First saltwater tank, 40 breeder

KleineVampir

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Hey guys. I'm making this thread mostly to get help, suggestions, and recommendations. Not so much to show off the tank. Hopefully this is the right place for that. I plan to stay on this thread long term as a thread related to this particular tank and all the questions I'll have at various points about various things along the way at all different stages.

I've already ordered the lights, I have the tank...I have an RO machine already just for my freshwater. I do have experience breeding freshwater shrimp and indeed snails as well. So it's not like I have no idea what's going on, but at the same time I get that saltwater is a whole different ball game.

My intentions for the future of the tank is to have a couple clownfish and a shrimp or two, but right now I'm a ways from having that. Also I want to breed clownfish but apparently I'm a good bit further from doing that.

I am a breeder first and foremost, as a hobby and maybe a few extra bucks selling critters sometime down the line. That said I want the tank to look somewhat decent. I also want the tank to work though, so ultimately I'll sacrifice looks if it means the tank will work better.

This endeavor is pretty intensive of basically everything. Time, money, mental resources, and effort. I would greatly appreciate any and all help you guys are willing to give me. Forgive me if I am brutally honest at times...don't get the idea that I'm not being friendly. I just like to get down to brass tacks...and with this, there isn't a lot of room for small talk. There's plenty of real, valuable information to be learned at this time.

Anyways thanks for reading and writing. I'll be posting questions as they come to me on here and of course looking for the responses.
 
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KleineVampir

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I got almost everything ordered already, for better or for worse. I got a HOB filter, a glass top, the T5 light, a special power strip with a timer.... All on the way now. That said I don't even have the stand build for it just yet. Suffice to say there's nothing very fun or pretty to look at right now! Just a bunch of raw lumber and an empty 40 g breeder! It's actually a workbench, so yeah it's utilitarian as opposed to something pretty. It looked really strong and the price was right...turns out you practically have to build the thing yourself but oh well. Once I get the tank somewhere near up and running I'll post pictures.

My question is, temperature controller or no? Also wouldn't mind substrate recommendations.
 

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Sounds like you have a great start. Welcome to the forum.

A temp controller would be a good thing for sure. I personally use my APEX and it is set as a failsafe. My heater does most of the work, but if the tank falls outside of normal parameters my APEX shuts it off in case the heater isn't functioning properly.

I personally like Caribsea Special Grade, it is a mix of larger and smaller pieces. What fish do you want and that will dictate what you need, especially with sifting fish.
 

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Welcome to R2R!!! Ask all the questions you like, we r here to help.

On temp control, heater t-stats r notorious for failing, or being way off, so I would say yes. Also, I believe in redundancy, so I would install 2 smaller heaters vs 1 big heater if space is available.
 
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KleineVampir

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Ok so what I'm getting is that I should get the temp controller. A little expensive but that's ok. If that's what it takes it is what it is.

I'm not looking for a specific recommendation for substrate yet, just a general idea of what I should get. I've heard of sand and crushed coral I guess so far. Somebody said sand is good for keeping ammonia low...but coral is probably better for your KH and your calcium and so forth? This is a clownfish breeding tank so keep that in mind. I may not be able to do it now but I still want to gear the tank for clownfish.
 

Billldg

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Ok so what I'm getting is that I should get the temp controller. A little expensive but that's ok. If that's what it takes it is what it is.

I'm not looking for a specific recommendation for substrate yet, just a general idea of what I should get. I've heard of sand and crushed coral I guess so far. Somebody said sand is good for keeping ammonia low...but coral is probably better for your KH and your calcium and so forth? This is a clownfish breeding tank so keep that in mind. I may not be able to do it now but I still want to gear the tank for clownfish.
Without a sump I would recommend sand and some rock. As stated before I also use Caribsea Special grade. I also use Caribsea liverock and like them both, but I am sure other makes r good as well. The bacteria needs somewhere to populate.

Also, I would look into setting up a copepods breeding setup, somewhere on this forum, forget where, their is a cheap copepod breeding setup that will help. The clownfish fry will only eat copepods and phytoplankton, having to buy them everyday can get expensive.
 
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Alexreefer

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Looks like you are off to a great start. Many people have built stands if the forum so just look or ask around. I personally would rinse the sand before you put it in the tank if you chose sand. Will rid of problems later on. Sand and some rock will help with processing toxic ammonia into nitrite and then nitrate. looks good. Keep up the updates.
 
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KleineVampir

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Without a sump I would recommend sand and some rock. As stated before I also use Caribsea Special grade. I also use Caribsea liverock and like them both, but I am sure other makes r good as well. The bacteria needs somewhere to populate.

Also, I would look into setting up a copepods breeding setup, somewhere on this forum, forget where, their is a cheap copepod breeding setup that will help. The clownfish fry will only eat copepods and phytoplankton, having to buy them everyday can get expensive.
Yeah I suppose I won't need to worry about that for a while but it's good to know.

Seems like everything is set to come together all at once. Everything's in the mail so stuff will show up for the next few days. Then the "stand" will get built, we'll go to the lfs and get substrate and salt and it'll all come together. I assume they have a hydrometer there. I might call them tomorrow to see what they have before I actually go. I try to order some stuff from the lfs just to support it. Usually heavy stuff like substrate and so forth.
 
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KleineVampir

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Well the stand is almost built. It is literally just raw lumber and screws. They just give you the right cuts of lumber, a box of screws, and the instructions...surprisingly crude for something you can actually buy as a private individual. Not only that but I have to get an electrician out here to change how the outlets work. Right now they are only on if the lights are on...it's stupid. Just saying, there's some real work behind this. I'm sure it'll be pretty cool in the end though.

Next stop is to the old local fish store for some odds and ends that I forgot to get online. Salt, the hydrometer, the substrate, and the powerhead.
 
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KleineVampir

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BTW guys...How do I make the water? Just RO water and salt? Or some of that and some conditioned tap water?
 

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BTW guys...How do I make the water? Just RO water and salt? Or some of that and some conditioned tap water?
No tap. Only RODI. Yea just have a brute can full of RODI and a return pump, slowly add salt, measure salinity with a refractometer every few minutes until you hit 1.025. Then test once more before you add to your tank to ensure it’s still 1.025.
 
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KleineVampir

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So it's literally gonna be pure H2O and salt? Or does the salt contain some other minerals as well?
 
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Hemmdog

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So it's literally gonna be pure H2O and salt? Or does the salt contain some other minerals as well?
Full panel of minerals in coral reef waters. Magnesium, potassium, iodine, strontium, iron, calcium, vanadium, gold. Many others but you get the idea.
 
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KleineVampir

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Well once I get the area together...still don't have the electrician out or the stand done; though it's about 90% done...I plan on just filling the tank with straight RO water, then adding the salt. I don't have a 55 gallon barrel laying around and I think I can get away without one. All I have are 2 5 gallon buckets and only one of them is totally clean. So yeah I'm gonna have to fill the 5 gallon bucket 8 times with RO water, which is gonna take forever. Then add salt very carefully since I really would not want to go over. Then I'll add the substrate, and then basically everything else.

But...about cycling the tank. Should I get some snails to help with that? Any good saltwater snails you guys can recommend or should I not have them in with the clownfish?
 

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