38 Gallon Reef

2714fish

Hello everyone,
I am setting up a saltwater tank. It is going to be 38 gallons, and will be a reef tank. I have stock for corals, and fish, and was hoping everyone could look it over and tell me if everything is compatible, peaceful, good amounts/stock numbers, and just good overall. I also listed the equipment I will be using, and would appreciate if everyone could tell me if it was good, and adequete. Thanks.

The equipment I will have is:
- 38 gallon tank
- Fluval 206 canister filter
- Coralife Turbo-Twist 3x UV sterilizer
- Coralife 6,700k daylight light
- Live Sand
- Live or Dry rock
- Heater
Is that everything I would need? Also is that good equipement and everything? What about a protien skimmer, is it necessary?

The fish I was thinking are:
- 2 Ocellaris Clownfish
- 3 Blue Green Chromis
- 1 BanggaI Cardinal
- 1 Firefish
- 1 Bi-Color Blenny
- 1 "Centerpiece" fish
- Clean up crew
Does that all sounds good? Will all the fish get along, and be peaceful together? What centerpiece fish is good? Also is that an appropriate stocking for my equipment and tank size?

The clean up crew I was thinking is:
- 9 Dwarf Blue Leg Hermit Crabs
- 6 Dwarf Yellow Tip Hermit Crabs
- 2 Scarlet Reef Hermit Crabs
- 3 Mexican Turbo Snails
- 3 Margarita Snails
- 1 Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp
Does this sound good? Too big? Too small?

The Coral I was thinking are:
- WWC Firefly Pavona
- WWC Cactus Pavona
- LA Lakers Scroll
- WWC Honeycomb Leptastrea
- Green Star Polyp
- War Coral
- Pink Polyp Montipora Cap
- Duncanopsammia
- Cat Eye Zoanthids
- Candy Cane Coral
- Indonesian Zoanthids
- Pom-Pom Xenia
- Zoanthid Frag(s)
- Acropora Frag

All the coral would be ordered from World Wide Corals. Do they all sound pretty good?

Please everyone tell me your thoughts on everything such as the stocking for everything, and the equipment. Will all the fish be peaceful?

I would appreciate any feedback. Thanks.

- Jack
 

DIYhack

I'd say you'd be a little overstocked.

Wrasse want 50G or more. That Flame Fairy one is rated for a minimum of 90G. Then id ditch the Chromis also. Pajama Cardinals are cuter too! LOL.

What light do you have a 1 strip T5 hood? 6700K is very yellowish like daylight but the corals don't look to hot in them. My t-5 hood is 4 wide so 3 bulbs are blue/purple with 1 bulb in that daylight spectrum. Gives the corals a better shine and brings out the colors. The Higher you go in K the bluer/whiter the light gets. It's not more intense it's just the spectrum.

If you're going salt get a skimmer don't cheap out now! Full sail ahead!

Corals are fine i've had almost all of them at 1 point. Don't get Xenia though, they will take over a tank that small. They are a weed!
 

grantm91

Good advice from DIYhack id drop that fluval 206 and get something more practical to maintain like a hob or just get a protein skimmer. That 206 will just end up a nitrate farm I thought about that before when setting up my reef.
 

2714fish

Thanks guys.
So I will take out the wrasse.

For lights, what is a good one you reccomend?

Also what kind of filter should I get then? I kind of like the canister filter idea, but if it isn't as good then I won't do that...


I also found a tank called the JBJ 45. Would this end up being more cost effecrive if I got this, than if I bought everything seperately?
 

Tragic13

Instant Ocean Sea Clone 100 Aquarium Protein Skimmer would be fine! It is a HOB or in sump protein skimmer, usually around $100 for one. Should be fine for that size of a tank, just keep it cleaned regularly.
 

grantm91

I did everything separately both time it wasn't that expensive for what I have. You use buy and sell sites? I do I have a nice 32g rimless I found for £40 !!! Id just get a hob filter its all I have I use it for water polishing and now growing macro algae. Easy Reefing, Reef,fowlr. For The Beginners/minimalist all my stuffs on that thread and the people chatting on there have there threads its a cool little sw community on here if your serious get on it and have a build thread we like getting involved and sharing our problems and helping one another.
 

