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Old 07-17-2012, 02:01 AM   #1
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Planning for first marine tank

I've kept a freshwater aquarium in the past but I recently received a new tank as a gift and am thinking about setting it up as my first saltwater system. The thing is, I'm not entirely sure what I want to do with it. It'll be quite a while before I actually set it up and start stocking, due to possibly moving in the not too distant future, so I have plenty of time to make plans and get all the necessary equipment.

I'm looking for ideas and recommendations, on everything from equipment to potential stocking. Here's what I have so far:

This 60g glass tank with stand, 48"l x 13"w x 24"h:
Marinelandģ 60 Gallon Heartland Aquarium Ensemble - Black - Aquariums - Fish - PetSmart
An Emperor 400 power filter:
Emperor Power Aquarium Filters - Filters - Fish - PetSmart
An old 10g tank that I plan to set up as a quarantine
I also have a thermometer, hydrometer, and an unopened bag of Instant Ocean.

So, obviously there's a lot of stuff I still need. My basic plan is to combine the power filter with a protein skimmer (what are the best brands for my size tank?) and an aquascape of live rock. Along with regular water changes, will that be enough filtration? I'm also planning on getting two power heads for circulation and to help keep the water aerated. Might I need to include an air stone to keep the water oxygenated?

List of things I know I need:
Protein skimmer
2 power heads
Heater
Live rock
Aragonite, maybe live sand

I've read up on a number of fish species that might be good for beginners and have found a few I'm particularly interested in. Here's a list, I need some help narrowing it down to a reasonable number that can be supported in my setup and that won't harass each other:
Any blenny, especially black or red spotted
Watchman goby
Valentini toby
Flame angel
Wrasses, maybe fairy
Possibly a pair of clownfish

I'm really interested in invertebrates, especially crabs and conches. I'd also like to keep corals but I understand they're harder to maintain than just fish. Would my tank size and setup be appropriate for them? I imagine I would need to get better lights, but I'm mostly concerned right now about whether the filtration would be adequate. At this point I think I'd be willing to sacrifice all but one or two fish if I could have a really cool invert tank, just not sure how that would work.

I know this is a really long post but I'm totally new at this and there's a lot to consider. Like I said, I'm not looking to set everything up very soon, probably not until sometime next year once I figure out my living situation, so I have plenty of time to take in any advice. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer, I really appreciate it!
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:16 PM   #2
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Welcome to AA!!

Are you planning on a sump?
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Old 07-21-2012, 11:06 PM   #3
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Most likely not. The tank I was given is made from tempered glass, which I'm pretty sure means it can't be drilled. I also don't really have enough room to add in a sump, the stand that came with it was definitely not built for function. How necessary is a sump?
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Old 07-22-2012, 12:49 AM   #4
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You can go without but it makes life easier, especially for a reef tank. You can use a hob overflow so you don't have to drill...
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Old 07-22-2012, 02:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koshka
Most likely not. The tank I was given is made from tempered glass, which I'm pretty sure means it can't be drilled. I also don't really have enough room to add in a sump, the stand that came with it was definitely not built for function. How necessary is a sump?
Sump is not needed but it is very useful and can add quite a bit of water volume to the overall system making water parameters easier to maintain. Also a good amount of equipment can be house in the sump freeing up clutter from your display.
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Old 07-31-2012, 02:10 AM   #6
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Sorry for taking a few days to reply. An HOB sump could definitely be a possibility for me, especially if it can hold the protein skimmer too. I'll check my LFS next time I'm there to see if they have any in stock, but do you have any brand suggestions if I need to order online?

I'm also wondering if there are any really good books out there I should look for that have good information about setting up and maintaining a reef tank?
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:17 PM   #7
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You should just make a sump/refuge not tht hard I'm currently making mine. Also you have plants of room for corals just make sure your lighting is food like over four bulbs of t5 or get metal halides or leds
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:35 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Koshka View Post
Sorry for taking a few days to reply. An HOB sump could definitely be a possibility for me, especially if it can hold the protein skimmer too. I'll check my LFS next time I'm there to see if they have any in stock, but do you have any brand suggestions if I need to order online?

I'm also wondering if there are any really good books out there I should look for that have good information about setting up and maintaining a reef tank?
Have not personally used them as my reef tank is drilled, but have heard good things about the CPR HOB overflows:
Deluxe CPR Continuous Siphon Overflows - English

You can easily build a sump with a glass tank that will fit under your stand, and a few dollars in supplies from home depot (acrylic sheets, a scorer to cut them, and some silicon). It took me about 30-60 minutes to build mine.




And it set up under the tank with equipment/plumbing:
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:59 PM   #9
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Cpr overflows work great, especially with an aqualifter pump youll never lose siphon. I run one on my 55 reef and only had issues once when a brownout fried the aqualifter and when power came back on the return pump didnt get siphon back. Didnt overflow the display thankfully.
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:52 PM   #10
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What corals/fish do you plan on stocking?
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