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Old 06-21-2012, 12:36 AM   #1
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Question Im looking into setting up a 30 gal reef and fish tank

Hi everyone. Im looking into setting up a 30 gal reef and fish tank but Im new to the saltwater aquarium, I have only ever dealt with freshwater. I have been doing a lot of reading throughout these forums, as well as others but wanted to see if you can all help me answer some of the more specific questions I have. My first question is what type of lighting you prefer for your tank, T5, LED, mix of both? any recommendations on brand? I plan on having a mix of LPS and SPS corals as well as an Anenome and possibly others. (i want a bright colorful reef look) I was also wondering, because its on the smaller end, would you recommend a sump? I know i can get away without having one, and i like the idea of being able to put everything like the heater and whatnot in the sump so its not in the tank, and this brings me into part two of this question, for a tank so small, would you recommend a protein skimmer? This is really what makes me lean towards using a sump is if its recommended to still have a protein skimmer. I also plan on having live rock and live sand as my primary filtration, what else would you recommend? and my last question, for a 30 gal tank, what kind of powerhead/wavemaker would you recommend for the the mix of corals i listed above? Sorry to bombard you with a bunch of questions, i want to start getting this tank set up within the next 6-8 months and want to be as prepared as possible, especially with the equipment. Thanks in advance!

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Old 06-21-2012, 01:17 AM   #2
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For sps,anemone your gonna want either a 4 bulb t5 ho or LEDS. I have a 30 gallon reef with just softies and lps. I have no sump or protein skimmer, I have one marine land penguin 350,and 150 filter along with a power head. It works great and conditions stay constant.
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:50 AM   #3
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Bigben: how did you hide te filter intake tubes and heater?
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:05 AM   #4
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Heater can be easy put behind the live rock, mines too long but in the penguin 350 theirs enough room to put it. As for the intake tubes I was going to try to hide them, but realized they don't really bother me, but you can buy enough live rock and build it up to cover the intakes.
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobbieHadley
Hi everyone. Im looking into setting up a 30 gal reef and fish tank but Im new to the saltwater aquarium, I have only ever dealt with freshwater. I have been doing a lot of reading throughout these forums, as well as others but wanted to see if you can all help me answer some of the more specific questions I have. My first question is what type of lighting you prefer for your tank, T5, LED, mix of both? any recommendations on brand? I plan on having a mix of LPS and SPS corals as well as an Anenome and possibly others. (i want a bright colorful reef look) I was also wondering, because its on the smaller end, would you recommend a sump? I know i can get away without having one, and i like the idea of being able to put everything like the heater and whatnot in the sump so its not in the tank, and this brings me into part two of this question, for a tank so small, would you recommend a protein skimmer? This is really what makes me lean towards using a sump is if its recommended to still have a protein skimmer. I also plan on having live rock and live sand as my primary filtration, what else would you recommend? and my last question, for a 30 gal tank, what kind of powerhead/wavemaker would you recommend for the the mix of corals i listed above? Sorry to bombard you with a bunch of questions, i want to start getting this tank set up within the next 6-8 months and want to be as prepared as possible, especially with the equipment. Thanks in advance!
I have kept a few tanks this size and currently have a 29g mixed reef. I highly recommend a sump and skimmer. Water quality and light are everything to sps. Sump is no problem for this tank. A 20g long would probably work perfect for it.

As for lighting i highly recommend Leds. If you decide on T5's then honestly you need a 6 bulb to grow the harder sps well like acros. You would get bet growth and color with more bulb options as far as combinations. Leds will save you money. Maybe not at initial purchase but over time.

How much are you looking to invest in certain equipment? I can suggest things all day but not really helping you if i dont know your price range.
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:26 AM   #6
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yea i could probably build the live rock up to hide intakes, that would work and could get a submersible heater to help hide behind the rocks as well. whats the rate on your power head?
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:31 AM   #7
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yea i could probably build the live rock up to hide intakes, that would work and could get a submersible heater to help hide behind the rocks as well. whats the rate on your power head?
My power heads only 200gph,but I have low flow coral. the two filter produce an additional 500gph of flow. The flow pretty decent.
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:36 AM   #8
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I have kept a few tanks this size and currently have a 29g mixed reef. I highly recommend a sump and skimmer. Water quality and light are everything to sps. Sump is no problem for this tank. A 20g long would probably work perfect for it.

