38 gallon saltwater reef tank

kammeraad

The equipment I have is:
- 38 gallon tank
- Aqueon quietflow 30 LED PRO
- Coralife LED seascape light
- Live Sand
- Live and Dry rock
- 150 watt submersible heater
- 2 Aquatop MaxFlow MCP-1 circulation pump (660 gph each)
- undersink RO system
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:
- Ocellaris Clownfish how many could i have with all the others? 4?
- 3 Blue Chromis
- 3 BanggaI Cardinal
- 1 Orchid Dottyback
- 1 Yellow Watchman Goby
- 1 Blenny (have not picked which one yet)
- 1 Anemone maybe 2 if i can have more then 2 clownfish
- 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? plan on starting with 2 clown fish what order after that?

The clean up crew I was thinking is:
- 1 Serpent Star
- 5 Dwarf Blue Leg Hermit Crabs
- 5 Scarlet Reef Hermit Crabs
- 1 pincushion or tuxedo urchin
- 3 banded trochus snails
- 1 Shrimp not sure which one yet
Does this sound good? Too big? Too small?

The Coral I was thinking are:
- Ricordea
- Hammer Coral
- Pavona Coral
- Duncan Coral
- Zoanthids (on an island)
- Pulsing Xenid (on an island)
-maybe others still doing research
- recommendations on what to put in first would be good

I have the tank set up with rocks and saltwater I added some live rock and instant ocean bio-spira in preparation for adding fish (hopefully in the next few days) my live rock came with tiny blue hermit crab and chocolate chip sea star. i plan on returning sea star tomorrow.

this will be my first saltwater tank any advice would be welcome
 

Jesterrace

Starfish in general are too big for that tank. So Serpent Star would be out. 'Nems of any kind can work but generally require very bright light and well established tanks to do well, so you would need more along the lines of a solid coral grow light for one (Corallife has decent T5HO fixtures but their LED lights aren't good for much beyond Fish Only). If you are on a budget a Viparspectra aka Black Box LED would be a good choice: https://www.amazon.com/VIPARSPECTRA...rspectra+165+watt+light&qid=1618964592&sr=8-5

Stocking. WAY TOO HEAVY for a saltwater tank. You can't pack fish in the way you do with Freshwater. For HOB you would be looking at about 5 fish max for that tank if you don't want a maintenance nightmare. I would personally skip the Chromis. Many come with Uronema disease these days and they tend to pick each other off in captivity. For Blennies I would go with a Tailspot. Others might have issues with the Yellow Watchman Goby since they offer the same space.
 
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kammeraad

ok more research
 
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Jesterrace

Once again the Chromis will likely pick each other off and many ship with disease. The folks who have the best luck with any Chromis long term generally have 6 foot long or longer tanks and have schools of 10-15 of them. Think of Chromis kind of like keeping large scale Tetras. Skip them for your tank. Orchid Dottybacks are the best behaved of the Dottybacks but can still be hit and miss. It's also really easy for suppliers to get them mixed up with Purple Dottybacks (with disasterous results). I would look at a Royal Gramma Basslet or Black Cap Basslet if you want a similar look but a better community fish in general.

The rest of the list looks good but I would definitely upgrade your light if you are going to do a 'nem and corals. The Clownfish should be fine mixing different Ocellaris varieties, just introduce them at the same time for the best odds of success.
 
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Jesterrace

Possibly, but you still have too many fish for that tank. That is a super heavy bioload for a tank with an HOB Filter that is on the smaller side for that tank. Skip the Shrimp Goby and the Sharknose (there might be territorial issues with multiple bottom dwelling gobies) and go with the Yellow Watchman Goby and pair it with a pistol shrimp.
 
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kammeraad

so:
- 2 Ocellaris Clownfish
- 1 Royal Gramma Basslet
- 1 Yellow Watchman Goby
- 1 pistol shrimp
- 1 Anemone

The clean up crew I was thinking is:
- 5 Dwarf Blue Leg Hermit Crabs
- 2 Scarlet Reef Hermit Crabs
- 1 pincushion or tuxedo urchin
- 3 banded trochus snails
- 1 pistol shrimp
is this too much, will i want more or will that be good? i heard that hermit crabs and snails need to be replaced periodically how do you know if you need to get more?

The Coral I was thinking are:
- Ricordea
- Hammer Coral
- Pavona Coral
- Duncan Coral
- Zoanthids (on an island)
- Pulsing Xenid (on an island)
-maybe others still doing research
- recommendations on what to put in first would be good?
I was thinking waiting a few months with FOWLR and add the Anemone (bubble tip?) let it find a spot then start adding coral. is that a good plan or should i add coral first?
 
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kammeraad

what size filter would you recommend?
 
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Jesterrace

I would go with a 50 gallon or larger rated HOB (ie Fluval/Aquaclear 50 or Seachem Tidal 55). I think your plan to wait and add a 'nem first is a good one. It will give it a chance to settle first. Be aware though they go where they want, when they want and there is no guarantee they will stay put even after they pick out a place for a while.

As for the clean up crew, you want to get as close as possible to 1 per gallon of tank (or at least 1 per 2 gallons of tank). You will definitely need to replace them every so often. Hermits will periodically pick off snails even if you leave extra shells in the tank so just plan for it. Your list looks pretty good for corals but be aware that there are 2 types major types of Hammer Corals (Wall and Branching), you definitely want to avoid Wall Hammers as they are a lot more finnicky and not newbie friendly at all. Branching Hammers are pretty hardy if you keep your water a bit dirty (ie Nitrates in the 10-20ppm range). Also be aware that Hammer Corals will sting their neighbors, so give them some space.
 
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kammeraad

so i ordered a Seachem Tidal 55 filter
and upgraded my lights to Current USA Orbit Marine IC LED Reef Aquarium Light | 24 Hour IR Lighting & Wave Pump Control | Adjustable Color Spectrum

- 2 Ocellaris Clownfish
- 1 Royal Gramma Basslet
- 1 Sharknose Goby (maybe)
- 1 Blenny (maybe, have not picked which one yet)
- 1 Yellow Watchman Goby
- 1 Anemone

The clean up crew I was thinking is:
- 6 Dwarf Blue Leg Hermit Crabs
- 2 Scarlet Reef Hermit Crabs
- 1 pincushion or tuxedo urchin
- 5 turbo snails
- 1 pistol shrimp

The Coral I was thinking are:
- Ricordea
- Pavona Coral
- Duncan Coral
- Zoanthids (on an island)
- Pulsing Xenid (on an island)
maybe others still doing research not doing hammers anymore 1 stinging thing is enough for now
 
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Jesterrace

Not a fan of Current USA lights for reef tanks, but the IC Pro should do okay for the corals that you want (although you may not like the look of the tank as they tend to have a weak washed out look). Definitely won't be doing SPS Corals with that light though and Coral Growth will be modest at best on Softies and LPS. Not sure how it will do with the 'Nem. This guy would be a much better choice for a coral grow light on that tank as it would have full coverage for a 3 foot long tank: https://www.amazon.com/VIPARSPECTRA...s=Viparspectra+300+watt&qid=1619524318&sr=8-6


Be aware that any coral in that tank will have to be well glued down as urchins are known to bulldoze them and Tuxedos are prone to running off with Zoanthid Corals. Remember that 'Nems go where they want and not where you want, so be aware of that. Also wait until the tank is well established before adding one.

You will need more snails and hermit crabs to keep up with your tank than what your list has. Needs to be at least 1 per 2 gallons of tank and ideally as close as possible to 1 per gallon of tank. Trochus Snails are wonderful all around cleaners and unlike the Turbos they can flip themselves over.
 
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