First Reef Tank - Need Opinions

djl-reef

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Welcome to my build thread. As my basement gets a remodel I am building an equipment list for my first reef tank that will call it home.

The goal of this thread is to tap into the knowledge and experience of this community to get me headed in the right direction, hopefully I can get some insight into such things as proper lighting so that I don’t have to continually upgrade and waste money and time.

The first item on the list is the aquarium. I definitely want to go with an AIO Cube or near Cube. I love the island-like aquascapes that can be designed with a square footprint.

I am thinking about something between 35 and 50 gallons. The only two I have found is the Waterbox Marine AIO 35 and the IM Fusion Pro 40 AIO.

Red Sea is a bit out of my price range and has a lot of gadgets that I am not yet ready to utilize considering my lack of experience.

Does anyone know of any other quality tanks that match my desire of 35-50g. I’ve yet to find anything near 50g with a AIO cube layout.

The other piece of equipment I am currently researching right now is the light. I need something that will allow me to grow SPS in the top 1/3 of the tank as well as LPS down low. Any ideas? Would the lights that come with the Waterbox and IM tanks work for that?
 

Adept Corals

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Hey and welcome to r2r! Don’t let your lack of experience keep you away from the gadgets. As you progress in the hobby those gadgets make maintenance easier which in turn makes you feel more inclined to have good husbandry. AIO tanks are very convenient but you will soon find it to be a little crowded. Not saying you can’t have a successful tank in one it’s just really nice to have a sump for adaptation with the hobby. A really nice light for the price is the AI prime or the hydra 32 if you want more light. You can also find some of the older models for a fraction of the price if you get lucky enough and the work just as well. I have used them both for 4 years now with great success! Best of luck on the new build!
 
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djl-reef

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Hey and welcome to r2r! Don’t let your lack of experience keep you away from the gadgets. As you progress in the hobby those gadgets make maintenance easier which in turn makes you feel more inclined to have good husbandry. AIO tanks are very convenient but you will soon find it to be a little crowded. Not saying you can’t have a successful tank in one it’s just really nice to have a sump for adaptation with the hobby. A really nice light for the price is the AI prime or the hydra 32 if you want more light. You can also find some of the older models for a fraction of the price if you get lucky enough and the work just as well. I have used them both for 4 years now with great success! Best of luck on the new build!

Thanks! I know I will eventually start adding the gadgets, but I would prefer to ease into it and pick them up as I go. I will not have space for a sump which is why the AIO works for me. I will have to make room for an ATO though, haha.

As for the AI prime light, which model are you referring to? The Prime 16HD Reef? And if so, would I only need one of these for my tank size to grow SPS?
 

Steph1

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Hi djl-reef, My tank is only a 3 month old 16 gallon nano reef, so you will have more room. But I have a few gadgets and an ATO. Have posted some pics

The ATO is shown on the second image in the bottom cupboard
20201025_140916.jpg
20201025_140207 (1).jpg 20201025_140149.jpg
 

KorD

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Speaking from experience. I have had everything from 3 gal AIO tanks to full 130 gal systems.
I fist bought an AIO system because of being new and scared to figure out everything here was to know, and after two months I found myself jumping in head first to a 30 system with sump and more. I relished that the AIO systems have a good place in homes and businesses where space is limited, but nothing beats a full open system to help you understand and grow in this hobby.
 
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MONTANTK

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Checkout the IM 50 lagoon! The 40 is nice but too tall relative to the length and width of the tank. It holds 40 gallons but certainly doesn’t feel like it. The 25 lagoon is also a good size and might even have the same (or bigger) footprint.

The most helpful advice I ever received was spending the money and getting the right equipment the first time. It will save a lot of money in the long run.
 
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djl-reef

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Checkout the IM 50 lagoon! The 40 is nice but too tall relative to the length and width of the tank. It holds 40 gallons but certainly doesn’t feel like it. The 25 lagoon is also a good size and might even have the same (or bigger) footprint.

The most helpful advice I ever received was spending the money and getting the right equipment the first time. It will save a lot of money in the long run.

Thanks for the advice.One of the reasons why I like the cube is because of the height actually. I won’t to be able to grow SPS higher with LPS down low.
 
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djl-reef

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ricordia, favia, scoly, blasto, acan
Ah I understand. What LPS are you looking at keeping?
With regards to lightning. I am a huge fan of the AI Primes. They’re a fair price and super easy to use. On my old tank I got really good growth out of my zoas and blastos

I think I’ll go with an AI hydra32. Hopefully that will work with SPS up top and the LPS deeper in the 17” of water depth
 

MONTANTK

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I think I’ll go with an AI hydra32. Hopefully that will work with SPS up top and the LPS deeper in the 17” of water depth
That should be plenty of light. I had it on my 40 (custom cube) and it was plenty of light. I wasn’t keeping sps so I only had it running at 30%. Probably one of my favorite lights I have owned
 

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