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skaerber

Hypothetical set up

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skaerber

Hello all! I've been lurking on the forums for a few months, researching a future build for a first reef tank. That said I have a hypothetical build is like to bounce off of more experienced members.

Equipment:

Traditional rimmed 20 gallon long

Diy stand (I already have these from an old planted tank)

Eheim 100 watt heater

Current USA orbit IC light

Current USA 660 gph wave pumps x2 or

Koralia equivalent wave pumps x2

Finnex hob refugium with fugeray and water pump

RO buddie

ATO

 

Livestock:

GSP

Mushroom

Algae barns pod starter pack

Firefish x1 and Banggai cardinal x1 or

Firefish x2

An appropriate clean up crew (still Researching)

Dry rock

 

This is the current list. I still have about 8-10 months of research to conduct, but I wanted to put this out there to get some feedback to help focus my research. Thank you!

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WhatsReef

I recently got an AI Hydra 52 and it's dope. Maybe look at the Hydra 26 if you want to upgrade the lights.

 

The MP10 is a pretty sweet wavemaker. It's awesome to be able to control the flow easily and no cords in your tank. Maybe consider that if you don't mind spending the money.

 

I realize those are both upgrades, but you do have 8-10 months to save up the extra money!

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Slim64684
53 minutes ago, skaerber said:

Hello all! I've been lurking on the forums for a few months, researching a future build for a first reef tank. That said I have a hypothetical build is like to bounce off of more experienced members.

Equipment:

Traditional rimmed 20 gallon long

Diy stand (I already have these from an old planted tank)

Eheim 100 watt heater

Current USA orbit IC light

Current USA 660 gph wave pumps x2 or

Koralia equivalent wave pumps x2

Finnex hob refugium with fugeray and water pump

RO buddie

ATO

 

Livestock:

GSP

Mushroom

Algae barns pod starter pack

Firefish x1 and Banggai cardinal x1 or

Firefish x2

An appropriate clean up crew (still Researching)

Dry rock

 

This is the current list. I still have about 8-10 months of research to conduct, but I wanted to put this out there to get some feedback to help focus my research. Thank you!

Hardware looks fine. The orbit ic will grow mushrooms and gsp just fine. 2- 660 gph wavemakers will be enough flow and with them on either end of the tank and the ic controller you can set them to pulse back and forth to get nice water movement in the tank. A 100 watt heater should work just fine also. I use a 50 watt on my 20 long with no problems. I don't have any knowledge on the fuge setup so I cannot comment on it.

 

As far as fish stocking i cannot offer any real advice there either. 

 

 

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pfcjackson0716

By the time you buy the 20 gallon long, wavemakers, and hob refugium, you’ll be out as much as you would if you bought the equivalent size aio, like say a nuvo. You’d get the clean rimless look, surface skimming (which I can say from experience with many past rimmed glass tanks running hob’s is a big deal if you’re as ocd as me, and despise surface scum), and if you added a dc pump with controller, like say the mightyjet line, it would look much better concealed within the back compartment vs having two power heads in the tank. This would give you more than enough flow for the corals you plan on keeping, while retaining the same controllability. You wouldn’t have the refugium, but I as well as many other reefers have had great success without them, especially with easy corals like shrooms and gsp. As far as lights, you’ll need a strip light like the ic, or two pucks (think a80’s or primes if you wanna go wild). There’s really nothing else at the price point of the ic non controllable, but if it were me, I’d look in the classifieds on here for used options that would allow for you to grow more light intense corals down the road. The price difference there could be made up by simply ditching an rodi unit and buying water from your lfs. I have a 5 gallon reservoir on my nuvo 10 with an a80 and tons of surface agitation and I replace it weekly. I don’t think you’d have enough evaporation to warrant buying an entire unit. You’d need to build another stand or modify the one you have to fit the new dimensions, or you could take advantage of the open aps stands on clearance rn for $175. If you’re neat about cords and equipment down there then it looks really slick. Ato is up to you, but I’ve had great luck with the smartato and im hydrofil. You can research for 8-10 months, but honestly the stuff you want to keep is really hard to kill, and between the help on this forum and advice from a solid lfs, I’d say you are good to go whenever finances allow. There’s a million ways to run a successful nanoreef, but I’d like to think I’ve given you the most aesthetically pleasing option to fit your budget. Just my two cents 

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jservedio

Your parts list is fine, however I would suggest not getting an RO buddie and saving up to buy a real RODI machine with full-sized cartridges. I go through about 7.5g a week on my 20g in NC where the humidity is relatively high (in WI, I went through more than 10g a week) between my weekly water change and topoff water, so you will be using a lot of water.

 

A small RO buddie cartridge has far less capacity than a full-sized cartridge and costs $20 to replace, but a full-capacity cartridge is only $12 to replace the resin. Not to mention the other full-sized filters are super cheap and you have lots of options to suit your particular local water (chloramines, high iron, hard water, etc.).

 

As someone with a traditional rimmed 20g, I tend to agree  with pfcjackson above - a Nuvo 16 tank is $200 without any sales - you can easily find them for $175 or less especially if you wait (or buy used for $100 or less). Without a sump, a traditional tank is going to be a mess with the fuge, heater, power heads, ATO, etc. all hanging out. However, no matter how ugly it is, it'll work.

