Easy Reefing, Reef,fowlr. For The Beginners/minimalist

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grantm91

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Hello,
Fellow fishlorians,

I'm setting up a new reef tank and I'm going to show everything I do because I see a lot of threads floating around saying "want to start a Saltwater aquarium" . So in this thread il cover everything you need to have a small fish only with live rock tank (fowlr) or reef (basically keeping corals) I only keep the easy corals as I think they are more fun to grow and cultivate and you don't need loads of test kits or equipment or super strict parameters. I want to bust this thing about having to spend so much and having to be a genius to have a beautiful set up, il be covering prices as I want to encourage people in to the Saltwater world.

Any way I'm moving from a 60litre (16g)
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To a 120litre (32g)
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I'm waiting on my light and for something to sell so I can afford my extra live rock I want, and for a part for my light hanging kit to come as it came today and was missing a part!

Tomorrow I will cover everything I have on my 60litre with pictures and how much it cost me from the salt and the sand to the fish and the corals.
 

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Lol thank goodness for this thread. grantm91 you're a saint . This should be fun to watch! I love FOWLRs.
 
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grantm91

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Right I've took some pictures its time to cover my 60 litre salt water setup with some costs for anyone who's interested also with some tips and advice;

Firstly the tank its self.

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Its an aqua one aquaspire 55, 60 litre tank I got 2nd hand no scratches for £55 with stock filter,light and heater, but I sold the filter for £15 and the light for £10 so lets call it £30 for the tank.

Next up I'm going to mention my sand (caribsea live marine sand) which I paid £20 for as it claims to help with cycle and to buffer kh+ph, in the same category il class it I'm going to mention the live rock, very important in my process and the best choice I made getting second hand wet rock. Advice on live rock short and sweet go for the biggest most light porous pieces I spent £40 on it and did not go off weight I went off feel, imaginary scaping and measurement as its a closed system I run, refer to the pics lol.

Next my wave maker
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£35 pounds this cost me its a very good piece of kit, its a 1 speed plug and go thing I got a 2500LH because its very important to have good circulation as you will learn in the hobby but I can't harp on and teach about that as this post I know is going to be big and I want people to read it. Also going to give my hob a mention at this point it cost me £13 off amazon, not essentially need but il show you this.
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water is crystal its my mechanical filter and water polisher, I also find it to be a copepod farm, I don't replace those slide in inserts I chopped out the carbon and I just wrap the plastic with floss.

Next up I'm going to give my lighting a quick mention, the first light I had is a 6watt blue and white nicrew thing for £15 off amazon which lights your fowlr set up nice and I had softies under it for a little while and they did ok, but then I decided to get an Arcadia stretch for £35 (the silver one) which is perfect for this set up I have a nem and its super healthy and my corals are all loving life. Also quick one on the heater which you can't see its a slI'm aquel 100watt its like a cobalt but I paid £20 good investment if its going in your display.

That's got up to £190 pounds for a good fowlr, and that's being resourceful, not including test kits etc or fish which il stick in quick, 2 ocelaris clowns £20, pick the smallest 2 you can but get one slightly bigger than the other and they should pair, that's good fast advice. Also I've got to say quick they are amazing little interactive wet pets a must have IMO.

Lastly so I don't bore you.
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This is my refractometer, £15 off amazon its the cheap one its for testing salinity it works great and is invaluable to you, next my salt of choice £25 red sea coral pro which dissolves rapidly and is high quality. The last two pics are what I use to mix, first pic of the two is a spare air pump, the stock heater and the first wave maker I paid £10 for but it broke and I decided I needed a decent 1 brilliant for mixing lol. Lastly buckets and bits and bats essential to any fish keeping person, even more so if you go in to salt water.

Tried keeping it short and sharp, il cover more in detail and go in to my corals in future posts when setting up my new tank, this first post is just to share my ways and to show how I got started up and to give a couple of resourceful tips. My last cheeky tip; look at the first two pics, they will aid me in getting money back when I come to sell the tank, I did a water change today and had a clean, look at the potential this tank has lol. when selling don't be pushy, let your pictures speak. Peace ️

Brine shrimp, mysis and family guy for my clowns, goby and nem!
 
