Looking for an upgrade ( Need Advice )

JJSins

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I am fairly new to this whole salt water hobby but am wanting to find myself a perfect permeant tank to keep growing over the years. But after wanting an upgrade and started to do my research I have gotten myself caught up in what tank to buy, what light to use, what protein skimmer to get, and etc. All of these tanks, I'm wanting to run a Mixed reef but sps dominant.
Here is some of the stuff I am pretty interested in:

20 Gallon Waterbox cube ( AIO ) : I am wanting a bigger tank but the simplicity of this tank and how many people make YouTube videos on how they run this tank makes it so much easier for knowing how to set it up and what different skimmers and lighting to use.

35.1 Marine x waterbox ( with sump ) : This is a pretty decent size tank for my liking but this is where it gets complicated. To me a Sump is pretty nice but I have no clue on what to get for lighting, skimmers, and anything else needed for this tank for a decent price, not wanting to drop an arm and a leg ( and yes I know this hobby isn't cheap ) . For the lighting I'm looking into the Ai hydra 32, but Don't know what protein skimmer to get.

60.2 Marine x Waterbox ( With sump ) : Pretty Much my top size tank for a while, The only Problem I have with this tank isn't only the price but the lighting. I want to run one ai hydra 32 because of the money per light but since I'm going to have a sps dominant idk if that will work good. Then I also have no clue on what skimmer to get.

These are the tanks I am interested in but have no clue on what lighting to get, and what would be the best for price overall. I do like the look of a cube and like it to be full of corals. Would really appreciate any help from way more experienced reefers than myself.
 
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PeterC99

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Welcome to R2R!

The recommendation is get as large an aquarium as you feel comfortable. I started with a 34g and 5 months later upgraded to a 90g. Will save yourself a lot of money if you can pick the right size aquarium on the first go round.

13759444-3566-45E3-850B-18568344392D.gif
 
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JJSins

JJSins

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Welcome to R2R!

The recommendation is get as large an aquarium as you feel comfortable. I started with a 34g and 5 months later upgraded to a 90g. Will save yourself a lot of money if you can pick the right size aquarium on the first go round.

13759444-3566-45E3-850B-18568344392D.gif
Could I Run 1 ai hydra 32 on a 60.1 g cube for an sps dominant tank ?
 

jassermd

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Welcome to R2R!
I agree PeterC99… If it were me, I’d go as big as the space and budget allow. I have a 280g and it wasn’t long before I was adding a 20g frag tank for more space. If you’re wanting SPS dominant, the larger tank and sump will go a long way for you. More volume, more filtration, and easier to maintain stability for an SPS tank.
Re: AI32. Yes, you can easily use that for a WB 60.2. The AI 32 does well in 24x24 and can handle the output necessary for SPS. There are several BRS videos on YouTube you can reference for the light setting for both SPS and LPS. Here’s one of the links: I currently run all AI lights and couldn’t be any happier.
Hope this helps.
 
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JJSins

JJSins

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Welcome to R2R!
I agree PeterC99… If it were me, I’d go as big as the space and budget allow. I have a 280g and it wasn’t long before I was adding a 20g frag tank for more space. If you’re wanting SPS dominant, the larger tank and sump will go a long way for you. More volume, more filtration, and easier to maintain stability for an SPS tank.
Re: AI32. Yes, you can easily use that for a WB 60.2. The AI 32 does well in 24x24 and can handle the output necessary for SPS. There are several BRS videos on YouTube you can reference for the light setting for both SPS and LPS. Here’s one of the links: I currently run all AI lights and couldn’t be any happier.
Hope this helps.
Thank you so much this really helped, but I was just watching that video and he said for a 24x24 fully dominated sps with amazing growth he would recommend a 64 but the waterbox 60.1 is 23.6”x19.7”x19.7” and if im not wrong its a 40 g display and 20g sump which equals 60, so would you personally recommend a 32HD for this tank ?
 

jassermd

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I would. If you’re worried about the amount of light, then the 64 may be the better way to go. Only a couple bucks more and give you some extra flexibility.
My bet is that the 32 will do just fine for that tank at the higher settings. You may not get full high intensity throughout, but you also mentioned that it was SPS dominant, so you can use the edges and lower parts of the tank for your LPS. Keep in mind, lighting will depend on your rock scape, height of light, water quality, etc…
I’d spend my money on lights before anything else. Other than water quality, they are the life blood for your reef.
 
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JJSins

JJSins

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I would. If you’re worried about the amount of light, then the 64 may be the better way to go. Only a couple bucks more and give you some extra flexibility.
My bet is that the 32 will do just fine for that tank at the higher settings. You may not get full high intensity throughout, but you also mentioned that it was SPS dominant, so you can use the edges and lower parts of the tank for your LPS. Keep in mind, lighting will depend on your rock scape, height of light, water quality, etc…
I’d spend my money on lights before anything else. Other than water quality, they are the life blood for your reef.
now if i went for a 35.1 g the 32HD would thrive a sps dominant thought the whole tank right ?
 

