Brand new reefer here with lots of questions!

Weasel1960

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Welcome to R2R, glad your looking into everything instead of just jumping (that’s what I’m doing also). I am also toying with the canister thought. @vetteguy53081 is right about the extra maintenance and from what I have been reading if you don’t dedicate to it bad things will happen but then again the same holds true for all systems to different degrees. Good luck with your build, you may want to also check out other BRS and Tidal Garden videos on YouTube. LiveAquaria does a good job of describing husbandry and compatibility for livestock including corals.
 
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CMMorgan

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Yeah that's what I've heard, though besides a sump which I'm wary of, I'm leaning towards a canister because I need to make sure my tank is cat-proof and I could keep the filter in the stand cabinet. I'd like to do either 10% water changes weekly or 20% every two weeks and clean the filter when I do those, would that be enough to keep ammonia down?
Depends on your bioload. I ran a canister for the first year. Ultimately, I jumped to a sump. Consider this hobby to be something that grows along with your knowledge and experience. The longer you soak yourself in salt, the more you will venture into trying new ways of doing things.
Welcome to the salty family!!
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coalman

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Welcome to R2R, glad your looking into everything instead of just jumping (that’s what I’m doing also). I am also toying with the canister thought. @vetteguy53081 is right about the extra maintenance and from what I have been reading if you don’t dedicate to it bad things will happen but then again the same holds true for all systems to different degrees. Good luck with your build, you may want to also check out other BRS and Tidal Garden videos on YouTube. LiveAquaria does a good job of describing husbandry and compatibility for livestock including corals.
I definitely want to get a good understanding of everything I’m getting into before I end up with a tank full of water and no next steps! Good luck with your tank also! I’ve been watching a lot of BRS but I haven’t heard of the other two, I’ll check them out! Thank you!
 
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Depends on your bioload. I ran a canister for the first year. Ultimately, I jumped to a sump. Consider this hobby to be something that grows along with your knowledge and experience. The longer you soak yourself in salt, the more you will venture into trying new ways of doing things.
Welcome to the salty family!!
Bill Nye GIF
That makes sense, If I can get away with it I might have a bioload on the heavier side because there’s a lot of stuff I want, but I want to make sure I’m doing it safely. Was it difficult transitioning from a canister to a sump? I’m worried once the tank is established and I want a sump after all I would have to take it down to drill for the plumbing. I definitely have a lot to learn but I’m loving it so far!
 

Salty Rambler

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Welcome to R2R! Sounds like you might be able to ultimately fit 5-7 fish in the tank, and your preferred fish seem fine. The challenge is having the patience to slowly introduce them to the tank, i.e., add one or two, and then have patience and let the bacteria in the tank adapt to the new bioload before you add more.
 
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Welcome to R2R! Sounds like you might be able to ultimately fit 5-7 fish in the tank, and your preferred fish seem fine. The challenge is having the patience to slowly introduce them to the tank, i.e., add one or two, and then have patience and let the bacteria in the tank adapt to the new bioload before you add more.
I think you’re supposed to add the shyest first, correct? I will just have to figure out what to do about quarantining new fish before I add them, this will be my only tank but I may be able to find space for a 10g in the basement temporarily.
 

CMMorgan

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That makes sense, If I can get away with it I might have a bioload on the heavier side because there’s a lot of stuff I want, but I want to make sure I’m doing it safely. Was it difficult transitioning from a canister to a sump? I’m worried once the tank is established and I want a sump after all I would have to take it down to drill for the plumbing. I definitely have a lot to learn but I’m loving it so far!
Honestly, I would not go back to a canister. If you have the option of doing a sump now ... do a sump now. The cat will learn to stay out of it. I did not have a high bioload and I cleaned my canister about 3 times a month. I was running a (terrible - do not buy one) Seaclone HOB protein skimmer with that tank. Honestly, I knew nothing when I started but I grew, I asked questions and I got smarter.
If you are even considering a sump - do it now.
 

Salty Rambler

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I think you’re supposed to add the shyest first, correct? I will just have to figure out what to do about quarantining new fish before I add them, this will be my only tank but I may be able to find space for a 10g in the basement temporarily.
That's the general consensus. However, you'll note that even though clownfish are not the most passive fish, they are often the first added to the tank as they are extremely hardy, and therefore more forgiving of beginner mistakes.
 

BiggestE222

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I think a HOB skimmer. Shallow sand bed and live rock would be a good start. The lighting is up to you as there are many solid lights for such a tank. I would not even consider a canister filter.
 

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I agree with the others re: sump. If you can do it, do it up front. Will make it easier to establish stability. Only place I run a canister is on my turtle tank... need a lot of mechanical filtration there!
Re: quarantine of fish. You can do it yourself, or pay a little bit more and get pre quarantined fish from reputable dealers. There are several out there that you can purchase fish from.
Regardless, as others have mentioned, you will need to go slow and be patient. Don't do what I did and follow the advice of the LFS and introduce 10 fish at once and hope it works out...
(BTW: It didn't! Ich and fallow for 80 days, oh and a new UV to boot!)
 

