So what am I missing?


It's actually a legitimate question. As I'm still pretty new to marine systems, I'm not really sure if I need more equipment. Specifically reactors, but anything else out there too.

I have two aquariums. Both are pretty healthy, but both do have brown algae, assuming diatoms from being new. One has some small patches of hair algae, and one has green algae on the live rock. Both are set up as "beginner" reefs.

Here are my setups currently:
Tank #1
29 gallon
AquaC Remora
AquaClear 110 converted to refugium - LR rubble and chaeto inside
2 Koralia Nano Powerheads
~50 lbs live rock
20 lbs live sand
mix of softies and a few lps corals
2 Fancy Clowns
1 Hector's Goby
1 Spotted Mandarin
1 Firefish
CUC made up of peppermint shrimp, serpent star, nassarius, red foot, hermits, astrea
Coralife T5HO two bulb fixture and Coralife T5 two bulb fixture
-this one I struggle with keeping phostphates and nitrates at low enough levels. they're not in extreme range, just not optimal
Began tank in early October 2013

Tank #2
28 gallon euro
AquaC Remora
Large CPR Aquafuge - dsb and chaeto inside
1 Powerhead at the moment
~40 lbs live rock (about 30 lbs were dry reef rock, been in there now about six weeks)
20 lbs live sand
Also a mixture of softies, lps and some decorative macro algae
2 Maroon clowns
-more fish to come at a later date
-similar cuc to tank#1, sans red foot, and serpent.
Aquatic Life 1W 24 Bulb LED fixture
-this one my numbers I can keep great, but i'd like to add another fish or so in the future.
Began tank in late November

So what else do I need to make these things really thrive? Most of my coral are frags, so they're just babies. Most things are growing, but I want to do this right. Do I need to add any type of reactors? I've thought about taking SunSun canisters to run PhosBan or something similar, but I don't know what else I would put in there. Are the small amounts of algae I'm experiencing just still the initial stages of these tanks? As you can see, both tanks are pretty new.

Thanks for your time!


Hmm most people would have more sand in those tanks. Saltwater people tend to do 3 lbs sand for every gallon. Depending on what you'd like to stock in the future.. especially anything like a pistol shrimp or goby.. blenny.. etc. They like to burrow and would need a deeper sand bed. As far as I can tell most of the setup seems complete. Addition of a skimmer could be of help. Nitrates seem to be an issue in my 20 gallon as well but it's a FOWLR so it's not quite as huge of a deal. Algae blooms are pretty common to newer tanks it seems. It really all depends on how extensively you'd like your setup to be really


Thanks, I don't want dsb's in the main bed; I'm keeping shallow sand beds. The current level is 1" which is ok for nassarius. Both tanks have AquaC Remora Skimmers.


Ahh my eyeballs skimmed over the skimmers (see what I did there?) lol I'm no expert in SW. With my one tank I just started in September. I wonder what would help with the nitrates aside from water changes..


Any other takers? I really want to gain a better understanding of using reactors or setting up a canister as a reactor, and is this of any real benefit in my small set-ups!

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