35g bow front reef tank build thread


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Feb 24, 2014
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Southern California
Hi all!

This is my fourth saltwater aquarium. About 13 years ago I had a 60 gallon FOWLR, then about 4 years ago I had a 43gallon FOWLR (and anemone) that I upgraded to a 60gallon. Ended up able to keep a gray faced moray with clownfish and bubble tip for about 2 years. I took a break from the hobby as I was too busy to maintain but recently jumped back in and I am trying the reef route this time. Here’s my build.

I picked up a 35 gallon tank off of a guy on Craigslist. It came with live sand, dead rock, and the filtration. Guy set it up and ran it 2 weeks before quitting. I opted for using the IKEA Kallax shelf for the stand. I added some stoppers to the front, earthquake strapping and bracing in the back. It seems to hold the tank quite well.

I picked it up with the following equipment:

1. Macro Aqua M50 Nano HOB Skimmer-

apparently quite cheap, but it’s working great s as be super quiet. Probably the quietist skimmer I’ve owned.

2. Penguin Biowheel 350.

Also quiet, running carbon, poly filter and nitrazorb (likely will pull this soon).

3. Power head soon to be upgraded to a wave maker.

4. For now I am using a reef grade light by Nicrew. I’m actually very happy with this Amazon light. It has two channels. Blue and white and I run blues morning and night until I go to bed with both going during midday. It has a 30 minute ramp up and ramp down time and my anemone and frogspawn seem to like it.


I have 2 Percula clowns. One is quite shy but hoping he gets more comfortable, I also have a gold head sand goby.

As for inverts I have standard CUC hermits, snails and also added a pincushion urchin, cleaner shrimp and sand sifting starfish.


Red and green Zoas.
Not a coral but will list here: bubble tip anenome

I also added three pieces of live rock from an established tank to my dead rock assortment.

I’m dosing bionic and iodine right now and testing a couple times a week. Parameters have been great.

So far things are going well. Tank is still new about two months old. Hoping to keep things going.

Any advice or comments appreciated!

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Mega Meltdown After Sale

What is your most favorite type of reef tank?

  • SPS dominated

    Votes: 125 22.4%
  • LPS dominated

    Votes: 33 5.9%
  • Soft Coral dominated

    Votes: 16 2.9%
  • Zoa dominated

    Votes: 13 2.3%
  • Mixed Reef

    Votes: 351 62.8%
  • Fish focused

    Votes: 10 1.8%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 11 2.0%

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A Reef Creation