Wanting to get into reef first saltwater tank

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reefstarterpack

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Hello all. First time poster but been lurking for a few days. Looking to get into reefing, want to start with FOWLR at first then add easy corals. Looking at the Innovative Marine Lagoon 25 as my first saltwater tank but have a few questions. I have done freshwater for over 10 years so I know a lot about that side. My water quality is poor so I will eventually need to buy a RODI down the road but was going to depend on saltwater from my LFS at first and see how that goes before dropping a lot of money on a RODI system. I currently have two Axolotl tanks, a 29 and a 40 gallon as well as a 5 gallon Betta tank but have had a 75 gallon piranha tank, 75 gallon cichlid tank as well as a few others I can’t think of. So not new but definitely new to saltwater. I see comments stating you need to change the filter sock on these every 3-4 days, by change do I need to replace it with a new filter or is rinsing it in RODI water sufficient? Looking at Caribsea South Seas base rock 40 lbs and Caribsea Agra-Alive Special Grade live sand 20lbs to get started. Hanna Instruments Salinity tester for checking saltwater and a API saltwater test kit, not sure on lighting but I won’t need anything for difficult corals at first or maybe ever. For stocking I for sure want a clown and haven’t considered too much on cleanup crew. Am I on the right track here? Anything to add? Also to add I won’t use all 40lbs of dry rock but having extra gives more chances of better rock shapes to get things going better.
 
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vetteguy53081

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Hello all. First time poster but been lurking for a few days. Looking to get into reefing, want to start with FOWLR at first then add easy corals. Looking at the Innovative Marine Lagoon 25 as my first saltwater tank but have a few questions. I have done freshwater for over 10 years so I know a lot about that side. My water quality is poor so I will eventually need to buy a RODI down the road but was going to depend on saltwater from my LFS at first and see how that goes before dropping a lot of money on a RODI system. I currently have two Axolotl tanks, a 29 and a 40 gallon as well as a 5 gallon Betta tank but have had a 75 gallon piranha tank, 75 gallon cichlid tank as well as a few others I can’t think of. So not new but definitely new to saltwater. I see comments stating you need to change the filter sock on these every 3-4 days, by change do I need to replace it with a new filter or is rinsing it in RODI water sufficient? Looking at Caribsea South Seas base rock 40 lbs and Caribsea Agra-Alive Special Grade live sand 20lbs to get started. Hanna Instruments Salinity tester for checking saltwater and a API saltwater test kit, not sure on lighting but I won’t need anything for difficult corals at first or maybe ever. For stocking I for sure want a clown and haven’t considered too much on cleanup crew. Am I on the right track here? Anything to add? Also to add I won’t use all 40lbs of dry rock but having extra gives more chances of better rock shapes to get things going better.
API sad to say is the worst kit you can own due to false readings (recommended- Hanna or salifert)
Instant ocean salt will suffice. Have at minimum a refractometer to measure salt
Preferred us a titanium heater although glass will work
For fowler, standard lighting will work but require upgrade when coral is added
Flow pump beneficial for water movement and added oxygen
Buy the best you cannot afford and therefore buying it once
Do not locate tank at or near a window as uv will create an algae nightmare
 

Dom

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Before you purchase any equipment, decide which fish you want to keep. Then build your system around that.

Too often, people run out and buy a system. Then they set up only to find that their system is too small for a fish they want.
 
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reefstarterpack

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Want some clowns and sand sifting goby, yellow watchman goby and maybe a royal gramma. Don’t want a lot of fish just enough to add some movement but clowns is important above all cause I really like those guys. Not looking for bigger fish.
 
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CalebWBrink2000

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I highly recommend getting a protein skimmer and an auto top off (ATO) too. They make tank maintenance much much easier vs doing everything manually. The Innovative Marine all-in-one tanks will have room in the center rear chamber for a skimmer.

I'm also a big advocate of putting macro algaes (seaweed) in the display for both FOWLR's and reefs; they function identical to a refugium and help with nutrient export.

There are also a bunch of cool nano fish you could put in the 25. I'd recommend some flavor of clownfish pair, a royal gramma and a sapphire damsel (most damsels are jerks, but a few species like the sapphire, starcki and rolland have better temperaments). All of these fish I'd consider as being semi-aggressive/aggressive, especially as adults, but will coexist fine as long as they all have their own territories in the rockwork.

There are some more peaceful nano fish too, like firefish/dartfish and gobies, but they're very passive and won't tolerate being bullied in a small tank. You can usually get away with gobies though because they stay on the bottom of the tank and aren't viewed as threats by other fish.
 

