First Reef Tank - Fluval Flex 32.5 Gallon Build

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AirIck

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I'm new to the hobby and have the same tank, Fluval Flex 32.5. I'm trying to do as much research and would like to know more about the return pump that came with this tank vs sicca syncra 1.5 that some have upgraded to. I apologize in advance for being a noob, but is the return of 357 (sicca) vs the fluval (214) really needed? Also, I would like to mention that I plan on purchasing the vortech mp10wQD. I also have the ps1 skimmer so that extra room by the pump is now taken up by the skimmer (have not run the skimmer as of yet). Any advice on whether or not to upgrade the return pump, and knowledge on what that means and recommendations for what it should be would be greatly appreciated!!!!
 
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cLoWDy

cLoWDy

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I'm new to the hobby and have the same tank, Fluval Flex 32.5. I'm trying to do as much research and would like to know more about the return pump that came with this tank vs sicca syncra 1.5 that some have upgraded to. I apologize in advance for being a noob, but is the return of 357 (sicca) vs the fluval (214) really needed? Also, I would like to mention that I plan on purchasing the vortech mp10wQD. I also have the ps1 skimmer so that extra room by the pump is now taken up by the skimmer (have not run the skimmer as of yet). Any advice on whether or not to upgrade the return pump, and knowledge on what that means and recommendations for what it should be would be greatly appreciated!!!!
Its not "needed" but I highly suggest it! Personally i would upgrade it. i also have 2 mp10's running at 40% and i dont feel there is too much flow at all...
 

SamT

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My light setting was pretty high when I first started and I did some research once I ordered the 2nd Fluval Marine 3.0 42w light. These lights don’t get enough credit in my opinion... when doing the research it was seeming that two lights would be a “must” to keep nice Coral but I’ve got anemones and mushrooms atm and with two lights I’ve turned them down and run this cycle with both!
FB10547F-90CA-4EF6-971D-976631C1650F.jpeg

I hope this helps!! I’m no expert just research and feedback... also since turning my lights down I have less detritus and my anemones are much more full and open!!
Here’s a look at the second light installed:
image.jpg
Do you have a link to the 2nd light you bought. I have the same tank and after reading your posts I want to get one. I’d like to get the one that fits to the hood. Thank you
 

AirIck

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***Upgrade***
Installing this today!
04BF64E9-9CDF-4919-A395-E15852BE0ECC.jpeg

Thank You @802ScubaFish for the help and recommendation on adding the return pump! Link below!

Did you need an adapter to attach this to the stock tube or is the sizing a perfect fit and will twist right on? I'm thinking of upgrading but I am unsure if this is the issue, or if the flow from the foam media baskets is, thoughts? I ordered 1 MP10QD that is arriving Tuesday!
 

DStecz

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Do you have a link to the 2nd light you bought. I have the same tank and after reading your posts I want to get one. I’d like to get the one that fits to the hood. Thank you

Be aware that you do also have to purchase the power adaptor separately as well
 

Lsuhunter

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Did you need an adapter to attach this to the stock tube or is the sizing a perfect fit and will twist right on? I'm thinking of upgrading but I am unsure if this is the issue, or if the flow from the foam media baskets is, thoughts? I ordered 1 MP10QD that is arriving Tuesday!
You don’t need an adapter of any kind for the syncra 1.5. Just push the stock tube on to the pump
 

AirIck

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thanks! I think I will make this purchase based on the feedback from these posts. very helpful!

Next question, the Intake Media Chambers vs the Foam that was stock, what is the pros/cons? I tried doing my research of the Intake Media chambers but the only reviews I could find was from the seller themselves and I did not know if this was biased reviews or not. I'm brand new to this hobby so I have absolutely no experience with the Foam or the chambers. Do the chambers increase the performance of the tank tremendously or is this just personal preference of cleaning/maintenance etc. Also, the Intake website claims it lowers the temperature due to water flow, but I saw some other posts saying there was no temperature difference Any advice if I should upgrade this as well being new to the hobby or is it for more experienced reefers?
 