2714fish

Okay. So I will get a skimmer...

I'm still a little confused on what the problem with a canister filter is?

And what lights would you all reccomend?
 

grantm91

I have a black box led the cheap one its great but you have to be careful you could easily nuke your corals with it, not very user friendly just good for the price, budget will dictate your light massively. Heres the thing with the canister the fluval has sponge inside which you do not really want for sw its no good, secondly to combat the phosphates and nitrates being produced by the detrius braking up in the sponge you would need to clean at least once a week at least, not practical in the slightest as your live rock provides bio filtration what is that canister doing? Honestly just go on you tube you will see. Look at the hob,
aa73df8cdcd7a4c206b2c5d8af877dd7.jpg £12 I paid for that its polishing my water and housing macro algae that absorbs excess nutrients and nitrates. Research is fun do lots!
 

Tragic13

Okay. So I will get a skimmer...

I'm still a little confused on what the problem with a canister filter is?

And what lights would you all reccomend?


I promise you'll be so much happier with a protein skimmer. I agree with Grant on the lights, you need something that produces high quality light for your corals (some blue and white spectrum). I would say try to go LED because it will save you money on your power bill and you can get a LED Chinese black box for a decent price that should be good to go !
 

2714fish

Okay. So I will try and get the LED Chinese Black Box for my light... And I looked at the protein skimmer and will likely get that too.

What kind of Filter would you all reccomend then? I will have the UV sterilizer, and the protein skimmer. So what other type of filter should I get.
 

grantm91

Well like I said about the hob, its a good water polisher and you can put what you want in there.
 

2714fish

So as far as filtration, you think I should have and HOB filter, the UV sterilizer, and a protein skimmer?
 

grantm91

And obviously a good live rock scape for bio filtration, you just need to do some research and see what's best for your needs.
 

2714fish

Okay. I was thinking dry rock actually. Is that okay?

And you think it is best to not use a canister filter. Or are there some canister filters that are good?
 

grantm91

No don't use a canister. And yes dry rock is fine if you cure and cycle it my mate greenbonsaidid it good he used dry then got a little bit of wet to seed and even got some hitchers too.
 

2714fish

Okay.

What about a sump? Is that a good idea, or not.

What would be best:
- HOB, UV Sterilizer, Protein Skimmer

- Sump, UV Sterilizer, Protein Skimmer

Which would you reccomend?
 

grantm91

Well yes a sump would be great, the best thing you could have. I don't have one Ive just got a closed system with a hob. Have a look at some stuff, some tanks as you clearly don't know what your going to do yet get some ideas I'm not a tank builder .
 

2714fish

Haha okay. I will do lots of research about what I want my filteration system to be.

But other than figuring that out, does everything sound good?
 

grantm91

Well to be honest I'm not sure on the fish I only have 4 just got a banggaI cardi, I also have 2 occelaris clowns and a blue neon gobby and ask for your corals and that id just get started with your rock water and cycle etc then fish then corals, its good to look into but its a long way off.
 

2714fish

Oh okay. So you don't really know for sure on the fish?

And yeah. I was planning on cycling with just sand and rock, before adding corals and stuff.

It actually looks like I may do a 55 gallon tank instead... So I will be starting a new thread about that, with questions and everythingthanks for the help on this thread though
 

Nanologist

IMO, 40 gallons is about the line for "needing" a protein skimmer, so in your case being just barely under that at 38 gallons I would personally opt to get one. If you get a good protein skimmer there will be no need for any other type of filter. The skimmer will catch a majority of the detritus and act as the tanks mechanical filter and the rock (live or cured dry) will act as the biofilter as said.

Does your tank have a back compartment/filter area? If not then I would get a sump. Main reason would be to hide equipment like the heater and skimmer, so they're not visible in the DT. The other reason sumps are so great is because it increases the total water volume of the system. If you get a 10 gallon sump you'd have a 48 gallons system and water will be that much easier to care for. You could eventually turn the sump into a refugium to grow macro algae for nutrient export like grantm91 has in his nano setup.

