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Old 07-09-2012, 03:04 AM   #1
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Starting a 24 Gallon Nano Bound for Coraldom!

Hello! The name's Petrichor and I am going to be attempting my first reef tank build! I had a successful 40 gallon FOWLR with two anemone several years ago and eventually sold it when I moved to college. Since then I've learned so much more from that experience and also through reading, pestering my LFS, and lurking this forum. My parents have decided to purchase a tank that I could take care of and eventually pass onto them when I graduate and move out, so I'll be in charge of finding and getting everything together and making sure they're not trying to stick a bunch of tangs and seahorses into this thing. But enough of that; onto the interesting stuff.


Tank Set-up so far:
24 Gallon Current USA Cardiff AIO nanotank (23"x23"x20"H)
Marineland LED Reef Capable Lighting


Currently I have the tank running regular RODI water to check for leaks and such (it's going to be drained after the leak check until I get a better stand) and make sure the pumps and skimmer are working, but I have a few questions I'd like to ask. In no particular order:


1-I plan on keeping mostly LPS corals, particularly hammers, torches, bubble corals, zoas, and mushrooms. This light should be suitable for those, correct?

2-What filter media should I look into buying? The Cardiff has a protein skimmer, ATO, and sponges, bioballs, and carbon stock with the tank. I will be removing the bioballs as I read they are more trouble than they're worth, and removing the carbon, so I was wondering what the best thing to use for filtration would be? I read Purigen and filter floss is a good combination that a lot of people use. I also plan on purchasing a LED light to grow chaeto in the back filter area.

3-I am looking for a chiller (probably a 1/10 HP one from Craigslist) and was wondering if this would add enough flow to the tank to negate needing to buy a 425 gph Koralia nano. I live in Arizona, so a chiller is a must (tank was a steady 88F all day).

4-About how much live rock/sand should I have? I was thinking 30 pounds of sand for about 2-3 inches deep and 20-30 pounds of LR.

5-Do I need a 100 or 150 watt heater in Arizona with our 100+ degree weather?

6-What other supplies do I need to just set-up and maintain the tank, not including fish maintenance supplies? I know I need: a hydrometer, a thermometer, a saltwater test kit (API Master Liquid Kit), salt (Instant Ocean Reef Crystals), sand and LR, and various other fish supplies like a net and algae magnet.

7-Now onto the fish. My mother is deciding the corals (anything long and flowing like an anemone is what she wants) so it's mostly up to me to get the livestock. I'd like to avoid hermits in the CUC because of their hatred of snails, but would be willing to get maybe a few and a combination of different snail breeds to maintain the walls and sandbed.

CUC (probably from reefcleaners.org):
----Dwarf Cerith Snails x3
----Florida Cerith Snails x3
----Nassarius Vibex Snails x3
----Nerite Snails x3
----Zig Zag Periwinkle Snails x3
----Serpent Starfish
----Emerald Crab
----Assorted Hermits x3 (if I get them) + shells

Fish (in stocking order):
----Green Clown Goby
----Clownfish (probably ocellaris or percula, something tank-bred)
----Bicolor Dottyback
OR
----Firefish (will this fight with the dottyback because of the similar shape if I get both?)
----Yellow-Tailed Damselfish (I know they can be little SOBs, but I really, really, really want a blue and/or yellow fish)

Inverts (not in stocking order):
----Peppermint or Cleaner Shrimp (most likely the former, or both if able)
----Feather Dusters
----Lettuce Sea Slug (I don't think it has an exclusive diet like other slugs, right?)
----Maxi-Mini Anemone (in the far future if possible)
----I saw a shell-less crab in the store that had little fans for claws that would swipe at the water for food. I have no idea what it's name was, and I couldn't find it on Google, but it was adorable and I need to find it because it stole my heart, so hopefully that could go in the tank (the crab, not the heart, I need that still).

8-Last question! If I wanted to add a sump onto this tank, what would that require? I know I can fit a ten gallon under the tank, but I'm not sure how to get water to and from the sump.


If you've made it this far then you deserve an Internet cookie for reading that wall of text. Congratulations! Hopefully some of you will have answers to my burning questions and will help me make this reef tank a beautiful masterpiece. I look forward to learning more about this hobby and sharing my tanks' journey with all.

Also I hope this is the right forum, because if not then that's awfully embarrassing.
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Old 07-12-2012, 02:39 PM   #2
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Hate to be double posting so soon, but oh well.

Bought a chiller, heater, and various other things since Drs Foster and Smith are having that big summer sale, including sand and salt. When that all arrives I'll probably be ready to start the tank cycling.

For now, I still need to know if my lighting is good (Marineland LED Reef Capable Light 18" - 24") and if the stock list seems ok. Those are the important issues I feel.


I know it's a lot of reading, but you don't have to answer everything!
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Old 07-12-2012, 03:08 PM   #3
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The marineland leds i have heard that are not enough light to grow corals!! Dont sure but i think HO T5 or even making your own led fixture with cree xpg whites and cree xpe blues is the way to go!! That is my opinion!!
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Old 07-22-2012, 04:46 PM   #4
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Hey sorry for budding in but im starting a 10 gallon FOWLR and i need to know what kind of lighting to put in there cause as of right now all i have is the standard light which came with the topfin 10 gallon kit thanks much appreciated!
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Old 07-22-2012, 05:03 PM   #5
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T5 are great for reef purpose or if you can build your own led fixture its even better!!!
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zasman21 View Post
Hey sorry for budding in but im starting a 10 gallon FOWLR and i need to know what kind of lighting to put in there cause as of right now all i have is the standard light which came with the topfin 10 gallon kit thanks much appreciated!

From what I know a FOWLR tank doesn't need reef capable lighting, so you might be fine with the standard light. Maybe get a cheap LED light if you want the shimmering effect, but if you don't plan on growing corals or anemones you don't need something really strong.


I read more reviews for the Marineland lights and several saltwater LFS employees have said it's fine for what I want, so I guess I'll be seeing what happens.
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:55 PM   #7
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Yes you are right!!! I didnt read the FOWLR thing!! If you are not gonna have corals then any light is good!!
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Old 08-03-2012, 06:31 PM   #8
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I'm not sure if I need to add to my CUC, so here's what I have so far: an emerald crab, two nerite (turbo? can't remember), one cerith snail, and one or two nassarius snails (one huge one that comes out at night, but I can't find the smaller one so it might be dead).

I'll be adding to my CUC at the LFS since they have tons of various types and always work to make sure I get live critters, but I'm not sure how much more to add. Reefcleaners.com have these huge CUC packs and I'm just unsure about adding 30+ snails all at once. Just seems excessive to me. I also won't be adding more CUC right away, maybe in a few days time.

There's about 30 pounds of Tokota rock so there's tons of surface area. The light is on for about 6-8 hours a day and I have algae sheets to supplement if need be.

Also I'm debating on getting hermits or not. Is there anything a hermit crab can do that my emerald crab or snails cannot?
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:50 PM   #9
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Hey do anyo of you know what kind of coral this is?
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:19 PM   #10
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Can't tell from the pic can you take another
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