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Old 02-19-2014, 07:47 PM   #1
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Thinking of starting a SW need some serious help...

So I've been thinking about a SW tank for a few weeks now. but I have some reserves about it. mostly cost.

I do have a spare 40GB that has never ever been used, and I also have a 125G that can be redone.(125 has FW fish in it, but I can divide them between a 55 and the 40GB(once setup)).

any suggestions on which tank to use?

I was thinking a reef setup since I like the idea of live coral, shrimp, a crab or two lol and fish. any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I've tried reading the articles on this forum but all I seem to do is get overwhelmed with soooooooo much information.

If it turns out that the 125 would be better I currently have two AC 110's on it, is that enough?




I've heard and read that SW initial setup can cost an arm and a leg, i know its important to set things up properly the first time... and that is my goal. but i'd love not to empty the bank trying to do it. so any suggestions on cost effective setups would also be wonderful.

thats all i have for questions at the moment but if anything springs to mind i'll throw it on here.

thanks in advance!!
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:10 PM   #2
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Perhaps the 40b would be a better move for you if costs are an issue. There is no doubt about it tho, this is an expensive hobby - you can save a bit here and there but at the end of the day you could end up wasting money on buying lesser quality equipment and having to replace it later. The most effective filtration is going to be a sump (especially if you go with the 125) you will need to invest in a quality skimmer, go for one rated twice your water volume. If you are wanting a reef be prepared to drop some serious cash on lighting and you will also need plenty of flow. Your source water will be the most important part of a successful salt tank so put a ro-di unit on the shopping list too...
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:47 PM   #3
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So if I go with the 40 what kind of filtration am I looking at?

Also, what kind of fish could I do in a 40G reef? Would it allow for fish, shrimp, crabs and maybe some sea anemones?
(I love the way the sway in the water )
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:56 PM   #4
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The sump is your filtration - sorry I should have explained - a sump is a separate tank that sits under your display, you can drill the display tank or use an overflow box to get water down into the sump where you can keep your heater and protein skimmer and possible refugium and then a pump to push it back up.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:59 PM   #5
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A 40 has a really good footprint for a reef - check out live aquaria for fish selection and competitively it is a great reference. Clown fish are of course a good selection but there are many other fish that could work in a reef. Ou will still need power heads in the display for water movement and as mentioned above some serious lighting particularly if you wish to keep anemones. Just a warning tho, you can't keep anemones in a new system as they are very delicate creatures. Most recommend waiting 8 - 12 months before attempting to keep these.
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:02 PM   #6
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There are a lot of corals that look like anemones but are a lot easier to keep in a newer tank and that won't move around.
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:00 PM   #7
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Ok so i may go with the 40GB for a reef setup. sounds a little easier to me.

if i go with the 40 would a 20G Long be enough for a "sump"? and if it is, how would i go about setting it up if i don't want to drill into the glass?
in an earlier post on this thread someone mentioned an overflow, is that what i can setup without drilling?


i love anemones and if i have to wait 8 months to add one i will. but can i keep crabs and shrimp with fish in a 40 or is it too small?

if i'm going for a reef i would like diversity.

**Edit** - I'm sure i can find a PH small enough to fit in the 40 so i'll shop around for that.
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:37 PM   #8
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The primary source of filtration in a reef is the live rock. While sumps / refugiums are a huge help, they aren't necessary. For flow in the dt you want to look at 10x - 40x the tank volume in flow hourly. You will also need a Ro/Di system.
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:53 PM   #9
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The primary source of filtration in a reef is the live rock. While sumps / refugiums are a huge help, they aren't necessary. For flow in the dt you want to look at 10x - 40x the tank volume in flow hourly. You will also need a Ro/Di system.
so i could skip the need for a sump and just pick up the power head that'll move 10 x 40G per hour?? now i'm confused lol
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Old 02-20-2014, 01:15 PM   #10
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With the 40 breeder you could get away with no sump.
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