I would place order of importance as: Protein Skimmer > Sump > UV (not necessary at all if you turn sump into refugium with macro algae and start with good clear water)

As for stocking and if that coral site is any good, I can't help you there, sorry!

EDIT - If you get the 55 gallon then definitely get a 10 gallon sump and good skimmer!
 

Nart

I agree with greenbonsai
If you are going for a 55 gallon tank route, you might as well do a sump to hide all your equipment. Though, I personally would try to go 50% of your DT volume, so, if you have the room, it won't cost that much more for a 20-29 gallon tank. In a 10G sump, after baffles and etc... you won't have that much extra room if you were to ever wanting to add in additional equipment. Also, you won't be too restricted on sizes of a return pump, protein skimmer, reactors, etc...
 

grantm91

Op is a mad cat though, I think sumps and plumbing are going to be a challenge especially with everything else going on with it being his first. Unless you buy one of the tanks that come "sumped and pumped".
 

Nart

Not wayyy too hard if you consider yourself handy. Instead of drilling the tank, you can always look into those HOB overflow boxes, eshoppes and CPR makes them. Those are pretty much "plug and play". Cut some glass or acrylic for baffles, silicone and then add a return pump with some pipes fitted. Done!

My recommendation is, especially if this is your first set-up with a Saltwater tank. Take it slow with the proper set-up and do it right the first time and you'll be alright. If you want to rush into it, and play it by ear... dun dun dun. I will say though, it is overwhelming at first, so 1 step at a time.
 

2714fish

Okay thanks guys. I will look into some sumps... I was thinking about the Aqueon ProFlex Model 1 Sump. Is that a good one?

What kind of thing should I do in the sump? Refugium, Berlin style, or traditional style?

I will also look into a good protein skimmer.

And greenbonsai, you think a UV Sterilizer is not necessary if I do the refugium method?
 

Nart

2714fish you know, actually thinking about it, I agree with grantm91 pre-sump and pump might be the way to go for you.

Are you planning to DIY everything yourself? Or do you have a budget? Because you can actually buy whole set-ups for not that much more and it's already done for you.
If you are realllllyyyyy interested in setting one up, look into a local reef club near you. A lot of members often times shut-down big tanks for cheap. Like my local one, a member is shutting down his 100G and selling the entire set-up for $500. That's right, $500! My 25 gallon tank and lights alone cost me $500 lol.

Just my 2 cents. I personally like refugium sumps.
 

2714fish

Yeah. I like pre-sump and pump, sumps too. Is that what the Aqueon ProFlex Model 1 Sump is? You obvioualy need to put some of it together, but is that a good one?
 

Nanologist

Yeah. I like pre-sump and pump, sumps too. Is that what the Aqueon ProFlex Model 1 Sump is? You obvioualy need to put some of it together, but is that a good one?
I don't have personal experience with it, but it looks good and has a lot of good reviews. The one you linked is rate up to 55 gallon and if that's the size tank you get then I would recommend getting a sump rated for a little more than you're tank, so you may want the Model 2. You'll also want to get the measurements of the heater, skimmer and everything you plan on putting in, so you can compare them to the compartment sizes in the sump to make sure they're tall/wide enough.

The UV sterilizer mostly helps battle algae and keep the water clear, so if you have a refugium growing macro-algae and your water is RO/DI with perfect clarity then there really isn't a reason for them.
 

grantm91

That's what I'm saying I never had a sump my self, I like minimal stuff but sumps are a great thing man so much to do with them in a sw set up I would consider it but I like how I'm curently running my sw tank. I have a fw 55 gallon with a custom 25-29g fry tank under it that has potential to be a good sumped set up but there's no need with that set up a canister does it great, and the tank its self does not scream turn me in to a reef like the rimless things do. If you can afford it get a red sea tank that cones with the lot or if your feeling handy go for 2nd hand parts I looked arpund and could sump my 32g for about £100 pumps and pipes and the sump bought but then id want stuff to go in the sump.
 

