33 Gallon Saltwater Setup, suggestions and comments please!

  • #1
So, I'm starting another sw tank, and want it to be fairly easy ie everything in it will thrive in 1.023 - 1.025 salinity, pH between 8.1 and 8.4 and a dKH of 8-12. So essentially a beginners saltwater tank that if I need to go away for one reason or another, someone can look after it fairly easily.

33 gallon tank
Out Orbits 36" 150W, 10,000K HQI 2x96W with 4 Lunar Lights
40 lbs sand (or whatever it takes to get to 2")
30 lbs Live Rock
Coral life Superskimmer Pin wheel (fit for aquariums up to 65 gallons)
Rena Smart Filter 55 (Power filter)
2 Aquarium System 400 Maxi-jet Power heads (each with 160 gph watermovement)
2 150w heaters
test kit
fish net

10 Gallon Quarantine tank
75 watt heater
separate net

and of course, the salt mix for both.

Possible Stocking...please give suggestions/comments
I have no idea what corals I should put in there, I like soft looking ones ie brain, plate and candy cane
I know I want a bulb anenome (or two)
Dwarf Feather Duster
2 Percula (or even false) Clowns
1 Flasher Wrasse
3 Blue Damsel
1 Bicolor Dottyback

Cleaning Crew
5 Trochus snails
6 Super Tongan Nassarus Snails
12 Cerith Snails
10 Scarlet Reef Hermit Crabs
1 Banded Coral Shrimp
I'd imagine that I could add something else too, but I have no idea, that's why I need the suggestions of people here!
  • #2
damsels can be more aggressive and I would suggest add ing them last if at all and as for the anemones you should wait at least 6 months before introducing them to your tank. For a couple of reasons, 1) so that your tank is more stable and they done like change. and also in case there are some mistakes that accidentally get made. No one wants a dying anemone and a tank full of other dead stuff. I'm new to saltwater but that's my opinion I just setup a 24 gallon tank
  • #3
RB - Nice plan so far.

Some thoughts/ideas on your proposed setup:

I'd also try to talk you out of the blue damsels (blue devils?). They are beautiful but mean. You'll definitely have the lighting for the bubble tip anemone, but I'd also wait on adding that until your tank is well established.

You only need the power filter for when you need to run activated carbon, phosphate remover, or some other type of chemical filter in it.

Having an open top with that type of lighting system may allow the wrasse to do some carpet diving. Possible for the dottyback too if it gets spooked. May need to use egg crate (ceiling crate) for the top of the tank.

I'd cut the amounts of each of the snails and crabs listed in half for that size tank. Especially in a brand new tank. There won't be all that much for them to eat at first.

Look into the maxi-jet 1200 which puts out 300 gph. Get two of those along with an attachment called the hydor flo deflector, one for each powerhead. They plug into the output of the powerhead and the water going out causes the gears inside the flo deflector to spin. Pretty cool and creates more turbulent water conditions, instead of a straight path of water.

I know we see photos of tanks that mix soft and hard corals all over the place, but I think folks are starting to keep these corals separate nowadays because of the chemical interactions between the corals.

I'm setting up a JBJ 28 gallon nano cube reef tank right now myself. I had to invest in a small chiller because the 150 watt hqI bulb was overheating the tank. It was pushing 85 degrees F mid-day. Will have photos and the setup article online very soon.

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  • #4
Thanks for the suggestions. I know damsels are evil, but I want something with the color....possibly two or three neon gobies then?? And I'll keep that in mind about the carpet diving (hehehehe) fish

THis tank is going to cost alot, so won't even get started on it until february when we get back, then I'll have to set it up over a long period of time.

So if I were to get the gobies instead of the damsels, then I would add the clowns and anenomes at the end, after the tank is established correct?

Any other suggestion for reef safe wrasse?
  • #5
I dunno if I would do any wrasse even reef asfe ones can be bullies. You may want to look at the basslets like the royal gramma super colorful
  • #6
The Flasher Wrasse's are reef safe and model citizens. They love swimming at the top of the tank, that's why they're prone to jumping out. So far he's still in the tank. Most other Wrasse's get around 5 inches. Like Mystery Wrasse's and Radiant Wrasse's. Both excellent reef safe fishes.
  • #7
ill have t look those up sorry for my lack of knowledge
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  • #8
Thanks for the suggestions,....

And Mike, I'll definitely cut the cleaning crew in half (except for the one shrimp...because that'd be messy) Thanks.

So the stocking now would be:
half the cleaning crew
2 clowns & bulbs
3 neon gobies
1 flasher wrasse
bicolor dottyback
feather duster
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  • #9
I know we see photos of tanks that mix soft and hard corals all over the place, but I think folks are starting to keep these corals separate nowadays because of the chemical interactions between the corals.

I know that soft corals don't need super high ammounts of lighting, but would the system I'm looking at be too much light? And if not, could I run a mainly soft coral tank with a fox coral...because they're gorgeous and I want one LOL
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  • #10
After doing a lot of research and talking to a guy who is highly reccomended in our aquarium society, I've decided to go for a bigger tank, possibly 60-75 gallons and use the 33 gallon as a sump. It'll add to the overall cost of everything, but in the end, I honestly think I'll have a much better aquarium and therfore, better fish!

Thanks for all the help though!
  • #11
If you can afford it, it's usually better to go bigger. The sump is a great idea and will help hide some of the equipment. I think you'll have a nice tank no matter, given the careful research you're doing. Kudos.

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  • #12
Thanks Mike
I lucked out today. I was in the store just trying to get an idea as to what size tank I really wanted (I knew I wanted one at least 48 inches long, so lots of swim room for a tang) when a guy came in to pick up his custom built one. The only problem was that they put the overflow in the wrong corner and drilled it wrong. So he sold it back to me instead. I now am the brand new owner of a 48 inch 90 gallon aquarium, pre-drilled with overflow, basic plumbing and an all glass top. The output nozzle comes back up through the overflow and points accross the back of the tank, so I'm thinking I'll buy two powerheads with rotating nozzles and place them at opposite ends of the aquarium. I figure this will allow for the most water movement.

The store is going to make me a metal framed stand to which I'll get my dad or someone with more hammer and nail experience than I to design a nice cabinet looking piece to go around it so that I can hide my sump which will be full of the equipment. I'm also thinking of sectioning off an area in the sump for a fuge system, rather than running it out of an hob filter.

In it I plan on growing Lettuce Algae as an alternate food source for the tangs.

I appreciate all the help so far!
  • #13
Woohoo! Sounds great - Looking forward to pics!

By lettuce algae, are you talking about gracilaria?
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  • #14
Ulva sp. Sea Lettuce. It apparently is readily accepted by herbivores as well as others in the tank and also removes phosphate and nitrate from the water. It's easily grown in 'fuge setups, so I think it'd be ideal for what I'm looking for
  • #15
cool - I've not used that before. Thanks.

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