New to Saltwater. Looking for 40B and sump advice

mortician

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Hello all!

I am new to Saltwater aquariums. I have a few freshwater tanks but with the Petco sale decided to grab a 40B to dive into saltwater over time. I am looking to stock a couple of clownfish, goby, pistol shrimp, and maybe another couple fish over time.

From what I've read anemones/coral in general should not be added until at least 6 months after the tank is stable. I will probably dose with fritz turbostart and let the tank cycle for a month or two before adding any livestock. As far as lights go I was thinking of getting a quanta pro 36 inch to keep the budget down.

I am thinking of doing 40lb of special grade sand and buying one live rock and another 20-30 pounds of dry rock from the LFS to get things started. And I think I would like to go the sump route with a refugium. Should I do a DIY 20 long, buy a premade? Do I really need a protein skimmer to start off with? What's the best way to start the refugium? These are all some questions I am wondering as someone who has never had a saltwater tank before.

Any help and advice is much appreciated, thank you!
 
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MnFish1

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Hello all!

I am new to Saltwater aquariums. I have a few freshwater tanks but with the Petco sale decided to grab a 40B to dive into saltwater over time. I am looking to stock a couple of clownfish, goby, pistol shrimp, and maybe another couple fish over time.

Welcome - sounds like a good choice for that aquarium.
From what I've read anemones/coral in general should not be added until at least 6 months after the tank is stable. I will probably dose with fritz turbostart and let the tank cycle for a month or two before adding any livestock. As far as lights go I was thinking of getting a quanta pro 36 inch to keep the budget down.
I do not think that rule is appropriate (I can't think of any scientific reason as to why it would be the case) - except that new aquariums can be unstable - and new fish-keepers can tend to make them less stable. In other words, there are many methods for cycling a tank - some do it in days (with bottled bacteria) - some don't add living things for months. IMHO - if you're adding Fritz turbo start - there is no advantage for waiting 'a month or 2'. No comment on the lights.
I am thinking of doing 40lb of special grade sand and buying one live rock and another 20-30 pounds of dry rock from the LFS to get things started. And I think I would like to go the sump route with a refugium. Should I do a DIY 20 long, buy a premade? Do I really need a protein skimmer to start off with? What's the best way to start the refugium? These are all some questions I am wondering as someone who has never had a saltwater tank before.
I tend to use a shallower sand bed - whether you need 40 lbs or not is your own decision. I would use a protein skimmer - and you can use a 20 gallon long for a skimmer. I do not think you will need a refugium - until you have added fish, etc.

What is your choice for 'live rock' - live rock directly from the ocean - or merely live rock thats been in the dark for 6 months. BTW - within a month - all of your rock will meet the technical definition of 'live rock'
Any help and advice is much appreciated, thank you!
Best wishes with your tank - I would suggest that you look up threads/protocols about 'starting a reef tank' - Pick 1 - and go from there. No offense meant - but IMHO you're taking a lot of ideas and combining them into a plan. I would follow a strict protocol - from whichever plan you like the best.
 
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mortician

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Welcome - sounds like a good choice for that aquarium.

I do not think that rule is appropriate (I can't think of any scientific reason as to why it would be the case) - except that new aquariums can be unstable - and new fish-keepers can tend to make them less stable. In other words, there are many methods for cycling a tank - some do it in days (with bottled bacteria) - some don't add living things for months. IMHO - if you're adding Fritz turbo start - there is no advantage for waiting 'a month or 2'. No comment on the lights.

I tend to use a shallower sand bed - whether you need 40 lbs or not is your own decision. I would use a protein skimmer - and you can use a 20 gallon long for a skimmer. I do not think you will need a refugium - until you have added fish, etc.

What is your choice for 'live rock' - live rock directly from the ocean - or merely live rock thats been in the dark for 6 months. BTW - within a month - all of your rock will meet the technical definition of 'live rock'

Best wishes with your tank - I would suggest that you look up threads/protocols about 'starting a reef tank' - Pick 1 - and go from there. No offense meant - but IMHO you're taking a lot of ideas and combining them into a plan. I would follow a strict protocol - from whichever plan you like the best.
Awesome, thanks for all the info! I will look up some of those starting a reef tank threads.
 

