Getting back into reef after 14 years - need advice please

lbv

New member
Hey everyone,

I have been out of the reef game for over 14 years and it seems everything has changed quite a bit! My mind is currently racing trying to learn everything all over again and could use some help!

My previous reef experience only consisted of 20H and 20L reefs which were fairly successful using power compacts. As for this reef, I am using a standard 29 gallon tank (30x12x18) mainly due to space limitations. Furthermore, some of my equipment was already on hand (light and refugium). Below is the breakdown of current equipment:

Light:
Tek-Light T5HO 24" x 4 Bulbs: <front> ATI B+, ATI C+, ATI B+, ATI C+ <back>

HOB Refugium:
CPR Backpack 1st Gen (looks to be 5 gallon) with Rio 400 (144 gph)

Protein Skimmer:
AquaMaxx 1.5 HOB - ~250 gph

Powerheads:
Hydor Koralia Evolution (850 gph)
Maxi-Jet 1200 (295 gph)

Heater:
Eheim Jager TruTemp 100 Watt

Concern - Lighting:
Is the lighting setup above adequate for LPS, Softies, and potentially SPS? What PAR readings are considered good? Also, what height off the tank should I start with? I may be able to get my hands on a PAR meter to check.

Concern - Lighting Schedule:
The light is somewhat controllable in the sense that the middle 2 are controlled by one ballast and the outer 2 are controlled by another ballast.

Would it be beneficial to run the following schedule to try to "mimic" a sunrise and sunset and also not to scare everything with all on at once:

Middle Bulbs ON (C+ and B+) - 9am to 11am
All Bulbs On (B+, C+, B+, C+) - 11am to 7pm
Middle Bulbs OFF and Outer On (C+ and B+) - 7m to 9pm
All Off - 9pm to 9am

Concern - Water Flow/Movement:
With the above equipment the Refugium (144 gph), Protein Skimmer (250 gph), and Koralia (850 gph) I am at about 1244 gph or 43x turn over. Is this acceptable or over kill?

I have a spare new in box Maxi-Jet 1200 (295 gph) I was planning on using for additional control if needed.

Thank you in advance for the advice!

EDIT:

Silly me forgot to add two questions I am still mulling over:

Concern - Eggcrate under sand:
I used to use eggcrate underneath the sand so that it provides stability to rocks and prevents rock slides from burrowing critters. Is this still an acceptable practice? My concern is that I may or may not get a goby and don't want it to get stuck in the egg crate.

Would I be better off placing the rock on the glass and filling sand, or would the eggcrate route be best to minimize any potential cracking/etching?

Concern - Sand Bed Depth:
I am not going to be doing a deep sand bed as I have had no experience with them and I do not think it would be practical in a 29g. What would be an acceptable sand bed depth if I do get a burrowing critter (goby). I was thinking maybe 1.5 - 2".
 
Last edited:

mcgyvr

New member
1-T5 is a great lighting to use and is more than capable of sustaining SPS,etc...
2-A par of 300 is usually more than sufficient..
3-No real proof that any "fancy" lighting schedule is really that beneficial.. Most people do a sunrise/sunset effect when they can and there are really no cons in doing so..
4-43x turnover is great and you can do more for SPS.. (some run 75x or more for all SPS tanks).. As long as you can keep from having a sandstorm and the corals are happy with it.. the more flow the better..

Enjoy..Have fun..
 

Garmoy76

New member
New to the world

New to the world

Hello, I am new to this and would live any kind of advice anyone can offer. I am starting fresh and have no idea what everything is. So far I have a 100 gallon saltwater tank. I am looking to do everything correctly and I am not a shortcut kind of guy. A personal friend of mine "spanky" highly recommended me to visit this forum and read and ask questions as much as possible. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Thank you,
 

dkeller_nc

New member
Hello, I am new to this and would live any kind of advice anyone can offer. I am starting fresh and have no idea what everything is. So far I have a 100 gallon saltwater tank. I am looking to do everything correctly and I am not a shortcut kind of guy. A personal friend of mine "spanky" highly recommended me to visit this forum and read and ask questions as much as possible. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Thank you,

Probably the best thing to do would be to start a new thread asking for advice. That way, responses don't get confused between your tank and the OP's.
 

dkeller_nc

New member
Your light should be A-OK for just about anything you want to keep, including SPS. Perhaps with the caveat that you might want to place the SPS in the upper 1/2 of the tank.

As McGyver noted, lighting schedules are more for the benefit of the owner than it is the inhabitants. If you so choose, you can even use a 14 hour schedule for your convenience, especially if you intend to feed the fish in the morning and then again in the evening. And because you've a 4-bulb fixture, it's unlikely that you will have too much intensity that might light-stress some corals.

I would take the eggcrate out. Unless you have extraordinarily heavy rock all bearing at one point on the tank floor, there's very little risk of you breaking the tank bottom. Basically, if it will hold up the rock with the tank empty, it will certainly hold up the rock when it's full (since the rock is partially buoyant).

For a wide variety of inhabitants, I prefer about 2" of relatively fine sand (in my case, the CaribSea Fiji Pink). You may have to gravel-vac small sections of it occasionally, but that's not that big of a deal.

I'd probably leave out the maxi-jet and get another couple of Hydors when you need them for high-flow corals. The maxi-jet puts out flo that's too low for the electricity that it uses and the heat that it generates compared to a propeller pump like a Hydor, and at least the non-controllable Hydors are cheap.
 
Top