2714fish

Okay. Thanks. What would need to be in a refugium? Is it complicated? Or is it easier than both Berlin style, and traditional style? Is refugium the most effective, and best option overall?
 

grantm91

MightyNanoTank has a actual refugium on the tank you can divide a part at the back or get a hang on one or again some tanks have them. He will be better to ask he's done more with them I just have a £12 HOB
 

2714fish

Haha okay so MightyNanoTank what do you think

Also does the Aqueon ProFlex Model 1 or 2 Sump, come with a return pump? How does the water get back to the tank?
 

Nanologist

Haha okay so MightyNanoTank what do you think

Also does the Aqueon ProFlex Model 1 or 2 Sump, come with a return pump? How does the water get back to the tank?
Most do not and I believe that model does not also, so you would need to get one and that's another dimension you have to factor in the sump.
 

Nart

2714fish I haven't been a fan of Aqueon stuff for a while now, especially so in the Saltwater world. Let me take a look.

Do you have a budget on your Saltwater build?
Do you have the 55 gallon tank already? I can give you a few recommendations if you give me your tank budget.

Looks like you have a bit of researching on sumps to do though that you should familiar yourself with. Otherwise, we'll be speaking different languages all day lol.
I built my own 10G sump and everything ready to go for my 15G. But I never got the chance to use it as I decided to ditch my Aqueon 15G for something a little better.

I myself have the Innovative Marine 25 Lagoon. It has what they call an All-in-one sump, this sump is partitioned by a acrylic wall within my display tank. no plumbing or anything needed.
Here's Innovative Marine's 50 gallon:
I highly recommend these tanks. Quality made products, all black silicone rimless tanks, and utilizes low-iron glass, so you get the best view of all your corals and fish with no green tint distortion.
Not to mention, an easy set-up too.
 

Nart

So I just looked at the Aqueon ProFlex Model 1/2
Dude, that's a hefty price tag. I wouldn't go with the Aqueon sumps personally.

Take a look here. Trigger Systems sumps. Very well made product with lots of satisfied customers.
Complete Aquarium Sump Units - Marine Depot

It really comes down to your budget though. If you have $1500 to drop. You might as well go with Innovative Marine, Red Sea, JBJ, etc... that comes pre-drilled and all that.
 

2714fish

I probably have a budget of about 800-900 in equipment(so not counting fish, coral). Is that reasonable? Or should I expect to spend more?

I will look into those sumps too
 

Nart

What's your goal with this tank? Like, what fishes, corals are you looking to do?
Are you a DIY person looking to build your own? Or do you want a nice star-fire (low-iron) rimless glass tank?
 

2714fish

So I was going to buy a tank and stand from my LFS. 55 gallons.

My fish stock was going to be:
- 2 Ocellaris Clownfish
- 3 Blue green Chromis
- 1 BangaI Cardinal
- 1 Firefish
- 1 Bi-Color blenny
- maybe 1 other fish, but maybe not

The coral I was thinking was:
- WWC Firefly Pavona
- WWC Cactus Pavona
- LA Lakers Scroll
- WWC Honeycomb Leptastrea
- Acropora Frag
- Green Star Polyp
- War Coral
- Pink Polyp Montipora Cap
- Cat eye Zoanthid
- Candy Canes
- Indonesian Zoanthid
- Zoanthid Frag
- Duncanopsammia Frag
- maybe just some other easy to keep frags

I am not really a DIY person, and was looking to buy most stuff. I can put things together though.

Not sure if this is the info you wanted.

I would like to know what kind of sump, and skimmer to get if possible.
 

Nart

If you aren't a DIY person, then I would recommend you to stay away from drilling your own tank.
Probably best for you to look into one that comes pre-drilled and plumbed tanks.

A 45-50 gallon will suit that stocking level.
$900 on tank and equipment to support your needs might be on a little low-end.
Lights alone will set you back around $500, tank and stand will probably be another $600.

Try shopping at another LFS. My LFS sells a brand new Deep Sea 60 gallon, comes pre-drilled with bulk-heads, stand, for $500
 

chirag

Your tank is overstocked at about 125% for 38 gallons. If you're getting a 55, it will probably do. Check at . It'll help you.