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A 20 gallon long would be a good choice. It should be just about the right size.

I would suggest getting the dimensions and drawing them out. Then draw in your chambers. For example, chamber 1 - filter sock, chamber 2 - skimmer, chamber 3 - refugium, chamber 4 - return chamber. You want enough space above the tank so you can EASILY access the equipment in the sump and you want to be able to remove, clean and replace equipment - like the skimmer. Also, for the skimmer (if you are planning on one), be sure you have the right water depth and a bit of leeway to move the skimmer up or down to get it going right. And for your refugium - you will need lighting so you need a place to hang a light with enough space between it and the water level.
 

shakacuz

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welcome aboard the r2r board!

i also have a 40b that i used to get into the SW side of things (former FW).

skimmer i recommend: reef octo classic 110-sss(however i suggest sizing up to perhaps the 150-sss or a bigger skimmer if you want to upgrade tank size later on.)
sump size: 20g long or 29h if you have to cabinet space coupled with the fiji cube DIY kit


have you decided on what you’ll use to heat the tank? i recommend the inkbird controller coupled with two 100w brs heaters or eheim heaters(they are longer than the titanium heaters so take this into consideration)
 

MnFish1

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welcome aboard the r2r board!

i also have a 40b that i used to get into the SW side of things (former FW).

skimmer i recommend: reef octo classic 110-sss(however i suggest sizing up to perhaps the 150-sss or a bigger skimmer if you want to upgrade tank size later on.)
sump size: 20g long or 29h if you have to cabinet space coupled with the fiji cube DIY kit


have you decided on what you’ll use to heat the tank? i recommend the inkbird controller coupled with two 100w brs heaters or eheim heaters(they are longer than the titanium heaters so take this into consideration)
I am going to say 'perhaps not' to the Inkbird controller. For a similar price, you can get a Finnex Controller and heater. The ink bird I bought - was HORRIBLE, the instructions were horrible, the interface was horrible, and there was a constant alarm that would go off at all hours of the day and night - associated with shutting the heater off completely. I just bought a fine controller - and the ink bird was thrown away (since the only warranty available - was replacement) - which I did not want to risk. Otherwise all good IMHO
 
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shakacuz

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I am going to say 'perhaps not' to the Inkbird controller. For a similar price, you can get a Finnex Controller and heater. The ink bird I bought - was HORRIBLE, the instructions were horrible, the interface was horrible, and there was a constant alarm that would go off at all hours of the day and night - associated with shutting the heater off completely. I just bought a fine controller - and the ink bird was thrown away (since the only warranty available - was replacement) - which I did not want to risk. Otherwise all good IMHO
the alarm was due to the heaters “on” function being triggered for over a set amount of time (default is: alarm goes off after continuous heating for 6hrs) you can increase this to a higher number to eliminate this issue (especially during the colder months)

regarding the instructions/interface: i agree. user instructions is rather lacking and the interface/app wasn’t compatible for me as my router did not meet the requirements so that is something to consider.


finnex is for sure another good option! i would even say IM(if you have the $$)
 

melonheadorion

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with the sump idea, you can save even more money if you get pieces of glass cut, and make your own. you could make a complete sump for the cost of the tank, and maybe 20 bucks for glass (or even less depending on how many pieces of glass you need).
i made a sump out of a 20g long and 4 pieces of glass. with petco, when they do their sales, the cost of the tank was 25$ and the glass probably costed me 15 at the most. i made it with an intake section, refugium section, return section, and a area for mechanical media
 
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TaylorPilot

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A 20L on a 40B is a dynamite setup. I ran one for years on saltwater and now is setup in my daughters room as a glow fish tank. I can throw a few socks in it, scrub it down and it looks like a new tank in an hour...
20L Full Sump.jpg
 
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