Question Freshwater Man Looking to Set Up Saltwater - Very Confused

Zach72202

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I recently acquired a green spot puffer about 3" long and I am aware he needs some salty conditions. I have read that they are good to live in a reef and I have always been intrigued by reef tanks, just setting up a bigger one to have lots of fish seems very expensive, but since I have this GSP I guess now is a good time to pull the trigger.

What I have:
I have 29 Gallon tank
100 Watt Heater
20Lb bag of instant ocean
I do not plan to do a refugium

What I know I want/need:
Filter
Skimmer
Live Rock/Sand
Little pen thing you look through to tell salinity - Refractometer?

Questions:
What sort of filtration should I have?
It seems everywhere I have read about this, it seems to be an absolute peeing match about it where the poster goes "I have a Aqueon 75 HOB on my 29, I know its overkill, but more filtration is better I guess haha", and then the next comment is "I hAvE 2 oF tHoSe oN mY 29g TaNk, I wOuLd HaVe 4 If I cOuLd" and it just gets worse from there. So, what would be practical? I was thinking a Aqueon Quietflow 30 HOB, but I wouldn't have a problem stepping it up to a 50 if that would be better. The only fish I intent to have in there is the GSP and corals eventually (hopefully). Maybe like one or two more small fish if he will tolerate it long term.

Protein Skimmer. What? Why is it 250$? It seems important.
So along with the filtration, I understand the skimmer is basically there to filter out micro-particles and keeps the water in pristine condition. I will figure out how they work and what exactly do they do with extra research, but I am aware there are HOB versions of them. I know they are pricey, but every one I have looked at seems to be for a 75 gallon or a 55, when I have a 29 and that seems a bit overkill. Are there any cheaper versions that work well (I know I am probably asking a lot with this lol) that I can HOB for a 29 gallon?

Final question: Is there anything I am missing with this idea?
Not gonna ask about corals or lighting yet, just lookin' to get my fishy all set up first :)
Thanks for reading!
 

MomeWrath

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If you aren't doing a sump, I recommend the Aqua-C Remora Pro hang on skimmer. It's as quiet as a skimmer can be and does a fantastic job. I went through several different skimmers, including the "less expensive" ones from ebay. They all went in the trash and I wish to the Powers That Be that I had just bought the remora in the first place.
If you have a good skimmer, then an HOB is sort of redundant/there for extra live rock/flow. In SW the skimmer and the live rock are the primary means of filtration. The skimmer removes organics from the water before they have a chance to break down into the things that our FW filters process. (google "Foam Fractionation" to read about how and why it works. The best thing you can do for your SW startup is buy a good skimmer! A urination competition can also ensue about whether it is even necessary on a 29 with adequate water changes, but in my opinion with a puffer of any kind that answer is unequivocably YES. The biological filtration is accomplished with good water flow over your live rock. More live rock is better. An HOB is a place to put more live rock...
Also don't bother with "Skilter" brand HOB's. They are absolutely a waste of money. Too small as an HOB filter and the intergrated skimmers are useless.
 
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Zach72202

Zach72202

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Wow that was a very informative comment, thank you for this. I am looking into this skimmer now and it seems to be out of stock most places, but the price for it seems to be just below 200, which as your claiming it is excellent, will be worth it. So, would getting a HOB filter or getting a small powerhead be more useful as you said live rock is the main filtration? I know my puffer wouldn't enjoy a hurricane in his tank, but a little flow wouldn't upset him I believe, as long as he has a few spots to chill and sleep at night.
 

MomeWrath

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I ran a fully stocked 75 gallon reef with that skimmer and powerheads along with a HOB refugium, so yes lol i would go to my grave defending it haha.
Personally, I'd go with powerheads. Two Koralia 450s would probably do. Maxijet 1200 is another option that costs less, but the suction cup mounts will hydrolize over time and the magnets on the Koralias are a lot more reliable. I'm speaking from five years ago when I bought all that stuff, so I honestly don't know what is still in production or if model #s have changed! I gave up reefkeeping myself because it's worse than having a dog as far as time spent and the cost of having it looked after if you go out of town lol. I think those puffers are adorable. I've never kept one because I'm too afraid to heck up the transition to saltwater.
 

MomeWrath

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Looks like AquaC got acquired by Cobalt aquatics and they appear to be re-releasing a similar model to the remora...
 
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Zach72202

Zach72202

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Yes, if the stuff isn't in production anymore the information you have provided me alone is worth a lot! I appreciate it all!
 
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Zach72202

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Also, If all else fails to find one, I can get one on ebay!
 

MomeWrath

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Zach72202 said:
Yes, if the stuff isn't in production anymore the information you have provided me alone is worth a lot! I appreciate it all!
you bet! Here is a video of my old 29 reef. I had a Reef Octopus skimmer on it, which worked alright, but man it was noisy and pumped a lot of bubbles into the tank...
 
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Zach72202

Zach72202

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Wow that looks great! I would definitely love to have my little puffer in that set up!
 

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