Sump with refugium is the best way to go with marine tanks. Get atleast 20-25 gal sump so that there is place for skimmer, pump, live rock etc. In the refugium sump, you can keep your skimmer, heater, ceramic rings, pot scrubbers, live rock (rubble or large), deep or shallow sand bed, chaetomorpha macroalgae, bubble trap and your return pump. You'll have to drill your main tank or use a siphon based overflow box. Drilling is better if you can manage it. Tempered glass is not to be drilled. You can get it all done by someone experienced. Ask your LFS. Try another one or two of them. Research on the corals before you get them. You could wait a bit too. This will also shift some of your costs to future. Cycle the tank properly before adding fish. With dry rock it'll take more time until the bacteria colonize.
 

DIYhack

Take note op! You started with a 38G Can reef. Now you are in a 50G with a sump and refugium and LED lighting. Next thing you will have a room dedicated to tanks lol.

Id do what mightynano recommended. Get that all in 1 rimless - Innovative Marine's 50 gallon or something similar. Easy set up plug and play.
 

2714fish

Okay thanks that helps a lot. And I think I am doing a 55 gallon now.

Can you please tell me some info at all on the refugium? Like how do I set it up? What should I put in it? What extra equipment is needed? Just baisically anything

Also, what protein skimmer would you reccomend?
 

chirag

Well you set a refugium in a partition in the sump, add a deep sand bed 4-6 inches or a shallow 1 inch as you like. Many people don't like deep as it is perceived to harbor detritus whereas others prefer it for supporting helpful anaerobic bacteria colonies which shallow may not have. The 1-4 inch is the danger area, giving you the worst of both deep and shallow. So mind it. You could use live sand if you like. On top of sand, keep live rocks, large or rubble, which is substantially cheaper, you could add some dead rock too, the live ones will eventually liven them. Add some chaetomorpha macroalgae to the side. It will grow up quickly eating nutrients and cleaning your tank. Get some good lighting for chaetos to speed up the process. That's your refugium.
 

2714fish

Okay sounds gooddo you know of any good pre made ones that I could buy, that are not too expensive?

What skimmer would be good too? And what return pump?
 

chirag

Sorry I can't help you much on the pre-manufactured tank and equipment brands as I don't have an idea about the prices and brands available at your end, also I like to customize and DIY everything that can be customized. I could build my skimmer under 40 bucks. I'd prefer Eheim for the pump, and Aquamaxx, Reef Octopus are some of the brands I've heard are good for skimmers provided they fit your budget.
 

2714fish

Do you guys think a UV Sterilizer would not be needed?
 

Nart

Not needed
 

2714fish

Oh really? Would it be helpful? Or really not do too much extra.

Also I found this refugium kit called CaribSea A.R.K. kit. Do you know anything about it? It sounds pretty good, but I don't know too much.

Alsp what lights are reccomended that are not tok expensive. Is the LED Chinese Black Box going to be able to light the whole tank? Or will the ends be shaded.

I also found a Coralife Aqualight Dual T5 Lamp High Output Fixture. Is this a good light that will grow the corals good?....... And I found the Current USA Orbit Marine LED Aquarium Light. Is this light good, and will it grow the corals good?

Sorry about all the questions and changesI just want to make sure I have the best(within price range)equipment. And that I have good equipment that will lead to a succesful setup.
 

chirag

A.R.K. Kit seems good to me, but I'd say you can also do without some of the constituents, it is meant more for the display tank than the sump, and also you're not keeping delicate fishes such as mandarin.

I myself don't believe in bacteria, algae additives until I've read enough independent positive reviews or scientific studies have been conducted proving the particular brand beneficial. Google out for reviews regarding this product. Sometimes the additives may prove to be waste of money.

Just properly cycle the tank for a month or so with fish food, the live rock will help. It'll also liven up dead rock and sand. Keep some in sump and display tank both.

The entire kit may cost you more unnecessarily. My suggestion is to use your money to buy something you'll use completely or you could get individual components from the kit as per your need. Just check the price difference you'll get as individual items usually cost more than the bundle.

No idea about the lighting.
 

2714fish

Okay thanks.
 

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