Originally Posted by rk23
I'm a newbie in the saltwater world and am in the process of setting up a new tank. Wondering if anyone had some advice on what fish and/or corals (if at all) would be possible with this setup?
the specs of my tank setup are:
- 37 gallon tank with Eclipse 3 biowheel filtration
- T8- 18W actinic lights
- 40 lbs of live rock (cycling for 2 weeks now)
- biocube protein skimmer
- 20kg aragonite live sand
any advice would be greatly appreciated!
I would take that Biowheel off this setup. Any type of mechanical filtration (canister filters, HOB filters, wet/dry systems and biowheels) are actually detrimental to a marine tank. The end result of a filter of this type is Nitrates, and in Freshwater aquaria we would just do water changes in order to relieve the system. In marine aquaria we are trying to eliminate Nitrates before they build up to water change levels. Even in small amounts, Nitrates can have a direct effect on Alkalinity, an important parameter in a marine tank, especially a reef tank.
My personal experience is using Live Rock (which you have) at about 1-1/2 lbs per gallon, a Deep Sand Bed (about 4-6" of oolite sand) and a Protein Skimmer. I would add 10-15 more lbs of Live Rock if I were you to get to the 1-1/2 per gallon. I am assuming that since everything else is in imperial measurement (lbs, gallons) that you have 20 lbs
of Live sand , not kg
(correct me if I am wrong). I had to use about 50 lbs to get to just over 4" in a twenty gallon tall, so I could imagine you would need more about 3 more 20 lb bags (and buy oolite sand, aragamax is a little to big particle size) to get over the 4" mark. If you want to read more on the benefits of Deep Sand Beds, read these articles: Ron Shimek Reefkeeping Magazine Saltwater Filtration 101, How it Differs from Freshwater
The last one is an article written by one of our members. All three show the benefits of a deep sand bed and their amazing ability to rid a system of nitrates without the labor of regular water changes.
For fish, I would keep a couple clowns, a few smaller wrasses and maybe a goby. For inverts, I like peppermint shrimp, Blood red cleaner shrimp, some snails and some hermit crabs. For coral, under that light, I would keep polyps, maybe a leather and other soft corals. I don't think an 18w T8 will be enough for anything stony.
Pick up Calcium and Alkalinity tests. These are the most important tests in a marine system and the only two things that I test for regularly.
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