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Reef Tank Plan

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:44 pm
by KEC96
Hi all! As I said in my intro thread, all I can do for now is plan. I figured a great way to do that is to ask for some advice.
Much of my knowledge comes from a combo of TFH magazines I read when I was younger and the book "The Marine Reef Aquarium," by Phillip Hunt.
So having never previously attempted a reef tank, my thoughts are that I want to have a larger tank so the parameters are easier to manage and I can keep a fair few colorful species without too much trouble shooting.
So I guess the first advice I'll ask for is with regards to stocking. I have a list of corals, inverts, and fish I'd like to include but I'm not certain on how large a bioload to go with or how large a tank I'd want based on the species I've selected preliminarily. So here's the list at this time.
I figured 3 to 4 corals for my first time with a reef. I ended up selecting Star Polyps (Pachyclavularia), Open Brain Coral (Lobophyllia), Mushroom Anenomes, and tentatively regular Brain Coral (Trachyphyllia Radiata).
Next I figured I'd want a variety of snails, from the Astraea, Lithopoma, and "Turbo" families. I figured I'd go with 2 cleaner shrimp, two peppermint shrimp, and if I can find one paired with a goby already, a pistol shrimp.
A crew consisting of some blue legged, scarlet reef, and blue knuckle hermit crabs. And I figured I'd want to be light on stocking these inverts so feel free to tell me if anything should be eliminated for bioload reasons or potential conflicts with tank mates.
Finally, I wanted to keep a shrimp goby (probably a yellow watchmen but we will see!), a blue forktail (assessor macneilli), a pair of percula clowns, and a fairy wrasse (cirrhilabrus rubrisquamis). The one other potential addition to that was a kole tang, because I love how it looks and our names are actually spelled the same! But I wasn't sure if it would be a good fit for a beginner or with my other inhabitants.
So that's the plan so far. I also have a preliminary equipment list but I'd like opinions on tank size, specie selection and quantity. I'm more than willing to reduce, my thoughts for tank size were in the 150 to 200 gallon range but again, I can always adjust accordingly. Looking forward to feedback and advice!

Re: Reef Tank Plan

PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:44 pm
by Freshwater Tropic
Well, First & foremost... Welcome to the Forum & welcome to the Salty Side of things.

NOTE: Sorry for the delayed response. . .

2nd, You're correct on a larger volume being easier to manage parameters. Though, I wouldn't recommend going too large. Mostly due to the labor that is involved in changing 10-20% of water in a 150-200 gallon(15-40 gallons every time). I personally recommend between 55-75 gallons for someone just starting out. My reasoning for that is such. If maintenance is easy to do, you're more likely to do it. I find that with 150+ gallons, people tend to dread making or picking up water to the amount of 40 gallons, in turn not doing maintenance as often as necessary. Now, of course in doing so it limits you on what you can put in the tank. What fish are you interested in the most? I see you have thoughts of a Pair of Clownfish. They are by far my favorites. I currently have a pair(Bonded) of Snowflake Clownfish. They are the coolest to watch IMO.

Onto your coral selections. All of which you've picked are good starters. The only one I would be hesitant on is the Star polyps. They're heavily invasive and are well known for taking over a tank. Brain corals can be generally hardy so they shouldn't be of any issues if under reasonable lighting. What are your thoughts as far as lighting? Any ideas as of yet? Mushrooms are also good, though they are as you said an anemone. This means they could wander around the tank a bit to areas you may or may not approve of.

Cleanup crew: I love the Astraea snails. They're small, but aggressive eaters. In my experience they eat just as much if not more than a turbo snail. I personally avoid the larger turbo snail species. They are big, bulky, clumsy(potential to knock over corals not glued in place) snails that produce a fair amount of waste. I like the cleaner shrimp idea. Definitely a nice addition. I would avoid keeping peppermint shrimp. Mostly due to their nature. They are known to irritate LPS(Of the Euphyllia family... ie Frog Spawn, Torch & Hammer Coral). They are after stinging tentacles. I've had some peppermint shrimp that never touch a single coral of any kind, than I've had some that wouldn't let any coral go untouched. So, it's truly up to you as far as giving them a go. They are known to help deter the over growth of a pest anemone called aiptasia. Which could be good. . . To each their own. Clean up crew is In my Opinion(IMO) the most important factor. I like to keep a fair amount of hermits and a few snails to help things keep in check. For example, I have 2 Astraea snails in my 20g paired with maybe 5-7 hermits. They do a wonderful job keeping waste to a minimum. I would add hermits and snails at a gradual pace considering at first there may not be a lot for them to feed off of for some time. You don't want them dying in the tank somewhere you can't reach to remove them.

