29g SW Tank Plan

Erin O

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Hey all! I'm going to post my plan and I'd be grateful if you would let me know your thoughts.
I'm planning on switching my 29g from freshwater to saltwater. I plan on using live rock and live sand. For filtration, I plan on using a Tidal 55 (maybe a 75; I haven't decided on that). I'm looking at powerheads, but I haven't figured out which one to get yet. I'm trying to decide on a refugium, as well. I plan on getting an ATO so I don't have too much evaporation. I have read that a refractometer is the best way to keep tabs on salinity, so I'll be getting one of those. If you have an opinion on which test kit I should get, let me know. I know that cycling my tank will take some time and, just like with FW, testing the water is key.
As far a stocking, I'd like to get a goby/shrimp combo, a hermit crab or 2, a snail or 2, and, of course, a clown (the clown is a must; my 6 year old demands it lol). I'm not sure if my tank size will allow all of this, so please feel free to share other stocking ideas.
So that's my plan. Please let me know of any changes I should make. I appreciate your help :)
 
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Sailfin11

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It sounds like you have a good plan! I would consider doing a sump though. I also have a 29-gallon nano and currently run a 10-gallon sump underneath. In the long run, you'll appreciate not seeing heaters, skimmers, etc. in your display. You could go with a siphon type overflow or drill the tank (not that hard, just find a good video to help). For powerheads, I would highly the Rossmont powerheads for their affordable price and 3-year warranty (here's a link: https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/mover-m900-powerhead-2-pack-900-gph-rossmont.html).

A pair of clowns, goby/shrimp pair, an orchid dottyback, azure damsel, and some Bangaii cardinals would look great in your tank! Good luck with the new build!
 

BeejReef

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Great plan. Keep the 6yo happy! Might as well get a second clown for the 2yo as well or there could be heck to pay.
Sounds like a reasonable stocking level to me.

What kind of corals do you want to have? The DC powerheads have really come down in price. A lot of them can be programmed or set for more random flow. Mine also turn down low when the lights go out. Can't comment on reliability yet. Jebao rw series, so far ok if you keep them clean. If you want a pair you can count on for 7 years... they cost.

I favor red sea and salifert, but just my opinion. Unless you care deeply about .02 phosphate, I'd save my money and pass on the digital checker. Knee-jerk, I say sump too, but there is some value to having all the cords and water out of reach to little kids.
 
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Erin O

Erin O

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I do have an extra 10g lying around that I may be able to turn into a sump, but I don't know that I have the space for it. That's why I was thinking the Tidal. It has a built in skimmer (not sure that it's the same as a protein skimmer; that's on my list of things to look up), and I am able to control the out flow. Thank you for the powerhead suggestions! I'll add them to my list. Is there a certain GPH I should stay under for my tank size? Oh, and about the sump, I think I remember reading that part of the sump can be used as a refugium. Is that the case? If so, how do you get your algae to grow? Do you keep a light on your sump? Also, where do you keep your sump?

As far as corals, I haven't gotten that far into them yet because I've read that they should only go into a well established tank. I figure that it will be 6 months to a year after I get my tank started before I can start adding corals. Is that correct? Either way, I am open to any suggestions you have! If I find any that I like during my reading, I'll be sure to post them here and ask if they will be happy in my tank.

Well, I'm off to find out more about sumps. Thank you :)
 
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BeejReef

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Many of the DC powerheads are adjustable flow, so that's a bonus. Figure 30g, you want somewhere between 10x and 30x turnover per hour, depending on whether you will ultimately have softies and lps or sps.... so 300 to almost 1,000 gallons per hour. Ofc, you can divide that by two if you'll have two powerheads. Also, no harm in going bigger and just running them a little slower.

Yeah, in a sump, you'd put a horticultural-type light down there for the algae. In smaller setups, sump usually goes in the stand below the tank, but people put them behind walls, in basements... That's a good thought, waiting 6 mo's or a year to add corals. You could count yourself as one of the most patient and disciplined. IMHO, for easier corals, if you can hold yourself to waiting 3 mo's post cycle, you're doing pretty well. Just add slow and steady.
 
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Erin O

Erin O

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I decided to run to my lfs today. I just remembered that the guy that runs the place is a huge SW fan. I wanted to see what they had as far as powerheads, LR, fish, everything that we have discussed on this thread. I figured it would give me a nice break from looking everything up on my computer lol. He was telling me that some of the "Live Rock" is man-made and put in the ocean to become live rock. He said that it's just as safe as true LR. Do you have an opinion as to whether this is fish and invert safe? Will it make a difference in how I keep my tank if I get the man-made stuff instead of the true LR? Also, heaters. I forgot all about heaters! Right now, I have an Aqueon Adjustable Pro Heater. Should I get a different kind?

