First Reef / Budget Scooter Blenny


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Aug 31, 2023
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Need help specing out a super-budget reef tank that can house a Scooter Blenny (and friends).

So far, taking advantage of the petco sale on aquariums, my shopping list is as follows:
29gal Aqueon aquarium - 39.99
Aqueon QuietFlow 30 - 36.95
Aqueon preset 100W heater - $11.99
API QuickStart 4oz - $8.48
SeaChem Ammonia Alert - 14.99

My understanding is that Scooter Blenny really benefit from a refugium for pod growth, so I am thinking it would make this much more realistic by adding a refugium. I don’t have space for a sump, so does this seem good?
Blue Ocean REF 15 Hang On Refugium - $89.99
+ Eco Chic waterproof refugium light - $82
Osmolator Nano 3152 auto top off - $98
I would light the display tank with Phlizon 165W Dimmable LED (Chinese black box?) - 94.99
With a 20lbs of rock from an LFS, $60 plus some live rock, plus like 20lbs of live sand $27.

Would this tank need a protein skimmer? If so, would the Fluval Sea Mini be sufficient? As for a lid, since so much of this tank is HOB, should I get a mesh terrarium lid and cut it to size?

Setup cost with the Fluval skimmer and terrarium lid plus rocks and sand, ~$610

Before any livestock or refugium starter kit
What could or should I stock in this in addition to a Scooter Blenny and Lawnmower Blenny?
At this point should I just get an actual AIO tank? Thanks for the help, and sorry if this was an incorrect way to post.

Spare time

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I find the scooters will often eat frozen food which is good news for that size tank. A skimmer will help but isn't necessary. I'd prefer a hang on back refugium. For a light, I would consider the noopsyche mini (one or two) for a budget light.

Mixing an (un)intentional concoction: Do you know what you are adding to your reef tank?

  • I am aware of every item that is added to my reef tank.

    Votes: 95 56.9%
  • I know most of the items that are added to my reef tank.

    Votes: 45 26.9%
  • I am somewhat aware of the items that are added to my reef tank.

    Votes: 11 6.6%
  • I follow the directions of others when adding items to my reef tank.

    Votes: 4 2.4%
  • I randomly add items to my reef tank.

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  • Other.

    Votes: 1 0.6%