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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I am beginning the task of resurrecting a devastated FOWLR tank and converting i it into a reef tank. I am hoping to gain some helpful knowledge and avoid making as many mistakes as possible along the way. Right now my main goal is to clean up the tank and take inventory of what I have. Then make the necessary changes to support a reef. I have upgraded lighting and am running an ecosystem filtration with protein skimmer. What I am really unsure about is water flow/ current? How do I measure that? What is the best way to determine flow in various areas?

Thanks for your patients in advance as nothing I do seems to go right the first time lol but I keep trying.
Jenny
 

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Most of the time I shoot for 20 to 40 times the display volume. If you have a 100 gallon tank I would add the power heads or closed loop pump to get to 2000 to 4000 GPH. I do not consider the return pump from the sump in my flow calculation.
 

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It will pretty much come down to

1. What you want to keep

and

2. Budget

If you want the best and a one time purchase - the Vortecs seem to be the best - many others know more than me on them, but I believe you could get away with 2 MP 40's in a 150.

Tunze Pumps would probably be next, and you can go that route.

Koralia brand pumps have come in as solid and economical options over the past couple of years.

+1 on the volume Recommendation. If you've got the lights and the right sized tank - the sky's the limit. Your best bet may be to get yourself started in a basic way with the $$ that you want to spend and decide what you want to keep coral wise. SPS and LPS have some different requirements than a FOWLR.

Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank-you guys. Getting the water flow changed around was my next step before adding any corals. I have been keeping fish for awhile both fresh and saltwater but this will be my first real attempt at corals. Any suggestions as to good beginner corals? I was thinking a few mushrooms and stony polyps first. I would really like to get some Xenia as well but heard it could be a bit tricky.

Jen
 

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What do you mean by stony polyps? Star polyps? Star polyps are good, as are mushrooms - but if you were thinking small polyp stony corals they are very difficult.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Zoanthus type polyps. sorry if I misID them I'm still trying to figure out all the differences :wacko: .
 

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You are going to love zoas and shrooms. The colors are amazing and shrooms multiply like crazy in good conditions. This means you can then sell or swap them with another reefer...weee!

Green Star Polyps are great...love the way they sway in the water flow. GSP's WILL grow over other corals so be sure to stay on top of them by gently peeling them away from encroachment. If you can't peel them you will have to scrape them which does kill that portion :-(

Pulsing Xenia's are so cool! I was told to put them at the TOP of my reef. They like light and will grow over everything trying to get to it. At the top they have no place to go.

Do your research with a reliable source. Do your water changes and enjoy your reef!
 

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Do your water changes and enjoy your reef!
+1 on water changes that's probably going to be one of the major differences, you need much better water for corals than fish.

You want to test for nitrates and phosphates first off and later on there are some others but those are the main ones that need to be low to get corals going and soft corals are fairly forgiving if you just keep up on basic testing and water changes.

10% weekly is a good starting spot than as you get an idea of levels and you can adjust.

And Welcome to Michigan Reefers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I can't wait!!! but I will lol, don't want to make the coral suffer. I just got my own RO/DI unit set up so no more trips to the LFS and hauling buckets back and forth. Gonna do a large 20-30% water change this weekend to get all that yucky fishy water out ;) then go from there. Hopefully I'll have my first corals by the end of the month :happy:
Jen
 

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You want to test for nitrates and phosphates first off and later on there are some others but those are the main ones that need to be low to get corals going and soft corals are fairly forgiving if you just keep up on basic testing and water changes.
The main test kits for beginning corals are pH, alk, nitrates, and nitrates. When you start getting lps corals, or later sps corals, you'll need to add calcium tests and supplements. Nitrates aren't that toxic, and many full blown reef tanks have a trace of nitrates without issue (but your goal should still be zero).

I ran several successful tanks for more than 10 years without a phosphate test. On my newest tank (used rock from another reefer - bad idea) I did get some phosphate problems, but phosphate really effects sps. With mushrooms and zoos, you're fine going with the basics.
 
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