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teddyzaper 05-25-2010 09:44 PM

25 gallon cube questions!
Ok so now that my 10 gallon has become more stable and im done adding to it im tempted to start a 25 gallon cube. the tank is 18" cubed. it costs $98 on marine depot and i will be adding some stuff to make it free shipping. Since i have hundreds of random items from my dads very large 200 gallon tank i have found a 250 watt balast and pendant metal halide! im curious that if i put a 175watt bulb in it will it ruin it or break it? also, is 250 watts to much for a 18 inch deep tank?

On to the second part, the filtration. i am planning on building a custom stand once i get the tank. My dad and i will go down to my grandpas workplace and make it there. What would be a good sized sump/fuge to put under it? i will also be getting a skimmer and acording to the answer of what size of sump i will be needing some help on choices since all ive bought is a HOB remora nano (which works great BTW).

So in simple format here are my questions:
Will a 250 watt metal halide light and ballast break if i add a 175 watt bulb?
Is 250 watts to much for a 18" cube tank?
What size sump would best fit my tank (the stand will be longer on one side so i have a countertop)?
What would be the best skimmer under $150 (it can be in tank or HOB)
What size tubing should i use to make the plumbing to and from the sump?
What pump would work for my sump (will be pushing aprox 3-5 feet.
how should i lay out my sump?
what bulb should i get (brand and Kalvin rating)?
what types of benifitial algea should i use in my sump?
What do mangroves do?
can i use a small clamp on LED for my sump?
do i need a glass top on my tank and sump (both, one or niether)?
can i have a long tentacle anemone in this tank ( would be the only anemone in the tank and there will probably only be some mushrooms or polyps/zoas)?
what is the best anemone for hosting a clown pair?
can i have a maroon clown pair in a 25 gallon?
can i have a percula clown pair in a 25 gallon?

thank you, if you could please answer all the questions and add any additional info that would be good input!

bettababy 05-26-2010 11:54 PM


Originally Posted by teddyzaper (Post 391057)

So in simple format here are my questions:
Will a 250 watt metal halide light and ballast break if i add a 175 watt bulb?

That will depend on how high the light hangs above the tank and how much ventilation is there.

Is 250 watts to much for a 18" cube tank?

Again, that will depend on how high the light hangs from the tank and also what you plan to keep in the tank.

What size sump would best fit my tank (the stand will be longer on one side so i have a countertop)?

The sump size is partially dependent on the contents of the tank... how much filtration are you going to need? How much live rock is going to be in the tank? What equipment are you planning to use.. such as skimmer... will it be an in sump model?

What would be the best skimmer under $150 (it can be in tank or HOB)

Skimmer isn't something you want to skimp on in price. You get what you pay for... and the cheaper models don't tend to work as well and also tend to have more issues. Its worth saving up and getting a good one. I will have to ask my husband what he would suggest for your type of set up, he knows the best skimmers out there.

What size tubing should i use to make the plumbing to and from the sump?

Thats going to depend on the size of the sump and how far from tank to sump, and what your desired water flow rate will be.

What pump would work for my sump (will be pushing aprox 3-5 feet.

Will come back to this one.

how should i lay out my sump

Dependent on what equipment you decide to include... will there be UV? What media, if any, do you plan to put into your sump?

what bulb should i get (brand and Kalvin rating)?

What corals do you desire to keep?

what types of benifitial algea should i use in my sump?

What kind of lighting do you plan to have over the sump?

What do mangroves do?

Mangroves are great at eating up nutrient levels in the water, but grow far too large to go into that size of a tank, even if kept pruned. The root structure of a mangrove would eventually crowd out everything and finally break the tank.

can i use a small clamp on LED for my sump?

I don't see any harm in that... but you will need to figure in height from sump for growing anything in there, such as macro algae, and you will want to keep a close eye on moisture levels if there is no cover on the sump. Keep salt creep in mind, especially in a sump system. Salt creep will quickly destroy any light fixture and can cause a fire hazard. Make sure it is well vented and cleaned regularly.

do i need a glass top on my tank and sump (both, one or niether)?