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grantm91

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UPDATE: today my light arrived, its looking sweet, its one of the Chinese black box led things which have become popular recently.
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Due to there recent uprise I didn't expect to have a struggle to find a mount but I did, sort of anyway I only found 1 that claimed to be universal for the T5 units and led units.
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And this is the exact light from amazon
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And here is mine, fitted
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Note where the hanging wires attach to the light its self the fittings are what come with the hanging kit not the light, I had to open the light up take the brass coloured fittings off and drill the holes out bigger for the one that comes with the hanging kit to fit it. Not a huge problem but one to take note of. I felt it important enough to share as its a great light at a great price but don't make hanging an after thought as it will arrive and you will be scratching your head lol.
 

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Thanks for sharing your posts. I started a FOWLR about a month ago and have enjoyed reading your posts and updates.
 
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Filled up and moved the fish and coral in, WOW what a performance, much harder than just setting up.
Firstly I filled my tank, I chose to put the salt and water in and get it mixed to my desired salinity
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leaving enough room for some water from my original tank and for displacement from rock and sand. A good guesstimate. Next the sad part taking down my old tank and sorting everything sand rock, fish,coral,inverts in to buckets.
Livestock,corals
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And rock
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Then the hardest part, putting everything in, starting with sand then rocks then corals then fish,
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I say its the hardest part because you can't see, but this is not time for scaping, your just getting it all in to get the flow back on things. During this time I ran my hob for a couple hours to clear the fog turning it off and cleaning the floss and sponge to clear it off the stuff it collects.
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that's the tank now, all in all a pretty bad experience up to now because i've taken a nice reef down and tried to build a new one out of the stuff I've grown to the old set up and scape: nightmare. Il update how I re-scape it which will probably involve a claw hammer and my amazing fragging kit LOL:
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this is my frustration with corals I think I have ocd and getting them perfect is a long process.

Had to edit as the app sent half my post as usual...
 
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So 2 days in to the new tank and thought id post a video for anybody that's interested, its a look at everything including my new BTA green tip one, lovely picked it up yesterday from a lady not too far away for £20. Also a look at how my purple tip condy nem likes to feed, in my opinion these anemones are the most fun,easy to keep happy and most interactive nems.

BAD REEF DAY..
lol today I was looking in my newly set up reef tank and I just was not happy at all,
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look top left on that picture you will see where 80% of my softies sit, my favourite when it was in my old tank as it has the gsp and zoas and buttons on it which are my favourite but in here it just doesn't work the corals are to bunched for the bigger set up.
So I took drastic measures and broke the rock in to sections with the corals on rather than moving the polyps individually as id be there till Christmas.

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I had some bad hair algae hiding between some of them, some of it was that bad I just decided to throw it away. Ive put stuff back and made a new scape and spread stuff out, but its going to take time to get it up to standard again its been a pain and my new BTA has decided to move in to my live rock like its full on in the rock sticking its tentacles up at me like little middle fingers !!! So I had to just down tools for the day before tools ended up through the glass lol but its all part of the "fun" I suppose but frustrating when you were happy with your old set up, well not happy but like super proud, never mind I couldn't have left it like that and been happy so it is what it is. Next time I post on this thread il just let the pictures talk as it will be fixed, sorry for the paragraph but the lesson is a good one , you can't just place your old set up in a new tank it doesn't work if you have good taste and colonies of coral stuck and grew in a way specific to a certain tank, plan for the change do drawings and everything if it helps lol.

Still a work in progress, got my green star polyps on top of my rock bridge and a colony of zoas on the side closest the glass, just the back left to sort, also diatoms everywhere but I'm not bothered at the moment my bubble tips came back out, I think another week and il be sorted. Did a video to show the progress.
 
