Let's Do This!

Lizardlicks

Reefing newb
Messages
25
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Hello everyone! Time to play answer Lizards un-ending stream of newbie questions! Ready?

Okay so, I am one hundred percent new to saltwater keeping, though I kept bettas for years and loved them. I haven't even gotten my tank yet (going out to look at a used 75 gallon with stand on Saturday) so all of this I'm about to ramble off is completely hypothetical. Even when I do get it, it will be a while before I have all the equipment together to even think about finding live rock, much less inverts or fish, so we got a bit to hash everything out. Worry not about me saying something completely hair brained, it will hopefully be corrected here before it become a real world problem. My goal with this thread is to lay out what I have planned so far based on the research I've done (bought a couple hobby books and the rest has been all sourced from the internet for the last couple of months or so) and just see what other people with more personal experience think.

In this thread I have two questions in specific in regards to this set up. I'll go over what I've got planned bellow then ask the questions.

As I stated before, I'm going to inspect and hopefully purchase a 75 gallon tank with gorgeous cherry stand for a steal that I found on Craig's list on Saturday. In addition, I have an old 29 gallon tank that's been sitting in my storage unit for a while , and I intend to use that for a sump. I don't know if the tank sides are tempered glass or not. Going to try and find out but, if I can't determine for sure I'll have to go with a HOB style rather than drilling because that's too much money to risk damaging my tank and I'm determined to have a sump, gosh darn it! I'm also going to get a second 20-30 gal to set up as a QT tank.

I'm not actually going to go straight into trying to set this baby up as a reef tank. I'm going to start with it just as a FOWLR and if in the future it's doing well, I'll go get what ever I need for additional lighting and flow for corals, clams or what have you.

As of right now, the ending stock list that I've put together will look like this once fully fleshed out:

1 Neocirrhites Armatus. This is my only absolute must have, the rest in flexible.
2 Amphiprion Percula. Would specifically love a pair of onyx morphs because my God are they gorgeous!
1 Ecsenius Midas or other yellow colored Blenny. I would like a good sand sifter but I'm not sure if the Midas would work so other suggestions are welcome!
1 Gramma Loreto
1 Chrysiptera Parasema
2 Lysmata Amboinensis. I am a bit leery of putting these guys in here with the Hawkfish so I'm going to try and optimize success by A) getting a pair rather than just one, B) letting them get established first before introducing the hawkfish and C) getting BIG shrimp and a little Hawkfish!
And maybe one last on the list is a Centropyge Loricula but that's an iffy.

So here's my questions, and they're probably going to need long answers! I want to know what you would personally recommend as far as equipment for this set up (Skimmer, powerheads, etc). Trying to keep cost balanced with quality so specific brand suggestions would be wonderful.

And when it finally comes to stocking, what order would you recommend they be placed in, and what fish would you swap or leave out entirely and why?

Sorry for the wall of text! I hope to hear back from you all soon!
 
If it was me, i'd keep looking for a reef ready tank (pre-drilled with overflow).

As far as skimmers, powerheads, etc... there such a wide range of costs here, we would really need to know what you want to spend for each before giving a recommendation. For instance, I would recommend Ecotech Vortech powerheads, but you may not want to spend that much.

And it's going to be a while before you can stock it, so I wouldn't even worry about that right now. Concentrate on getting the tank setup properly and cycled, and use the time to research research research. :)

Also, check out the build threads for ideas.
 
I'm keeping an eye out every day for deals but...

75 gallon tank with stand for $150 bucks is just a bit too tempting when on a budget. Still going to inspect the heck out it, of course!

As far as cost for equipment, I'm going to be buying slowly and saving up money between purchases. It will take a bit longer that way but that should mean cost isn't quite the factor as it could be if I was going for all at once. I am looking for efficiency in where my money goes, though. So if there's a product for say $50 dollars that can do the same as a $100 dollar one with the same or near the same reliability, I want to know about it! The reverse is true too, If skimping dollars means skipping quality or function, I'd like to know that in advance too!
 
Hi.

There's really no way to tell if the glass is tempered or not. Best way would be to ask the current owner.

You can get a 75 gallon tank from petco for 75 dollars and build your own stand if you're that way inclined. If not you can still probably get a better deal than that imo.

I second ECOTECH Marine Vortech powerhead. They are buy far the best showerhead on the the market.
If you don't want to spend that muchhenrecommend hydors.

For lights I would recommend LEDs. The ai sol are good systems or if you're not cheap the ecotech radions are great.

Good luck!
 
A way to see if glass is tempered (Not really easy, but it works)
Get some polarized sunnies, then an LCD screen of some sort (Most laptops/phones) It will look funny.

Im sure i saw a thread somewhere. Lemme find an update.
 
Make sure you add that hawkfish last! They can be nasty little boogers and i honestly dont think the shrimp will be safe, maybe for a little, but hawkfish LOVE to eat shrimp.

My boyfriend tried to surprise me with a tiny royal gramma, by the time i got home hawkles (my dwarf hawkfish) was swimming around with the dead fish in his mouth.
 
I also think you can get a better price on a tank and a stand if you keep your eyes open. I would get a drilled tank, too -- it will make things so much easier.

If you do not have a drilled tank, you will want to consider setting up a sump using an overflow box. Check into Lifereef, Eschopps and CPR overflow boxes. This will allow you to increase your system's water volume and hide your equipment away from sight.

