Fluval flex 32g - my first reef tank

marcwjj

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Hey fellow reefers, first off - thank you all for helping out on my numerous questions on setting up the tank. And I've been reading and learning a ton from the posts on this site, so far everything's going all right, so posting an update on my first reef tank.

The tank is a Fluval flex 32g for freshwater where I kept some cherry shrimps and guppies, I've converted it the a marine tank by adding an additional Fluval Marine 3.0 LED , updated return pump and kept the original LED and the stock foam filters. It's now cycled for 2 weeks.

Here's a lowdown of the stuff in the tank (most stuff ordered from saltwateraquarium.com):
  • 15 lbs of live rocks + 10 lbs of shelf rocks from KP aquatics, the rocks were shipped under water by UPS overnight, came with tons of lifes and hitchhikers, I've posted more details here
  • 20 lbs of Caribsea Arag-alive special grade sand from petco
  • Fluval Marine 3.0 LED + fluval Aquasky LED (stock from the fluval flex 32 freshwater kit)
  • Sicce return pump 251 gph
  • Tunze 9001 protein skimmer (haven't put in use yet - still undecided if it's useful)
  • Fritz RPM redline salt
  • 2 eflux power heads (1050 gph)
  • Old heater that I was using in freshwater tank
  • biomax, stock carbon, chemipure elite and purigen in the form filters
For other beginners like me, a few lessons learnt:
  • Setting up a QT tank is actually really easy (and relatively cheap), I got a tank kit from Petco and followed the procedure here, you can also do the QT while the main tank is being cycled since the QT can take 2-4 weeks
  • I had no idea the eflux power head needs a controller hub to operate, make sure you get the full kit
  • I was planning to add fish and CUC before I add sands, everyone told me that's a bad idea :)
  • There's a facebook group for Fluval 32g reef tank owners , there are bunch of useful info, such as LED setting or intank media filters
  • Make sure you get help ID the hitchhikers if you get live rocks - I'm glad I'm separating out some 'bad' critters (see below)

Next steps and questions:
  • Wait until the first batch of fish to go through QT and stock more (on my wish list: yellow watchman goby + pistol shrimp, 2 black & white clowns, azure damsel)
  • Question: should I use protein skimmer? or put some chaeto in a media basket? or both?
  • Getting some CUC next week from reefcleaners (I've read mixed suggestions whether to QT the CUC, my plan is to take some small risks and just drop them in DT while it's still fishless)
  • Any suggestions on a begineer friendly first coral or anemone that goes along with clowns?
Thanks all!

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Got a 10g Aqueon tank kit from Petco and setup a QT tank, now there are 2 Bangai cardinalfish and a Royal gramma in there, going through a 14-day Coppersafe treatment. They refused to eat, until I tossed in some frozen mysis :). I've been following the procedures from @Brew12 's post , pretty easy to follow.
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Some hitchhikers from the live rocks that I kept separately outside the main tank (a eunicid worm (bobbit worm??) and gorilla crabs, and a (maybe) horse conch:
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marcwjj

marcwjj

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Update: new corals in the tank!

I was chatting with @j.register3 when he showed me some nice looking green-tip torch corals, so I made up my mind to get one over the last weekend. However my LFS didn't carry the same type of torch, so we ended up getting an ultra frogspawn coral and 2-head duncan coral. Both of them look healthy and happy so far.

The best thing out of this is my wife started to show interest into the tank since she picked the coral from the LFS and now she get an asset in it , :p

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marcwjj

marcwjj

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Update on new fishes, I think I’m fully stocked at this point.

e tank has cycled well thanks to the live rocks, I’ve since added the following fish and they all seem to be doing great, in this order:

- Royal gramma: first inhabitant, QTed for 2 weeks
- 2 Banggai Cardinal: one of them had rotten fins or nipped fins upon arrival (I didn’t check carefully at the LFS, my bad), treated with copper and maracyn 2 in QT and now they are both healthy
- 2 clownfish, one common and one Darwin black, very small and cute
- a yellow watchman goby + red banded pistol shrimp : they have not paired yet, living in 2 separate caves..
- Mandarin green goby: I will be honest, this was an impulse purchase, I knew they are hard to feed and risk of starving in small tank, but they are beautiful to watch. I’m feeding baby brine shrimps, freezedried cyclops and will add live copepods soon.

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ReefingCanuk

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Looking great! I've got the same tank, been a struggle at times, mechanically, but I'm finally satisfied. Water flow and wave making was a challenge, but I just got the AI Nero 3 and it is great. Now time to let things settle and grow.

DSC_1068~2.JPG
 
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marcwjj

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Looking great! I've got the same tank, been a struggle at times, mechanically, but I'm finally satisfied. Water flow and wave making was a challenge, but I just got the AI Nero 3 and it is great. Now time to let things settle and grow.

DSC_1068~2.JPG

Your tank looks amazing!! It somehow looks much larger than a 32g and I would love to have the (rose?) bubble tip anemone soon.

how long have you had the tank and when did you introduce anemones? What is the nem / coral on the sand bed in the center of the tank?

I've recently upgraded to using Jebao dcp2500 and intank baskets and the waterflow has been significantly improved (as I can see the filter floss being dirty in just a few days)
 

ReefingCanuk

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Thanks! I waited about month after putting in my first coral before I put the RBTA in, I wanted to make sure everything was stable. I'm waiting for it to be really happy where it is before I start locking down everything. I'm hoping the clowns will host it one day. I think the one in the middle is a Candy Cane. It was a freebie on an order and now is a show piece, clown goby has claimed it as his own!

DSC_1065~3.JPG
 
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marcwjj

marcwjj

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Thanks! I waited about month after putting in my first coral before I put the RBTA in, I wanted to make sure everything was stable. I'm waiting for it to be really happy where it is before I start locking down everything. I'm hoping the clowns will host it one day. I think the one in the middle is a Candy Cane. It was a freebie on an order and now is a show piece, clown goby has claimed it as his own!

DSC_1065~3.JPG

Super cool! I'm more hopeful that I can succeed with a BTA then. I only have 4 LPS in the tank right now so there's (hopefully) plenty of room for the nem to settle down. None of my fish are claiming any corals yet, I wish they do :)
 

cLoWDy

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Hey guys!!!

Tanks look great!
I too started my first reef tank with the Fluval Flex 32.5! love the look of the tank and been doing a tone of research on mods for it. still cycling but also planning on the Duncan and Maybe some mushrooms with a few Clowns to start. Im new to R2R but have been using it to answer all my questions. I've noticed there is not much out there regarding these FLuval AIO's so ill try to keep everyone up to date as well. So far the equipment ive added :

- Second Fluval 3.0 marine light.
- Filter media baskets.
- Two MP10qd power heads.

pics to come soon as im done cycling!
 

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