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grantm91

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HOB filter,
Tonight I thought il clean my hob filter;
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That's the filth my floss collected in four days that's with sponges behind them too! Ive been rinsing the floss every two days since set up because its been catching a lot of dirt maybe something to do with the diatoms I got from the new sand.
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these are the sponges I choose to run them instead of anything else just because its what ive always done and my waters been clear like crystal clear I do clean them well under tap water every 3/4 days max, I'm currently looking at the cheato thing where you grow it in the hob and thinking about ditching the sponges but I still need to do a lot of research.
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Lol my hob service station aka the kitchen sink. Well with the diatoms starting to clear and things starting to look up I thought id turn down the blues and take some pics to show how I re-modelled my corals, il add my only tools were a hammer,chisel,sharp ended tweezers and gorilla gell super glue. Hoping soon to add to this kit a dremill. Here it is so far.
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I want to add a video but when my green bubble tip anemone is not lounging in its man cave or nem cave lol the cheeky swine just took over my live rock !!
 
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Lchi87

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Enjoying this thread very much but I don't think I have it in me to set up a reef tank, holy smokes is it a ton of work lol!! I'll just live out my salt dreams vicariously through you. Looks awesome, keep it up!
 
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grantm91

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Thanks for the compliments ! Its honestly not that hard its just a little more expensive and a little more manual work than a decent Freshwater set up, it starts off just a tank some rock a clown fish or two, then it snow balls, this thread is for the people who think they can't, I'm saying you can there's no magic to it literally all I've done is read info and watch youtube and it all started with a rimless 16g glass cube now I'm hooked and loving the immense amount of biodiversity that can actually be inside a tank this small its an alien world in there.
 
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Selling,
Sold my old tank today, heres the pics I used and two adds I wrote;
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Add 1:
Fish tank, 60litre cube,
Marine Led.
The tank its self is scratch free and makes an amazing nano reef set up it comes with a nicrew blue and white led and an Arcadia stretch marine, which as you can see supports an array of photosynthetic life. The rest of the kit needed to make it a workable minI reef is cheap and I can advise. Any questions just ask. Price is down to lights.

Add2:
Fish tank 60litre,cube style,
Marine led lights.
My first reef set up, the tank 60litres is scratch free and just looks amazing like a floating cube of the barrier reef in your living room if set up properly. Comes with:
•Arcadia stretch marine led.
•nicrew blue and white led light.
• the tank
•55watt aqua one heater

No offers.

It was add 2 that sold the tank, personally I thought add1 would have done it but putting the two approaches out there is best, pics, take from above, really get on top of the stuff and don't be pushy, and price reasonable as everyone has google. Follow that and you will sell stuff with ease.
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ker-ching lol, also tested my ammonia, nitrite and nitrate to make sure I haven't affected the cycle with my move and re-scape.
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I think I'm good,
Also the 10mm rI'm clips for my diy lid finally came so I shall chop that to size and put it on tonight.
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The DIY mesh lid is definitely fun to make. Good luck with it!
 

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grantm91 said:
Selling,
Sold my old tank today, heres the pics I used and two adds I wrote;
7956df63380fab8ec88e7934b2acb94a.png
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71146e81117f89ce57a9953476dfa4fa.png
e53d8cf4f1d1c85afb2791b942404c3a.png


Add 1:
Fish tank, 60litre cube,
Marine Led.
The tank its self is scratch free and makes an amazing nano reef set up it comes with a nicrew blue and white led and an Arcadia stretch marine, which as you can see supports an array of photosynthetic life. The rest of the kit needed to make it a workable minI reef is cheap and I can advise. Any questions just ask. Price is down to lights.

Add2:
Fish tank 60litre,cube style,
Marine led lights.
My first reef set up, the tank 60litres is scratch free and just looks amazing like a floating cube of the barrier reef in your living room if set up properly. Comes with:
•Arcadia stretch marine led.
•nicrew blue and white led light.
• the tank
•55watt aqua one heater

No offers.

It was add 2 that sold the tank, personally I thought add1 would have done it but putting the two approaches out there is best, pics, take from above, really get on top of the stuff and don't be pushy, and price reasonable as everyone has google. Follow that and you will sell stuff with ease.
313197c8d52c4b187c816bd1687b3ba6.jpg
ker-ching lol, also tested my ammonia, nitrite and nitrate to make sure I haven't affected the cycle with my move and re-scape.
bf73a07cd77fde12399fc69511213de4.jpg
I think I'm good,
Also the 10mm rI'm clips for my diy lid finally came so I shall chop that to size and put it on tonight.
75478d964f340bdfd0d47d6b058c0ed7.jpg
Are there instructions on here for making the mesh lid?
 