As for skimmers, there are a lot of choices out there. Reef Octopus is a good brand for the money.

Your stock list...may be a challenge since the hawkfish is your "must have" fish. They will eat other fish and inverts. :) All the other fish would be fine together.
 
Thanks for the replys, guys! I'm starting to wonder if it's just the area I live in that has tanks ridiculously over priced. That's the best deal I've been able to find on CL for weeks. I'm not really in a position to build my own stand, and buying one new is the same cost of the tank/stand combo I have scoped out or more. Then I'd have to get the tank, too.

I could see if my dad would be up to building one though... I'll have to see if he thinks he'd be able to make something with a load requirement. He built us a damn sturdy TV stand a long while back that had one of those giant big screen TV's on it for the longest time... you know, before flat screen was a thing? :mrgreen: And money I save on that could go to a bigger new tank! One pre-drilled too, lol.

I know that Hawk fish can be feisty little butts! The ones at my LFS are in big community tanks all ready at home with other fish much similar to the ones I want, so I'm hoping that will help ease the transition, going to a similar environment. Also hoping that some of the feistier fish like the flame angel might... uh, adopt? the cleaner shrimp too. Definitely staying away from peppermint shrimp, too, from what I hear they're just on everybody's menu!

So specific stocking order questions I guess would be: I plan on getting the damsel first when fish time comes for the reasons most everybody starts with damsels. I have read that the yellow tails, like the one I'm interested in are less aggressive than other varieties and other fish can be added after with out re-locating this particular damsel first. How true is this, based on personal experience?

And Who do I stock the absolute last, the Flame Angel, or the Hawkfish?
 
Oh, and another question. With out going into a full reef tank right away, would I be able to get away with using the return flow from the sump as my source of current and no (or smaller) power heads?
 
Hawkfish last, and if something dies you might not be able to replace it. They can be big DBs when they want to be lol. They are beyond territorial. Trust me the shrimp is a no go, its not if but when. Remember lfs bend the rules a little because those tanks are short term.

I built my own stand (bf built it i should say) and it cost me 35$. Not bad compaired to the 200$ the lfs wanted for a cheap fiber board one.
 
You will definitely need powerheads, can't just rely on the flow from your return line - regardless of whether you have a reef for FOWLR tank! I think the best bang for your buck in terms of powerheads are the Hydor Koralias. Drs. Foster and Smith have the lowest prices on them that I have seen. You can buy a couple to start with and then add more when you turn it into a reef. You want to have 20-40x gph flow as the size of your tank. For a FOWLR I'd aim for 20x turnover. Another area you can skimp on is rock - buy mostly dry rock and then a few lbs of live rock and you'll save a lot of money that way! Bulk Reef Supply and Marco Rocks both have good dry rock. Tampa Bay Saltwater has some of the best live rock around, but I wouldn't order live rock from any other online dealers. Welcome and good luck - you've come to the right place!
 
+1 fishy

Tanks need a lot of flow, coral or no coral. Your return pump probably will not be enough flow, but besides that, you're going to want more than one or two points of flow in order to keep all the water moving all the time (to avoide detrius-collecting dead spots). This cannot be accomplished with only one source of flow.

Hydors are good powerheads.
 
I plan on getting the damsel first when fish time comes for the reasons most everybody starts with damsels. I have read that the yellow tails, like the one I'm interested in are less aggressive than other varieties and other fish can be added after with out re-locating this particular damsel first. How true is this, based on personal experience?

And Who do I stock the absolute last, the Flame Angel, or the Hawkfish?

Yes, I think this is true (based on personal experience). The yellow tails tend to be more docile than the other damsels. The absolute worst damsels seem to be domino, three/four stripe and devil blue damsels. Yellow tails can actually end up being quite timid. You might want to look into a blue-green chromis as well. They are in the damsel family and tend to be hardy, but are also very peaceful (except to their own kind :)).

I would add the hawkfish last.

Oh, and another question. With out going into a full reef tank right away, would I be able to get away with using the return flow from the sump as my source of current and no (or smaller) power heads?

You will need multiple powerheads regardless of the strength of the return pump. Coral reefs in the ocean have a ton of water movement, so you will try to mimic this as closely as possible.
 
Oh good, the Hydor Koralias was what I was looking at earlier. I guess I'm not totally brainless when it comes to these sorts of things! XD
 
You might want to look into a blue-green chromis as well. They are in the damsel family and tend to be hardy, but are also very peaceful (except to their own kind :)).

Funny you'd say that, I was considering blue-green chromis originally before I dropped them off the list for fear of over stocking my tank.
 
Well, a good rule of thumb to follow is 1 fish per 10 gallons, give or take a fish depending on their size. So I don't think you are close to being overstocked. :) You do want to add fish gradually though. Add your first fish (or two if you decide on a pair of the same species) after your tank completely cycles. Then wait at least 3 weeks before adding the next fish. Then wait at least 3 weeks in between additions from there on out.
 
Yeah, I'm probably being over cautious about the whole stocking thing but I know that's also, like, every beginning hobbyist's mistake. I was going by the inches of fish per gallon and calculating based of their max adult size. Was cutting that really close already so I crossed a couple off the list.
 
Back
Top