Pistol Shrimp/Goby Combo, I myself LOVE this symbiotic relationship between these two. One of my favorites(2nd in line to Clownfish & Anemones of course). Though, I'd recommend holding off on adding them to the tank until the tank gets time to mature. The goby of this pair is known to filter foods from the sand bed. In a newly established tank, there usually isn't enough to sustain good health in them. Success with accepting frozen or dried foods isn't all the great either. There's no guarantee either way. I would recommend waiting until the tank is at least 6-9 months old, 1 year preferred if you can control your urge to get them that long. Trust me, I hate waiting too.

My biggest piece of advice in this is PATIENCE. Nothing good in this hobby happens quickly. All if it requires a great deal of patience. But in the end it is SO worth it. I've found that the more patience I have with this hobby, the better my results are. Stability is another GREAT thing to have. A reef tank does best when not over analysed. Now, I'm not saying just ignore your tank & you'll have great success. I'm saying once you get things dialed in, let it be. Leave the lights how they are, leave the temp how it is, leave the parameters where they are. Read your corals & fish, are they happy & healthy? If so, let it be. A happy healthy reef tank comes in many forms & with many different results.

Re: Reef Tank Plan

PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:49 pm
by KEC96
No need to apologize! Thank you for the welcome and for the wealth of advice!
As far as tank size goes, I really appreciate the suggestion. I'd probably stick with the larger side at 75 gallons just because I like having as much space to work with, and I feel like I can still manage those sorts of water changes.
My most coveted fish is the shrimp goby, followed by the clownfish, followed by the wrasse. I know my boyfriend adored the look of the wrasse but the behavior of the goby as well as the clownfish interest me just as much so, I'm thinking those are the two I'd like to keep the most if possible. I looked up the snowflake clowns because before you mentioned them I hadn't heard of them, and they are a gorgeous variation!
Star polyps interested me because I loved the look of waving tentacles but I didn't want to risk trying to keep a more aggressive species like a frogspawn with more peaceful corals. I wasn't quite sure about lighting but I was leaning toward fluroescents, but I thought maybe I could do an overhang with one halide that could be turned on at alternating times but I wasn't one hundred percent certain. I loved the colors of the mushroom anenomes but I had no idea they might wander! Could they create problems with some of the other animals that way? Is there a comparable species you could think of that might be less problematic? Or do you think I could manage it okay?
I was thinking about limiting myself to one species of snails for simplicity so the astraea sound perfect to me!
Cleaner shrimp were always something I wanted in a reef, I considered the peppermints both for their look and their penchant for keeping aiptasia under control but I've also read that they're hit or miss on that, and I'd rather not risk my corals to them. Would fire shrimp be a good alternative or would you reccomend sticking with cleaners?
I was thinking I wanted a decent variety of hermits both for cleanup and to add variety to my bottom dwellers. I wasn't sure on a quantity because I wasn't set on tank size yet, and I'd definitely add all species to my reef gradually.
I'm also definitely willing to wait to add the goby, letting my tank mature for a while so they get the best environment once I do get them.
I wanted to ask your opinion on a refugium setup for this set up? I definitely planned on a good sump set up but the idea of a refugium interested me, and it sounded like a great way to create a better reef environment.
Definitely willing to take the time to do it right, I know this hobby requires a slow but steady approach which is why I'm here talking to you about this years before it's likely for me to actually begin setting it up. Thank you for the advice and I look forward to hearing more from you!

Re: Reef Tank Plan

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:44 am
by ScottFish
You are in good hands with FT; he's your SW buddy.

Re: Reef Tank Plan

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:53 am
by Freshwater Tropic
So, Tank size. If you feel you can deal with the added volume in water changes, go ahead with a larger tank. 75g is just my recommendation. I don't want people to make a decision they're unhappy with. I will say though, the fish you've listed aren't anything needing any more room than a 75g could provide. I would just avoid getting any larger Tang Species with a 75g. The fish your listed would do well in that size tank though.

