New Setup Review



Just starting out with a new sw, currently just an empty tank (not even water, though have the RO filter), Its 240l (52Gal for you American’s).

Calc that 26kg of LR needed, was going to either go 50\50 LR and dead rock, or 1/3 LR, 1/3 Dead rock and 1/3 man-made dead rock. Using dead rock and man-made to cut down on costs, mix of looks and also not starting big so didn’t think I needed 100% LR

Wasn’t going to get a protein skimmer unless it was absolutely necessary and as I’m starting off small I assume I can add this later if need be. Also use an under tank canister filter, keeping it simple

Plan was to add the dead rocks, saltwater, few live plants then the LR and live sand and let it cycle

Can this be left like that for a while? Not in a rush to add the fish, plus off on holiday in January so would be easier if there were no fish whilst I was away and will give the dead rock time to seed and increase the amount of LR

Will the bacteria on the live rock survive without fish?

Once I’m ready to add the fish I was going to add 2-3, probably few clown fish and a blue tang (not going exclusively Disney but got a newish baby and the misses is bugging me), then over time add a few more at a time

Does this sound ok for a simple sw setup or is it going to end in tragedy?



The bacteria on the Live Rock need an ammonia source in order to survive. You can probably use ammonia drops to keep them going until you add fish.


Would a blue tang work in that tank? They get to be almost a foot... I’ll tag Nart and stella1979 and see what they think.


Not that hung up on a blue tang, tbh didn't realise they got that big
Possibly just two clownfish, and maybe something just as hardy
Bit sparse to start with but ok as a start


If I ever do Saltwater again it'll be a firefish goby tank. As I understand it they are pretty hardy.


Definitely no tangs in anything less than 100 gallons. They get quite big and loves lots of space to swim.

Your stocking can look something like this:
Pair of clowns (occellaris or percula clowns, other clown species get a bit too aggressive towards tank mates)
Blenny (bi-color, starry, etc...)
Pistol goby + Pistol shrimp (so like, Yasha Goby or Watchman goby paired with a randall pistol shrimp)
Flame Angel (typically does okay with corals, but they can nip, so play it by ear) or Pygmy Angel
Shrimps and snails

That would be max of what I would stock.
Maybeee a wrasse down the line.

Mixing dead and live rock is fine. However, I will note, most dead rocks will leach phosphates. So you'll want to cure the dry rock before putting it in with the live rock. If you plan to go for a long period fish-less, you can ghost feed the tank with flake food or something in a mesh bag. That way it's easier to remove the food out of the tank every few days. Or if you have access to ammonia chloride or ammonia, its easy to just dose some of that into the tank to feed the bacteria and keep it going.


I'm more nano reef, but a tank this size is middle ground, maybe look at dwarf angles or the larger species of clown fish could be fun, just remember whilst doing your home work to check if the fish your getting are reef safe if you plan on corals. There is a whole lot of stuff for you to look into, like a massive world of salt water.


Thanks guys
Yeah breaking it to the misses, no blue tangs

Happy now I know I can take it slow and get the rocks and plants all set up, take my time then add the fish when i'm ready


I'm more nano-centric too... A 52 sure sounds nice though. Can't wait to see it.

Good advice so far... particularly about cycling dead rock to get rid of phosphates before you include the live rock or anything else. Phosphates cause algae outbreaks!

I can also vouch for firefish being nice and hardy. Mine recently made it through almost a week without power after a storm. I worried for him because he was very stressed, but he came through it just fine.

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