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DStecz

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Next question, the Intake Media Chambers vs the Foam that was stock, what is the pros/cons?
The stock filters are literally just a block of foam. They don't really trap and debris and if they did it just becomes a nitrate factory then. They also impede water flow over time. By switching to the intank baskets your have the ability to add more appropriate filter media for saltwater, as well as include filter floss on the top to trap particles that can be tossed out every few days. I haven't seen a difference in temperature, but it definitely improves water flow rate through the filter
 

AirIck

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The stock filters are literally just a block of foam. They don't really trap and debris and if they did it just becomes a nitrate factory then. They also impede water flow over time. By switching to the intank baskets your have the ability to add more appropriate filter media for saltwater, as well as include filter floss on the top to trap particles that can be tossed out every few days. I haven't seen a difference in temperature, but it definitely improves water flow rate through the filter
Thanks! My tank has only been up and running for 4 weeks and I added my first fish. Would you recommend I wait to change to the Intank baskets or change it immediately or is there really no adverse affects of cycling a new tank by changing from foam to the intake baskets? I'm ready to purchase if there is no adverse affects of cycling!
 

DStecz

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Thanks! My tank has only been up and running for 4 weeks and I added my first fish. Would you recommend I wait to change to the Intank baskets or change it immediately or is there really no adverse affects of cycling a new tank by changing from foam to the intake baskets? I'm ready to purchase if there is no adverse affects of cycling!
I would suggest replacing only one at a time, so as not to crash your cycle....
 

AirIck

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I would suggest replacing only one at a time, so as not to crash your cycle....
Did you have to cut the vents? I saw another thread post on the Intake Media baskets where the water level was too low in the middle chamber and people were cutting the plastic vent to create flow. I'm really not trying to do anything like that as this is my very first tank and I do not want to mess up and cause irreparable damage. Here is the thread where multiple people were claiming to have to do this for reference: https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/fluval-32-5-marine-flex-crash-course.714317/
 
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cLoWDy

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Did you have to cut the vents? I saw another thread post on the Intake Media baskets where the water level was too low in the middle chamber and people were cutting the plastic vent to create flow. I'm really not trying to do anything like that as this is my very first tank and I do not want to mess up and cause irreparable damage. Here is the thread where multiple people were claiming to have to do this for reference: https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/fluval-32-5-marine-flex-crash-course.714317/
No need to cut anything at all! Just be sure to use the “flow directors” when adding the inTank media baskets so it directs the flow in a more organized fashion! The are long black plastic pieces that come with the baskets and just slide in to make a tighter fit! The look like black plastic rulers...
 
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marcwjj

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Ive read that some agree a UV will be almost as effective as a Skimmer. It also has to do with your bio load. if you have a lot of fish, or if your having pH problems then i would recommend the skimmer for both bio load and oxygenating the water. im not too familiar with UV but i just purchased one as i recent got a fish/invert containing ich and im going to use the UV for treatment purposes. But, i can tell you that skimmer has worked wonders for me and im consistently cleaning some pretty nasty stuff out of it every 3 days or so. However, if your not having any issues then i would go with the "if its not broken dont fix it" train of thought. sounds like your doing good and consistency is always key so keep it up!!


I do feel like the combination of the inTank Baskets (upgrade) and the Return Pump (upgrade) are an absolute MUST. the inTank Baskets come with the "flow Directors" as said before and REALLY make and improvement on flow and filtration!!

That's interesting, either I didn't install my skimmer correctly (it'a a tunze nano in the middle back chamber) or my tank is too clean , lol, but I rarely see stuff in the skimmer box. I suspect that most things are being absorbed by filter pads on both sides and by purigen / chemipure in the lower part of the media baskets.

The other possibility is my live rocks came with lots of detritivores like spaghetti and bristle worms so maybe they are doing their work.

Anyway - I've been taking the skimmer off for the past 2 weeks - so far it seems all right.
 

AirIck

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Hello, I'm a noob here! My tank has been running for about a month now and I have been researching when to change out the media. I have a question that may seem dumb for experienced hobbyists, but I want to make sure I do not destroy my newly cycled tank when the time comes. The packaging for the media says do not replace all media at the same time. Does this mean that I only replace 1 chamber at a time OR do I replace the carbon on both sides, then wait, and at another point in time replace the biomax for both?

and thanks to the advice on this thread I purchased the Intank Media baskets!
 
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