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It will be easier to get stability with the larger volume. The cost of equipment (skimmer/heaters/pumps) between the 35 and 60 will be marginal.

If you can fit and afford the 60 I would go that way. Getting another 32HD if you find you need it will ultimately be a small monetary upgrade. Heck, just grab two used 26HD... assuming you're focused on AI lights.
 
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It will be easier to get stability with the larger volume. The cost of equipment (skimmer/heaters/pumps) between the 35 and 60 will be marginal.

If you can fit and afford the 60 I would go that way. Getting another 32HD if you find you need it will ultimately be a small monetary upgrade. Heck, just grab two used 26HD... assuming you're focused on AI lights.
would (2) 26HDs have full high intensity throughout the entire tank for SPS dominant ?
 
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Beau_B

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I would think so, but you’re going to find reefers who want to add T5 to that or want only Radion, or a bunch of other things.

I’m not a high end SPS or full dominant guy so can’t say for sure, but 2x 26HD on a 24x20 really ought to get you there. Technically a single Prime will light that area for mixed.

Search around for build threads with similar tanks and see what they’re running.
 
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I would think so, but you’re going to find reefers who want to add T5 to that or want only Radion, or a bunch of other things.

I’m not a high end SPS or full dominant guy so can’t say for sure, but 2x 26HD on a 24x20 really ought to get you there. Technically a single Prime will light that area for mixed.

Search around for build threads with similar tanks and see what they’re running.
Now would a 32HD be good for a 18x18x18 that gets 200+ PAR throughout the entire tank for the perfect amount of light for an sps dominant ?
 

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The AI 32 HD is rated at 24” by 24” coverage which should be fine for that tank. Water box recommends the AI 16 HD but I would go with the AI 32 if it is in your budget.
 
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The AI 32 HD is rated at 24” by 24” coverage which should be fine for that tank. Water box recommends the AI 16 HD but I would go with the AI 32 if it is in your budget.
The 60.2 is measured at ( 23.6"×19.7"×19.7" ) which is not fully 24x24 just my only problem is knowing 100% that if I have a sps dominant tank that it will have the right amount of light throughout the entire tank to ensure amazing growth. Do you think it will be enough ?
 

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Some SPS like more light…. Like most acropora. Other SPS are fine with less light. I have the older generation of AI lights… 3 48s and 3 24s on a 72 x 36 x
27. I find that acropora seem to do fine pretty near everywhere.

LED lights have uneven lighting… hot spots underneath and low spots at the margins. What I find more bothersome is the light is very directional causing shading on the coral from itself. It is worse in some places and with some corals. It is mainly pronounced at the edges of the tank. Lighting can be made more even by adding lights and not increasing intensity by dialing them down. By placing corals right, you can avoid most of this. The only corals that will pose a challenge will be acropora. Other SPS should be fine pretty near anywhere if the lighting is set right.

You can use the uneven lighting to your advantage. Place new frags to acclimate deep and on the margins until they adjust and move them in and up for more light.

The AI lights are nice because they have multiple light channels which allow you to adjust intensity by channel and time of day for the kind of lighting you want.

The AI 32 is even more than water box suggests for your system so you should do just fine.
 
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JJSins

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Some SPS like more light…. Like most acropora. Other SPS are fine with less light. I have the older generation of AI lights… 3 48s and 3 24s on a 72 x 36 x
27. I find that acropora seem to do fine pretty near everywhere.

LED lights have uneven lighting… hot spots underneath and low spots at the margins. What I find more bothersome is the light is very directional causing shading on the coral from itself. It is worse in some places and with some corals. It is mainly pronounced at the edges of the tank. Lighting can be made more even by adding lights and not increasing intensity by dialing them down. By placing corals right, you can avoid most of this. The only corals that will pose a challenge will be acropora. Other SPS should be fine pretty near anywhere if the lighting is set right.

You can use the uneven lighting to your advantage. Place new frags to acclimate deep and on the margins until they adjust and move them in and up for more light.

The AI lights are nice because they have multiple light channels which allow you to adjust intensity by channel and time of day for the kind of lighting you want.

The AI 32 is even more than water box suggests for your system so you should do just fine.
Thank you so much for your help really appreciate it ! one of my dream tanks is a 105 g frag tank from waterbox and the dimensions are ( 47.2"×23.6"×16.1" ) would i need more than 2 ( 32HDs ) for equal intensitys throughout the whole tank meaning I can have some acroporas anywhere ? if that makes any since .
 

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