36 Gallon Aquarium Build

tuggerlake26

Active Member
Member
Messages
192
Reaction score
168
Location
Chicago, USA
Experience
More than 10 years
I've been waiting to move to finally set up a third aquarium, this time a reef tank. It's been about eight years since I've had a reef tank, and wow have things changed. I felt really behind the last few months doing research. Finally, I think I am up to speed on the latest trends.

With my move coming up, and being under lock down, I've been patiently building out my plans. Here is where I am headed:

Tank
36 gallon bow front. Using this as I bought a 36 gallon stand about two years ago on sale for about half off at my local pet shop. I was toying with the idea of just bumping up to a 40 gallon, but I can't for the life of me find a non-breeder 40 gallon stand. I also am not handy or patient enough to build my own. I would love to bump it up to a 55/75 gallon, but living in an apartment I don't want to push it with my landlord. I won't be using a sump just given being in an apartment, but do understand this is now the norm.

Equipment
- Lighting: Current USA Orbit Marine IC PRO LED 4335 I think I'm going with this light given the customizations and reviews. I've only used metal halides in reefs before, but they were always so hot and the reason for the demise of my old tank (was gone for the weekend and forgot to turn on the AC...). The one thing I don't like about this is I'll have about 3" on each side without light.
- Skimmer: Reef Octopus Class 100 HOB I have used this brand in the past and really liked them. Without having a sump, using a HOB version. I was debating between this and the AquaMaxx
- Reactor: BRS GFO/Carbon Reactor I have used in the past and loved it.
- Wavemaker: My parents bought me one two years ago and it's in storage right now, so I can't remember what brand it was. However, it had been well recommended.
- Water: luckily my LFS is doing curbside so I can still get RO water from them.

Sand/Rock
Sand: Caribsea Sand 40 lbs
Rock: Caribsea Life Rock 45 lbs. This is my first time not using live rock. I like the idea of not bringing in pests, but it will be a bit of a bummer to not put the rock in my tank and spend hours spotting what's on it.

Livestock
- Corals: I just plan on keeping soft corals like mushrooms, leather and cloves. Without the sump, being out of the trade for years, and the light I'm using, I don't feel I could do SPS. I also want to get a tubastrea aurea. I had it before and it was by far my favorite.
- Fish: I'm still trying to decide. There are a few options I'm toying with:
Option 1- 3 pajama cardinalfish (I think this stocking is ok, but let me know if it's too much bio load)
Option 2- 1 royal gramma and 1 clownfish
Option 3: 1 firefish and 1 clownfish
Option 4: 1 neon goby and 2 clownfish

Anything I'm not considering or just general thoughts?
 

saltwater60

Well Known
Member
Messages
3,033
Reaction score
1,705
I’d do two clowns and two small gobies. That should be good. I like a pair of clowns. They have personality and will interact with you. Also always out and visible. You could also do a wrasse.
How about some LPS corals. I too love tubestreas. Yellow or black or one of each? I loved both mine.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
OP
tuggerlake26

tuggerlake26

Active Member
Member
Messages
192
Reaction score
168
Location
Chicago, USA
Experience
More than 10 years
saltwater60 said:
I’d do two clowns and two small gobies. That should be good. I like a pair of clowns. They have personality and will interact with you. Also always out and visible. You could also do a wrasse.
How about some LPS corals. I too love tubestreas. Yellow or black or one of each? I loved both mine.
I've only had the yellow. I haven't seen the black one at my LFS, but will probably buy it online.

What type of wrasse do you think would be okay? A flasher wrasse? Or something like a six line?
 

saltwater60

Well Known
Member
Messages
3,033
Reaction score
1,705
tuggerlake26 said:
I've only had the yellow. I haven't seen the black one at my LFS, but will probably buy it online.

What type of wrasse do you think would be okay? A flasher wrasse? Or something like a six line?
Either would be fine. Possum wrasse too.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
OP
tuggerlake26

tuggerlake26

Active Member
Member
Messages
192
Reaction score
168
Location
Chicago, USA
Experience
More than 10 years
Alright, things are finally moving on this tank.

My shipment of dry rock and live sand came this week, and now I'm just waiting for the tank itself. The shipping has been pretty backlogged for that. I'm hoping for it soon. I peeked at the rock (didn't want to break them) and got really excited!

I landed on doing on the 36 gallon bowfront. Since I had the existing stand and lights for that, I wanted to save some money versus starting completely from scratch.

I haven't decided on the corals yet. Once I have the rock in the tank, I'll make some plans for them. My lights can support soft and LPS corals. I for sure want to get a sun coral (tubastrea). I had one before and found it fascinating.

In terms of stocking, I'm still deciding. I also can't figure out the order I should place them. I'm currently toying with the idea of:

1 Orchid Dottyback
2 Red Sea Clownfish
1 Neon Goby

I'm thinking of doing the Red Sea Clownfish because I've had the Ocellaris clownfish, and would like something different. However, I've read they can get semi-aggressive, and if I include a dottyback (though one of the less aggressive ones), I'm worry I'd have a bad combo.

In place of the dottyback, I was thinking of a Royal Gramma. I am trying to get as many aquacultured fish though, which is my dilemma. I do, however, think it would do better with the Red Sea clowns.

Are there any other clowns I could be considering? I'm not a fan of the new "designs" for them, so would prefer to stick to something natural.

If the orchid dottyback and clown combo is possible, should I be putting the clowns in first?
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
OP
tuggerlake26

tuggerlake26

Active Member
Member
Messages
192
Reaction score
168
Location
Chicago, USA
Experience
More than 10 years
After a VERY long and sometimes painful time with a store shipping my tank, it finally came this week! Ignore the mess on the floor.

It's much bigger looking than I expected, but I love it. I've already started planning around the height of it, since that will greatly impact coral placement.

Next step will be getting it level and then playing around with rock placement. I am a bit concerned that I'll need to break up some of the rock to fit it in the tank, but we will see.

Probably looking at setting up sometime next week just to make sure I have everything in place before adding water.

20200623_083546.jpg20200623_083622.jpg20200623_083600.jpg
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
OP
tuggerlake26

tuggerlake26

Active Member
Member
Messages
192
Reaction score
168
Location
Chicago, USA
Experience
More than 10 years
Things are moving along! I set-up the skimmer and reactor. I might swap out the white tubing for some black tubing so it blends in a little more.

20200627_135736.jpg


I'm currently getting some water ready with RODI unit. I will actually work on the set up later this week.

I did finally unwrap the dry live rock I ordered. I'm pretty happy with it. There was a decent amount of rock breakup and dust, so I need to clean those off a bit. I likely won't need to use it all, but I'm glad I'll have some different sizes and shapes to pick from.
20200627_135748.jpg
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
OP
tuggerlake26

tuggerlake26

Active Member
Member
Messages
192
Reaction score
168
Location
Chicago, USA
Experience
More than 10 years
The water and rocks are in, lights are on (for today, wanted to see what they'd look like), and skimmer has started.

I began a fishless cycling with Seachem about three days ago. There is nothing registering on my tests so, hoping for some ammonia tomorrow.

Ignore the thermometer cord in the pic, it's temporary. I'm trying to make sure my LOOP is registering the same temperature.

20200705_171435.jpg
 

New Threads

Similar Threads

Follow FishLore!

FishLore on Social Media

Online statistics

Members online
228
Guests online
3,578
Total visitors
3,806

Aquarium Photo Contests

Aquarium Calculator

Top Bottom