Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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bigfish93 03-05-2012 05:00 PM

Starting with the right equipment
Sorry for all the questions guys. I have been doing my research, but for some reason I always feel better asking my questions here. I am starting my first saltwater tank and I have come up with a list of equipment.

40 gallon breeder tank (36x18x16)
10 gallon Eshopps Reef Sump
Coralife Super Skimmer Needle Wheel Protein Skimmer 65 gallon
300 watt heater
Super Nano overflow from
3/4 inch return kit from
2 Hydor Koralia Nano 425s
1 Hydor Koralia Nano 250 (for mixing saltwater)
Carbon Reactor
1 inch of live sand
60 pounds of dry live rock
Instant Ocean Salt mix

I have no idea what light to get. I plan to start off FOWLR for a little bit, so I can get used to saltwater. I then plan to get some basic easy to care for corals and stick with those for a while. Later on down the road I would like to get a few SPS coral. What light would you guys recommend to accomodate this slow upgrade to SPS. I understand how important the lights are, so I am will to spend the extra cash. I would prefer a light that can be mount over an open top aquarium.

onefish2fish 03-05-2012 08:29 PM

if you dont already have the sump, look into DIY sumps from used tanks. a used 20 long tank would make a nice choice and be a fraction of the cost. that skimmer works but personally i would save for something alittle better, esp if your planning SPS down the road, spend that extra $100-200 on the skimmer now instead of re-buying a skimmer in a year. it might not hurt to look into used equipment too as you could prob. find a better quality used skimmer cheaper then a new skimmer thats sub-par. you may want 2 heaters, incase one fails, you will also need one for mixing salt. i think i would get bigger powerheads, 750s atleast, if not even larger. 425s wont be very strong in a 40 breeder. your also going to want liquid test kits and a refractometer ( check ebay ) for checking salinty.

bigfish93 03-05-2012 09:20 PM

Are you sure the 425s will not be enough? Reefing Madness said for a FOWLR tank, the powerhead GPH should be 10x the tank size. For a reef tank, the power head GPH should be 20x the tank size. If I get 2 425s then thats a lttle more than 20x my tank size. As for the protien skimmer, lets say I don't get SPS later on, will the Super Skimmer be enough. I know a few people that are using it on their reef tanks and love it. That's the reason I was going to get that one. I plan on buying the Eshopps sump because of its nice size. A 20 long would not fit under my stand and a 10 gallon seems too cramped with the black brace around the top.

bigfish93 03-05-2012 09:45 PM

After further looking into SPS coral, I think I am going to avoid them for a while. Probably won't even look into getting them until I eventually, 5+ years, get a bigger tank. With that being said, will my equipment be able to support a "basic" reef? I would like to stick with the basic, easy to care for, corals and fish. This will be my first saltwater tank, so I don't want to get to far a head of myself. I am going to continue doing my research, but I am very hands on when it comes to learning, so having a basic tank will really help me learn.

Tazman 03-05-2012 09:56 PM

Spend the money now on the equipment that will allow you to keep SPS corals.

I said to myself when I set my tank up not too long ago that I wasnt going to do corals for a long time. Trust me YOU will likely change your mind, when browsing in your fish store. The temptation is too much...:-)

I dont even have fish in my tank yet only the Clean Up Crew and I already have a list of beginner corals and some not so beginner as my lights are more than capable of supporting them all. (Quad T5HO on a 29g tank)

Tazman 03-05-2012 09:59 PM

I have a 425 on my tank and the flow is not very powerful, 750 is doing all the work on the other side of the tank for the movement.

2 x 750's would probably be good for a 40g tank.

bigfish93 03-06-2012 12:46 AM

Thanks for all the help guys! The 2 425 hydor powerheads are already in the mail, so I will test them out and go from there. After some more research on skimmers, I have decided to go with the Reef Dynamics INS80 skimmer. It will fit in my stand perfectly and I will build a DIY sump around the protein skimmer. Still trying to figure out which light to get. All of the different options are giving me a headache and I have no idea which one is right for me.

jeffnsa 03-06-2012 10:53 AM

Go with either a four bulb t-5 (minimal for all corals but can go brighter), or the new led systems for reefs.

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