Lighting: Fluorescent lighting is one of my favorites. It makes such a well spread, uniform light. Though, with any fluorescent lighting you'll need to understand there is maintenance with them. You'll read all sorts of different recommendations on the bulbs and color combos. It's recommended you swap the bulbs out every 12 months or so due to slight spectral changes as well as a decrease in Photosynthetic Active light(PAR or Photosynthetically Active Radiation). In the reef world, you'll hear or read for this matter about PAR a lot. There is plenty of debate about how much is recommended for you typical mixed reef(Meaning: SPS & LPS corals). All in All, I'd recommend you use at least a 4 bulb system for a 75g. I personally use LED's & truly love the look of them. Mostly due to the "shimmer" you get with them that closely resembles that of nature. LED's can be expensive & tricky to dial in though. For a new hobbyist, I'd say Fluorescent lighting is a safe bet. Now, I saw you mentioned Metal Halides. They have slowly starting to disappear from the hobby. You'll still see a few "Old School" reefers using them because of their lack of faith in the new LED technology. With Halides, there's a lot of drawbacks. 1st, they produce A LOT of heat. Both in the tank & the room they're in. In turn, making you have to run a chiller in the tank or a fan across the surface of the tank(increasing water evaporation). Also, they are power hungry little buggers. Most draw around 150W or more. That's a power bill I wouldn't wanna see myself. Not to mention, like fluorescent lighting, you'll need to replace the bulb every 9-12 months or so. A bigger difference between halides & fluorescents is the bulbs of a halide can be a bit pricey.

Corals: I love star polyps as well. Bright colors & a lot of movement. Just be prepared, once they get settled in they can be a little difficult to tame. I myself always find myself thinking about putting them in my display. I have yet to pull the trigger though. :think: Have you seen Pulsing Xenia yet? They too are a hard one to tame, but are sooooooo :drooling: cool to watch. Even when there's no water movement, they still move by pulsing their tentacles. It is memorizing in the least. I find my self unable to look away at times with them. As far as mushrooms wandering, I've never really experienced any "issues" per say with them. Just have woke up one morning to find them in different sections of the tank. As far as Peppermint Shrimp, In my years of keeping a reef tank, I've yet to have a peppermint shrimp touch a Aiptasia Anemone yet. . . Not worth this risk in my scenarios.

Refugiums: YES! That's a definite. In my experience, a refugium is a great thing to have in a reef tank. It gives Copepods and Amphipods a great safe place to grow and reproduce, in turn creating a natural and healthy diet for corals & fish. They also help combat nutrients by taking in Ammonia & Nitrites reducing waste Nitrate in the process. They can even give you an added benefit of buffering pH during the evening hours if you run a reverse cycle(As I do on all my setups). A reverse cycle would mean you run the refugium lights opposite to that of the main display. A piece of advice with a refugium, the bigger you can make the refugium, the better. I've made setups for customers that had a refugium near to the same size of the tank if not larger. It's fun to watch a refugium progress too. You'll find all sorts of creatures find their way into them. Definitely recommend it. It's something that can only help the tank with near to NO down side. The only thing I would be sure & avoid is the Algae often sold for a refugium known as Caulerpa. It is known to have a reproductive cycle that is randomly triggered releasing a cloud of spore-like items fouling the tank and often times causing keepers to break down their tanks and start over or not at all. I personally use Chaetomorpha . It's fast growing, easily manageable & great at reducing unwanted nutrients. Just my thoughts on the matter though. :twocents:

Re: Reef Tank Plan

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:27 pm
by KEC96
I agreed with your assessment on the original larger tank size I had in mind, and 75 gallons sounds like a good balance between a volume which will help with stability while remaining manageable when it comes to maintenance.
Are you talking about the first list I showed you, or the updated selections I chose based on your advice? Because either way is fine but I definitely like having a diverse group. The Kole tang I brought up was of interest because I actually share it's name down to the spelling! :D But the most important fish are the clowns, the goby, and the wrasse. So if a 75 gallon can support those then it's great.
As far as lighting, I didn't know if fluorescents alone would give enough light for the corals but based on what your saying they will. I think the lighting from them has a much more beautiful effect on a tank for sure. And cheaper maintenance is always a plus!
The Pulsing Xenia is really cool too! I really love the way corals come across as this alien hybrid of plant and animal. It's such a wild thing and I love observing it and I can't wait to try my hand at caring for them. As far as the star polyps go, would propagating them play a role in controlling growth or would that have little impact? Mushroom corals moving doesn't bother me - just another fascinating behavior to observe.
We'll just say no to the peppermints in this instance - maybe someday I could try them in a FOWLR setting.
As far as the refugium goes, I never realized that you could make them so large! I've read about caulerpa and it always sounded like the sort of macroalgea I'd like to avoid but I wasn't aware that it was sold for refugiums so often so that's good to know. I'll be sure to keep my eye out when doing my shopping for the refuge. I'll have to look into chaetomorpha, I wasn't sure what to go with for the refugium but if it helps cut down nutrient levels that's probably the most important factor.
Definitely enjoying narrowing down some of this stuff, coming up with a plan makes it much more real.

