re: New tank help! #6
If you want 480W of lighting then Halides really are your best option. 480W of T5 lighting will produce as much if not more heat than 3 150W halides or 2 250W halides while providing less light and the cost of replacement tubes will run to around ?150/year for the cheaper T5's instead of ?80/yr for quality halides.* I think the halides may well turn out to be far less hassle in the long run.

Mounting that much lighting inside the hood is possible but the hood would need to be tall to keep the light a decent distance from the surface and very well ventilated/cooled.

*prices vary a lot and I dont use halides - wish I could. Howard knows about this
lee250 lee250
  • Just popping in
  • Just popping in
  • Joined: 29/4/2009 14:13
  • From Merseyside
  • Group: Registered Users Basic Membership
  • Posts: 13
  • Posted on: 3/6/2009 16:27
Re: New tank help! #7
Yeah I can understand how it will be easier to have halides now. With only having a nano I don?t really understand the lighting situation! My nano only has 48W, which has been ok to keep some soft corals. I want to try and have some SPS in my new tank so I guess halides are my best option. How much wattage is needed to successfully keep SPS and anemones etc with my tank being 400 litres? is it possible with T5's? Again thanks so much for your help.
lr85ninety lr85ninety
  • Home away from home
  • Home away from home
  • Joined: 27/10/2007 19:27
  • From Lincolnshire
  • Group: Registered Users FK Supporter
  • Posts: 575
  • Posted on: 3/6/2009 21:31
Re: New tank help! #8
to be honest unless the tanks deeper than 24" then id stick with 150w halides over 250w ive seen both over my tank and theres no diffrence 150's seem to drop off at 24" jmo
Original Image
lee250 lee250
  • Just popping in
  • Just popping in
  • Joined: 29/4/2009 14:13
  • From Merseyside
  • Group: Registered Users Basic Membership
  • Posts: 13
  • Posted on: 22/7/2009 12:00
Re: New tank help! #9
Right, here?s where I?m up to!!!

Tank is here! 48 x 18 x 24 (LxWxH) very impressed with how it?s put together. So far I have purchased a Deltec MCE600 skimmer. Done some research and it seems to be a good little skimmer! 2 koralia 3 power heads, vecton v2 400 uv and little bits like heater etc.
The weir is on the right hand side of my tank (forgot to ask for them to paint it) with two drilled holes in the bottom, one bigger than the other I will have to get my head around the pipe work! Surely it can?t be that hard?? Just a few questions however. How do I know what size return pump to buy?? The light unit I intend to buy is 2 X 150w metal halide with 2 54w blue T5?s with led for moonlight. Will this be too much power? I don?t want to find I?m topping up water every hour! Cheers guys
EagleC EagleC
  • Plants Adviser
  • Plants  Adviser
  • Joined: 28/3/2007 11:01
  • From Hampshire
  • Group: Registered Users
  • Posts: 8176
  • Posted on: 22/7/2009 12:49
Re: New tank help! #10
return pump... first thing to do is check what the weir and downpipe is rated to. Don't get a return that can pump more water than your return and downpipe can cope with!
It's probably somewhere around 3000lph. Measure the height from the bottom of the sump to the top of the tank you want a pump (or pumps) that can pump a total 3000lph (or whatever the weir and downpipe is rated to) at that height.

Pumps have a 'head' which is the height at which water stops flowing. If you drew a graph of how the flow slows over height it would be near enough a straight line.

If the height is 1m and the pump has a head of 3m it needs a flow rate of 4500lph. Approximtely!