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My first Saltwater Reef Aquarium.

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Hi all I am doing research for my first saltwater reef aquarium. I have had fresh water aquariums in the past. 1 community tank (55 gal.). One African Cichlid tank (29 gal (? we bought it used)). And a planted aquarium (10 gal.). I am currently doing research for when we move to a new house (Lord willing) for coral in my tank. The old freshwater community tank will hopefully be my Display tank, with the 29gal. as my refugium (/ sump? it will have skimmer in it and a slow flow with algae in it to filter the water from the DT). With an algae tumbler (it will be a little box that is lit with algae tumbling around at a fast repetition to remove phosphates, nitrates (?) and (?) nitrites from my DT water and is separate from the fuge.). I might have a pwr. filter (hang on) on my DT or a BIO wheel filter unless it is a bad idea. I have heard that the algae tumbling at high rates removes "stuff" (nitrates, nitrites, phosphates) from the water better and reproduces better (? on that one) than at a low flow. I would like to put cost effective (not expensive lights) up, I was planning on T5's. My goal is to make this tank as cost effective as possible. With a (?)(hopefully) deep sand bed in the DT unless that is a bad idea (that was why I put the, ?) and a shallow sand bed in the Fuge unless it is a bad idea. For a Quarantine tank I plan for bare bottom and to quarantine for 8 wks. for fish so as not to spread marine ich. I hope you guys don't think that I'm paranoid but I've read that it is really hard to treat and eradicate from your fish with inverts. in the DT.
I hope I have been descriptive enough, sometimes I am not when that happens just me know, I can say one thing and mean another thing .

So Thanks
and God Bless
David P. A.K.A small-town-reefer

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Tank Journals , Reef Tank Journals , DIY Projects


  1. small-town-reefer's Avatar
    P.S. my main reading has been from TR, and .

    God Bess
    David. A.K.A small-town-reefer
  2. rayme07's Avatar
    Hi David Welcome to TR.

    I would probably not go with the HOB power filter because they tend to raise high nitrates and that is not good for a reef tank with corals. I would suggest going more with a skimmer you can ether get them with a hang on back model or an in sump/refuge type. When choosing a skimmer it is best to not go cheap. Also when buying one don't get one that is rated for your tank look for one that is rated two or even three times that of your tank for better skimming results.

    T5's should be fine for your tank as long as it has 4 bulbs or more (Preferably more if you can fit) with individual reflectors so they can get the most par out of your lights. What types of corals are you planning on having in your tank?

    A deep sand bed will be fine in your main tank. Also what would be great too is putting a deep sand bed in your refuge too and that would help too. Both DSB's will help keep the nitrates down.

    A quarantine tank is a smart idea. You are right that it is hard to cure any diseases in your main DT. That's why a QT is best to keep them in for 2 weeks or more when you buy them just in-case they do have a para-sight.

  3. small-town-reefer's Avatar
    Thanks Rayme07
    I will put a DSB into my plans for my Fuge. I know some about corals, from what I've read I would probably stick with soft corals, LPS, mushroom corals, and some polyps. I want mainly nicely colored corals but will settle for some duller colors, since I have little experience and not a very high budget.

    David P. A.K.A small-town-reefer
  4. rayme07's Avatar
    Yea, T5's will be perfect for what corals you want to house. Just make sure there is 4 bulbs (minimum) with individual reflectors if you want some LPS. Because a 2 bulb set up wont probably be enough light for them.