Going saltwater for first time need help/build thread.

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an interest in aquariums or fish keeping!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.


Aquarium Advice Activist
Feb 26, 2016
Joaquin, TX
Ok as the title states I am starting a salt water tank and need help and opinions on what I need. I currently have a 45g freshwater and after doing some reading I bought a 40b after reading that it made a great beginner tank for saltwater. I have just about finished the stand so next up is equipment. I do plan on growing easy corals in the future so I want to buy accordingly. So here is what I have so far.
TANK: 40 Breeder
STAND: DIY Wood stand/canopy
What I need.
SKIMMER: looking at eshopps psk-75 hob or reef octopus classic 90 hob
FILTER: aquaclear 70 if needed
LIGHT: led only, looking at either single AI prime hd or hydra 26
POWER HEADS: looking at 2 hydor koralia 425 nano's
ROCK: I like the idea of a sterile start so I was thinking caribsea liferock. How long of a cycle am I looking at if I go this route
SAND: I have no idea here but I want something that is Gobi friendly.
That's all for now, I will get pics of stand build up soon.
40 b is a great size to start out. Everything looks great - maybe a heater for equipment not listed. Have you considered a sump? The cycle will generally take 6- 8 weeks. For sand I love the carib sea arag alive or ocean direct for you- 40 lbs. good luck!
Sorry I knew I would forget something. Heater will probably be a cobalt neo-therm or a simple eheim Jager depending on budget. I have looked at sumps but I just can't budget the extra cost. My local petco had the oceans direct in 2 grades original or oolite which would you recommend?
Well I think either would be fine but perhaps do a little more research to be sure. I think its just different grain size, correct? It depends on what you want- sand sifters or sleepers (wrasses and gobies)? If so than you want to avoid the larger grain sizes.
Did a little research and I think both will work. I think I will probably go with original. Any ideas on the two lights I listed and is the aquaclear worth having for a saltwater tank?
You can grown anything you want under AIs. As for the aqua clear I would ditch it and spend the money towards the skimmer or powerheads.
Get a raw shrimp and tie it into some old panty hose for easy clean up. A cycle lasts as long as it lasts, it can vary but around a month.
I like Caribsea sand myself, but some go the pool filter sand route.
You won't need the aqua clear with the skimmer. I had a psk75 on my old system. Nice skimmer.
I have two of the neotherm heaters in my tank. Keep things at a solid temp. Takes time to warm up though. There is a nice bulkreefsupply video on heaters on YouTube you can watch.
Ok in that case I will go with the reef octopus skimmer and upgrade the nano 425s to the evolution 600s. I plan to use red sea coral pro salt and I am buying the BRS 6 stage ro/di system.What test kits do I need while the tank is FOWLR will the API master test kits do? Sorry for so many questions but I almost got everything handled.
Sorry I didn't see your post sniperhank, so would you recommend the eshopps over the reef octopus? Both seem like they are good quality and I could save $30 with the psk75.
Ok so I said it was going to be a build thread so here we go.20170815_194416.jpgtop and bottom frames done.20170816_123249.jpglegs done, stand will be 33" tall to get the 40breeder up to a good height for viewing but short enough for me to clean easy.20170816_131647.jpgframes and legs together, at this point I realized I over engineered this thing.20170816_185939.jpgplywood is on, 45 degreed each corner so the ply's wouldn't show.
Thanks guys! Been busy with other things so not as much progress as I hoped but here's an update.20170817_132304.jpgcabinet is finished; tank will sit down inside of the top trim so that the black rim is covered.20170825_170525.jpgtop fascia is finished to matched bottom and also cover top rim of tank. My plan is to build an acrylic cover over the top. Equipment will hang on the left and I am going to hang the lights from ceiling. For paint I am going with white and tank will be set up peninsula style with a wall to the left and stairs behind. That's it for now more to come.
Sorry for not posting any updates recently but, I do have everything painted. I hope to get it moved into place tomorrow and I will post pics. All equipment and supplies have been ordered. The only thing I changed was after going back and forth on powerheads I decided to throwdown on 2 vortech mp10s. More to come!
So here is the finished tank and stand.20170904_164735.jpgI will never build anything with inset doors again PIA to hang them straight.
Wow! I am not handy at all and that looks like a professional tank! It's amazing!
Thanks, now I just need to build a wall mounted arm to hold the light above it. I am still debating on putting acrylic on top though.
Top Bottom