That is optional, there are advantages and disadvantages to both. Cover will help keep evaporation levels down and keep water temps more stable. Covers also keep fish in the tank. Open top you stand the risk of fish jumping out, and makes it easier for fish to get into overflow boxes, contributes to higher evaporation rates. Covers block some level of light but protect light from moisture, open top removes that barrier but allows for moisture to get up into the light fixture. Open top increases salt creep which must be cleaned all the time to avoid damage to walls, furniture, floors/carpeting, electrical equipment, and anything else it touches. Covers tend to collect some level of salt creep, so must be cleaned regularly to allow light to pass through easily.

can i have a long tentacle anemone in this tank ( would be the only anemone in the tank and there will probably only be some mushrooms or polyps/zoas)?

What species are you referring to? Some species will eat fish and small inverts such as crabs, shrimp, etc. Most of the long tentacle anemone species will outgrow an 18 inch cube tank.

what is the best anemone for hosting a clown pair?

That depends on the species of clown. Each species of clown fish has a preferred anemone species they host in. Also, whether the clowns are captive bred or not will make a difference. Many captive bred clowns don't understand the symbiotic relationship with an anemone. That is a learned behavior that wild clown fish teach their young. Also, even wild clowns don't need an anemone for hosting. There are other options for hosts for clowns. Torch corals, long tentacle plate corals, many of the cup shaped corals... clowns can be quite creative when they desire a host.

can i have a maroon clown pair in a 25 gallon?

No. Maroon clowns would get too large for that size of a tank.

can i have a percula clown pair in a 25 gallon?

If you don't desire much else for fish that could work, but I would be sure to have a back up plan in case you run into problems later. Ocellaris clowns are best suited for smaller tanks because they are the smallest species of clown fish. Even with the ocellaris, a female can reach 5 inches easily when adult. That's a lot of fish and waste for a small tank with limited oxygen supply. So, I guess this also is dependent on what else you desire to keep in this tank and the size sump and what equipment you end up using.

thank you, if you could please answer all the questions and add any additional info that would be good input!

There are a lot of possibilities open to you at this stage. If you can slow down to a few questions at a time, I am more than happy to help you... but must admit, that string of questions is a bit overwhelming in a single post. The best advice I can offer for equipment and lighting is to first get a good idea of animals you desire to keep, both fish and inverts/corals, how much live rock you intend to use... and I am assuming you will be working with live sand?

A marine set up is made much easier if you start with planning before you act on anything, and making a stock list is primary. Its hard to figure out how to take care of something and what it will need if you don't yet know what "it" is.

About the stand... be sure its stable if you intend aquarium on one side and counter on the other. How it is braced will make a huge difference in what it can support and where the tank will need to be placed to avoid cracking. Also, be absolutely sure it is level and counter weighted on the end without the tank to avoid it tipping over once the tank is full of water.

One last note.. about your desire for an anemone. There are very few species of anemones that can stay long term in that size of a tank. One of the few that is most commonly found would be the rock anemone. Most other desirable anemones will grow far too large to live in an 18 inch cube for very long, especially if you wish to keep corals.

I hope all this info has helped. Take your time, its well worth the wait to do things right, and a lot less expensive.

teddyzaper 05-27-2010 06:31 PM

Thank you so much for all that info betta baby!

so here i go, first ill explain my plans then ill answer the questions that werent answered in my explanation.

My plan for the sump will be a center return. The intake to the sump will split off in a T tube with the bottome of the T going to the fuge and then the top going to the tank and the bottom going to the skimmer like shown in maleves reef here:

WHOA that is a big picture. anyways, each side will flow over into the pump section that pumps it back into my tank. i will also have a little wavemaker that will switch the water from one tube to the other. here is a link to the item on With this i can have nice movement in my tank. the tank will be drilled with 1 1/4" hole which will allow a 3/4" tube and bulkhead, it will just have a little tube end cover and the water will "fall" through the tube. i understand the pump will have to be less GPH then the tube so ill use a calculator to figure that out.

almost done with equiptment. the light can be hanged however high needed and it will be hanged from the roof through a stud. im going to use a 250 watt because that is what the lamp says to use and i dont want to have any possability of it breaking because of the bulb. So my question is how hgih should it be, i will explain my livestock chioces soon.

