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Breeing
01-25-2016, 06:27 AM
Hey everyone, i've been talked out going the nano route and have found a 40 gallon aquarium to start my first reef tank in!

Please help with some equipment ideas!
I am on a tight budget and not quite ready to DIY anything.

Here is what i know i'm currently getting (tell me if i should change anything!):

40 gallon (30"L x 12"W x 23"H)
150w Marina heater
Koralia 565
30lbs dead rock
10lbs live rock
IO reef salt
40lbs natures ocean reef sand

What i don't know yet is lighting, protein skimmer and filter.

I've been looking at the current orbit LED, but am unsure if it will be strong enough? I also have a 36" T5 HO aquatic life which i would be able to use, but would prefer LED *IF* its best. Which type of lighting do you recommended- keeping in mind i'm looking for an Under $200 for lighting.

Protein Skimmer- do i even need one right now? If so which?!

Filter... goodness i'm confused on this subject, i can't do an overflow nor sump, so am looking at either an aqua clear 70 or fluval canister 306 filled only just sponges and carbon yes?

I am looking at doing a *basic* soft coral setup with fish and cleanup crew. So mushrooms. Xenia, etc. Nothing super fancy. :)

SeaHorse_Fanatic
01-25-2016, 10:39 AM
IF you are willing to keep up with regular water changes, you don't need a protein skimmer on a small system, especially for a softies reef. Softies, in general, don't mind a little bit of nutrients.

Myka
01-25-2016, 02:02 PM
I'd suggest different tank dimensions. Although the dimensions you list would be great for a freshwater planted tank with all that height, it doesn't work well for reef tanks. Not only does it take a lot more lighting to get down to that depth, but it makes placing of rockwork really awkward. When you place your rocks in the tank they should not touch any of the walls of the tank to encourage better flow in the tank. For this reason I'd suggest the 40-gallon breeder tank which is 36 x 18 x 16".

If you get the 40 breeder it would fit that 36" T5 fixture that you have. Is this a 2-bulb fixture? If you really want LEDs (I'm not a fan), then you could add a blue strip to each side of the T5s and use the LEDs as supplemental lighting. For bulbs, I'd suggest blue bulbs in the 18,000-20,000K range, no white bulbs and no actinic bulbs. The blues work really well for soft corals and lower demand hard corals even. If you get the blue LED strips though, you may want to pick one white bulb in the 12-15,000K range. :)

If you're not going to get a skimmer, just use an AquaClear. Don't use any "biological" media in a saltwater tank. Just put filter pads (you can buy bulk rolls and cut to size) and carbon in it. You'll need to throw out the filter pads each week and put new ones in, don't rinse them. That's why I suggest the bulk ones rather than sponges - much cheaper!

Also, you probably only need 30 lbs of rock total, and for a 1" sand bed you'll need about 25 lbs of sand. Many of the bags come in 30 lb bags, so you could get one, but don't use it all. 0.5-1" sand bed is ideal unless you have a critter in there that specifically needs a deeper sand bed. Most critters that prefer deeper sand will be able to live in shallower sand just fine.

What types of fish and invertebrates do you plan to stock?

Breeing
01-25-2016, 06:22 PM
I was thinking 10% weekly water changes would be enough until I get a skimmer- would that be about right?

I know the aquarium dimensions are awkward but sadly it was the only aquarium I've been able to find in my price range for many months apart from the nanos. Is there a way to make it work? My thought was doing corals closer to the surface ontop of the rock work so it would get as much light as possible.

Yes it's a 2x 36" T5 HO bulb fixture. Would that alone be enough and which bulbs would you suggest so I wouldn't have to add LED?

Awesome tips about the filter, I will stick the the aqua clear with carbon and filter pads then for now! :)

Inhabitants I'm still looking into but was thinking of just going with cardinals, clown and a couple other small ones such as a fire fish or similar.

For clean up I was thinking starfish, snails, cleaner shrimp, and hermits.

I have my list for specific types of creatures at home and will post that in a bit! :)

Breeing
01-25-2016, 07:31 PM
Fish:

2x Blue Gudgeon Dartfish
1x ocellaris clownfish
1x Carpenters wrasse
4x pajama cardinalfish- have not full decided on these ones yet...

Cleanup:

2x Skunk cleaner shrimp
4x Nassarius snails
4x turbo snails
1x Red sea star
Have not decided on types of crabs yet...or amount.

What are your thoughts?

Breeing
01-25-2016, 07:51 PM
Fish:

2x Blue Gudgeon Dartfish
1x ocellaris clownfish
1x royal gamma
1x Firefish
1x Flasher wrasse

Cleanup:

2x Skunk cleaner shrimp
4x Nassarius snails
4x turbo snails
1x Red sea star
Have not decided on types of crabs yet...or amount.

What are your thoughts?

Breeing
01-25-2016, 11:06 PM
I'm going to restart this thread as i just picked the tank up and it measures 30" x 12" x 18", making it a 29 gallon! Which imo is even better, but changes everything!