As for lighting i highly recommend Leds. If you decide on T5's then honestly you need a 6 bulb to grow the harder sps well like acros. You would get bet growth and color with more bulb options as far as combinations. Leds will save you money. Maybe not at initial purchase but over time.

How much are you looking to invest in certain equipment? I can suggest things all day but not really helping you if i dont know your price range.
Cost isnt too big a deal for me, Im willing to spend more if it means that I can have a healthy, vibrant tank that I will be able to enjoy for many years. You mention that I would get better growth and color with a combo of bulb options, Im assuming you are talking about a T5 in that situation, what benefits does LEDs bring into the picture? I hear everyone say they are better cost wise in the long run, like you mentioned, but what will it bring that a T5 wont in your opinion?
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:38 AM   #9
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If you have t5 lighting you have to replace the bulbs every 6mo. So if you have 6 bulbs @ 20 each that's 120+ every six months that you dont have to worry about with LED. LEds are also much brighter.
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:43 AM   #10
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My power heads only 200gph,but I have low flow coral. the two filter produce an additional 500gph of flow. The flow pretty decent.
200gph would be good like how you took into consideration the flow from your filters, i never would have thought of that. If i dont do a sump then having a filter or two is the way i plan on going. I think to start off with i may do without the sump even and as i learn and grow with my tank maybe set up a sump at that point. I will take into consideration still of using a protein skimmer eventually as well, maybe just do a H.O.T skimmer.
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:47 AM   #11
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If you have t5 lighting you have to replace the bulbs every 6mo. So if you have 6 bulbs @ 20 each that's 120+ every six months that you dont have to worry about with LED. LEds are also much brighter.
I assume then that LED should bring all the qualities such as growth and color as well that the T5's do? I say that cost isnt too big an issue haha but I mean more as a set up, i would prefer not to have to spend 120+ every six months that gets way to expensive considering all the other maintenance that is involved, and the stocking of the tank haha
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:49 AM   #12
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My power heads only 200gph,but I have low flow coral. the two filter produce an additional 500gph of flow. The flow pretty decent.
Also what brand power head do you use? Ive heard a lot about the Hydor Koralia series throughout this forum, have you had any experience with them?
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:55 AM   #13
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Yes that brand I have read also is good. I have never used it though. Mine is a zoomed power-sweeper. I just bought it because its head moves back and fourth and thought it was cool lol. The LED will bring the color of the corals out for sure.
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:09 AM   #14
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Yes that brand I have read also is good. I have never used it though. Mine is a zoomed power-sweeper. I just bought it because its head moves back and fourth and thought it was cool lol. The LED will bring the color of the corals out for sure.
I have looked at Sweepers before for my freshwater, i just never actually made the plunge because I never really had a use for it as my plants are fake (my tetras would pick at the live plants when i did have them) and i have to agree, the fact that it does rotate is pretty cool, and can see the additional benefit in one as well. How did you do your placement. is it higher or more toward the middle? only reason i ask is ive seen some that have placed them about half way down the tank, where as most do place them more at the top
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:20 AM   #15
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Mines is near the top not all the way up but close and its in the back corner and turned so it get the whole tank.
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:36 AM   #16
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Mines is near the top not all the way up but close and its in the back corner and turned so it get the whole tank.
I really love that idea. How long has your tank been set up for?
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:43 AM   #17
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It been about 7.5 months.
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:01 AM   #18
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And your corals seem to do alright with the way you have your current? I only ask because I've never seen someone do it the way you have and I really like the idea haha
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:06 AM   #19
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Everything has done great. I have Xenia, leather, Zoa, yellow star polyps,mushroom,hammer,some kind of brain,candy cane.
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:18 AM   #20
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That's good because you have a lot of the corals I want so it's definitely reassuring knowing that they do well in your setup seeing as how I want to take some of ideas and put them into my tank
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