So now for stuff in the sump. i would like to have some macro algea in the sump but i will also have my live thinking to have some refuge mud and as much live rock rubble as i can. so the light i had in mind is this one: would that work for the sump?

So in the main display i will buy some marcos nano dry rock and just have the live rock in the sump seed the rock. i will most likely have 30 or 35 lbs or rock in the display and as much as possible in the sump. is it a good idea to have a 4 inch sandbed or should i go 1 inch, i really need help on this one.

Ok so now is the livestock part:

for livestock i have 2 plans.

pair of a species of clowns
Main display in the tank will be clowns and a big anemone, this is where i need help on deciding one with long tentacles that will flow in the water.
somewhere else in the tank i would like a carpet anemone.
on a small section of rock that is not connected to the rest i would like a huge colony of red mushrooms.
i will most likely in this tank have a firefish or some species of goby.

If possible i would like a anglerfish.
the only other thing in the tank would be corals which would just be a bunch of random cool corals that would work in my tank.

If you read this all, thank you so much, if you didnt then you wouldnt be reading this right now, but still thanks for looking at my post!

bettababy 05-28-2010 02:09 AM

I only have a few minutes, so the hardware part of this post will have to wait til tomorrow. Sorry, but I have a very busy schedule on this end.

I want to approach the topic of your stock list ideas, because that will play a big part in the hardware decisions. I hate to say this, but neither of those scenarios is going to work in that size of a tank. Lets start with your #2. Angler fish... those are a deep sea fish, and they grow way too large for a 25 gallon cube tank. Corals in an angler environment would never survive... those fish come from a place of total darkness. If you try to acclimate them to the conditions the corals would need, you would kill the fish, no matter what size tank you put it in. If you were maybe mistaking the name and actually meaning scorpion fish, again, that tank is not large enough even for the smallest species.

On to #1. A pair of clowns, like I mentioned previously... if ocellaris and possibly percula... yes, that could be done, but not with the anemones you desire. Both of those species of clown are symbiotic with bubble tip anemone's, such as the rose bubble tip anemone, which is getting to be quite common. Clown and anemone species are pretty specific when it comes to compatibility. A bubble tip anemone will grow way too large for a 25 gallon cube tank, and they can grow at a pretty rapid rate. Full grown you could expect 12 - 14 inches in diameter. Anemones are also mostly not compatible with each other, and the smaller the tank the more that applies. A carpet anemone would need about 125 gallons just for it... they grow to be absolutely huge. In a small tank it would only die and make a huge mess.

Now, if I may make a suggestion to you... following with what you appear to be envisioning in #1 above...

1 pair of ocellaris clown fish, 1 pink tip haitian condylactus anemone, red mushroom colony, a clown goby or shrimp goby, and maybe a colony of star polyps? I would eliminate the firefish because they do best in schools. 1 by itself will likely die, they are a heavy schooling fish and do best in groups of at least 3 - 5, which would be too much for your tank.
Be forewarned that the condylactus anemone should be limited to 1 because they also can grow quite large, and they will move around on their own as they seek their desired location in your tank. Also, limit of 1 anemone of any species, especially if you are dealing with one known to move around a lot... they will sting each other until one dies, more often both end up dying. Adding an anemone will also limit the types of corals you can keep due to their stinging ability and aggression levels. Always be sure to allow plenty of room for growth for any coral you choose to keep, including mushrooms. They can grow, spread, and reproduce at a very rapid rate in a tank of that size, and without room for growth they battle for space and kill each other.

I hope this has helped some, let me know what you think of my suggestions for population, and any changes you wish to make to that. Once we have your population figured out then the hardware design and amount of power you will need will all come pretty easy because I can help you sort out what those animals will need, what is too much or not enough, etc. This includes substrate depth.

One more question for you and then I have to go for the night... are you planning a refugium to go with your sump or just a sump system for this tank? I do not advise trying to pull off a refugium situation inside your sump. The number of issues that could bring and the list of things that could easily go wrong is a long one, too much to post here. If you go with a refuge it should have a tank of its own and should be plumbed right into the system. If you ask my opinion, I think most people should accommodate a refugium system into their marine tanks, and some of the freshwater tanks would do better for them too. It makes things less expensive later on, helps lessen the amount of maintenance you do overall, helps with stability, and provides a safe place to put most animals in an emergency situation if they should need to be separated quickly. (not to be considered a hospital tank, though) The benefits a refugium brings to a tank are many, especially a nano set up.

