28 Gallon Reef

  • #1
So I am a beginner at saltwater. That does not mean I won't try though.

I was thinking About getting a 28 gallon 20 long by 20 deep by 16 high. The back 4 inches will become a filter to make it an all-in-one tank.

I would like this to be a reef one day, but it might start as a fowlr. In that case, are there any relatively cheap Lights available. 100-150$ range ( Canadian ) that can grow easy corals. What corals might these be? Any easy ones for beginners?

Also, a stocking list would be appreciated.
I really like inverts like crabs and shrimps.

  • #2
Check out the Chinese black box LEDs in the USA they run about 100$ ....I'm about to buy one that's the cheapest bang for ur buck that I've found

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  • #3
I found a full spectrum 165 watt led light. 142 $ Canadian. Is full spectrum good for a reef tank? It covers 24 by 24 by 24 inches. my tank is 20 by 16 by 16 inches. Will I be blasting my flora and fauna. Do they even use flora and fauna for SW? It is dimmable I will add.
  • #4
What's the link to your LED lights?
If you look on Amazon and search for Mars Aqua LED lights those are sufficient to grow corals from softies to SPS.
If you aren't going to start out right away with Corals, I honestly would save up another $100, for a total of $200 and get AI Prime HD lights. This is what I have now and what I would recommend. They are fully programmable with a phone app and can keep all the way up to easy SPS corals if you place them correctly.

Beginner corals to try out: Green leather toadstool, Green start polyp, Ducans
In that order.

Pistol shrimp + Goby are pretty cool. Look up Randall shrimp and Yasha goby and look up their symbiotic relationship.
Skunk Cleaner shrimps are also pretty cool.
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  • #5
This is the one I was looking at.
Lightimetunnel Dimmable 165W Full spectrum LED Aquarium Light for LPS SPS Coral Reef Fish Tank - on amazon.ca

Marshydro Dimmable 165W LED Aquarium Light Fixture lighting Full Spectrum For Freshwater and Saltwater Fish Coral Tank Blue and White LPS/SPS - also on amazon.ca

How about frogspawn, torch and maybe Ducans.
The shrimp and gobie pair are cool, and I would love to have them. But doesn't the shrimp make a lot of noise. Ya know, gunshots. I am going to be in a apartment and I would like to not get kicked out.
  • #6
Yeah - those LED lights are pretty much all the same. Just re-labeled differently.
My recommendation is though, to keep the box and anything else that comes with it, JIC they go bad within the month. They don't seem bad at all though for the money. I know some guys that use them, they don't rave about them, but they said it works.

Frogspawn and Torch corals I would recommend after you get your water chemistry stable and situated. While the other corals I listed are almost bulletproof to thrive in any tank. I am struggling with my Frogspawn to find a happy area and calcium/magnesium levels for it. It's surviving, but not thriving how I want it, so still lots of fine-tuning.

The pistol shrimp isn't as loud as some people say it is. It sounds like a muffled small packaging air bubble popping. And it does not go off like crazy. I probably hear mine 3-5 times throughout the day if I'm sitting in the living room. I don't hear it at all in my bed room. It is not as loud as a .22lr caliber lol.

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  • #7
For eight extra dollars I might as well go with the one you suggested. Yours had a five star and mine had a 4.5 star. If I have a pistol shrimp and goby pair, doesn't that mean I can't have any other shrimp? Also isn't the gsp really fast growing and difficult to remove?

How about...
-Two clownfish
- Skunk cleaner shrimp
-Shrimp and goby pair if they are compatible with the Cleaner shrimp
- just a goby if the pistol shrimp isn't compatible with the cleaner shrimp
- Firefish
I am not good at stocking saltwater, so be honest about if my choices are any good.
Also any specific types of gobies or firefish you would recommend?

I'll keep it as fowlr for two months then add some ducans and toadstools, wait three months and add frogspawn and torch. Sound good?
  • #8
About the pistol shrimp. Some people have issues with their pistol shrimp going on a rampage, but I think it's just that specific one with a mean personality, which is pretty rare. Mine does not go out actively trying to kill things. Only if something ventures down it's home it'll snap at it. Otherwise, when I had my skunk cleaner it did fine.