Re: Reef Tank Plan

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:00 pm
by Freshwater Tropic
Your 2nd list you provided was the one I was more directed towards. My wife, Named Nicole, Likes the Kole tang for the very same reason. Her nickname with her family has always been Kole or Coley. A Kole Tang(Yellow Eye) would be fine in a 75g tank with the inhabitants you've provided on either list(1st or 2nd).

Yeah, for the corals you've listed... Fluorescent lighting would be more than sufficient. You just would have to avoid the tougher SPS(Acropora, Montipora or Millepora). They can be a bit more demanding of light. In some situations you could still place them toward the top of the tank closer to the light. Otherwise, you would want a higher quantity of bulbs. ATI makes some great fixtures with 4-8 HO bulbs that would be efficient enough to even do some high light demanding corals. It all depends on how much you want to spend. For now, I'd recommend sticking to the corals you've listed already and keep to Soft corals or LPS as they are a little less demanding and more forgiving.

As far as propagating the star polyps, Yes & No. They grow in a Mat-like formation that can be tough to deal with if it makes contact with a rock you don't want it growing on. On glass, it's generally easy to deal with. Something as simple as an old credit card will remove it off the glass. They are just so fast growing, it can be a regular thing for a hobbyist to do. I follow a YouTuber that is very entertaining who made a "Grass" field out of them in his Drop off tank. His YouTube name is "Inappropriate Reefer", Just scan through some of his videos about his Drop-off tank. He also provides a lot of great info and leads by great example with this hobby.

Refugiums can be interesting. There's also a very pretty Algae that I like to sometimes place in the main display, so long as there are no Tangs present. It's called Dragons Breath. It's got such a beautiful fire like appearance to it that can really set a tank off right.

It makes me happy to read you're planning this out well before jumping in. Ever too often do I see people jump into the hobby with little to no knowledge on the topic at hand. Forums are a wonderful way for people to come together a share our knowledge and experiences with other hobbyists, often times helping new members avoid making the mistake for themselves. We can all learn a thing or 2 from each other. To this day, I still learn new things & make my own fair share of mistakes. That's how we learn though. Trial & error. The important part is, don't give up. Never be afraid to admit defeat and ask any necessary questions. As the saying goes, the only bad questions is the one that goes unasked.

By the way, I too have a YouTube channel I often post to. If ya ever wanna check it out, feel free... Click here to check it out I could always use more subscribers. :happy2: :D :dancing:

Re: Reef Tank Plan

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:36 pm
by KEC96
Well we'll probably limit it to the clowns, the goby, and it'll probably be a toss up between a fairy wrasse or a kole tang. They're both really neat fish in their own way!
I'd definitely keep it to the corals I selected here, I think I'd like to try frog spawn or bubble corals much later but for now, some brains and star polyps sound great along with the mushroom anenomes. The stars sound like they might be a pain, but it might also be a kind of funny challenge trying to keep them from getting into places I don't want them.
Dragons breath looks gorgeous! If I decide to avoid the kole tang I may put some in the display, but I definitely think I'd like some either way - if not in the display than definitely in the refugium!
For sure! I've waited this long already, it's worth the wait to do it right. And I enjoy talking with people like you who share the interest in this hobby, it's fun to learn new things and see new ideas. When I first started learning about this hobby when I was 13 (a little under 10 years ago), there were so many animals that were still just not good ideas for captivity. I've read about keeping certain fish that you would lose really quickly back then. It's amazing how much people keep learning, and the mixture of art and science this hobby involves just keeps me coming back for more! I have a preliminary equipment list now, but I gotta review it based on some of the info you gave me. As I said before, I have lots of time!

