Beginning a 10 gallon FOWLR tank. Help!!!

Discussion in 'Saltwater Beginners' started by personman, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. personmanNew MemberMember

    Hello all,
    I am a complete saltwater noob and I would like some tips and pointers for starting a 10 gallon FOWLR tank.( I am aware that smaller is more difficult but I won't buy another tank until the dollar per gallon sale at Petco. I need all the help I can get. Here is what I have and what I'm going to get.
    What I Have
    -10 Gallon Tank
    -LED hood( I want to get an anemone, should I upgrade or can I feed it?)
    -Fluorescent Hood
    -Aqua-Tech 20-40(Can/should I use?)
    -Prime water conditioner
    -Freshwater test kit
    -Jungle Start right water conditioner with aloe and stress coat
    What I Might/Will Buy
    -Powerhead (Do I need one or is the flow from my filter sufficient?)
    -Protein Skimmer(Do I NEED one and if so what type is best/cheapest for me?)-Will buy live sand and 10 lbs live rock
    -What is the best/ cheapest salt to get
    -2 Clownfish (Can I get an Onyx and put it with an ocellaris in the same tank and can they live in the same anemone?)
    - A non agressive fish that will live with the clownfish but is used to cycle the tank.

    I have the filter cycled in freshwater, will it work?
    Will My tank work with Tap water?
    ANYTHING else I need to know PLEASE tell me!!!!

    Many thanks, Personman
  2. Cef

    CefValued MemberMember

  3. OP

    personmanNew MemberMember

    Can you contribute anything?

  4. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Being perfectly honest, I would not suggest a 10G for SW. Yes smaller is more difficult to keep stable, but it's more that the stocking options are very limited. Personally, I wouldn't put clowns in anything less than 20G.

    Freshwater test kit - which one? If it's the API, you can just get the SW colour charts, and you'll be ok. But you cannot use the FW cards, as the colours are different, and would give you false readings.

    Depending on your tap water, whilst not ideal, you might get away with it. The preference is to use RO/DI.

    FW bacteria in your filter won't survive in SW, the tank would need to re-cycle.

    You won't need the jungle start nor stress coat. Prime does all that for you.

    I would suggest reading the stickies in the SW Beginners. They should give you a good base to continue your research.

  5. OP

    personmanNew MemberMember


    Should I still do a sump for a refugium, protein skimmer, algae scrubber, etc...? [COLOR=]The sump would be made out of some sort of rubbermaid container/tote[/COLOR]. What flow rate am I looking for in powerheads to increase circulation? Also, what type of lighting should I get for some corals and the aforementioned anemone and Clownfish? What about light cycle?
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
  6. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Like I mentioned, have a read of the stickies. If it were me, I wouldn't bother with 10G. Stocking potential is too restricted.
    Depending on the anemone, most need a bigger tank than 10G, they can grow quite large (my Bubble-tip was the size of a dinner plate). Anemones are also very sensitive, and need a well established, stable setup.
    Lighting - I'm a fan of LED (lower power consumption and heat); the Maxspect R420r (razor), Ecotech Radions are very good lighting systems. But there are others out there too. T5HO is also fine. You'll want actinic lighting to give the full UV spread
    I wouldn't bother with a canister, they need too much maintenance in a SW setup.
  7. OP

    personmanNew MemberMember

    Ok I've read your stickies (very helpful) What lighting setup should I have 2 bulbs(1 Actinic, 1 day time) 4, 6? Or do you think LEDs will do the trick with some beginner corals. I really want the corals to pop. Also, is there a simple alternative to having acrylic cut to make baffles? How many chambers should the 10 gallon tank have for a skimmer, algae scrubber, mech filtration, bio filtration etc...?
    Many thanks- personman
  8. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Wait, I'm lost.
    Are you still planning a 10G display tank?
    What size sump are you planning?

    You can buy pre-made sumps if you don't want to make your own. A word on DIY sumps, if the sump is acrylic, use acrylic baffles. If it's glass, use glass baffles. Here's a good reference for sumps  

    As for the number of chambers, it really depends how you set it up. But generally you'll have an 'input' chamber, with an internal skimmer, followed by a return section. If you plan to run a refugium, then you'd generally have input -> fuge -> return. Obviously the size of the sump will dictate how much you can physically do.

    I wouldn't bother with an algae scrubber or a refugium. I'm a fan of bio-pellets.

    Lighting: I'd use LED, especially on a 10G, where heat transfer can be an issue. If you go T5HO, 1 actinic tube, plus a 12000k white should be fine. For deeper display tanks, 14-18000k depending on depth.