GSP's can be fast growing, but it's also pretty fun and rewarding to keep. If you just place it by itself on a rock it'll add some color an movement to that area. It's not difficult to remove at all. A lot of misleading information on the web. I just get a exacto-knife and cut it where I want and peel it off.

Yellow watchman or randall goby are pretty neat.

I myself do not recommend a firefish, the 2 that I have tried to own died for unknown reasons. Although listed as easy to keep, they can be finicky beginner fishes and die within the first 2 months. If they make it past that, they'll live with you for a while.
Anyways, my 1 firefish died within my rockwork and I had to tear apart my rockscape, which was a pain.

If you plan to keep corals too aka Reef Tank. That stocking list you listed is pretty much where you want to be at - you can add some snails if you are into that. Once you start stocking corals, they also become a bio-load when you feed it.
Typically you want an under stock tank so that your Nitrates and Phosphate are low so your corals can thrive.

Another thing to note, all fishes can jump. However, more so with the goby/firefish, so make sure you have a lid/cover. Otherwise they will go carpet surfing.
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  • #9
I don't think I can manage a sump, but what the tank is basically is a 22 gallon display, 6 gallon sump. Just nothing under the tank.

New stock...

- Two clownfish
- Goby/pistol shrimp pair

- Frogspawn
- Duncan
- Torch
- Toadstool
Maybe Zoanthids

Cleanup crew.
-Ten trochus snails
-Six red legged hermit crabs
-One emerald crab
-One Skunk cleaner shrimp

Let me know if anything is incompatible!
  • #10
I don't think I mentioned about a sump? I do get what you are trying to accomplish. Essentially it's a sump in the back wall. Those are called All-In-One sumps. Look up Innovative Marine. They make some, so you can get ideas as well if you are making your own.

10 trochus snails is a bit much for a 22 gallon display. Maybe start out with 1 to 2 when you get your diatom bloom and then go from there.
Actually, start with a low count on your clean up crew as a whole and work your way up. Because, once they exhaust the algae/detritus in your tank, you'll end up manually feeding some of them.

To give you an idea of my CUC:
I have: 2x Trochus, 2x Nessarius, 1 Royal Urchin.

I spot feed my entire tank, so there's really no left over food for my Nessarius to eat, so I end up having to manually feed them, which kind of defeats the purpose of a CUC. I had a skunk cleaner, and emerald crab at one point, but I got rid of them. After they got their fair share of food. They started going up to my corals and stealing from them. It was cute at first, but quickly got annoying lol. You'll see what I'm talking about. Even my clown fishes annoy me now. My clown fishes never stops eating from start to end.

Zoas are a hit or miss and vary from tank to tank. Which is why I don't highly recommend them. But definitely worth a shot with a small frag and see how it does in your tank. I have had so much issues with my zoas, that I don't care for keeping them much.

My favorites in my tank are: Acans, blastomussas, and Rock flower anemone. They are fun to feed and it's been very rewarding seeing them thrive and grow.

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  • #11
You were talking about a under stock tank. Did you not mean sump?
I'll start with two Trochus and two red legged hermits, and I'll do more research about urchins. No emerald crab.

New cleanup crew.
-two trochus snails
-two red legged hermits
-one skunk cleaner shrimp
  • #12
No. I meant keeping the tank under stocked. Like, less fish
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  • #13
Oh, haha. Would I be able to have two skunk cleaners shrimp or is that pointless. I like them as a display not cleanup. Could I get a juvenile damsel? Would it fit?
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  • #14
Or I think it's the carribian jewel damselfish.
  • #15
I wouldn't recommend keeping 2 skunk cleaners in a tank that size. Typically people keep like 3 in a 150G or 2 in a 70G...

Damel fishes could work. However, just keep in mind they can be quite aggressive.
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  • #16
Maybe not then. I guess I'll do more research on them just to be sure. I'll have one skunk cleaner shrimp after all. Could I add a porcelain crab?
I am sure the tank will start off as a fowlr with just the clowns and goby for the first few months to get the cycle up and running. Also, I don't want to pour the money in for a reef so I'll go slow and get acquainted with doing the water changes and with the equipment on the tank.

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