Hi everyone. I am setting up a new aquarium that I intend to turn into a reef tank. I wanted to describe the setup a little bit and get some ideas/feedback.
The tank is a 40 gallon column (about 18" by 20", 27" tall). I have read that doing reef stuff in a vertically-oriented tank can be an extra challenge, but the space in the house the tank occupies was very limited. This shape gave us the largest volume we could reasonable fit in the smallest floorspace. I added a mix of live aragonite, dead aragonite and some white marine sand. I thought the marine sand would help add some light reflectivity, but if I had to do it over again, I probably would leave it out. The particles were so small that it left my tank pretty cloudy, even after massive rinsing. It seems to have all settled down now. The sand is about 2.5-3.5 inches deep.
I currently have a Marineland Emperor 400 HOB
filter. It should be turning over the entire tank about 10 times an hour. Maybe somewhere down the road I'll think about moving toward a sump based system, but I'm going to see how the HOB
does for now. I've read suggestions of removing biowheels I also added an oscillating powerhead pump for some additional circulation, and may add another if it seems necessary.
We bought about 45 lb. of live rock a couple days ago. Fixed it together with marine epoxy and some support pegs. That process was trickier than i first imagined! We got it arranged as we wanted it in our tank -- bunch of little crevices and mini-caves for future inhabitants. Tried to make some shelves at various heights, particularly higher up (to account for the depth of the tank).
For lighting, I ordered a couple of Marineland LED
fixtures online that I know now I'll need to send back. After some research, I realized that these are just not going to cut it for coral growth, particularly since the tank is deeper. Because of the way the tank is situated, the lighting needs to go across the 18" wide side. Right now I'm thinking of buying a 20" four-lamp T5 system. Currently I have jury-rigged a fixture with IKEA Dioder color-adjustable LEDs, which i like so much that I'll probably stick them on whatever T5 rig I buy.
Here's the current water stats. These were taken 3 days after salt was added, 2 days after sand, and 1 day after live rock.
Temp 78 'F
So now I'm watching and waiting. Would appreciate hearing from anyone who's done a similar setup, or any general tips or suggestions for the notice aquarist.