    Have a look at Slug's 14G setup, it'll give you some good ideas:
  9. OP

    personmanNew MemberMember

    The 10 G is the sump. The 40 Breeder is the display. However, I might buy sump. Wouldn't I want a mechanical filtration chamber at least as I generally over feed? I know that you said you don't really need a bio chamber due to live rock and live sand.

  10. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    If you run a protein skimmer, a lot of the dissolved organics (left over food) will get picked up by the skimmer.
    You can run mechanical filtration if you want, it won't hurt, but I never found the need to, my water was always crystal clear. If you want more details about my setup, check out my member spotlight (link above in signature) - some of the details changed overtime, but generally all hardware remained the same; I did change lighting to Maxspect 160W and add a chiller.
  11. OP

    personmanNew MemberMember

    Alright I definitely will add a protein skimmer, but all of the ones on amazon are way to big for a 40 gallon tank. Any recommendations. For mechanical filtration i will probably do sponge + filter floss.

    | 0 ........................................0 | |
    | 0 ........................................0 | |
    | 0 ..|...........................|.........0 | )H= 11.5 in (29.21 cm)
    | .....|.............|.............|.........0 | |
    |1....|.... .2.....| 3..........|4.......0 | |
    |__________|_____________| } W= 9.5 in(24.13 cm)
    ____________ ___________ |
    L=19.5 in(49.53 cm) * Interior Dimensions

    Heres what I'm thinking.
    0-Water overflow/return
    1-Mechanical filtration (Sponge+filter floss) on a makeshift table made out of lighting diffuser so that the the water can flow to baffle 2.
    2-Protein Skimmer
    3- Refugium Maybe?
    4-Return Pump

    The return Pump would be - Active Aqua, AAPW250 250-GPH Submersible,Hydroponic, Pond, Aquarium Pump - 6 Foot Cord - $20.13 US on amazon

    The overflow would be -HOW TO: $10 DIY aquarium overflow - UPGRADED and MODIFIED TUTORIAL- as seen on youtube

    What do you think?
    Many Thanks - personman

    Last edited: Jun 14, 2016
  12. peregrine

    peregrineValued MemberMember

    Take this with a grain of salt (HAHA) as I don't have a SW tank, and someone please correct me if I'm wrong. but in my research, especially on something like a protein skimmer, there really isn't such thing as "too large", just means it will get more out faster and have a bigger collection cup. Basically the reason they put the tank size is to make sure you don't put a 50 gal skimmer on a 200 Gal tank then wonder why it isn't working well. Again I could be 100% incorrect, but that is how I have understood in my reading.

    As for power head, I believe you should need one to keep the water flowing, and possibly 2. As someone else here mentioned (can't remember who) Remember, marine fish are used to and want fairly turbulent waters with a lot of water movement. Also it will keep the fish muck moving so it can get into the overflow. If there isn't enough water movement it will settle.

    One other thing you don't mention, or I missed it, but is recommended everywhere here, it to make sure to have live rock in your tank for caves, etc and also because it's a great bio filter if you get the water movement correct.

    Again this is all in my research here and elsewhere, so if I'm wrong I would like to be corrected since at some point I will be setting up a marine tank.
  13. OP

    personmanNew MemberMember

    Hello, thank you for your advice. I believe I previously stated that I will be doing a lot of dry live rock in the sump and in the tank. 40-50 lbs. As for powerheads, do you have a specific brand in mind or flow rate? Maybe 1 big one or 2 smaller ones. :)

    Many thanks-personman
  14. peregrine

    peregrineValued MemberMember

    Again in my reading, for almost anything in an aquarium multiples in case of failure is always good. However the biggest thing is making sure the water movement is over the entire tank and you don't have "dead spots" where the water is able to settle. Since I don't have a SW tank myself, can't speak on better or worse equipment for SW tanks.
  15. KwigWell Known MemberMember

    My only contribution here is to give you a heads up a Petco dollar per gallon sale is coming on July 8th through 10th. The last one ran 5 weeks and we usually hold them quarterly. It's also going to run to support live fish sales (yep, same weekend we have a 20% off sale) because it gets such a great response.

  16. OP

    personmanNew MemberMember

    How did you find out when it was?!!! You are a life saver, I had no idea when it was!

    THANK YOU-personman
  17. KwigWell Known MemberMember

    I work there, haha. ;)
    You're welcome!
  18. OP

    personmanNew MemberMember

    To be clear, this is a national sale, correct?
  19. KwigWell Known MemberMember

    As far as I know they're all supposed to be. :)
  20. peregrine

    peregrineValued MemberMember

    And that Dollar sale is why I'm waiting till that weekend to get the tank my wife keeps changing her mind on the size of. HAHA

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