I hope this has helped.

teddyzaper 05-28-2010 07:01 PM

Thank you so much for all the help, i turely apreciate it.

First off, im really not to fond of star polyps, i have some in my 10 gallon and they anoy me, so i think i like more of a bigger thing instead of a lot of small things.

Thank you about informing me about the anglerfish, and no i wasnt refering to the scorpoin fish, they have those at my LFS and they are awsome but they already had one that was about 10 inches in thier display so i knew it would get to big.

the information on the firefish was also great! my LFS told me they could live alone but they seemed to school in thier tanks and the tank that only had one it hid in the corner. i do like them but i understand and i just want the best for my fishies :P

So now to adress your idea. As for the anemone, pink tip haitian condylactus anemone, i already have one in my 10 gallon tank, the fish store called it a sebae anemone. I guess i could have another one, but i really wanted to try something different, What if all i had in the tank was a rose bubble tip anemone, would that be possible? I do like the idea of a pair of clowns, but i am not sure i really want a occelaris, maybe a skunk clown or a clarki? would they pair up or even host an anomone?

What are some other options, like what other cool colored, bright fish or fish with personalitys like clowns fish in a reef safe 25 gallon tank? if i got a 40 gallon tank could i have any type of lionfish? i know i probably wouldnt have anything else or even any coral but is it possible?

I really want to start this when the summer starts so i have like 2 weeks, then ill start to buy the equiptment, but i wont start it till mid summer because i still have a lot to buy.

What about LPS and SPS, would they survive in my size tank?

Oh and, yes i would like to encorperate a refuge in my tank, but i really want it part of the sump, like it just sectioned off by some plexiglass.

teddyzaper 05-30-2010 12:19 PM

ok, so ive been looking around and reaserching and i need your guys opinion on these skimmers. im looking at ones under $100 so this is what i found.

This one looks like its really complicated so its kinda wierd, but it mights still be good.

I know this one is a bit more then $100 but only $18 more so i think i can do that.

This is a wierd shape but i think it will work, im willing to try it.

Will any of these work, or do you have any other ideas?


bettababy 05-31-2010 12:24 AM

I don't have time to write a long post at the moment, but I had to stop back to let you know that your new stocking ideas are also not going to work. That also applies to a lionfish in a 40 gallon tank. Please don't attempt to do that... all you would get is a dead fish.

I should have some time this week to stop in and write a longer post for you, offer some more suggestions, and even some explanations to some of the stuff you have posted thus far. Please be patient, thats all I ask.

teddyzaper 05-31-2010 02:46 PM

i cant start this because i havent sold my X-box yet so i wont be buying anything till school gets out most likely.

I know the lionfish in a 40gallon was crazy but i thought i might as well ask.

So i know i keep on changing my ideas, but i am pretty sure im going to go with a 40 gallon long with a 20 gallon long sump. the tank itself costs $233 for a rimless with overflows and bulkheads, and it costs $196 with a rim and the overflow/bulkhead. im not sure what bulb to get, i dont want to spend more than it will cost to buy a new light so i was looking at these:
are these any good, is one better than the other?

teddyzaper 05-31-2010 11:03 PM

i was a bit tired when i wrote the last post so please ask if you are confused about it, cause i know i am XD

So i think ive come to a conclusion on what fish i want (possible stocking list)

Fish/corals/inverts i want:
pair of skunk clowns or clarki (unless they dont host anemone, if they dont something that will)
3-4 bengai cardinals
3-4 purple firefish
1 anemone (probably a carpet since my lfs will split it and give me $20 for half)
assorted brain coral
hopefuly some acropa sp. when my tnak becomes stable (after maybe 6 months of stability)
green or red mushrooms
MAYBE some species of scroll
Skunk cleaner shrimp

CUC (what would i need for a 40 gallon long and does a sump need a CUC?)

Is this to much to hope for, can i add more ( i dont think so).

teddyzaper 05-31-2010 11:30 PM

anyone know of this place or thier reputation, im thinking of oredering from there:

This is just when im ready to get fish, not now

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