While I was at the lfs, I was able to look at my possible stocking. I've decided to get as much color as I can in the tank. We already know that I'll have orange and white from the clowns. I was thinking the yellow watchman goby with a candy cane pistol shrimp. Would I be able to get away with adding a blue or purple fish? I know that @Sailfin11 suggested an orchid dottyback or an azure damsel. Would either of these fish work with my stocking plan?
I know, I'm getting ahead of myself when it comes to fish. I know it'll be a while before I'm to the point that I can add them. But it's fun to look lol :)
 
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Erin O

Erin O

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Sorry for the double post, but I have some questions about QT. Can I use media from my established tank in the QT filter for an "instant" cycle? I know that I will still have to monitor for ammonia, nitrates and nitrites, among other things. I have read that fish should be QT'd anywhere from 2 weeks to 8 weeks. How long should they be QT'd? Should I QT my inverts, which will be the first critters in my DT?
 

sfin52

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I would stay away from the dotty back they can be aggressive. If you like the color a royal Gramma is a lot more peaceful.
Live rock that comes from the ocean wether man made or not has a chance of good and bad hitchhikers.
 
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Erin O

Erin O

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I would stay away from the dotty back they can be aggressive. If you like the color a royal Gramma is a lot more peaceful.
Live rock that comes from the ocean wether man made or not has a chance of good and bad hitchhikers.
Royal Gramma are beautiful! Thank you for suggesting them. I had also been looking a chromis of some sort as a possibility. As far as the live rock, I had read that I would have to scrub and rinse it before I add it, so hopefully I will limit the likelihood of anything bad getting into my tank. What about live sand? Do I have the same risk of hitchhikers?
 

sfin52

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No live s
Royal Gramma are beautiful! Thank you for suggesting them. I had also been looking a chromis of some sort as a possibility. As far as the live rock, I had read that I would have to scrub and rinse it before I add it, so hopefully I will limit the likelihood of anything bad getting into my tank. What about live sand? Do I have the same risk of hitchhikers?
No you don't have to worry about hitchhikers.
It's just my opinion but lr comes with loads of beneficial organisms. That out weighs the bad that may come.
 

Mastiffsrule

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Hi,

Check out the new to salt water forum for lots of help


 
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Erin O

Erin O

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Hi,

Check out the new to salt water forum for lots of help


Thanks! I've been reading those posts most of the day, today. They've been very helpful :)
 
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Erin O

Erin O

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Anyone have any thoughts on my heater situation? To recap, I've got the Aqueon Pro Adjustable heater right now. Should I switch to a different one? Also, should I be QTing my my shrimp, snails and hermit crabs now, since they have to be in there for such a long time?
 

Sailfin11

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Any heater will work, but you don't want to rely on the heater's internal thermostat. It is better to buy an external controller that is less likely to fail. Most new reefers start out with an Inkbird controller (here's a link) I have never QTd inverts, so I wouldn't worry about that.
 
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Sailfin11

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I would get a bag of hth Sand from Ace Hardware. At $10 for a 50lb bag, I think its a pretty sweet deal. When I first started, I got the Caribsea sand, but in retrospect, I realize it was a bit of a rip-off. Don't worry about any plants for now. Most of the ornamental algaes aren't too great for nutrient removal.
 

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For a heater: Eheim Jager is a reliable brand that I have seen used in countless tanks. Easy to adjust, reasonably priced and keeps a constant temp. (Plus, it’s German. Who doesn’t love some German engineering?)

Personally, I used dry rock (no cleaning necessary) and live sand. Corals and fish can be added as soon as your tank is stable, (add fish first to establish your bio load). I have a 28g, check out my build thread for ideas on stocking.
 
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Erin O

Erin O

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For a heater: Eheim Jager is a reliable brand that I have seen used in countless tanks. Easy to adjust, reasonably priced and keeps a constant temp. (Plus, it’s German. Who doesn’t love some German engineering?)

Personally, I used dry rock (no cleaning necessary) and live sand. Corals and fish can be added as soon as your tank is stable, (add fish first to establish your bio load). I have a 28g, check out my build thread for ideas on stocking.
You have a beautiful tank! Thank you for the heater suggestion. Did you add any bacteria to help your cycle along, since you had dry rock? If so, what kind? I hope my tank looks as good as yours after 10 months :)
 

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