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Old 04-18-2013, 04:11 AM   #1
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60 gallon start up, what do I need

I'm getting so overwhelmed on what I need for a new 50-60 gallon saltwater aquarium and I need help!

I want to use live sand, live rock and soft corals. I want a peaceful and colorful tank and have researched the fish I want. I'm thinking of some of the following:

A Royal Gamma Basset
Ignitus anthais
Dispar Anthais
Ocellaris clownfish
Blue chromis
Yellow Clown Goby
Purple firefish

Are there any larger fish you would recommend?

For coral I'm thinking of some lavender mushroom, yellow polyps, and/orBlue Sympodium Polyp... And other recommended peaceful beginners

What I need to know is will this work? What will allow me to populate my tank more? What accessories do I need (lights, pumps, best type of filter and everything else) and is a sump best for my tank? Oh and what does a protein skimmer do? Does everything go in the tank and how do i hide what doesn't? All advice is more appreciated than you know

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Old 04-18-2013, 10:05 AM   #2
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Ok lets start by focusing on equipment and other needed material. lr rock and live sand would be great to start out with but isnt really necessary and are expensive. I would suggest getting sand and base rock from marcorocks.com (who is a site sponsor here) or reefrocks.net as it will end up being way cheaper and the quailty of their products are amazing, i would suggest 50lbs of base rock then you can just get 5 to 10 lbs of lr to seed your tank. As for sand i would suggest 40 to 50 lbs (reefrocks.net) sells this for 14.95 with a 50lbs rock purchase or more and the rock is only 85.00 bucks so its only 99 bucks for rock and sand and that is with free shipping.
On to equipment, a sump is always better according to what i have seen/read on here and other forums, as for details i cant really help with that. Your going to need a protien skimmer and bubble magnus and reef octopus seem to be the go to skimmers. Protien skimmers work by skimming nuteruients that are un needed or unwanted out of your tank before they breakdown. my words of advice here is you get what you pay for. Also 1 of the best part about a sump is that your heater can go in it so really you have nothing in your tank other than powerheads for flow, most people suggest 2 pointing at each other for optimal flow you would need them to be around 500 gph each IMO.

Fish and corals, I suggest you dont beat yourself up over this to much until you get your tank up and cycling as your going to want focus on equip and getting it setup right. I dont really know of any bigger fish because i have a smaller tank myself, but you could look into cardinalfish they are very peacful and a scholing fish, you could also look into a shrimp to pair with your goby as they make a cool combo. As far as corals i been told hammer coral, frogspawn, mushrooms, zoas tend to be the best choice for begginers. I hope this helps some in your process.

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Old 04-18-2013, 01:49 PM   #3
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Wow thank you for all that info! That helps me so much and you've saved me a ton of money on sand and rocks, I was thinking a sump would be best after doing more research, mostly so I can hide everything
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:38 PM   #4
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I would ditch the anthias because of tank size and the fact they like to school. Add a couple more blue chromis instead. Also, the yellow clown gobies don't pair with shrimp. A yellow watchman goby will pair with a pistol shrimp. However, pistol shrimp are secretive (in other words, seldom seen) and can be aggressive to other ornamental shrimp. I'd look towards a skunk cleaner shrimp (or other ornamental shrimp) instead.

Don't skimp on lighting or the skimmer. I'll go so far as to tell you to not buy a Coralife Super Skimmer or a Sea Clone. Although they're easy to find and often inexpensive, they are generally not very good.

Don't buy Marineland "Reef Capable" LEDs. The name is a misnomer. I'd strongly consider investing in LEDs over metal halides or T5 HO. You can get inexpensive LED lighting (search Taotronics on this forum and on eBay) that will do the job, last for several years, run efficiently, and never require changing a bulb. A business loacl to me, Chester Aquaria, has a VERY nice programmable fixture that they have over their four foot display tank at a very good price. Lighting is often the most expensive component of a reef aquarium.

Strongly consider an RODI unit. Failing that, you'l need to buy RODI water from a grocery store or your LFS. Unfortunately, many of those vendors don't change their filters frequently enough, so you'll need to test it from time to time with a TDS meter.

Invest in a quarantine tank. It doesnlt ahve to be eleborate. Mine is a 10 gallon with an Aquaclear mini filter and a powerhead. Each fish goes through quarantine (QT) for at least two weeks (longer is better) before going in the display. Read through sick saltwater fish posts for all the stories of folks losing their fish collection to marine ick. A simple QT system is the price of two mid-priced saltwater fish. you cannot effctively treat sick saltwater fish in a display aquarium for ich, which is the most common ailment.

As far as a sump, I'm all for it. Here's a video I made explaining mine.

Aquarium sump explanation - YouTube
It is a violation of federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labelling.
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Old 04-19-2013, 02:12 AM   #5
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Thank you Rutrag!! Ive listened to everyone's advice and Ive been doing more research and here's what I was thinking. Please feel free to tell me if the brands suck

So I was thinking of doing a sump to free up space and because it looks nicer.

Protein Skimmer: BubbleMagnus 3.5 Skinner (or the Reef Octopus 50 if it isnt just the hanging type)
Heater: Fluval E200 Advanced Electronic Heater
Overflow: Eshopps Overflow Box 300

Do I need a circulation pump as well as a return pump? And what about powerheads?

I'm pretty patient so I was thinking I would do live sand and dead rock while it cycles. No Goby fish because I like the ornamental shrimp now

I'm not very rich so I've decided to go with a 46 gallon tank and I'm trying to keep the set up costs down.
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Old 04-19-2013, 07:12 AM   #6
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Welcome aboard. Let me touch on a few things With a 46 gal tank you wont need a skimmer your PWC's will keep things in line Lights look into the LED tao-tronics are very good for the price. You'll need at least 1 maybe 2 power heads to keep detritus suspended

If your going with a sump consider drilling the tank and using bulkheads instead of an over flow, glass-holes has kits and it's easy to do I'd use a 20 long as a sump it gives plenty of room for a skimmer, fuge and return area.

Most people create their own problems by not following the basics and refusing to stock appropriate to their system. Gregcoyote 2013

SPS = Stability Promotes Success
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60 gallon, gallon, start

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