new 90g seahorse/jawfish/softie/macro build, soliciting input


New member
Hey folks, new member. I'm getting ready to start a new 90 gallon (or 75 if I can't find a 90g) tank build/setup and would love any constructive feedback, suggestions, or comments from all the knowledgeable folks here. Maybe a decade a go I helped my roommate setup a 40 gal saltwater tank over a couple years. Other than that my experience is limited to reading plenty online and watching same buddy upgrade to a 125 when I no longer lived with him.

In the tank I intend to keep:
  • a couple or few seahorses - aquacultured
  • jawfishes (4 maybe? ideally at least 1 pair)
  • macroalgae
  • softies (xenia, I dunno what else)
  • a photosynthetic gorgonian perhaps
  • as many copepods as I can get to live in there

My plan for the tank setup is the following:
  • I'm building a stand according to this post/thread
  • A drilled overflow box with herbie or bean animal flowing into:
  • a sump (29 or 40 breeder?) containing:

    1. 1 low flow refugium/copepod farm/inline fry rearing section with sand, live rock, and macros
    2. 1 high flow chaeto tumbler section
    3. return pump section (2 pumps perhaps for redundancy)
    4. no skimmer
    5. led lights above fuge and chaeto section on opposite cycle of display tank
    6. bag of carbon somewhere in there
    7. ATO either in tank section or in a separate 5gal bucket if using a smaller tank
  • display tank containing:

    1. 4-6 in deep sand bed - not purchased live
    2. live rock (not purchased live, avoiding pests) - not a ton, shooting for a negative space scape
    3. macros
    4. a powerhead or two
    5. led lighting strip, nothing wild, probably this

I'm planning on using a lazy man's triton method, by which I mean I'm not keeping any stony corals so I'm not going to go nuts about dosing or testing for elements but will do some and take lightly mostly to reduce the amount of water changes needed. Every 2 weeks, maybe once a month is possible?

I'm not sure what else I'm forgetting to mention, either because I'm not thinking of it now it or haven't thought of it at all. Let me know what I might not be considering but should, I appreciate any input! Looking forward to joining the forums and hopefully will have some success to share sometime in the not to distant future.