My first reef tank! 65g.

j.speaks

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Hello!

I'm about to get a 65 gallon saltwater tank, and wanted to make my own build thread. I've had a few freshwater tanks, but this is the first time I'm really dipping my toe into the saltwater side. For my first tank, I'm not gonna go with anything too complicated, just the basics. clownfish, gobies, hermit crabs, and some easy corals to start out with. let me know if you have any ideas for a good starting fish/inverts/corals.

also, let me know if there is anything that I should know getting into the hobby, maybe a secret tip that you'd want to share or anything that you think can help me out!

Ill post as soon as the tank comes in
 

thomas_neil

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Very exciting getting into saltwater. For inverts, always have enough clean up crew. Reef cleaners is great for them to do online orders, and offer recommendations.

For the fish utilitarian fish are your best friend. Yellow coris wrasse for worms, stay away from 6 line, a fish that likes algae, usually tangs, you could go with a smaller one like a tomini in a 65 gallon.

Start off with a good test kit, stay away from API because you will be upgrading anyways. Get the best gear you can afford, again you will likely want to upgrade down the road.
 
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j.speaks

j.speaks

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Very exciting getting into saltwater. For inverts, always have enough clean up crew. Reef cleaners is great for them to do online orders, and offer recommendations.

For the fish utilitarian fish are your best friend. Yellow coris wrasse for worms, stay away from 6 line, a fish that likes algae, usually tangs, you could go with a smaller one like a tomini in a 65 gallon.

Start off with a good test kit, stay away from API because you will be upgrading anyways. Get the best gear you can afford, again you will likely want to upgrade down the road.
Thanks! ill definitely take all this into consideration when I start.
 

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100% a yellow coris wrasse. My favorite species. Easy to keep. Add one of them a week or two after the clowns. It will give you a nice trio of fish that won't mess with anything. I've had issues with the wrasse and tiny shrimp but overall it shouldn't harm anything.
 
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j.speaks

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100% a yellow coris wrasse. My favorite species. Easy to keep. Add one of them a week or two after the clowns. It will give you a nice trio of fish that won't mess with anything. I've had issues with the wrasse and tiny shrimp but overall it shouldn't harm anything.
okay! looking at some pictures and they look stunning.
 

AC1211

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In terms of gobies:
I liked clown gobies. I had a nice Citron goby for a while. I also liked diamond watchman gobies but I'd advise against them due to needing a lot of food.

I'd think in terms of initial 4-5 fish:
2 clowns
1 yellow coris wrasse
2 neon gobies or 1 yellow watchman goby

That gives you room for 1 or 2 more fish of your choice. Keep it simple if you want. Or at that point see what you feel comfortable with.

In terms of gobies plenty of other species work so your pick.
 
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j.speaks

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Thanks for all the fish suggestions!

does anybody have any good starting types of coral to look for?
 

thomas_neil

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Thanks for all the fish suggestions!

does anybody have any good starting types of coral to look for?
Depends on flow and lighting, I always recommend zoas, low light low flow. Just put them on there own little island. Make sure to wear gloves when handling them because they carry paly toxin.

More easy starter coral are softies like leathers, kenya trees, toadstools. Xenia and Green Star polyps are really easy to care for but spread like crazy, so get there own island. I put GSP on my back glass. Clove polyps are another.

If you want to get into LPS (large polyp stony) you will need to monitor calcium and Alk as they use this to build there skeleton. Easier LPS include duncan, blasto, acan. Everyone always wants torch, hammer, frog spawns, and goniapora but they are little more finicky with light and flow.

I would avoid SPS (small polyp stony) as these are the hardest to care for and have the highest light and flow requirements and are very finicky with water parameter swings. Some easier ones are monti caps, digis, and birds nest if you wanted to give them a try. Just place at the top of the tank with good lighting and flow.

Last are NPS coral. These coral are non photosynthetic. These would be like gorgonians and sun coral. These have mixed reviews on ease of care. I've never had one so I couldn't tell you on care, I just know they need to be fed all the time since they are kind of a filter feeder.

I would suggest starting with softies for the first couple months, get into a rioutin with the tank, then try some of the LPS. Duncans and acans are cheap to test the waters with, and duncans are great at letting you know something is off in the tank because they close up with very little change in parameters.

Lastly if you plan on a nem please wait for the tank to be mature, I always here 1 year but have had success with 8 months. The tank just needs to be stable. Anemones don't do well with parameter swings.
 
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Depends on flow and lighting, I always recommend zoas, low light low flow. Just put them on there own little island. Make sure to wear gloves when handling them because they carry paly toxin.

More easy starter coral are softies like leathers, kenya trees, toadstools. Xenia and Green Star polyps are really easy to care for but spread like crazy, so get there own island. I put GSP on my back glass. Clove polyps are another.

If you want to get into LPS (large polyp stony) you will need to monitor calcium and Alk as they use this to build there skeleton. Easier LPS include duncan, blasto, acan. Everyone always wants torch, hammer, frog spawns, and goniapora but they are little more finicky with light and flow.

I would avoid SPS (small polyp stony) as these are the hardest to care for and have the highest light and flow requirements and are very finicky with water parameter swings. Some easier ones are monti caps, digis, and birds nest if you wanted to give them a try. Just place at the top of the tank with good lighting and flow.

Last are NPS coral. These coral are non photosynthetic. These would be like gorgonians and sun coral. These have mixed reviews on ease of care. I've never had one so I couldn't tell you on care, I just know they need to be fed all the time since they are kind of a filter feeder.

I would suggest starting with softies for the first couple months, get into a rioutin with the tank, then try some of the LPS. Duncans and acans are cheap to test the waters with, and duncans are great at letting you know something is off in the tank because they close up with very little change in parameters.

