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Documentation of my first new aquarium build. Upgrading to a 55 gal Clear for Life Uniquarium from a 28 gal Nano Cube after 1 yr, 9 mos. as a reef tank owner!
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New Tank Purchases & Plans

Posted 09/20/2012 at 04:58 PM by sweetyness
Updated 09/20/2012 at 06:10 PM by sweetyness (Add photos)

Time to get going! I initially purchased the following:[LIST][*]55 Gal. Clear for Life Uniquarium, black bkgd (36' x 18"d x 20"t)[*]Rio 1700 642gph Pump (included with aquarium)[*]40 lbs. CaribSea SeaFlor Special Grade Reef Sand[*]Live purple rock from LFS system (2 lg, 2 sm)[*]Live rock rubble for refugium[*]36" Current TrueLumen Pro LED Lightstrip Kit (1-12,000K white/453nm Actinic strip & 1-453nm Atinic strip plus dimmers, splitter, brackets & power)[*]45 gals Catalina Island saltwater (3 trips w/ 3 5 gal buckets)[/LIST]Items I will already have:[LIST]
[*]Eheim 100w Heater (plan to purchase a new one)[*]Reefkeeper Lite Controller w/ PH & Temp probes[*]Ocean Pulse Duo Wavemaker [*]2 OceanStream 500gph Powerheads (bought with Wavemake but too strong for my nano, so these are almost new)[*]AquaticLife 115 Mini Protein Skimmer (Pan to upgrade as needed)[*]Live Rock/rubble[*]All Fish & Coral (list later)[/LIST][IMG][/IMG]
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  1. Old Comment
    Thats a sick tank, where did you order it from?
    Posted 09/23/2012 at 11:39 AM by Garrett11 Garrett11 is offline
  2. Old Comment
    This is just what I'm planning on doing. Do you think the skimmer is big enough? Can't wait to see finished pics.
    Posted 09/23/2012 at 07:51 PM by kara13 kara13 is offline
  3. Old Comment
    sweetyness's Avatar
    Originally Posted by Garrett11 View Comment
    Thats a sick tank, where did you order it from?
    Thanks! I bought it from my Pasadena Topical Fish here in Calif. They had a 50 gal model I liked except it was only 15" deep so the front display area was only 10.5" deep- too shallow for rock and a nice sand area (and space behind he rocks). But I liked the design of the tank so much I went searching online.

    On the manufacturers website I found that they offered a 55 that was 18" deep. 3 extra inches worked perfect for me. I only found a couple of sites that offered that size for sale (they have another 55 gal but it's 15" deep & 24" high- too high for lighting IMO).

    This is the cheapest I found: $635. & free shipping: PetSmart was $729. There are alot of other sizes & shapes so another may appeal to you.

    BUT even $635. was out of my price rage, as I wanted to keep the total cost under $1000. and was determined to get LED lighting! I noticed my LFS was selling the 50 gal. for only $359. when it sells online for around $565. So I asked him if he could get that size and how much would it be? He got back to me with the price of $400.! I couldn't say order it fast enough! 3 days later it was in the store. I thanked him for the great price and he said it was because I am a good customer! So awesome! Thanks Steve! And I love the tank!

    I do see used ones for sale on Craigslist sometimes- not sure if they are the uniquariums with back chambers though. (and you thought that was a simple enough question, ha ha)
    Posted 09/24/2012 at 11:43 PM by sweetyness sweetyness is offline
  4. Old Comment
    sweetyness's Avatar
    Originally Posted by kara13 View Comment
    This is just what I'm planning on doing. Do you think the skimmer is big enough? Can't wait to see finished pics.
    The AquaticLife 115 I have in my Nano is only rated at 30 gals, so I would say not- but the Hydor my LFS suggested was $200. so I thought I would wait. Then I checked the dimensions of the Hydor and it's 4" x 4.5" so won't fit in the back chamber unless I cut the top plastic lip, and would rather not do that.

    So I'll need to research other options, but I'll try the 115 first. My biggest problem with it on the nano is that it doesn't work well unless the water level stays constant, which doesn't in the Nano back chamber. Another thing I love about the new tank is that the right 2 back chamber levels stay constant so evaporation does not effect it.

    If you know of any better skimmers that would fit in the space (4"D x 5"W, but the top opening is only 3.5"D), please let me know! Thanks!
    Posted 09/25/2012 at 12:16 AM by sweetyness sweetyness is offline

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