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Old 05-11-2014, 04:14 PM   #1
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Help setting up a 10 gallon reef?

I've kept freshwater fish and planted tanks for a few years now and I want to set up a reef tank. I have a spare 10 gallon tank with a heater that I want to convert to saltwater. For filtration I'm going to have about 10lb of live rock and the same of live sand, a 1000 l/h powerhead and maybe a 500 l/h hob filter. Is this overkill or could I get away without using the HOB filter altogether? What filter media would I need to use in a Hob filter if I was going to use it?

I'm having a problem working out what lights I will need. Would 2x T5-HOs be enough as I only want to grow polyps and soft corals or do I need something more powerful? Please give me suggestions on what lights to get!! The tank is 20" long and I don't really want to be spending too much money on lights. I need to be able to order them online as well.

I know that people say that 10 gallons is too hard to keep stable but with lots of filtration, regular water changes and testing of parameters would my set up work do you think? As for stocking, I only want a pair of ocellaris clowns and a small clean up crew.

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Old 05-11-2014, 04:36 PM   #2
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Just me personally... I wouldn't keep a 10g unless it was a biocube/nano cube because it is just so unstable. If your gonna have that small of a tank I would recommend a small custom refugium underneath the tank, but that can get a little costly for a 10g. IMO

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Old 05-11-2014, 05:34 PM   #3
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I started off with an 8 gal and it went good I think you will be alright. Like you said just keep up the water changes and stuff and you will be all good.
I think the power head should be alright I guess you will find out when you get your corals. A good light maybe a par 38 led they seem to be pretty good for a nano and rather cheap you get more life out of them then a Fluro bulb fixture and less heat. Just remember to ask lots of questions
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Old 05-11-2014, 06:04 PM   #4
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I keep a 10 and a 55 and I will say the ten is much more work but it's not impossible. Mine is open top so I have to check salinity almost daily (I have shrimps) and too off every other day. I also use a par38 and love it, however my tank is more tall than yours so you may need two? Invest in a refractometer for measuring salinity and try not to use tap water if you can. Heck out live aquaria for fish selection (they have a nano section) 2 clowns don't belong in a 10g tank...
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Old 05-11-2014, 07:39 PM   #5
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The key with a tank this size will be checking salinity often and topping off with RODI freshwater daily (as the salt doesn't evaporate).

The par38 is a good suggestion. Never owned one, so I'm not sure how much area it will cover. A 2 bulb T5HO will work for what you're wanting though.

In a tank this size, you're looking at 1 to 2 small fish.

The tank itself is usually one of the more inexpensive parts of saltwater. I would recommend setting up whatever size tank you really want, rather than whatever you have sitting around.

All that being said, if a ten gallon reef is what you want, it is very doable.
75 Gallon Reef
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Old 05-11-2014, 07:48 PM   #6
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I go through the set up of my 10g in the nano reefs section, "operation clown goby rescue" . Should give you a pretty good overview of setting up a nano
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Old 05-12-2014, 02:23 AM   #7
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I think I might go with the Arcadia Classica LED Stretch light as my LFS recommended it and it is cheaper than the PAR38 but thanks anyway! Also for stocking, could I go with 2 purple firefish instead of the clowns?
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Old 05-12-2014, 08:31 AM   #8
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That light is going to struggle to grow coral, and anything it does keep alive will brown out quickly. IMHO it's a fowlr light, reef lighting is one of the more expensive parts of set up, but you will save money if you get a good unit to start, because everyone upgraded there lights as they get into more light demanding species.
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Old 05-12-2014, 08:44 AM   #9
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Honestly and truly, None of my 10g's have ever been hard. Not one problem, it's pretty simple. Plus if something goes wrong doing a big water change is really easy.
Don't let people tell you it's a bad idea, because it's not.
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Old 05-12-2014, 08:50 AM   #10
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I would say get good light set up at first. It's the spendy part of the build but might as well spend a few more bucks get the better one the first time

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