First Saltwater Build Ever

King Kronos

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Hi All,

This is my first-ever post on any kind of forum like this. I am working on my fish list for my very first build. I have been given a 100-gallon 60Lx18Wx20H tank along with a Filstar XP L canister for filtration. I have done some extensive research and believe I should be good to get started and will upgrade to a sump when finances will allow. I have purchased a RODI system, Caribsea Hawaiin Black Live Sand, 20lbs of Caribsea Live Rock, and have some natural limestone rock to complete my aquascape. I plan to cycle using Dr. Tims One and Only, Microbacter XLM, and two snowflake clowns as suggested here: .

My eventual fish list over the first year is as follows in this order

2x Black Snowflake Clownfish
1x Yellow Tang
1x Lawnmower Blenny
2x Scott Fairy Wrasse
4x Pajama Cardinals
1x Purple Firefish

Are there any glaring holes that I am missing to get started? I believe all these fish to be compatible and recognize I might eventually have to trade/sell/give away my yellow tang as it approaches adulthood.

Thanks for all your help!
 
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CMMorgan

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Welcome to the fishy family!!! We're glad that you are here. I vote for more live rock and something besides that black sand. Also... keep an eye on the firefish... they jump. They also get into the overflow.
Best of luck. We are here if you need us!!
big eyes fish GIF
 
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Jekyl

GSP is the devil and clowns are bad pets
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Welcome! Would recommend about 80lbs more rock and maybe ditching the canister filter. I've never used one but I hear they can be an issue.

Edit: didn't notice the limestone part of having rock. Not sure if this will work that well. Most limestone isn't as porous as the rock commonly used.
 
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King Kronos

King Kronos

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Welcome to the fishy family!!! We're glad that you are here. I vote for more live rock and something besides that black sand. Also... keep an eye on the firefish... they jump. They also get into the overflow.
Best of luck. We are here if you need us!!
big eyes fish GIF
Thanks. I know the fiji pink was probably the best beginner option but I want/need the wife invested and she really liked the black. Definitely want more live rock but budget was depleted after all the other equipment while saving some back for the 2 snowflakes. Can I add more later?
 
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King Kronos

King Kronos

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Welcome! Would recommend about 80lbs more rock and maybe ditching the canister filter. I've never used one but I hear they can be an issue.
I will eventually ditch the canister when budget allows and I plan to add more live rock then too.
 

CMMorgan

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Thanks. I know the fiji pink was probably the best beginner option but I want/need the wife invested and she really liked the black. Definitely want more live rock but budget was depleted after all the other equipment while saving some back for the 2 snowflakes. Can I add more later?
Just be aware that the black is magnetic. It has been known to leach metals. This may not be for every bag and every customer - there are some successful tanks with black sand out there. I can speak from personal experience that it is way up on the list of biggest mistakes I made starting out. My tank looked like heck, the sand kept sticking to my magnets and it actually looks nasty covered in detritus. I did switch to Fiji Pink and it honestly looked so much better and my tank is very stable with it. I would not call Fiji Pink beginner sand.... it's more "lived and learned" sand.
Yes, you can add live rock later. Just remember that the think that really does the heavy lifting in your tank is the bio filter.... not the canister. The canister is mechanical. Sure, you can add ceramics or bioballs to the canister but you are not building your biofilter army if you rinse those off when you are cleaning the canister.
This is a marathon, not a race... better to have good filtration and a stable tank than pricy fish. The pretties will come with patience. Relax, enjoy... this is a marathon, not a race.

PS The kids are adorable. Bonus - Just young and impressionable enough to be taught to clean filter socks when you get the sump.
 
AS

Jekyl

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Just be aware that the black is magnetic. It has been known to leach metals. This may not be for every bag and every customer - there are some successful tanks with black sand out there. I can speak from personal experience that it is way up on the list of biggest mistakes I made starting out. My tank looked like heck, the sand kept sticking to my magnets and it actually looks nasty covered in detritus. I did switch to Fiji Pink and it honestly looked so much better and my tank is very stable with it. I would not call Fiji Pink beginner sand.... it's more "lived and learned" sand.
Yes, you can add live rock later. Just remember that the think that really does the heavy lifting in your tank is the bio filter.... not the canister. The canister is mechanical. Sure, you can add ceramics or bioballs to the canister but you are not building your biofilter army if you rinse those off when you are cleaning the canister.
This is a marathon, not a race... better to have good filtration and a stable tank than pricy fish. The pretties will come with patience. Relax, enjoy... this is a marathon, not a race.

PS The kids are adorable. Bonus - Just young and impressionable enough to be taught to clean filter socks when you get the sump.
Preach
 
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King Kronos

King Kronos

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Just be aware that the black is magnetic. It has been known to leach metals. This may not be for every bag and every customer - there are some successful tanks with black sand out there. I can speak from personal experience that it is way up on the list of biggest mistakes I made starting out. My tank looked like heck, the sand kept sticking to my magnets and it actually looks nasty covered in detritus. I did switch to Fiji Pink and it honestly looked so much better and my tank is very stable with it. I would not call Fiji Pink beginner sand.... it's more "lived and learned" sand.
Yes, you can add live rock later. Just remember that the think that really does the heavy lifting in your tank is the bio filter.... not the canister. The canister is mechanical. Sure, you can add ceramics or bioballs to the canister but you are not building your biofilter army if you rinse those off when you are cleaning the canister.
This is a marathon, not a race... better to have good filtration and a stable tank than pricy fish. The pretties will come with patience. Relax, enjoy... this is a marathon, not a race.

