Starting over! Looking for tips and recommendations!


New member
Hello community. I am planning to start up a new tank in the next 6 months in my home office.

Area will be 48 x 24 inches

Looking for a few fish, definitely a couple of clowns, to mix with live corals.

I'd like to set-up a tank system with integrated filtering system (hidden underneath).

Going to start making list of items to begin purchasing and preparing to purchase.

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. TIA


Staff member
RC Mod
I would suggest a top of the line canister, if that's what you're going for: our freshwater tank canister leaked disastrously. I'd recommend a small sump with a big topoff reservoir beside it in lieu of a canister, with a decent skimmer, and limit yourself to soft corals or shrooms. Much less fussy, no calcium need, and tough if water quality is high. I'd go the longest tank you can fit to give room enough in the stand for all that sumpage. You need an ATO, some tests, and stick to blennies and gobies, gramma, a clown pair and a chromis for color. Simple is good.


Active member
Are you going to just do fish or do you want corals too? Corals will 2X the price and maintenance.

Do you have a fish or some fish in mind that you want to keep? Many fish are not compatible with many other fish and or corals. That’s OK, let us know what you want and it’s pretty easy for us to set you in the right direction. I’ve been doing this for 40 years and there are many here with a lot more experience than me.


Premium Member
Good luck! :) Looking forward to following your build thread! IMO too much emphasis is placed on equipment. What I focus on in my systems is simplicity and redundancy. Keep the plumping as simple as possible (no manifolds), just a as big a sump as I can fit and a couple small submersable pumps each with it's own return line so when one fails it just takes a few minute to replace it and the other can be running the whole time and doesn't need to be turned off. A couple power heads or wavemakers in the tank so even if just one pump is used in the sump if it fails it won't crash the system. Water changes are a must, they're the best way to remove the hydrophilic DOC that can hurt corals and the only way to remove all the refractory DOC that builds up in a ssytem. A lot has been learned about eh roles of sponges and the microbial proscesses in reef ecosystems, here's some videos you may find informative:

"Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas" This video compliments Rohwer's book of the same title (Paper back is ~$20, Kindle is ~$10), both deal with the conflicting roles of the different types of DOC in reef ecosystems. While there is overlap bewteen his book and the video both have information not covered by the other and together give a broader view of the complex relationships found in reef ecosystems

Changing Seas - Mysterious Microbes

Nitrogen cycling in hte coral holobiont

BActeria and Sponges

Maintenance of Coral Reef Health (refferences at the end)

Optical Feedback Loop in Colorful Coral Bleaching

Richard Ross What's up with phosphate"


New member
1- I am planning for a 60x24 tank (I was informed it would be easier to maintain). Included is the office wall where I plan to set-up the tank. 122 (wall) x 60 (tile). I've been looking at Planet Aquarium and Waterbox sites for tank and cabinet products, Any others?

2- I was hoping for a small mix of fish (clowns that interact with anemones) and soft corals (like wavy ones).

I'd rather spend on quality of equipment to run and maintain a healthy tank versus stock piling the tank itself. Looking for a simple of lively look in the tank.

Again, thanks in advance for your inputs. I have no shame in asking dumb questions!


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