Re: Reef Tank Plan

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:32 pm
by Freshwater Tropic
To be honest, I feel you'd be fine with 2 clownfish, 1 Goby, 1 Fairy Wrasse & 1 Kole Tang. I don't feel that's overstock. Even considering the cleanup crew. That way you won't have to pick between them. Frogspawn is my favorite LPS. Bright, Full & very colorful. Easy to manage & generally forgiving. I've personally ran into a recent issue with my nano tank that shows how forgiving frogspawn can be. I had a severe Alkalinity drop, 6.5dKH(Reef Tanks should be around 8-11dKH). Results of this issue were corals receding and losing a bit of this color, not to mention an added kick up of Cyano Bacteria due to a lack of stability in the tank. Unfortunately, these are the struggles of such a small water volume. Things can quickly change in a matter of hours. Anyway, the frogspawn has come back from its stressed state. It's not quite as large as it was before this issue but with each day shows great promise. Onto Bubble coral, They are so cool. They show really nicely under Actinic Lighting. Though, like everything in this hobby, it has it's secrets. lol. They are known to be aggressive towards other corals. They have what are known as "Sweeper Tentacles". These tentacles often come out at night & are used to sting & kill near by corals for real estate. I've kept many in my time with great success & definitely recommend them. Just be sure to give them plenty of space from other corals.

bubble sweepers.jpg

Star Polyps can be a bit tough to combat, but as they say... things that come easily aren't enjoyed as much as things that take work to achieve. I say go for them, just understand their capabilities is all. Also, the SW hobby has changed so much in recent years. People of had great success breeding so many Saltwater species. This is great for our hobby & for nature. Typically, tank bred fish accept most prepared foods with ease. They also are known to better acclimate to a new tank than one taken from nature. That is often times why I stick with the "designer" clownfish, like Snowflake Clownfish, Black ice Clownfish, Picasso Clownfish...etc. They are all tank bred and are easier to acclimate in my experience. Unfortunately, this also makes them a bit more expensive because of their cool designs. Though, you don't need to stick with designer clownfish. They've had success breeding your standard clownfish as well, like Ocellaris Clownfish.

If & when you're ready, we can go over your list of equipment and review some things about them.

Re: Reef Tank Plan

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:30 pm
by KEC96
Well I waited a while to respond because I know some basics but knowing where to buy what and how to set up certain things can be intimidating.
So my list so far, without any idea of which brands to get or every specific is as follows:
75 Gallon Aquarium
50(?) Gallon Quarantine Tank
30 to 50 Gallon Sump/Refugium
Flourescent Lighting rig (not sure on specifics for this)
Thermostat Heater
Protein Skimmer
Activated Carbon Media Bag (not certain, advice appreciated)

This is just focused on hardware, and I may be missing certain pieces of equipment. I know that the thought of trying to plumb a tank is very intimidating for me just because I really don't quite know how it works. I know there are a few tanks that have built in overflows, which makes it a little easier.
If there's anything I've missed here in terms of basic hardware, please let me know! I think that's gonna give me an outline for initial pricing. I also am interested in how setting my lighting system up will work.

Re: Reef Tank Plan

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:36 pm
by Freshwater Tropic
The equipment is usually what can be rather overwhelming for anyone new to the Salty side of the hobby. I can certainly understand the intimidation in that. There's no need for it though. It's much simpler than it looks. As well as there are a lot of "how to" videos on YouTube as well as wonderful forums like this to help with this topic.

First off, as far as 75g tanks go... There's plenty of options. Marineland is a big player in this size tank, making one that is drilled & reef-ready to accept a sump. Personally, I'm more fond of the ones made by Deep Blue. They have always done me well and make a very nice product. They can be a little more expensive in some situations. Marineland is usually the one that is readily available though. As far as the Q-Tank, Any tank will do. I typically setup a small 20g tank with either a sponge filter or HOB with either a ceramic pot or piece of PVC in it, with of course a heater to maintain temperature. Than, I usually light it with whatever came with the tank kit I bought or have laying around. Sometimes it ends up being a clip on light. The light isn't "AS" necessary, seeing as to how its sole purpose is for you to examine the inhabitant. A simple flash light could do if all else fails.

Lighting: Coralife is a big player for local fish stores(LFS) to often carry, at least here in Florida where I am. They make a reasonable priced product that would happily suit your needs. It will really depend on what your LFS has available. I try to avoid buying from "Big-Box" stores solely because I like to support your up & coming mom & pop locations. Often times they have the better deals anyway because they better understand the needs of us hobbyists.

Heater: Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm is my top pick. They've been the one I've had the least(in their case, NONE) pre-mature failures with. I've had my fair share of failed heaters. I'm a stickler for controllers though. Unfortunately, controllers can be a bit expensive for the New hobbyist to justify spending money on. I personally have an Apex Controller that monitors the tank & alerts me via Text if the tank either reaches too high or too low in temperature. It than attempts to fix it however I have it programmed, whether it turns on a fan to cool the tank off or turn the lights & heater off. Anyway, a thing to consider that most don't often do is replace your heater annually. I replace mine every year or so. No matter how well it is working. I usually will keep 1 or 2 of them standing by as backups in case. This will greatly reduce the opportunity for the heater to fail & cook my fish. Saltwater can be tough on equipment as it is a bit corrosive.