Lastly if you plan on a nem please wait for the tank to be mature, I always here 1 year but have had success with 8 months. The tank just needs to be stable. Anemones don't do well with parameter swings.
Thanks so much for all this! Ill definitely start off with some of those softies, the kenya tree looked amazing to me.
 
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Confirmed that the tank is coming in on Sunday. I might have to go back next weekend for sand/rock and maybe lighting depending on how things go.

One question though:
Is it better to buy a RODI filter or get distilled water from the grocery store? My LFS said I could do either
 

thomas_neil

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Confirmed that the tank is coming in on Sunday. I might have to go back next weekend for sand/rock and maybe lighting depending on how things go.

One question though:
Is it better to buy a RODI filter or get distilled water from the grocery store? My LFS said I could do either
Waaaaaaaay cheaper to make it yourself. Bulk reef supply is running their best sale of the year on them currently.


Its definitely worth the investment. I'd go with 4 or 5 stage 75 GPD.

Get yourself a brute trash tan and a cheap return pump to mix up salt water. Heater is a plus as well, nothing fancy.

Also have sales on AI lights right now if you haven't gotten any lights yet. What are the dimensions of the tank? Could also do the 2k jump gyre, would be enough flow for a 65 gallon with just softies.
 
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Waaaaaaaay cheaper to make it yourself. Bulk reef supply is running their best sale of the year on them currently.


Its definitely worth the investment. I'd go with 4 or 5 stage 75 GPD.

Get yourself a brute trash tan and a cheap return pump to mix up salt water. Heater is a plus as well, nothing fancy.

Also have sales on AI lights right now if you haven't gotten any lights yet. What are the dimensions of the tank? Could also do the 2k jump gyre, would be enough flow for a 65 gallon with just softies.
Dimensions are 36'' by 24'' by 18''.
 

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Could look at 2 or AI primes or one Neptune sky if you're planning on only soft coral. Would recommend 2 hydras for LPS if you're trying to take advantage of some sales.
 

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Awesome congrats on starting the salty journey! 65g is a great jumping point. If I may humbly suggest taking a look at the link below you'll have a great guide for many of the questions you may have as you start up!
VVVVVV
 

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Everything has been covered well so I’ll throw my 2 cents in on inverts. For the sand I would recommend nassarius snails and a couple tiger conchs. They will keep the sand bed turned over and clean. For your rock I’d recommend turb snail’s, banded trochus snails, emerald crabs, and the power house of them all, tuxedo urchins. In addition add some dwarf red and blue legged hermits for scavenging.
 
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Tank is up!

Went a little over the budget so I couldn't pick up rock. I did end up picking up an RODI unit, I think mine is called Barracuda. I still need to figure it out, but I plan on adding water on Tuesday. all the plumbing went smoothly (I hope).

The stand is a little too small for the tank, and it doesn't fit completely into the top opening and is sitting on the sides. I think it'll be okay because this is how it was in the store, but could be a problem when I get water in it.

also, I forgot to buy a thermometer, so if anyone has the link to a decent one ill need to order it.

Really exited to join the salty side!
 

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thomas_neil

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Tank is up!

Went a little over the budget so I couldn't pick up rock. I did end up picking up an RODI unit, I think mine is called Barracuda. I still need to figure it out, but I plan on adding water on Tuesday. all the plumbing went smoothly (I hope).

The stand is a little too small for the tank, and it doesn't fit completely into the top opening and is sitting on the sides. I think it'll be okay because this is how it was in the store, but could be a problem when I get water in it.

also, I forgot to buy a thermometer, so if anyone has the link to a decent one ill need to order it.

Really exited to join the salty side!
Looks great! Barracuda makes good RODI units. I think the stand should be okay, as long as the edges of the tank are supported.

I like to use a controller for my heater, like an ink bird or the Innovative Marie helio. I have an ink bird right now and it works well, I just picked up the Heli for my new build so I'm not sure how well that one will work.

Something I did notice in your photos was the salt. Any reason you went with the red sea black bucket vs the blue bucket? I've found the pro salt to leave a lot of precipitate in the mixing container and hard to keep the elevated DKH. If you're not going to have a heavily stocked SPS tank it's really not needed and I prefer blue bucket, but that's just a personal preference.
 
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j.speaks

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Looks great! Barracuda makes good RODI units. I think the stand should be okay, as long as the edges of the tank are supported.

I like to use a controller for my heater, like an ink bird or the Innovative Marie helio. I have an ink bird right now and it works well, I just picked up the Heli for my new build so I'm not sure how well that one will work.

Something I did notice in your photos was the salt. Any reason you went with the red sea black bucket vs the blue bucket? I've found the pro salt to leave a lot of precipitate in the mixing container and hard to keep the elevated DKH. If you're not going to have a heavily stocked SPS tank it's really not needed and I prefer blue bucket, but that's just a personal preference.
My LFS recommended the black bucket, so I just went with that. Unfortunately, I already bought the heater so I can’t switch it out for a controlled one
 

Welcoming coral to your home!!! How do you add coral to your tank?

  • Move the coral from the bag and place it directly into the display tank.

    Votes: 15 10.5%
  • Dip process before placing the coral into the display tank.

    Votes: 91 63.6%
  • Acclimate before placing the coral into the display tank.

    Votes: 21 14.7%
  • Move the coral from the bag and place it directly into the quarantine tank.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Dip process before placing the coral into the quarantine tank.

    Votes: 9 6.3%
  • Acclimate before placing the coral into the quarantine tank.

    Votes: 3 2.1%
  • Other.

    Votes: 4 2.8%
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