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New Tank (180g) Upgrade looking for some options

oguzman

Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2016
I'm going to be getting a 180g (60''x27''x27'') for the foreseeable future its going to be FOWLR tank until I feel comfortable with the finances required to keep an all SPS tank. I was thinking about the following options and was looking to get opinions on how to move forward:

For the filtration:
Sump is going to be either a 40g or 55g that I'll custom make (Anyone know someone local who makes baffles??)
H380 with chaeto
Syncra 3.0 for the return pump
X-220 Axium G4 Skimmer (I've heard this is a solid skimmer, tell me otherwise)
Reef Saver rock from BRS unless someone local is selling

I was thinking of going bare bottom, I have discussed with a few folks who have told me to just place a little bit of sand, but I wanted to run pumps on the bottom ... The bare bottom vs sand debate seems to be a bit of a toss up, any ideas?

For the corals: (SPS only)
Lighting 3 options:
3X Radion XR30s Pro+ Diffusers (I may have to upgrade to 4x I'm not quite sure if this is overkill) <-- This option seems to be most cost effective ...
OR
6x Radion XR15's Pro + Diffusers (I may eventually have to add another set of 2)
OR
3X Atlantik V4 <-- Does anyone use these lights?

I costed a couple of other options one of which uses a 4x kessil/4xT5 hybrid combo which is actually the cheapest option. But the heat output for this option is relatively high meaning that my temps in the summer will be pretty high...

Pumps
3xMP40s 2 on the top, and one running on the bottom (I've been using the Ectotechs for quite sometime, they're good pumps, are there better options?)

CaRx
Varios CR200 8'' (It says that thing can be operated externally, I'm hoping so... Any better options for dosing??)

Any advice would be greatly welcomed!
-Oscar
 

Stickboy97

Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2009
Location
Humble & Conroe, TX
I'm no expert, but it sounds like you need more or larger equipment. For Starters:
Syncra 3.0 for your return pump? 714 GPH is not nearly big enough for a 180g tank (IMO) I run a Vectra L1 on my 105g (only at 1/2 speed though)
3 XR30 Radions will not cover the whole tank - I currently run 3 RapdLED and I'm looking to upgrade to 3 Radion XR30 in the next week (my tank is 4' long)
Though for the FOWLR lights don't matter that much, but will when you have SPS
Sump - I have a 40g on mine, I'd do a 75g for a 180 if you have the room.
Skimmer is probably fine, never used an Eshopps. However, in the long run I'd look for one with a pump that can be replaced (Like a LifeReef)

Just my $.02
 

lilred1995vette

Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2007
Location
kingwood
Equipment looks like good start to me, I had a 210g tank with a 40g breeder sump and similar size return pump, ran them for years without issues and had lots of sps. 3X Radion XR30s would be ideal for lighting, what I am running on both of my tanks. Skimmer looks good as well.
 
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oguzman

Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2016
Thank you for the recommendations!! The next big step is determining whether bare bottom is the way to go.
 
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oguzman

Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2016
I actually researched into the lifereef skimmers today. What size would I need for this sized tank that's heavily stocked?

I'm no expert, but it sounds like you need more or larger equipment. For Starters:
Syncra 3.0 for your return pump? 714 GPH is not nearly big enough for a 180g tank (IMO) I run a Vectra L1 on my 105g (only at 1/2 speed though)
3 XR30 Radions will not cover the whole tank - I currently run 3 RapdLED and I'm looking to upgrade to 3 Radion XR30 in the next week (my tank is 4' long)
Though for the FOWLR lights don't matter that much, but will when you have SPS
Sump - I have a 40g on mine, I'd do a 75g for a 180 if you have the room.
Skimmer is probably fine, never used an Eshopps. However, in the long run I'd look for one with a pump that can be replaced (Like a LifeReef)

Just my $.02
 

RobertP

Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Location
Frelsburg, TX
I would recommend at least going with a Syncra 5.0 pump instead of the 3.0 since I prefer to move more water through the sump. I was running that on my 130 and worked well and very quiet.

Lifereef skimmers are pretty great but would recommend the model you can open up and clean. Not necessary but when those sponges grow inside it starts to bug me. :)
 

Stickboy97

Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2009
Location
Humble & Conroe, TX
If you watch the forums you can catch lifereef skimmers for sale quite often. Since the pumps can be replaced easily, you can usually get a pretty good deal, the skimmer body doesn't go bad.

As for the Radions, 3 will cover a 6 foot tank, but if you go SPS heavy, you'll need a 4th. If you're going FOWLR only, don't bother with Radions... overkill, get black boxes off ebay. The black boxes will also grow SPS, just ask Reeftopia or Cody.
 

RR-MAN

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2003
Location
Pearland
The next big step is determining whether bare bottom is the way to go.
BB is definitely the way to go especially if you want lots of SPS - it's not a must but it will make your life much easier dealing with Nitrates/Phosphates. Exporting waste from the water columns is the main goal here. Keeping the sand clean is a major task by itself especially in a larger tank. :cheers:

If you don't like the look of the tank bottom you can add some PVC sheets -see link -I liked the gray color PVC sheet:

Gray Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Type 1 Sheeting | U.S. Plastic Corp.
 
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oguzman

Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2016
I wanted to provide an update, I got a crazy deal on a 3x Atlantik V4s I literally bought them half price! Does anyone have experience with these lights? The reviews online and the BRS video on them make them seem better than the Ecotechs!!
 
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