Benjammin

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Welcome aboard!
I like your fish choices. As others have said add slowly and least to most aggressive.
I use my canister filter as a temporary add on while cleaning. I have an all in one tank and it is challenging to make room and then when I clean it all the finicky parts are at the back and hard to get to. Totally getting a sump on my next tank.
Also, consider a clean up crew (also ad slowly).
 

gbroadbridge

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Dont stress about using a canister filter

lots of derogatary terms are thown about like nitrate factories.

Soft corals and LPS corals need nitrate and small amounts of phosphate

Work with what you have, and don't try to create a magical paradise by adding external influence .

Top up Alk and Ca as needed Based on consumption .

do not play with others unless you can test before dosing
 
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Quite a few replies since I last checked in, thank you all! I'm going to try to reply to multiple people in one post so hopefully this works.

Honestly, I would not go back to a canister. If you have the option of doing a sump now ... do a sump now. The cat will learn to stay out of it. I did not have a high bioload and I cleaned my canister about 3 times a month. I was running a (terrible - do not buy one) Seaclone HOB protein skimmer with that tank. Honestly, I knew nothing when I started but I grew, I asked questions and I got smarter.
If you are even considering a sump - do it now.
I was trying to avoid doing a sump as this is my first intro to saltwater, however everything I've been reading and multiple replies here have shown me it is probably going to be easiest in the long run. After doing some research it doesn't look too bad, and I'm now trying to find a local company to drill my tank for me and I'm looking into sump kits or pre-made sumps.

That's the general consensus. However, you'll note that even though clownfish are not the most passive fish, they are often the first added to the tank as they are extremely hardy, and therefore more forgiving of beginner mistakes.
I'm definitely going to do clowns first, my LFS also recommended to add around 8 snails at that time to start my CUC, and I plan to go from there. I need to iron out my stocking list so I'm going to do that before I start adding stuff. I'd like to find a reef safe wrasse also because I've heard they are good with pests, but I know they can be trouble makers.

I agree with the others re: sump. If you can do it, do it up front. Will make it easier to establish stability. Only place I run a canister is on my turtle tank... need a lot of mechanical filtration there!
Re: quarantine of fish. You can do it yourself, or pay a little bit more and get pre quarantined fish from reputable dealers. There are several out there that you can purchase fish from.
Regardless, as others have mentioned, you will need to go slow and be patient. Don't do what I did and follow the advice of the LFS and introduce 10 fish at once and hope it works out...
(BTW: It didn't! Ich and fallow for 80 days, oh and a new UV to boot!)
Yeah sump is definitely the move it seems, just going to take a bit more planning but I am feeling good about it now. Quarantine is something I may just worry about later. I'm going to try to stock with captive bred as much as possible so I may look into seeing if a LFS quarantines already or if they offer it as a service.

Welcome aboard!
I like your fish choices. As others have said add slowly and least to most aggressive.
I use my canister filter as a temporary add on while cleaning. I have an all in one tank and it is challenging to make room and then when I clean it all the finicky parts are at the back and hard to get to. Totally getting a sump on my next tank.
Also, consider a clean up crew (also ad slowly).
Thank you! I want to go with classic and tried and true species. I know I want hermits on my CUC but I know they hunt snails. I may get them eventually once I know they will be safe. I also can't resist a cleaner shrimp, I just need to see if I can have more than one in a 40 breeder or if one is my limit.

Dont stress about using a canister filter

lots of derogatary terms are thown about like nitrate factories.

Soft corals and LPS corals need nitrate and small amounts of phosphate

Work with what you have, and don't try to create a magical paradise by adding external influence .

Top up Alk and Ca as needed Based on consumption .

do not play with others unless you can test before dosing
Thank you for the advice! I know corals are going to be one of the last things I add, months into having everything up and running. I have done a little research and BRS has some good videos on dosing for them. I plan to get a good test kit but I've heard mixed things about some like the API kits not being accurate. I'm going to try to take things slow and only add the next step when I feel comfortable with where I am at.

Thank you all again! I apologize if I missed anyone's response in this reply, but I definitely read it! I fear I am researching myself into a hole so I am kind of using this as a way to write out my thoughts, however I am going to be starting a build thread as soon as I get things going on this new sump direction. I can't thank you all enough for your advice!
 

lukefish

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Welcome!

I did like you. I researched and researched and then guess what... did more research. It was probably a good thing but can also be overwhelming and sometimes contradictory. I remember going into the LFS for the first time after making the leap to finally begin this journey and I basically froze! I had reams of information buzzing through my head - what to do, what not to do , different techniques of cycling / stocking / future-proofing...etc. I was pretty confused.

Find a source of information you trust and give it a go. I think I’ve cracked the reefing formula. It’s taken a while but it goes:

Trial + Error + Patience = happy tank

I jest, but patience is a big thing here. You’ll see from my build thread that I have very little. I’m now dealing with a Dino outbreak.