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Friendly

as a side bar (sorry if it's taken as a thread jacking), in regards to a RODI system...how many of you have one that you use for personal use and aquarium use?

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skaerber

Thanks for the replies everyone! Just to clarify, I already have the 20 gal long and stand. This is to be my intro to reefs and saltwater tanks; this used to be a planted tank but I had to move and put everything in storage. That said I will definitely look into the nuvo tanks. Also the feedback the rodi system is good, I didn't think to look at cartridge life and price. I will also look into buying water. Lighting I'm still learning, I just liked that the current USA light controller also could control the wave pumps. Any suggestions for livestock changes or additions? 

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Rob22

Two firefish may  kill eachother as they get older. I would go one and the cardinal off of that list. Firefish are also jumpers so a screen top would be a good addition. You can build your own with stuff from any of the big box hardware stores for pretty cheap. I would order the screen from BRS though for light penetration. 

 

For clean up crew you you need to decide if you want hermit crabs or not. They can and will kill snails for shells, food or fun. Start small with a clean up crew and add more if needed. Maybe 4 nassarius snails if you have sand, a couple of cerith snails, a couple of Mexican turbo snails. You could do a pincushion urchin or tuxedo urchin instead of the turbo snails but you will need to feed them nori sheets if there isn’t sufficient algae. They will also consume coraline algae so if you like the purple rock look stick to the snails. I personally prefer the urchins as they are fun to watch, more fun than a snail

anyway. A small serpent starfish will also clean up extra fish food. The most important part of your clean up crew though is you. You can do all the maintenance on a 20 gallon without any inverts if you really wanted to. 

 

Other options you could look at are a goby pistol shrimp combo, clown gobies, tail spot blenny, possum wrasse, occelaris clownfish, cleaner shrimp and porcelain crab. Porcelain crabs are pretty cool as they wave fans infrint of their face and are predominately filter feeders. 

 

 

 

 

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Clown79
13 hours ago, skaerber said:

Thanks for the replies everyone! Just to clarify, I already have the 20 gal long and stand. This is to be my intro to reefs and saltwater tanks; this used to be a planted tank but I had to move and put everything in storage. That said I will definitely look into the nuvo tanks. Also the feedback the rodi system is good, I didn't think to look at cartridge life and price. I will also look into buying water. Lighting I'm still learning, I just liked that the current USA light controller also could control the wave pumps. Any suggestions for livestock changes or additions? 

The list of equipment you have is fine.

 

I would suggest the seachrm tidal hob filter over the AC's.

 

The tidal has a sicce pump, silent filter, huge media basket, fully adjustable flow(not just high/low) and best part-a surface skimmer which keeps the surface spotless.

 

You can buy surface skimmers for the aquaclears but they are really unsightly and take up more room.

 

 

For flow hydors are good or the Current pumps 

 

Another option are jebao pumps

 

The light is suitable for softies and lps. 

Another affordable option is 2 of these which gives you more options for corals

 

https://www.amazon.com/MarsAqua-Dimmable-165W-LED-Aquarium/dp/B017GWDF7E

 

 

For fish, 2 firefish may fight.

 

You could do a firefish, bangaii, and another small fish.

 

Consider making a mesh top for the tank as firefish are very skittish and jump

 

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Tamberav
17 hours ago, Friendly said:

as a side bar (sorry if it's taken as a thread jacking), in regards to a RODI system...how many of you have one that you use for personal use and aquarium use?

I have mine teed off using a 3 way ball before the DI to make RO water. It then goes through a polishing filter for taste that typical drinking water ones have. It is delicious!

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WhatsReef

I use my SpectraPure for drinking and aquarium. I've been drinking the RODI water, which isn't bad at all, but I'm going to throw a splitter/valve on there to get regular RO. Tastes great.

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ezreefer73

I have a very similar set-up to this. 20 gallon long rimmed tank. I have the orbit IC light, which I added a second current led to it and supplemented with a reef bright actinic led strip. I have 2 of the eflux 660 pumps being controlled by the controller. I also have an Aquaclear 70 which I installed an ac 30 impeller to slow the flow down which I am adding the IN Tank media basket to this weekend, and I have the finnex refugium which works great. My chaeto grows like crazy with the included light. I also run a bubble magus QQ1 hob skimmer, which I feel does a great job. I get a pretty dark skimmate from it. The current IC system makes it really easy to adjust your lights and pumps. For my water I have an aquatic life ro/di unit I got off of Chewy.com that I got for about 60 bucks, it only can do 50 gallons a day but I get 0 TDS water from it and the di cartridge is see-thru so you know when to change the resin. I also have the auto-aqua micro ATO system so my top offs are automatic. The sensor is right in the tank and works like a charm. I say go for it!!

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paulsz
5 hours ago, Clown79 said:

Consider making a mesh top for the tank as firefish are very skittish and jump

Yes, please make sure there's a mesh lid on the tank if you decide to get a firefish. Mine used to jump from any disruption. Once got scared by a passing snail and  jumped. 

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