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Old 08-09-2012, 02:39 AM   #1
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Planning 30 Gallon Reef

I currently have a ten gallon fowlr setup and am going to upgrade to a 30 gallon reef tank soon. Eeeeh! I'm so excited!!

Now, I just need some help planning out fish, corals, and advice on supplies. In my ten gallon, I have a firefish, a clown goby, four nassarius snails, two scarlet skunk shrimp, and a hermit crab (unknown kind i think scarlet).

In addition to those, I'd like to add two ocellaris clownfish and a tanaka's pygmy wrasse. That would equal five fish. Do you think I could add one more or is that the limit?

And as for inverts, I'd like to add four more hermits, a few more nassarius snails (unsure how many), three peppermint shrimp, and a fire shrimp. I love shrimp lol. After all the fish, will I be overstocked? And how many more nassarius snails do you recommend I get?

As for corals, I'd like to keep it simple. I'm just going to get some soft corals. Some polyps, mushrooms, etc. But I have always been in love with the favite brain coral. I know they are aggressive, so do you think I can keep one without any problems? I'd also like to get trumpet corals.

As for soft corals, I think I'll get these two packs:

Saltwater Aquarium Corals for Marine Reef Aquariums: Beginner Soft Coral Pack

Saltwater Aquarium Corals for Marine Reef Aquariums: Beginner Mushroom and Polyp Pack

Do those sound good? And will they work with the favite brain and trumpet?

I know a good amount about supplies. I can't have a sump because the tank will be on a kitchen counter. I was told to leave filtration to the live rocks and skimmer. I also wanted to turn an HOB filter into a refugium. For powerheads, how strong do you think the current should be for the corals? If memory serves, I think all of them require moderate flow, so how many gph of powerheads would that be for 30 gallons?

Lastly, what substrate should I use? I want to avoid "live" sand since it is probably already dead from being on a shelf for so long. My LFS sells white aquarium sand so I'll probably go with that. Is there any better stuff I can use?

Alright I think I've asked enough questions for now. All help will be much appreciated. Thank you!
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Old 08-09-2012, 04:51 AM   #2
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Crushed coral it has shells in it your snails and maybe the crabs could hide in??
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:15 AM   #3
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I wouldn't go crushed coral...too many issues from the stuff. Hit up the sands on dr foster and smiths. They have lots of aggregate substrates, which I like as it will help buffer ph if needed. Pool filter sand is also a popular alternative, it's cheaper and sometimes more easily available.

In terms of fish, I wouldn't add anymore. I only have 5 fish in my 55 reef. Less fish = easier to manage parameters. Once the reef is up and running, slowly add the fish you have. Monitor how things are going for a couple of months and go from there based on what you've seen.


There shouldn't be any issues with you having a favia and softies in a 30. I did a similar setup in my 36 bowfront. You will just need to make sure you have appropriate lighting and flow for them. 2 750 Koralias would probably do the trick for flow...if I'm wrong and my feel for flow has become overwhelmingly strong due to my reef I'll be corrected soon lol.
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Old 08-09-2012, 09:56 AM   #4
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Ok for starters 5 fish is probably absolute max. My 2 ocellaris, lawnmower blenny and scooter blenny fully stock my 29g any more fish and i would not be able to control nitrates.

Any sand will do practically. Many people use play sand from Home depot. Any dry sand will work, like you said, stay away from the live stuff.

Filtration sounds good.

Recommended flow for a reef tank is atleast 30-50x turnover. So for a 30g tank this means about 1000-1500gph so for the low end 2 Koralia 550's or for the high end 2 Koralia 750's. Hope that helps.
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Old 08-09-2012, 06:31 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the replies so far! I will stick to my original fish and coral plans. I plan on having 40 lb. of live rock. Is that sufficient?

Thanks for the powerhead suggestions. I will go with those and stick with my original filtration plans. As for substrate, I'll stick with aquarium sand.

What about the invertebrates? After five fish, would all the inverts I plan to add be too much? I've decided on ten nassarius snails but would like a second opinion.

I've been thinking about lighting too. I think I'll get a coralife t5 four bulb unit. HO T5 Aquarium Light Fixture: Coralife Lunar Aqualight HO T5 Aquarium Light Fixture Would this be good lighting for all the corals? The tank I have to get, because of limited space, is only 12" high, so the lights would hit the bottom really easily.

And what's the best brand of skimmer? Sorry for all the questions. Thank you!
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Old 08-09-2012, 06:47 PM   #6
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If I was gonna invest that much money, I would get a cheap led system.
I'm thinking about those taotronics for my reef, you have to dim them but it would be cheaper.
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Old 08-09-2012, 06:50 PM   #7
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Would a two bulb t5 fixture work fine instead? It's much cheaper than the four bulbs. I just read somewhere that corals prefer four bulb fixtures.
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Old 08-09-2012, 07:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bettafanatic
Would a two bulb t5 fixture work fine instead? It's much cheaper than the four bulbs. I just read somewhere that corals prefer four bulb fixtures.
It depends what corals you want to grow. With the 4 bulb in a 12" tank you will be able to keep anything. Softies, lps, sps and nems. With the two bulb expect to only be able to keep softies and some Lps.
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Old 08-09-2012, 07:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bettafanatic
Thanks for all the replies so far! I will stick to my original fish and coral plans. I plan on having 40 lb. of live rock. Is that sufficient?

Thanks for the powerhead suggestions. I will go with those and stick with my original filtration plans. As for substrate, I'll stick with aquarium sand.

What about the invertebrates? After five fish, would all the inverts I plan to add be too much? I've decided on ten nassarius snails but would like a second opinion.

I've been thinking about lighting too. I think I'll get a coralife t5 four bulb unit. HO T5 Aquarium Light Fixture: Coralife Lunar Aqualight HO T5 Aquarium Light Fixture Would this be good lighting for all the corals? The tank I have to get, because of limited space, is only 12" high, so the lights would hit the bottom really easily.

And what's the best brand of skimmer? Sorry for all the questions. Thank you!
40lbs will be plenty.

As far as inverts a clean up crew no it will not add much bioload. But 10 nassarius snails is too much for that size tank. They are meat eaters and will eat scraps of food left over. No reason you will have enough scraps left over to feed 10 nass snails. I keep 4 in my 29g and thats plenty.

Besides nass snails id look into a mexican turbo snail or 2 as they are great algae eaters. Be cafeful with adding much else tho, the pistol is known to attack inverts getting to close to its den.
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Old 08-09-2012, 07:43 PM   #10
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Sounds good. I'll just keep my current nassarius snails. I got a recommendation of five for every ten gallons, so that was false lol. As for lights, I'll get two t5 bulbs. Is Coralife a good brand? I was thinking one actnitic bulb and one 10,000K daylight bulb. What do you suggest? Can I grow favia brains and trumpets with two bulbs?
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