PS The kids are adorable. Bonus - Just young and impressionable enough to be taught to clean filter socks when you get the sump.
Great info! I definitely believe in the marathon everything I've researched said nothing good happens fast in a reef tank. I will rethink the black and plan for that sump ASAP.
 

Dark_Knightt

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Yes but I want to have a successful fowlr tank for about a year before making that jump.
Great choice for tank size, 100g + is the best for beginners because it leaves room for mistakes. I went with a 20g at the beginning of quarantine, and its hard to find any algae eating fish for small tanks.
 

PBnJOnWheat

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Hi All,

This is my first-ever post on any kind of forum like this. I am working on my fish list for my very first build. I have been given a 100-gallon 60Lx18Wx20H tank along with a Filstar XP L canister for filtration. I have done some extensive research and believe I should be good to get started and will upgrade to a sump when finances will allow. I have purchased a RODI system, Caribsea Hawaiin Black Live Sand, 20lbs of Caribsea Live Rock, and have some natural limestone rock to complete my aquascape. I plan to cycle using Dr. Tims One and Only, Microbacter XLM, and two snowflake clowns as suggested here: .

My eventual fish list over the first year is as follows in this order

2x Black Snowflake Clownfish
1x Yellow Tang
1x Lawnmower Blenny
2x Scott Fairy Wrasse
4x Pajama Cardinals
1x Purple Firefish

Are there any glaring holes that I am missing to get started? I believe all these fish to be compatible and recognize I might eventually have to trade/sell/give away my yellow tang as it approaches adulthood.

Thanks for all your help!
Looks awesome! Hopefully it starts off nice and easy
 

Imaexpat2

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I dont know that I would cycle my tank with two Clownfish...at least not with 2 Black Snow Flake designer Clowns.

The Black Sand, more commonly referred to as Tahitian Moon IIRC, is black volcanic sand and will give you no buffering properties what so ever not that, thats a big deal to you. It will do everything else though that Fiji Pink would have done. It is often Magnetic...in that if you drop your Cleaning magnet into it or get your magnet too close to the substrate it will pick it up and possibly scratch your glass, so be advised.

It does however make for a very striking display in the tank with the contrast it provides. You will need to vacuum it often and more thoroughly than you would other substrates as it will show dirtritis something fierce! Unlike the lighter colored substrates it wont reflect much light back in your tank and to the undersides of corals very well. But I do love the look no doubt!!!
 
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King Kronos

King Kronos

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I dont know that I would cycle my tank with two Clownfish...at least not with 2 Black Snow Flake designer Clowns.

The Black Sand, more commonly referred to as Tahitian Moon IIRC, is black volcanic sand and will give you no buffering properties what so ever not that, thats a big deal to you. It will do everything else though that Fiji Pink would have done. It is often Magnetic...in that if you drop your Cleaning magnet into it or get your magnet too close to the substrate it will pick it up and possibly scratch your glass, so be advised.

It does however make for a very striking display in the tank with the contrast it provides. You will need to vacuum it often and more thoroughly than you would other substrates as it will show dirtritis something fierce! Unlike the lighter colored substrates it wont reflect much light back in your tank and to the undersides of corals very well. But I do love the look no doubt!!!
I'm not familiar with "buffering properties" what does that provide?
 

Imaexpat2

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Well the theory is that sand which is made of coral skeletons and shells and there fore contains calcium and a few other minerals will help "buffer" the water and result in a more stabile Ph, Alk etc...levels as they slowly disolve over an extended time in your tanks water. There are studies both for and against this theory being great enough to be of significants which is why I refer to it as a theory vice fact!

Since it is volcanic ash for all intents and purposes and will adhere to your magnet, it will likely have some iron in it as well as silca and a few other things which are frowned upon in the serious reef keeping community. I have had several tanks set up with this when I got into the hobby and never found it to be an issue other than sticking to the cleaning magnet. If you have an Acrylic tank I wouldnt use it though as this scratches much easier than glass!!! Just a suggestion...
 
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King Kronos

King Kronos

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Well the theory is that sand which is made of coral skeletons and shells and there fore contains calcium and a few other minerals will help "buffer" the water and result in a more stabile Ph, Alk etc...levels as they slowly disolve over an extended time in your tanks water. There are studies both for and against this theory being great enough to be of significants which is why I refer to it as a theory vice fact!

Since it is volcanic ash for all intents and purposes and will adhere to your magnet, it will likely have some iron in it as well as silca and a few other things which are frowned upon in the serious reef keeping community. I have had several tanks set up with this when I got into the hobby and never found it to be an issue other than sticking to the cleaning magnet. If you have an Acrylic tank I wouldnt use it though as this scratches much easier than glass!!! Just a suggestion...
Thanks for the info. Will definitely take this into consideration.
 

the_cros

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Welcome to R2R. Looks like you’re already getting great advice (as always).

You may want to two different fairy wrasse. This article (if I liked it right) has a great chart for aggression, tank size, and mixing of fairy wrasse. I believe people typically only have one fairy per family which also includes two of the same fish.

 
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King Kronos

King Kronos

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Welcome to R2R. Looks like you’re already getting great advice (as always).

You may want to two different fairy wrasse. This article (if I liked it right) has a great chart for aggression, tank size, and mixing of fairy wrasse. I believe people typically only have one fairy per family which also includes two of the same fish.

Ok this is way more detailed than what I found and also contradicts what I found lol. Best would probably be to just do one and be safe. As a first time saltwater I'd rather be safe and successful than lose fish and get frustrated.
 
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