120 Gallon Tank First time set up

rainbowpebble

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Hi. I've recently bought a 125 g reef ready tank and I want it to be a saltwater tank since I already have a couple of freshwater. I've read a lot of things online but I want opinions from those who already have a set up. I know I'm going to need a lot of equipment and it's going to cost a lot so I'm doing this slowly.

I want to do a FOWLR tank and eventually do a reef.

Any suggestions what brands to get? I want to start by getting the protein skimmer and the sump/refugium to get my water started. Coralife Super Skimmer for a 125g? Or Precision Marine Redline for 125g? Any help would be great.

Thank you. x
 
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Aquarist

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Hello Rainbowpebble,

I hate that you haven't received a response to your question. Let's see what happens today. Sometimes it seems saltwater questions take a bit long since we have fewer salt keepers.

Ken
 

harpua2002

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Hi. I've recently bought a 125 g reef ready tank and I want it to be a saltwater tank since I already have a couple of freshwater. I've read a lot of things online but I want opinions from those who already have a set up. I know I'm going to need a lot of equipment and it's going to cost a lot so I'm doing this slowly.

I want to do a FOWLR tank and eventually do a reef.

Any suggestions what brands to get? I want to start by getting the protein skimmer and the sump/refugium to get my water started. Coralife Super Skimmer for a 125g? Or Precision Marine Redline for 125g? Any help would be great.

Thank you. x
I have the Coralife 125 skimmer on my 50 gallon tank. It's ok for the money, but there are a lot better options out there. I'd probably go with a Reef Octopus instead. I don't know anything about the Precision Marine brand so I can't comment there.

Did your tank come with plumbing and a return pump? If not, you'll have to plan on buying that stuff too. Also, I'd add some powerheads in the display tank to increase flow. Koralias are good for the money.

If you start off with a FOWLR, you can always upgrade to reef later when you're comfortable with upgrading the lighting and trying corals. Just be sure to start out with reef safe fish and you can make the transition whenever you're ready.
 

nemo addict

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I personally like deltec skimmers ,, i have a apf600 and it does really well on my 125 uk gal tank
 
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rainbowpebble

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Thank you for the response! Since I started this thread, I've acquired a sump and it's hooked up. I also have salt water running. I don't have a skimmer yet, though. The lady at the LFS said that I can add that in later in my cycle. I don't know if that's true though but I've had my water running since Sunday night.

Yesterday, my dad got the water tested at the store and he said that the LFS said everything is normal and all right except that I have 1% ammonia that should go away.

Today, we added live sand so the water is real cloudy but it's clearing up pretty fast. I'm gonna have to measure tomorrow to see if I need to put any more and to level it up so I'm gonna have to stir it up a bit. For the 125 g tank, we put in 80 pounds of sand. I hope that's enough..

That's it for now! I don't have any powerheads yet and no heaters. I'm gonna be purchasing a HO T5 light that my LFS said would be perfect for a reef tank so I won't have to upgrade later on and buy another fixture.
 

harpua2002

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How many bulbs does the T5 fixture have? A 120 is a big tank and you're going to need a lot of light for a reef. My 50 gallon has 6x 39W T5 bulbs over it and I wouldn't want to run anything less.
 
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rainbowpebble

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I think each fixture has two so I'm going to have four 36" in total that are 50 something watts. I'm not entirely sure yet but I'm going to the LFS later and will be buying sometime this week.

My water cleared up today so I was able to level out some of the sand but it got too cloudy to finish so I'm going to finish up later. My sump now has sand. How do I get it out? Do I need to? It just looks really dirty.Is 80 pounds enough to have a 2 inch sand bed?
 

harpua2002

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If they are HO T5 bulbs, each 3 foot bulb is 39 watts. I'm guessing there are 2 on each side of the fixture. If you want to keep anything other than low light corals, I would strongly suggest using a more powerful fixture. My tank is less than half the size of yours and I use a 6x 39W HO T5 fixture. It is likely that you will save a ton of money by ordering a fixture online.
 

harpua2002

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I use the Nova Extreme Pro and I really like it. There are better models out there for sure, but for the price it's great IMO.

I have the 36" version, I'm assuming you'll need the 72" version. It has 3 10Ks and 3 actinics on each side, so 12 bulbs total.
 
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rainbowpebble

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Oh wow that is a lottt. I bought one fixture today that was a T5 HO. I'll be getting more.

I added 40 more pounds of live sand to achieve the 2 inch sand bed but I imagine I'm gonna need more. I need to wait for the water to clear up so I can see better.
 
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