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grantm91

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KristaD mine came with the tank as I got the tank off a buy and sell site, I just had to order the plastic clips for it to sit on and cut it smaller so it would fit with my hob filter and the hanging kit for my light. I googled the mesh lids as I was curious and it looks like this is where mine came from maybe there is a us version.
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that's the lid, makes the tank look like I actually know what I'm doing lol.
 

KristaD

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grantm91 said:
KristaD mine came with the tank as I got the tank off a buy and sell site, I just had to order the plastic clips for it to sit on and cut it smaller so it would fit with my hob filter and the hanging kit for my light. I googled the mesh lids as I was curious and it looks like this is where mine came from maybe there is a us version.
85d55b0b9ce8f4816a695b0be92db2c4.jpg
that's the lid, makes the tank look like I actually know what I'm doing lol.
Thank you! I can make it work.

My problem is I have a 29 gal tank and I'm using an octo hob protein skimmer. It's wide and I can't find a lid that allows me to run that and has a strong LED light. I thought I could try another option.
 
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grantm91

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I think a diy mesh lid is the best option for you, I'm looking at a bubble magus qq1 hang on skimmer maybe at some point in the future and with this lid if I need to I can just chop it down to size again, it looks nice too I think.

Water changes and mixing salt,
I decided tomorrow il do a water change, so tonight I mixed my salt water, parameters are perfect
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Lol at the lab, but I do weekly water changes to replenish trace elements and so its fresh for the fish. But any way issues and what I do, there is nothing hard or no special technique to mixing salt water, I imagined there was before I had a Saltwater tank but no just put the salt and water in your mixing container add a power head and heater and that's it. But lol there is a but, if like me you buy RO water from the shop over and over you will probably end up with debris from time to time in the tubs/containers, I find I do any way and cat hairs omg its a never ending war for me! Heres some pics any way.
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That's all I do, a bottle, coarse filter foam, and some gravity. A little boring but just thought id share. I can say I've used red sea coral pro salt since day one and its been good in every way.
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Water changes with music and a cup of coffee... ahh... that's it right there.
 

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grantm91 said:
Water changes and mixing salt,
I decided tomorrow il do a water change, so tonight I mixed my salt water, parameters are perfect
7061988e9333ecc90efadabd6f56387d.jpg

Lol at the lab, but I do weekly water changes to replenish trace elements and so its fresh for the fish. But any way issues and what I do, there is nothing hard or no special technique to mixing salt water, I imagined there was before I had a Saltwater tank but no just put the salt and water in your mixing container add a power head and heater and that's it. But lol there is a but, if like me you buy RO water from the shop over and over you will probably end up with debris from time to time in the tubs/containers, I find I do any way and cat hairs omg its a never ending war for me! Heres some pics any way.
dda2be848306bb0e0fb8cfdc625cdf09.jpg
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That's all I do, a bottle, coarse filter foam, and some gravity. A little boring but just thought id share. I can say I've used red sea coral pro salt since day one and its been good in every way.
ef4353868f80e05e291d5ab57e69502e.jpg
lol it's the little things in life huh?

The fight against cat hair is real! I know my two boys keep me busy.

I like the make-shift filter/funnel. I just pour all water I add to the tank through a catching net, but you got me wanting to make one now because I have the extra sponge from the collection of things I've found.
 
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MightyNanoTank that is exactly what's just gone down but a cup of tea, and greenbonsaithe cat hairs really are a pest il be doing a nice video of the tank and wooosh cat hair from the power head, they seem more prominent in the Saltwater set up compared to my Freshwater. The funnel thing is good as I mix in a bucket and poor back in a container so I just thought throw a sponge in there it works too. Its getting it back from the container to another bucket then to the tank where I think the hairs get in, and there's probably ones still from when my clown jumped and I threw her back in, that was like the real cat-hair-magedan.
 
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Ha! Cat hair would be a nightmare. I have to fish people hair out of my tanks, three girls in my house. One thing I can keep hair free is my water change/mix container. I use a 10 gallon Brute and keep the lid on as much as possible. Somehow my hair ends up in tanks anyway, I think it drops right off my head when I'm doing maintenance.
 
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