What is required for a good frag tank?

kware

New member
I have a 36" X 24" 12'' tank. I want to make it a frag tank. I want mainly to grow sps corals but would also like to grow some other softies like rics or maybe acans. I was thinking of using Metal Halide lighting but would consider T5's as well. My goal is maximum growth. My questions are what other equipment do I need . I assume I need a decent skimmer. Do I need live rock? Do you need to have fish in a frag tank ? I would rather not have any fish in the tank. Is a sump with chaeto, a dsb and live rock required? Basically I am looking for a list of everything I need for a good frag tank. The whole frag grow out tank thing is new to me. I am looking for all the advice I can get. Thanks to everyone in advance.
 

pwoller

New member
I have seen many successfull frag tanks that are composed of good lighting, good flow, and high water quality.
 

louie07

Addicted Reefer
you have 2 choices with the lighting

Metal Halide- More heat, faster growth
T5- Less heat, slower growth

both will work

you dont need a whole lot of LR, i would have a little, and any sand bed wouldnt hurt.

i dont see why you would need a high end skimmer, because fish are the main waste producer, anything would work.

you may not need a sump (but if you want one, go for it)

no fish needed unless you want

have fun :D
 

bsagecko

New member
+1 MH for faster growth and it is pretty easy to find a used setup for alot cheaper that t5's

just good flow, high water quality......I would skip the skimmer unless you feed heavily on the coral food or have excess fish in the prop tank

10lbs of liverock would probably help with everything and sand bed is good as long as you arent going for like 30~50x which would probably blow your sand to high heavens in a tank like that.........
 

scaryperson27

New member
-Luminarc reflector with around a 15k bulb.
-A large egg crate with legs to keep it off of the bottom.
-A sump preferably 1/3+ the volume of the tank.
-Large return pump plumbed to multiple returns for good waterflow
-Considering this is about a 40 gallon tank, I would go for a NW-150 protein skimmer
-stability (ATO, calcium reactor etc.)

Do you have a main system you could plumb this to?
 

louie07

Addicted Reefer
+1 on plumbing the systems together, if you can...

better water quality, and after you frag a coral from the main display (if you do) then just plop it in your frag tank, which is the same water.
 

ShootMe

New member
I’m wondering since fish are the main biological polluter, can you run a skimmer on a frag system that is rated below your system if you have little to no fish. Ie. 400 gallon system, 200 gallon skimmer.
 

bsagecko

New member
You can run any system without a skimmer.........period

Skimmers are just a nice tool to have......its like having an electric cordless drill instead of a rusty screwdriver to put a screw in........

If you had no fish I would really see no reason in having a protein skimmer.....unless you feed the corals heavily........
 

305phins

New member
If your frag tank is not connected to your main tank would it hurt the frag when you take it out of your frag tank and put it in your main?
 

Wakeskater02

In Memoriam
1 think that a skimmer is great for in a frag tank...........I would know I have a huge one! Is if some of the frags either begin to die........or they for some reason release toxins in to the water....the skimmer will pick them up and get them out of the water so they dont hurt any other frags. The frag tank I set up is about 200 gallons of water 75 gallon actual frag tank, then it has a 125-150 gallon custom build sump underneath. The reason I built a large sump underneath with a refuge is because I wanted to try and get the best water conditions possible. I am just fragging Softies and LPS's.

If you have a nice display I would refrain from connecting the systems.....if you think about it....if you connect them whatever problems occur in your display will also affect your frag tank. When you have fish in the display and they are connected the waste will pollute the water hence polluting the water in your frag tank! If they are not connected, you are golden.

Here are the specs on my Frag Set up:

75g Frag Tank
125-150g Sump/refuge
2 250w hamilton Metal Halides
Cheato
Miracle mud
live rock
NO LIVE SAND!!!!
 

kware

New member
Thanks for all the good responses guys! Sorry it took so long to reply back. Wakeskater02 how come you say no live sand. I was thinking of using 1 inch of aragonite sand.(maybe seeding from the main display). For my lighting is a 175 enough. I have heard that the higher K value the better growth , ie. 10K grows coral better than 15K or 20K. I have an old seaclone skimmer. I know it's small but with the small bioload with no fish will it be OK. No sump right away just good flow with 2 maxijet 1200's modded. What do you guys think?
 

scaryperson27

New member
You might as well have an airstone instead of the seaclown. The skimmer is an important part of the system because, with a frag tank you should be providing a lot of good nutrients such as, amino acids, phytoplankton, etc. The skimmer takes the nutrients out before they get a chance to rot into toxic nutrients. So the concept is that you are always providing fresh nutritional (?) nutrients. Other than that, it sounds okay!

10k will provide a better light to promote growth instead of coloration.
 

suliaman007

Tap Water Only Club
I woundnt do sand, just some lr. sand can get messy, it is a lot easier to siphon gunk of the bottom of the tank when it is bb. I have a mj mod blowing on the bottom of the tank so nothing accumulates. I think if you do regular water changes you will be ok without a skimmer.
 

scaryperson27

New member
Some people even elevate the frags on an eggcrate and direct flow underneath it to keep the detritus elevated so that it can be taken out by mechanical filtration. this works wonders for lowering maintenance since you will already be watching it due to the fact that it is going to be a low tech system.

When do you plan on having it up and running?
 

kware

New member
I see the point of no sand , makes sense. I like the Idea of elevating the frags with eggcrate so you can keep water moving underneath to keep the gunk from settling. Scaryperson27 so are you saying I should have a real good skimmer and just feed the tank often?. So there is always fresh nutrients that don't have the chance to break down into nitrates due to the skimmer? Would a 150 halide be enough or should I get a 250?
 

scaryperson27

New member
Yes, that's the reason for a good skimmer. you want a high exchange of nutrients.

I would suggest a 250. I would even go as far as to suggest a Luminarc reflector depending on the surface area that it has to supplement light to.
 

kware

New member
Would a SCWD and a Mag drive 7 pump in a closed loop system alone be enough random flow to support a SPS grow out tank?
 
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