Refractometer is a big favorite of mine. A lot more accurate than your typical hydrometers sold in stores. A simple bubble on the needle could make for inaccurate results. Personally, I don't have a favorite brand to use. I purchased mine off of Amazon because none of my LFS's had one in stock at the time. I would recommend you pick up a bottle of calibration fluid for it. You'll read some people calibrate it with RODI water, but I highly recommend against this. RODI water doesn't always mean its 0ppm salinity. Calibration fluid will come in at 35ppm, usually lab grade tested. So, you know it's accurate.

Protein Skimmer: IMO, The most important piece of equipment in a reef tank. My TOP TOP TOP favorite brand is Reef Octopus. They make AWESOME skimmers. Some with such small footprints. I wouldn't recommend any other brand personally. They are also usually readily available at LFS's, which helps too. There's not much to them really. They take 4-6 weeks to "Cycle" and produce a good skim. Once that starts to happen, you dial it in depending on how you want the "Skimmate"(Goopy, nasty smelling stuff the skimmer removes) to be, watery or thick/heavy. We can go over this better when it comes time. Nothing to worry about though.

Activated Carbon: I personally don't constantly run Carbon on any of my tanks. When I do, I run it in a reactor vs a bag. I find that it gets more contact time with the media rather than placing a bag in the sump. In turn, working better. Reactors aren't all that expensive either. Personally, I'd recommend that route anyway. Though, I don't run media in my tank unless I have too. For example Phosphate read higher than 0.03ppm, than I run GFO(Carbon like media used to remove phosphates) or if the water gets discolored in anyway, sometimes a yellowish tint, than I run Carbon. Carbon can also be used to remove phosphates as well, but not as well as GFO. The yellowish tint mentioned early can present itself from time to time depending on your maintenance schedule. It is usually from Metabolic Waste or Organics in the water column released from fish and inverts. I will from time to time run Carbon in the tank just as a precaution depending on missed water changes or if I am going to be away from the tank for longer periods of time. If you do run it 24/7, it's not an issue. You'll want to be sure to replace the media every month or so as the media gets exhausted by then & becomes less efficient.

RODI Kit: This is a tough one... I personally love having one myself for my customers and my own tanks. Though, They can be expensive... tricky to deal with... & wasteful. Most RODI units run on a 4:1 basis. Meaning, for every 1 gallon of good, clean water, 4 gallons is wasted and disposed of down the drain. They also require regular maintenance(Replace filters, Carbon, DI etc) about every 3-6 months depending on how much water you're pushing through it & how bad your city water is. Depending on budget, LFS's should be able to provide you with premixed, ready to use SW for a fee of course. This works well and can be easier on your water bill too. But, you'll want to be sure to have a couple buckets or at least 1 bucket of fresh RODI water(NO SALT ADDED) for top off. As water evaporates, you'll need to top the tank off. You do so with Fresh water, seeing as to how the salt doesn't evaporate with the water. What I have always done for all my customers is setup an Auto-Top-OFF(ATO). What this does is uses sensors or floats to maintain water level at your preferred level. I usually make a container(Usually no bigger than 5 gallons, in case the ATO pump sticks and adds the entire container) & set it near the tank. This eliminates one thing the customer has to do on a regular basis. I still inform them to keep an eye on the water level in the tank and the container just in case something fails, as we know these things happen in this hobby.


I am really sorry for the Novel-like replies. I am just making sure I cover all the bases. If I drag on too much, feel free to let me know. I really hope I'm not scaring you away from the hobby. lol :rofl:

:magazine: :twocents: :think: :whistle: :dance: :happy2:

Re: Reef Tank Plan

PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:30 pm
by KEC96
I just wanted to quickly let you know that you haven't scared me off! I'm just busy preparing for my next semester at college, I actually did some price checking the other day along with looking at various brands. I really appreciated your suggestions! I'll probably build a better, more descriptive list soon!

Re: Reef Tank Plan

PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:34 pm
by Freshwater Tropic
Haha! Glad to hear! I was getting a bit worried. I know I can turn a simple question or topic into an essay, but I just like to be thorough. I'm always glad to help however I can. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Never hesitate to ask any questions you may think of.

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