Anyway....

The consensus on your replies seems to be to plan ahead and buy the upgraded equipment sooner rather than later (budget permitting)

eg I used stock Fluval lights on my evo and paid a fair bit for a controller for it; only to upgrade the lights to the AI Prime. I should have just got the AI in the first place. I saw you mentioned it earlier and would highly recommend.

You’ve come to the right place for help and advice. There are so many safe pairs of hands on this forum that I’ve trusted with my tank and their wisdom is invaluable.

Enjoy the journey and let us know how it goes!!
 
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coalman

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Welcome!

I did like you. I researched and researched and then guess what... did more research. It was probably a good thing but can also be overwhelming and sometimes contradictory. I remember going into the LFS for the first time after making the leap to finally begin this journey and I basically froze! I had reams of information buzzing through my head - what to do, what not to do , different techniques of cycling / stocking / future-proofing...etc. I was pretty confused.

Find a source of information you trust and give it a go. I think I’ve cracked the reefing formula. It’s taken a while but it goes:

Trial + Error + Patience = happy tank

I jest, but patience is a big thing here. You’ll see from my build thread that I have very little. I’m now dealing with a Dino outbreak.

Anyway....

The consensus on your replies seems to be to plan ahead and buy the upgraded equipment sooner rather than later (budget permitting)

eg I used stock Fluval lights on my evo and paid a fair bit for a controller for it; only to upgrade the lights to the AI Prime. I should have just got the AI in the first place. I saw you mentioned it earlier and would highly recommend.

You’ve come to the right place for help and advice. There are so many safe pairs of hands on this forum that I’ve trusted with my tank and their wisdom is invaluable.

Enjoy the journey and let us know how it goes!!
Thank you for the advice! I will definitely consider the AI primes more, they look very nice and may be the way to go if I can find room in the budget for them.
Since posting here I’ve already had questions answered that I couldn’t get elsewhere and I am extremely thankful for it.
 

thewire

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Hey everyone! I am finally living my dream of getting a reef tank and I'm hoping to get it set up when I move in the next month. I've been doing crazy amounts of research and trying to absorb everything I can, watching the BRS 52 weeks and their 5 minute guides. I picked up a 40 breeder at Petco on sale and a stand at my LFS along with a glass hinged lid. Since then I've hit a wall of information overload, trying to figure out what filtration and lights are right for me.

I'm thinking of going with a canister filter, but I can't decide between a Fluval 407, FX4 or FX6, or an Oase Biomaster, either 600 or 800. In the five minutes before deciding to make this post I was also considering going with a pre-made or DIY sump, however that would mean drilling and plumbing my tank and would add even more to the setup.

For lights my LFS recommended the Fluval 3.0 marine led, but I've also looked into AI Primes, though that would be double the cost of the Fluval lights. I have lots of options and everything I find contradicts something else :/

Of course this is only the beginning, and I'm trying to figure out what kind of corals and fish I can get for my tank as well. My LFS said I would be limited to four or five fish with my size, but I was wondering if upping the filtration or going with a sump would allow me to add a few more along with some corals.

If anyone has any advice on this or if these questions would be better suited for the new-to-salt forum please let me know! Regardless, I am very excited to finally join the reefing community!
If I were you, I will skip the canister filter and straight to HOB and powerhead. Canister is a ***** to maintain. Get something like Seachem Tidal 55 or good ol Aquaclear HOB! :)
As for lighting, I will go for something else.

Why not go smaller tank? Get a IM Fusion 10 or 20? You can have 1 AI prime for $150 used and don't need any HOB or powerhead (for 10)
 

Uncle99

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HOB require frequent cleaning so if you are going to use, get something that’s very easy to keep clean, otherwise, canisters can become, counterproductive to it function, exporting waste.
I used the Aquaclear 110 on my 65g for 4 years, and bought 3 sponges so they could be changed frequently in a minute or two.

You really don’t need lights at the start, fish don’t need them and use, fuels the ugly stages, so I get it, you’ll want to see your fish, just use very sparing, the less, the better in terms of both intensity and length of time off.

If your on a budget, have a look at the Nicrew Hypereef 100, it’s a two puck system in the correct spectrum and of sufficient intensity to grow anything up to SPS. Nothing fancy, needs a simple on/off timer.

Get your rock now and put it in a bucket with saltwater and a bottle of bacteria, some flow, that will prepare your rock so when you finish moving, drop in wet, cycled rock, add water and sand and your ready to go.

Good luck and Welcome to R2R.

This is a 65g at 3 years maturity with an HOB and 2 OW-25 Jebao wavemakers, an ATO, and a Coralife Skimmer.
It had nine fish.
The 40 is too small for tangs, but there are other great combinations.
D1DF25A2-C2E7-43BD-B2EC-EBC3F36C098A.jpeg
 
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