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Welcome to saltwater! I would recommend a decent refractometer to test specific gravity. and no need for test kits right off the bat if you're not diving into coral right away. Get some quality heaters and some powerheads for mixing salt. As far as filter socks i use filter floss in a media cup which can be tossed every other day instead of cleaning socks...
Dirty Laundry GIF by ALL TIME LOW
 

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Welcome to the salty side and the community! Ask all the questions you need. Keeping a fish only saltwater tank is not much different than keeping a freshwater tank. Research the fish carefully as I'm sure you know from keeping freshwater fish. I'm new and found some saltwater fish can be a bit quirkier than freshwater. Corals add complexity and that's when the real learning curve begins. :)
 
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I always recommend going to an LFS and asking to get help testing your water. They use different colors and some are harder to read for different people. The Hanna Checkers are a little pricey up front, but are cheaper for reagents. I'd get the biggest tank you can to start up to about 60 gallons. If you go bigger, more issues can arise. Smaller than 40 can be an issue for beginners, but not impossible.
 

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Thanks. Is the Red Sea test kit better? Going to use a Hanna for salinity. Looking at the Innovative Marine Helio 100w for heater. Haven’t looked too much into powerheads but I know I will need one.
Red sea is good; I use them and hannah, salifert if I'm feeling cheap.
 

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Hello all. First time poster but been lurking for a few days. Looking to get into reefing, want to start with FOWLR at first then add easy corals. Looking at the Innovative Marine Lagoon 25 as my first saltwater tank but have a few questions. I have done freshwater for over 10 years so I know a lot about that side. My water quality is poor so I will eventually need to buy a RODI down the road but was going to depend on saltwater from my LFS at first and see how that goes before dropping a lot of money on a RODI system. I currently have two Axolotl tanks, a 29 and a 40 gallon as well as a 5 gallon Betta tank but have had a 75 gallon piranha tank, 75 gallon cichlid tank as well as a few others I can’t think of. So not new but definitely new to saltwater. I see comments stating you need to change the filter sock on these every 3-4 days, by change do I need to replace it with a new filter or is rinsing it in RODI water sufficient? Looking at Caribsea South Seas base rock 40 lbs and Caribsea Agra-Alive Special Grade live sand 20lbs to get started. Hanna Instruments Salinity tester for checking saltwater and a API saltwater test kit, not sure on lighting but I won’t need anything for difficult corals at first or maybe ever. For stocking I for sure want a clown and haven’t considered too much on cleanup crew. Am I on the right track here? Anything to add? Also to add I won’t use all 40lbs of dry rock but having extra gives more chances of better rock shapes to get things going better.
You are in for all sorts of fun. Welcome!

The absolutely best thing you can do for yourself is to read at least one book, two even better, on keeping a saltwater aquarium. Just do it. Information gathering on social media is easy but a real crap shoot. This forum is one of the best for obtaining answers to specific questions on a very narrow topic. Beyond that you will be flooded with noise. This forum is stocked with brilliant and experienced people. Some do try to squeeze an encyclopedic answer into a couple sentences though.

Your questions are the right kind to ensure success. Read a book and get them answered. Also, consider setting up a build thread so we can live vicariously through your posts. Nothing like the experience of your first saltwater aquarium.

Again welcome!
 
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reefstarterpack

reefstarterpack

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You are in for all sorts of fun. Welcome!

The absolutely best thing you can do for yourself is to read at least one book, two even better, on keeping a saltwater aquarium. Just do it. Information gathering on social media is easy but a real crap shoot. This forum is one of the best for obtaining answers to specific questions on a very narrow topic. Beyond that you will be flooded with noise. This forum is stocked with brilliant and experienced people. Some do try to squeeze an encyclopedic answer into a couple sentences though.

Your questions are the right kind to ensure success. Read a book and get them answered. Also, consider setting up a build thread so we can live vicariously through your posts. Nothing like the experience of your first saltwater aquarium.

Again welcome!
I’ll check out some books as well. Been watching a ton of BRS videos. Was looking at a Biocube at first but the stock lights don’t seem that great and the glass on the Innovative Marine tank looks a lot better. Really like the look of the rimless style aquariums with a open top like they have at my LFS. Plus with the Innovative it seems a lot more upgradeable and overall better quality than the Biocube
 

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Its a good tank, there are some other aio to look int as well. Waterbox and fijicube are 2 i can think of right now

i think this is around the size you are looking at right

 
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Its a good tank, there are some other aio to look int as well. Waterbox and fijicube are 2 i can think of right now

i think this is around the size you are looking at right

I like this tank a lot as well. Looks to be more volume as well. Open to similar tank suggestions as well. Just planning everything out in advance thanks everyone!!
 

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inkbird temperature controller and ehiem jager heaters are both reliable and a lot cheaper than the innovative marine, some of the saltwater stuff isnt too expensive and is the same for freshwater or salt. You probably have a couple heater lying around anyway so 2 heaters(any brand) and 1 inkbird is what i would use. Then when one heater eventually dies (sure you have been through your fair share) buy another eheim jager

 
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