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New member seeking reef-ready system opinions


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Hi Everyone.  I'm new to this site but not to the marine aquarium hobby.  My family has had marine aquariums on and off ever since I can remember, which goes back to the mid-1970s!  I got back into the hobby 13 years ago (2008) and have had the same system and same pair of black-onyx clowns ever since.  I'm running a 24-g AquaPod AIO with 150-watt HQI metal halide (SunPod model made by Current Designs).  Contents consist of softies, LPS corals, and rose bubble tips for the clowns.  I successfully hatched and reared my first clutch of baby clown fish last year, which was a really fun project to do with the kids.

 Anyhow, after all this time, I'm finally going to step-it-up and get a new system.  I've done a bunch of research, and I'm looking for a reef-ready system that includes the tank, stand, and other components typically included (overflow, sump, etc).  I've narrowed down the search based mostly on my desired volume (50 gallon display, give or take) and dimensions (not a cube, longer than wide and not too shallow - i.e. 18-20 inches high, stylish and sturdy stand).  This alone really narrowed down my search to the Red Sea Reefer 250 (36 L x 21 H x 20 W) and the Reef Octopus LUX 90 (35 x 18 x 18).  I really like the Innovative Marine EXT series and their stands, but their dimensions just aren't in my specs (too shallow, too wide: 30 L x 16 H x 24 W for the EXT 50)).  

I'd be interested in everyone's opinion on the these systems or other makes/models I might have missed.  Also, I'll be searching for some used components that typically aren't included (return pump, skimmer, sump light for chaeto, more live rock for aquascaping, etc.), so please PM me if you have something I might need.


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